Friday, December 6, 2013

Big Victory for the Boycott-Israel Movement

"Big Win for Boycott Movement"
Inside Higher Ed

December 5, 2013


The National Council of the American Studies Association announced Wednesday that it has unanimously endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities and other Israeli institutions -- and urged its members to vote to make the boycott official policy of the association.

The move by the council, even if awaiting approval by the membership, is seen as a major victory for the movement for an academic boycott of Israel. The academic movement to boycott Israel has considerable support in Europe, but has been largely opposed by major academic associations in the United States, citing longstanding objections to countrywide boycotts as antithetical to academic freedom. But in April, the Association for Asian American Studies became the first disciplinary group to endorse the academic boycott of Israel, and the American Studies Association now appears to be the second.

Supporters of the boycott have argued that just the discussion of the idea at a meeting as large as the American Studies Association marks a significant departure for American academe. A post on the pro-Palestinian site The Electronic Intifada said that the debate over the proposal indicated that "the taboo on boycotting Israel has been broken..."