The faculty petition of 4700 being mistakenly reported as created by the IAB at Bar-llan University was actually created by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Sloppy reporting by the Guardian attributed the petition soley to the IAB, never mentioning SPME. Reports in the Jerusalem Post, New York Times, Haaretz and perhaps other papers picked up on the errors and perpetuated them. While the IAB was a co-sponsor of the petition and SPME President, Edward Beck, is an academic corresponding secretary to the IAB and the IAB was responsible for helping deliver the hard copy to NATFHE, it was SPME who wrote and initiated the Petition and solicited the IAB and other groups as co-sponsors.
“Much to my disappointment, the Guardian, New York Times and the Jerusalem Post failed to report this accurately and did not even correct subsequent stories written about the petition” stated Edward S. Beck, President of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. “Furthermore, as the petition gained 5000 signatures prior to the boycott vote and not 4700 as previously reported. We work closely with the IAB and will continue to do so, but the petition was definitately an SPME initiative. We hope that the NATFHE delegates will get a strong message from scholars across the political spectrum that this boycott is not only a bad idea, but a blow to academic freedom,” said Beck.