Combating Israeli boycott
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-06-13
Stop The Boycott
A campaign to overturn the potential threat of a boycott of Israeli academia by the University and College Union(UCU) has been launched by the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) and Fair Play Campaign Group.
In a full page advertisement in The Times newspaper, broadcaster Melvyn Bragg has added his name to a list which includes fertility expect Lord Winston to oppose any Israeli boycott.
Under the slogan, "Bad for Britain, Bad for academic freedom, Bad for Palestinians, Bad for Peace", the campaigners are seeking to involve all sections of the Jewish community as well as non-Jews in showing why a boycott is not right.
"I am dismayed by moves for boycotts. The situation in the Middle East is difficult enough without this," said Bragg. "It appears that these suggestions come from a very small minority within the associations concerned; that while they take into account the sufferings of Palestinians they fail to understand the legitimate concerns of a democratic Israel and they threaten to annul efforts being made in this country to help resolve a terrible dilemma."
Lord Winston added: "The academics in Israel are the very people we should be working with, rather than against if we want to promote better understanding."
A website, Stop The Boycott has also gone live to advise on how people can get involved in supporting Israel.