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Monday, June 4, 2007
expert vows to sue ["bankrupt"] lecturers
By Jon Boone
A TOP American lawyer has
threatened to wage a legal war against British
academics who seek to cut links with Israeli
Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor
renowned for his staunch defence of Israel and
high-profile legal victories, including his role in
the O.J. Simpson trial, vowed to "devastate
and bankrupt" lecturers who supported such
This week's annual conference of Britain's
biggest lecturers' union, the University and
College Union, backed a motion damning the
"complicity of Israeli academia in the occupation
[of Palestinian land]".
It also obliged the union's executive to
encourage members to "consider the moral
implications of existing and proposed links with
Israeli academic institutions".
Prof Dershowitz said he had started work on
legal moves to fight any boycott.
He told the Times Higher Educational
Supplement that these would include using a US
law - banning discrimination on the basis of
nationality - against UK universities with research
ties to US colleges. US academics might also be
urged to accept honorary posts at Israeli colleges
in order to become boycott targets.
"I will obtain legislation dealing with this
issue, imposing sanctions that will devastate and
bankrupt those who seek to impose bankruptcy on
Israeli academics," he told the journal.
Sue Blackwell, a UCU activist and member
of the British Committee for Universities of
Palestine, said: "This is the typical response of
the Israeli lobby which will do anything to avoid
debating the real issue - the 40-year occupation of
Palestine." Jewish groups have attacked the UCU
vote, which was opposed by Sally Hunt,
[How unfortunate: you
only have to change two letters...]
its general secretary.
are Jews at the 'Holocaust denial'
campaigners petition for Norman Finkelstein to
Dershowitz had an opponent's Harvard lecture