We find no reason to send comments to those who initiated the call for a boycott - Sue Blackwell and Shereen Benjamin, of Birmingham University - since their bias and anti-Semitic views are clearly immune to the facts.
And make no mistake, this boycott is patently anti-Semitic. While many other countries today are causing far more hardship to millions - from the US and UK in Iraq, Russia in Chechnya, China in Tibet etc. etc., universities in Israel were the only targets of this boycott. As Frances Raday, President of the Israel Association of Feminist and Gender Studies, professor of law at the College of Management Academic Studies and Lieberman chair at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, wrote in the Guardian to AUT members:
"Many of you surely have opposed the Bush-Blair invasion of Iraq. We wonder whether you are considering resigning from your university positions, refusing to lecture to English students and refusing to pay taxes to a government which uses them to kill Iraqis. To the best of our knowledge, the coalition forces have killed in the space of a year at least five times as many Iraqi civilians (16,000 as of October 2004, most of them women and children, according to the BBC) as the Israelis have killed in the past five years of Intifada (3,574 according to the Palestinian Red Crescent - most of them Palestinian fighters, not civilians). And this -- along with the preceding starvation of the Iraqi civilian population as a result of western sanctions - was not preceded by any Iraqi attack on Britain's population, such as Israel's civilians have repeatedly suffered at the hands of organized Palestinian irregular fighters and suicide bombers; even the evidence of a potential threat of attack, on which Britain went to war, was flimsy and proved false. Is this perhaps a case of seeing 'the speck that is in your brother's eye, but not the beam that is in your own eye?'"
Another irrefutable proof that this boycott was fueled by anti-Semitism is that it applies only to Jewish professors and students.
The last time Jews were boycotted in universities was in 1930s Nazi Germany.
The majority of people and organizations who boycott Israeli universities and companies are fundamentalists who want to drag our world backwards - they oppose human rights, democracy, equal rights for women and freedom of speech.
The majority of people and organizations who support Israel believe in advancement in both academia and the larger world. The boycott of Israeli universities flies in the faces of all those who cherish human rights, value the sciences, and wish to promote peace, democracy, freedom of speech and diversity.
Israel is an egalitarian country. In her Declaration of Establishment of the State, Israel ensures: "complete equality of social and political rights to all inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; [and] will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture." Israel is among the leading countries of the world in her citizensí contribution to the fields of hi-tech and medicine, helping and enhancing the lives of millions, every day, worldwide.
The fact that the AUT joined those who boycott Israeli elements says far more about the AUT than about Israel.
Thu May 05, 2005 2:11 pm Please Also Sign Petition
We are a small group of people that met at a Jewish Agency course on Israel. We have launched a petition to protest the academic boycott of Israeli universities and academics.
Please would you be good enough to sign, and pass on to your friends and colleagues.
Perhaps even publicize us on your website.
We, the undersigned, are men and women from all walks of life, Jews and non-Jews, Israelis and non-Israelis, academics and non-academics, who feel deep concern about the AUTís misbegotten boycott of Israeli universities.
As an expression of this concern, and the negative impact we know it will have on Israelis, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, Jews, British teachers and students, and many in other countries, we hereby petition the Association of University Teachers to rescind its boycott.
Any claim that Israel is an 'apartheid state' is demonstrably wrong in
all its aspects, legal, ethical, factual, and in comparison to other
countries and belittles the true horrors of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
The boycott is counterproductive, racist, and bigoted. It was voted on and approved under conditions which guaranteed its outcome without full and proper debate. It singles out the only Jewish State in the world for punishment , yet ignores the numerous despotic, oppressive, tyrannical, fundamentalist, and repressive regimes in the world. It is, for that reason alone, hypocritical, and represents the interests of a small minority of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic activists only.