Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Model Motion for use in Union Branches
We oppose an academic boycott of Israeli universities, and will instead work to maximise links between Israeli, Palestinian, and British academics. We will support academic freedom in the Occupied Territories and for Arab and dissident Jewish academics inside Israel, knowing these to be under pressure from the current Israeli government.
We believe that a boycott will be counterproductive in terms of putting pressure on the Israeli government, counterproductive for the democratic dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians needed for progress, and counterproductive for enlarging academic freedom.
Moreover, by singling out Israeli universities when universities in many other countries are equally or more docile towards governments equally or more repressive both internally and externally, the boycott feeds into a demonisation of Israel with implications of hostility to Jews everywhere who instinctively, if often critically, identify with Israel. We will stand strongly against all anti-semitism, including anti-semitism under cover of hostility to Israel.
Criticism of and opposition to Israeli government policy is not anti-semitic.
We are for the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli state from the Occupied Territories. We support a fully independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. We believe that both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples have a right to their own state.
We believe Israel should come to a generous settlement with the Palestinian refugees that is a true compromise and can be mutually agreed.
While we understand that the Palestinians are in a desperate situation, and recognise that they have a right to defend themselves in the face of Israeli army attacks, we oppose the Islamist suicide bombers who kill themselves and Jewish civilians. We oppose Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who are fighting not just for Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories but for the destruction of Israel and the creation of a theocratic state.