SPME Petition 17

A Petition To Condemn The 2009 British UCU's Silent Boycott of Israel Academics and Institutions

Statement:

We, the undersigned faculty members, researchers, professionals, academics and students from around the world, denounce and utterly condemn the action of a majority of members attending the recent University and College Union (UCU) of the United Kingdom who voted to boycott Israeli academics and academic institutions. This action, despite the Union’s invalidation of the vote and non-acceptance as policy, has created a situation where union members have vowed to conduct a “silent boycott.” Academic boycotts are incompatible with academic freedom and “silent boycotts” are particularly insidious.

In response to this action, we the undersigned, declare that any academic participating in such an action will also be boycotting us as colleagues. We stand in solidarity against boycotts, both official and “silent” of academics in general and of our Israeli colleagues and their institutions, in particular.

Background:

For the fourth time in as many years, a small but relentless group of academic activists in the United Kingdom has managed to manipulate what is now the University and College Union (UCU) to pass a motion calling for a boycott of all Israeli academics and their institutions. The motion, as pointed out several times, not only is unenforceable, but also violates both the union’s own anti-discrimination policy and British law. In the past the UCU leadership has nullified the motion precisely on those grounds.

The small cadre of activists behind this initiative now gloat that their motion was passed “by an overwhelming majority,” because “the Zionists barely showed up.” In fact, it now appears that both Jewish and non-Jewish scholars are absenting themselves from the annual meetings and many either have resigned or are in the process of resigning from the UCU. Support for the UCU is dwindingly because the preoccupation with Israel is increasingly recognized as inappropriate and racist. Proponents of this motion have so hijacked the union’s proceedings as to prevent the UCU from carrying out its primary mission, which is to represent the interests of academics within their institutions and nation.

The relentless condemnation of all Israeli academics is creating an atmosphere of intimidation and fear, something that any academic organization must find unacceptable. The faction behind these repeated motions seeks to make it easier for university departments to reject Israeli job applicants than risk accusations of political incorrectness in hiring them; easier for journals to reject submissions from Israeli and, in some cases, to publish unscientific and unscholarly denunciations of Israel than to risk a flood of letters of protest. No other country’s academics are being punished this way for the alleged crimes of their government.

It is an embarrassment to the British academy that this level of intimidation is being promoted by one of its own unions. In the end, the boycott will not only fail to do Palestinian academics any good, but will also isolate the union from the community of scholars who pursue truth with integrity and seek to promote civil and honest discourse. The UCU faction that seeks to demonize and delegitimize Israel as a democratic, pluralistic, self-critical Jewish state and society ignores the presence, in the same region, of despotic rulers who have no regard for human rights, including those of academics and other workers.

Therefore, as more than 11,000 of our colleagues world wide, including 55 university presidents and 33 Nobel Laureates stated two years ago in SPME’s response to a similar gesture of hate, http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/display_petitions.cgi?ID=9, we position ourselves with Israeli academics and all those members of the UCU who reject the path of academic boycotts as counter to the basic ideals of our profession. We say to our colleagues in the United Kingdom, “If you boycott Israeli academics and academic institutions, you will also be boycotting us! You are separating yourselves from the academic community and the whole world is watching. “

Adopted June 1, 2009 by the:

SPME- UK Coordinators,
Howard Kahn, Heriot Watt University

Ashley Grossman, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, University of London

SPME Board of Directors

Nobel Laureate Endorsers
To Date:

Kenneth J. Arrow
Economic Science
Stanford University

Aaron Ciechanover

Chemistry
Technion

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
Physics
College of France


Val Fitch
Physics
Princeton University

Jerome I. Friedman
Physics
MIT

Sheldon Lee Glashow
Physics
Boston University

Roy Glauber
Physics
Harvard University

Paul Greengard
Physiology and Medicine
Rockefeller University

David Gross
Physics
University of California-Santa Barbara


Dudley R. Herschbach
Chemistry
Harvard University

Avram Hershko
Physiology or Medicine
Technion

Roald Hoffman
Chemistry
Cornell University

Tim Hunt
Physiology and Medicine
Cancer Research UK

Sir Aaron Klug
Chemistry
Cambridge University

Roger Kornberg
Chemistry
Stanford University

Rudolph A. Marcus
Chemistry
California Institute of Technology

Harry Markowitz
Economic Sciences
University of California San Diego

George A. Olah
Chemistry
University of Southern California

Martin Perl
Physics
Stanford University

William D. Phillips
Physics
University of Maryland

Sir Richard Roberts,
Physiology and Medicine
New England Biolabs

Andrew Schally
Physiology and Medicine
University of Miami

John Walker
Chemistry
Cambridge University

Steven Weinberg
Physics

University of Texas

Torsten Wiesel
Physiology and Medicine
Rockefeller University

For Further Information Contact:

Edward S. Beck, President Emeritus, SPME [email protected]

Howard Kahn, SPME-UK Co-Coordinator, Heriot Watt University [email protected]

Ashley Grossman, SPME UK Co-Coordinator, St. Bartholomews Hospital, University of

London [email protected]

Peter Haas, SPME Vice President, External Affairs, Case Western Reserve University

[email protected]

Sam Edelman, Executive Director, SPME [email protected]

[signature]

4,131 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   


Latest Signatures
4,131Pauline NicollDublinAug 02, 2016
4,130e eeOct 13, 2015
4,129e eeOct 13, 2015
4,128e eeOct 13, 2015
4,127e eeOct 13, 2015
4,126e eeOct 13, 2015
4,125e eeOct 13, 2015
4,124e eeOct 13, 2015
4,123e eeOct 13, 2015
4,122e eeOct 13, 2015
4,121e eeOct 13, 2015
4,120e eeOct 13, 2015
4,119e eeOct 13, 2015
4,118e eeOct 13, 2015
4,117e eeOct 13, 2015
4,116e eeOct 13, 2015
4,115e eeOct 13, 2015
4,114e eeOct 13, 2015
4,113e eeOct 13, 2015
4,112e eeOct 13, 2015
4,111e eeOct 13, 2015
4,110e eeOct 13, 2015
4,109e eeOct 13, 2015
4,108e eeOct 13, 2015
4,107e eeOct 13, 2015
4,106e eeOct 13, 2015
4,105e eeOct 13, 2015
4,104e eeOct 13, 2015
4,103e eeOct 13, 2015
4,102e eeOct 13, 2015
4,101e eeOct 13, 2015
4,100e eeOct 13, 2015
4,099e eeOct 13, 2015
4,098e eeOct 13, 2015
4,097e eeOct 13, 2015
4,096e eeOct 13, 2015
4,095e eeOct 13, 2015
4,094e eeOct 13, 2015
4,093e eeOct 13, 2015
4,092e eeOct 13, 2015
4,091e eeOct 13, 2015
4,090e eeOct 13, 2015
4,089e eeOct 13, 2015
4,088e eeOct 13, 2015
4,087e eeOct 13, 2015
4,086e eeOct 13, 2015
4,085e eeOct 13, 2015
4,084e eeOct 13, 2015
4,083e eeOct 13, 2015
4,082e eeOct 13, 2015
4,081e eeOct 13, 2015
4,080e eeOct 13, 2015
4,079e eeOct 13, 2015
4,078e eeOct 13, 2015
4,077e eeOct 13, 2015
4,076e eeOct 13, 2015
4,075e eeOct 13, 2015
4,074e eeOct 13, 2015
4,073e eeOct 13, 2015
4,072e eeOct 13, 2015
4,071e eeOct 13, 2015
4,070e eeOct 13, 2015
4,069e eeOct 13, 2015
4,068e eeOct 13, 2015
4,067e eeOct 13, 2015
4,066e eeOct 13, 2015
4,065e eeOct 13, 2015
4,064e eeOct 13, 2015
4,063e eeOct 13, 2015
4,062e eeOct 13, 2015
4,061e eeOct 13, 2015
4,060e eeOct 13, 2015
4,059e eeOct 13, 2015
4,058e eeOct 13, 2015
4,057e eeOct 13, 2015
4,056e eeOct 13, 2015
4,055e eeOct 13, 2015
4,054e eeOct 13, 2015
4,053e eeOct 13, 2015
4,052e eeOct 13, 2015
4,051e eeOct 13, 2015
4,050e eeOct 13, 2015
4,049e eeOct 13, 2015
4,048e eeOct 13, 2015
4,047e eeOct 13, 2015
4,046e eeOct 13, 2015
4,045Maxim OlshaniiBostonOct 09, 2013
4,044Rosalind Share UKFeb 07, 2013
4,043Tariq Iqbal Aug 15, 2012
4,042George Farkas Montreal, Quebec, CanadaJan 15, 2012
4,041Daphne H NYCJan 07, 2012
4,040Leroy Hirsch Jul 28, 2011
4,039Barbara Loester UKMar 23, 2011
4,038Liliana Ossowski New York, USAJan 31, 2011
4,037Ms. Dawn M. Nevills CanadaNov 21, 2010
4,036Michael Rothbaum Nyack NY USANov 12, 2010
4,035Jesa Kreiner Fullerton, California USANov 08, 2010
4,034John Doody Dublin, IrelandOct 02, 2010
4,033Ian Nassau Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USASep 03, 2010
4,032Avram Jezer New York, NY USAAug 16, 2010

Skip to toolbar