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Sam Allen (NEC President):
As the NATFHE Eastbourne conference begins, those of us in academia in
America are troubled by rumors that NATFHE will consider motions,
similar to the now repealed AUT action, to boycott academics and
institutions in Israel.
Motions of this type, purely political in nature, have no place in an
academic union. Besides the obvious immorality of blaming the victim
for exercising self-defense, these motions are completely contrary to
the academic tradition of free exchange of ideas. Taken to an extreme,
boycotts and reprisals against boycotts, can divide the University
world into separate camps which refuse to cooperate.
I have noted that among the motions proposed for the NATFHE conference
is Motion 193, condemning the increase of anti-Semitism on British
campuses. Given the underlying motivations and implications of an
Israel boycott action, one cannot understand how an organization that
wishes to combat anti-Semitism would engage in such a boycott.
I strongly urge you to use your position as NEC President to oppose any
Ronald L. Mersky, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Widener University
Editor, The Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management
Member, International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom
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