Israel boycott

Deputy Israeli ambassador cancels uni talk

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 18, 2010

Deputy Israeli ambassador Talya Lador-Fresher has cancelled a talk at Manchester University within the last hour amid rising security “threats” from protesters.

Ms Lador-Fresher was due to speak at 3pm to the politics society of Manchester University Students Union. But after 300 protesters were expected to turn out, organised by another student society Action Palestine, the embassy cancelled her visit.

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Anti-Zionists urge Elton John to boycott Israel gig

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

Anti-Zionist British academics have urged Elton John to pull out of a performance in Israel, in an open letter to the singer.

Tickets go on sale today for the June concert, which will be the Candle In The Windsinger’s first performance in Israel for 17 years.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, who recently tried to persuade botanist David Bellamy to cancel an appearance for the Zionist Federation, called Israel a “racist state” in its letter.

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David Bellamy urged: 'Pull out of Zionist talk'

By Marcus Dysch, February 5, 2010

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (Bricup) has urged botanist David Bellamy to pull out of a Zionist Federation event at which he is expected to speak about Israel’s environmental achievements.

Mr Bellamy is due to appear at the ZF’s Israel Blue White and Green seminar alongside leading Israeli scientists on Tuesday.

The event, which is primarily aimed at non-Jewish schoolchildren, is a follow-up to last year’s Israel Science Day which Bricup also attempted to disrupt.

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Benny Morris talk cut by Cambridge Israel society

By Marcus Dysch, February 4, 2010

Cambridge University’s Israel Society has been slammed for bowing to pressure from Muslim students to cancel a speech by a top Israeli historian.

Prof Benny Morris had been due to speak on Thursday, but the event was cancelled after complaints from, among others, the university’s Islamic and Pakistan societies who claimed he was an “Islamophobic hate speaker”.

Israel Society president Jake Witzenfeld called the cancellation “unfortunate but noble”, adding: “There was no intention to “give racism a platform”.

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UCU under fire for 'institutional racism'

By Leon Symons, January 21, 2010

The University and College Union has been accused of being antisemitic and institutionally racist by one of its members at a seminar it was running — to fight antisemitism.

The union, whose repeated attempts to introduce an academic boycott of Israel have led to a number of resignations, was the subject of a scathing attack by David Hirsh, who runs the Engage anti-boycott website.

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UCU's 'fig-leaf' Shoah talks

By Leon Symons, December 23, 2009

Anger has greeted the news that the University and College Union, at the forefront of the campaign for an academic boycott of Israel, is holding three seminars on antisemitism next month.

The last of the seminars is set to be held at UCU headquarters on January 27 — Holocaust Memorial Day. All three will be chaired by Tom Hickey, the leading proponent of UCU’s boycott push.

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Boycott union to hold antisemitism seminars

December 21, 2009

UCU, the academic union at the forefront of the campaign to boycott Israel, has announced that it is to hold three seminars on "the dangers of antisemitism." They are to be held in January and are being timed to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27.

All the seminars - to be held at the universities of Brighton, Northumbria, and the union's head office - are to be chaired by Tom Hickey, the leading proponent of the boycott campaign.

Leading members of the community have expressed shock at the news and described the move as "outrageously cynical".

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Labelling as sop to boycotters

By Daniel Finkelstein, December 17, 2009

‘The British government is opposed to any kind of boycott of Israel” says a spokesman for the British Embassy in Israel. Yeah, right. What do you think I am mate, an idiot? (Don’t answer that.)

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Israel and UK row over settlement labels

By Marcus Dysch, December 11, 2009

The Israeli government has accused Britain of encouraging a boycott of goods from West Bank settlements.

The two countries are locked in a diplomatic row after the British government released new guidelines for supermarkets on labelling of foods from settlements and products made by Palestinians.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued voluntary guidance to UK stores stating that labels should differentiate between “Israeli settlement produce” and “Palestinian produce”. Currently, foods are labeled “Produce of the West Bank”.

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Boycott is 'blasphemy' says Hebrew University chief

December 10, 2009

Universities should treat attempts to boycott academics as blasphemy, says the new president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson said he had “deep concerns” about new efforts by the University and College Union to broaden the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) front against Israel.

“It is endangering the academic discourse whenever it infiltrates even marginal institutions. It comes from the margins into the heart,” he said.

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