Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Norway university and Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions won't boycott Israel

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Nov. 12, 2009, by Melanie Lidman:

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) unanimously voted against an academic boycott of Israel at a meeting on Thursday.

Had the proposal passed, NTNU would have been the first Western university to sever ties with Israeli universities.

"As an academic institution, NTNU's mission is to stimulate the study of the causes of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and how it can be resolved. This means that the university is also dependent on being able to cooperate with Israeli academics and hear their views on the conflict," the 12 board members said in a statement released by the university.

The meeting was attended by almost 50 members of the university community, a rare departure from the usual five attendees of board of governors meetings. The journalists, mostly from Norwegian publications, outnumbered the board members.

...The discussion took less than half an hour, since no one argued in favor of the proposal.

...The boycott proposal was met with denunciation by organizations in Israel, Europe and North America who mobilized against it. International reaction was much more intense than the university had anticipated, Singsaas said.

Also from The Academic Friends of Israel, Vol 8 No12 17 November 2009, by Ronnie Fraser:

...The NTNU had received letters and emails from all over the world which resulted in tremendous negative publicity for the University and Norway. The global counter-boycott petition by SPME (Scholars for Peace in the Middle East) was signed by more than 3,500 people, more than 1,000 times the number of signatures on the original proposal to boycott.

....More goods news last week, when the General Secretary of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions [PGFTU] Palestine’s equivalent of the TUC told a delegation of British trade unionists that they are not interested in general boycotts of Israel. ....
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