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24 June 2008

Is it a Boycott or Not?

The proposed academic boycott of Israel continues to test friendships

By Martin Bright

A close friend and respected academic has asked me to post the whole of the controversial Motion 25 from the University and College Union Congress in May. This is the one that proposes a “boycott” of Israel, which I oppose. As he points out, the word “boycott” is never used.

Well here it is. Decide for yourself:

25 – Composite: Palestine and the occupation University of Brighton –
Eastbourne, University of Brighton – Grand Parade, University of East
London Docklands, National Executive Committee
Congress notes the

1. continuation of illegal settlement, killing of civilians and the
impossibility of civil life, including education

2. humanitarian catastrophe imposed on Gaza by Israel and the EU

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3. apparent complicity of most of the Israeli academy

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4. legal attempts to prevent UCU debating boycott of Israeli academic
institutions; and legal advice that such debates are lawful

Congress affirms that

5. criticism of Israel or Israeli policy are not, as such, anti-semitic;

6. pursuit and dissemination of knowledge are not uniquely immune from

their moral and political consequences;

Congress resolves that

7. colleagues be asked to consider the moral and political implications of
educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation
with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues
with whom they are collaborating;

8. UCU widely disseminate the personal testimonies of UCU and PFUUPE
delegations to Palestine and the UK, respectively;

9. the testimonies will be used to promote a wide discussion by colleagues
of the appropriateness of continued educational links with Israeli
academic institutions;

10. UCU facilitate and encourage twinning arrangements and other direct
solidarity with Palestinian institutions;

11. Ariel College, an explicitly colonising institution in the West Bank,
be investigated under the formal Greylisting Procedure.