Israel boycott

Top judge: Israel boycotts are 'absurd'

By Simon Rocker, November 18, 2010

One of Britain's leading judges, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, has dismissed the idea of an academic boycott of Israel as absurd.

Speaking at the annual legal dinner of the British Friends of the Hebrew University in London last week, he recalled his visit to Jerusalem this year to deliver the Lionel Cohen lecture on behalf of the Friends.

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Nobel laureates will oppose Israel boycott

By Paul Berger, November 11, 2010

Almost 40 Nobel laureates have signed a statement opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Roger Kornberg, of Stanford University, and Steven Weinberg, of the University of Texas at Austin, drafted the document, which specifically criticises academic boycotts.

The statement, organised by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, declared: "We believe that the university should serve as an open, tolerant and respectful, co-operative and collaborative community engaged in practices of resolving complex problems."

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Israel boycotters launch European grouping

By Marcus Dysch, November 11, 2010

Fresh attempts to promote academic and cultural boycotts of Israel will be spearheaded by a newly-established pan-European organisation.

The European Platform for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (EPACBI) includes representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Spain and five other countries with the aim of streamlining action against the Jewish state.

Members of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup), and its French equivalent AURDIP, joined forces to set up the new group and campaign against European Union funding of Israeli academic research.

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Lord Phillips denies PSC anti-Israel remarks

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2010

The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Phillips of Sudbury has denied questioning Israel’s right to exist and claims he once volunteered to fight for the Jewish state.

The comments were said to have been made at a meeting of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at the House of Commons last week.

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Zionism? To hell with all that, says film director

By Stephen Applebaum and Simon Rocker, October 21, 2010

Mike Leigh, the film-maker and playwright who has cancelled a planned trip to Israel next month, has backed a cultural boycott of the country, calling its policies "suicidal".

In an exclusive and personal outspoken interview in which he justified his decision not to teach a masterclass at a Jerusalem film school, the 67-year-old, Salford-born author said he was now "implicitly part" of the boycott.

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JNF chairman dismisses plea to Miliband

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

The chairman of the Jewish National Fund has responded to a personal attack on him by the pro-Palestinian Jewish campaigner Tony Greenstein.

Mr Greenstein, a long-time anti-Zionist, implied in a letter to the Guardian newspaper that JNF UK’s chairman Samuel Hayek had been lying for his country.

On October 7 Mr Greenstein was one of the signatories to a letter calling for Ed Miliband to break the tradition, set by former Labour leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, of being a patron of the JNF.

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Activist: Israel boycott does mean end of Jewish state

By Jennifer Lipman, October 19, 2010

A prominent pro-Palestinian campaigner has admitted plainly that purpose of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement is to hasten the end of a Jewish state in the Middle East and not to find a route to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Supporters of a cultural or academic boycott have in the past claimed that the tactic is a way to push for an end to the occupation.

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Mike Leigh cancels Israel visit over 'conscience'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 18, 2010

Mike Leigh has cancelled a trip to Israel in protest at the controversial loyalty oath bill.

The British Jewish film director said he had been stupid and naïve to agree to teach a master class at Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School and that he had no choice but to let his audience down.

He said: “I cannot come, I do not want to come, and I am not coming.”

Mr Leigh was due to visit in November and receive an honorary fellowship award from the school, as well as speak in Haifa and Tel Aviv and to Palestinian filmmakers in the West Bank.

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Anti Israel boycott professor elected to Academy

By Rob Lyons, October 14, 2010

A leading professor who campaigned against the boycott of Israeli universities has been elected to the British Academy.

Shalom Lappin, professor of computational linguistics at King's College, London, was awarded the honour for his groundbreaking work on how children learn languages.

The 59-year-old has developed
a mathematical model to represent a human child's cognitive ability. He said: "I want to illuminate how much of learning is nurture versus nature."

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Ahava: anti-Israel duo will face trial

By Marcus Dysch, October 14, 2010

Two people face trial after denying charges that they chained themselves inside a branch of an Israeli cosmetics store.

Gwendolen Wilkinson, 20, from Newport, and Matthew Richardson, 24, from Sheffield, were charged with aggravated trespass at Ahava in Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, following a protest on October 2.

The pair appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court, north London, on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

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