Message from the Chair
British Lecturers’ Decision “A Triumph for Democracy and Academic Freedom”
Bar-Ilan University welcomes the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) vote to rescind its boycott of universities in Israel, including Bar-Ilan. I see this decision as a model of how democratic organizations can overcome anti-democratic manipulation by listening to their members, and reviewing and repealing mistaken decisions.
The AUT’s vote is a triumph for democracy and academic freedom worldwide, and a victory for the universal principle of academic freedom.
The university views this decision as a vote for academic freedom and the open and uninhibited exchange of views between academic organizations, faculty and students worldwide.
We take our cue from the prophet Isaiah’s injunction to ‘Come now and let us reason together,’ as the only way to resolve the problems dividing societies and provide hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future.
In light of the AUT vote, I hope that this unfortunate and anti-democratic tendency in Britain and elsewhere will come to an end.
I wish to send my deep appreciation and gratitude to all those, in Israel and around the world, who gave so unstintingly of their time and energy to reverse the AUT boycott. Through their efforts, they spotlighted the fundamental distortion of the initial AUT decision and successfully helped to mobilize public opinion against the boycott both within the AUT and elsewhere. The emails, letters and messages of support that flooded into Bar-Ilan were a source of inspiration and hope.
In addition, I wish to take this opportunity to salute Al Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh for his courageous uncompromising stand against academic boycotts.
Together with the IAB and other academic institutions in Israel and around the globe, Bar Ilan University hereby commits to continued vigilance in the struggle to maintain the free interchange of ideas and democratic intercourse, and to oppose with all of the resources at our disposal any and all steps to reduce academic freedom.
Prof. Yosef Yeshurun
International Advisor y Board
for Academic Freedom (IAB)