Yedioth Ahronoth (14.10.2007 p. 18)
by Modi Kreitman
Two weeks after the British Association of University Teachers
announced that it was stopping its efforts to impose an academic
boycott against Israel for legal reasons, the sponsors of the boycott announced that they were renewing their efforts to impose it.
The leaders of the campaign to boycott Israel met yesterday in London
at an event that drew some 150 people, mainly senior lecturers from universities across the UK. Among the speakers were also a number of Israelis, such as Dr. Oren Ben-Dor from Southampton University,
Professor Ilan Pappe from Exeter University and Professor Haim Bereshit from the East London University.
The leader of the campaign, Sue Blackwell from Birmingham University,
received loud applause when she announced that the third Intifada
against Israel would be an academic Intifada that would involve an academic boycott. Blackwell rejected the legal opinion that was
submitted to the AUT, which has a membership of 120,000. The legal opinion noted that an academic boycott of Israel was illegal in
Blackwell said: We weren’t shown the legal opinion and, in any event,
it doesn’t include any restriction about talking about a boycott.
Therefore, we will talk about a boycott and we will invite a number of Palestinian academics for a round of appearances throughout Britain to explain their situation.
The sponsors of the boycott announced that they would fight the legal
opinion and would seek to have it cancelled.
The campaign sponsors also decided to commission a report from Israel
that would review what they referred to as the “apartheid policies” that are supposedly in place in academic institutions in Israel against Palestinian and Arab students.