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ADL Urges Academic Associations to Condemn Israel Boycotts
Note: The following letter was sent to the heads of eight major American academic associations, including the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the Association of College Unions International, the National Association for Campus Activities, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the American College Personnel Association, the Association of International Educators and the American Association of University Women.

  June 6, 2006

We are writing to you to request that you publicly condemn a recent vote by the British National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) to boycott Israeli academics.

At their annual conference on May 29, NATFHE voted in favor of a resolution to boycott Israeli faculty and academic institutions who do not dissociate themselves from their state and government. This initiative comes just one year after another British academic union, the Association of University Teachers (AUT), voted to boycott Israel universities. The resolution was subsequently rescinded by a Special Council of the AUT.

NATFHE’s resolution, which demands that Israeli academics pass an ideological test before they can be regarded as partners and colleagues, represents a shocking violation of the principles of academic freedom and open exchange. In addition, this effort singularly demonizes Israel and designates Israel for pariah status despite the myriad human rights outrages around the world.

We respectfully request that you publicly condemn the NATFHE resolution, and call on the newly formed British University and College Union (the result of a June 1 merger of NATFHE and AUT) to rescind and condemn the resolution and uphold the principles of academic freedom and spirit of open exchanges of ideas among scholars and academics.

We look forward to your early reply.


Barbara B. Balser
National Chair
    Abraham H. Foxman
National Director

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