Israel boycott

New boycott threat from UCU

By Simon Rocker, May 7, 2009

Anti-boycott campaigners fear that a fresh attempt could be made to implement sanctions against Israeli universities when higher education lecturers meet at their annual union congress at the end of the month.

The University and College Union refused to comment on whether any debate on Israel would take place, saying that the agenda for the meeting in Bournemouth in three weeks will be published next week.

But the JC has learned that the union’s national executive has approved the submission of three motions on “Palestine”, raising the alarm among anti-boycott activists.

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Scottish union boycott ‘will breach Race Act’

By Marcus Dysch and Stephanie Brickman, April 30, 2009

The Scottish Trade Union Congress has backed a boycott of Israel, claiming the country has breached international law and human rights.

But the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) said the boycott breached the Race Relations Act.

STUC members agreed to recommendations put forward after a two-year investigation by the organisation itself, which included sending a delegation to Israel and the Palestinian territories in March.

It said its action would not target kosher food produced in Israel as it did not want to affect religious observance.

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Academic boycotter to study in Tel Aviv

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 23, 2009

One of the founding leaders of the movement to boycott Israeli academia has begun taking doctoral courses at Tel Aviv University.

Thousands of students at the university have already signed a petition calling on the board of governors to bar Omar Barghouti from the lecture halls, but the university is upholding the cause of academic freedom.

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Scottish TUC set to call for boycott and divestment

By Marcus Dysch, April 17, 2009

The Scottish Trades Union Conference is expected next week to rubber-stamp plans for a boycott of Israel.

Delegates at its annual congress will vote on whether to implement recommendations from a two-year investigation by its general council into alleged Israeli violations of human rights.

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) has warned that the proposal for boycott, divestment and sanctions would expose Jews to attack, and has requested an urgent meeting with the organisation.

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Boycott helpline at Tesco

By Marcus Dysch, April 7, 2009

Pro-Israel groups have attacked Tesco for setting up a customer helpline for those considering boycotting Israeli goods.

Tesco says it provided the service in expectation of calls questioning its stocking of products from Israel and the West Bank.

Callers selecting the general information option on its customer helpline hear the recorded message: “If you are ringing regarding Israeli goods, please press one.” They are then connected to specially-trained call centre staff.

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Government quells fears over boycott

By Leon Symons, April 2, 2009

A special meeting to discuss the guidelines for the labelling of products from the West Bank was held in the Cabinet Office on Tuesday.

It involved representatives of food retailers, producers and suppliers and the British Retail Consortium, alongside civil servants from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Foreign Office, HM Revenue and Customs and one non-governmental organisation (NGO), Oxfam.

But it seemed that fears of a “back-door” boycott of Israeli goods through the labelling of products from the West Bank may have receded.

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Café’s Israel boycott becomes PR disaster

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

A café owner has apologised for displaying a sign declaring “Jews are welcome”, saying it was a bid to allay fears that his boycott of Israeli goods could be interpreted as being antisemitic.

Chris Boddington said he was open about his boycott and support for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at Café Crema in New Cross, south-east London. But he realised a boycott of Israeli produce could be equated with antisemitism.

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Back-door boycott fears over labelling

By Leon Symons, March 26, 2009

Jewish groups fear a government-backed meeting about the labelling of products from the West Bank may lead to a new “back-door” boycott of Israeli exports to Britain.

The meeting is scheduled to be held in the Cabinet Office on Tuesday and invitations have gone out to major retailers, consumer groups and a small number of NGOs. Oxfam is the only group believed to have confirmed that it will attend.

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Salute to Israel protest case is dropped by the CPS

By Marcus Dysch, March 19, 2009

A criminal charge has been dropped against the founder member of an anti-Israel campaign who protested with fake blood on her hands at a rally for Israel.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, was one of eight people arrested during the Salute to Israel parade through central London last June.

As a UJIA float passed her in Haymarket, Ms Wimborne-Idrissi held up her hands, covered in red food dye, and shouted: “Palestinian blood on Israeli hands.”

She was arrested and charged with a public order offence for “causing harassment, alarm and distress”.

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Rallies against Israeli scientists fall flat

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Anti-Israel protestors have failed to disrupt a series of lectures by academics and scientists promoting the country’s achievements to British students.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) had called for Thursday’s event, at the Science Museum, in west London, to be cancelled.

But its members were joined outside the museum by less than 50 demonstrators from other groups, including Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG) and students from the adjacent Imperial College.

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