Photo: Haim Horshstein
Is academic freedom at risk?
Photo: Haim Horshstein
Shai Nir says boycott based on foreign political considerations

Students campaign to protest boycott

Israeli students launch international campaign in protest to British lecturers' decision to boycott two Israeli universities

Students have launched a public relations campaign in protest of Britain’s main lecturers' union decision to boycott two Israeli universities, Ynet learned Wednesday.


Students have started distributing leaflets in Jewish communities and university campuses worldwide in a bid to counterattack the academic boycott on Bar Ilan and Haifa Universities.


Association of University Teachers (AUT) announced Friday it had agreed to a Palestinian request to shun the universities. 


AUT's General Secretary Sally Hunt said members were asked to avoid all academic or cultural cooperation with the academic institutions.


The union's council voted to boycott Bar-Ilan, as it runs courses at colleges in the West Bank and "is thus directly involved with the occupation of Palestinian territories contrary to U.N. resolutions."


It also decided to shun Haifa university, as it had disciplined a lecturer for supporting a student who wrote about attacks on Palestinians during the establishment of Israel.


'Bored British lecturers'


The students' campaign is being lead by Shai Nir of Sderot's Sapir College.


He said he could not sit by and allow injustice toward Israeli academic institutions that is based on foreign political considerations.


“I thought it was advisable to respond to the absurd boycott of the bored British lecturers against Haifa University and Bar Ilan University,” Nir said. “I designed quite a cynical leaflet, but I hope it would relay the message.”


He said the leaflet would be distributed in Britain and France in the coming days.


San-Diego's Jewish federation has also been informed of the campaign, Nir said.


“I hope we can succeed in pressuring the international British community to put an end to the boycott derived from hatred towards Jews and not academic considerations," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 04.27.05, 18:15
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