Irish academic trade union votes to exclude Israelis from campuses in Ireland

The Teachers Union of Ireland has voted to boycott all academic collaboration with Israel, including research programmes and exchange of scientists.

A motion, calling for all members of the union to end work with Israeli counterparts, was passed unanimously at the TUI annual conference in Galway on Thursday.

The union called on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to increase its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against “the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank”.

The passed motion requests TUI members to “cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes”.

The motion doesn’t bother to maintain the fiction of the “institutional boycott”.  This is a boycott of scholars and students on the basis of their nationality.  This is a boycott of a significant proportion of the world’s Jewish academics and students for reasons which are nothing to do with anything that those academics have said or done.  Nobody but Israelis are to be boycotted.

30 Responses to “Irish academic trade union votes to exclude Israelis from campuses in Ireland”

  1. John Lesser Says:

    So there goes one of the few paths left to dialogue between the youths of my school, in Jerusalem, and the school in Dublin where we’ve been regularly visiting and “dialoguing” for years. Every year we either go there or they come here to talk and air views, and just to be with each other.
    Gone, together with the baby in the proverbial bath, down the plughole of union boycotts

  2. alex Says:

    Nobody but Israelis to be boycotted? Surely they’ll find a way to extend to “Israel supporters”. At the same time, I’d be willing to bet that Israeli Arabs are not included

  3. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Does Ireland have any legislation on the statute book concerning discrimination by nationality and/or religion? By definition, this will hit one nationality and at least two religions, if not more.

    Interesting to know how they plan to distinguish between religions, or if they’ll care.

    Anybody able to suggest whether Irish academia will suffer from this? All Israeli inventors have to do is bar their products from Ireland…

    the academics will just go elsewhere, to the loss of Irish academic life, BTW, anybody know if the TUI can enforce any breachers of this, or, if there are relevant anti-discrimination laws, whether this might fatally weaken the TUI?

  4. east1956 Says:

    NINA (No Irish Need Apply) has comfortably become No Israelis Need Apply.
    But perhaps we should not really be surprised given Irelands interesting relationship with Jews.
    http://politico.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6238

  5. Aboslute Observer Says:

    “the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank”.

    I am not sure what country they are talking about here………………
    It is rather a call to boycott a mythical country called ‘Israel’ rather than the actually-existing Israel.
    1. Israel is not an apartheid country (and merely saying it is does not make it so).
    2. The question of whether the occupation is ‘illegal’ is not fully decided
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/20/are-critics-of-israeli-occupation-getting-nervous.html
    3. And the same with the blockade (which of course means that they should also be calling for a boycott of Egypt).

    Once again, when it comes to matters Jewish, we are dealing not with ‘real’ Jews and ‘real’ Israel, but rather an image of Israel and of Jews that exists nowhere other than in the realms of the anti-ZIonist imagination.

    • Jacob Arnon Says:

      I agree, and that makes them more and not less dangerous. Antisemites may hate the Jew in their imagination but it’s real Jews who get hurt.

  6. Jacob Arnon Says:

    People here probably don’t want to hear it, but is it coincidental that in a country (Ireland) which was neutral during the Holocaust and whose then President signed the the condolence book at the German Embassy in 1945 after the German dictator committed suicide, a university supports a boycott of the Jewish State?

  7. Brian Robinson Says:

    I don’t know how many Jews are left in the Republic now ( http://www.jewishireland.org/ ), but I can imagine a number of Jewish children having a hard time of it in school from now on — very, very much harder than we had it in my day, and it was often a bit rough both at the hands of our peers and some of the teachers then. There was, shall we say, a “legacy”. Of course the theocratic influence now, if it exists at all, is a very pale shadow of what it was then (no prizes for saying why). But even back then, the headmaster of my school told a friend of my parents who went to complain about the racist bullying, “Mrs —–, there’s a miasma of antisemitism in the school” — that was his word. Things got better, but I always felt there was an undercurrent. And of course the antisemitism in Dublin is a major theme of Joyce’s Ulysses. One aspect of that writer’s greatness is that he never shared the prejudices of some of his contemporaries.

    What a licence Mr N.F. (yes, they really were his initials avant la lettre) would have, and his counterparts will have: “S—-“, (you must imagine the supercilious sneer), “how come you managed to remember such a big word, the ‘Palatinate’?” (He taught history.) “Because it reminded me of Palestine, Sir”. Cue for NF to utter a Huh! and add a sniff to the sneer.

    Of Mr GT when 5 or 6 of us came back after missing some days around Rosh Hashana. “So who missed those lessons last week? Ah yes … The Jews. Stand out til we see you.” And we all had to line up against the classroom wall. One of us was rather plump, so GT picked on him. “Lennie! Hah, or shall we call you ‘leany’?” Cue cruel laughter in class.

    But even so, I’m glad I went to that school. It taught me what to expect, and to some degree how to deal with it. But what will the pupils of today’s Mr NFs, Mr GTs and their female colleagues in Irish schools do now?

    It wont matter whether they come from Zionist or anti-Zionist homes, because there’ll be an atmosphere. There’ll be echoes of the old attitudes. The light sleeper will wake, and if hungry and poor will be angry.

    Oh, and by the way, it wasn’t just ‘Dev’. Though we didn’t know it at the time, the former President of the Irish Republic, Douglas Hyde was a secret Nazi sympathizer.

  8. Noga Says:

    The Irish academics convinced themselves that Israelis have been decoupled from their Jewishness and history. They decided to discard the inconvenient part, and once Israeli identity has been brutally emptied of its contents, it could be re-filled with the venomous contents manufactured by Irish imagination. It’s a problem Jews cannot solve for the Irish. The Irish will have to do the work themselves. Or not. As JA noted, the Irish have already had to live down one shameful legacy. They have not done such a great job of it, but surely that should have been at least a lesson to shake their so-called “moral” principles?

  9. IV, 1, 2343 Says:

    ‘I am content’

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Meaning what? What is it that you are content about, or are saying others are content about?

      • Noga Says:

        PORTIA:
        Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?(405)

        SHYLOCK:
        I am content.

        Merchant of Venice, Act 4, scene 1

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          Thanks, Noga, I should have spotted that. But I would have thought that it would be the Irish who would be content with what they have wrought, hardly the Jew, or the Jews.

  10. Brian Robinson Says:

    Curiously I can’t find anything about this in the Irish Times, Irish Independent, the RTE website. And the TUI website seems to have virtually nothing about anything — despite saying its conference page will be updated regularly throughout the conference, there’s only a link to a non functioning video of a speech. If they’re as inefficient as that, perhaps we’ve been worrying unnecessarily!

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Wouldn’t that be lovely? And wouldn’t it live up (or should that be down?) to the usual English stereotype of the Irish?

      For once, I’d like it to be true.

  11. Absolute Observer Says:

    ‘(To the question, “What about boycotting Saudi Arabia?” – all I can claim is that cutting back on my consumption of its most lucrative export was a peripheral reason for giving up the powerful cars I used to drive, and for stopping flying, some years ago. I certainly wouldn’t let a book of mine be published there either, although – unsurprisingly, given some of the things I’ve said about that barbaric excuse for a country, not to mention the contents of the books themselves – the issue has never arisen, and never will with anything remotely resembling the current regime in power.)’

    Ok, let me see if I’ve got this right,
    If Israel was as ‘barbaric’ a state as Saudi Arabia, Banks wouldn’t publicaly call for a boycott. But, because Israel is not as ‘barbaric’, then it makes sense to boycott it. So, the reason to boycott Israel is because it is not as bad as other states. So on this way of thinking, the way for Israel to avoid to being boycotted is to become as ‘barbaric’ as Saudi Arabia.

    But then maybe for Banks the Arabs haven’t disappointed him as much as the Jews have. But then again, it can’t be easy sustaining such a loss on all that moral capital that he had invested earlier in all those clever and persecuted people. I can only guess that in these difficult times nothing is worse than negative equity.

  12. Brian Robinson Says:

    I’ve assumed up to now that the ‘Teachers’ in TUI means primary and secondary school teachers and suchlike, ie not lecturers in further and higher education — hence my thoughts about kids in school.

    • Brian Robinson Says:

      Still nothing on their website, no press release etc.
      Wikipedia: Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), in Irish Aontas Múinteoirí Éireann, is a trade union representing teachers in post-primary schools and lecturers in third level Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Technology. The TUI is affiliated to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and is represented on various education governmental bodies such as National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), Further Education and Training Awards Council FETAC, Higher Education and Training Awards Council HETAC and Vocational Education Committees.

  13. Brian Robinson Says:

    Actually I should have read further on before posting that comment in reply to Absolute Observer. Nawaz says it’s mistaken to blame the Saudis ‘cos “they’ve moved on”. According to Pat Condell, they haven’t of course, but I watch his videos with a mix of serious attention, skepticism and amusement. I should go look for more up-to-date information.

    But the Saudis are our friends, aren’t they? All those military aircraft we’ve been selling them, their rivalry with Iran (which according to Paul Rogers is fueling the current war in Syria (“at the heart of Syria’s destructive stalemate”)
    http://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/syria-war-without-exit , the supposed exchange of intelligence …(?)

  14. Proudly Israeli Says:

    I don’t think it is fare to exclude Israeli students from campuses in Ireland without prior warning. You should at least have them wear yellow stars of David on their clothes first.. shame on you. Really.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Proudly Israeli, not sure the Yellow Stars bit is a good idea, given that many will have served in the IDF. They could probably look after themselves a lot better than those wimpish teachers opposing them.

      • Proudly Israeli Says:

        Well, in case it wasn’t cIear, I was being cynical. Whoever truly advoates such an idea, as noted, should be ashamed

  15. Bernard Berger (@Bergerbdel) Says:

    Considering that Eamonn De Valera went to the German Embassy to give his condolonces on the death of Hitler; I am not surprised.

    I see people regularly protesting on Grafton St. against alledged attrocities against the Palestinians, yet I see not one person protesting against the massacre of tens of thousands in Syria? We hear so much here about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, but not a peep about the occupation of a third of the territory of an EU state, Cyprus by Turkey, or the occupation of around a third of Georgia by Russia. I guess that these are OK then? It is precisely because of the existence of ugly anti-Semitic bullies of which there are many here that a strong and vibrant Jewish state exists in Israel today.

    • How s very vulgar Says:

      Please, don’t you know just how vulgar it is to bring up historical attitudes to Jews? Don’t you know that was all in the old days?After the holocaust, as if by a miracle, it all stopped and the entire world realised that singling out Jews was a bad and terrible thing. So at least some good came from Hitler.
      The real problem, as Banks, david ward and others remind us (sadly and for their own good) it is only the Jews who have not moved on and who continue not only not to learn its lessons, but also remain, how can I put this, ‘damaged goods’.
      But, as I am sure you know, those Jews have always had a stubborn streak (as so many Christians pointed out in the middle ages) and, as many noted in more modern times, suffered from a mental illness that many referred to as ‘Jewishness’ that apparently stopped them being just like everyone else.
      So you can see why people don’t like referring to the history of antisemitism when talking about present- day Jews. It simply has no relevance.

  16. Brian Robinson Says:

    And yet how things change … The Forward, 26 March ’13 http://tinyurl.com/c392hjp
    “[O]f all the old-young nations battling for independence in the 20th century, few crossed paths as frequently, as intimately or as ambivalently as the Jews and the Irish. Both were ancient peoples, long kept in shadows on the margins of European civilization with only faith and pride to preserve them. Both fought to revive their ancient languages. Both agonized over the partitioning of their homelands.

    “Fighting a common enemy sometimes brought them close. Irish Republicans and Labor Zionists shared arms caches and safe houses in Belfast in the 1930s. In 1938 the Zionist militant leader Vladimir Jabotinsky came to Dublin to study anti-British guerrilla tactics with Robert Briscoe, the veteran Jewish IRA commander and future Dublin mayor. Briscoe later went to New York to raise money and support among Irish-Americans for Jabotinsky’s Irgun. Yitzhak Shamir, heading the pre-state Freedom Fighters of Israel, better known as the Stern Gang, took the code name “Michael” to honor Irish revolutionary Michael Collins.

    “Interests were never identical, of course. During World War II, some Jews recall bitterly, the radical wing of the IRA briefly sought an alliance with Nazi Germany, the enemy of its enemy, unfazed by the Nazis’ murderous racism. Few remember that the Nazis found them useless and abandoned them. Fewer still remember that Shamir tried to ally his Stern Gang with the Nazis during the same years for the same reason, but the Nazis wouldn’t have him. Once again, Jews and Irish shared a common fate, angry with the Allies but unwelcome on the other side.

    “It’s a mistake to romanticize the relationship more than it deserves. Ireland’s old-school Catholicism sometimes held Jews in disdain after other nations had outgrown such bias. After 1949, when Ireland won full independence, it joined an informal bloc of deeply Catholic nations, including Spain, Portugal and the Vatican, that snubbed Israel and withheld recognition for years. Today Irish Middle East diplomacy treats Israel more harshly than almost any other European state …”
    From “Honoring the Many Liberations That Mark Passover” by JJ Goldberg

    Jabotinsky and Bobbie Briscoe … Oh my! Ah, but that was then …

  17. Latest anti-Israel BDS antics | Anne's Opinions Says:

    […] To conclude today’s sorry tale of woe we cross over to Ireland (via Engage) where the Teachers’ Union of Ireland has voted to boycott all academic collaboration with Israel: […]

  18. BDS Monitor 3.5 - Special Edition - Campus News & Climate - SPME Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Says:

    […] only to adopt a BDS resolution but such efforts have been successful in British and more recently Irish academic unions. Boycott proposals in other US organizations, notably the Modern Language […]

  19. Latest anti-Israel BDS antics | Anne's Opinions Says:

    […] To conclude today’s sorry tale of woe we cross over to Ireland (via Engage) where the Teachers’ Union of Ireland has voted to boycott all academic collaboration with Israel: […]


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