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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

British Boycott of Israeli Univerisities

As many of you know, on April 22, 2005 the Association of University Teachers in Britain (a trade union and professional association for over 48,700 UK higher education professionals) voted to boycott 2 Israeli Universities, Haifa and Bar-Ilan, and to blacklist their faculty (further inquiry was made to boycott the Hebrew University). The two Israeli Universities were not represented and were not requested to provide their reaction. The resolutions call on all members of AUT to "refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration, or joint projects" with the two universities. It excludes from the ban only "conscientious Israeli academics and intellectuals opposed to their state's colonial and racist policies."

On May 3, 2005 the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued a statement against the boycott. In Israel, Palestinian intellectuals joined Jewish Israelis to condemn the boycott. The boycott comes at a moment when Israel is preparing for a summer of retreat. As an academic boycott it is particularly problematic and a dangerous precedent, which threatens intellectual freedom and the free exchange of scholarship, scholars and ideas. AUT is supposed to vote on various dissent motions on May 26.

Posted by Orly Lobel on May 24, 2005 at 09:00 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink

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