Threat of litigation stops threat of British academic boycott of Israelis

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When the threat of a new boycott against Israeli academics emerged from the annual conference of the British University and College Union of lecturers’ conference in May, Israel supporters turned to London attorney Anthony Julius.

Well known for his hard line against anti-Semitism disguised as criticism of Israel, Julius went on the attack.

He promised free legal assistance to any academic affected by the threatened boycott, and wrote the union’s general secretary that he considered the union’s motion -- to “consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues” -- to be both a boycott motion and anti-Semitic.

Last week when the union, known by the acronym UCU, altered its motion to drop the latest boycott call, the victory was cheered by Israel supporters and came as a relief to government officials and university heads in Britain who saw the repeated attempts to organize anti-Israel boycotts as an embarrassment.

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Edmond Dantes - 12/17/2008

Free Israel!