Academic Friends of Israel (UK) Advises on Upcoming UCU Election Slates

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The Academic Friends of Israel

P.O. Box360 Email: [email protected]

Harrow Website: www.academics-for-israel.org

HA3 9WY

4 February 2008

The 2008 University and College Union elections for members of the National Executive Committee

Dear Colleague,

This issue of the AFI digest is devoted to the University and College Union [UCU] elections for 32 members of the National Executive committee. This digest provides information on for those academics who are members of the UCU and who have until 29 February 2007 to return their ballot papers.

The UCU was formed on June 1 2006 by the merger of the academic trade unions, the AUT and NATFHE and has 120,000 members. There are 700 Higher and Further education Institutions in the UK. 100 of them are Universities of which 80 were AUT strongholds and most of the rest were represented by NATFHE.

Background

The 2007 UCU Congress voted in favour of a resolution to discuss an academic boycott of Israel. On the 28 Sept 2007 the UCU announced that after seeking legal advice, an academic boycott of Israel would be unlawful and could not be implemented. Many of the candidates standing for election attended the Congress.

The 2006 NATFHE conference passed a resolution calling Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians “apartheid policies” and urged the union’s 67,000 members to boycott Israeli academics unless they publicly support those policies. The policy was in force for 3 days before it lapsed because of the merger of the 2 unions.

In May 2005, AUT Council voted for a boycott of Haifa and Bar Ilan universities, one month later after the membership at been consulted at branch meetings the boycott motion was overturned by a reconvened council meeting. The following year the AUT council approved a set of guidelines for instituting any future boycott.

The 2005 NATFHE conference approved almost unanimously a motion supporting the AUT’s right to pass a boycott of Israel and expressed solidarity with the first AUT council decision. The motion also stated that to criticise Israel policy or institutions is not anti-Semitic. There were two votes against the motion, one of which was mine.

The elections for members of the National Executive

The academic boycott of Israel is an issue that everybody knows is there but nobody has mentioned it in their election address. You will find below a spread sheet with the names of all the candidates and as much information as we have been able to find about their views on boycotts.

33 of the 42 candidates were at the 2007 Congress, we know for certain that four of the names marked in red voted against the boycott motion. 17 out of the 42 are supported by the UCU Left [see below]. At present supporters of the UCU Left hold half the seats on the NEC.

We recommend you vote for the candidates who we know are opposed to a boycott and whose names are marked in red.

The UCU Left is a national organisation of University and College Union activists.The UCU Left opposes imperialist wars and imperialism. The UCU Left candidates are endorsed by the Socialist Workers Party [SWP] which supports the Palestinian right of return which would destroy the basis of Israel as a Jewish state and a single secular and democratic Palestinian state.The UCU Left opposed the 2007 Congress motion on the rise of antisemitism which they saw would limit their ability to criticise Israel.

  • Of the 16 NEC members standing for re-election 8 are supported by the UCU Left
  • Those Candidates marked as 2005 NATFHE conference delegate means that they supported the 2005 NATFHE motion [see above] and also attended the 2006 conference and probably voted in support of the 2006 boycott motion.
  • Those Candidates marked as 2006 NATFHE conference delegate means that they attended the 2006 conference only and may have voted in support of the 2006 NATFHE boycott motion [see above]
  • Supporters of the Stop the War coalition are listed were known because this movement operates from the UCU offices.
  • Supporters of the Unite against Fascism movement are listed because this movement was founded by NATFHE to oppose Right-wing antisemitism and operates from the UCU offices

We do not recommend voting for any of the UCU Left candidates

On the basis of the evidence available The Academic Friends of Israel feels that each of you has to make up your own minds since there is little to choose between the candidates.

Voting will be by single transferable vote which means members can if they wish number their ballot papers in the order of their preferred candidates. We advise limiting your choices to your favoured candidates and no others.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me on the above address.

Regards

Ronnie Fraser

Director

Academic Friends of Israel

List of Candidates

Ms Pamela Beevers (Goldsmiths College)

AUT

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Paul Brown (University of Dundee)

AUT

2008 UCU Left candidate, supported the 2005 AUT boycott motions

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Jon Bryan (Newcastle College)

2006 NATFHE conference delegate

Opposed to boycott

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Mark Campbell (London Metropolitan University)

NATFHE

2008 UCU Left candidate

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Lynne Chamberlain (RNIB Redhill College)

2005 NATFHE conference delegate

2008 UCU Left candidate, member of Repect party and Socialist Workers party

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Dr Steve Clark (Nottingham Trent University)

NATFHE

Pauline Collins (Open University)

Maire Daley (Liverpool Community College)

2005 NATFHE conference delegate

2007 UCU Left candidate

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Professor Mary Davis (London Metropolitan University)

2005 NATFHE conference delegate

Opposed to boycott

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Mr Adam Dwight (City of Wolverhampton College)

NATFHE

Graeme Edwards (Liverpool Community College)

NATFHE

Mr Andrew Feeney (Northumbria University)

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Dr Jeff Fowler (Sunderland University)

2006 NATFHE conference delegate

AUT

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Dr Gavin Reid (University of Leeds)

AUT

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Patricia Roche (Blackpool and Fylde College)

2005 & 2006 NATFHE conference delegate

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Simon Renton (University College London)

AUT

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Amanda Sackur (London Metropolitan University)

NATFHE

2008 UCU Left candidate

Angela Shann (University of Sheffield)

AUT

2008 UCU Left candidate, member of Respect party, supporter of Stop the War, Unite against Fascism, delegate to European Social Forum

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Stephen Soskin(Buckinghamshire New University)

NATFHE

Opposed to a boycott, member of Academic Friends of Israel and Engage

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Alliya Stennett (City College Birmingham)

NATFHE

2007 UCU Left candidate, member of Respect party,Stop the War, Unite against Facism and Socialist Workers party

UCU 2007 conference delegate

David Swanson (City College Manchester)

NATFHE

2008 UCU Left candidate

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Jim Thakoordin (Bedfordshire ACE)

2005 & 2006 NATFHE conference delegate

2008 UCU Left candidate

UCU 2007 conference delegate

NEC member

Roger Walters (Open University)

AUT

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Christine Vie (Manchester Metropolitan University)

NATFHE

2008 UCU Left candidate, member of Stop the War and Unite Against Fascism

UCU 2007 conference delegate

Patron:

The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks

Advisory Board:

Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld – Chairman of the Board of Fellows, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Henry Grunwald Q.C. – President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews

Amir Lev

John D A Levy – Director of the Academic Study Group on Israel and the Middle East

Andrew R. Marks, M.D. – Columbia University, USA

Dr Robin Stamler

Professor Leslie Wagner CBE

Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham

The Academic Friends of Israel Ltd is limited by guarantee and registered in England No 5297417.

Academic Friends of Israel (UK) Advises on Upcoming UCU Election Slates

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