University and College Union

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”.

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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.

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UCU ‘in internal court war’

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

Reports of a legal clash between the trustees of the University and College Union and its executive were circulating on Wednesday afternoon.

The JC was told that the trustees had gone to the High Court ahead of publication, due on Thursday, of the list of motions to be debated at UCU’s annual congress in Bournemouth at the end of the month. It is understood that the trustees were seeking an injunction to prevent publication of the list in case it contained an anti-Israel boycott motion.

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Union takes softer stance on Israel

By Leon Symons, April 2, 2009

The University and College Union’s 2009 congress in May is set to debate a number of motions about Israel — but none has called for a boycott.

Several branches have put forward draft motions condemning Israel’s action in Gaza with calls for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, a ban on arms sales to Israel and a ban on imports of all goods from West Bank settlements.

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UCU stalls on boycott decision

By Simon Rocker, June 20, 2008

Leaders of Britain’s main lecturers’ union have been accused of failing to throw out a controversial policy denounced by critics as a backdoor move to boycott Israel.

At its annual conference last month, the University and College Union voted to ask academics to “consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions”.

But the UCU executive last Friday put off any decision to implement the resolution, instead referring it for further discussion by a sub-committee.

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Ambassador slams ‘anti-Israel’ Britain

By Shelly Paz, June 13, 2008

Israel’s ambassador to the UK claimed this week that the debate on Israel had been “hijacked” by a minority which said “don’t bother us with the facts”.

Ron Prosor declared that Britain was “a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment” in an opinion piece which appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday. Mr Prosor, who said that the University and College Union’s resolution on an academic boycott of Israel had been the “trigger” for the article, added: “For five consecutive years everyone told me how marginal this issue was, how it was not significant.

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Major union rejects Israel boycott

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

A decision by Britain’s third-largest union not to adopt an anti-Israel motion at its congress in Plymouth on Monday has been welcomed by the Stop The Boycott campaign.

The GMB general union debated a motion on statehood for Palestine that also made mention of rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.

Although at least one region wanted to harden the wording, delegates ultimately decided to steer clear of a motion that called for any boycott.

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Britain is a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment

By Ron Prosor, June 13, 2008

Extremists have hijacked the debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UK

Throughout its modern history, Britain has prided itself on its liberal society, which cherishes human rights and values civil liberties.

That pride was well founded, both in the international arena, when Britain stood alone in Europe facing the Third Reich, and domestically, when Britain led the way in establishing a national health service, granting women the right to vote and protecting the basic social rights of the working class.

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Britain is a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment

By Ron Prosor, June 13, 2008

Extremists have hijacked the debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UK

Throughout its modern history, Britain has prided itself on its liberal society, which cherishes human rights and values civil liberties.

That pride was well founded, both in the international arena, when Britain stood alone in Europe facing the Third Reich, and domestically, when Britain led the way in establishing a national health service, granting women the right to vote and protecting the basic social rights of the working class.

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Academic union could face legal action on ‘backdoor boycott’

By Leon Symons, June 6, 2008

The University and College Union will almost certainly face legal action if its executive decides to turn into policy the “back-door boycott” motion on Israel passed at its congress last week.

Senior lawyer Anthony Julius, acting on behalf of what he called a “growing number” of Jewish and non-Jewish UCU members, has written to UCU general secretary Sally Hunt setting out four areas where he said the union could be challenged legally. He argued that:

1) The motion, despite the union’s denials, is a boycott motion;

2) It is antisemitic;

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