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ADL Calls On Universities, Academics To Follow Columbia's Lead In Taking Principled Stand Against Academic Boycott Of Israel

Update: A number of college and university presidents have spoken out about the proposed UK academic boycott since this release was first issuedMore>>

On September 28, 2007 the UCU announced that based on legal advice, the union had determined that an academic boycott of Israel “would be unlawful and cannot be implemented” and thus it will not act on its May 30, 2007 resolution.


New York, NY, June 12, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger for his statement strongly denouncing the British University and College Union's call for a boycott against Israeli academic institutions as "antithetical to the fundamental values of the academy."

ADL welcomed President Bollinger's statement as a "principled stand" against the boycott attempt and praised his words as a model for other academic leaders and institutions of higher learning in the United States and around the world to follow.

"It is our hope that other university leaders around the United States and across the globe will join you in your statement and embrace these Israeli scholars and universities that the University and College Union has unfairly sought to penalize," Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote in a letter to President Bollinger.

"We believe it is vital for other leaders in the academic community to take a stand against the British boycott attempt and to send the message that this action constitutes a morally reprehensible, wrongheaded and fundamentally biased assault on Israel's academic institutions and scholars," Mr. Foxman said.

In a statement made available on Columbia University's Web site, President Bollinger said the recent UCU vote to pursue a boycott policy against Israeli institutions and academics, "… threatens every university committed to fostering scholarly and cultural exchanges that lead to enlightenment, empathy, and a much-needed international marketplace of ideas."  President Bollinger said that Columbia University would "… gladly stand together with our many colleagues in British, American and Israeli universities against such intellectually shoddy and politically biased attempts to hijack the central mission of higher education."

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.

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