The spectre of a wide-ranging boycott of Israel has been raised again by the University and College Union.
The UCU is holding a conference tomorrow (Saturday) in London in which it will debate whether or not to hold a boycott. But the conference, its location and full agenda has been shrouded in secrecy, with no publicity and inquiries about it going unanswered.
While the union skirted around passing a full-on boycott motion, in line with legal advice it had been given previously, delegates agreed to hold an “inter-union conference of boycott supporters to investigate the implementation of the strategy within the law, including an option of institutional boycott”.
Jeremy Newmark, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “It’s astounding that after repeated legal warnings that a boycott of Israeli academics would be discriminatory, UCU is still spending its members’ fees on promoting such a boycott to academics and trades unionists.
“UCU has tried to hide this financial support, holding a conference this coming Saturday which is being kept secret from its own members and branches. Its members should reflect on whether they joined their union so that their money could support and promote unlawful discrimination.”
UCU was not available for comment at the time of going to press.