Israel boycott

Academics pass boycott motion

May 28, 2009

Members of the University and College Union defied a warning from their leadership and passed a motion in support of boycotting Israel at their annual congress in Bournemouth.

They voted to support “the Palestinian call for a boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign”.

But the union’s executive had warned that it would be declared null and void following legal advice that the resolution would be unlawful because “it is likely to be viewed… as a call to boycott Israeli academic institutions”.

More..

Edinburgh film woman hits back

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

The Israeli film director at the centre of an argument over film festival funding has hit back at anti-Israel campaigners.

Tali Shalom Ezer said she was “outraged” at comments made by controversial director Ken Loach, in which he claimed Israel had conducted “massacres and state terrorism in Gaza”.

Following Mr Loach’s remarks, organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival rejected a £300 donation from the Israeli Embassy.

The money was to be used to fly Ms Shalom Ezer to Scotland for the screening of her debut film, Surrogate.

More..

Boycott warning at UCU congress

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

Academics heading for their annual congress this week were warned by their leaders that any call for a boycott of Israel would be declared null and void.

Half a dozen motions of varying degrees of hostility towards Israel were tabled for debate on today (Wednesday afternoon) on the first day of the congress of the University and College Union in Bournemouth.

But the union’s executive warned that two of them could bring legal repercussions by targeting Israeli institutions.

More..

Sir Jeremy blasts Edinburgh Film Festival for boycott ‘capitulation’

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

Anti-Israel campaigners have succeeded in forcing the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return funding from the Israeli Embassy.

Members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had threatened to picket the event in June unless £300, which was to be used to fly Israeli director Tali Shalom Ezer to Scotland, was rejected.

Festival organisers said the decision was not a result of those threats, but was instead based on comments made by film director Ken Loach, speaking on behalf of the SPSC.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..

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.

More..