Reading through David's notes on the discussion it is very interesting to discover how obsessed the boycotters are with Israel. Several other motions were passed expressing concern with other war-torn parts of the world (for example, Sri Lanka), but the discussions were much less extensive and revealed a much lower level of personal engagement. Why are the academics of UCU Congress so personally touched by the Palestinian cause above all others in the world? Why do they continue to decide to engage in actions whose main effect is to alienate members of their own union? (It certainly isn't having any effect on Israel).
Why do Jews and (ex-)Israelis like Haim Breesheth bring to the fore their own Jewish identity, as if this gives them greater moral authority than others? David reports these words from Breesheth -
I am speaking as an Israeli and as a Jew.How does Breeshet know that 96% of Israeli academics support the government? Has he taken a poll? In the last election, the right-wing bloc certainly did not win 96% of the votes! And what does he mean by saying that three quarters of Israelis have education, including soldiers? He seems to be implying that they gained their political opinions from their university education. How true is that in Israel? I have my doubts - Israel is a highly politicized society, and the people I know in Israel who have gone to university generally leave with the same political opinions they entered with.
Very many Israeli academics are supporting their government 96%
Do not rely upon Jewish academics in Israel.
This is not the way we will resolve the situation. Not the way South Africa was resolved.
three quarters of Israelis have education. three quarters of army officers and soldiers in tanks and planes and checkpoints have all been through academia.
out of 20,000 israeli academics less than 200 support bds.
To support Palestinians and Israeli academics who are against the war crimes committed you can make history today. I know Sally and Sasha are not looking forward to calling this null and void.
I urge you to take a moral position. vote for the amendment.
From my own experience of Israeli academics (anecdotal) many of them are opposed to the occupation - I don't know if it's a majority or not. It's not particularly surprising that fewer than 200 of Israeli academics support BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) - why would people support something that could cripple their own work? Yet he sees this as evidence to back his assertion that Israeli academics "support their government." BDS is not the only way to oppose actions of the Israeli government. I oppose many actions of the Israeli government, especially the current right-wing government, but such opposition doesn't require support of BDS! His is a very narrow definition of what it means to oppose the government.
This vote is not making history - except as further evidence for the moral degeneration of some British academics.