In some ways, the boycott has actually made me feel better about British academics. I work in a leftwing social science department in a small liberal arts college and always felt that voicing support for the Israeli cause, support for the invasion of Iraq or opposition to Palestinian nationalism would be viewed as completely beyond the pale of acceptable opinion by my colleagues, so tried to avoid discussions of these issues. The response to the current boycott has taken me by suprise, finding that the Engage position is in fact dominant here. A lot of people have said to me that the initially supported the boycott because it seemed like the right thing to do to take a stand. On reflection, though, due to the impact of the Engage campaign, these people have realised they were wrong. In this sense, the boycott campaign has backfired a little.
[Update: I've trimmed this post (possibly temporarily) as I'd intemperately posted others' comments without checking with them. Sorry!]
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Bloglinks [updated]: normblog: More boycott, Crooked Timber: Questions and answers re the AUT boycott, Leaves on the Line: There is power in a Union?
Tags: academic boycott, Israel, culture wars