U.K. medical journal offers boycott debate


The British Medical Journal reignited the debate over an academic boycott of Israel by running two opinion pieces on the subject.

In response, several physicians in Britain and the United States proposed a boycott of the journal, which as the official organ of the British Medical Association is one of the leading journals in its field worldwide.

The features section of the July 21 edition presented opposing views under the title “Head to head: Should we consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions?”

Tom Hickey, of the University of Brighton, who was among the initiators of the resolution adopted by the University and Colleges Union to consider imposing a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, wrote in favor of a boycott. Michael Baum, professor emeritus of surgery at University College London, wrote against the boycott. The journal also put the question to a vote in an online poll.

The union’s resolution prompted condemnation from some local academics, Jewish groups in North America and Britain, and even the British government, which dispatched its minister for higher education to Israel for a series of meetings.

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