Sunday, May 01, 2005

TOO IMPORTANT TO IGNORE

Normally, this blog is strictly non-political. I prefer to limit my posts to the technology and profession of teaching.

However, an action by the Association of University Teachers (AUT) of Great Britain, declaring a boycott of Israeli universities led me to make an exception.
The Council of the AUT -- a trade union and professional association for over 48,700 UK higher education professionals -- unanimously passed the two motions to boycott the institutions of higher learning at an executive union meeting held on the eve of Passover, evidently to deliberately exclude its Jewish members.

That action was not opposed, as
AUT executive president Angela Roger cut short the session and moved to deny a right of reply to opponents of the motions. The session was then directed towards a vote, and a "lack of time" was cited as the reason preventing challenges to the motions from being heard

Previous actions included discrimination against Israeli students, and
In July, two Israeli academics were fired from their posts at two linguistics journals as part of a larger boycott of Israeli academics and educational institutions.

Prof. Gideon Toury of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Miriam Schlesinger of Bar-Ilan University were removed from their posts by Egyptian-born Prof. Mona Baker of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Baker was one of more than 100 academics who signed a letter in The Guardian newspaper in April calling for a boycott of Israeli academics "until such time as the Israeli government abides by U.N. resolutions and opens serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians."

I believe that we need to act pre-emptively to forestall any similar actions by our professional organizations, and to go on record as opposing the AUT actions. Follow the links below to send a comment to your professional unions:

Or, you can add your support in an email to me, along with your professional affiliation, and I'll forward it to the appropriate group.

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