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C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Boycott UK Universities!

A few days ago, I wrote this about the AUT Anti-Semitic boycott of several Israeli universities. The current boycott is just the latest in a string of similar anti-Semitic actions taken by many UK scholars. But as John Furedy of SAFS wrote to the National Post about a previous boycott attempt back on January 4, 2003,

Soon after the start of the boycott, the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship, a small Canadian organization, condemned it as an act of "academic cannibalism". However, the main academic organization in this country, the Canadian Association of University Teachers .[CAUT].. remains silent. That is not to take a "nuanced", but rather a head-in-the-sand view.
Here is what Gadi Taub, a professor at Hebrew University, wrote about the present boycott [thanks to M.A. for the link]:

In this instance I am hard-pressed to explain the affair without taking anti-Semitism into account.

As an effort ostensibly designed to promote human rights, the boycott – launched precisely when Israel is moving to end the occupation – is puzzling. It is also striking that the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) has taken no similar steps against any other violation of such rights elsewhere in the world.

Academics from regimes where genuine ethnic cleansing, genocide and human rights crimes are regular occurrences remain welcome at Britain's universities. China's occupation of Tibet, to take only one obvious example, does not seem to bother the AUT. Whatever Israel's human rights failings – and I have been among those critical of government policies – the AUT's hypocrisy is too much to take.

... I MYSELF am not affected by the boycott. My university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has thus far been excluded from the gag rule, and I also qualify under the exception clause, having been publicly critical of my government. But I'll opt in anyway. I have no wish to be excluded from the boycott because I don't consider these exclusions honest. As a Jew, not just an Israeli, I prefer henceforth not to accept any invitations from British universities participating in the boycott. And I urge my fellow Jewish academics around the world to do the same.

In support of the above position, I hereby proclaim the following and urge others, including the CAUT, to do likewise:

  • I will referee no articles published or edited in the UK.
  • I will submit no articles to journals published in the UK.
  • I will accept no invitations from UK universities participating in the boycott.
  • I will invite no academics from the UK to any conferences unless the person has renounced the position of the AUT on Israel's universities.
  • I will accept no ideas or links from any UK academic who has not renounced the AUT position on Israeli universities.
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