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AUT Israel Boycott Resources
Local AUT Council Resolutions and Updates

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The following is posted for your information. It  includes updates on resolutions submitted to the AUT by local councils and other issues. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of Zionism On the Web or any other group. 

(Birmingham) NUT supports AUT Boycott

The Birmingham NUT (the National Union of Teachers - a UK trade union like AUT) has sent the following email to the AUT. It was also circulated in an email from boycott initiator Sue Blackwell:

"NUT congratulates the AUT Council in their decision to boycott particular Israeli Universities because of their discrimination against Palestinians. We deplore certain sections of the media for their allegations of anti Semitism and blatant distortion of the Union's motives. We further deplore the personalized attack on and the harassment of  Birmingham AUT member, Sue Blackwell, who moved the motion, and offer our support to her and all members and employees of Birmingham University AUT and employees of Birmingham AUT Regional Office."

This message was erroneously attributed to the entire NUT. However, Steve Sinnot, General secretary of the NUT has written that this is not NUT policy and this was a message from Birmingham NUT  branch to Sue Blackwell.


MOTIONS SUBMITTED TO AUT SPECIAL MEETING TO RECONSIDER THE ISRAEL BOYCOTT

ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS Egmont House, 25-31 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9UT 020-7670 9700 fax: 020-7670 9799 email: hq@aut.org.uk www: http://www.aut.org.uk/ /

 TO: Local association secretaries and council members TOPIC: Motions submitted to the meeting of special council to be held on 26 may 2005 ACTION: Amendments to these motions to be submitted by 5:00pm on Monday 23 May 2005 SUMMARY: Motions for special council, 26 May 2005 HQ CONTACT: Catherine Wilkinson, senior administrative officer

 MOTIONS SUBMITTED FOR SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING, 26 MAY 2005

1 Business of special council

As set out in the calling notice, LA/7629, the business of this special council meeting is to have a full debate on proposals to boycott Israeli universities.

2 Motions submitted

The deadline for the submission of motions was 12 noon on 18 May 2005. Thirty-two motions were received from 18 local associations; these motions are set out below. This document containing the motions will be sent on Friday 20 May directly to all delegates registered to attend the council meeting, along with other relevant papers for the meeting.

One motion was received in identical form from two LAs (motion 27 in the list of motions as set out here); this appears only once, and stands in the name of both Keele and Birmingham.

3 Meeting of the council agenda committee

Motions do not yet appear in the order in which they will be debated. The council agenda committee will decide this order when they meet on the morning of 26 May. The council agenda committee may also draft composite motions and re-order motions as amendments to other motions. In accordance with its terms of reference, the council agenda committee will make its report to the meeting of special council when it convenes. The report will be distributed to delegates on their arrival at the special council meeting. It will include any amendments received by deadline for amendments.

4 Amendments to motions

The deadline for the receipt of amendments to these motions is 5:00pm on Monday 23 May 2005.

Amendments should be addressed for the attention of the general secretary at Egmont House. These can be faxed to 020 7670 9799, or submitted from the email address of the local association secretary or other local association officer to catherine.wilkinson@aut.org.uk Please state clearly how the amendment was approved, and to which motion the amendment applies. Receipt of amendments will be acknowledged. Anyone not receiving acknowledgement of an amendment should telephone Catherine Wilkinson, senior administrative officer at Egmont House on 020 7670 9700, before the deadline for amendments.

Amendments which substantially alter the sense of the motion to which they refer will be ruled out of order.

5 Late motions

Any motions subsequently submitted to this special meeting of council are submitted late. Under the standing orders for a special council meeting, a decision on their admissibility will be made by the chair, who may take the advice of the council agenda committee.

The full standing orders for a special council meeting were included with the calling notice for this special council meeting and can be found on the AUT website at <http://www.aut.org.uk/media/html/f/l/standord_specialcouncil.html> or a copy requested on paper from Catherine Wilkinson, senior administrative officer. Copies will also be sent to delegates registered to attend the meeting.

6 Time of the special council meeting

This meeting of special council is scheduled to begin at 11:30am, and finish not later than 4:00pm, with a break for lunch between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, on Thursday 26 May 2005.  The meeting will take place in the large meeting hall at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1.

 SPECIAL COUNCIL, 26 MAY 2005

MOTIONS SUBMITTED FOR DEBATE

 1 Reading Council instructs executive to ballot the membership on the question of boycotting Israeli higher education institutions.

2 Essex Council instructs executive to ballot the membership as a whole before implementing a boycott of any Israeli university.

3 Cambridge Council repeals motions 58-59 introduced at the council meeting of 20-22 April 2005.

4 Strathclyde This meeting of special council rescinds the boycott of Israeli universities.

5 York Council withdraws all threats to boycott Israeli universities.

6 Reading Council instructs executive to rescind the boycott of Israeli higher education institutions.

7 Reading Whereas resolutions on boycotting specific Israeli universities were passed by council in circumstances which precluded due investigation, consideration and debate; whereas they offend against the fundamental principles of academic freedom to which the membership subscribes; and whereas their effect has been to damage AUT, bringing it into disrepute both nationally and internationally, those resolutions are now overturned by council with immediate effect.

8 Bath

The AUT council regrets the lack of clarity in its previous resolutions that implied academic boycotts against universities in Israel.

The ideals of academia and academic freedom are such that we should be promoting open dialogue, and supporting our colleagues in Israel and Palestine by engaging with them in collaborative work, encouraging them to work together, and welcoming them as colleagues in all forms of academic activity.

Therefore we resolve:

1 to rescind the call to boycott any Israeli universities.

2 to encourage all AUT members to actively engage with colleagues in both Israel and Palestine, encouraging them to work together and with us.

9 Goldsmiths Council is in favour of positive links between Israeli, Palestinian, British and global academia. Council is particularly in favour of links with those Israeli and Palestinian academics and students who stand against the occupation and against racism.  We view the previous AUT motion to be counter-productive to these aims.  Consequently council revokes all existing policy on boycotting universities in Israel and notes with regret that the effect of the boycott has been to stigmatise some academic colleagues.  Council wishes to defend academic freedom and is opposed to all forms of discrimination.

10 UCL Council: 1 believes that freedom of expression, open debate and unhampered dialogue are prerequisites of academic freedom; 2 believes that the academic boycott motions (motions 58 and 59, with reference to motion 56) carried at the AUT council constitute a significant threat to the free communication of ideas, and thus to academic freedom; 3 notes that a large number of leading professional associations, in Europe and North America, have condemned these motions as an attack on academic freedom; 4 calls for UCL AUT representatives to the special council meeting of 26 May, 2005 to vote to repeal motions 58 and 59

11 Open Council notes

1. That in Brussels, on 14 April 2005, Palestinian and Israeli trade union confederations (PGFTU and Histadrut) met at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) headquarters in Brussels and took a major step towards a comprehensive and historic Co-operation Agreement, based on joint support for the 'Road Map' for the achievement of a comprehensive peace based on the existence of two sovereign, independent and viable states.  Further details are available at the ICFTU website at www.icftu.org <http://www.icftu.org/>.

2. The position of the General Council of the TUC, to which the AUT is affiliated, that 'the TUC should make every effort that we can to promote dialogue and contacts between Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists, and encourage other bodies (UK unions, Global Union Federations and so on) to do the same. The TUC and others should aim to facilitate contacts that the two trade union movements wish to happen, and ensure that both Histadrut and the PGFTU play as full a part as they can in international events.  Union bodies should also be encouraged to develop contacts in both communities.'

3. The calls for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, including the call of the Palestinian Non Governmental Organisations Network (PNGO) for a cultural boycott of Israel, the decision of the AUT to circulate this call and the decision to boycott Haifa and Bar-Ilan Universities taken at the Eastbourne Council.

4. That Al Quds University made its opposition to this boycott clear, saying: 'We believe it is in our interest to build bridges, not walls; to reach out to the Israeli academic institutions, not to impose another restriction or dialogue-block on ourselves.'

5. That the AUT decision to boycott has been opposed in the strongest terms by The Association of US University Professors and the Board of Deputies of British Jews. 6. That there has been widespread international hostility to AUT's boycott policy. 7. The legal jeopardy in which this places the AUT on the basis of free academic exchange, employment law, human rights law and anti-discrimination legislation. 8. The widespread international, political, trade union and intellectual support for a 'two states' solution to the conflict, based on dialogue and reconciliation.

Council revokes all previous existing policy on boycotting Israeli universities.

Council supports the foundation of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, and consequently opposes; the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel; institutionalised discrimination; the deliberate killing of civilians.

Council supports a Positive links between Israeli, Palestinian, British and global academia, and particularly links that are explicitly part of the efforts taken to change policy and attitudes for the better. b Academic freedom.  Free international academic exchange is the bedrock of our professional activity.

Council particularly supports links with Palestinian academics that can help to resist the atmosphere of isolation and interferences with academic freedom that Palestinian teachers, researchers and students face routinely.

Council opposes: i. Proposals for an academic and cultural boycott, which treat Israeli thinkers, researchers and teachers as though they were responsible for the actions of the Israeli government or for the actions of the administrators of their institutions. ii. Proposals for a selective boycott that would impose a political test on academics.

Council affirms I Its commitment to building an AUT that is united, diverse, and strong. II Its opposition to racism, including antisemitism, in the UK and internationally. III Its condemnation of the rise of antisemitism on British campuses. IV Its general rejection of any policies that single out individuals with particular national, religious, and political identities and subject them to special treatment. V Its rejection of the claim that Zionism is racism or apartheid. Zionism is a form of nationalism, with a plurality of histories and traditions.  AUT stands against the bullying of students and academics who refuse to identify themselves as anti-Zionists. VI The right of individuals to identify themselves as Zionists.  A diverse AUT must be a place where a diverse membership is comfortable and respected.

12 Kingston Council notes

 1 That in Brussels, on 14 April 2005, Palestinian and Israeli trade union confederations (PGFTU and Histadrut) met at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) headquarters in Brussels and took a major step towards a comprehensive and historic Co-operation Agreement, based on joint support for the 'Road Map' for the achievement of a comprehensive peace based on the existence of two sovereign, independent and viable states.  Further details are available at the ICFTU website at www.icftu.org <https://mail.kingston.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.icftu.org/ >.

2 The position of the General Council of the TUC, to which the AUT is affiliated, that 'the TUC should make every effort that we can to promote dialogue and contacts between Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists, and encourage other bodies (UK unions, Global Union Federations and so on) to do the same. The TUC and others should aim to facilitate contacts that the two trade union movements wish to happen, and ensure that both Histadrut and the PGFTU play as full a part as they can in international events.  Union bodies should also be encouraged to develop contacts in both communities.'

3 The calls for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, including the call of the Palestinian Non Governmental Organisations Network (PNGO) for a cultural boycott of Israel, the decision of the AUT to circulate this call and the decision to boycott Haifa and Bar-Ilan Universities taken at the Eastbourne Council.

4 That Al Quds University made its opposition to this boycott clear, saying: 'We believe it is in our interest to build bridges, not walls; to reach out to the Israeli academic institutions, not to impose another restriction or dialogue-block on ourselves.'

5 That the AUT decision to boycott has been opposed in the strongest terms by The Association of US University Professors, Universities UK and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

6 That there has been widespread international hostility to AUT's boycott policy.

7 The legal jeopardy in which this places the AUT on the basis of free academic exchange, employment law, human rights law and anti-discrimination legislation. 8 The widespread international, political, trade union and intellectual support for a 'two states' solution to the conflict, based on dialogue and reconciliation.

Council revokes all previous existing policy on boycotting Israeli Universities.

Council supports the foundation of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, and consequently opposes; the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Israel; institutionalised discrimination; the deliberate killing of civilians.

Council supports a Positive links between Israeli, Palestinian, British and global academia, and particularly links that are explicitly part of the efforts taken to change policy and attitudes for the better. b Academic freedom.  Free international academic exchange is the bedrock of our professional activity.

Council particularly supports Links with Palestinian academics that can help to resist the atmosphere of isolation and interferences with academic freedom that Palestinian teachers, researchers and students face routinely.

Council opposes i A policy of boycotting any university in Israel ii Proposals for an academic and cultural boycott, which treat Israeli thinkers, researchers and teachers as though they were responsible for the actions of the Israeli government or for the actions of the administrators of their institutions. iii Proposals for a selective boycott that would impose a political test on academics.

Council affirms I Its commitment to building an AUT that is united, diverse, and strong. II Its opposition to racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, in the UK and internationally. III Its condemnation of the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia on British campuses. IV Its general rejection of any policies that single out individuals with particular national and religious identities and subject them to special treatment. V Its rejection of the claim that Zionism is racism or apartheid. Zionism is a form of nationalism, with a plurality of histories and traditions.  AUT stands against the bullying of students and academics who refuse to identify themselves as anti-Zionists. VI The right of individuals to identify themselves as Zionists.  A diverse AUT must be a place where a diverse membership is comfortable and respected

13 Birmingham This association notes: 1 The position of the General Council of the TUC, to which the AUT is affiliated, that 'the TUC should make every effort that we can to promote dialogue and contacts between Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists, and encourage other bodies (UK unions, Global Union Federations and so on) to do the same.' 2 The widespread international, political, trade union and intellectual support for a 'two states' solution to the conflict, based on dialogue and reconciliation. 3 that the peaceful resolution of the problems facing the Middle East will not be brought about by the erection of barriers, but by open dialogue.

This association supports a Positive links between Israeli, Palestinian, British and global academia, and particularly links that are explicitly part of the efforts taken to change policy and attitudes for the better. b Academic freedom. Free international academic exchange is the bedrock of our professional activity.

This association opposes i Any policies that single out individuals with particular national, religious, and political identities and subject them to special treatment. ii A policy of boycotting any university in Israel.

14 Reading Council opposes 1 A policy of boycotting any university in Israel 2 Proposals for an academic and cultural boycott, which treat Israeli thinkers, researchers and teachers as though they were responsible for the actions of the Israeli government or for the actions of the administrators of their institutions. 3 Proposals for a selective boycott that would impose a political test on academics.

Council affirms a Its commitment to building an AUT that is united, diverse, and strong. b Its opposition to racism, including antisemitism, in the UK and internationally. c Its condemnation of the rise of antisemitism on British campuses. d Its general rejection of any policies that single out individuals with particular national, religious, and political identities and subject them to special treatment. e Its rejection of the claim that Zionism is racism or apartheid. Zionism is a form of nationalism, with a plurality of histories and traditions. AUT stands against the bullying of students and academics who refuse to identify themselves as anti-Zionists. f The right of individuals to identify themselves as Zionists. A diverse AUT must be a place where a diverse membership is comfortable and respected.

15 UCL It is noted that the AUT council motion calling for a boycott of Haifa University contains a number of facts which are partial or open to dispute.

The motion states: 1. That on May 15, 2002 Dr. Ilan Pappe, senior lecturer in Political Science at Haifa University, was sent a letter notifying him that he faced trial and possible dismissal from his position. The charge was that he had violated 'the duties of an academic member of staff', that he had 'slandered departments and members in the humanities faculty, damaged their professional reputation and endangered the possible promotion of some of them.'

The charge against Dr Pappe and the call for his dismissal were made by the dean of the Faculty of Humanities, but the university's disciplinary court refused to consider the complaint.

The motion further states: 2. That these accusations related to Dr. Pappe's efforts to defend a 55 year old graduate student, Teddy Katz, whose Master's thesis was under attack by an Israeli veteran's organization because it documented a massacre of 200 unarmed civilians by the Haganah (the pre-state army of Israel) at a village called Tantura, near Haifa.

A civil court ruled that the thesis contained "facts which are untrue and defame" the Hagana veterans, and this was upheld on appeal by Israel's supreme court. The academic committee that re-examined the thesis concluded that there were significant differences between the text of Teddy Katz's thesis and his taped interviews with Palestinian refugees.

Finally, the motion states: 3. That the recriminations are still continuing and Dr. Pappe's job is still being threatened.

Pappe's personal friend and the chair of his department, Uri Bar-Joseph, published a letter in the The Guardian stating that no one at the university was currently threatening to remove Pappe from his position.

Given that the facts underlying council's boycott motion are open to dispute, this meeting calls on executive to withdraw the boycott threat until the facts are clarified.

 16 Essex Council considers that AUT can only positively and effectively intervene in the Middle East peace process if it has a strategy for intervention based on: 1 well-defined and achievable objectives which clearly coincide with the expectations and priorities of the members and the union as a whole 2 a graded series of measures designed to achieve these objectives and which, based on an empirically sustainable analysis, can be shown to have a good chance of success 3 membership understanding of and support for both.

Council therefore instructs executive immediately to launch an investigation into the contribution which AUT might make in the peace process consistent with the union's priorities, aims and objectives. This investigation must involve consultation with both Palestinian and Israeli academics and academic organisations and must specifically consider the role of academic boycotts.

Council further instructs executive regularly to report back progress on this investigation to the membership, via autLook and other appropriate channels, both to inform, and stimulate informed debate.

Council suspends the implementation of any and all boycotts of Israeli universities until such time as they can be shown to contribute effectively towards the peace process.

17 Southampton Council notes that at the last council, AUT international policy on Israel and Palestine was resolved in the absence of defining principle and without debate or acceptable standards of democratic procedure.

Council therefore resolves: 1 that international policy must be based on consistent principle, openly debated and democratically confirmed 2 that the European and international affairs sub-committee of the national executive update such a policy for debate at the next meeting of council 3 that in light of this, existing policy relating to boycotts of Israeli universities should be set aside 4 to reiterate its long-term position in regard to the occupation 5 to mandate the executive to work with NATFHE and the TUC to establish an investigative commission charged with examining how best to implement this policy and to provide practical solidarity to Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists struggling to maintain academic freedom, undertake research and teach students whilst arguing for Israel's compliance with UN resolution, with a view to reporting back to the next council.

18 York Council instructs the executive committee to prepare proposals that prevent or hinder AUT from making mistakes similar to that of adopting motion 58 of council in April 2005.  An appropriate change might, for example, prohibit AUT activities in a spectrum of political issues or require a very large voting majority before engaging in certain kinds of activities.

19 Oxford Council, noting that: 1 the Principle of Universality of Science and Learning, as exemplified in Statute 5 of the International Council of Science (ICSU) (<http://www.icsu.org/5_abouticsu/STATUTES.htm#5> ), expects academics to refrain from discrimination on the basis of such factors as citizenship, religion, creed, political stance, ethnic origin, race, colour, language, age or sex; 2 the Principle has survived for many decades, through such periods of great international tension as the Second World War and the Cold War, and has proved to be of benefit to human progress and to the promotion of harmony among nations; 3 a study published in 2003 (<http://www.nature.com/nature/cbboycott_full> ) concluded that the Principle should be maintained in all but the most extreme of circumstances, and should be suspended (if at all) only after rigorous and careful scrutiny and after widespread international consultation;

affirms its support for the Principle of Universality;

rescinds motions 58 and 59 of AUT council 2005;

amends motion 55 of AUT council 2005 by adding at the end: "Council also recognises that the peaceful solution of the problems facing the Middle East will not be brought about by the erection of barriers, but by open dialogue. Council therefore calls on the executive to establish contact with the Coordinating Council of Senior Academic Staff in Israel."

instructs the executive to bring forward to the next meeting of council proposals to ensure that adherence to the Principle of Universality is adopted as the official policy of the association.

19 Keele Council recognises: 1 that motions 58 and 59 will only strengthen the hand of a government that builds a significant part of its popularity and appeal to voters on the assumption that the world hates Israel: many policies which are in principle unpalatable to significant cross-sections of Israelis have been carried out on the basis that Israel is on its own and must act independently of world opinion in order to survive. 2 that an academic boycott could achieve a serious counter-effect: firstly, in a situation in which Israel is singled out from other states with similar track records, it would confirm its government's assertions in the eyes of Israelis. Secondly, it would actually send a demoralising message to the academic community in Israel, which, as a group, is already isolated in its country, as one of the few remaining foci of opposition to its government's policies. 3 that a boycott, far from helping the Palestinian cause, will hinder the democratic dialogue and accommodation on which prospects for a free and independent Palestinian state alongside Israel depend.

Council resolves: a to rescind motions 58 and 59, passed at AUT annual council 2005. b to design a set of guidelines to its members outlining, insofar as it is possible, academic activities which damage the prospects of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East and any other region, and a recommendation to abstain from these. c to aspire to engage, together with other British trade unions, in activities that increase political and material support to the Palestinian trade union movement and the Palestinian people. d to aspire to promote an increase in support and collaboration between British educational and cultural institutions and similar institutions in Palestine. e to aim to find creative and constructive ways to develop a substantial programme of assistance for Palestinian institutions of higher education among international academics, involving staff and student exchanges, organising joint conferences and workshops, involving in joint research projects and sharing research materials. f to provide moral support and practical help (including financial help) to joint efforts of Israeli and Palestinian academics and intellectuals who oppose violence and oppression exerted on any party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

21 Open Council welcomes the historic agreement reached between the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions and Histadrut to work for the achievement of a comprehensive peace based on the existence of two sovereign, independent and viable states.  Council reasserts its view that dialogue with and between Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists and academics is essential to the development of an effective peace process. Council, therefore, resolves to remove the boycott of Israeli institutions and instructs executive to work with the TUC, Education International and their affiliates to promote links and dialogue between AUT local associations and universities in the UK and their sister trade union organisations and institutions in Israel and Palestine.

22 Leeds Council affirms its support for the process towards a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. It advocates non-violent modes of conflict resolution. Council supports the position of the General Council of the TUC, which states that 'the TUC should make every effort that we can to promote dialogue and contacts between Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists, and encourage other bodies (UK unions, Global Union Federations and so on) to do the same. The TUC and others should aim to facilitate contacts that the two trade union movements wish to happen, and ensure that both Histadrut and the PGFTU play as full a part as they can in international events. Union bodies should also be encouraged to develop contacts in both communities.' (Trades Union Congress 2004, Israel and Palestine, TUC 2003 delegation report, p. 8, available at http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-7781-f0.pdf)

Council affirms its supports for the rights of Palestinian students to higher education in Palestine, or in any other country of their choice. AUT supports the independent work of the Palestinian universities towards the creation of a civil society in a free and sovereign Palestine. Council affirms its support for all forms of dialogue and cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian Institution of Higher Learning.

Council notes the Rome Declaration of Principles of Palestinian-Israeli International Collaboration in Scientific and Academic Affairs, signed at the UniversitÓ di Roma "La Sapienza" on 4 May 2004 by representatives of the Universities of Haifa, Tel Aviv, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Weizman Institute of Science, and Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, Bethlehem University, Hebron University, Palestine Polytechnic Institute.

Council notes the movement towards trade union co-operation between Palestinian and Israeli trade union confederations (PGFTU and Histadrut). AUT notes that these unions met on 14 April 2005 at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) headquarters in Brussels and took a major step towards a comprehensive and historic Co-operation Agreement, based on joint support for the 'Road Map' for the achievement of a comprehensive peace based on the existence of two sovereign, independent and viable states. Source: http://www.icftu.org/displaydocument.asp?Index=991221502&Language=EN

Council resolves to revoke the boycott of Haifa and Bar Ilan universities as selective and not conducive to a lasting consensual peace in the Middle East. Council notes that neither universities were given the right to respond to the allegations against them. Council calls on the Council for Higher Education in Israel to abide by international law when accrediting Higher Education Institutions.

23 Warwick Council resolves that AUT should: 1 reject existing proposals to boycott Israeli universities. 2 give solidarity to Palestinian academics in the occupied territories and support their academic freedom. 3 not recognise the College of Judea and Samaria in the Occupied Territories as a legitimate university.

24 Queen Mary Council notes that the factual basis of the two resolutions passed by AUT council in April supporting the boycott of Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities has been called into question. We note further that the Israeli government has decided that the College of Judea and Samaria will be Israel's ninth university. Council therefore instructs executive to:

1 Suspend the boycott of Haifa University while the executive investigates urgently the alleged infringements of academic freedom, by direct dialogue with all parties concerned in the case of Dr Pappe, and report back with recommendations to a reconvened council as soon as is practicable.

2 Suspend the boycott of Bar Ilan university while the executive investigates urgently the status and constitution of the new 'university' of Judea and Samaria, and its relationship with Bar Ilan, and report back with recommendations to a reconvened council as soon as is practicable. Council instructs executive to set up a working group to investigate possible breaches of academic freedom and human rights on the part of universities worldwide and report back to council with proposals for action.

25 Manchester Council notes

1 That on Monday 2nd May 2005, the Israeli cabinet voted 13-7 to confer university status on Judea and Samaria College, in Ariel.

2 That Ariel is a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

3 That Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states "the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".

4 That UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) calls for Israel to withdraw completely from territories that it occupied.

5 The Israeli education minister Limor Livnat is reported in Ha'aretz as saying "Upgrading the colleges into universities is designed to support the settlement vision, out of a national interest of the State of Israel".

In light of these facts, Council recognises the conferral of university status on Judea and Samaria College as a further extension and consolidation of Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank, and resolves: a To call on all AUT organisations and members to boycott the College of Judea and Samaria, both in its present form and in any future form as a university. b That this boycott should take the form of disinvestment and disengagement from academic cooperation, collaboration or joint projects.

26 Keele Council notes:

1 That on Monday 2nd May 2005, the Israeli cabinet voted 13-7 to confer university status on Judea and Samaria College in Ariel.

2 That Ariel is a settlement in the occupied West Bank.

3 That Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states "the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".

4 That UN Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) calls for Israel to withdraw completely from territories it occupied.

5 That Israeli Education minister Limor Livnat is reported in Ha'aretz as saying "Upgrading the colleges into universities is designed to support the settlement vision, out of a national interest of the State of Israel".

6 That the decision has been condemned by The Musawa Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. 7 That on Wednesday 4th May 2005 a demonstration against the decision took place near the college, organised by Courage to Refuse, a movement of the IDF's reserve soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied  territories.

Council agrees with Courage to Refuse that "A settlers' university, on an occupied land, contradicts the core values of the academic world as well as its spirit."

Council resolves: a To send a message of support to Courage to Refuse b To send a message of support to the Musawa Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. c To call on all AUT members to boycott the College of Judea and Samaria both in its present form and in any future form as a university; d That the boycott should take the form described in the Palestinian call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions.

27 Leeds Council notes with dismay the Israeli's government approval of the proposal to upgrade the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel into a university. The AUT further notes that: 1 the college is located in occupied territory that has not been annexed to Israel and must therefore be considered an illegal outpost; 2 the college authorities explicitly intend to 'deepen its hold on the disputed land'; 3 the existence and further expansion of the college and proposed university are central to the political and territorial ambitions of Ariel; 4 the existence and further expansion of the college and proposed university are in conflict with UN resolutions 446, declaring the settlements in the occupied territories illegal and 465, which deplores Israel's settlements and asks all member states not to assist its settlements program. 5 academic cooperation with the college and proposed university is a form of assistance of the settlement programme, in violation of UN resolution 465

Council resolves to call on all AUT members to refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with the College of Judea and Samaria or the new university.

28 Open Council 1 expresses its concern regarding Israel's deportation to Gaza of four Palestinian students at Birzeit University in the West Bank; 2 notes that these Gazan students have not been accused of any offence; 3 rejects as illegal the condition imposed by the Israeli military authorities that any resumption of their studies would be dependent on the students agreeing to permanently return to Gaza on graduation; 4 is concerned that the illegal separation of the West Bank from the Gaza Strip exacerbates the existing barriers to Palestinian education and development; 5 urges the UK Government to insist that the Government of Israel adheres to its legal obligations to allow unimpeded access for all Palestinian students to their educational institutions.

29 Keele and Birmingham Council: 1 expresses its concern regarding Israel's deportation to Gaza of four Palestinian students at Birzeit University in the West Bank; 2 notes that these Gazan students have not been accused of any offence; 3 rejects as illegal the condition imposed by the Israeli military authorities that any resumption of their studies would be dependent on the students agreeing to permanently return to Gaza on graduation; 4 is concerned that the illegal separation of the West Bank from the Gaza Strip exacerbates the existing barriers to Palestinian education and development; 5 urges the UK Government to insist that the Government of Israel adheres to its legal obligations to allow unimpeded access for all Palestinian students to their educational institutions; 6 believes that as long as Palestinian students and staff do not enjoy academic freedom equivalent to their Israeli counterparts, academic boycotts of Israeli universities are a legitimate form of peaceful protest.

30 Birmingham Council believes that academic freedom is an important element of a democratic society, but that such freedoms cannot be separated from other basic rights. Council therefore reaffirms our solidarity with Palestinian colleagues living under illegal occupation and expresses its support for:

1 the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people as expressed in UN resolutions;

2 the right of return for the Palestinian people expressed in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and endorsed in UN General Assembly Resolutions 3236 (1974) and 52/62 (1997);

3 the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the territories occupied in 1967 as expressed in United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

Council deplores the failure of the Government of Israel to fulfil its responsibilities under these UN Resolutions.

Council therefore resolves that the association: a communicate these views to the Israeli Embassy and Government, the Palestinian Authority, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the TUC and Education International; b make contact with the appropriate Palestinian academic and trade union organisations to establish what additional support might be provided to build an independent trade union movement that can enhance the capacities of Palestinian civil society; c explore possible cooperation and joint work with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN agency with responsibility for the education of Palestinian refugee children. d work with other labour movement bodies, Palestinian and human rights organisations to further the aims of this motion; e submit this motion for discussion at the Education International; f affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

31 Birmingham Council agrees that a viable Palestinian state is an essential prerequisite to any lasting peace in the Middle East. The future existence of such a state is now in extreme jeopardy. Israel continues to flout international law through the building of the apartheid wall that steals yet more Palestinian land, the continuing support and development of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory and ongoing attacks on Palestinian civilians. The international community has a responsibility to support the legitimate claims of Palestinians to self-determination and human rights - and therefore to ensure that the possibility of any future peace is not destroyed by the current Sharon plan.

Council agrees that a viable Palestinian state must be able to develop its own infrastructure of civil society. In order to support our Palestinian colleagues in this project, Council resolves to support Palestinian academics and students by:

1 facilitating links between local associations and universities in Palestine;

2 working with other suitable organisations to collect academic materials for Palestinian universities;

3 encouraging and enabling local associations to issue speaking invitations to Palestinian academics and to raise funds for travel costs;

4 developing a scholarship scheme to support Palestinian students in the UK;

5 campaigning for the right to education for Palestinians; 6 affiliating to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and distributing information about the current situation in Palestine to local associations.

 

 

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Wikipedia article about Zionism - A comprehensive article including the history of Zionism  as well as links to specific topics and articles about anti-Zionism.

Zionism - Table of contents at the Jewish Virtual Library

Zionism article at Infoplease

Zionism - Definition and Brief History- A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs,  Jewish anti-Zionists.

Labor Zionism - Early History and Critique - Contribution of Labor Zionism to the creation of the Jewish state, and problems of Labor Zionism in a changing reality.

The US Library of congress has a comprehensive and balanced set of articles about Zionism:

Zionist Precursors - US Library of Congress

Political Zionism - US Library of Congress

Cultural Zionism - US Library of Congress

Labor Zionism - US Library of Congress

Revisionist Zionism - US Library of Congress

Essential Texts of Zionism

Jewish Agency Zionism pages - Links to basic information about Zionism from the Jewish Agency

Ambassador Herzog explains Zionism in the UN

Advocacy

Active Zionism - A Zionist advocacy site with many useful links

Realistic Religious Zionism - moderate religious Zionist Web site