While you were sleeping the past generation, anti-Israel radicals took over much of academia. They now run groups like the Association for Asian American Studies, which was the first academic group in the U.S. to approve a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Now the American Studies Association National Council, the leadership of the organization, has endorsed the boycott and is putting the vote to the membership before putting the boycott into effect.

The ASA’s terms of boycott purport to exclude boycott of individual Israeli scholars and is limited to the ASA’s official business only.

As reported by JTA (h/t commenter WTell):

The American Studies Association leadership endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities, but also sought the approval of the body’s 5,000 members.

The decision posted Wednesday follows a contentious debate at the group’s annual meeting last month and 10 days of deliberations that were supposed to last a morning. The boycott resolution was approved unanimously by the 20-member national council.

“We believe that the ASA’s endorsement of a boycott is warranted given U.S. military and other support for Israel; Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights; and the support of such a resolution by many members of the ASA,” the council announcement said.

“The ASA is a large organization that represents divergent opinions,” the announcement said. “Anticipating strong and potentially divided feelings on this question, the Council unanimously decided to ask ASA members to endorse the resolution by a vote.”

Voting will be conducted electronically. If a majority of the association’s voting members do not vote to endorse the boycott resolution by December 15, the national council said that it will withdraw the resolution and determine next steps.

These groups, of course, do not boycott Islamic countries which discriminate against Jews and Christians, which shut out or severely limit educational opportunities for women, or which persecute gays. Only the Jewish-run universities, which are far, far more tolerant of minorities and afford much more equal treatment and educational opportunities, are singled out.

To call them hypocrites is far too mild.

Here is the shameful list of members of The ASA National Council who recommend the boycott:

Jennifer Devere Brody, Stanford University
Ann Cvetkovich, University of Texas, Austin
Jeremy Dean. University of Texas, Austin
Lisa Duggan, New York University
Avery Gordon, University of California, Santa Barbara
Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University
E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University
J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University
Marisol LeBrón, New York University
Karen Leong, Arizona State University
Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis
Martin F. Manalansan IV, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Curtis Marez, University of California, San Diego
Roya Rastegar, Bryn Mawr College
Chandan Reddy, University of Washington, Seattle
Juana María Rodríguez, University of California, Berkeley
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, New York University
Nikhil Pal Singh, New York University

Supporters of Israel and of academic freedom need to rethink the means by which the academic boycott of Israel is fought. Asking for equal treatment of Israeli institutions no longer is enough.

The foxes not only are guarding the hen house, they are inside and in control.

Added: The ASA appears to have set up its Facebook page just yesterday, and most of the entries are about the boycott.

Related Post: Maybe it’s time to reconsider the tax-exempt status of academic boycotters


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