The UCU Motions
Form the UCU Website
Source: Congress business section 5: International and European work
Timetabled: Wednesday 30 May, 15:45-17:45
28 - Policy on international greylisting and boycott (Transitional Arrangements Committee)
Congress endorses the policy on international greylisting and boycott in UCU/16.
29 - Academic freedom (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Recognising the unique importance of Academic Freedom to colleges and universities, Congress determines that:
1. any motion passed at this, or a future congress, that restricts academic freedom in any way, that motion will be put to a ballot of all members with a brief statement of arguments for and against before becoming, if supported, UCU policy;
2. any motion passed at this, or a future congress , that calls for an academic boycott of one or more colleges or universities outside of the UK, when such a boycott has not been requested by properly constituted and quorate branches of academic unions at those colleges or universities, that motion will be put to a ballot of all members with a brief statement of arguments for and against before becoming, if supported, UCU policy.
29A.1 - University of Brighton Grand Parade
Delete words of item 1 and substitute:'motions to Congress that might restrict academic freedom should only be submitted where intended to preserve a higher purpose;'Insert new clauses 2 and 3:'racist, sexist, homophobic and fascist views are incompatible with academic freedom;Congress reaffirms its role as the supreme policy-making body of the UCU;'In original clause 2, renumber as clause 4, and for 'passed at this or a future' substitute:'submitted to'In original clause 2, delete all after second 'universities', and insert: 'will only be considered after extensive debate in branches and associations has been organised and concluded. The NEC will facilitate speakers for such meetings on a regional and sub-regional basis.'
FELL FOLLOWING WITHDRAWAL OF MOTION 29
30 - Composite: Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions (University of Brighton, Grand Parade; University of East London, Docklands)
Congress notes that Israel's 40-year occupation has seriously damaged the fabric of Palestinian society through annexation, illegal settlement, collective punishment and restriction of movement.
Congress deplores the denial of educational rights for Palestinians by invasions, closures, checkpoints, curfews, and shootings and arrests of teachers, lecturers and students.
Congress condemns the complicity of Israeli academia in the occupation, which has provoked a call from Palestinian trade unions for a comprehensive and consistent international boycott of all Israeli academic institutions.
Congress believes that in these circumstances passivity or neutrality is unacceptable and criticism of Israel cannot be construed as anti-semitic.
Congress instructs the NEC to
- circulate the full text of the Palestinian boycott call to all branches/LAs for information and discussion;
- encourage members to consider the moral implications of existing and proposed links with Israeli academic institutions;
- organise a UK-wide campus tour for Palestinian academic/educational trade unionists;
- issue guidance to members on appropriate forms of action.
CARRIED AS AMENDED
30A.1 - Community Education Lewisham
Delete third paragraph.
Fourth paragraph, after 'Congress believes that', insert 'while much criticism of Israel is anti-semitic'; after 'criticism of', replace 'Israel' with 'Israeli state policy', and after 'cannot', insert 'necessarily'.
Final paragraph, after 'Congress instructs the NEC to', delete first two bullet points
In third bullet point, after 'Palestinian', add 'and Israeli'
At end of fourth bullet point, add 'in line with Policy on International Greylisting and Boycotts, and EI policy'
Add new bullet point: 'Support direct links between education workers and UCU bodies in the UK, and Israeli and Palestinian trade union organisations.'
30A.2 - De Montfort University
In 3rd para between 'of' and 'Israeli', insert 'some elements of'.
In 3rd para between 'from' and 'Palestinian', insert 'some'.
In 3rd para delete the word 'all'.
30A.3 - College of North East London
At the end, add the following last bullet point, 'actively encourage and support branches to create direct links with Palestinian educational institutions and to help set up nationally sponsored programmes for teacher exchanges, sabbatical placements, and research'
31 - European Union and Israel (University of Birmingham)
- That since the Palestinian elections in January 2006 the Israeli government has suspended revenue payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the EU and US have suspended aid, leaving public-sector salaries unpaid and earning the condemnation of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions;
- That Israel is seeking to upgrade its relations with the EU to the same level as Norway and Switzerland, permitting free passage of goods, people and capital, while denying these freedoms to Palestinians.
Congress resolves to campaign for:
- The restoration of all international aid to the PA and all revenues rightfully belonging to it;
- No upgrade of Israel's EU status until it ends the occupation of Palestinian land and fully complies with EU Human Rights law.
CARRIED AS AMENDED
31A.1 - University of Birmingham
Under 'Congress resolves to campaign for:', add new clause 3 at end:
'3. A moratorium on research and cultural collaborations with Israel via EU and European Science Foundation funding until Israel abides by UN resolutions.'
31A.2 - University of Brighton Eastbourne
Add new clause at end:
'Congress instructs the NEC to encourage Branches/ associations to
- raise these campaigns in their Institutions and
- investigate the possibilities of twinning their Institution with a Palestinian University or College.'
Reproduced at Zionism On The Web for educational purposes only, please site the initial source as listed above
AFI Digest of March 28th
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
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
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, Newsletters2008
UCU Reconsidering Boycott, Little Bulldogs, March 27 2008
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