I don't have a problem with professors and anyone else being involved in politics, but it's inappropriate to use a professional organization to persecute others in their profession. And that's what it is--persecution of other professors, and it's not that different from what the Nazis did to Jewish professors before WWII broke out.
Fortunately, there are some members of the AUT that are refusing to go along with the boycott (via LGF).
From the Jerusalem Post article:
John Vail, lecturer in political economy at Newcastle University, wrote in an e-mail to fellow academics: “The boycott is blatantly discriminatory and reeks of double standards.” He added: “Although I have no current research links with Israeli academics, this has made me want to go out and develop some just so as to show my disapproval of this motion. I hope that our local branch will pass a motion that expresses our disagreement with the national policy.”
Fifteen academics from the Board of the London-based Leo Baeck Institute signed a letter expressing “dismay” at the AUT resolutions: “All agree in deploring the proposed boycott of Israeli universities and academics who fail to satisfy a political inquisition. Israeli universities, notably the three targets of the boycott, represent the best ideals of the university as a place of tolerance and the free exchange of views, in which Jews, Muslims and Christians study and work together.”
The letter, which registered alarm at the “double standards and hypocrisy” behind the resolution, asked: “Will the tests and the boycott apply to Israeli Arab academics or only Jews?” The letter’s signatories are based in a variety of British universities, and include the Institute’s chairman Prof. Peter Pulzer, and Dr. David Rechter, both of whom lecture at Oxford University.
I was disappointed that there was no mention of the boycott in Science magazine this week. However, there was a small paragraph on it in Nature magazine. I hope more professors from all over the world step up to the plate to condemn this boycott.