Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The lunatics take over the UCU asylum - again

Another year, another entirely predictable attempt by the national congress of my trade union, the University and Colleges Union, to exclude Israeli, and only Israeli, academics from British campuses. David Hirsh chronicles developments here. Some points to note:

- the boycott motion was passed in defiance of democratic norms, here and here

- the boycott motion was passed despite clear legal advice that it would be illegal, indeed the Socialist Worker Party-led National Executive decided to suppress the legal advice, here

- Proponents of the boycott motion included Tom hickey, who has in the past spoken in front of a reading list featuring the work of Holocaust Denier Roger Garaudy; the Holocaust falsifier Haim Bresheeth; Mike Cushman, who circulates antisemitc emails; and Sean Wallis, who also appears to embrace antisemitic conspiracy theories.

- A proposed amendment to investigate antisemitism-related resignations from the union was voted down.

- And, of course, the party driving the boycott motion is the Socialist Workers' Party, a group whose explanation of the Holocaust omits any reference to Jews and which has in the past promoted the openly antisemitic Gilad Atzmon.

A motion which is aimed at helping the Palestinians, which expresses 'legitimate criticism' of the policies of the Israeli government and which is in no way antisemitic? Don't believe a word of it.

FOOTNOTE: it would be lovely if the church was different from the world in this respect. But, since the Anglican boycott drive is spearheaded by a man who, for all his pretty words, police threats and protestations to the contrary, has yet to provide any decent response whatsoever to the well-documented charges against him - sadly this is very much not the case.

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