UK Brains Say BDS is the Way to Go

Here’s a victory for reason – well done to British academics! Britain’s largest trade union for academics, the UCU, to the consternation of zionists ‘has voted to disassociate itself from the EU working definition of anti-Semitism’ and supports BDS.

70 EUMC working definition of anti-semitism – National Executive Committee

Congress notes with concern that the so-called ‘EUMC working definition of antisemitism’, while not adopted by the EU or the UK government and having no official status, is being used by bodies such as the NUS and local student unions in relation to activities on campus.

Congress believes that the EUMC definition confuses criticism of Israeli government policy and actions with genuine antisemitism, and is being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on campus.

Congress resolves:

  1. that UCU will make no use of the EUMC definition (e.g. in educating members or dealing with internal complaints)
  2. that UCU will dissociate itself from the EUMC definition in any public discussion on the matter in which UCU is involved
  3. that UCU will campaign for open debate on campus concerning Israel’s past history and current policy, while continuing to combat all forms of racial or religious discrimination.

This successful motion follows on the UCU resolution carried on the 29th May backing BDS below:

36 Composite: Threats to academic freedom in Israel and Palestine – National Executive Committee , LSE

Congress notes:

  1. Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine and daily oppression of Palestinian teachers and students
  2. the restrictions on the free movement of Palestinian Academics within the Occupied Territories and crossing between the Territories and Israel and on foreign travel
  3. Israel’s ongoing construction of settlements
  4. the current witch-hunting of Israeli academics, civil rights campaigners and NGOs who are deemed to be damaging Israel’s economic interests by their political activities
  5. the recent alarming moves in the Israeli Knesset to penalise Israeli academics who support boycott action or even just provide information which may assist boycotts; this law will lay academics open to fines of £5000 with ‘no need to demonstrate that injury was done’ and to unlimited damages if losses are caused.
  6. the petition from 155 Israeli academics expressing their ‘unwillingness to take part in any type of academic activity taking place in the college operating in the settlement of Ariel’, calling Ariel an illegal settlement whose existence contravenes international law and the Geneva Convention.

Congress deplores these attacks on the academic freedom of our Palestinian and Israeli colleagues.
Congress instructs NEC to:

  1. circulate to all members
    • the call by the Israeli academics
    • the PACBI call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel
    • information about the current legislation passing through the Knesset threatening heavy fines and other penalties on Israelis taking non-violent action against the occupation.
  2. seek a delegation to meet the Israeli Ambassador to raise our concerns
  3. press the Foreign Office to protest to the Israeli Government
  4. raise the issue with Education International and press them to seek similar action by all affiliates
  5. publicise these threats and our actions in response.

Well, Kevin Rudd and Paul Howes, is BDS so nutty now that the largest academic union in the EU supports it?

The Congress also carried a motion in regard to the zionist complaint about the Healthy Inclusions course at Liverpool University for medical students.

This week Liverpool University withdrew a course delivered to students in the medical faculty as a result of a complaint made by one student objecting to a talk reporting on medical issues in Palestine.

Liverpool UCU has called for the re-instatement of the Healthy Inclusions course and for the university to be robust in defending the freedom of its staff to select the content and delivery of course material without interference.

The university has refused to reinstate the course and signalled their intention to incorporate the course into mainstream teaching in the interests of ensuring ‘balance’.

Congress condemns the decision to withdraw the course, and calls on the NEC to:

  • write to the university
  • publicise the issue nationally and encourage a letter writing campaign
  • consider how the growing number of threats to academic freedom can be effectively resisted in the current climate driving market-led provision.

Related Links

UK academics’ union rejects EUMC bogus definition of antisemitism
Support for Palestinian voices on campus are now called ‘extremism’
Excellent article about the EUMC working draft definition and its inadequacy and use for propaganda purposes by zionists.

‘In fact, the document appears to be dead in the water as far as the Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the successor body to the EUMC, is concerned. They recently told me that feedback on initial testing of the document ‘drew attention to a number of issues which impacted on its effectiveness as a data collection support tool.’ In other words, it wasn’t useful. “Since its development we are not aware of any public authority in the EU that applies it,” the FRA official added. Moreover, “The FRA has no plans for any further development of the ‘working definition’.” (24 August 2010)

The latest FRA publication on the topic – its Working Paper Anti-Semitism: Summary overview of the situation in the European Union 2001-2009 (April 2010) does not even mention the “working definition”. It does complain (p.3) that: “Even where data exist they are not comparable, since they are collected using different definitions and methodologies.” That was precisely the reason why an operational definition was called for in the first place. The “working definition” clearly does not provide this.’

How a flawed bureaucratic document has been transformed into a sacred text
Loaded words: Evolving interpretations of ‘anti-semitic’ and ‘anti-semitism’ [1] in dictionary definitions and in public discourse [2]

Moving to the conclusion:

‘In short: the EUMC working definition has little to do with fighting antisemitism and a lot to do with waging a propaganda war against critics of Israel. It is time it was buried and the UCU decision to take it on is hopefully a step in that direction. The fight against antisemitism should not be muddied by those who confuse criticism of Israeli violations of human rights and international law with hatred of Jews. It is clearly no such thing.’

When You’re Reut, You’re Wrong

Ali Abunimah analyses the Reut Institute stance for a Palestinian State.

Gidi Grinstein, the founder and president of Israel’s Reut Institute argues that US President Barack Obama should support the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral efforts to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN in September. The reasons he gives, however, have nothing to do with supporting Palestinian rights, but precisely with negating them. Grinstein writes:

a declaration of a Palestinian state in September includes the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough as well as significant advantages for Israel. The establishment of such a state will help anchor the principle of two states for two peoples, shape the permanent situation with Israel controlling the security assets and the new state’s surroundings, and diminish the refugee problem by marginalizing UNRWA and limiting refugee status.

Despite Obama’s speeches, the diplomatic process will remain at a dead end as the moment of decision in September approaches. Then the United States will have another opportunity to do the right thing: to ensure that the establishment of a Palestinian state conforms to Israel’s needs.

In other words, Grinstein hopes that UN recognition will set rolling a bandwagon that limits any Palestinian state to precisely the kind of demilitarized bantustan under overall Israeli control that will “solve” Israel’s legitimacy and diplomatic problems while marginalizing Palestinian rights, especially refugee rights.

Grinstein’s Reut Institute is the organization that has set out the strategy Israel’s current campaign of “sabotage and attack” aimed at global Palestine solidarity activism, especially the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Palestine / Israel Links

Greek BDS activists plant trees in Estee Lauder store

six participants dressed in suits as members of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and “proceeded to ‘plant’ trees over the Estee Lauder shop space … flyers were distributed to shoppers and staff informing them that ‘this Estee Lauder space is currently being rezoned.’”

British prime minister steps down as JNF patron

The state of Israel anchors modern slavery in its laws
On June 5th support the Palestinian refugees’ right to return
Bachmann in my bubble?! Nooooo – The Google ad filter is pushing anti-BDS ads in response to pro-BDS site searches. Filthy hasbaroids team with global capitalism.
Limmud-Oz censorship and bans highlight desperate, oppressive tactics and goals of the zionist right against BDS in Australia. – and more ulterior motive : against the New Israel Fund (NIF) –

Executive Naomi ‘Chazan’s planned visit was challenged last week when the Shalom Institute, which runs Limmud-Oz, confirmed that a major donor had threatened to withdraw funding for Shalom if Chazan, who also is scheduled to speak at Limmud-Oz, was not removed from the program.’

Boycott!! Frameline Film Festival Pinkwashing Israeli Apartheid
Life beyond “The Wall” by Jenny Baboun
IMEU: Rafah: a return to the status quo?
The Gaza Cheat Sheet Real Data on the Gaza Closure
Donate musical instruments to Salem village project in the West Bank
The new settlement of Bassa (in the Western Galilee), an abandoned Arab village turned into a Jewish settlement.
August Burns Red Have Cancelled Their Planned Concert in Israel
The Israeli Military’s Unforgivable Abuse of Women
Israeli anchorwoman accused of interpreting Netanyahu’s speech
Israeli forces destroy house and barn in the Bedouin village of Arab Abu Farda, south Qalqilya

Australia Links

Reverse proof of title, says Paul Keating

IN a landmark speech, Paul Keating has called for the onus of proof in the Native Title Act to be reversed so that Aboriginal claimants are no longer required to establish a continuous association with their land. Instead, the former prime minister says, native title objectors should be required to prove a continuous attachment no longer exists.

Australian govt pays less than lip service to indigenous rights : Don’t say “Sorry” unless you mean it.