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Archive for June 3rd, 2007

The Guardian: This academic boycott is an empty gesture

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The Guardian managed to surprise me:

If British unions are in the business of solidarity, they might consider flinging gestures at Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria or Egypt where journalists and academics are imprisoned and tortured for expressing dissent.

(digg story)

I’m sure the UCU delegates are extremely busy, so let’s help them out.

South Africa: Lecturer Dismissed

Another Academic Held in Iran

Egypt: Professor Faces Military Court

(source: http://www.nearinternational.org/)

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Written by yishaym

June 3, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Racist? Not even.

with 6 comments

Like hayfever, summer brings with it news of British academics calling for a boycott on Israel. Some call this racism, antisemitism, some say it is a proper action against an Apartheid regime. I say neither.

It is plain laziness and cowardice, with a touch of white-European arrogance and hypocrisy. Next time the motion comes up for vote, I suggest the title:

Let’s quickly do something that will make us feel like we’re on the good guys side so we can get out of this stinky room and enjoy a pint down the road.

I’m tired of explaining why this is a stupid, counter-productive, unjustifiable idea. If you have a facebook account, you can read some good arguments here. Or you can go straight to the petition.

By the way, the official press release of UCU explicitly notes:

that triggers for actions leading to greylisting and boycott can only result from a request from a legitimate organisation within the state, or within the occupied territory or institution in question.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘As I have made clear in the past, and as I reiterated on the floor of congress this morning, I do not believe a boycott is supported by the majority of UCU members, nor do I believe that members see it is a priority for the union.

Written by yishaym

June 3, 2007 at 12:14 pm