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Sunday, May 21, 2006
British Academic Boycott Of Israel, Again
    Previously, the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) had established an academic boycott of Israel, which Boycott Watch had reported as a book-burning since, by definition, also barred ideas of Israeli educators. The boycott was later rescinded after much debate.

   Today, IMRA, the Israel-based Independent Media Review and Analysis organization, reports a merger of British teachers unions which may force the AUT, which has rejected the academic boycott, to join into a larger boycott of Israel and the ideas of academics even though it is against it.

   If this occurs, we will once again see a national academic book burning reminiscent of Kristallnacht, the night the Nazis broke the windows of Jewish stores and burned books. An Academic boycott is the denial of all ideas from people one does not agree with, regardless of what those ideas are. In a sense, it is saying that nothing Israeli academics say, even if saving lives, it good. This can only be summed up as anti-Semitism - pure and simple. It is hate. It is racism.

   The British Parliament should be ashamed of the National Association of Teachers in Higher Education (NATFHE) which may absorb the AUT, and the British Labour party should demand its immediate disbanding.

   In a world where Iran is preparing to wage war against the entire western world including Christians and Jews within their own borders, seeing Britain's supposed intellectuals join in the world of hate is appalling, dangerous and downright scary.

   While Boycott Watch usually reports both sides so people can decide for themselves what the truth is, this boycott is so disturbing that giving the NATFHE a platform to spew hate is not something we find unacceptable since there is no excuse for anti-Semitism.
Start Of IMRA Report:
Reposted From IMRA, the Independent Media Review and Analysis:

Sunday, May 21, 2006
Anthony Julius Tells University of Haifa Audience of New Boycott Attempt

   Anthony Julius Tells University of Haifa Audience of New Boycott Attempt HAIFA. May 21(University of Haifa)-Anthony Julius, the British litigator, is once again defending Israeli academic institutions. Speaking today at the opening session of the University of Haifa's Board of Governors Meeting, Julius revealed that he was representing an American professor at Oxford who is against the boycott that his union, the Association of University Teachers (AUT), may be forced to accept without debate when it merges on May 30th with the National Association of Teachers in Higher Education (NATFHE).

   The latter is expected to pass a resolution at the end of the week (May 27) calling for the boycott of all Israeli Universities, not just specific institutions. The 60,000-member NATFHE is a larger union, but mainly represents teachers less prestigious colleges, according to Julius.

   "What happens if the resolution passes?" Julius "Does it bind the new union?"

   "This," he continued, "is the pressing legal question now being debated in England."

   Julius, who successfully defended Deborah Lipstadt against Holocaust denier David Irving, last helped overturn the AUT boycott against the University of Haifa and the Hebrew University.

   The University of Haifa is conferring an honorary doctorate on Julius this evening.

   Describing boycotts as "the weapon of choice" in assaults against Israel, the litigator said that he expected to be the first "correspondent" of the new union. His client will introduce a motion declaring the NATFHE motion illegal and without validity if it is passed and appears to be binding on the joint union.

   AUT officials told him that there is nothing they can do at this point, since they cannot interfere in the affairs of another union. Julius thought the response disingenuous. He said the union had an obligation to safeguard its members, but was doing nothing about the new boycott attempt.

   "It is not clear whether the resolution will be binding," he admitted. If it is, then his client is not being an opportunity to speak out against it and his dues will be used to finance speakers promoting the boycott.

   He related that the new motion invites members to "consult their consciences" in regard to a boycott, rather than mandating it outright as did the AUT resolution last year. The present move, he said, is more sophisticated and harder to beat down. Julius thought that boycott issue was finally gaining the attention of Israel's friends unlike the situation several years.
End Of IMRA Report:
© 2006 Divestment Watch