Academic boycott of Israel approved by Irish union

Boycott supporter: Lecturer David Landy (Photo: Trinity College Dublin)

Boycott supporter: Lecturer David Landy (Photo: Trinity College Dublin)

The Teachers Union of Ireland has voted to boycott all academic collaboration with Israel, including research programmes and exchange of scientists.

It is thought to be the first full academic boycott enforced by a European teaching union.

A motion, calling for all members of the union to end work with Israeli counterparts, was passed unanimously at the TUI annual conference in Galway on Thursday.

The union called on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to increase its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against “the apartheid state of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank”.

The passed motion requests TUI members to “cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programmes”.

Dublin sociology lecturer and anti-Israel activist David Landy said the move “set an historic precedent”.

“We congratulate the TUI and call on all Irish, British and European academic unions to move similar motions. Undoubtedly apologists for Israeli apartheid will complain that such motions stifle academic freedom, but this is nonsense,” he said.

The TUI represents teachers and lecturers working in all levels of education across the country and has more than 14,500 members.

Last updated: 8:37pm, April 6 2013