Relieved to see that Bill Ramell, the universities minister, has tried to talk some sense to delegates to the University and College Union (UCU) conference over their boycott of Israeli academics. He told them: “I profoundly disagree with cutting links with Israeli academics,” and added: “Boycotting academics is something I find deeply disturbing. I can find no evidence that such a strategy will further peace in the Middle East.”
Despite this common sense approach, congress inevitably voted to
boycott Israeli academics show solidarity with Palestine.
Interestingly, the same agenda which called for colleagues to be “asked to consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating” also “reaffirmed (UCU’s) commitment to helping international colleagues denied the freedoms they enjoy.”
Good to see that irony is alive and well among our academics.