Today we’d like to feature an editorial by Amir Hanifes a member of the Druze community in Israel.
As published on Judeoscope:
Exposing the bigotry of UK anti-Israel boycotters
As a holder of two degrees from the University of Haifa and a PhD student at the University of London, I traveled to Bournemouth for the meeting of the British University and College Union (UCU) as an Israeli delegate on behalf of the Israeli Council for Academic Freedom.
The discussions at the meeting regarding the imposition of a boycott on Israeli academia took place in a hostile environment while ignoring all the facts we presented regarding freedom of expression and academic freedom at Israeli institutions of higher learning.
Evidence that Israeli lecturers who hold pro-Palestinian views are able to express their positions uninterrupted both in their research work and lectures, as well as in the media, had no effect whatsoever on the discussions.
Even when we presented a list of organizations and research centers that operate in the framework of Israeli universities and boast Israeli-Palestinian or Israeli-Arab cooperation, with the promotion of ties between the peoples their top agenda, it did not make a difference.
The same was true when it came to calls by Palestinian lecturers and figures, including al-Quds University President Sari Nusseibah and Minister Raleb Majadele urging the UCU to refrain from boycotting their Israeli colleagues.
Boycott leaders in Bournemouth ignored the figures I presented to them regarding the University of Haifa and the fact that close to 20 percent of students there are members of minority groups in Israel – apparently, we will also be subjected to the boycott.