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Higher Education: Israel

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps the Government have taken to make clear its opposition to an academic boycott of Israel. (146159)

We have made our position extremely clear on this issue in recent weeks—including my recent visit to Israel, when I spoke to senior Government Ministers, academics, students and the media. We fully support academic freedom and are firmly against any academic boycotts of Israel or Israeli academics. While I appreciate the independence of the UCU, I am very disappointed that the union has decided to pass a motion which encourages its members to consider boycotting Israeli academics and education institutions. I profoundly believe this does nothing to promote the Middle East peace process, in fact the reverse.