Alice Shalvi among 240 Jewish and Israeli academics protesting German BDS law
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Alice Shalvi among 240 Jewish and Israeli academics protesting German BDS law

German-born British activist who topped Jewish News' Aliyah 100 list, criticises controversial plan in Germany to equate boycotting Israel with antisemitism

Alice Shalvi as she donated her archive to Israel's National Library. Credit Hanan Cohen National Library of Israel
Alice Shalvi as she donated her archive to Israel's National Library. Credit Hanan Cohen National Library of Israel

An award-winning activist and educator who fled Nazi Germany for Britain before making aliyah has called for German politicians not to equate the Israel boycott movement with antisemitism.

Professor Alice Shalvi, who topped a 2018 Jewish News poll charting the contribution of Brits who made aliyah, is one of 240 Jewish and Israeli academics to protest a controversial vote in the German Bundestag last month.

The motion, which passed, argued that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was antisemitic, but the academics say it “ignored the explicit opposition of the BDS movement to all forms of racism, including antisemitism”.

Shalvi was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize in 2017 for her work pioneering Israel’s feminist movement and donated her personal archive to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem earlier this year.

She is among the best-known of the signatories, who include senior academics in different disciplines from several countries. Other Israel Prize winning signatories include David Harel, Alex Levac, Bilha Mannheim and Yehoshua Kolodny.

Shalvi is joined by co-petitioners from British universities including Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Warwick, Southampton, Wolverhampton, King’s College London, Birkbeck, Manchester, SOAS, Sheffield and Queen’s University in Belfast.

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