University of Manitoba

Statement by the President Emőke Szathmary on British UCU boycott

June 27, 2007 

I am deeply disturbed by the decision taken by delegates to the British University and College Union to advance a boycott of Israeli academics and Israeli universities. I call on the Union membership to reject the boycott, and defend the values that define the very notion of a university. It is abhorrent to silence individuals for the sake of political interests. There is no conceivable justification for isolating academics and their institutions from participating in scholarly and scientific debate because of their place of residence or the location of their universities. 

The University of Manitoba is proud of its linkages to universities in Israel.  We have mutually benefited from student exchanges and joint research. Our involvement will continue unabated. Israeli academics will always be welcome at the University of Manitoba as will anyone who values the exchange of ideas, and knows that arbitrarily silencing one academicís view is the beginning of the silencing of us all. In a highly pluralistic world we need more interaction to understand each other better, not less.