Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More US academics join boycott of Israel

The Critical Ethnic Studies Association announced on its website last week that its conference had formally agreed to “endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and honor the call of Palestinian civil society with the passage of a resolution on the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”

The association represents scholars working in ethnic studies and fields which tackle areas affected by the global history of “racism, settler colonialism, immigration, imperialism, and slavery.”

According to the association’s website, the move comes after a long period of consultation and workshops on the subject at their 2013 conference and after using online mechanisms.

In addition to calling for an institutional boycott of Israeli academia, the resolution also noted the repression which has met scholars in the USA who have attempted to speak out on Palestine, especially: “Arab and Muslim, Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latin@, and LGBTQ communities, students, activists, and scholars.”

This boycott call is particularly strongly worded for an academic statement, condemning “US support for Israeli settler-colonialism, occupation and racism” and linking the fight for justice in Palestine to other indigenous and decolonization struggles around the world.

The full resolution, which now represents the association’s position on the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions, can be read on the association’s website.

In December, the American Studies Association voted by a landslide to join the academic boycott of Israel. The ASA describes itself as the “nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.”

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