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April 29, 2005

Oxford's Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi: Boycott Me

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Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Research Fellow at St. Anthony's College at Oxford University's Middle East Centre, weighs in on the AUT boycott in an open letter to Sally Hunt:

----- Original Message -----

From: Emanuele Ottolenghi
To: sally.hunt@aut.org.uk
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2005 1:02 PM
Subject: AUT boycott

For Publication

To: Sally Hunt,
General Secretary, The Association of University Teachers
United Kingdom


Dear Sally Hunt,

Regarding the AUT recent decision to boycott Haifa University and Bar Ilan University in Israel, I am shocked to learn that, in addition to a call for boycott, the AUT is ready to offer a waiver to scholars on condition that they publicly state their willingness to conform to the political orthodoxy espoused by the academics who sponsored your motion.

Oaths of political loyalty do not belong to academia. They belong to illiberal minds and repressive regimes.

Based on this, the AUT's definition of academic freedom is the freedom to agree with its views only. Given the circumstances, I wish to express in no uncertain terms my unconditional and undivided solidarity with both universities and their faculties. I know many people, both at Haifa University and at Bar Ilan University, of different political persuasion and from different walks of life. The diversity of those faculties reflects the authentic spirit of academia. The AUT invitation to boycott them betrays that spirit because it advocates a uniformity of views, under pain of boycott.

In solidarity with my colleagues and as a symbolic gesture to defend the spirit of a free academia, I wish to be added to the boycott blacklist. Please include me. I hope that other colleagues of all political persuasions will join me.

Sincerely,

Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi
The Middle East Centre
St Antony's College
Oxford University

See also Hebrew U Faculty Member: Boycott Me

Posted by GI at April 29, 2005 06:15 PM