Archives: May 2007

Fri May 18, 2007

British ban would target the 'good guys,' too

Prof. Miriam Shlesinger, the translation scholar from Bar-Ilan University who was fired from the board of a British journal for being Israeli, sees herself as one of the lucky ones. "At least I had the luxury of knowing why I was being boycotted," she says, recalling the e-mail she received in May 2002 from erstwhile friend Prof. Mona Baker, asking her to resign from the editorial board of a journal Baker publishes.

"With me, it was clear, direct and specific, but it can be very difficult to see the effects of the boycott. Very often it's an undercurrent, a hidden dynamic that is difficult to point to. If certain academics become less friendly, less interested or stop engaging with you, it takes a while to realize that the other kids on the block aren't playing with you. For younger academics who want to enter the world of academic discourse and have yet to establish themselves, a boycott can be truly damaging."

Indeed, the "silent" boycott phenomenon concerns a growing number of Israeli academics who are sometimes unable to distinguish, for example, whether an article has been rejected for publication on political grounds or for purely academic reasons. This week Shlesinger, who was interviewed before boarding a plane to London, was off to the U.K. to fight efforts to instate what has been described as the most broad-reaching academic boycott to date. More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 18, 07 | 7:44 pm

Sun May 06, 2007

Israeli academics off to U.K. to battle boycott bid

A delegation of Israeli academics will head to the U.K. later this month in a bid to fight a proposed boycott of Israeli universities by British academics.

Seven academics from six Israeli universities plan to meet with members of the 120,000-strong union ahead of its vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions at its annual congress in Bournemouth at the end of the month. The three-day congress is the first for the newly-formed University and College Union, a merger of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) and the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE). More...

Posted by: Mona Baker on May 06, 07 | 11:42 am