Dozens of Universities Reject ASA Boycott of Israeli Academics; None Known to Support It

December 23, 2013 2:37 pm 33 comments
American Studies Association.

The American Studies Association logo.

Dozens of universities have rejected a decision by the American Studies Association last week to boycott Israeli academics, according to William Jacobson, a legal scholar who authors the Legal Insurrection blog.

In fact, not one university or American studies department is known to support the ASA boycott. The ASA did not respond to The Algemeiner’s request for further comment on Monday.

Last Wednesday, Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg were the first to reject the boycott, going as far as withdrawing their ASA memberships.

Since then, the Association of American Universities, the umbrella organization for 62 major universities and university-systems, rejected the boycott, along with the presidents of the following major universities:

Boston University, Brown University, Cornell University, Dickinson College, Duke University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Indiana University, Michigan State, New York University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Tulane University, University of California-Irvine, University of California-San Diego, University of Kansas, University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of Texas-Austin, Washington University in St. Louis, Wesleyan University, Willamette University and Yale University.

Last week, the ASA said its members voted to endorse the association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

The ASA said 66.05% voted in favor, 30.5% voted against and 3.43% abstained. While the ASA said the vote signified the largest turnout in its association history, at only about 25% of its 5,000 members, it would mean that only 16% actually voted in favor of the resolution.

In the days following, Jewish organizations and political pundits argued that the move is anti-Semitic, as it covers for Jew hatred, intellectually dishonest, by singling out Israel in a world of human rights abusers, and potentially illegal, because it forces a 501 (c)(3) non-profit to make a political statement.

33 Comments

  • This poison is coming over from the European countries and has infiltrated our American intelligentsia, including Jewish professors. What became clear from Pink Floyd’s Rodger Water’s comments is that they are fueled by books from Jews like Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath”, which then fuels the boycott movement here in the US. What is truly disturbing is that we send our youth to university to get an education and instead they are getting a disease by academic bodies like the ASA. All I can say is that thank goodness some of our universities have taken a stance against the ASA. The bigger question is how to stop what is growing in Europe.

    • You speak of poison coming from Europe
      Funny, so the lovely Jewish people who migrate from Europe to Palestine and occupy their lands and enlist in the Zionist army are considered what then ?? Are they also considered poison ??
      I quote you
      Poison coming from Europe haha
      Yeah ,exactly choke on you’re own words my friend.
      Israelis are born and raised in Palestine my friend but we will call it ISreal
      But is it real haha

      • Ohh where are my manners merry Xmas

        • Dearest Brooklyn,
          The poison I am referring to is ideology, not people. That is where the BDS movement came from. I don’t refer to humans whether they be Jewish or Palestinian as poison, but thanks for letting me know where your head is at. Very telling.
          Happy New Years.

    • Dear Mr Halpern,
      You might be correct in stating that the poison ( antiisraelism as a sort of hidden antisemitism) “is coming from the European Countries”, but in no way the boykott has won here such a political and violent momentum as in the US. In most Europe we find acrimonious discussions on the Israel-Palestine issue, but , apart from the UK, and to a minor extent, from some skandinavian countries, “events” like on US-Universites is – still – unknown here. But we know too:Beware of the beginning!

  • roberta goldstein

    Where are the presidents of the Universities that remain silent with the ASA boycott.
    We are fortunate to have not only free speech, but education for all, where are these presidents to speak out and remove their universities from membership in such an obvious hate mongering group.It is time for this organization be boycotted by the Universities and the people that give credibility to the latest form of anti semitisim.

  • I agree that the boycott proposal was anti-Semitic in intent and effect, but in a way that is not pointed out often enough. What exactly do professors of American Studies in the United States have to do with Israel and Israeli scholars? Their field of study has nothing to do with international politics, and their contacts with Israeli academics are certainly far more limited than those of, say, physics professors. The impact of the “boycott” would be less than negligible.

    The point, however, is this: The more organizations that have nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East take these stands, the more surely they will drive out their Jewish members. That has happened, of course, with the British academic union. after an almost 10-year campaign of extraordinary nastiness. In my opinion, driving Jews out of organizations of every sort by adopting BDS resolutions is not only the effect. It is the purpose.

  • Using the ASA for hate is unconscionable. Misrepresenting the vote of “support” when just 16% of the members voted in favor is blatant dishonesty and broadcasting it to the world is incitement. If any of their students tried a stunt like that on a Thesis they would have failed them. That move is the opposite of academics and is reprehensible. It should be grounds for dismissal as academicians. That antic aside, any attempt to boycott academics is boycotting free speech and human rights and the principles that this country was founded upon. It sounds like these “academics” are being led by something other than free thought and honorable behavior. They are haters and demonstrate extreme bigotry. They are promoting despicable discrimination. Any “academic” that thinks they are promoting liberal human rights principles is deluded and everything they teach should henceforth be considered questionable. This is no more a Liberal free thinking agenda than was the Nazi Fascist agenda. Our Students deserve better. Boycott these “Academics”.

  • All these boycotters are a bunch of hypocrites. They do use Israeli developed technology in the whole sphere of their life, yet they want Israel dead. However, why should we reprimand them, when some left wing Israeli academics encourage those fringe group to boycott Israel. Is not it ironic that academics at Haifa and Ben Gurion universities, paid by Israeli tax payers money call and encourage boycott of their own universities?

  • The article points out that only 16% of ASA members actually voted for the resolution. That does not relieve the 84% of who either did not vote or voted against it from sharing responsibility for it by continuing to lend their support to the organization by contributing dues and lending their names to it.

  • Look at who’s on the list of institutions standing up to the boycott. The schools I’d be proud to send my children to. The second and third tier schools continue to validate their substandard reputation with this attack. Let their teachers and instructors give up their cell phones and hundreds of other innovations they purchased that were inventions of Israeli universities and Israeli entrepreneurs.

  • Boycott every single damned anti-Semitic professor and hound them out of our universities. Negate their tenures. Ban them from parking on school property. Pillory them in school publications. Post their photos on every telephone pole available. Squeeze Crazy-glue into the locks of their car doors. Write letters to the editor mentioning them by name. Make their lives hell.
    Squash them like cockroaches. They are poisoning academia. If possible, air-drop them over Iran.

    Other than the above, I have no strong opinions on the matter.

    • MY COMMENT DOES NOT NEED ‘MODERATION’.
      LEFTIST PROFESSORS NEED MODERATION, BIG TIME.
      WIMPY COLLEGE ADMINISTRATORS NEED MODERATION.
      MUSLIM STUDENT LUNATICS NEED MODERATION.
      POLITICALLY CORRECT NITWITZ NEED MODERATION.
      ANTI-SEMITIC & ANTI-CHRISTIAN STUPIDS NEED MODERATION.
      . . . . and so on.

  • The academic boycott of Israel has exactly the same twofold motivation behind it as the Nazi academic boycott – latent antisemitism but, above all, the desire of non-Jewish academics who are not that bright to see their Jewish colleagues ousted so they can take their place and gain swift promotion. The German universities suffered from having nin-th-rate Nazi academic teaching staff and that is what will happen in the West if the universities continue on this course of action.

  • The “progressive-reactionary” alliance against Israel in academia, this time has flopped.

  • You have stated this lucidly and comprehensively.

    Now how do we get this beyond the readership of the Algemeiner?

  • I’m weary of these so-called “academic” professional haters, anti-Semites and poisoner’s of young minds. If they were willing to put their principals to a real test, they should volunteer to spend a year’s sabbatical in one of the countries that they hold up as superior to the US and see how long their pathologically twisted political philosophies survive after a year’s dose of reality. How many of those who voted to boycott Israel would volunteer to live in Egypt, or Syria, or Vietnam, or North Korea or Cuba or even Saudi Arabia? Most of these grossly overpaid professors teach only a few hours a week and poison young impressionable students whose futures depend on the grades these lunatics issue. They feel invulnerable by taking advantage of tenure and hide behind the Constitutional protections that they preach against, while working in institutions that are largely financed by taxpayer’s money.

    • could not agree more. A year in Saudi Arabia especially for female profs who have a problem with western values would be nice. Actually just kidding. That would be harsh and unusual punishment.

    • So noble are those that are deadset against any boycott of Israeli education while they tolerate and tacitly agree with what the Israeli establishment is doing to boycott any possible freedoms for those nasties, the Palestinians. Moreover, these same pontificating anti-Palestinians are so favorable to the choking boycott of the Iranian nation and people, that’s different, ya know…..I wonder if the sacrosanct Americans realize that the Middle East disturbances are largely placed at the feet of the Israelis whose activities have resulted in gigantic increases in the price for fuels from the oil industries that need to go through the straits of Hormuz to reach open ocean. Threaten Iran and American pay far more, such a deal, eh?
      But, nullification of any ASA action is soooooooo pristine and noble….gimme a break, will ya?

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    Let’s talk frankly one bad apple can spoils the whole crop and that’s what happening today in all Campuses not only in the USA but all over. The fact of the matter petrol money is running loose in all universities. If the want to boycott Israel and Jewish ingenuity they should boycott a lot of remedies invented by Jewish Scholars but these people are cowards and nothing else. Thank G d for those who defy evil.

  • Where is Columbia on this list?

    • Jerry Jacobson

      Did you really except intellectual honesty from them. They hop in any anti-semetic. Bandwagon.

    • Barbara Holtzman

      I went to Columbia for 12 years (doctorate). There were times I was afraid to open my mouth for fear of anti-Jewish reprisals. There were times the pro-Arab groups blocked the walk across campus and I was afraid to walk on campus, so I walked the eight blocks around. I would always pull my shirt up or closed to cover my magen david necklace, if I happened to be wearing it when I went to campus. I am still afraid when I am on campus – Columbia has murderers (who served jail time) and terrorists disguised as professors. I can’t imagine they would do anything other than boycott Israel and any Jewish business whenever they could. It’s not about being liberal, I’M Liberal – it’s about being mean – and because we let them.

  • Marshall E. Schwartz

    This ongoing incident merely provides proof of the validity of the old joke, “Academic politics are so vicious because they are so unimportant.”

    • Barbara Holtzman

      Yep. We forget that. These are tempests in their own little, insulated teapots.

      Although an evil professor who “professes” his venom against anything or anyone – in this case Jews and Israel – can poison his or her students and change their lives in a bad way. I have seen it at Columbia. Often.

  • Unfortunately students in the United States are taught to see their country as an evil force in the world.This is true even in history books used in many high schools. The Leftist agenda is presented as valid history. This is because an entire generation of college students have been taught by Left wing activists with an anti-U.S. agenda. Former Communists, and their Progressives allies who hate the U.S. and denounce every action of the U.S. while praising Cuban and Vietnamese Communist police states and fascist Islamist forces around the world are teaching the college students in some of the most well known Universities. Radicals of all sorts are in control of history, and an assortment of other departments of academia created to present the U.S. above all nations as evil. Israel is the logical target of these Leftists and their loyal students because it is the strongest ally of the U.S. in the Middle East. Leftists in the U.S. have allied themselves with Islamists and have turned a blind eye to the lethal anti-Semitism of the Islamist cause. This is exactly what the Communist Party in the U.S. did when the Hitler-Stalin pact was signed. Suddenly they became “peace activists” and turned against the Western Democracies and supported Stalin’s alliance with Hitler.

  • I think it is time to go one step further. While respecting the right of free speech, I think it is time for university presidents to make statements that this asinine academic campaign of demonization of Israel and all these anti-Israel events on campuses that heighten tension for our Jewish students have grown tiresome. The overwhelming majority of college students find this annoying and wonder why the Israel-Palestinian conflict has to be the number one topic of contention on US university campuses.

    • Barbara Holtzman

      Really. Nothing else happening in the world, no one else starving or oppressed or anything of the kind – and no one having tons of building materials and toys and food and all kinds of things shipped into their supposedly autonomous territory by said oppressors. Perhaps having them all study South Africa and what apartheid really means would help, but I doubt it.

      So the Syrians are murdering hundreds of thousands of their own people, shutting down schools, destroying their own economy, and that’s OK, not worthy of notice. Makes sense to me. /sarcasm

  • Have we forgotten that in the 1930,s Jewish Professors were told by the NAZI’s to stop teaching..? Have we also forgotten that Jewish students were told to quit the Universities and that in Leiden Professor Cleveringa objected to that in his last speech,as he was arrested immediately afterwards. Have we also simply closed our minds for the rich culture the Jewish people has brought us and are we now descending into that same dark barbarism again..? America…be very, very careful!!

  • Thank you, G-d!

  • So it seems that this ASA boycott has had a positive effect by bringing the topic of an academic boycott to the forefront of academic discussion. I am sure this is not what was intended. As in the expression ‘Meaz yatza Matok’ – sweetness emerged from something sour.

  • احمد عبد الجواد

    لقد قرأت فى الجريدة امس ان هناك كلية اسرائيلية تعلم العرب عن بعد ، وبصراحة أريد اﻹلتحاق بهذة الجامعة وذلك يكون شرفا لى بأنى عربي ومصرى الجنسية ومعايا شهادة آكاديمية من جامعة إسرائلية ، وبصراحة شديدة انا حاصل على بكالوريوس فى علوم الحاسبات اﻵلية ولكنى أريد أن أدرس أحد التخصصين وذلك حسب توافرها فى الجامعة إما علاقات عامة أو حقوق كما أتمنى أن تكون الدراسة باللغة العربية وان تكون معترف بيها دولياولكم جزيل الشكر والتقدير .

    “I have read in the newspaper yesterday that there are college Israeli Arabs learned about yet, and frankly, I want to join this university and this would be an honor for me that I am an Arab and Egyptian nationality and Maaya academic degree from the University of Asraúlah, and quite frankly I’m holds a Bachelor of Science in computers, but I want to study a majors depending on the availability at the university, either public relations or rights as I wish to be a study in the Arabic language and to be recognized omitted Doleaolkm sincere thanks and appreciation.”

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