Labour Party Reply to Our Open Letter to Reading’s PPCs

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From Anneliese Dodds, Labour Party candidate for Reading East:

Date: 3 May 2010 11:30

Thank you for your email and my apologies for the delay in response.

I have long been concerned about the situation in Palestine, and helped organise a vigil last year to commemorate all those who had lost their lives in the Israeli attacks on Gaza, which of course demonstrated a horrendously disproportionate death toll between Palestinian and Israeli victims of the violence.

I think I probably on balance agree with all the points in the statement, definitely with 1-3 and number 6. I should however be open with you and let you know that I have not been a supporter of my own trade union’s approach to this issue (AUT/UCU), which has involved (in the past albeit not now) in trying to propagate a ban on the employment of Israeli staff in universities as a protest against the violence against and oppression of Palestine. In my experience many Israeli expats are the most vociferous opponents of their regime, and while bans on goods may be acceptable as a form of boycott, I am unwilling to see the prevention of free circulation of people who are often critics of the more hard-line elements within the Israeli regime.

Thank you again for raising this matter with me. Please, do not hesitate to contact me again should you ever wish to raise any other issues.

Best wishes,

Anneliese



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