web analytics
July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The ASA Boycott And The Gathering Backlash

It had long seemed that the movement to boycott Israel, particularly its colleges and universities, was unstoppable. Almost every week brought news of some fresh resolution according pariah-like status to Israel, ostensibly in response to Israel’s alleged trampling on the rights of Palestinians – though it was easy to suspect something more insidious and deep-rooted at play.

And many of the intelligentsia were curiously unwilling to address the irony of a broadly applied boycott – the antithesis of reasoned discourse – being touted as the remedy for what they said was Israel’s denial of academic freedom to West Bank Palestinian students and scholars.

But the negative reaction to the recent targeting of Israeli institutions of higher learning by an American academic group may be a breakthrough and should be encouraged.

Several weeks ago the American Studies Association “resolved that [it] endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.“

In a separate follow-up public statement the ASA said:

Our resolution understands boycott as limited to a refusal on the part of the Association in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions, or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.

The resolution does not apply to individual Israeli scholars engaged in ordinary forms of academic exchange, including conference presentations, public lectures at campuses, or collaboration on research and publication. The Council also recognizes that individual members will act according to their convictions on these complex matters.

The careful wording as to the reach of the boycott does not mask the fact that the ASA plainly planned to “honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.” Again, this sort of thing had become expected. But there has been a very real fallout this time, one that can only be described as swift, negative and overwhelming.

As of early this week at least 55 colleges and universities had condemned the boycott, all emphasizing the importance of academic freedom in their statements. Among the schools were Northwestern, Cornell, Harvard, NYU, Brown, Yale, Brandeis, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins, Boston University, Tufts, University of California, Fordham, Stanford, Purdue, USC, University of Texas, Ohio State, Rutgers, Brooklyn College, MIT, Columbia, Emory, University of Illinois, Amherst, Dartmouth, Wesleyan and Barnard.

We do not delude ourselves that this represents some mass epiphany on Israel in academia. But it is a step forward, even though the core concern raised by most of the schools is academic freedom rather than the merits of Israel’s position vis-à-vis the Palestinians. As such it should be heralded and nurtured by those of us interested in Israel’s welfare.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The ASA Boycott And The Gathering Backlash”

  1. Clive Ginsberg says:

    Settlement activity by Israel in Judea & Samaria is NOT a violation of international law (http://www.mythsandfacts.org/article_view.asp?articleID=246)

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
British Prime Minister David Cameron
Britain Warns Citizens Against Travel to Turkey, Fearing ISIS Attacks
Latest Indepth Stories
Open Tent

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Hamas on the Temple Mount - Jul 3, 2015

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

Community-Jewels-logo

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Brudner-072415-Rav-Aharon

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

The US-UNRWA accord is another example of this White House, hostile to Israel, disregarding truth.

On the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’av, a reflection on the dangerous deal with Iran

The Kotel gained significance around 1550. Previously, many Jews prayed on the Temple Mount itself.

All Jews MUST stand together to oppose boycotts against Israel. So why does NIF & JCF support BDS?

This year it is hard to concentrate on anything but Iran building nuclear weapons to destroy Israel

Bibi failed the moment he transferred Israel’s Iran problem to the international arena.

I was entranced by Kaddish, a song of sorrow of the whole of Israel for the 1000s of years of exile

Like the Avos, we are invested with the mission to inspire humanity to become nobler and greater

Iran accords are worse than Munich; even Chamberlain would be shocked at what is transpiring again.

An unhappy person cannot become happy by acquiring items. Happiness has to come from somewhere else.

More Articles from Editorial Board

Mr. Kerry may or may not be genuinely disturbed and troubled by the Iranian leader’s continued belligerence. With the deal completed, that’s not even a matter of concern anymore.

Mr. Silver’s legislation changed the primary date to April 19, which avoids any conflict. And, we are happy to say, he received the support of Republicans in the legislature for changing the date.

The issue of the Chief Rabbinate’s control over conversions and other life-cycle matters has long been a contentious one.

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-asa-boycott-and-the-gathering-backlash/2014/01/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: