The academics who belong to the Association for Asian American Studies must be so proud that their organization passed a resolution at its annual meeting calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

The resolution was a vile pandering to the worst anti-Semitic elements behind the BDS movement, who single out Israel and only Israel for demonization despite far worse records of academic intimidation and discrimination throughout the Arab world.

Jews and Christians are persecuted throughout much of the Muslim world, “occupations” of ethnic groups are the norm (Israel’s control of the West Bank is entirely lawful), hate and glorification of suicide bombings spew from Palestinian universities, gays are subject to imprisonment and worse, and I could go on and on.  Yet only Israel and its universities draw the ire of AAAS.

AAAS has shamed itself and its members.  AAAS has thrown itself in with those who abhor academic freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and just about everything else we hold dear.

The AAAS resolution is reminiscent of the U.N.’s disgraced Zionism is Racism resolution, since withdrawn.

Just how unprecedented was this resolution?  According to an anti-Israel boycott group it was the first by a professional association of academics outside the Arab world, as reported by Iranian PressTV:

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) in a statement appreciated AAAS for “its principled support for the cause of justice in Palestine.”

“The adoption of this resolution by the General Membership of the AAAS is precedent-setting,” PACBI said.

“This is the first time that a professional association of academics anywhere outside the Arab world adopts such a clear and unequivocal resolution in support of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions due to their entrenched complicity in Israel’s persistent denial of basic Palestinian rights, including the right to education and freedom of movement,” it added.

University of Massachusetts – Boston Professor Rajini Srikanth, past President of AAAS, was supportive of the resolution, according to Inside Higher Ed.  How ironic that Srikanth is on the Provost’s staff at U. Mass, since the Provost is the chief academic officer at universities.  I have little doubt that Srikanth and U.Mass would defend Srikanth’s actions in the name of academic freedom, a freedom she denies to Israeli universities.

The American Jewish Congress issued the following statement:

AJC is outraged by the Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS) endorsement of an academic boycott against Israeli academic institutions. A resolution favoring the boycott was adopted at the national organization’s recent annual meeting, though only ten percent of the membership reportedly voted….

The American Association of University Professors has long opposed academic boycotts. Moreover, in 2007, more than 400 American college and university presidents signed a statement proclaiming such efforts “intellectually shoddy and politically biased attempts to hijack the central mission of higher education.”

AAAS and its members need to be held accountable.