The Modern Language Association (MLA) Delegate Assembly voted today on three resolutions: One in favor of a boycott of all Israeli universities (Resolution 2017-2); the second, opposing academic boycotts in general (Resolution 2017-1); the third, condemning the suppression of academic freedom at Palestinian universities by the Palestinians themselves (the Palestinian Authority and Hamas)(Resolution 2017-3).

An exhaustive discussion of the resolutions and history of BDS activity at MLA is set forth in our prior post, Israel Boycott vote at Modern Language Association on January 7. Opposition to the BDS motion was led by a group calling itself MLA Members for Scholars’ Rights, including Cary Nelson (U.Illinois), Russel Berman (Stanford), Rachel Harris (Illinois), Marty Schichtman (Eastern Michigan), Gabriel Noah Brahm (Northern Michigan), Jonathan Skolnik (UMass), Eric Aronoff (Michigan State), Yael Halevi Wise (McGill). The pro-BDS push was led by the usual cast of faculty who lead efforts at almost every faculty association in the Humanities.

The vote just took place, and the BDS resolution lost, and the anti-BDS resolution passed:

2017-2 pro bds: 79 yes 113 no

2017-1 antibds : 101 yes against 93

The third resolution vote is pending. (UPDATE: The third Resolution was table indefinitely at the request of the anti-BDS people who proposed it. It became superfluous to the anti-BDS fight once BDS was defeated.)

We will have a full write up from someone in the room, probably tomorrow, but here is a taste of how the debate unfolded.

The debate at the MLA townhall yesterday was particularly vicious from the pro-BDS people:

The opposition was much more an appeal to reason:

This opposition was interesting, using the verbiage of social justice movement AGAINST BDS: