250 British academics against Israel boycott

Ynet reports the following:

A statement from more than 250 distinguished British academics condemning the British boycott of Israeli universities as “bad for Britain, bad for academic freedom, bad for Palestinians and bad for peace”, 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 Britain’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, “utterly inappropriate”.

“The academics in Israel are the very people we should be working with, rather than against if we want to promote better understanding,” 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:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on his country’s main academic union to cease its boycott of Israel on Wednesday, according to a report by the BBC.

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.”

Indeed.

UK Boycott

Hat Tip to the Deadhead by the Bay.

Look the reality is that it is always easy to point fingers. No country is without blame, but the question comes back to a question of balance and in this situation the Brits lack that.

Iran ‘seizes’ 15 British sailors

Things continue to stay heated with Iran. There may be some confusion about whose waters they were in, but on the other hand I still think that Iran is testing. It is a dangerous game they play.

Iran ‘seizes’ 15 British sailors

LONDON, England (CNN) — An Iranian naval patrol seized 15 British marines and sailors who had boarded a vessel suspected of smuggling cars off the coast of Iraq, military officials said.

The British government immediately demanded the safe return of its troops and summoned Tehran’s London ambassador to explain the incident.

The Royal Marines and ordinary naval officers were believed to have been apprehended by up to six ships from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy who claimed they had violated Iranian waters.

British naval officials said the sailors, using small boarding craft, had completed an inspection of a merchant vessel in Iraqi waters when the Iranians arrived.

Commodore Nick Lambert, commander of the HMS Cornwall — the frigate from which the British patrol had been deployed — said the incident did not involve fighting or use of weapons.

“We’ve been assured from the scant communications that we’ve had from the Iranians at the tactical level that the 15 people are safely in their hands,” he said.

The British defense ministry said that it was pursuing the incident “at the highest level.”

There was no immediate comment from Iranian officials.

Lambert said the British sailors had been on a “normal, routine boarding” of a vessel that had aroused suspicions as it navigated the Shatt al-Arab, a disputed waterway that marks the border between Iraq and Iran on the shores of the Persian Gulf.

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