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AJA Statement on University and College Union

31 March 2008

The Anglo-Jewish Association condemns the University and College Union’s (UCU) decision to consider reactivating a boycott of Israeli academics at the forthcoming conference in Manchester in May.

AJA President Neil Miron said, “As the primary charity assisting Jewish students to attend university and higher education, the AJA believes that the pursuit of a boycott of Israeli academia would do great harm, and would do nothing to further education or open dialogue. It is wholly inappropriate that the UCU devote time and resources to this issue, which serves a tiny vocal minority, with a political agenda.”

As we wrote at the time of the initial attempt to single out Israeli academics, the UCU’s focus should be on pursuing academic excellence and working towards achieving an inclusive and pluralist society, not wasting time on retrograde policies. Nothing has happened to change our view that the Union should concentrate its energies on discussing and voting on issues that affect their wider membership such as pay, working conditions and the impact of fees on students who cannot afford to attend universities.”

Notes to Editors:

The AJA was founded in 1871 and provides financial support to Jewish students attending University and higher education in Great Britain.

The AJA is one of the largest grant making organisations directly supporting Jewish students in the UK, dispersing in the order of £100,000 annually.

The AJA is represented on the board of the Claims Conference and the Memorial Foundation.