My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The ban on Israeli Universities - No debate!

This Jerusalem Post article has more details on the Association of University Teachers (AUT) ban on Israeli academic. And, guess what, there was no debate allowed at the meeting.
A jovial executive union meeting heard unanswered orations by Sue Blackwell and Shereen Benjamin, both lecturers at Birmingham University. The academics labeled Israel as a "colonial apartheid state, more insidious than South Africa," called for the "removal of this regime," and depicted Israeli universities as "repressing" academic freedom.

In her allegations against the Israeli institutions, Ms. Blackwell relied heavily on a letter by Ilan Pappe, lecturer in political science at Haifa University. A message from Dr. Pappe was distributed to every executive member at the conference, in which Pappe called on the conference to adopt a boycott of his own university, and alleged he was the victim of "restriction" and "harassment."

The speeches were met with rapturous applause from the audience, before AUT executive president Angela Roger cut short the session and moved to deny a right of reply to opponents of the motions. The session was then directed towards a vote, and a "lack of time" was cited as the reason preventing challenges to the motions from being heard. The executive passed by sizeable majorities two separate motions adopting boycotts against Haifa University for its restricting academic freedom and against Bar Ilan university for its college located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

There was no opportunity for academics who had planned on opposing the motions, such as executive member Alistair Hunter, to address the conference. Dr. Hunter described the AUT's endorsement of a boycott against Israeli universities as an "ill judged decision" and expressed disgust at the absence of debate before voting commenced.
Disgusting. Shameful.