ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS
MOTIONS CARRIED AT AUT SPECIAL COUNCIL 26 MAY 2005
1. Southampton Council notes that at the last council, AUT international policy on Israel and Palestine was resolved in the absence of defining principle and without debate or acceptable standards of democratic procedure.
Council therefore resolves:
1 that international policy must be based on consistent principle, openly debated and democratically confirmed
2 that the European and international affairs sub-committee of the national executive update such a policy for debate at the next meeting of council
3 that in light of this, existing policy relating to boycotts of Israeli universities should be set aside
4 to reiterate its long-term position in regard to the occupation
5 to mandate the executive to work with NATFHE and the TUC to establish an
investigative commission charged with examining how best to implement this policy and to provide practical solidarity to Palestinian and Israeli trade unionists struggling to maintain academic freedom, undertake research and teach students whilst arguing for Israel's compliance with UN resolution, with a view to reporting back to the next council.
2. Composite Council:
1 notes that resolutions on boycotting specific Israeli universities were passed in
circumstances which precluded due investigation, consideration and debate.
2 believes that freedom of expression, open debate and unhampered dialogue are
prerequisites of academic freedom and that the academic boycott motions carried at the AUT council constitute a significant threat to the free communication of ideas, and thus to the fundamental principles of academic freedom to which the membership subscribes.
3 notes that a large number of leading professional associations, in Europe and North America, have condemned these motions as an attack on academic freedom
4 believes that their effect has been to damage AUT, bringing it into disrepute both nationally and internationally.
Council therefore repeals with immediate effect the boycott of Israeli universities introduced in motions 58 and 59 at the council meeting of 20-22 April 2005.
Moved by UCL and seconded by Strathclyde
5 York Council withdraws all threats to boycott Israel universities.
Queen Mary Council notes that certain members have instructed solicitors to write to the general secretary threatening legal action against AUT over the proposed boycott of Israeli universities. We call upon these members to withdraw this threat of legal action and accept, as will all other members of the association, the democratic decisions of the Special Council.