IAB is pleased to announce that the UK based University and College Union (UCU) has declared today, 28/9/07, that an academic boycott of Israel is illegal and cannot be implementedAfter receiving legal advice that cleared that “a call to boycott Israeli institutions would run a serious risk of infringing discrimination legislation”… and “is also considered to be outside the aims and objects of the UCU”, the UCU’s strategy and finance committee recommended unanimously today, to immediately inform branches and members that:
A boycott call would be unlawful and cannot be implemented UCU members’ opinions cannot be tested at local meetings The proposed regional tour cannot go ahead under current arrangements and is therefore suspended. Ofir Frankel, Executive Director of the International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom (IAB), welcomed UCU’s decision and said that “the UCU has realized at last that an academic boycott is not a legitimate means of political protest”.
The IAB believes, as Dr. Sari Nusseibah, President of Al-Quds University, stated at IAB’s first conference, “that an international academic boycott of Israel, on pro-Palestinian grounds, is self- defeating as it would only succeed in weakening that strategically important bridge through which the state of war between Israelis and Palestinians could be ended, and Palestinian rights could there for be restored.”
“Although we congratulate this decision, we have much work ahead of us”, said Frankel. “We plan to significantly expand the scientific cooperation between the two countries; and between the UCU and their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, in order to harness cooperation and engagement as academicians were always the vanguard of change and bringing about of peace.”
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