Here’s what they say at Engage Forum:

The campaign for an academic boycott of Israel has ended today in an absolute and final political, legal and moral defeat.

The University and College Union’s (UCU) own lawyers advised it that a policy to exclude academics who work in Israel from the global academic community – and to exclude nobody else on the planet – would have been a violation of equal opportunities legislation in Britain.

The article goes on to make what Muffti thinks are two excellent points:

It will be claimed by the campaign to exclude Israelis from our campuses, conferences and journals that the end of the boycott in UCU represents a capitulation to ‘bourgeois’ or ‘Zioinst’ law (the two adjectives have become inter-changeable amongst some ‘anti-Zionist’ ‘anti-capitalists’). In truth, however, anti-discrimination law is not a mode of state repression but a victory, hard-won, by generations of antiracist activists. It is a good thing that there is law in place which prohibits bodies like our union from discriminating against Jews.

Those who were for a boycott of Israel were not for boycotting the academics in all states which abused human rights but only in Jewish states which abused human rights. It was not a universal proposal for solidarity with all those who suffered from human rights abuses or from occupation. It was a proposal which singled out the academics of one state for unique punishment. It should have been obvious to decent people who wanted to help Palestine that a Jew-hunt was not just, would not be an effective remedy, and would surely license antisemitic ways of thinking.

Read the rest.

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6 Comments

  • i dont get something — there was an academic boycott of apartheid-era South Africa. where’s the difference, in terms of legality?

  • Why is it that among the first impulses of totalitarians everywhere is to attack, deport, torture, humiliate and/ or exclude academics? Wouldn’t a few 1000 years of history of the ‘same old same ‘ol ‘stuff’ be enough? Just wondering. Cheers, VJ

  • Too late. Damage done?
    Or never too late?

    It’s about time they called this the anti-semitic canard that it is.

    Hopefully other efforts to isolate Israel in academic and cultural circles will also meet humiliating defeat.

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