The American Anthropological Association has endorsed a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions, Inside Higher Ed reported Monday. The decision followed an all-member referendum that ran from June 15 to July 14. With only 37% of eligible members voting, 2,016 supported the resolution and 835 people opposed it. A similar referendum that was run in 2016 with half of the AAA members voting, failed.
AAA President Ramona Pérez, a professor of anthropology at San Diego State University, announced following the vote: “We believe that these actions can contribute to the enrichment of the health and welfare of all citizens in the region, increase circulation of anthropological scholarship, ease restrictions on scholars’ travel, increase freedom of expression for Palestinian and Israeli anthropologists, and increase dialogue about how archaeology is used in political arguments.”
I propose someone send a team of anthropologists to check this guy out, he may be the latest discovery of a living Homo Oxymoron.
The Academic Engagement Network (AEN) expressed its deep dismay at and opposition to the AAA resolution, stating: “We find it ironic that this resolution was presented within the framework of the AAA’s ‘deep commitment to academic freedom and open debate’ when academic boycotts are, in fact, antithetical to these core values that define the academy.”
The AEN statement continued: “A boycott of Israeli academic institutions will inevitably – and inequitably – discriminate against Israeli scholars. Indeed, the resolution’s assertion that the boycott ‘will not target individual students or scholars’ is untenable. The boycott of Israel’s universities and colleges cannot be meaningfully separated from the faculty and students who work, teach, and study in them. Thus, this resolution is akin to a blacklist which punishes individual academics on the basis of their nationality, political views, and the policies and actions of their government.”
“By transforming itself from an academic association ostensibly committed to open intellectual inquiry into an advocacy group mandating political and ideological orthodoxies, the AAA has done profound damage to its reputation and credibility,” the AEN statement concluded.
See, that final part shows where the problem lies: the nice folks at the AEN were thinking that American academia, including the AAA, was “committed to open intellectual inquiry.”
Based on what evidence?