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Academic Friends of Israel - Press Release

By Ronnie Fraser, AFI, 29 September 2007
Source: AFI Website



Press Release, 29 September 2007

Academic cooperation rather than boycotts

The Academic Friends of Israel welcomes the UCU decision to put an end to its involvement with plans for an academic boycott of Israel that has plagued the union and its predecessors since 2003.

Ronnie Fraser Director of the Academic Friends of Israel commented:
"While we welcome the UCU's decision to take the academic boycott of Israel off the agenda we remain concerned that the UCU still intends to explore ways to implement the motion such calling for a moratorium on EU research and cultural collaborations with Israel. Another part of the resolution states that criticism of Israel cannot be construed as anti-semitic. This is contrary to the EUMC definition of antisemitism and we therefore call upon the General Secretary and the NEC to publically condemn this part of resolution 30."

He continued: "Six weeks ago the UCU refused to allow me as a member to see their legal advice. It is clear therefore that they have wasted everyone's time and effort since then and we would like to know why the UCU did not tell the world earlier that an academic boycott of Israel was illegal.

More academic cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian academics has to be the way forward on the road to peaceful coexistence. We in Britain can play our part and the Academic Friends of Israel with its partners in Israel and America will work towards improving and expanding the burgeoning links between UK, Israeli and Palestinian academics. Already 60% of British Universities have joint programmes and links with Israeli universities and our plans for the future include publicising and expanding existing UK-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian academic cooperation."

For further details, please contact Ronnie Fraser, Director of The Academic Friends of Israel, via email ( mail@academics-for-israel.org).

The Academic Friends of Israel

Email: mail [AT] academics-for-israel.org


P.O. Box 360
Harrow
HA3 9WY


Reproduced at Zionism On The Web with permission


Related items:

Press Releases

2008
AFI Digest of March 28th

2007
National Postgraduate Committee (NPC)
National Union of Students (NUS)
Jewish Agency (JAFI)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Statement from The Russell Group on UCU motion on Israeli boycott
Statement from the LSE on UCU's motion in support of an Israel boycott
Columbia University response to boycotts of Israeli universites
Board of Deputies Response to UCU academic Boycotts
American Jewish Congress response to UCU boycott
American Physiological Society Response to the British academic boycott of Israel (includes feedback on this)
National Postgraduate Committee and the Academic Boycotts (14/8/07)
University and College Union (UCU) Press Release, Boycott illegal, 28th Sept 2007
Academic Friends of Israel Press Release, 29 September 2007

News Reports

2008
Union committee to reconsider Israeli academics boycott, The Education Guardian, March 27, 2008
UK group proposes boycott of Israeli academia, Jerusalem Post, March 30, 2008

2007
A slippery slope to totalitarianism, Education Guardian, May 24, 2007
Physicist who refused to lecture in U.K.: I'm not calling for boycott, Haaretz, May 25, 2007
Livni [Israeli FM] meets with British ambassador over U.K. boycotts, Haaretz, May 29, 2007
Memo From London: Should British Academics, or Rock Bands, Boycott Israel? New York Times, May 30, 2007
Lecturers back boycott of Israel, Education Guardian, May 30, 2007
Academics express outrage at Israeli boycott, Education Guardian, May 31, 2007
Divide and Rule, Education Guardian, June 5, 2007
Boycott should outrage academics, Inside Higher Ed, June 5 2007
Ignored by the Brits, Ynet, June 6, 2006
Boycott will destroy British academia, The Guardian, Saturday June 9, 2007
We Will Isolate Them, The Guardian, June 9, 2007 + ZOTW Commentry June 10, 2007
Government to form joint task force to counter U.K. boycotts, Haaretz, June 8, 2007
UK proposes joint academic seminar, Ynet News, June 10, 2007
US Unions condemn boycotts, The Jewish Chronicle, August 17 2007
Boycott a blessing in disguise, YNet News, Opinion, June 1 2007
FM praises British academics for nixing planned boycott of Israel, Haaretz, 30/09/2007
British academics forgo boycott call, Haaretz, 29/09/2007
Lecturers drop Israeli universities boycott call after legal advice, The Guardian, 29/09/2007

Responces, Blogs, Newsletters

2008
UCU Reconsidering Boycott, Little Bulldogs, March 27 2008

2007
UJS Chair's letter to UCU General Secretary
Lancaster University Students' Union Policy in repsonse
Academic Friends of Israel Digest vol 6 no 10 One week on
Academic Friends of Israel Digest vol 6 no 12
Goldhirsh Foundation Response
Responding to the Boycott by Shalom Lappin, at normblog, June 3 2007
Dark Days for the British Academy a letter by Prof Daniel Statman
A letter to UCU from Guy Handelman
SPME Petition against the boycott
Response from prominent British figures and law-makers, in Guardian Letters page, June 12, 2007

Other relevent documents and sources

The 2007 UCU motions
The 2007 document to be sent to branches
An explanation about the Durban Stratagy
Key quotes and summary of responses to the UCU policy
Why a cultural boycott of Israel would be banal, gestural and morally compromised
Relevent section of the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism
More background on anti-Israel boycotts in general

Other sites related to the boycott

UJS's UCU Academic Boycott
www.stoptheboycott.org
BICOM on the UCU Boycotts
Academic Friends of Israel
Engage
Jewish Agency page on Addressing the Academic Boycott of Israel at UCU