AUT/NATFHE/UCU and the Academic boycott of Israel


General articles/reactions about the UCU 2008 Congress decisions




General articles/reactions about the UCU 2007 Congress decisions

Israeli Reactions and Zionist counter-initiatives against the boycott
(including those by the British government)


NATFHE, the lecturer's and college teacher's union, voted on Monday 29th May 2006 in favour of a motion calling on its members to consider a conscientious academic boycott of Israel. The votes were 106 in favour, 71 against, with 21 abstentions. Here is some of the press coverage from before, during and after the Council meeting:

Read Gargi Bhattacharyya's report on the debate between David Hirsh and Ilan Pappe, organised by Birmingham AUT:

Keeping dialogue open (Guardian, 18th Nov 2005)


Naturally my remarks that the boycott was defeated following a "well-funded campaign by the Zionist lobby" have been met with the usual hysteria. Please note: I said "Zionist lobby" not "Jewish lobby". And if it wasn't well-funded, then please tell me who paid for the following - in presumed ascending order of expense?

So all these efforts were un-co-ordinated contributions by unconnected groups and individuals? Not according to the Jewish News of 5th May 2005:

"At an anti-boycott meeting addressed this week by Dame Ruth Deech, the former principal of St. Anne's College, Oxford, the Zionist Federation decided on a four-point plan to combat the ban. Among the measures to be taken will be a telephone hotline, funded by an anonymous donor, which will allow interested parties to be kept updated on the ban's wider implications.

"A spokesman for the Board of Deputies said: 'If you are a student, academic or concerned parent please keep in touch with the Campaign Group for Academic Freedom, which is working very closely with the Academic Friends of Israel and the Academic Study Group.'"

I rest my case m'lud. And if any "anonymous donors" out there would care to redress the balance a little, you know where to send the dosh.

Call upon Israeli academics by European Jews for a Just Peace

Statement on the EJJP website, June 10th, 2005

Call upon Israeli academics

and here is PACBI's response to the above.


Here's the Middle East Labor Bulletin, Vol. 4 No. 3, dated Fall 1993. Yes, more than a decade ago. Plus ça change ...

"The occasion was the annual membership meeting of the American Library Association and answering the call to the colors were hundreds of Jewish librarians who descended on New Orleans for a dual purpose: to overturn a resolution criticizing Israeli censorship that had been approved at last year's convention and to demonstrate to their fellow librarians that judging Israel was not only not the business of the ALA, but also was not without career-threatening risks."

Now read the whole sorry story and spot the resemblances to AUT Special Council, 26th May 2005:

"An Act of a Censorship: American Library Association Becomes Another Israeli Occupied Territory"By Jeffrey Blankfort.

Birmingham Meeting

Just found this report from the Birmingham Post is now on the web. Hilarious. My mate Alex, aka "camcorder man", is described as if he were a Muslim rather than a white English anarchist. Some of it is accurate though. What a disgrace that meeting was - half an hour for the anti-boycott speakers, after which Yours Truly was told she could speak for just two minutes.

Uproar as Israel fuels pub row - originally in the Birmingham Post, 24th May 2005, reproduced on the Muslim News website.


Here is the letter from Mishcon de Reya to AUT, in .PDF format

... and here's something that makes interesting reading in comparison:

"Severe Inaccuracies in the (Haifa) University's Response to the AUT Decision"

Letter to Rector and Staff of Haifa University, April 2005, by Dr. Yuval Yonai, lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

... and here's one of the other legal threats to AUT, also from Mishcon de Reya.
This one is on behalf of 4 individual AUT members - shame on them.

Material dating from before the vote at AUT Council, 20th-22nd April 2005

Reports dating from during or after AUT Council, 20th-22nd April 2005

The most recent come first.

Material relating to or following Special Council, 26th May 2005

General articles/reactions about the AUT 2005 Council decisions

Reports about Anti-semitism on campus

- which of course should not be mentioned in the same breath as the academic boycott of Israel but tends to be ...

Scurrilous attacks on Sue in the Press

Scurrilous attacks on the boycott in general in the Press

The Fire Last Time: AUT Council 2003

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It was last updated on 20th June 2008.