At the moment it is the season for British trade unions to move towards imposing boycotts upon Israeli goods and personnel. Among the unions that have made moves in this direction is my own union, the University and Colleges Union. I do not intend here to rehearse exhaustively the debate as to whether such boycotts are “anti-Semitic” or “legitimate expressions of criticism of the Israeli government”. However, last year’s Report of the All-Party Enquiry into Antisemitism reasoned that such selective boycotts were "anti-Jewish in practice"; I also find the Engage response to the proposed boycott compelling.
Most worrying for me, though, is the fact that Tom Hickey, a leading proponent of the boycott, is happy to speak in front of a reading list which includes the work of Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy; another leading proponent, Tony Greenstein, has documented links to known antisemites (here and here. Proponents of the boycott routinely insist that they are “not anti-Semitic just critical of Israel”; could I be forgiven for expressing scepticism in the case of these two individuals?