Israel boycott again on agenda in UK

Dr. David Hirsh of Engage, a group of academics and trade unionists who campaign against the boycott call, came out strongly against the UCU’s move.

“Annually, the boycotters propose to exclude Israelis from the global academic, economic, artistic and sporting community as though Israel was unique on the planet and as though it was normal to punish ordinary working people for the actions of their government,” said Hirsh. “The UCU leadership does nothing about the boycott or about the Palestinians, but continues to allow anti-Semitic ways of thinking to pollute the union and to degrade our solidarity.”

Read the whole article by Jonny Paul here.

13 Responses to “Israel boycott again on agenda in UK”

  1. NIMN Says:

    Maybe we sometimes forget that their are serious and sensible people out there like Atwood and Ghosh (

    When the UCU pass their motions (the majority of those who would have opposed it have been bureaucratically silenced and/or bullied and intimadated) then they will face the oprobrium of an academic union demanding the end of academic principles.
    Now, that will be fun to see – when a call to boycott results in the isolation of the boycotters!

    (n.b. can anyone inform me of the result of the Berkely motion? when all those “as a Jews” stood up (aaginst those Jews who, apparently) are not part of humanity) and said “enough”)?

  2. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    In addition to “Name’s” comment, you could also follow the link from Lynne, in the thread below this one this one:

    Which seems to me to back up up everything that NIMN is saying, including their final link to the Berkeley debate.

  3. Bill Says:

    (n.b. can anyone inform me of the result of the Berkely motion? when all those “as a Jews” stood up (aaginst those Jews who, apparently) are not part of humanity) and said “enough”)?

    Here’s the news as of Friday

    They had a closed sausage-making meeting where they tried to introduce an alternative language that on the surface no longer targets Israel-and-only-Israel. But since everyone knows that it will likely be used to target Israel-and-only-Israel so one particular backer was quoted as not being optimistic of it going through. Plus the not-really-just-about-Israel-except-it-really-is edition was apparently submitted too late for the senate rules.

  4. NIMN Says:

    Bill and Brian thanks for this.

    And they wonder why people are suspicious of the motives (real or imagined) of the bill itself,

    “They won’t vote to support it,” he said at the meeting. “They are afraid or don’t want to criticize Israel’s human rights abuses.”

    Of course, the fact that people may disagree with the bill for any number of reasons is beyond the ken of one of the bill’s proposers. For him it can only be fear or partisan values.

    And these guys claim their comdenmantion is universalist.

  5. Absolute Observer Says:

    How interesting.
    For the proposer of the bill, disinvestment exhausts the meaning of “critisising Israeli human rights abuses”!
    Well, as many have noted, language is always the first victim of totalitarianism.

  6. NIMN Says:

    Lets put the quote in context,

    “Vaughn-Huet said at the meeting he felt there was no reason to proceed with the new bill because there would still be senators not willing to support it.

    “There’s no point in trying to get the bill to committees because they won’t vote to support it,” he said at the meeting. “They are afraid or don’t want to criticize Israel’s human rights abuses.

    Note his belief that Zionists corrupt the democratic process through either “fear” or “bad faith”, rather than opposition to the bills being grounded in legitimate disgreeement – that is, the very stiff of democracy.

    This is how the creeping of antisemitism enters legitimate debates about the middle leat.

  7. Bill Says:

    [This subthread probably belongs in the Berkley thread — and where’s Inna on this? She’s the expert on California.]

    In checking up in NIMN’s question, it looks like the Berkley student senate may have other priorities. The incoming president and his party* have found themselves under a charge of voter fraud**. What makes it interesting is that the incoming president opposed the bill, has a last name of Stern and some of the pro-BSD commenters over the past few issues, have, been licking their chops over this. He apparently reads a bible — in Hebrew. Oh MY!

    * (Yes, they have “parties.” When I was a student at least we were grown up enough to be honest called them cliques, frats and sororities.)

  8. NIMN Says:

    From JVP (US) – who think this is a jolly good idea.

    “On Wednesday April 28, in just one day, not one but two separate college campuses – the University of California at Berkeley and at San Diego- will be voting on the question of divestment and occupation.

    Students at UC Berkeley will again try to overturn a veto of their original 16 to 4 pro-divestment vote. And the students at UC San Diego will put their resolution- nearly identical to that of UC Berkeley–before the student senate for the first time.”

    Just like the UK and the UCU – ignore all votes to the contrary (and demonise them as the expresssion of undue influece of Zionists) and keep going year after year after year and year and day after day after day after day, until it is passed (and, in the case of the UCU, bully and intimidate those who disagee, so none are left who dare disagree).

    Ah, the politics of the bureaucrat.
    Ignore everything until you get what you want and then claim it is all done in the name of “the people” ( people, of course, who don’t know their own interests, but for whom the bureaucrats do!)

  9. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    John Haber (see Lynne’s comment above) notes that “irrelevant” (my word, not necessarily his) organisations, including trade unions, pass BDS motions. TUs may be irrelvant (or less relevant to the work scene) in the US – after all, only some 17% of the employed belong to them – but they are far more relevant here. First, some 36% of the workforce are still members, and they have significant political influence on the Labour Party, not least because of their contributions to Party funds.

    Note that Unison, among others, has just passed a boycott motion (referred to in an article below this somewhere) and also passed one either last year or the one before. And such a motion came before the last Trades Union Congress Annual Conference last year, and came close to being passed. Further, people like Martin Linton may be about to disappear from the House of Commons (a majority of only 124), but others might be on their way in: Karen Jennings, Deputy Gen Sec of Unison is the Labour candidate for Hornsey & Wood Green, Lib Dem majority 2,500.

  10. NIMN Says:

    Israeli bastards! Boycott NOW!

    “10 Israel Prize laureates and dozens of academics urge the Defense Minister:
    “Cancel sweeping ban preventing Palestinians in Gaza from attending Palestinian universities in the West Bank”

    • Thomas Venner Says:

      Ah, yes, but of course these are Jewish…sorry “Zionist” academics, so they can only be saying that as a cynical and manipulative ploy to silence criticism and to try to undermine our legitimate attempts to persuade them into the sea.

  11. Bill Says:

    Another update from Berkeley:

    The veto is standing so the old bill is dead.

    A competing “more consistent” bill has been introduced that will target the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 100. It is being rejected by people who now have to admit that it wasn’t about divestment of war profiteering or the like. It was about Israel and only Israel.

    Here is SIPRI’s 2009 Naughty List. Reading it you can understand why the bocyotteers are doing special pleading against Israel-and-only-Israel. Constancy is expensive.

    Click to access SIPRIYB0906A.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s