Moty Cristal vs. Manchester Mental Health Trust & UNISON

A Statement by Professor Moty Cristal

A few hours ago I instructed my lawyers to discontinue the legal action I brought against the Manchester Health Trust and UNISON following their cancellation of a lecture I was invited to give in Manchester.

I made this decision since the goals that I first set out to achieve in launching this legal action have broadly been met.

My primary goal was to establish that I had been unfairly treated by and discriminated against as an Israeli negotiator. In this regard I was pleased to receive a letter from the Chief Executive of the Manchester Health Trust, which was responsible for my cancelled lecture, apologizing for the offence caused and affirming their commitment to Equality and Diversity as expressed in the NHS Constitution.

My second and broader goal was to use my particular case to highlight the damaging and negative impact of the boycott movement directed against Israel. I have been gratified to see that following my case there has been widespread rejection of boycotts of Israel. Leaders of all the main political parties in the UK have expressed their clear opposition to such boycotts, and, referring specifically to my case, a government spokesman said: "It is right that trade unions should be able to express their political views. But this does not justify state discrimination against individuals purely because they are Israeli." At the same time, the General Secretary of the TUC went on record confirming that "The TUC has no policy of boycotting any produce from Israel itself, still less any policy of boycotting Israeli institutions or individual Israeli citizens".

In making my case I also had narrower personal goals, most specifically the reinstatement of my lecture and personal compensation. However, following a preliminary judgment by the court, it is clear to me that that pursuing these personal goals will require protracted legal proceedings. Since the issues of principle which most concerned me have already been addressed I have decided to discontinue these proceedings.

As a negotiator, I remain committed to dialogue and debate, believing that these paths, rather than those of sanctions and boycotts, are our most effective tools for turning swords into ploughshares. I welcome any comments as well as opportunities to further share my experience and perspectives on this matter (cristalm@outlook.com).

Professor Moty Cristal