Why I refuse
Israel : Trade unions : Universities
I'm not a Member of NATFHE - but even if I were I would not partake of their boycott of Israelis who don't dissociate themselves from the occupation.
Even though the motion is without sanction and will not in itself be put into effect (due to Union merger) I consider it to be wrong and ill-headed.
I work in a university library, with a large Jewish studies collection - I regularly purchase books from Israel for that (and for archaeology as well). We use an Israeli based company to run our library catalogue and management system. I routinely contact Israeli universities for purchases.
Anyone who thinks harming Jewish Studies will help the situation is wrong - the study and understanding of a place is an essential tool - indeed weapon - in assisting moral action towards it. Without engagement and community there can be no moral discourse, merely posturing and misunderstanding. Boycotts go against what academe is about - the positive creation of ideas and culture.
This isn't the first time it's reared it's head - recall the debate I attended many moons ago.
I should add that Norm hath spoken.