Boycott motions for forthcoming UCU Congress

SFC14 Practical support for Palestinian academic trade unionists, National executive committee

Congress condemns the failure of the international community to confront the Israeli government over the humanitarian disaster it is continuing to perpetrate in Gaza and the continued development of illegal settlements in the West Bank.


· Welcomes the decisions of the 2009 TUC Congress relating to Palestine and Israel, and instructs the NEC to work with the TUC, STUC, and other affiliates, Amnesty International and PSC, to put the recommendations into effect.

· Welcomes the Education International-Canadian Association of University Teachers report on academic freedom in Palestine and Israel, and the new impetus it provides for work on this area in EI.

· Calls on the NEC to work with Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, as well as EI, CAUT and other supportive EI affiliates, to build PFUUPE’s organisational and negotiating capacity within Palestine, according to the needs PFUUPE identifies, and to support its membership of EI and enable it to participate fully in EI’s work.

SFC15 Palestine solidarity, BDS, and Histadrut, University of Brighton Grand Parade

Congress notes the successful international BDS conference hosted by the UCU in line with Congress policy;

The statement that emerged from that conference and the call from the Palestinian Boycott National Committee for an isolation of Israel while it continues to act in breach of international law.

Congress resolves:

· To reaffirm its support for BDS, and to seek its implementation within the constraints of the existing law;

· To seek in conjunction with other trade unions, nationally and internationally, to establish an annual international conference on BDS, a trade union sponsored BDS website and a research centre on commercial, cultural and academic complicity with Israeli breaches of international law, with appropriate cost sharing;

· To sever all relations with Histadrut, and to urge other trade unions and bodies to do likewise;

· To campaign actively against the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and to coordinate that campaign with other trade unions and solidarity movements.

SFC16 Ariel and West Bank Colonisation, University of Brighton Falmer

Congress notes

The continuing colonisation of the West Bank – construction of illegal settlements, Israeli-only roads, diversion of Palestinian water, disaggregation of the territory, disruption of Palestinian life, destruction of olive groves and separation of Palestinian cultivators from their land, denial of educational and scholarly opportunities to Palestinians, and the continuing construction of the wall;

The contribution of Israel’s academy in this process – scientific and social and historical research, sitting of annexes on illegally confiscated land, and support for military occupation;

The particular contribution of Ariel College in this process – recruiting Israelis as settlers for their education – and the recent decision of Israel to recognise Ariel as a ‘university centre’, on the way to its establishment as a university on occupied territory.

Congress resolves to commence the investigatory process associated with the imposition of a boycott of Ariel College.

UCU’s invitation to Bongani Masuku of South Africa

The following has been submitted to UCU conference by Oxford University :

SFC17 UCU’s invitation to Bongani Masuku of South Africa, University of Oxford

Congress notes that:

UCU invited Bongani Masuku to a meeting in December 2009 to discuss Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel;

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has found that at a rally at the University of the Witwatersrand in March 2009 Masuku ‘uttered numerous anti-Semitic remarks which were seen to have incited violence and hatred amongst the students who were present.’

The SAHRC has determined that these statements, and others made publicly by Masuku, amount to hate speech prohibited by the South African constitution;

the SAHRC finding makes it clear that Masuku does not deny making the remarks attributed to him;

These remarks were publicly available on the internet well before UCU’s invitation to Masuku was issued.

Congress dissociates itself from Masuku’s repugnant views.

Congress censures those elected members responsible for inviting Masuku to participate in a meeting hosted by the union.

The Lib Dem Baroness, Her Patronage And David Duke.

Modernity over at Modernity Blog asks the following with regard to Baroness Tonge’s patronage of The Palestine Telegraph and the fact that it’s front page contains a rant by former KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke.

So I wonder how will she react when she sees David Duke’s face on the front of the Palestinian Telegraph’s web site?

Will she condemn it? Or will she try to excuse it away?

I would hope that even Baroness Tonge is familiar with David Duke, neo-Nazi and onetime grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan?

Surely she would realise why it is a very bad idea for the Palestinians’ cause to be associated with such a despicable professional racist and arch antisemite.

What type of editorial process goes on in the Palestinian Telegraph which means it finds it acceptable to post a David Duke video ? Unbelievable. What racist filth.

HT to Modernity Blog and HP.

UPDATE : According to Matthew Harris at the JC blog, Jenny Tonge has emailed the Palestine Telegraph to say that she no longer wishes to be a patron and wants her name to be removed from their website”.

The David Duke video has been taken down.

At the moment George Galloway is now listed as a patron.

The Budapest March of Life : commemorating the Holocaust.

Guest post by Karl Pfeifer

Éva S. Balogh publishes “Hungarian Spectrum” which I recommend to all those interested in Hungary. She wrote about the March for life which took place this year on April 18:

Even before I read the article describing the event my first thought was that it was really remarkable that this commemoration managed to attract several thousand people while all other demonstrations organized lately by left-liberals were very small. Only a few hundred people took the trouble to raise their voices against intolerance and the visible growth of the far right. And behold, here is this huge crowd. Maybe it means that in the future we will see more vigorous political participation on the part of the left.

The march was obviously more than a commemoration of the Holocaust. It was also a demonstration against the growing Hungarian Nazi movement. Because, let’s face it, it is a Nazi movement although in Hungary most people don’t dare to label it as such. When I wrote an article in Hungarian about the international reaction to Jobbik and mentioned that foreign commentators call them fascists, my editor wrote back expressing her hope that I could footnote that claim because otherwise Jobbik will sue the paper.

This is the eighteenth time that the march has taken place. In the first year only 400-500 people bothered to gather to commemorate the death of about 400,000 Hungarians in 1944-45. Last year there were more than 10,000 participants and this year their number might have been over 20,000. Among the marchers were several socialist and Fidesz politicians… Gábor Iványi, a well known Methodist minister. Apparently several members of the diplomatic corps also took part. I definitely saw the U.S. ambassador. …
Although there were several speeches the most interesting was the one given by Sándor Németh, head of the Hungarian chapter of the Assembly of God. [Hit Gyülekezete KP] This church is a very curious phenomenon. One would think that it would be politically conservative, but …[they] are a liberally minded lot and the church has long been associated with the liberal party. For instance, ATV, a liberal television station, is owned by the church.

Most commentators noted approvingly that Sándor Németh at last didn’t mince words and called Jobbik what it is, a neo-Nazi party. It is the shame of Hungary, he continued, that members of this party will be sitting in the Hungarian parliament. And, yes, the Jobbik parliamentary members will be sitting in the very same chamber where the laws against the Jews were enacted in the late thirties and early forties.

To finish this short piece on an upbeat note: I consider this very large demonstration a clear sign that the until now not very active left-liberal voters of Hungary will not be taking any anti-democratic shift in Hungarian politics lying down.”

I am happy to report good news from Hungary and I am proud to be for many years the Vienna correspondent of „Hetek“ the weekly of „Hit Gyülekezete“. This Budapest paper whose chief editor is Sándor Németh takes in every issue a stand against racism and antisemitism and is a staunch advocate for Hungarian-Israeli friendship.

Karl Pfeifer