Monday, May 29, 2006

NATFHE HAS PASSED THE MOTION calling on its membership to boycott Israeli academics and academic institutions. YNet News reports:
UK educators shun Israeli academics

One of Britain’s biggest teachers’ unions votes to shun Israeli academic institutions that don't renounce 'apartheid policies'

Hagit Klaiman

LONDON - Britain's National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) Monday approved an academic boycott on Israeli higher education institutions that do not condemn Israel’s “apartheid policy.” NAFTHE, which with a membership of 67,000 educators is one of the UK’s largest teachers' unions, voted 106 to 71, with 21 abstentions, in favor of the boycott during a Blackpool convention.

As I said before, the unions for British academics have clearly been taken over by hardliners with an anti-Israel (and, apparently, pro-Hamas) agenda.
Meanwhile, union members heard an urgent recommendation to condemn a decision by the EU and the US to end the flow of funds to Palestinian institutions following the rise of Hamas to power, and called on the restrictions to end.
They don't care what damage they do to the international reputation of British academics as long as they can make their own political statements. I doubt that this will do any serious harm to Israeli academics, but it will make those in Britain the object of much ridicule, and I have to say they have it coming. The membership of NAFTHE should be ashamed of their leadership.

UPDATE: Scholars for Peace in the Middle East has issued a press release condemning the decision.

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