On Saturday, January 24, I appeared on the syndicated radio show of our friend Pete “Da Tech Guy” Ingemi.

I had a chance to talk about the backround and nature of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement, most specifically the American Studies Association academic boycott of Israel. See our BDS and ASA tags for background.

I discussed how the pushback against the academic boycott has been overwhelming, with over 200 university presidents, the major academic organizations, and 134 Congressmen denouncing the boycott. This fast rejection of the boycott by American civil and political society has made a pariah of the ASA and the supporters of academic boycotts. That is a significant achievement.

But it’s not enough.

I also had a chance to announce the next phase of the opposition to the academic boycott movement (at 9:30)(full audio embedded at bottom of post):

“We’re going to continue to push back, and you’ll be hearing about those in coming months, we’re not stopping now….

[T]he boycott is discrimination on the basis of national origin. While they don’t boycott all Israeli academics, they only boycott Israeli academics, and that’s national origin discrimination.

And we’re going to be, you know it hasn’t really been publicly announced ’till now, but we’re going to be going around the country, and wherever they meet, we’re going to insist that universities and that municipalities apply their local anti-discrimination laws to these events. That if they’re going to hold an event that’s going to discriminate on the basis of national origin, we want the laws enforced as to them just as they would be to any other group.

So it’s going to be an active year, like I mentioned Legal Insurrection tends to take a fairly active approach to issues, we don’t just write about them, we actually pursue them, and we’re going to be pursuing them for the coming months and maybe the coming years.”

This will be a joint project with Anne Sorock’s Capitol City Project. At Legal Insurrection we are chronically short of time, manpower and resources, so CCP’s help is greatly appreciated.

The problem of discriminatory academic boycotts did not happen overnight. The boycott planning took years, and so will the pushback. The goal is to avoid having our universities turned into nothing more than political tools for people who do not value American civil society’s love for academic freedom and non-discrimination in education.

(Featured image from Facebook profile of ASA member and boycott advocate Cynthia Franklin)


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