WHAT THE LAWYERS ADVISED OVER THE UCU MOTION
“There is little doubt that the motion has been drafted in an attempt to circumvent the legal restrictions on the powers of the union to mandate a direct boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In our view, this attempt at circumvention fails.”
“What is to be recommended or directed by the union if the motion is passed is, in essence, no different to that which the union was previously advised was unlawful.”
“The substance of the motion amounts to the encouragement or invitation to members of the union to discriminate against Israeli academics.”
“[If the resolution
At last year’s congress, UCU voted to circulate a call from Palestinian organisations to boycott Israel. But the union was later forced to backtrack, telling members that a boycott call would be “unlawful and cannot be implemented”, following advice from leading human rights lawyer Lord Lester.
Next week’s motion, proposed by the branches of Brighton and East Lon- is passed] the Union will, accordingly, be adopting a provision, criterion or practice which will put Jewish members at a particular disadvantage compared to non-Jewish members. That is because Jewish members are much more likely to have links with Israeli academics and institutions than nonJewish members.” don Docklands Universities and UCU’s executive, asks members to “consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues with whom they are collaborating”.
It also threatens to place Ariel College on the West Bank on the union’s
“We understand, from the history of the boycott issue, that there is evidence before the union of the effects that previous debates have had on Jewish members. Indeed, it appears that many members resigned from the union because of the anti-Jewish atmosphere created following the previous boycott motions.” “greylist” of censured institutions. According to the legal opinion given to Stop the Boycott, the motion represents an attempt to “circumvent” the previous legal restrictions. “In our view, this attempt at circumvention fails,” the lawyers declared.
It was forwarded to the union in a letter signed by Henry Grunwald, the president of the Board of Deputies,