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AUT Boycott: One Skirmish In Global War Against Jewish State

May 26, 2005

AUT Boycott: One Skirmish In Global War Against Jewish State

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish NGO, expressed relief that the controversial boycott of universities in Israel by the British Association of University Teachers was abandoned at a special meeting held today in London. The boycott, proposed in solidarity with the Palestinian people, would bar faculty members from Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities from joint research projects and conferences with their British counterparts.

"We are relieved that the boycott was overturned and are buoyed by the burst of international indignation that exposed the AUT’s initial move for what it was—a politically motivated attack," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. Cooper also said that had the boycott been passed, it would have unfairly singled out the very sector of Israeli society that guarantees its democratic institutions and traditions.

"However, make no mistake. Today’s move marks the end of one skirmish in the ongoing war to delegitimize the Jewish State," Cooper concluded.

The Wiesenthal Center was one of the organizations leading the effort to halt the boycott, initiating an online petition drive which gathered close to 20,000 signers.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, or visit www.wiesenthal.com.