The silence of Assoc. of Asian American Studies members regarding anti-Israel academic boycott is deafening
We have written several times about the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions by the Association of Asian American Studies, and how it is part of the greater Boycott Divest Sanction movement meant to delegitimize Israel:
- A stain on academia — Association for Asian American Studies calls for boycott of Israeli universities and academics
- AAAS anti-Israel academic boycott resolution 1st outside Arab world
- Australian PM denounces anti-Israel academic boycott movement
The resolution passed under the radar and with a unanimous vote at the close of the AAAS conference in April. The current President of AAAS has not responded to my email requesting her position on the resolution. The past President of AAAS, U. Mass–Boston Professor and Associate Provost Rajini Srikanth, has defended the resolution in numerous publications.
We are in the midst of researching the AAAS and those behind the resolution. We think you will find the results both interesting and unsurprising. AAAS has been hijacked by anti-Israeli activists who are active participants in the BDS movement, and who very adroitly maneuvered the organization into being the first professional academic association outside the Middle East to adopt the BDS agenda.
Even the student government at Berkeley refuses to sign onto the BDS agenda, which should show you how extreme the AAAS move is. The AAAS move was hailed in an article in Al-Ahram as a major BDS achievement:
In another unprecedented move, the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) in Seattle announced its boycott of all Israeli academic institutions, becoming the first professional academic association outside the Arab and Muslim worlds and in the US to do so.
In the meantime, be sure to read the post by Professor Jonathan Marks of Ursinus College at Commentary today about the boycott of Israeli academic institutions and the silence from AAAS members, It’s Unanimous! The Association for Asian-American Studies and BDS:
Reportedly, only 10 percent of the members were present for the vote. So when I learned of the resolution, I assumed that we would soon hear from professors of Asian American Studies, enraged, or at least perplexed, that the AAAS had become the first U.S. academic organization to support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. But although one can find almost anything on the Web, you will not find even one professor of Asian American Studies who has respectfully disagreed with, let alone denounced, this move. The Asian American Studies professor who diverges publicly from the party line is that rare a beast.
So evidently no one in Asian American Studies thinks it odd that an organization ostensibly devoted to the study of Asian-American communities has an official line on the Israeli-Arab conflict. The resolution’s drafters propose that the organization has jurisdiction over the conflict, which is, after all, taking place in West Asia. Some professors may be enchanted by this imperialistic suggestion. But all of them? …
No scholar in Asian American Studies has bothered to correct the drafters, who, when they quote “the United Nations” on the crimes of Israel, are actually quoting Richard Falk, the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967. Falk has been in the news recently for observing, after the bombing of the Boston Marathon, that the “American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world.” Back in 2011 he was in the news for writing about the “apparent cover-up” of the real story behind September 11 and the “eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events.” Either the drafters are content to keep such company or they momentarily forgot, in all the excitement about striking a blow against colonialism, that scholars are supposed to check their sources….
Asian American Studies programs exist at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including Cornell, Columbia, Stanford, UW-Madison, and the University of Pennsylvania. Is anyone going to say anything?