MLA Caucus Introduces Resolution in Support of Israel-Boycotting ASA

January 11, 2014 8:00 pm 0 comments

The MLA logo. Photo: Screenshot.

JNS.orgAt the Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in Chicago on Friday, an MLA caucus introduced an “Emergency Resolution in Support of the American Studies Association,” JNS.org has learned. The American Studies Association (ASA) recently voted to endorse an academic boycott of Israel.

“Whereas ASA members have been threatened for upholding the vote [to boycott Israel]; Whereas MLA resolution 2012-1 affirms that academics involved in social justice movement should not fear reprisals, Be it resolved that the MLA condemns the attacks on the ASA and supports the right of academic organizations and individuals, free from intimidation, to take positions in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against racism,” states the resolution by the MLA’s Radical Caucus. “Be it further resolved that the MLA encourages robust discussions of issues regarding the academic freedom of Palestinians.”

Seventy-five percent of MLA convention delegates need to approve the resolution before it can be debated and voted on. On Saturday, the MLA delegates are already scheduled to vote on Resolution 2014-1, which condemns Israel for “arbitrary denials of entry to Gaza and the West Bank by U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.”

About 100 American university presidents, provosts, and campus officials spoke against the ASA boycott of Israel. MLA’s emergency resolution in support of the ASA “exemplifies yet again the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the boycott movement,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs.

“The ASA has every right to make statements or enact resolutions, no matter how stupid or intellectually dishonest. But opponents have the same right to critique and take action to ensure they are not complicit with positions that violate their principles,” Rothstein said.

In a recent letter, the leaders of the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) and Hillel International asked the university officials who publicly opposed the ASA boycott of Israel to take the same approach to the MLA’s Resolution 2014-1.

“I think that the same university presidents who spoke out about the ASA boycott should feel comfortable speaking out against the MLA resolution because it holds Israel to the same double standard,” ICC Executive Director Jacob Baime told JNS.org.

A report issued by MLA members opposing Resolution 2014-1 states that in 2012, only 142 Americans were denied entry to Israel and the disputed territories out of 626,000 who wanted to enter, a refusal rate of about 0.023 percent. The U.S. restricts entry to its own borders at a much higher rate—5.4 percent in 2012 for Israeli applications for “B” visas, as reported by both the Israeli embassy in the U.S. and the U.S. State Department.

“The chance of an Israeli wanting to come to America and being refused by the American authorities for getting a visa is 200 times greater than that of an American trying to enter Israel,” Ilan Troen, director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University and professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, told JNS.org.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    JNS.org – Less than five months after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its sixth European basketball title, David Blatt, now the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, routed his former team in an exhibition game on Sunday, with the Cavaliers dominating Maccabi 107-80 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 20,562 fans in attendance witnessed Lebron James’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform since he left the club in free agency for the Miami Heat four years ago. [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.