Dear Friend of FLAME:
You may be aware that the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) has declared an “academic boycott” against two Israeli universities and its academic staff. The Association has not seen fit to condemn Palestinian terrorism—or terrorism of any sort in any part of the world—nor has it chastised repressive dictatorships, such as Syria or North Korea, nor those responsible for the genocide in Darfur. One can only conclude that Israel was singled out because it is a Jewish state.
Even the staid London Times decried the AUT resolution in an April 25 editorial: “The decision … is a mockery of academic freedom, a biased and blinkered move that is as ill-timed as it is perverse …[It] can quickly become an excuse for anti-Semitism … Why does the AUT not call for a ban on contacts in dozens of other countries inimical to human rights? … AUT members should defeat this pernicious ban by cultivating every contact available as soon as possible with the two Israeli universities.“
This article, written by Douglas Davis before the resolution was passed, throws a somewhat humorous, but ultimately dead-serious light on this important subject. At the same time the article makes clear what enormous contributions Israel has made and continues to make to science, to technology and to the welfare of the world. Obviously, the examples given in the articles are only the tip of the iceberg of Israeli accomplishments in so many fields. Israel’s achievements are the more admirable since they were reached despite almost incessant war and terror since the birth of the state and despite the ingathering and absorption into its society of millions of people.