30 May 2007

Green Party supports calls for an academic boycott of Israeli

The largest trade union for university and FE staff, the University
and College Union, will today consider proposals to boycott Israeli
Academic Institutions and condemn the 'complicity of Israeli academia
in the occupation.'

The text of the motion notes that "Israel's 40-year occupation has
seriously damaged the fabric of Palestinian society through
annexation, illegal settlement, collective punishment and restriction
of movement ... deplores the denial of educational rights for
Palestinians ... and believes that in these circumstances passivity
or neutrality is unacceptable."

Dr. Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker and UCU member commented:

"As a member of the UCU, I teach as a visiting tutor at Goldsmiths
College, I have long supported the academic boycott. It is important
to act in solidarity with Palestine. Israel is crushing Palestinian
hopes everyday, the boycott is an important part of the struggle
towards a just settlement in the Middle East.

"Our voices could help halt the construction of the Wall and to do a
little to build a better future for all communities in the Middle East.

"Palestine's pain breeds conflict, environmental devastation and
injustice. I am urging UCU delegates to support the motion and the
demonstration on June 9th against the wall."

Green MEP Dr. Caroline Lucas, a member of the European parliament’s
cross-party delegation to the occupied territories and co-founder and
Co-President of the European Parliament’s cross-party Peace
Initiatives group has issued a statement in regard of the motion. She

"The time is right to consider a boycott of Israeli universities.
The international community must support the Palestinian civil
society organisations that are calling on us to act."

The text of Dr. Lucas' statement follows:

"The ongoing Israeli policy of withholding tax revenues from
Palestinian Universities is just one way in which the Occupying Power
is denying the human right to education. Ever tighter controls on
freedom of movement also prevent new Palestinian students from
attending Israeli Universities and disrupt the studies of those
already enrolled on courses. Whilst some Israeli academics have
spoken out against state oppression of the Palestinian people, their
institutions have failed to condemn the violations of academic
freedom that occur, and in some instances are complicit in active
discrimination against Arab students. I, therefore, believe that the
time is right to consider a boycott of Israeli Universities - in
order to place pressure on the Israeli authorities and to support
Palestinian civil society organisations that are calling on the
international community to act."


Notes for Editors

Information on the vote and the full motion before the UCU congress
can be found at www.ucu.org.uk

Green Party Press Office
020 7561 0282

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The fact that the Green Party, with anti-Israelists such as Ralph Nader, supports the boycott is reason enough to vote against it. T

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