What's this blog about?

As a result of a combination of factors, culminating in the shameful UCU boycott-in-waiting of Israel, I've grown alienated & silenced, working here in one of the UK's finest universities all the while feeling like a Boycotted British Academic, alone in facing some dilemmas of the moment. In this generally chilling environment, it's hard to speak out and be heard, and hear others...and I find myself writing this blog.

What's it about? At present, it seems to me like a rather tortured articulation of the state of being silenced & mute, beyond words; struggling for the right even to use them, for a voice which can still be heard. When it started, all those successive boycott motions ago, I'd hoped it would function as a blog forum of support & solidarity amongst academics similarly-situated to BBA, to help us break through the boycott movement's silencing strategies. That hope remains notwithstanding this silence... Perhaps it lives in trying to articulate beyond the filter of these coping mechanisms of old (denial, avoidance, withdrawal); by way of this labour of finding the words, this voice...
[A forum of sorts has also arisen in the blog's comments, in which others have adopted the BBA moniker in case of need (e.g.
and here exposing the racist hate speech which masquerades as UCU solidarity activism).]

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Madness and UCU

In my last post I alluded to the madness with which I am having to contend, working here as BBA.

No sooner published, what did I encounter? Yet more madness: UCU claiming that a boycott is not a boycott. No, it's solidarity. No, really.

Not only am I stuck in a time warp, it seems the moment has been frozen in the absurd, where even academics can't make the most essential and, you'd have thought, basic of distinctions between demonization and scapegoating, on the one hand; and legitimate criticism, on the other. And not only that, in doing so, they then even want to make us think that a boycott is not a boycott. And that the sort of hate-fest on display in the hydra comments is debate. The swamp is overtaken with absurdity, on top of every thing else.

Someone, please, tell me this is not the profession I've chosen...

1 comment:

wolfline said...

Dear BBA,

First of all KUDOS for your outstanding site and courageous stance!

Secondly, I work in a large university hospital in Israel(among the best in the world in both academic achievement and healthcare standard) as some sort of technician. For some time now I have been helping physicians (some of them leading figures in their respective disciplines) with typing scientific papers for publication in various medical journals, and of course with the ensuing correspondence. It came to me as a complete surprise that these Israeli scientists and researchers refrain from contacting British publications because they know they would be rejected due to their affiliation with an Israeli establishment and with no consideration given to the scientific merit of their paper. I have no statistics on how many British journals publish Israeli authors or how many Israelis choose or shun British journals, nor do I know whether this practice is common among members of the entire Israeli medical profession or perhaps limited to this medical center. It apears thus that the Israeli academia has been boycotting back for several years. I have no idea how long this "boycott Israel campaign" has been going on in the UK, but the anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli attitude of some sectors of the British academic spheres have not been lost on their Israeli counterparts.
Such a shame, wouldn't you say, because these scientific papers do make their way to the highest ranking journals in the US and continental Europe, and a journal is as good as the contributions it accepts for publication.

Good luck and God bless!