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British union votes to boycott Israeli universities, academics

(JTA) — Britain’s main academic union voted overwhelmingly to boycott Israeli universities and colleges.

The University and College Union passed the boycott resolution at its annual meeting last week. It is the fourth year in a row that the union has passed a resolution condemning Israel and supporting the boycott of Israeli academics and academic institutions.

The key resolution calls on UCU branches to discuss boycotting Israel, and commits the union to organize a pro-boycott conference for other trade unions to attend.  

The vote was then declared invalid after union attorneys said that a boycott of that kind could trigger legal action against the union.

Union General Secretary Sally Hunt said she "formally and personally commended" the union for holding the debate, the Guardian reported.

The Anti-Defamation League condemned the passage of the resolution. “The UCU continues to engage in the shameful exercise to demonize Israel and Israeli academics, violating all standards of academic freedom and non-discrimination upheld by institutions of higher education,” Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, said in a news release. 
 

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