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Friday, June 15, 2007

The program of the Israel boycotters - one state or genocide?

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/06/program-of-israel-boycotters-one-state.html

 
....Dame Nancy Rothwell, former Times Higher columnist and vice-president for research at Manchester University, said the issue of Israel was a red herring. She has resigned her long-standing union membership in protest at the UCU vote. "The danger is that some people think if they're against the boycott, they're in favour of Israeli actions, and it's not that at all," she said.

"It's the principle that's so important. It's nothing to do with Israel: I would do exactly the same if it was Palestine. It is censorship on the basis of political views and that is fundamentally wrong - it's madness, actually."
 
As Ha'aretz tells us, U.K.'s boycotters of Israel support a single-state solution, that is, they are against peace, and support a solution that will lead to murder of the Jewish population in Israel. This is clear from the current events in Gaza, where the Hamas is imposing their version of "Islamic Justice" (their words) by shooting people in front of their families and murdering doctors.
 
The article notes:
 
The activists at these groups may differ on issues such as religion and gender equality, but they are united in their perception of Israel as an apartheid state. They all advocate boycotting Israel and believe in diverting funds from it.
 
The organizations subscribe to the belief that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be resolved in the form of a single-state solutions, and granting the Palestinian refugees the right of return. In the past year, this group of organizations has boasted several important accomplishments, first and foremost the UCU resolution.
 
"We're on a roll. We're now receiving increasing sympathy for the Palestinian cause," Sue Blackwell told Haaretz Tuesday. Blackwell is a veteran activist who has been promoting boycotts against Israel for years at Birmingham University, where she works as an English lecturer. During the UCU's meeting in Bournemouth, she wore a T-shirt reading "Caterkiller," in protest against the company Caterpillar, which sells bulldozers to the Israel Defense Forces.
Anti-Israel boycott star Jeff Halper was aslo there, and got to say his piece:
"We tried working with the Israeli public in the past, but we did not manage to make any headway there," says Jeff Halper, who heads the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions in the U.K.
 
"The Israelis as a whole believe there is no partner on the Palestinian side, and are thereby making themselves politically irrelevant. This is why we've had to address the civil society, represented by human rights groups, churches, universities and other organizations to warn against the Israeli apartheid regime," he says.
 
"The recent success we have experienced in the field is serving to unite different left-wing organizations. Halper says that the 40-year anniversary of the six Day War created a unifying effect on the front against the occupation; the next milestone will occur in 2007 when Israel celebrates its 60th birthday."
 
With due respect, it is now 2007. Israel's next independence day is in 2008, but Halper doesn't know that it seems. More important, Halper seems to have missed the recent events in Gaza, which provide egregious examples of Justice in Palestine and of what life would be like in a "secular democratic state." His notions, which were never very connected with reality, now take on the aura of the bizarre.
 
The Higher Education Supplement of the Times notes that the boycott decision is generating considerable backlash:
 
Opposition to the threatened boycott of Israeli universities gained momentum this week with a debate in the House of Lords, a Government delegation toIsrael and a flurry of anti-boycott initiatives.

Baroness Deech, the independent adjudicator for higher education, led a Lords debate in which she condemned the UCU vote for a boycott as "McCarthyite anti-intellectualism".

She said the proposed boycott was contrary to the 70-year-old principle of the "universality of science", published by the International Council of Scientific Unions and originally designed to prevent German scientists being excluded from international conferences.

"Boycotting scientists and others by reason of their country of residence should not be permitted, because the advance of knowledge is potentially beneficial to all mankind," she said.

"It is not morally justifiable either to hold all Israeli academics collectively responsible for the actions of their government - and they are the ones most likely to be in opposition - or to use them as hostages to further the political aims of others."

The debate followed a trip to Israel over the weekend by the Higher Education Minister Bill Rammell, who said that a boycott would "make the job of the progressives much more difficult" and "entrench the position of people who take a hardline position".

Mr Rammell was joined by Drummond Bone, president of Universities UK, who said that while academics were free to criticise the policies of any government, a boycott was not "defensible" under the obligations of academic freedom.

The British Academy has also this week restated its 20-year opposition to any academic boycott, warning that boycotts are inimical to research.

It quotes the statement of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, to which it belongs: "Moratoria on scientific exchanges based on nationality, race, sex, language, religion, opinion and similar factors thwart the network's goal. They would deny our colleagues their rights to freedom of opinion and expression; interfere with their ability to exercise their bona fide academic freedoms; inhibit the free circulation of scientists and scientific ideas; and impose unjust punishment."

Reinhold Behringer, professor in creative technology at Leeds Metropolitan University, has used the "weekly ethical reflection" slot on the university website to offer to establish links with Israeli and Palestinian academics and institutions "in the belief that collaboration between the two parties can contribute more towards mutual understanding and lasting peace than any ill-conceived boycott".

A website,
www.stoptheboycott.org , has been launched. It condemns the UCU congress vote in favour of a boycott motion as "the actions of a small and unrepresentative minority that flies in the face of academic freedom". And it calls on UCU general secretary Sally Hunt to "honour her pledge" to ballot the union's 120,000 members over the proposal.

The Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, an independent organisation that aims to boost support for Israel in the UK, is urging staff and students opposed to the boycott to register their names. It says it is engaging with a number of high-profile academics "who are not only anti-boycott but are also pro-Israel."

But Dame Nancy Rothwell, former Times Higher columnist and vice-president for research at Manchester University, said the issue of Israel was a red herring. She has resigned her long-standing union membership in protest at the UCU vote. "The danger is that some people think if they're against the boycott, they're in favour of Israeli actions, and it's not that at all," she said.

"It's the principle that's so important. It's nothing to do with Israel: I would do exactly the same if it was Palestine. It is censorship on the basis of political views and that is fundamentally wrong - it's madness, actually."
 
It is more than that actually, since the boycotters are trying to destroy a member state of the UN, and are actively opposed to any peaceful settlement of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. Leading proponents of the Boycott include Omar Barghouti and Lisa Taraki. Their article,"The AUT Boycott: Freedom vs. "Academic Freedom"" ,appeared in the Electronic Intifada - May 31, 2005 at electronicintifada.net/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/11/3895. Electronic Intifada is run by Ali Abunimah, a proponent of the "One State Solution." Barghouti and Taraki, who masquerade as crusaders for human rights, are founding members of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. This group tells youth and others, in Arabic only documents, that those who engage in dialogue with Israelis are traitors who take crumbs from the Americans and Europeans, and that Seeds of Peace is the "most dangerous" organization among dialogue groups. Essentially, they are an anti-normalization group, whose task inside Palestinian society is to intimidate those who do not follow the extremist line. Their founders are mostly Bir Zeit University staff sympathetic to the Hamas, and supportive of the same elements who have been murdering doctors and throwing people off the roofs of buildings in Gaza. That is the practical expression of their "humanitarian" ideals and the practical implementation of their vision for Palestinian society. That is what the boycotters are supporting.
 
Please link to www.stoptheboycott.org to help stop the Israel Boycott ( with exactly that hyperlink text).
 
Ami Isseroff  
 
 
 

 


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