Last month at the University of Leeds, a debate was held on the boycott of Israel. The specific motion read: “This house believes that UK academics should boycott Israeli academic institutions until Israel ends the occupation and abides by international law”.
Arguing for the motion were Jonathan Rosenhead and Sue Blackwell, both active members of British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP). Against them were Robert Fine and Hugh Hubbard, the former an active campaigner against the boycott of Israel. In the pre-debate vote, the motion was backed 53-37. By the end of the debate, that had shifted to 68-23 in favour of academic boycott, a clear majority. Read more
In the UK, the Boycott campaign was launched by PSC six years ago. However, it has been attempts at a boycott of Israeli academic institutions that has really raised the profile of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) — and also provoked a fierce counter-movement.
Various bodies, like BICOM (Britain and Israel Communications & Research
Centre: http://www.stoptheboycott.org) and Engage (engageonline.org.uk), have
set up issue-specific websites; while the former may have deeper pockets,
Engage has proved to be more of a rallying point for the anti-boycotters. Their website includes voluminous attacks on the boycott and plenty of articles condemning what they perceive as an anti-Semitic singling-out of Israel. Read more