I see that the anti-Israel fanatics in the University and College Union (UCU) have voted “overwhelmingly” to call on members to “consider” their links with Israeli academic institutions.
The weasely-worded motion is typical of the UCU’s professional Israel-haters, like SWP’er Tom Hickey of the union’s NEC and Brighton University: he has a long record of trying to dress up boycott resolutions as merely “suggestions” that union members “consider” the situation…this year, in typical slimy form, he told delegates: “Being a student or teacher in Palestine is not easy…we are talking about not just impediment but serial humiliation and that’s the order of the day in Palestine.”
“In the face of accusations of anti-semitism and legal threats we refuse to be intimidated. We will protect the union from legal threats but we will not be silenced.”
A typical dishonest rant from this charlatan. Firstly, he had nothing to say about positive solidarity with the Palestinians, only about boycotting Israel; secondly, he didn’t mention the fact that he and his organisation (the SWP) rejects the right of Israel to exist, even within pre-1967 borders; thirdly, his references to “legal action” against the union are nothing to do with anti-union legislation, but to do with the Race Relations Act 1976 – which the union (so it has been advised), would be in breach of, should it attempt to implement a boycott of Israeli institutions – and, therefore (inevitably) of Israeli Jewish individuals.
This boycott rubbish has already been thrown out by the membership of the old (pre-merger) union, the AUT, when put to a ballot of the membership (noticeably, the pro-boycotters are vehemently opposed to a ballot); and the new union has been advised that any boycott would probably be in breach of anti-discrimination legislation…and other unions’ (eg: the T&G and UNISON) boycott policies have been noteable for their lack of effect. Yet still, the UCU anti-Israel fanatics persist.
The left has a long-standing principle against involving the law in unions’ internal affairs. Fair enough. I do not suggest legal action against the UCU itself; but the Race Relations Act 1976 can be used against individuals as well as institutions and employers. I strongly suggest that someone initiates action against Tom Hickey, on grounds of direct and indirect Race Discrimination.
P.S: see also a UCU conference visitor’s eye witness account of the “debate”, here.
This is also relevant and worth reading…
…so is this