EJC deeply concerned about British union boycott motion against Israeli academic institutions

The European Jewish Congress is deeply concerned about the motion passed by UK’s University College Union to boycott Israeli academic institutions and urges the Union to organize a referendum to turn over the decision.

In a letter to Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the British University College Union, the EJC writes:

{We are writing to you on behalf of the forty European Jewish communities that make up our organization, the European Jewish Congress, to express our deep concern about the motion passed by the University and College Union to boycott Israel academic institutions.

First of all, we are aware that you publicly opposed this boycott motion, and we congratulate you for your balanced position and leadership skills in the face of a motion that risks trampling on Britain’s deeply entrenched values of academic freedom.

Europe’s Jews have watched with disbelief over the last few years as boycott calls have been passed by tertiary educational unions in the UK, such as the NATFHE and the AUT. We are simply bewildered that lecturers, teachers and educational professionals seem to dedicate their sessions to arguing about the Middle East.

As this boycott motion will punish all Israelis regardless of their political conviction, European Jews are unavoidably reminded of the specter of antisemitism, where they are singled out whilst domestic problems are ignored. It is the classic formula of European anti-Semitism, and a key aspect of the “new antisemitism” that plagues Jews throughout Europe – including Britain.

On behalf of our affiliated communities, we urge you to call a referendum immediately to ballot your membership on this dangerous motion that will only exacerbate tensions in Europe and the Middle East, and inevitably rebound on British Jewish students.
Sincerely,
Pierre Besnainou, President and Serge Cwajgenbaum, Secretary-General}

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