REVEALED: British government funds Israel boycott activists
Shocking new information reveals that the British government is funding anti-Israel organisations and speakers
New information has come to light about British government funding for anti-Israel activists who promote boycotts, divestment (BDS) and sanctions against the State of Israel - a country which Britain maintains a close relationship with.
The news, which has surfaced following an investigation by the Jerusalem Post, shows that the British Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is providing funding to an organisation which promotes anti-Israel speakers and encourages the boycott movement around the world.
The Post reports that a British-funded institute in Jerusalem has come under fire for hosting an event supporting the BDS campaign against Israel, alongside proof that a United Nations (UN) staff member circulated its details in an official email to co-workers.
In March, the Kenyon Institute, also known as the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, hosted an event titled “The emergence of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement” – a campaign led by radical anti-Israel activists – at its East Jerusalem headquarters.
The institute is funded by the British Academy, an organisation which boasts of its support from the British government department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The department provides 91 percent of the Academy's income - a total of £27m ($41m) in 2011/12.
The Post report highlights the event at which Suzanne Morrison of the London School of Economics was due to discuss the BDS movement. Morrison has said that an academic boycott of Israel is a “top priority in the BDS movement.”
Morrison's supervisor at the LSE is none other than Dr. John Chalcraft, treasurer of the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine which recently successfully lobbied Professor Stephen Hawkings to boycott the State of Israel.
The Commentator can also exclusively reveal that in a recent e-mail exchange with BRICUP staff, a response came via e-mail not from a BRICUP e-mail account, but from an official London School of Economics e-mail address belonging to Mr. Mike Cushman, listed as Research Fellow and Information and Communication Manager, from an e-mail account named 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
In addition to Morrison's involvement with the UK government-funded Kenyon Institute, the organisation recently hosted Prof. Alex Callinicos of Kings College London, an avowed Trotskyite who currently serves as the International Secretary of the virulently anti-capitalist Socialist Workers Party in Britain.
Other guests have included Avi Raz, of Oxford University's Wolfson College, who wrote critically of Israel's land-for-peace initiatives post-1967, and Dr. Ilan Pappe, who has described Israel as an "apartheid state". Pappe's critics have claimed that, "In actual fact, during the past few years, Dr. Pappe has transgressed all common ethical standards of academic life." The institute has also hosted Palestinian activist Karma Nablusi, long-known to be supportive of the "Palestinian resistance" - including the implications of violent action, otherwise known as terrorism.
The British Academy said that it “supports a wide variety of academic discussions and debates in the UK and abroad", to which a spokesperson added: “We provide a forum on a range of issues, drawing on academic research, without endorsing political positions. The Academy does not support academic boycotts.”
An email from Ray Dolphin, an employee at the UN Office of the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), circulated details of the event to employees at OCHA.
Pauline Latham, MP and member of the Department for International Development Select Committee, told the Jeruslaem Post: “The British Government has been very clear that it does not support the boycott movement.
"It is a fringe campaign that is inherently anti-peace, perpetuating divisions between Israelis and Palestinians and doing nothing to bring the two sides together in a compromising way.”
“The British Academy need to be able to ascertain how exactly its partners are spending their funding donations. The government should not be directly or indirectly funding the BDS movement and I hope that after further investigation this will come to an end,” she added.
The website of the Kenyon Institute says it “is the home of British research and intellectual life in Israel/Palestine. As a British Academy sponsored institution, operating under the umbrella of the Council for British Research in the Levant.”
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