From Stop The Boycott:
This week, UCU Congress passed four motions that relate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
- SFC14 encouraged the Union to build links with Palestinian academics and unions
- SFC15, “Palestinian Solidarity, BDS, and Histadrut”, reaffirms UCU’s support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel “within legal constraints”, and forces UCU to establish and fund a “research centre into complicity with Israeli breaches”, a BDS website, and an annual pro-boycott conference.
- It also demands UCU severs all ties with the Histadrut, the Israeli TUC
- An amendment to this motion, which would have referred the decision on Histadrut to a special committee, was defeated.
- SFC16 “Ariel and West Bank Colonisation” formally starts the procedure to institute an academic boycott against Ariel College. This motion passed, though it should be noted that a similar motion was passed last year.
- An emergency motion, tabled during the Conference itself, condemned Israel over the flotilla incident, and called on the UK Government not to change the law on arresting Israeli visitors under Universal Jurisdiction.
- The motion “UCU invitation to Bongani Masuku of South Africa”, which sought to dissociate UCU from Masuku’s offensive views and actions, was overwhelmingly defeated.
In a year when Higher Education is facing unprecedented cuts, UCU has revealed its distorted priorities. It is converting itself from a Trade Union into an organisation focused on promoting division and discrimination in the Middle East.
UCU’s attack on the Histadrut, Israel’s independent Trade Union centre, is a deeply disturbing escalation. Once again, UCU has shown that it does not only object to the Israeli Government, but to all Israeli workers. The membership fees of hard-working academics money will be diverted away from helping them keep their jobs and will instead be used to fund Union-breaking in Israel.
Sally Hunt still holds the international portfolio on the Trades Union Congress’ General Council. She cannot hold this position, which requires her to work closely with the Histadrut, while her Union is working to undermine them. If she has any honour, Sally Hunt must resign her TUC portfolio immediately.