Britain’s lecturers’ union gave its backing to a boycott of Israeli universities and academics yesterday, in protest over Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.Delegates to the inaugural congress of the University and College Union (UCU), which represents more than 120,000 academics, condemned Israel for denying Palestinians their “educational rights” and accused its academics of being complicit in “the occupation”. They voted by 158 to 99 in favor of a pro-boycott motion.
Two years ago the Association of University Lecturers (AUT) caused worldwide outrage when it demanded a similar boycott. The union eventually overturned the resolution later that year. The other main union, Natfhe, continued to support a boycott at its conference last year, but the policy was abandoned when it merged with the AUT to form the UCU soon afterwards.
Last week, Steven Weinberg, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, canceled his visit to Britain in protest against calls for boycotts of Israel by journalists and doctors and the UCU motion. Jewish organizations in Britain condemned the UCU vote as an attack on academic freedom. Jeremy Newmark, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, an umbrella group of leading Jewish figures, said: “This is a full frontal assault on academic freedom. It defies common sense and undermines the priorities and freedoms on which British academia is based.”
There is little doubt that the leaders of the British academic Union care little about academic freedom and or possess little “common sense.” But what is much worse is that they have given free reign to their century old anti-Semitism. No, do not tell me this is merely anti-Zionism or irrational hatred of Israel. It is old fashioned Jew hatred masquerading as anti-Zionism. Moreover, in so doing it serves the interests of the worse rather than the best in the Muslim world.
In the Summer issue of Internationale Politik, Matthias Küntzel writes:
Israel is not a haven of virtue as is generally known. On one hand, Israel’s government deserves to be criticized just like every other democratically elected government in the world. On the other hand, European thinking has been influenced by anti-Semitic patterns for centuries—in this regard, no criticism of Jews or Israel is a priori immune of anti-Semitic stereotypes. At least, a European Union working definition has helped us establish a framework to evaluate when legitimate criticism stops and anti-Semitism begins: 1. When Israeli policy is equated with Nazi practices or when symbols and images of long-established anti-Semitism are assigned to Israel; 2. When Israel’s right to existence is denied; and 3. When a double standard applies and demands are made of Israel that would never be expected or demanded of another democratic state.
There is little doubt that at the very least the UCU meets the third criteria. But that is not all. Given the tenor of the times, these British academics are legitimizing those planning a second Jewish Holocaust, this time a nuclear one. Kuntzel explains:
Those who breach this code are not necessarily supporters of Nazi anti-Semitism. They nevertheless pave the way for those who are prepared to wage a nuclear war against Israel. Hostilities against Israel appear today in the form of a pincer movement: On one side, we have anti-Semites such as Ahmadinejad or Hamas who draw their “knowledge” about Jews from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” On the other side we have non-Jewish and Jewish “fellow travelers of anti-Semitism” in progressive Western movements and governments who take up and proliferate, albeit in muted form, Iran’s attempts to delegimize Israel.
Note that the decision is neither a democratic (we are dealing with Stalinists, after all) one more is it a decision to institute a boycott It only means a traveling road show designed to vilify Israel. ENGAGE spell it out:
I. This is not a decision to institute a boycott. That decision can only be made by the whole membership through a ballot. That was the commitment on which Sally Hunt was elected as General Secretary. Congress also backed a policy which does not allow a boycott of Israeli academic institutions unless it is called for by Israeli campus trade unions. Which it won’t be.2. UCU Congress has today voted for a road show touring colleges and universities drumming up support for an exclusion of Israelis - and only Israelis - from our campuses, our conferences and our journals. The union is mandated to finance this tour and to stack the debate in favor of a pro-boycott outcome.
Last but even more unsettling. Some Jews are legitimizing the hatred. Kuntzel in respond to one of this Jews writes:
“I was despised as a Jew by the Germans.” This sentence begins the French political scientist Alfred Grosser’s essay, “Why I Criticize Israel.” He is not the only one to emphasize Jewish identity when criticizing Israel. A German-Jewish group is calling for an end to the Hamas boycott; Jewish-American authors like Tony Judt have argued for the dissolution of Israel as a Jewish state; and 350 Jews in Britain (Independent Jewish Voices) have distanced themselves from their umbrella organization’s pro-Israeli position.
Some, such as the historian Eric Hobsbawn and the playwright Harold Pinter, seem to have discovered their Jewishness upon becoming critics of Israeli policy, which has garnered them greater attention in the media. The contention that Jews cannot be suspected of anti-Semitism and that they are therefore especially convincing critics, one assumes, is common sense. This, however, contradicts a study published by the American Jewish Committee, which documents anti-Semitism among Jewish writers and concludes that Jews contesting and challenging Israel play a decisive role. This phenomenon represents a “staggering characteristic of new anti-Semitism.”[Alvin H. Rosenfeld, “Progressive“ Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism, American Jewish Committee, December 2006.]
So read the entire essay for it includes points not mentioned here. All I can say is that once again the old adage is being proven to be true. “When the world catches a cold, Jews catch pneumonia.” Unfortunately, at this moment the world is suffering from pneumonia. You draw your conclusions.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here