Eve Garrard resigns from UCU due to the ‘shame and embarrassment of belonging to an institution which is willing to discriminate against Jews’Added by David Hirsh on July 01, 2008 01:48:06 PM.UCU has driven away another member, one of the most articulate and vocal protesters against the campaign to boycott Israeli academics. Her letter of resignation is on Normblog.
“In spite of my longstanding commitment to Union membership, the recent actions of the UCU are finally driving me out of it. I find that I cannot remain in an institution which sets out to discriminate against its Jewish members.
The passing of Motion 25 at the June Congress is the central, though by no means the only, example of this discrimination. It was clear to anyone who watched the vote take place that the Union delegates, and the National Executive, were determined to punish Israel. They felt that it was not sufficient for them to criticise it – as was, in their view, appropriate for countries like Sudan, Burma and Zimbabwe. Nothing but punishment would do for the Jewish state, and hence it, and it alone, must be the target of a boycott motion.
The primary impact of Motion 25, as with previous boycott motions, will not be to harm Israel, whose academics will simply transfer their valuable contributions to other, less prejudiced, collaborators. Nor will it have any discernible impact on Palestinians, except perhaps a negative one. The discriminatory procedure which the motion mandates will certainly discredit UK academia. But its principal impact will be on British Jews and Jewish academics. Most, though not all, Jews in the UK, and most Jewish academics, support the existence of Israel, and are extremely concerned that it has been singled out for hostile treatment in this way. Most of them feel that the palpable hostility to Israel and its supporters displayed by the pro-boycotters is based on an astonishingly one-sided, partial, and often quite false account of the troubled history of the Middle East; and that the principal effect, and quite possibly the principal aim, of the boycott project is to demonise and delegitimise Jewish national identity and self-determination. Most Jewish academics feel that Jews have as much right to self-determination and national aspirations as any other people, and that the UCU has become a place where such rights are being dismissed and denied. They increasingly feel that the Union is no longer a place where they can be as much at home as any other members, and that its increasingly chilling attitude to Jewish self-determination is creating an unwelcoming and even hostile environment for people with their political sympathies. And the Executive of the Union has made no attempt whatever to address such concerns. It has treated the worries and fears of its Jewish members with contemptuous neglect.”
Read the whole of Eve’s resignation letter on Normblog.
What Eve refers to as the union’s “peevish and self-satisfied response to criticism from the All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism” can be read here alongside Engage’s critique of UCU’s response.
Read Engage’s protest at what Eve refers to as “the Union’s flat refusal to meet the OSCE Special Representative on combating anti-Semitism”, Gert Weisskirchen, here.
See Jon Pike’s concern about union resignations and breaches of anti-discrimination law here.
See Michael Yudkin’s discussion of union resignations here.
Read Shalom Lappin’s 2007 letter of resignation here.
Dov Stekel has not resigned from UCU but says: “… this is the only organization with which I have been involved in which I have been made to feel uncomfortable as a Jew…” here.
Mira Vogel looks at UCU’s anti-bullying policy here.
Why does UCU imply that people who are concerned about antisemitism are in fact voicing such concern in bad faith in order to try to de-legitimize criticism of Israeli human rights abuses? Click here for Norman Geras and here for David Hirsh.
Click here for Antony Julius’ legal account of UCU’s refusal to take the issue of antisemitism seriously.
Click here for the legal advice given to the ‘stop the boycott’ campaign on UCU’s problem with institutional antisemitism.
Robert Fine on UCU Congress 2008: “The tones are mellow but they give me a shiver and make me feel my Jewishness in a new way.” here.
It was one of the darkest times in American History. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his evil band of Hyenas (including famous lawyer Roy Cohn ) were all trying to make it big by trouncing on the truth and the US Constitution with a witch hunt. In this case it was a commie hunt he was trying to find communists in the US Government and within Government Contractors. In the process this cadre of zealots ruined people’s lives, broke up families, and destroyed the careers of others. In the end, this horrible bully McCarthy was brought down by one decent man standing up to him on national TV. In a now famous interchange, McCarthy responded to aggressive questioning from the US Army’s attorney, Joseph Welch. Welch challenged Roy Cohn to give the US Attorney General McCarthy’s list of 130 communists or subversives working in defense plants that he claimed to have “before the sun goes down.” McCarthy responded by saying that if Welch was so concerned about persons aiding the Communist Party, he should check on a man in his Boston law office named Fred Fisher, who had once belonged to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a group which U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr. had called “the legal mouthpiece of the Communist Party.” At the time Brownell was seeking to designate the NLG as a Communist front organization. This was a violation of a pre-hearing agreement not to raise the issue because the designation was being litigated. Welch responded: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or recklessness….” When McCarthy resumed his attack, Welch cut him short: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator…. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” That one decent man standing up for what’s right, changed the course public opinion and American history. Today, Joe McCarthy’s bullying witch hunts are alive and well and living in Great Britain. But this time the scapegoats aren’t suspected communists, this time the bullies are going after an entire people, the Jews. This time the accusers are academics, University and College Union (UCU) who’s hatred for Jews runs so deep that they are boycotting the Jewish state. And like McCarthy the perpetrators aren’t holding up empty note pads but false human rights violations. This time the evil zealots want delegitimize our homeland and are willing to cause a British “brain drain” to make their point.