The Academic Friends of Israel
Vol 7 No 8 20 May2008
Stop the Boycott publishes Legal Advice on the Boycott
Ahead of next week’s UCU Congress, the UK Jewish Community’s “Stop the Boycott" campaign, has published today the 21 page opinion it has obtained on the legal issues surrounding the UCU and its campaign to boycott Israeli academia. The “joint opinion” has been written by Michael J Beloff QC and Pushpinder Saini QC.
The legal advice states that “it would be unlawful for the union to pass the motion in as much as it calls on the members of the union to undertake certain actions in relation to “Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating” as well as expressly mandating the union via the NEC to take steps towards so called grey listing if another academic institution, Ariel college.”
In addition there would be “potential breaches by the union of the Race Relations act. If the motion is passed it would expose Jewish members of the union to indirect discrimination” and “the union faces potential liability for acts of harassment on the grounds of race or nationality.”
To read the full opinion go to: http://www.stoptheboycott.org/files/ucu%20opinion_%20Final.PDF
Stop the Boycott has also sent a copy of this opinion to Sally Hunt, the General Secretary of the UCU, Linda Newman, the President of the UCU, and the union trustees. The text of the letter reads:
“We are aware that the UCU National Executive Committee has submitted a motion to your forthcoming Congress that appears to encourage an academic boycott of Israel. It is very similar to the last year's motion, which was partly suspended after the Union accepted legal advice, that "an academic boycott of Israel would be unlawful and cannot be implemented".
As the Union has not published that legal advice in full, we have sought an Opinion on the legality of UCU motion 25. We have today published this Opinion on our website and enclose a copy for your attention.
We trust that you will reflect upon and consider the contents of this Opinion with care. “
To read the letter go to: http://www.stoptheboycott.org/about-the-boycott/letter-to-ucu
The Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks
Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld - Chairman of the Board of Fellows, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
Henry Grunwald Q.C. - President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
John D A Levy - Director of the Academic Study Group on Israel and the Middle East
Andrew R. Marks, M.D. - Columbia University, USA
Dr Robin Stamler
Professor Leslie Wagner CBE
Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham
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