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Educators at London's prestigious Imperial College, questioned in a new poll, have overwhelmingly rejected their union's motion to consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
In a survey commissioned by its University and College Union branch, 82 percent of the union's members at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, said they did not support Motion 30, approved at the UCU conference in May, which calls for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Sixteen percent of those surveyed favored the motion and 2% did not respond.
Ninety percent of those surveyed said that before adopting any form of boycott, the union should hold a vote of all its members across the United Kingdom; 6% disagreed and 2% did not respond.
"The members of Imperial College UCU have voted overwhelmingly - by more than five to one - to reject Motion 30 - the boycott of Israeli academic institutions," said leading UK academic Michael J. McGarvey, reader in Molecular Virology at Imperial's Division of Medicine.
"In conjunction with the very similar results from the recent ballots of members at the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine," he noted, "this clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of ordinary members of UCU are against a boycott and the damaging effects that this could have on British academia."
"The huge difference between the votes of individual UCU members and the Congress delegates, who voted in favour of Motion 30, means that it is now imperative that all ordinary UCU members are consulted on this issue, as soon as possible, by local branch ballots and through a national vote," McGarvey said.