Protest the Proposed UK Boycott of Israeli Universities

Contained in the attached press release from Bar Ilan University’s nternational Advisory Board for Academic Freedom (IAB) is a note from an British professor to an Israeli colleague advising he has personally decided to boycott Israeli academics.

If you care about academic freedom and you care about Israel academics. You must take a stand.

The boycott motion — whether the union should carry out a “personal” boycott of Israeli lecturers and academic institutions that do not publicly declare their opposition to Israeli policy — drafted by the southeast region of NATFHE (National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education), the largest university lecturers union in Britain, a union of 67,000 college and university lecturers in England will be brought to a vote at its annual national conference, on May 27-29.

This comes only a year after the boycott by the British Association of University Teachers (AUT). American Jewish Congress helped organize a protest of this boycott—AND WE WON.

Your voice makes a difference!

We have made it possible for you to automatically generate an email letter to John Wilkin, NATFHE President; Dennis Hayes, NATFHE Vice President; Paul Mackney, NATFHE General Secretary; AUT General Secretary, Sally Hunt; and AUT President, Steve Wharton, appealing to them to REJECT the boycott of Israeli academic life.

All you need to do is click on this line

In your email, if you are a professor or member of any professional organization, it is important to identify the university or organization to which you belong. This will resonate with the British union. We have provided an editable area for you to do this.

To familiarize with the issues, please go to the articles found at the following websites:

Ha’Aretz
Engage Online Blog

Below are some talking points, email addresses, and a sample letter from several sources:
Important points to make in the letter: We urge you to use our automatic form, that will generate emails to the following people:

If you prefer to send your own, please follow the guidelines below.

· Adopt a friendly tone, but make the union leaders understand that the consequences of playing with Israel boycotts would be very bad for their unions.
· Academic Boycotts do not serve the cause of peace.
· They may, in fact, slow it down. The leaderships are not the bad guys here – and people shouldn’t write to them as though they are.
· The boycotters are a small unrepresentative minority – the leaderships should be encouraged to make sure that this minority is not allowed to write union policy.
· The leaderships should understand that their own lives (and their own summers) will be much more pleasant, easy and peaceful if there is no decision to boycott Israel.
· Please be civil. Abusive emails and emails shouting “anti-Semite!” are worse than useless.

John Wilkin, President, president@natfhe.org.uk
Dennis Hayes, Vice President, d.hayes@canterbury.ac.uk
Paul Mackney, General Secretary, pmackney@natfhe.org.uk
AUT General Secretary, Sally Hunt, sally.hunt@aut.org.uk
AUT President, Steve Wharton, president@aut.org.uk

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Keyword(s): UK boycott

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