May 4, 2005
Friend of FLAME:
You may be aware that the British Association of University Teachers
(AUT) has declared an "academic boycott" against two Israeli universities
and its academic staff. The Association has not seen fit to condemn
Palestinian terrorism---or terrorism of any sort in any part of the
world---nor has it chastised repressive dictatorships, such as Syria
or North Korea, nor those responsible for the genocide in Darfur.
One can only conclude that Israel was singled out because it is a
Even the staid London Times decried the AUT resolution in an
April 25 editorial: "The decision ... is a mockery of academic
freedom, a biased and blinkered move that is as ill-timed as it is
perverse ...[It] can quickly become an excuse for anti-Semitism ...
Why does the AUT not call for a ban on contacts in dozens of other
countries inimical to human rights? ... AUT members should defeat
this pernicious ban by cultivating every contact available as soon
as possible with the two Israeli universities."
The following article, written by Douglas Davis before the resolution
was passed, throws a somewhat humorous, but ultimately dead-serious
light on this important subject. At the same time the article makes
clear what enormous contributions Israel has made and continues to
make to science, to technology and to the welfare of the world. Obviously,
the examples given in the articles are only the tip of the iceberg
of Israeli accomplishments in so many fields. Israel's achievements
are the more admirable since they were reached despite almost incessant
war and terror since the birth of the state and despite the ingathering
and absorption into its society of millions of people.
By Douglas Davis, The Spectator, April 16,
mean-spirited, anti-Semitic resolution of the AUT must be fought
by all available and possible means, because if it is not, such
hateful action may spread to other universities and institutions.
Immediately following this article is information about how you
can protest this outrageous action. I urge you to take just 30
seconds to make your voice heard on this important issue.
Pay attention, Professor. If you support the proposed
academic boycott of Israel and if you are to remain intellectually
honest prepare for a radical lifestyle change. Firstly, unplug
your computer. Good. Now switch off your interactive digital television
set. Well done. And now throw away your mobile phone. Excellent. You
see, Professor, these machines are not only the engine of the globalised,
capitalist world but they also depend on technologies that have been
produced by Israeli academics in the Zionist entity.
Stop playing with your detached mouse, Professor, and concentrate.
Im afraid you may not use the British Library because it has
been computerised by Ex Libris, a Zionist company that was spawned
by the odious Hebrew University of Jerusalem. And if, God forbid,
you develop problems of the small intestine, you may not pop the Zionist-invented
video capsule, which passes naturally through your body
as it monitors this delicate piece of your anatomy. You will, sadly,
have to take it up the derrière, Professor. As a matter of
principle, of course. But remember: your principle allows your proctologist
to keep his hand in.
All this boycotting, you see, is the logical extension of proposed
academic sanctions against Israel by some members of your Association
of University Teachers (AUT) . . .. Just visit the website of Egyptian-born
Mona Baker of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and
Technology. She set the standard by firing two Israeli scholars from
the boards of her translation journals as a matter of high academic
You will see that Ms Bakers ambitions do not end with
the academic boycott. Her website also includes a section entitled
Boycott Israeli Products & Services, which features
dozens of global brands that, inconveniently, are not Israeli at all.
The offenders presumably have earned their place in infamy by dealing
with the Zionist entity, by being owned by Jews or by having Jews
on their boards. They range from Coca-Cola and Nescafé to Johnson
& Johnson and Estée Lauder, from Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren
to Selfridges and Marks & Spencer, from Kleenex and Wonderbra
to Lancôme and.... All marked for boycott.
Absent from Ms Bakers list and here I think I can help
is a set of global companies which are arguably even more culpable
because they not only operate in Israel but also do most of their
R&D there. IBM and Intel each have three R&D centres in Israel;
Microsoft established its first non-American facility there, and Cisco
Systems has built its only non-American R&D centre in Israel.
Then there is Motorola, which has its largest R&D site in Israel,
and News Corp, whose company NDS develops those neat interactive technologies
for digital television. There are many more.
The AUT boycott brigade has cause for concern. It knows that these
companies are attracted not only by the innate brutality of the expansionist
regime but also by the cunning of its university graduates (most of
the R&D centres are located on or near Israeli university campuses).
Proportionally, the Zionist entity has more university graduates than
any other country, while its scientists, engineers and agriculturists
publish more professional papers per capita than do their counterparts
anywhere else on earth. The result is that Israel has the largest
concentration of high-tech companies outside Silicon Valley. But the
ultimate sin is that Israel, which came to independence in the process
of post-war decolonisation, stubbornly refuses to become a failed
So dangerous has the situation become, dear Professor, that
when you meet in Eastbourne you will set aside the small matter of
your pay deal (which many universities have failed to implement).
Instead, you and your fellow intellectual heavyweights will ponder
far worthier matters. Like foreign affairs. Of course, you will not
have to bother your turbo-charged minds with this weeks Unicef
report which shows that half of the women in the Arab world are illiterate
and more than ten million children in the region dont attend
The issue that will preoccupy you will be the aggressive imperialist
apartheid state: a state that has nurtured the Palestinian universities
and colleges in the West Bank; one that offers equal rights
and access to its universities to all its citizens, regardless
of race, religion, ethnicity or sex; and which has educated tens of
thousands of Palestinians at Israeli universities (several hundred
a year still opt for an Israeli education). It is significant that
Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian who is encouraging you and your British
comrades to boycott Israel, is a doctoral student at none other than
Tel Aviv University.
No, Professor, not all Israeli universities and not all Israeli academics
will be boycotted if the AUT motion is passed. Such a proposition
was defeated 31 at the associations conference two years
ago, and the boycotters are too smart to repeat past mistakes. The
new motion, says one of its authors, has been tactically
amended to get it passed. Weve got to be a bit more sophisticated,
she says. And sophisticated they are. They even had a dry run last
December, when they met to rehearse their presentations and develop
killer responses to potential critics.
Their sleek new motion which does not involve a single book-burning
envisages sanctions against only the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
Tel Aviv University and Haifa University. And theres more: the
boycotters generously offer Israeli academics the opportunity to buy
themselves immunity if they are prepared to denounce their country,
specifically, conscientious Israeli academics and intellectuals
opposed to their states colonial and racist policies.
Who could seriously question the integrity of your fellow academic
But there are, of course, small obstinate obstacles in the
way of you visionaries, Professor. Britains academic institutions,
for example, have not endorsed boycotting Israels academic community.
Indeed, when the Oxford don Andrew Wilkie told an Israeli PhD applicant
that there was no way would I take on somebody who had served
in the Israeli army, he was hauled before the universitys
disciplinary body and suspended without pay for two months.
Cambridge Universitys Professor Sir Aaron Klug, Nobel laureate
and former president of the Royal Society, put me right when I asked
him about the possible impact on Britain no less than on Israel
of such a boycott: How important is the AUT? Thats
the question you have to ask. He is no supporter of Israels
Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, and his policies but he does consider
that the proposed boycott is ill considered and doesnt
promote anything at all. The AUT, he says, is out to attack
Israel but this is no way to proceed. Sir Aaron is not
one who looks for anti-Semitism around every corner, he says,
but I do think theres an element of that here. It does
give people who are anti-Semitic the opportunity to express themselves.
But relax, Professor. The AUT has solemnly concluded that there is
a clear distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. They dont
mind Jews. They just detest the Jewish state.
Dear Friend of Israel, Friend of FLAME:
This is not the time to be silent.
Please write to the British Association of University Teachers (AUT)
and tell them to REVERSE THEIR DECISION, made Friday April 22, 2005
to boycott Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities .
Consider a writing and sending a variation on this
SUBJECT: Reverse boycott of Israeli universities
I am writing to express my outrage at the AUT's
recent decision to boycott Israeli universities. Since you have
not chosen to condemn any other state in this troubled world than
Israel , your actions can only be interpreted as
anti-Semitic. Since Israel represents the only democracy
in the Middle East and since its universities supply
so much advanced research to the rest of the world, your resolution
must be seen as mean-spirited and counterproductive. I encourage
your organization to rescind its boycott immediately.
Here are the suggested AUT people to write to:
In addition, we urge you to send a copy of your letter
to the British press—suggested addresses follow: