Not all back UCU on Israel 2

July 17, 2008

Baroness Deech accuses the UCU of being racist and unprofessional in asking academics to consider the moral and political implications of their links with Israel.

The Israeli occupation is extremely racist, exemplified by taking Arab land to build illegal settlements, forcing Palestinians to go through degrading "borders" and insisting that Arabs in East Jerusalem lose their residence permit after six months' abroad (which cuts out studying abroad).

Mohammed Omer, a Gazan journalist who won the Martha Gelhorn prize, was attacked by the Israel Defence Forces at Allenby Bridge in June. Palestinian students are prevented from completing their studies abroad and their universities are regularly closed. The UCU is right to question whether it wants to have academic relations with such a country.

Janet Salmon, Richmond.

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