Wiesenthal Centre Lambasts Guardian Newspaper (UK) Academic Ad Calling for Boycott of Israeli Universities and Other Educational Institutions

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE-EUROPE

Tel.: +33(0)1 47 23 76 37

Fax: +33(0)1 47 20 84 01

Email: csweurope@gmail.com

  

Those that trample on academic freedom must know that there is a penalty to pay, as they also impugn the integrity of their institutions and their own scholarly credentials.

Paris, 27 October 2015

Today's Guardian (UK) newspaper ad of 343 academicians calling for a boycott of Israeli Universities and other educational institutions is yet another test of earlier failures,” argued the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.

Samuels noted, "In 2007, the British Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) sought legal advice regarding a similar call... Their own lawyers stated it would be, 'Unlawful to directly, or indirectly call for or implement, a boycott by the union or its members, of any kind of Israeli Universities and other academic institutions'.”

The Centre pointed out,"UCU General-Secretary, Sally Hunt, accepted the recommendation, shifting the aim to, “Where possible, play a positive role, supporting Palestinian and Israeli educators and promotion of a just peace in the Middle East.”

Samuels suggested, “The Guardian signatories consider the possible repercussions: 

— that those who are Union members implicate those Unions, thereby exposing them to litigation and possibly onerous fines

— recommendations to donors to withhold support from their universities or departments 

Additionally, Samuels suggests a counter-boycott by those who resent mayhem on the campus: of BDS academics seeking United States faculty positions, grants, conference invitations, and/or publication in learned journals."

"Bottom-line, those that trample on academic freedom must know that there is a penalty to pay, while they also impugn the integrity of their own institutions and their own scholarly credentials,” concluded the Centre.

For further information please contact Shimon Samuels 00 33 609 770 158,

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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, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).