ADL Slams British Academic Boycott Policy
New York, NY, May 29, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned the resolution passed by Britain's National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) supporting a boycott of Israeli academics and academic institutions that do not declare their opposition to the policies of the State of Israel.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The approval of the NATFHE resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli academics and institutions represents a stunning setback for academic freedom.
It is profoundly unjust for academics in the only democratic country in the Middle East -- the only country where scholarship and debate are permitted to freely flourish -- to be held to an ideological test and the threat of being blacklisted because of their views. No one would expect a British or American professor to have to withstand such scrutiny of their political views. Yet, when it comes to Israel a different standard applies.
This shameful decision affecting British universities calls for a redoubling of the commitment to fight the boycott and other discriminatory actions against Israeli academics and institutions.
The NATFHE decision came despite an international outcry over the boycott resolution. In the lead-up to their annual conference, NATFHE's leaders received thousands of protest letters, emails and petitions, including a petition organized by ADL that carried more than 12,000 signatures. NATFHE is merging with AUT, and we call on the new union, the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU), to disavow the boycott.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.