Academic 'will sue the UCU'

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2010

A senior Jewish academic has said he will sue the University and College Union if it boycotts a West Bank college where he is a guest professor.

Professor Geoffrey Alderman, of the University of Buckingham, said he had consulted lawyers over the UCU's vote last month to investigate a possible boycott of Ariel College.

Professor Alderman, a member of the union which represents university and college lecturers in the UK, wrote to its general secretary Sally Hunt: "As a faculty member at Ariel, I would naturally be affected by such a boycott. I therefore expect to be fully consulted as part of this investigatory process'."

At their congress, UCU delegates voted to explore action against Ariel as a contributor to "the continuing colonisation" of the West Bank.

They also voiced support for a wider boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel "within the constraints of the existing law".

The union has in the past been warned that proposed sanctions against Israeli institutions could breach anti-discrimination laws.

Two years ago, Professor Alderman was one of five academics who threatened to go to the courts if the union attempted to boycott measures.

Warning that he was ready to go down the legal road again, he said: "I have put a shot across their bows."

The UCU declined comment.

Last updated: 2:00pm, June 10 2010