Left-wing politics from the US to Nepal, via Zimbabwe, South America and Palestine.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Academic Boycott of Israel

The National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education voted today to recommend a boycott of certain Israeli academics and institutions. Here is a summary of press coverage, in Israel and beyond. I'll update this post as more comes in.
  • Arutz Sheva (Settler-funded):
    1. Article
  • Mail and Guardian (South Africa)
    1. Briefing

Here is a picture of the protest by Jewish students. Good to see there are so many...




Translations


Ma'ariv article:
The British are Boycotting us Again
By Gil'ad Grossman and Ha'im Isrovitch

The British Lecturers' Organization voted in favor of the boycott of academic institutions in Israel because of 'Apartheid policies'.

A year after the British academic boycott on Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities, the British lecturers' organization once again voted for the imposition of an academic boycott against Israeli institutions, due to what they call 'the Zionist Apartheid policies'.

The British organization, that has around 60,000 members, gathered over the weekend for its annual conference. One of the topics raised was the imposition of an academic boycott on all Israeli academic institutions.

In the proposal, it was written: "conference notes the continuation of Israel's Apartheid policies, including the construction of the separation wall and educational discrimination." The organization also condemned the position of the British government against Hamas, despite its democratic election, and attacked the demand that the Hamas government recognize Israel and condemn terror. All this was due to the 'continuation of Israeli violence and building of the fence'.

Around a year ago, the Union of university lecturers in Britain decided to impose an academic boycott on Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities. The boycott of Bar-Ilan was justified by the fact that it gives course in the Judea and Samaria college in Ariel and thus supposedly proves its 'involvement in the occupation of Palestinian territory contrary to UN decisions."

The boycott of Haifa university came out of the pressure that it supposedly put on the post-Zionist historian, Dr. Ilan Pappe. Pappe claimed that the university is hostile towards him because he defended academic work by the student Teddy Katz dealing with the supposed massacre of Tantura Arabs in 1948, despite the fact that the High Court found severe errors in it.

Following protests by lecturers' union members who were appalled by the imposition of the boycott, and following international pressure, the head of the organization came together in a special session and held a vote that overturned the boycott.


Ma'ariv Opinions:
"The Academic Boycott Deserves Revulsion"
By Gil'ad Grossman and Ha'im Isrovitch

Minister of Education Tamir is furious at the decision of the British lecturers' organization to boycott Israeli institutions

"Whoever imposes an academic boycott damages the independence of the academy and turns it into a tool in the hands of political forces" - so said the minister of Education Yuli Tamir furiously in response to the the decision of the British lecturers' organization to impose an academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

"This move deserves condemnation and revulsion", emphasized Tamir when she spoke with the British Education Minister and requested that his government take a position on the subject. Additionally, she invited him to visit Israel, to express his protest against the boycott.

"The academy is built on autonomy, and when it is turned into a political factor, the entire academy loses out", said Tamir to NRG Ma'ariv. "They are deviating from the guiding principles of academic life", she added.

The chairman of the Knesset's Science and Technology committee, MK Zvulun Orlev (National Religious Party) turned today to his colleagues in Western Parliaments, demanding they condemn the academic boycott. "This is a test of the free world," he said to them. "We expect you to condemn the anti-Semitic and racist decision, and also to encourage academic institutions in your countries to enhance their cooperation with institutes of science, technology and higher education in Israel."

The lecturers' organization's intent to announce the boycott brought angry responses from other places as well. "This attempt is literally McCarthyism," said the British lawyer Anthony Julius, who donated his time to the struggle against the British lecturers' association.

Dr. Amir Gilat from Haifa University said that the idea is absurd. "They are asking to boycott every Israeli lecturer who does not come out openly against the policies of the government," he said. "They are asking us to be politicians and no just academics," he added.

The chairman of Tel Aviv university's student union, Bo'az Toforovski, added that "freedom of expression is especially important in the academic world. What they are doing to us today expresses the same racism that the Apartheid government showed to blacks in South Africa, and not vice-versa as they claim about us."

The British lecturer's organization today announced that it would impose an academic boycott against Israeli institutions, due to what it calls "Zionist Apartheid policies". The organizations' announcement comes a year after the British academic boycott imposed on Haifa and Bar-Ilan universities.

The British organization, consisting of 60,000 lecturers from various academic institutions in Britain, gathered over the weekend for its annual conference. One of the topics raised was the imposition of a boycott of all Israeli academic institutions.

In the proposal, it was written: "conference notes the continuation of Israel's Apartheid policies, including the construction of the separation wall and educational discrimination." The organization also condemned the position of the British government against Hamas, despite its democratic election, and attacked the demand that the Hamas government recognize Israel and condemn terror. All this was due to the 'continuation of Israeli violence and building of the fence'.

Ma'ariv Interview with Stephen Rose:
Behind the Academic Boycott: A Jewish Professor
by Ya'el Arava

Stephen Rose, a professor from Jewish origin, is one of the leaders of the lecturers' boycott against the Israeli academy. In an interview with NRG [Ma'ariv] he says that he is not a self-hating Jew and that in South Africa the boycott was effective.

He is a 68 year old Jew, third generation to a family of immigrants who grew up in an Orthodox and Zionist home in London - this is professor Stephen Rose, one of the leaders of the British lecturers' boycott against the Israeli academy. In a special interview with NRG Ma'ariv he wants to clarify that "the boycott is not anti-Semitic. I myself have fought against anti-Semitism and racism my entire life, and I'm also not a 'self-hating Jew'.

Two days ago, the British lecturers' organization (NAFTHE), that consists of 67,000 lecturers from various academic institutions around Britain, to recommend to its members to consider boycotting Israeli academic institutions and academicians who do not distance themselves in public of "Israel's Apartheid policies in the Occupied Territories".

One of the leading activsts in favor of the boycott is Professor Stephen Rose, dean of the Biology faculty in the Open University of Britain. Rose began his activism against Israeli policies four years ago, when he a letter to the Guardian newspaper, together with his wife Hillary Rose, in which they called for the imposition of a boycott on Israeli institutions because of Israeli policies.

Professor Rose claims that a boycott is one of many elements of non-violent political expression that exist in a civilized society, but that it must be used selectively and only after careful consideration. "The boycott in South Africa proved itself as effective against the Apartheid policies there and it seems like the imposition of an academic boycott on Israeli institutions could prove to be a powerful element in speeding up a possible change" he explains.

Professor Rose also desires to explain that the academicians are not merely focussing on Israel. "Many of us who are active in organizing the boycott are often asked 'why Israel?'. [Those who ask such questions] are ignoring our efforts to protest and to act non-violently to oppose illegal wars, for example that of our [British] government and of the US in Iraq" he says.

Rose is considered to be a world-renowned scientiest, who defines the course of his life as "a struggle to understand the world and also to change it". He was born in London and many of his family members were killed in the Holocaust. "I grew up in North-Western London in an Orthodox and Zionist home," he tells. "My fatehr was an activist in an anti-fascist organization. Most of my relatives died in the death camps in Europe. Some of them came to England after the war, with Holocaust numbers tatooed on their arms. Some emmigrated to Israel after 1948". According to Rose, the fact that he grew up in a Jewish-Zionist home and knew the Holocaust influenced him, even if he is completely secular.

Rose has taught and conducted research at Oxford University. He is also a Doctor of Neurobiology, and founder of his research group "brain behaviour". His curiosity towards the understanding of behaviour, and in particular the mechanism for learning and for memory lead hims to complete a doctorate in Psychiatry as well.

His research is world-wide and is the author of hundreds of scientific articles that have made him the recipient of prestigious international prizes, as well as a medal from the British Biochemical Institute for his excellece in presenting science in the media.

According to Rose, the conflict with the Palestinians is not just a Jewish issue. "The repression of the Palestianian nation is a shame to the entire world community, a daily tragedy for Palestinians, and one of the bitterest ironies of history - the Jews, who suffered so much opression in Europe, are now the oppressors".

Rose would like the Israeli public to recognize the fact that without justice, peace will not be able to exist, and according to him justice demands that Israelis recognize the tragedy of the Nakba. "Coexistence with the people who were the owners of the land and who worked it in their ways for generations before the waves of Jewish immigration arrived, took the land to turned it to their own, will only be possible when there is recognition of this fact. This is the only way forward." he says, and adds "the Palestinians are not an 'inferior race' (as the Germans called the Jews)."

Rose also reckons that Palestinians should not be punished [for voting] Hamas into power. "According to international law, and with no connection to Hamas, Israel is responsible for the health and education of those living under [its] Occupation. It [Israel] refuses to recognize its responsibility towards them [Palestinians] and the European Union must send them aid. Collective punishment of Palestinians who dared to vote for Hamas is a strange way of promoting democracy."

Aside from supporters the boycott who see it as a legitimate action, there are also those who consider it as an expression of the 'new anti-Semitism' and have raised the question of whether there is room for academic involvement in politics and whether an academic boycott should be imposed. The British scientist [Rose] is convinced that academicians should be involved in political questions. "As citizens they have the right and also the duty to be involved in politics," he says and asks "when did a protest arise from the Israeli academy against the negation of academic freedom that occurs daily to their Palestinian collegues?"

According to him, he does not with a situation where the academy was silent, as it was in the days of Nazi Germany. "Should British academics have kept silent and continued to co-operate as if everything was in order in Nazi Germany, when their Jewish colleagues, among them some of my teachers, were expelled from universities?" he asks, but hurries to clarify that "I am not accusing the Israeli academy of being Nazi. I am talking about the silence of the British academy, with the exceptiono of a few brave [souls], in the 30's".

One of the issues raised was that this boycott is led by a handful of people who set the agenda in the name of the majority. Rose says that the decision passed with a majority of votes "despite the intensive pressures of the Israeli lobby and the scare tactic campaign that was held against [the boycott]."

With all this, the boycott is expected to be cancelled after the merging of NAFTHE with the AUT [Association of University Teachers], that cancelled a similar boycott against Israeli instituions a year ago. Earlier agreements between the two unions stated that until the merger neither organization should pass fundamental decisions, and thus the [new] union will not be bound by this week's boycott decision after the merger.
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8 Comments:

Anonymous allyson said...

Mr. Barr On.
I know that you are very involved in politics, and the Paelstine Solidarity Movement as well as the ISM> While you help to destroy the fabric of a free society in Israel, while enjoying the free society of the USA. Your hands are bloodied with the murder of every person who dies at the hands of the Palestinians who want to drive Jews from their homeland by your aid and support of HAMAS. I had the "pleasure" of hearing you at the DUKE ISM/PSM conf. and wanted to throw up. Parading Nutrei Karta dhimmis only helps make your cause look radical and desperate. Remember, useful idiots for the Nazi's lived longer, but were also shoved in the gas chambers at the end.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 8:49:00 AM

 
Blogger Rann said...

Oh, so good to see I have a fan!

You know how to use your SHIFT key AND know some big words! Always good to see how wonderfully brilliant the opposition is.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:11:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Barrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-Off, be fair: none of those words were very big!

here are some big words:

1) retromingency
2) callyphygian
3) quasi-hermeneutical
4) eliminationist

I enjoy dialogue and wish to study hard so that I may become a dialectical dialocqusionist!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:18:00 AM

 
Anonymous mathpants said...

may one point out that big word #2 is possibly mis-spelled?

Or would that be anti-Semitic.

What a gas this all is . . .

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:21:00 AM

 
Blogger Rann said...

Cows make gas.

Who's a good cow?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:29:00 AM

 
Blogger Martin Venator said...

for information, the notice on italian press:
Il Foglio
http://www.ilfoglio.it/downloadpdf.php?id=43086
Il Giornale
http://www.ilgiornale.it/a.pic1?ID=93029
Martin

Thursday, June 01, 2006 12:04:00 PM

 
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Friday, November 10, 2006 2:44:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read video editing programs

Saturday, March 17, 2007 8:26:00 PM

 

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