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April 30, 2005

Academics Rise Up Against Union Support For Terrorists

Not long ago, The UK's Association of University Teachers decided to boycott two Israeli Universityies and examine the possibility of expanding that boycott to cover all Israeli schools. There has been an uproar since then, and now it appears that the boycott will never go into effect. Why not? Because of a grassroots rebellion by union members, some of whom have resigned while others are circulating a demand for an emergency meeting to repeal the ban.

The first academics to resign from the AUT, Shalom Lappin and Jonathan Ginzburg, have circulated an open letter calling on members to join them in breaking away from the union.

"For the past several years an ugly campaign of anti-Jewish provocation has been building on the margins of the Israel hate-fest that the boycott supporters have been promoting on campuses throughout the UK," they said in the letter.

"There comes a time when an organization discredits itself to the point that it can no longer be taken to stand for the values that it purports to represent. When this point is reached, one has no alternative but to disassociate oneself from it."

It seems that, contary to the expectation of the union's anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic leadership (more on that later on) , Jewish professors and supporters of israel would not stand by silently while the union supported terrorists who advocate a new Holocaust.

The condemnation has not just come from within Great britain, but has also been heard from around the globe.

A letter from the New York Academy of Sciences told the AUT that its resolution, "by selecting individuals and universities for boycott, is a very clear reminder of 'McCarthy-like' tactics of accusation."

The letter concluded: "We call upon the AUT to take immediate steps to rescind their regressive vote and join forward-looking academics the world over in voting for cooperation and not boycott."

In the mean time, the repeal movement has already gained significant headway.

Chris Fox, lecturer in Computer Science at Essex University, told The Jerusalem Post that the 25 signatures by AUT local association members required to submit a motion calling for the repeal of the boycott resolutions were being collected.

The motion would be heard in an emergency national meeting. Fox said that if the executive failed to call such a meeting, the AUT could expect further resignations.

"I will be resigning in the next few days if the national executive of the union fails to indicate an intention to act directly to reconsider or rescind the boycott," said Fox....

One Oxford Middle East studies professor has responded to the boycott by insisting that he be added to the boycott list, standing in solidarity with colleagues at the two boycotted universities.

Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, of the Middle East Center at St. Anthony's College at Oxford University, has written to AUT general-secretary Sally Hunt requesting to be included in the boycott.

"Oaths of political loyalty do not belong to academia. They belong to illiberal minds and repressive regimes," wrote Ottolenghi. "Based on this, the AUT's definition of academic freedom is the freedom to agree with its views only. Given the circumstances, I wish to express in no uncertain terms my unconditional and undivided solidarity with both universities and their faculties.

"I know many people, both at Haifa University and at Bar Ilan University, of different political persuasion and from different walks of life. The diversity of those faculties reflects the authentic spirit of academia. The AUT invitation to boycott them betrays that spirit because it advocates a uniformity of views, under pain of boycott."

"In solidarity with my colleagues and as a symbolic gesture to defend the spirit of a free academia, I wish to be added to the boycott blacklist. Please include me. I hope that other colleagues of all political persuasions will join me," Ottolenghi conclude.

Now some of you may argue that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. That argument has always been a weak one, but one British author and columnist makes it clear that, especially in this case, they are one and the same.

Author and columnist Howard Jacobson said that the boycotts underlined the fact that "Anti-Zionism is, after all, anti-Semitism."

Referring to Sue Blackwell, the Birmingham University lecturer who tabled the boycott motions, Jacobson said that "For Blackwell, the argument of history is only circular anyway. It is no defense of Israel that it has had to fight against being driven into the sea, because the sea, in her view, is where it belongs."

Howard also said that Blackwell's "feverishly pro-Palestinian Web site is under investigation by a Common's Committee [for] possible links with a site blaming Jews for 9/11." Blackwell later said that her Web site had included the link "inadvertently."

Blackwell has posted a triumphant message on her Web site, entitled: "Victory to the academic intifada!" Underneath a photograph of herself wearing a dress made from the Palestinian flag, and flashing a victory sign, the lecturer told readers: Yes folks, we won.

"Anti-Zionism, now, is anti-Semitic," said Jacobson, "because by the actions of its members, the Association of University Teachers has made it so."

So, what we have here is a group of terrorist supporters who have hijacked a union and politicized it in favor of their political goals. In this case, it is acting in support of those who murder Jews for being Jews, and who wish the six million Jews of israel to join the six million Jews of Europe slaughtered by Hitler. Fortunately their anti-Semitism has not spread so far into academia that there is no opposition.

And when they are through dealing with the jew-haters in their midst (indeed, among their leaders), maybe the membrship of the Association of University teachers will consider the issue of whether that corrupt organization needs to exist at all.





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