Top Academic Group Supports Israel Boycott

by Andrew Johnson

The national council of the American Studies Association unanimously voted to approve a boycott of Israeli academic institutions for the country’s “grave violations of human rights” of Palestinians. Inside Higher Ed called the decision a “big win” for the movement.

Al Jazeera America reports that the ASA, the largest and oldest association of American culture and history scholars, is encouraging its 5,000 other members to join in the boycott. In a statement, the association cites Israel’s “multi-tiered system of oppression that has denied Palestinians their basic rights,” and its universities as complicit in that effort.

The ASA joins the Association for Asian American Studies, the only other American academic group to endorse the boycott, although Inside Higher Ed reports European groups have supported it as well.

The American Jewish Committee blasted the ASA’s decision, denouncing the group’s repeated claims of Israeli “apartheid” against Palestinians. An AJC director called the boycott “factually inaccurate” and “despicable.”