MPs debate boycott

August 3, 2007

Labour MP John Mann has described talk of an academic boycott of Israeli universities as "a misnomer given by a group of people who have time on their hands". Speaking in a House of Commons debate on anti-Semitism, Mr Mann said there was no boycott and there would be no boycott, and he claimed that the University and College Union was choosing "to pick on the frivolities of life... rather than the real stuff of life, such as the terms and conditions of its members". But Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne accused Mr Mann of "weasel words" and said: "The boycott would be counterproductive, even in the terms of those who are pressing for it, since many of those who are most critical of Israeli government policies are to be found in the universities, think-tanks and institutes within Israel."

Letters, page 15

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