David Newman will be Israel’s academic boycott rep

He’s a peace activist. Interestingly, I heard him speak on borders at a Peace Now event a good few years ago – about 3 or 4 academic boycott attempts ago – and asked him afterwards how the boycotts were affecting Israel and he said that they weren’t having any effect at all. Even now I get the strong impression they’ll be all mouth and no trousers (so requiring another mouth making the case for links not boycott, and a pair of trousers with a body inside which visits UK universities and makes everybody want to be a political geographer – I know I did at the time).

His remit will be to strengthen links between Israeli and UK universities. He says:

“The heads of the British universities, as well as government leaders, have made it clear that they are against any form of academic boycott. They greatly value the cooperation between British and Israeli scientists. We will now take the challenge forward and work towards the creation of even more scientific collaborative projects between the two countries, as a fitting response to those illiberal and intolerant forces who would attempt to silence the voice of academic freedom”.

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