Monday, June 04, 2007

Others on the British Academic Boycott

Judy of Adloyada has several interesting posts on the new boycott voted in by the British university teachers' union. Since I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of British academia, and especially not of the UCU, it's hard for me to follow all of the details, but one thing that stood out for me in what she said is that much of the leadership of this union comes from the hard left - the SWP (Socialist Workers Party) and other far-left groups. (From the U.S. perspective it's strange to consider that the SWP could lead anything as consequential as a university teachers' union, since the U.S. version of the SWP is a totally marginalized far left fringe group).

There was an interesting discussion at Oleh Girl on how seriously to take this boycott vote - Oh here’s a surprise, the boycott of Israeli universities is on.

Also see Jim Davila on the boycott vote: Paleojudaica. He quotes from what he said the last year when an earlier incarnation of the union also voted (initiatlly) to support the boycott: "I think the proper response ... [is] to heap international ridicule and scorn on the union for picking leaders who are more interested in making a cheap and cowardly political statement than in doing their actual job of representing the interests of British academics. In fact, those interests have been notably set back by this move. It's a pity, because there is a real need for such representation. But this isn't it."

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