April 13, 2006
FROM THE ARCHIVES: HAPPY PASSOVER...:
Jewish lecturers resign after AUT bans Israeli academics (Yaakov Lappin, 4/22/05, THE JERUSALEM POST)
The decision by Britain's 40,000 member Association of University Teachers (AUT) to boycott two Israeli universities on Friday has ignited scathing condemnation from Jewish communities worldwide and has prompted the immediate resignation of Jewish academics from the AUT.
In a blitz procedure timed - on the eve of Passover - to exclude Jewish members from the conference, the AUT rushed through two motions to boycott Haifa and Bar Ilan universities, exhibiting an unprecedented escalation of a campaign by British academics to target Israel.
A jovial executive union meeting heard unanswered orations by Sue Blackwell and Shereen Benjamin, both lecturers at Birmingham University. The academics labeled Israel as a "colonial apartheid state, more insidious than South Africa," called for the "removal of this regime," and depicted Israeli universities as "repressing" academic freedom.
In her allegations against the Israeli institutions, Ms. Blackwell relied heavily on a letter by Ilan Pappe, lecturer in political science at Haifa University. A message from Dr. Pappe was distributed to every executive member at the conference, in which Pappe called on the conference to adopt a boycott of his own university, and alleged he was the victim of "restriction" and "harassment."
The speeches were met with rapturous applause from the audience, before AUT executive president Angela Roger cut short the session and moved to deny a right of reply to opponents of the motions.
There's noplace more reliably loathesome than academia.
[Originally posted: April 23, 2005]Posted by Orrin Judd at April 13, 2006 11:38 PM