Friday, May 13, 2005

3 UK Universities Reject AUT Boycott

LittleGreenFootballs Weblog reports that the faculties of Oxford, Warwick and Sussex universities faculty has rejected he boycott of Haifa and Bar Ilan universities by Britain’s Association of University Teachers, reported on Israel Radio on Friday morning.

The decision by Oxford faculty to reject the boycott came in advance of the proposed May 26 emergency meeting at which it was expected that the anti-boycott faction would try to overturn the boycott. A source told The Jerusalem Post that the AUT accepted a letter with the required 25 signatures submitted by John Pike of the Open University, calling for the special session, and for a “comprehensive debate of the issue.”

The controversial boycott recently came under fire, not just by pro-Israel groups, but also by British university lecturers and professors.

1 comment:

Steve Lieblich said...

Text of a letter to the UK AUT from the Australian National Council of Jewish Women...

Dear Sir,
I write as the National President of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia to speak out against the academic sanctions proposed by the British Association of University Teachers against the faculty at Bar Ilan and Haifa Universities.
As Australian women we are very conscious of the importance of academic freedom throughout the world. We see the possible boycott as an erosion of dialogue and basic academic freedoms. With anti-Semitism on the rise in Australia, as around the world, the proposed action of the AUT contributes to making Australian Jews feel even more vulnerable – there are surely less divisive ways of indicating concern about government action.
While NCJWA appreciates that the AUT wishes to make a political statement, to take this path is not to boycott government support of education, but to restrict the flow of free thought in the world and to undermine much that the AUT theoretically stands for.
The NCJWA would be deeply disappointed to hear that the AUT was in any way responsible for upholding any such restrictions on academic freedoms. It would be saddening if the capacity of Israeli universities to engage in free and frank discourse about Israeli government and government processes and to be able to publicly express their dissent was undermined by such an ill-conceived action by the AUT.
Yours sincerely...