Divisions over boycott 1

June 15, 2007

Jules Townshend (Letters, June 1) attacks the "complicity" of Israeli universities in occupying the West Bank and Gaza. Since when have universities, given the diversity of opinions within them, constituted a single composite outlook? On this logic, where was the Israeli boycott brigade when Northern Ireland's universities failed, as corporate bodies, to denounce British "occupation", internment, collusion, shoot-to-kill, broadcasting bans and so on? I do hope none of the current boycotters ever acted as external examiners, conducted vivas or went to academic conferences at Queen's or Ulster universities. Or, in the simple world of modern boycotters, is it just Israeli universities that are cheerleaders for the illegal actions of the state in which they dwell?

John Stevenson
Manchester

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