Irish official: Israel boycott passed without debate

Boycott was reportedly adopted without any debate or discussion. Only proposer, seconder discussed item on agenda before vote.

April 19, 2013 06:07
3 minute read.
THE IRISH flag flies

Irish Flag 370. (photo credit: Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

LONDON – The Irish trade union that adopted a boycott of Israel earlier this month did so without any debate or discussion, one of its officials told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) become the first educational trade union in Europe to adopt a boycott of Israeli academia.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

At its annual conference on April 4, it voted to endorse a call by Palestinian activists for a boycott of the Jewish state, “including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programs.”

The boycott motion was one of four – submitted months before the three-day conference – that made up the “Miscellaneous” section of the gathering’s final day. Typically this section allots very little time to debate the finer details of a motion, and the first two motions – which looked at opposition to a new property tax and the funding of political parties in Ireland – took up all the allotted time, leaving none for the other two.

The boycott motion was third on the list.

After an impassioned plea by the proposer of the fourth motion – which dealt with the degenerative disease muscular dystrophy – it was decided that both motions should be discussed.

However, on Thursday, Annette Dolan, TUI’s deputy general secretary, told the Post that the boycott had not been debated at all and that there had only been time for the proposer and seconder of the motion to speak before the union voted on it.

“Had it not been for the muscular dystrophy motion, it would not have been raised at all,” she said.

Alex Bjarnason, from the London-based Trade Union Friends of Israel, said they were concerned by the lack of debate on the issue.

"TUFI are disappointed by the TUI call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. We are concerned about the lack of debate and think it is important that all sides are heard within democratic institutions, particularly on an issue as important as this.

“International trade unions have an important role to play in helping to improve cooperation and build bridges between Israeli and Palestinian trade unions. We have a responsibility to help our sister unions and promote positive initiatives rather than boycotts that are one-sided and polarising.”

The one who raised the boycott motion was Jim Roche, a lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology and a member of the fringe groups Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) and Gaza Action. TUI vice president Gerry Quinn seconded the motion.

The proposal also called on the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to “step up its campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the apartheid State of Israel until it lifts its illegal siege of Gaza and its illegal occupation of the West Bank, and agrees to abide by international law and all UN resolutions against it.”

Speaking after the vote, Roche referred to BDS as “a noble non-violent method of resisting Israeli militarism, occupation and apartheid,” and said there was “no question that Israel is implementing apartheid policies against the Palestinians.

Indeed, many veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa have said that it’s worse than what was experienced there.”

Dolan said the motion still needed approval from the union’s executive committee, which will meet on Friday.

She also affirmed the union’s “strong commitment” to anti-racism, and said the TUI supported National Holocaust Memorial Day every year. She added that the union was “open and willing” to speak with representatives from the Israeli side.

Roche did not comment on the matter by press time.

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery