The American Studies Association has endorsed a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in a vote that took place over the past few days, the organization said on Monday.
Out of the 1,252 members who participated in the vote, 66 percent voted in support of the boycott. The voting was conducted electronically.
The decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions was made unanimously by the ASA's 20-member national council on December 5. The organization's leadership sought the approval of the body’s 5,000 members, which was granted on Monday.
“We believe that the ASA’s endorsement of a boycott is warranted given U.S. military and other support for Israel; Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights; and the support of such a resolution by many members of the ASA,” the council's announcement said.
ASA describes itself “devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.” Voices at the open meeting overwhelmingly favored the boycott, but those opposed said they were not representative of the organization’s broader membership.
According to the ASA website, the boycott will not inhibit collaboration with individual Israeli academics.
“The ASA understands boycott as limited to a refusal on the part of the ASA 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 (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others), or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law,” the ASA website said. more