Confusing victims with bullies 2

November 15, 2002

Michael Cohen and Colwyn Williamson rightly expose Umist's let's-make-it-up-as-we-go-along "internal inquiry" into Mona Baker's activities.

Like Baker, I have been the target of a Zionist "witch-hunt" since I joined the academic boycott of Israel ("Jewish fury over website sparks university rethink", THES , November 1). Unlike her, I am employed by an institution that takes seriously the statute on academic freedom.

David Allen, our registrar and secretary, has said I have done nothing wrong and there are no plans to remove my web pages on Israel and Palestine. I have never been threatened with disciplinary action.

As an AUT officer, I may disagree with university management on many matters, including plans to "review" support for staff websites, a more subtle threat to academic freedom. But on this occasion, I thank the university for standing up to bullies and my colleagues for their support.

Sue Blackwell
Department of English
University of Birmingham

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