Do you think the British Union of Colleges and Universities (UCU) boycott resolution is about the welfare of Palestinians? Do you think it represents a true grass-roots movement? Do you think the sponsors would like to see a reduction of tensions between Israel and the Palestinians? Do you wonder why they are not calling for a boycott on Iranian academics, who — by the same logic UCU use — support the persecution of progressive elements in their universities?
Do you wonder “what’s the point?”
Boycotts of Israel, called “anti-normalization,” have been endemic to Arab world trade unions for many years, in particular, Jordanian and Egyptian trade unions have used these boycotts to sabotage their country’s peace agreements with Israel, and to terrorize journalists and academicians into breaking off any contact with Israelis. This activity began long before the current Intifada and has nothing to do with the occupation. Aided by British anti-Zionist activists, these trade unions, supported by the most extreme elements in Palestinian society, in Egypt and Jordan, have now succeeded in exporting their racist campaign to other countries. Through the UCU, they have found a way to spread their poisonous approach.