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October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement’

NYU American Studies Confab Has Pro-Boycott Focus

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The New York University American studies program’s annual conference this year is focused on the boycott-Israel movement and dominated by its supporters.

The student-organized conference is scheduled to take place this Friday and Saturday and is titled “Circuits of Influence: U.S., Israel and Palestine.”

A flyer advertising the conference promises discussion on how “recent American Studies scholarship on the political economy of racialization, empire, and settler colonialism led the highlighting of this particular ‘triangle.’”

The flyer notes the American Studies Association’s decision in December to boycott Israeli educational institutions.

Lisa Duggan, a professor of social and cultural analysis at NYU who is the president-elect of the ASA, is moderating one of the conference’s panels, on the “History & Efficacy of Boycotts.”

Individuals and organizations identified with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement feature throughout the conference.

The conference’s three workshop sessions are all led by representatives of groups that advocate for various Israel-related boycotts: Adalah-NY, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. These sessions focus on activism, with titles like “Movement Building,” “Student Organizing” and “Public Engagement.”

A pro-Israel blog, Elder of Ziyon, on Sunday re-posted the conference flyer after Duggan posted it on Facebook. In a comment below her Facebook post, Duggan asked that the flyer not be widely distributed, writing, “We are trying to avoid press, protestors and public attention.”

In a statement issued to JTA, New York University said that the conference was intended for academics, not the press or the public.

“This weekend’s American Studies Program Annual Conference is an annual academic conference that is organized by graduate students in NYU’s American Studies Program and designed for faculty and students in this and related disciplines,” said Philip Lentz, the university’s director of public affairs. “Given the purpose of the conference and space considerations, it is not open to the general public or the press.”

Duggan told JTA in an email that nothing was unusual about how the conference was planned or announced.

“It is not ‘secret,’ it is simply a limited registration academic conference, not a public event,” she wrote in her email.

She said that the student organizers did not deserve to be caught up in “the maelstrom of publicity surrounding the ASA boycott vote.”

“I wish our students could have their conference in relative peace and obscurity, as is usual for their conferences,” she wrote.

Congress Members Blast ASA for Boycott Decision

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

A bipartisan slate of 134 U.S. Congress members wrote a letter to the American Studies Association protesting its decision last month to boycott Israeli universities.

“Academic cooperation can be an important tool to help foster peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but you have chosen the unproductive path of isolation,” said the letter dated Friday, initiated by Reps. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), the chief deputy whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), the senior Democrat on the House Middle East subcommittee. “We hope that the ASA will learn to appreciate the mutually beneficial academic ties between the United States and Israel and work with us to promote peace and academic freedom.”

The ASA, with a membership numbering less than 5,000, was the largest of three academic organizations to recommend boycotts against Israeli institutions last year, a breakthrough in the United States for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

The move has been repudiated by close to 200 U.S. universities and the larger academic groups, such as the American Association of University Professors, have pushed back such attempts.

LA City Council Passes Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, June 14th, 2013

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a resolution to continue awarding city contracts without regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The resolution passed Wednesday was intended as a rebuttal to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which aims to bring economic pressure to bear on Israel, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported.

The resolution comes less than a year after BDS activists called on the city to not renew a bus contract with the French company Veolia Transportation, which also has business holdings in the West Bank.

The resolution states “that the City of Los Angeles will continue to make contracting decisions based on the best interests of the City, its residents, businesses and taxpayers and in accordance with the City Charter and applicable State and Federal law and hereby affirms that issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict will not be considered and will have no impact on the awarding of contracts with the City of Los Angeles.”

Council members Paul Koretz and Mitchell Englander sponsored the resolution. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles helped draft the resolution.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/la-city-council-passes-anti-bds-resolution/2013/06/14/

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