British universities silent on boycott


Very few British universities have expressed opposition to the academic boycott of Israel.

“We only know of three out of 105 U.K. universities who have issued a statement on a boycott,” said Ronnie Fraser, director of the lobby group Academic Friends of Israel. “At present we have more statements from American and Canadian universities than British universities.”

Since the boycott vote last month, the University and College Union National Executive Committee met again and agreed that the “road show” with Palestinian and Israeli academics would go ahead as planned in the autumn term, with debates at some larger institutions and on a regional basis. No decisions were made about the future.

The committee also reiterated its intention to stand by the boycott decision, which committee members said was made by democratically elected bodies of the union, the National Executive Committee and the National Congress. In a statement, the union said its members “oppose any attempt that might be made to peremptorily ‘resolve’ this issue, which would involve bypassing UCU’s democratic structures.”

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