EU Ambassador Rejects Current, Future Academic Boycotts Against Israel
The European Union’s Ambassador to Israel rejected the possibility of an EU academic boycott of Israel, now or in the future, Israel’s NRG reported on Wednesday. His comments were made at an international education conference held in Haifa.
The conference was attended by 250 researchers from 20 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Russia, Switzerland among others.
“There is not and there will never be an academic boycott against Israel,” Lars Faaborg-Andersen told the audience, adding, “in the name of the European Union I am undertaking the obligation here to continue to expand relations with Israel because education is of great importance.”
Faaborg-Andersen’s comments were made against the background of increased concern in Israel over academic boycotts, and likely came as a sign of relief to the world of Israeli academia which has recently been troubled by the prospect of boycotts.
The issue of boycotts against Israel in general, and academic boycotts in particular, have now found their way to the agenda at Israel’s Knesset after the heads of universities and colleges called on the government and Israeli lawmakers to allocate resources to combat the phenomenon.
The university leaders even met recently with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to express their concern over academic boycotts.