Monday, December 15, 2008

British Boycott of Israeli Universities: The End of this Antisemitic Action?

According to the JTA a threat of legal action by Anthony Julius, who was my lawyer in Irving v. Penguin/Lipstadt, has brought an end to the attempt by a small group of university academics to boycott Israeli universities.

Anthony promised free legal assistance to any academic affected by the threatened boycott, and wrote the union’s general secretary that he considered the union’s motion -- to “consider the moral and political implications of educational links with Israeli institutions, and to discuss the occupation with individuals and institutions concerned, including Israeli colleagues” -- to be both a boycott motion and anti-Semitic.

Last week the union, known by as the UCU, dropped its latest boycott call.

Anthony took this action despite the fact that many people -- including some within the UK Jewish community -- opposed it. He knew it was the right thing to do.

I am not the least bit surprised. He took the same stance in my case.

The rest, as is said, is history.

Bravo Anthony [and also to his cohort James Libson who played an equally important role here, as he did in my case].

1 comment:

hockey hound said...

If only this world had more men and women with the fighting spirit of Anthony Julius. To tell the truth, or defend the truth, is very much a lonely existence. My impression of the present (based on my modest knowledge of the past) is that it's going to get far more lonely. Anthony Julius and you, Prof. Lipstadt, will be remembered in what I see as a very dark future, for the Jewish people and their friends (few in number as they invariably are), as those who, by their tenacious good deeds, inspired small people like me to fight back. Mark my words: this is only the beginning.

"As they were taking place, the events of Kristallnacht shocked sensitive, humane men and women everywhere. First when emigration was still possible, and then when the Nazi regime turned from extrusion to extermination, there were always those who made every effort to take in refugees, and to save those who could be saved. Such generous souls were few in number, but large in spirit. Thanks to them, amid the collapse of morality, morality survived. Amid the ruins of civilization, civilization was reborn. But the losses are irreplaceable." -Martin Gilbert, from 'Kristallnacht (prelude to destruction)'