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Thousands of Academics Worldwide Sign Petition to Protest CUPE Ontario's Proposed Boycott of Israeli Universities

Source: Marketwire, January 16, 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2009) - The recent proposal by CUPE Ontario to boycott and ban Israeli academics from university campuses has elicited an outrage throughout the globe: nearly 5,000 individuals have signed a petition by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) condemning the move.

Joining hundreds of professors from Ontario and other provinces were distinguished intellectuals like Alan Dershowitz and Nobel laureates like Richard J. Roberts, Steven Weinberg, Kenneth J. Arrow, Aaron Ciechanover and Roald Hoffman. The petition also drew international condemnation from thousands of professors in many countries including Russia, Austria, Argentina, France, Spain, England, the United States and the Ukraine.

According to Dr. Sergio Grinstein of SPME, "the signatories on this petition view the proposed academic boycott as a sinister, frontal assault on academic freedom. It is blatantly discriminatory and violates basic elements of fairness and justice".

The academics who signed the petition declared themselves at one with Israeli academics: "To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded".

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