Congress slams UK academic boycott

House passes resolution condemning call to shun Israeli universities.

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER
July 12, 2007 22:51
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The US House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday afternoon condemning a British call to boycott Israeli universities. The measure, approved 414 to 0, urged the European Union and governments around the world to reject the call by the leadership of the University and College Union of the United Kingdom to cease cooperation with Israeli institutions. The resolution describes the "senseless" boycott as "a dangerous assault on the principles of academic freedom and open exchange" and a move that "contributes to the deligitimization and demonization of the state of Israel." The resolution was the first bill freshman Representative Patrick Murphy (D-Penn.) got through. In his floor speech, he emphasized the strong ties between Israel and the US. "I rise today to offer a resolution to let the world know that this house stands opposed to anti-Semitism and re-affirms our support for academic freedom," he said Wednesday. "That's why, when Israel comes under attack from hate-mongers, it is the American values that are also under such attack. Today, by passing this bi-partisan resolution, we are stating with one voice that this Congress will stand up and defend our friend the state of Israel."

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