A statement from more than 250 distinguished British academics condemning the British boycott of Israeli universities as â€œbad for Britain, bad for academic freedom, bad for Palestinians and bad for peaceâ€, was published on Wednesday. The statement was published as a full-page advertisement in The Times, and included the signatures of the heads of some of Britainâ€™s leading scientific and learned research organizations.
Professor Robert Winston, a fertility expert, called the academic boycott proposed by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) Congress in protest of the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories, â€œutterly inappropriateâ€.
â€œThe academics in Israel are the very people we should be working with, rather than against if we want to promote better understanding,â€ Winston said, adding that he felt the boycott only had the support of a tiny proportion of British academics.
In a separate story we learn the following:
Speaking to the House of Commons, the British prime minister said, “I hope very much that decision is overturned because it does absolutely no good for the peace process or for relations in that part of the world.”