Monday, February 23, 2009

Ontario Union Votes to Boycott Israeli Universities

The Chronicle of Higher Education
News Blog
Karen Birchard
Feb. 23, 2009

The Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ontario, the largest labor group representing staff members at universities in the province, voted over the weekend to boycott Israeli universities because of Israel’s recent bombing attacks in the Gaza Strip.

The resolution approved by the union differs from one considered in January, when the group proposed a ban on Israeli academics that sparked widespread controversy and criticism. The union’s president was forced to apologize for remarks in which he compared the Gaza bombings to Hitler’s bellicose behavior.

This past weekend, union delegates unanimously passed Resolution 50, which does not mention boycotting professors, only universities. Jewish groups condemned the union’s action, with some saying it went against the grain of Canadian values.

The vote parallels to some degree the rise of a pro-boycott group in the United States, the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel .

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