Not all back UCU on Israel 1

July 17, 2008

It is undoubtedly extreme for Baroness Deech to recommend that universities derecognise the University and College Union for the motion passed at its last conference on links with Israeli universities ("Derecognise UCU over Israel motion, says Deech", 10 July). It is not in any way true that there is "an atmosphere hostile to Jewish academics ... in this country". Basically, everyone just ignores the UCU on this issue. But it is true that the union is fishing in murky waters. It is allowing a tiny minority of members to dictate its agendas.

The way to deal with this is for enough people to come forward from the rank-and-file membership, which overwhelmingly opposes UCU official policy on Israel, to get nominated at local level and to vote appropriately nationally. That is the right way to set the union back on the track of focusing on its key purpose of protecting and improving the pay and conditions of its members.

Howard Moss, Swansea.

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