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Few could have predicted the scale of the backlash to the University and College Union's resolution to boycott Israel. Tony Blair phoned the Israeli prime minister to reassure him that the motion did not reflect wider public opinion. In Israel, MPs began drafting a bill to label British imports - allowing consumers to stage their own counter boycott. In the U.S., 2,000 American scholars - including at least nine Nobel laureates - have vowed to stay away from any event from which Israelis are excluded.
Prominent lawyer and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says he has mustered a team of 100 high-profile lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic to "devastate and bankrupt" anyone acting against Israeli universities. Prominent UK lawyer Anthony Julius said Israel was being treated in a way reminiscent of the anti-Semitism of the medieval Christian church. "I sometimes think that Jews born in the 1940s and 1950s have been living through a golden period, but that the closed season on Jews has now come to an end."
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