US teachers slam Israeli boycott call

61 Irish faculty members called on the EU to cut ties with Israeli academics.

By NATHAN GUTTMAN
October 16, 2006 01:38
US teachers slam Israeli boycott call

hebrew university 224.88. (photo credit: Hebrew University )

 
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The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is calling on Irish academics to oppose demands to boycott Israel. The union, which represents 1.3 million members across the US, sent a letter to four Irish teachers and academics unions, urging them to oppose the boycott which has been proposed by several Irish academics in recent weeks. "Boycotts of this nature only help those who wish to curtail the academic freedom faculty members hold dear," wrote Edward J. McElroy, president of the American Federation of Teachers in the letter to his Irish colleagues. The American union also notes that the Irish academics' singling out faculty members from Israel, which is a democratic country, while ignoring those from other countries "raises more questions than it answers." The boycott call voiced by 61 Irish faculty members in a letter sent to the Irish Times in late September. They called for the EU to cut ties with Israeli academic institutions in protest of Israel's policy towards the Palestinians and its conduct during the Lebanese war.

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