University of British Columbia

Comment: Boycott Threatens Everyone, by President and  Vice-Chancelor Stephen  J. Toope

The threatened boycott of Israeli universities by Britain's University and College Union is a dangerous and unsupportable attack on the core values of academic life.

The attempt by one group of scholars to stifle the views of another is an affront to modern society, and must be condemned wherever it arises. Civil discourse, regardless of opposing political opinions, is the only hope for addressing conflict. The world desperately needs more international trade in ideas; we cannot afford less.

Those British professors who have brought forward this shameful scheme ought to reflect on the example and consequence of intolerance they are communicating to their students.

If a university is not a safe forum for ideas, popular or otherwise, it fails in its very purpose.