Please find below UJS’ response to a letter signed by 343 UK Academics announcing their refusal to work with Israeli institutions:
UJS wholeheartedly condemns academic boycotts. Efforts such as this, and the rhetoric of the BDS movement (which this group have affiliated themselves with), aim to simplify a complex conflict where both sides have responsibility to redress injustices. This does nothing to support the peace process and hurts rather than helps many of the Palestinian people whom these academics claim to be acting for.
In contrast there are thousands of students who engage in thoughtful discussion on Israel-Palestine, many of whom are working hard in support of projects that export coexistence rather than importing foreign conflict. UJS is committed to supporting these students while encouraging dialogue and steps that recognise the need for security and sovereignty for both peoples.
Whereas the efforts of this group are unconstructive, over 25 academic institutions in the UK are committed to research partnerships with Israeli institutions. Additionally, the engagement between UK’s education and research sectors with Israel continues to provide substantial benefit to both Israelis and Palestinians, and many throughout the world.
UJS will continue our work to combat attempts that seek to damage the chances of peace or delegitimise the State of Israel.