Disillusioned Discordian

Mr T.hickey & The Israeli Boycott
May 31, 2007, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Current Affairs

So the newly merged UCU formerly NAFTE and AUT has revised the plans to boycott Israeli academic institutions in relation to the occupation of Palestinian territory. It strikes me that academics have the spare time to consider these politically motivated campaigns at their conference. Struggling against the QAA, HEFCE, and neo-labors privatization of the Higher Education sector should take up anytime that is left over from dealing with increasingly demanding students customers and the pressures related to the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Of course spearheading this campaign is Tom Hickey, now whatever merit there is in the boycott, when this man is involved Moon23 cannot help but launch into ad hominine attacks.

Notice however that this is a Mr Hickey, not a Dr or a Professor yet he gets a platform in an academic union. Put simply he has zero research output, go on (search for some of his publications if you don’t believe me). I find it most disturbing that  Mr Hicky’s views are allowed to effect the geo-political situation in anyway whatsoever. Therefore I was quite pleased to read in today’s Time Higher Education Supplement that Alan Dershowitz quote “one of America’s leading lawyers” has promised he will personally “visit legal and financial ruin on any UK academic supporting a boycott of Israeli academe”. Now aside from the wider political rights and wrongs, take it from me that if ever there was a person who deserved Legal and Financial ruin it is probably Mr Hicky. I don’t think I could tell you why without resorting to language that would be considerably defamatory. I am now in the process of forwarding Mr T. Hickey’s details onto said lawyer in a hope that some Karmic justic will be dispensed. Unfortantly I lack the legal knowledge to know if any such boycott would even break any laws.

Universities within Israeli are often a cultural and political hub of liberal resistance to the right-wing Zionist government. Surely British academics should be working to encourage intellectual and cultural interchange in order that knowledge can be shared. Right-wing governments rely on a certain academic naivety amongst their population. A thinking population is not one that can easily fall into the discourse of fear and insecurity to which a strong right wing government can all to easily play into. Intellectuals in Israeli will listen to the concerns of the so called British left without the need to resorting to this call for a boycott. Isolating the Israeli academy will only push the country further into an entranced set of views and values.



3 Comments so far
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I’m going to side with Tom Hickey here (sorry!). Yes it may be unfair on the few liberal and reasonable Israeli academics, but they are a part of the Israeli state: funded and supported by them and lending their credibility and intellectual impramateur to the regime. The same ‘engagement’ argument was raised by the right-wing in the ’80s to say that we shouldn’t ban cricket tours to South Africa because cricket clubs there were fighting apartheid.

As for Dershowitz this is just sabre rattling from an American Jewish Israeli apologist: these vermin are the historical source and cause of the problems in the Middle East. There is no legal basis for litigation and no prospect of ‘ruin’. Dershowitz misunderstands the UK legal system and assumes it is the same as the US one.

Comment by Geeklawyer

Academics wouldn’t really speak to each other much if they all boycotted countries with records of human rights abuses. I don’t see any moves to boycott Iranian academics over their holocaust denial conferences, or Chinese academics over human rights abuses or Russia over the war on Chechen republic. If you are going to boycott on basis of principle then you can’t selectively choose. The point is really that the left in this country is so determined to diametrically oppose Bush and his Zionist friends that it happy to paint the conflict as a black and white issue. That kind of thinking doesn’t lead to conflict resolution.

Comment by moon23

[…] that sought to discriminate against Israeli scholars because of the actions of their state (see earlier post). There are countless states throughout the world that commit Human Rights violations and grave […]

Pingback by Hickey’s boycott plans in ruins. « Disillusioned Discordian

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