U.S. anthropologists vote to boycott Israeli academia
American Anthropological Association votes resoundingly to sever all ties with Israeli academic institutions, as a response to Israel’s ‘widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights.’
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) overwhelmingly passed a resolution to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions during its annual business meeting on Friday. The resolution will go into effect only if it is approved by a final vote of all association members sometime in the coming months.
With over 10,000 members, AAA is by far the largest academic association in the United States to endorse the boycott at an annual meeting.
The resolution, which was resoundingly approved by a vote of 1040-136, will sever all ties between the AAA and Israeli academic institutions, although Israeli academics will be able to take part in events organized by the association. Moreover, every member of the AAA will be able to decide for her or himself whether or not to implement the decision in their work.
According to a statement by “Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions,” a group actively involved in supporting the resolution over the past few years, the “historic result” is a response to Israel’s “widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights, as well as to protest the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in these abuses.”
The group’s website lists several examples of the direct involvement of Israel’s academic institutions in the occupation, including the establishment of a university in the West Bank, the development of weapons and combat doctrines used by the military in the occupied territories, the decision by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC) to provide academic credits to students involved in hasbara efforts, etc.
According to the group’s site, a competing resolution rejecting the boycott under the guise of promoting “engagement” was soundly defeated by a vote of 1173-196.
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