When Is a Non-Boycott a Boycott?





For the third time in four years, Britain’s main faculty union has passed a resolution questioning the appropriateness of ties between scholars in the United Kingdom and those in Israel. While the measure adopted on a voice vote Wednesday does not formally call for a boycott of Israeli universities — as earlier measures have — it singles out for consideration the idea of isolating Israeli universities, and the measure was pushed by British academics who have previously called for a boycott.

The Israel resolution is based on criticism of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians. The union also passed resolutions criticizing the governments of the United States (over Cuba policy), Sudan (over the genocide in Darfur), Myanmar (over political repression), and Zimbabwe (political repression as well), but none of those resolutions called for British academics to consider whether they should maintain ties to academics in those countries.


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