Letter on Boycott of Israeli Universities

Father Jenkins sent the following letter to Sally Hunt, general secretary of Britain’s University and College Union, in response to that organization’s call for an academic boycott of Israeli universities. Father Jenkins elected to write his own letter rather than sign on to a similar statement written by Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University.

A Message from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President, University of Notre Dame

July 17, 2007

Dear Ms. Hunt:

I write regarding the University and College Union Congress’s recently passed motion requiring a debate of a proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions. I urge the UCU to reject such a boycott.

A boycott of fellow academics is inimical to the free, respectful exchange of ideas that is essential to the character of a university, and a boycott anywhere damages universities everywhere. It is our hope that the UCU will vote down this boycott.