Wednesday, December 18, 2013

American Studies Association national council endorses academic boycott of Israel

The American Studies Association National Council has called for an academic boycott of Israel.

The council made the unanimous decision after the group’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., where the academic boycott call was debated. The vast majority of speakers at an ASA forum on the academic boycott resolution were in favor of the call, and now the organization is likely to follow suit. The resolution will now be put up for a full vote by ASA members. Members have until 11:59 pm EST on December 15 to cast their vote. It’s likely to pass given the prevailing sentiment at the conference. However if the majority of voters do not endorse the decision, the ballot explains the Council will “withdraw the resolution and determine next steps.”

“The Council voted for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions as an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action. It represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians,” a statement on the ASA website reads.

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