The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

              Some Good News
Last week the British Association of University Teachers voted to boycott academics from two Israeli universities, unless they declare that they do not support the Israeli government. Judging by the reaction to this boycott from some British academics, it seems that there are still a few who are willing to stand up against this immoral action.
The backlash, which may take the form of mass resignations from the union, has seen an outpouring of protests by Jewish and non-Jewish academics across Britain.

John Vail, lecturer in political economy at Newcastle University, wrote in an e-mail to fellow academics: "The boycott is blatantly discriminatory and reeks of double standards." He added: "Although I have no current research links with Israeli academics, this has made me want to go out and develop some just so as to show my disapproval of this motion. I hope that our local branch will pass a motion that expresses our disagreement with the national policy."
The AUT received a further resignation this morning, as a professor from Hertfordshire University cancelled his AUT membership. This followed the resignation of Reinier Salverda, of University College London, bringing the number of academics who have resigned from the union to four. More resignations are expected to follow.

Fifteen academics from the Board of the London-based Leo Baeck Institute signed a letter expressing "dismay" at the AUT resolutions: "All agree in deploring the proposed boycott of Israeli universities and academics who fail to satisfy a political inquisition. Israeli universities, notably the three targets of the boycott, represent the best ideals of the university as a place of tolerance and the free exchange of views, in which Jews, Muslims and Christians study and work together."

The letter, which registered alarm at the "double standards and hypocrisy" behind the resolution, asked: "Will the tests and the boycott apply to Israeli Arab academics or only Jews?"
An excellent question, that I'm sure the boycotters will be hesitant to answer.
|| Nudnik 1:04 PM
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