Scottish academics quit UCU for 'feeding' antisemitism

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2011
The UCU voted on the antisemitism definition in May

The UCU voted on the antisemitism definition in May

Four Scottish academics have quit the University and College Union in protest against its decision to reject the European Union's working definition of antisemitism.

Ephraim Borowski, the former president of the UCU-predecessor, the Glasgow Association of University Teachers, was joined by three other longtime members in leaving.

In a letter sent to the UCU general secretary Sally Hunt and posted on the website Engage, they said membership of the UCU and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) were no longer compatible.

They also condemned the UCU for adopting "a racist policy towards Jews" and said the UCU was legitimising antisemitism.

They said that as members of SCoJeC, they took no position on Israel but were charged with representing the interests of Jewish people in Scotland.

"We have grave concerns in this respect," they said. "The racist propaganda brought in the wake of the Middle East crisis has exposed Jewish people in Scotland and the UK to a wave of hostility.

"This is the situation you are feeding."

Their resignations follow the decision by Ronnie Fraser, the chair of the Academic Friends of Israel, to take legal action against the UCU over the vote, as well as the resignations of union members in England.

Last updated: 9:55am, July 6 2011