A group of distinguished academics has issued a call to show solidarity with their Israeli counterparts following last month's move to boycott Israel by Britain's University College Union. Led by law Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University, Steven Weinberg, a Nobel Prize laureate in physics from the University of Texas, and a task force against boycotts set up by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, the group is urging scholars to sign a statement of solidarity with "our Israeli academics and professional colleagues," stressing that they will not participate "in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded."
Dershowitz: Bigoted British Boycott
Their statement reads: "We are academics, scholars, researchers and professionals of differing religious and political perspectives. We all agree that singling out Israelis for an academic boycott is wrong... We, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded."
Last month, Weinberg canceled a visit to Imperial College, London, scheduled for July, citing "a widespread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic current in British opinion" after an earlier vote by the National Union of Journalists to boycott Israel.
In a letter to the college, he wrote: "I know that some will say that these boycotts are directed only against Israel, rather than generally against Jews, but given the history of the attacks on Israel and the oppressiveness and aggressiveness of other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, boycotting Israel indicated a moral blindness for which it is hard to find any explanation other than anti-Semitism."
Along with Dershowitz and Weinberg, signatories to the solidarity call include:
Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov, Nobel laureate in Physics, from the Argonne National Laboratory, USA.
Stanley Deser, Dirac Medal winner from Brandeis University.
David Gross, Nobel laureate in Physics, from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Roald Hoffmann, Frant H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters at Cornell University.
Avram Hershko, Nobel laureate Chemistry, from the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate in Economics, from Princeton University.
Eric R. Kandel, Nobel laureate in Medicine, from Columbia.
Roger Kornberg, Nobel laureate in Chemistry, from Stanford.
Arthur Kornberg, Nobel laureate in Medicine, from Stanford.
Marshall W. Nirenberg, Nobel laureate in Medicine and Biochemical Genetics, National Institutes of Health.
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel laureate in Physics, from L'Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris.
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University.
Frank Wilczek, Nobel laureate in Physics, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.