Good piece from David Aaronovitch in The Observer on the AUT’s boycott of Israeli Universities:
So the object of those wanting peace and justice in the Middle East is to bring about an end to that occupation, and enable the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. It is to persuade both sides that such a settlement is practical and to persuade both sides to make the difficult sacrifices that are necessary. It is to build confidence between Jews and Palestinians, and to strengthen, always, the hand of the peacemakers.
Unless, of course, you don’t believe that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state at all within any borders. And this, as it happens, seems to be the view of (the AUT’s) Sue Blackwell, who describes Israel as ‘an illegitimate state’. Unlike the United Nations, she does not believe it should have been set up and she would rather it disappeared.
On this topic – here is an interesting little thought. Jose Mourinho, the manager of Chelsea Football Club, who may win the Premiership title today, recently spent time in Israel volunteering for a peace project. The initiative brings more than 800 Israeli and Palestinian children from 15 communities in the region together in a programme called ‘Twinned Peace Soccer Schools’ project.
So we now have the unusual situation of a Chelsea football manager taking a more intelligent and progressive stand than the representatives of British academia.
And football playing Palestinian kids are giving a left-wing Birmingham University lecturer a lesson in what steps to peace are all about.