SAFS Motion on Boycott

October 2005

Motion passed at the Annual General Meeting, London, Ontario, Canada, May 14, 2005 (Emailed to British Association of University Teachers, May 20, 2005).

On Friday, April 22, 2005, the executive of the British Association of University Teachers (BAUT) voted to boycott Haifa University and Bar Ilan University, and their professoriates, because of the BAUT’s view of the politics of the Israeli government.

The members of The Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship (SAFS) condemn this boycott as violating the spirit and principles of academic freedom. Academic freedom means the right to engage in free inquiry – to conduct research, teach, and communicate the results of one's research without regard to prevailing doctrine. The hallmark of science and scholarship is reasoned debate, based on logic and evidence. Political boycotts of scholars are antithetical to truth seeking. They diminish the dignity of the individuals affected and debase the scholarly process.

We call on the British Association of University Teachers to rescind their boycott.

POSTSCRIPT: At their next meeting the BAUT rescinded their boycott.