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Attention of the president, executive and general secretary of the AUT
Dear Ms Hunt
As one of the people who wrote to you on numerous in highly critical
terms about the actions of a vociferous minority of the AUT who had
dragged the union's name into disrepute with its ill thought out and
inaccurate resolution on boycotting Israeli universities, I wish to
congratulate the union on its action yesterday in overwhelmingly
rescinding that infamous decision.
I also congratulate you personally on your remarks saying it is time for
people to work together to bring about a better situation for everyone.
I realise that from the outset there were members of your executive who
did not support the original boycott decision and who were embarrassed
by the way it dragged the name of your union into disrepute.
Sadly that vociferous minority who hold such biased, and often
ill-informed views were able to manipulate AUT into the position they
found themselves in.
Even in defeat Sally Blackwell and Stephen Rose managed to make
outrageous claims, and Professor Rose, who has seriously damaged the
name of the Open University with his campaigning, should be ashamed of
his Holocaust comparisons and his constant proclaiming of his Jewishness
and Holocaust origins. He is right when he claims that the campaign
raised the issue in AUTs around the country, but crazy to see that as a
victory, since in virtually every branch and in every detail of the
discussions the idea of boycotting Israel was defeated so I see no cause
for his pleasure in that.
As for Ms Blackwell, in her Palestinian garb and with her website filled
with her pro Palestinian views, she almost single-handedly can claim to
have been largely instrumental in putting the AUT in the very difficult
situation it found itself in. I think her words were "This is the end
of the beginning" I would suggest that had the vote not been
overturned it might have been the beginning of the end for the AUT.
Once again I thank those members of the executive who were responsible
for the decision to set in motion the damage limitation exercise and I
congratulate you on its success.
Let's hope this is a lesson to other unions who are deflected from their
own important agenda in their effort to condemn and vilify Israel.
With best wishes
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