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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
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 Jewish
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, 2005
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
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 principle.
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
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 state.
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 school.
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 freedom
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 simple message:
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:
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