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American Studies Assoc. tells Regional Chapters not to communicate with me

American Studies Assoc. tells Regional Chapters not to communicate with me

“We recommend that you not respond to Jacobson/Legal Insurrection, beyond referring them to the ASA resolution.”

We reported yesterday how incoming American Studies Association President Lisa Duggan of NYU organized an anti-Israel conference through NYU, but didn’t want those who disagree to know about it (via Elder of Ziyon).  The Facebook post about the event since has been taken down.

It appears that secrecy is the new policy at ASA.

Earlier this month I wrote to ASA Regional Chapter Presidents asking for their position on whether the ASA academic boycott of Israel applied to Regional Chapters and their events, such as regional conventions.  This is an important issue because much of ASA’s presence — other than its Annual Meeting — takes place through the Chapters.  To understand the scope and application of the boycott, we need to know whether the Regional Chapters will follow the boycott.

My email is quoted below.  Some responded that they didn’t know but would find out and get back to me (but didn’t), others didn’t respond.

Now I know why I have been met with mostly silence.

Apparently the ASA Exceutive Committee is not happy about this inquiry, and has told the Regional Chapters not to communicate with me other than to refer me to the ASA boycott resolution itself (which, of course, I already have).  This amounts to a complete non-communication strategy.

Here is the email the ASA Executive Committee sent (emphasis added):

Dear Chapter Officers,

This is to advise you of the following query:

“I have been following the American Studies Association boycott of Israel. Can you tell me if, as a regional chapter, you are governed by
the ASA boycott resolution and guidelines? If so, will those boycott guidelines be applied to your conference and other activities? I would appreciate your prompt reply.”

We recommend that you not respond to Jacobson/Legal Insurrection, beyond referring them to the ASA resolution.

Not only do they represent some of the most vocal opposition, but any of the information you provide them in response to their hypothetical questions could be used in a lawsuit (for example the one that Shurat HaDin threatened).

Furthermore, the ASA’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions does NOT “govern” ASA regional chapters.

Mr. Jacobson has not merely been “following the American Studies Association boycott of Israel,” but was its first and most vocal
external opponents.

He orchestrated a campaign against institutional membership. Now he is harassing each of the regional chapters.

We found this Ha’aretz article. See final two paragraphs.

Netanyahu convenes ministers to discuss growing Israel economic boycott threats Knesset ministers to consider whether to launch an aggressive public campaign or operate through diplomatic channels.

See also


The ASA Executive Committee

The ASA email highlights the lack of clarity as to whether ASA Regional Chapters will apply the boycott.  The ASA email puts the word “govern” in quotes, but the question is whether the boycott rules will be applied at the Regional Chapter level, whether they “govern” or not.  That ASA simply plays word games highlights ASA’s attempt to obscure the breadth and scope of the boycott.

It’s interesting that the ASA Executive Committee considers a respectful inquiry on a factual matter as to Regional Chapter positions on the boycott to be “harassing.”  A better example of harassment would be the anti-Israel boycott itself, which demonizes and punishes the most academically free country in the Middle East based on false accusations of Apartheid and discrimination.

From the beginning of their boycott efforts, ASA leadership has sought to portray ASA as a victim based on nothing more than criticism of its position, as I wrote in my post Anti-Israel academic boycotters demand Freedom From Criticism.

In reality, ASA is the victimizer, not the victim.  ASA has victimized not only Israeli academics but the academic community at large, including students, through an academic boycott that has been condemned by almost 250 university presidents and major academic groups.


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…he is harassing…

Inigo Montoya spoke of this…

Well, professor, looks like you’ve arrived. As the WW2 bomber pilots said: When you’re taking flak, you’re over the target.

Mo mercy on ’em.

Mo s/b No. [email protected] Chinese keyboards.

Plus, you hit them so hard, they’re seeing double…

Mr. Jacobson has not merely been “following the American Studies Association boycott of Israel,” but was its first and most vocal
external opponents.

Heh! Running scared!

Those last two paragraphs… what is the ASA implying here…?

are you possibly gaining some sort of traction for legal action now? not sure the rules/laws/etc (or even if you would be interested) so this question may not be valid.
just curious.

Clearly the result of microagression.

Again, why is Professor Jacobson the lone Cornell professor, including all of the Jewish professors, that is speaking out? I’m furious and disgusted they aren’t using their platform and clout to speak up against this anti-Semitism. I’m simply embarrassed that he has to go this alone. (well, not alone, he has the support of us who think sensibly, who have worked for a living rather than those who grew up in the academic bubble, and who live in the real world) If ASA were an organization tied to conservatism instead, there would be no end to the screaming….

More great proof of “Freedom of Speech for ME but not for THEE”

Very narcissistic

I am just glad somebody has finally gotten annoyed enough to deal with these fake academic big shots. These are nothing but the Ku Klux Klan in black robes.

These are people who hold themselves out as academic “experts” in self-defined, meaningless areas where they publish flimsy papers in which they substitute their idea of unconventional wisdom for rigorous academic inquiry.

The “I won’t dignify that statement with a response” tactic has limited utility where the infestation of creeps like this is tolerated. I have been disappointed to see the broad range of otherwise respectable academic institutions that have harbored these parasites.

What I would like to know is, how did our academic institutions evolve into support systems for this type of fraud? I understand that the current purpose is simply to put a stop to the worst of the nonsense as it relates to perverting the entire notion of academic freedom, but I have observed academic frauds on a much broader level than this.

TrooperJohnSmith | February 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm

The clear implication is that P’fessor Jacobson is a Jooooooooooooooooooooo!

ASA: lie down with Paleostinians [sic], and you’ll become one.

I think the ASA is going to learn the meaning of the phrase, “honey badger”…

“the ASA’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions does NOT “govern” ASA regional chapters.”
Of course not, if you fail to follow the directive you are no longer a regional chapter.

“Honey Professor don’t care. Honey Professor don’t give a SHIT.”

Awesome work, sir. ASA and the likes of Liz Warren see you in their nightmares. And a few students too, I’m sure, but for entirely different reasons.

Phillep Harding | February 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Smack ’em again.

When on a supposedly “moral crusade” as the BDS-ers profess to be, isn’t it the usual tack to loudly proclaim the justice and rightness of your cause at every opportunity?

When has any other “high-minded moral protest” retreated into secrecy and hiding (except, of course, in the sort of countries run by the Left where expressing an opinion can land you in a gulag or a grave)?

Remarkable “moralists,” these Israel-haters.

disclaimer am not Jewish, but have traveled to Jerusalem…

did ASA somehow find out Prof William A. Jacobson, renowned legal authority is Jewish?? just saying

[…] I’ve already mentioned how bloggers like Elder of Ziyyon succeeded in raising the profile of an embarrassing program the incoming head of ASA wanted to keep secret.  And speaking of ASA, where would any of us be without Legal Insurrection’s leadership and readiness to ask tough questions and publish the answers (or lack thereof)? […]