I’ve just Googled ‘UK Academics Boycott China’. This returned 440,000 results in just 0.76 seconds. However, I gave up looking for evidence of such a boycott about 70 articles in. There doesn’t appear to be any.
Which leads to two questions. Why not, and if not, why is there one for Israel?
The boycott of Israeli academic institutions, announced in the UK’s Guardian newspaper by 343 professor and lecturers, is in protest at what they call ‘intolerable human rights violations against the Palestinians.’ So far, so they are entitled to their opinions. It is a good thing to care about Palestinian human rights, and let’s face it, they are abused on a regular basis, but why do the learned ones not boycott Chinese institutions?
It is possible they have not heard of the massive human rights abuses in China, after all intellectuals are often not very well informed, but that seems unlikely given that President Xi has just been in the UK. It’s doubtful that they are unaware that China occupies Tibet and that millions, yes millions of Chinese settlers now live there. And yet – no boycott of Chinese academic institutions, or Russian, or Syrian, or Iranian, Saudi Arabian…. etc. There is certainly no boycott of Palestinian academic institutions despite them being overseen by the PA and Hamas governments which oversee routine torture including of academics who dare to criticise the leadership.
It therefore seems legitimate to ask why the 343 educated types have singled out one particular country.
It is possible that they do not know they are (marginally) harming the education of thousands of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians who attend Israeli universities. For example, more than half of students at Haifa University are Arabs. Perhaps they don’t realise that the selective outrage they display in the Guardian causes many on the Israeli left, who are actively trying to help human rights for Palestinians, to ask the same questions posed above.
Many of the academics will never have been to Israel or Palestine. Most will over emphasise the importance, and the effect, of their self-righteous public display of virtue signalling. All have in fact instead signaled that they appear fixated on one set of human rights violations and expect everyone to share their world view.
They should ask themselves why. After all, they’re the educated ones.