Oxford University Chabad Society statement on the defeat of the motion to boycott Israel

Thursday, 28 February, 2013 - 9:49 am

Oxford University Chabad Society is pleased at the outcome of the vote this week that defeated a motion to support a boycott of Israel at the Oxford University Student Union. Rabbi Eli Brackman, director of the Oxford University Chabad Society and Chairman of Chabad on Campus UK, who supported the Jewish students throughout the campaign, commented "the defeat of the motion conveyed a strong message, supported by the vast majority of students and faculty at the university, that it is unacceptable to boycott the institutions, culture and the people of a country like Israel based on nationality, especially where the politics, history and security of Israel is intertwined and complex."


The Oxford University Chabad Society now in its 12th year has been a long standing active and vocal opponent of campaigns to boycott Israel at the university and this view was supported by the Chancellor of the University Lord Patten who spoke to the Chabad Society in 2005 calling it 'academic treason' for an institution to boycott Israel and limit free exchange of ideas and research between universities from different countries.


As part of the lively debate at the university pertaining to the motion this week, the first Bedouin Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi was hosted at the Oxford University Chabad Society last Friday night to take questions. Mr. Khaldi was critical of the double standards that exist where an Israeli diplomat is many times unable to speak without disruption at a UK university, while if such disruption would occur in Israel against a foreign diplomat with similar complex political issues there would be public outcry, not the least from Israeli public officials.

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