Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The hobgoblin of small minds

And the “brave” anti-semites of academe seem to have the smallest minds. Remember that apoplectically stupid stand taken by the AUT “because I don’t like them” boycott of Israel (apartheid-concentration-camp-wall-nazi-occupiers/ how dare they try to stop suicidal murders...) of last year. Well the same lot is warming up again.

True to form as revolutionary aspirants have for 40 years, they find another organization or just another name – just like Palestinians in west Beirut did in the 1980s. In this case the University and College Lecturer’s Union (NATFHE) acting in the stead of the AUT to take sides in a foreign political quarrel. Unless one steps back, it’s easy to forget that their leadership is not matched by any sort of responsibility for their statements and actions. They are not speaking as individuals when they act as part of an organization, and no-one elected them as political representatives or even as social ‘tastemakers’ for this matter they’re so ardent about.

Adloyada has waded through this particular patch of muck (to spare the rest of us) and reports on what the blue-in-the-face set is up to:

The original boycott resolution of 2005 was passed by the AUT and overturned only because a Special Council was called, which included people who weren't just the usual union core activists.
I commented that Engage, the leading activist group against the boycott, had limited the fightback to being one about how best to work for "solidarity with the Palestinians". It had helped to frame the struggle as one in which both the proponents of the boycott and the main group of opposers agreed that it was the supposedly racist policies of the Israeli government and the occupation that were the real problem. And unfortunately, the whole debate at the Special Council revolved round these two issues, and not around the issue of why a union of academics should be seeking to single out Israel as the one country subjected to a boycott of this kind.
Further on their “hiding the weenie” so as to convince themselves that all is above board:
Yes, John Pike did acknowledge that there would be attempts to push boycotting through semi-formal mechanisms which would avoid the legal challenges which both NATFHE and AUT faced last year in relation to their boycott motions.
However, in that article he claimed that AUT, unlike NATFHE, was decisively clear of any boycott threat because of the policy document, drafted and agreed unanimously by a group of which he was a member, which he argues, is unlikely to result in any boycotts.
Except for THIS boycott, I suppose, eh?

The fuse is lit!

No comments: