Academia’s ‘witch-hunt against the Jews’
And as Ms Phillips reiterates: ‘Yes, you read that correctly. The UCU is debating a motion which not only raises the spectre yet again of an academic boycott of Israel but demands of Jewish and Israeli academics that they explain their politics as a pre-condition to normal academic contact. The motion asks colleagues to consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating... the testimonies will be used to promote a wide discussion by colleagues of the appropriateness of continued educational links with Israeli academic institutions... Ariel College, an explicitly colonising institution in the West Bank, be investigated under the formal Greylisting Procedure.’
The implication is clear. If this motion is passed, a scholar resists condemnation of Israel ‘for the “occupation”, or practising “apartheid”, “genocide” or any of the other manufactured crimes laid at Israel’s door by the Palestinian/Islamist/neonazi/leftwing axis, they won’t be able to work’.
Their contracts shall depend on conformation to the received wisdom, to propagation of ‘approved’ views, and they shall be terminated if they persist in holding views which are considered abhorrent. How will they distinguish such individuals? Force them to wear yellow stars stitched to their clothing?
Ms Phillips asserts: ‘The views they are being bludgeoned into expressing as a condition of their employment are based on lies, distortion, propaganda, gross historical ignorance, blood libels and prejudice. And this in the universities, supposedly the custodians of free thought and inquiry in the service of dispassionate scholarship.’
It is, of course, only Israel and the Jews which are the targets of this discrimination, and the latter appear to be even if they are not Zionists. There was no motion to condemn Islamism, no motion to single out Muslim students who express support for odious individuals like Qaradawi, and no motion condemning Burma, China, Zimbabwe. And these ae the same Universities and Colleges which are receiving money from Saudis without question.
But this is proof, if any were needed, of the powers that hold sway over the further education system. One has to be grateful that the UCU does not speak on behalf of either all universities or all lecturers. As one respondent states: ‘The national UCU activists are far from representative of their own union, never mind UK academia as a whole! It's a fact of life however that those of us who wish the Union would stick to representing our interests, and avoid political campaigning of any kind, tend to prefer to spend our time doing our actual jobs instead of getting involved in the union’.
Cranmer awaits the flood of resignations from those members who oppose this offensive and illegal motion. And although he is loath to exalt Nobel as any kind of touchstone - especially after the Al Gore fiasco - he does wonder how Israel has managed to produce so many academically-inspirational Nobel laureates:
Robert Aumann, Germany, Economics, 2005
Aaron Ciechanover, Chemistry, 2004
Avram Hershko, Hungary, Chemistry, 2004
Daniel Kahneman, Economics, 2002
Yitzhak Rabin, Peace, 1994
Shimon Peres, Poland, Peace, 1994
Menachem Begin, Poland, now Belarus, Peace, 1978
Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Austria, Literature, 1966
And these stand alongside just a few from the rest of the Middle East in its entirety, namely Sadat and Arafat.
And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse...(Gen 12:3).