In addition to the many unprecedented elements of the AUT boycott of two Israeli universities (see earlier posting with numerous links), it’s worth reflecting on its severity in comparison with the remarkably feeble 1965 proposal for an academic boycott of South Africa, which itself took 7 years to bring to the table following the ANC’s own call issued in 1958.
This is from Spotlight on South Africa, Dar es Salaam, November 26, 1965, itself quoted here on the ANC’s own website:
ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF SOUTH AFRICA:
DECLARATION BY BRITISH ACADEMICS, 1965
[In 1965, 496 university professors and lecturers from 34 British universities signed the following declaration in protest against apartheid and violations of academic freedom. They made special reference to the issuance of banning orders against Jack Simons and Eddie Roux, two well-known progressive academics.]
“We, the (undersigned) professors and lecturers in British universities in consultation with the Anti-Apartheid Movement:
- Protest against the bans imposed on Professors Simons and Roux;
- Protest against the practice of racial discrimination and its extension to higher education;
- Pledge that we shall not apply for or accept academic posts in South African universities which practise racial discrimination.
I searched in vain for any more ‘muscle’ in that declaration… what’s going on here? Maybe there are other more detailed records kicking around, in which case I’d be happy to hear about it. Surprising that the ANC’s own site doesn’t contain more. There were of course many more stringent academic measures applied, as documented here, but the 1965 declaration itself does not seem to propose them. It’s also interesting to note that, in contrast to the ANC/1958 + UK/1965 pairing of proposals, this time it was UK/2003 + Palestinian/2005, i.e. the British academic’s original boycott proposal of 2003 preceded the Palestinian’s own call for an academic boycott by 2 years — this anomaly was one of the several reasons for rejection of the 2003 proposal.