Britain’s major faculty union was called “racist” and “McCarthyite,” reports the Chronicle of Higher Eduation, after its approval last week of a resolution asking members to interrogate Israeli academics on their political views before collaborating with them.
A Jewish organization in Britain, Academic Friends of Israel, condemned the new policy as a “blatant McCarthyite demand” that is “discriminatory, anti-Semitic, and, we believe, in clear violation of the UK Race Relations Act.” It noted that the union did not call for similar questioning of academic colleagues in any other nation, no matter how grave its human-rights violations. Specifically, at the same meeting where the policy toward Israeli professors was adopted, the union leaders passed resolutions expressing support for academics and citing human-rights abuses in Cuba, Darfur, Egypt, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. Yet the union did not posit that potential academic collaborators in those nations be questioned like Israeli academics.
Blatant one-sidedness, to be sure. Par for the course for the UK union.