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On Monday of this week, the British Society of Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) passed a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

The following is ZF Chairman Paul Charney’s response, and we are in the process of taking this up further with BRISMES.

The passing of a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) is both an alarming and hypocritical decision. Whilst there is of course nothing wrong in wanting to stand up for the rights of Palestinian students and academic institutions in the Palestinian-controlled territories, this resolution whitewashes the very current human rights violations committed by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas against Palestinian students and others in Palestinian civil society who dare to speak out against their leaders and who call for change in their societies. So too does this resolution totally whitewash the fact that too many of the Palestinian universities in the West Bank and Gaza are hotbeds of radicalisation, promoted by the terrorists of the PA, PLO and Hamas. By focusing solely on Israeli academic institutions, institutions in which Israeli Arab students thrive and excel, and from which comes forth a wealth of humanitarian innovation, BRISMES is condemning Palestinian students in the territories to continued abuses. Additionally, it is extremely evident that the calls for boycotts have yielded no positive advances towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians so it is questionbable as to what BRISMES hopes to achieve here. It is shameful that BRISMES’s support of this boycott resolution chooses to hold one side in the conflict as responsible whilst whitewashing the very real and ongoing human rights abuses of Palestinians by Palestinians. In this country, this resolution, as has been proven with other such boycott resolutions on other campuses, will no doubt create an atmosphere of hostility for Jewish students at Leeds and other universities, as well as deterring students from studying there in the future.

You can read more about it here.