A stain on academia — Association for Asian American Studies calls for boycott of Israeli universities and academics
As I have told you, the efforts of some left-wing academics to demonize Israel never ends.
While you go about your business and pay attention to world events, they work tirelessly to ostracize Israel while ignoring both Israel’s security situation and the decades-long effort to destroy Israel.
But rarely has a U.S. academic group, unlike in Britain, even considered a boycott of Israeli universities and academics. We now have such a group, the Association for Asian American Studies.
While we all were watching the events in Boston and the aftermath, the AAAS quietly passed a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions and academics.
Via Times of Israel, For first time, US academic group boycotts Israel:
The Association for Asian American Studies decided to boycott Israeli academic institutions, reportedly becoming the first US academic institution to do so.
At its annual conference in Seattle last week, the group’s general membership unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that accuses Israeli universities of supporting the occupation and systematic discrimination against Palestinian students, among other charges.
“Whereas the Association for Asian American Studies seeks to foster scholarship that engages conditions of migration, displacement, colonialism, and racism, and the lives of people in zones of war and occupation… Be it resolved that the [AAAS] endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions,” the resolution read.
Via Inside Higher Ed, the anti-Israeli activist professors managed to get the resolution passed with 10% of its membership voting:
About 10 percent of the association’s membership was present for last week’s secret ballot vote, which was open to all members and took place on the final day of the AAAS annual conference in Seattle….
The AAAS president, Mary Yu Danico, confirmed the resolution was approved and directed questions to the association’s past president, Rajini Srikanth, a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Srikanth likened the academic boycott to that which was levied against South African universities to protest apartheid, and emphasized that the boycott is of institutions, not individual academics….
Britain’s main faculty union, the University College Union, has issued a series of resolutions over the years that fall just short of endorsing an academic boycott of Israel (see for example this 2008 resolution and this one from 2011). In April, the Teachers Union of Ireland became the first educational trade union in Europe to support an outright boycott, as The Jerusalem Post reported. However, the issue hasn’t gotten as much traction among academics on this side of the Atlantic, where boycotts are widely viewed as antithetical to academic freedom.
To understand just how extreme this action is, consider this via the Inside Higher Ed article:
The American Association of University Professors opposes academic boycotts, stipulating in a 2005 statement that “since its founding in 1915, the AAUP has been committed to preserving and advancing the free exchange of ideas among academics irrespective of governmental policies and however unpalatable those policies may be viewed. We reject proposals that curtail the freedom of teachers and researchers to engage in work with academic colleagues, and we reaffirm the paramount importance of the freest possible international movement of scholars and ideas.” (The AAUP further elaborated on that statement in regards to a then-proposed boycott of two Israeli universities here.)
Remember also how isolated these anti-Israeli academics are in American society, Good news — Israel-hating academics, leftists, Islamists, BDSers making no progress with American public opinion.
We have not heard the end of this. We’ll keep on it.
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