JLC reacts to calls for an Academic Boycott of Israel in the Guardian

Reacting to the advert in the Guardian Newspaper on 27th October, in which UK academics have called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, Simon Johnson the CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council said:

“It is ironic that the signatories in the Guardian have ignored Universities UK which earlier this year invested time and effort to oppose academic boycotts. They have also ignored their colleagues from over 30 universities who have actively engaged, through BIRAX, in scientific cooperation with researchers in Israeli institutions as well as the calls of the 150 writers, artists and musicians who last week promoted the benefits of continuing dialogue with Israel.

“It seems that once again those who wish to improve the situation in the Middle East have a chosen a divisive and discriminatory path rather than creating inclusive academic debate which will benefit society as a whole.

“If these academics honestly believe that a boycott of Israeli institutions is a constructive approach, then we are sure that further boycotts against the many other countries who - unlike Israel - are not democratic, oppress dissent and do not abide by the rule of law, are just around the corner. The double standards here are evident and cannot lead to any real progress on the issue.”