Gert Weisskirchen wanted to discuss antisemitism in UCU

From the Jewish Chronicle:

Professor Gert Weisskirchen, the personal representative of the current chairman of the 56-nation Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, (OSCE), is coming to London next week to meet leaders of trade unions which voted for a boycott of Israel.

His mission will be to find out why they did so, and to try to persuade them to change their minds.

“It is the view of the OSCE that boycotts lead to increased antisemitism,” Prof Weisskirchen told the JC this week. “My trip is still being planned so I do not know for sure who I will be meeting. I want to find out what is behind this and to try to convince them to change their minds. We fear that this boycott ‘instrument’ is pushing Israel into a corner. I would like to understand whether or not there is antisemitism behind it.”

Prof Weisskirchen, a German Social Democratic Party MP and his party’s foreign policy spokesman, said the OSCE members took a dim view of boycotts.

Britain had escaped criticism so far because the British government had taken a firm anti-boycott stance, but he believed that that could change if the boycott votes continued.

The OSCE parliamentary assembly met in Kiev last week and made reference to boycotts in its final declaration, saying it “expresses its concern at all attempts to target Israeli institutions and individuals for boycotts, divestments and sanctions.

The conference also “deplored the continuing intellectualisation of antisemitism, racism and other forms of intolerance in academic spheres” and called for “guidelines for academic responsibility to ensure the protection of Jewish and other minority students from harassment, discrimination and abuse in the academic environment”.

It appears that he offered to make himself available on a range of dates in London and Berlin, but nobody from UCU has arranged to meet with him. If true, this adds to my growing sense that UCU wants its Jews to leave – no that’s melodramatic and wrong in any case. Just to my sense that UCU (including its anti-Zionist Jews) doesn’t want to face up to the antisemitism behind its boycott campaign.

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