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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
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Members Flee Academic Group Boycotting Israel, May Form New Group

The loss of membership and the launching of a competitor association, along with the legal challenge to the American Studies Association's tax-exempt status, may be the only real legacy of the ASA's boycott of Israel.

After the American Studies Association voted to boycott Israel, the American Studies Department of Penn State University at Harrisburg withdrew from the Association

After the American Studies Association voted to boycott Israel, the American Studies Department of Penn State University at Harrisburg withdrew from the Association

The loss of membership and the launching of a competitor association, along with the legal challenge to the ASA’s tax-exempt status, may be the only real legacy of the ASA’s boycott of Israel.

And wouldn’t that be the ultimate irony?  Rather than actually causing any harm to Israel, the decision of the American Studies Association to stray so far afield from its mission as to focus, literally, on a different continent, will only harm the American Studies Association itself.

The ideologues who have begun deploying American academics on the battlefield to destroy the Jewish State may begin to receive chillier receptions when the academic institutions and departments leave that battlefield on stretchers and life support.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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14 Responses to “Members Flee Academic Group Boycotting Israel, May Form New Group”

  1. i can't help but wonder how much these American Studies geniuses actually know about Israel. As the author of this article has pointed out in earlier pieces, Israel has done more to ADVANCE the cause of scholarship and higher education among Arabs, in the land Israel took in 1967, than had been done by anyone before then. Clearly the American Studies scholars should spend their time on American studies, and leave the Middle East to the Middle Eastern studies departments (a whole bunch of OTHER geniuses, of course, but that's another story).

  2. This is such good news

  3. member's fleeing? Sounds more like snailing/

  4. Good move! Lets rid ourselves of hatred in higher education!

  5. This reminds me of the man who tried to stab a good man in the back only to trip and fall on his own blade. A wise man once said, "When embarking on a revenge mission, dig two graves." When embarking on a mission to destroy Israel, they only need to dig one grave…their own.

  6. Sandra Heer says:

    Some colleges still believe in academic freedom and open inquiry.

  7. Sam Siddiqui says:

    It will be interesting to see which universities flee to support Israeli occupation and which members remain to support nonviolent means of conflict resolution

  8. It's a contradicition in terms for an academic organization to stifle individual freedom for the sake of political positioning. Israel is the most democratic country in the Middle East, affording the highest standard of living to the Arabs living there than anywhere in the surrounding 21 Arab countries. It should be commended for its democratic outreach to the Arab community, instead of being condemned. Clearly, the ASA is ignorant on the subject. Bravo to Brandeis and Penn State at Harrisburg for taking principled positions and withdrawing from the ASA. Others should follow suit in rapid response mode.

  9. Daniel Shapiro says:

    Sam Siddiqui, I would suspect the only Universities who will sever ties to the ASA are those who are honest about the conflict between Israel and the regional arabs who recently (1964) re-invented themselves as "palestinians". Those honest educational institutions recognize that but for Israeli universities many arab women have no alternative to education as they are prohibited from study. They recognize that your mis-characterized "apartheid wall" is in actuality a security barrier, mostly a fence not a wall, which Israel was forced to erect in order to successfully stem terrorist infiltration from the regional arabs to a slow trickle compared to the countless terror attacks on Israeli civilian men, women, children and infants that occurred prior to the erection of the barrier. Those honest universities will have recognized that Israeli Universities and innovators are responsible for more inventions, patents, and scientific achievements than the entire arab world combined. They understand that collaboration with Israeli Universities is good for academia.

  10. GOOD FOR THEM!!! What is the boycott going to achieve anyway. Their shooting themselves in the their own foot. Only proves how pride and stupidity can encompass some intellectuals….common sense is out the window. Eistein said "Intellects solve problems…Genius' prevent problems".

  11. Helen, As usual, I am proud to say you are my friend! Your words on the shameful condemning of Israel should be sent into all the major papers. They are too important for Facebook alone!!

  12. Rick Wice says:

    from your post I am assuming you would not recognize Israel to exist at all.

    Instead of flee to support a occupation they support a country that has tried to make peace with organizations that only want to see Israel annihilated? A country that has Arab citizens and members of its Parliament as opposed to all the Arab states that expelled Jews in 47, 68, etc.

  13. Sam Siddiqui says:

    Does South Africa exist? Did American universities boycott them academically? It is really strange to read comments here which imply that heads of universities would somehow all prefer to support violations of international laws esp the Geneva Conventions and the Apartheid treaty – or doesn't academic freedom extend to Palestinians too?

  14. Bravo and thank you for all who are standing up for democracy, ethics and justice. Obviously, the ASA has decided to side with tyranny, with Palestinians who mistreat even their own, not to mention their willingness to kill for the sake of usurping land. And because Judaism is a morality that the Arabs can't deal with; they are the antithesis of what Judaism stands for and what Israelis do for the betterment of humanity.

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