As democrats, socialists, advocates of Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories and supporters of the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state of their own, alongside Israel, we call on British academics to reject the moves for a renewed academic boycott of Israel.
Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University has said: "Some of the boycotters come from countries that are also responsible for much oppression and suffering... (and) Israel could not carry out its policies without the ongoing support of the US." Should we boycott US universities, too?
Gordon also points out: "Israeli universities have been under an unprecedented assault by the Sharon Government... An academic boycott will only strengthen (the Israeli Right), and in this way assist the destruction of academic freedom in Israel."
Far from helping the Palestinians, a boycott will hinder the democratic dialogue and accommodation on which prospects for a free and independent Palestinian state alongside Israel depend.
Tobias Abse, David Hirsh
Goldsmiths, University of London
Camila Bassi, Matthew Waites
Sheffield Hallam University
(and 13 others)