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January 10, 2017 1:55 pm

American Historical Association Rejects Anti-Israel Resolutions for Third Time in Two Years

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Members of the American Historical Association. Photo: AHA Facebook page.

Members of the American Historical Association. Photo: AHA Facebook page.

The oldest and largest society of US historians rejected two anti-Israel petitions last week, the blog History News Network reported.

At its 131st annual gathering, held in Denver on Jan. 5-8, the American Historical Association (AHA) voted not to take action called for in resolutions filed by Historians Against the War (HAW) — self-described as a group of “historically minded activists, scholars, students and teachers [who] stand opposed to wars of aggression, military occupations of foreign lands and imperial efforts by the United States and other powerful nations to dominate the internal life of other countries.”

Without mentioning Israel or the slant against it in the resolutions — claiming that it violates the academic freedom of Palestinians — the AHA explained that it “upholds the rights of students, faculty and other historians to speak freely and to engage in nonviolent political action expressing diverse perspectives on historical or contemporary issues.”

The AHA first rejected moves by its members to condemn the Jewish state in January 2015, refusing to bend the rules and consider an anti-Israel resolution filed after the deadline. It did so again in 2016, denying a motion claiming that Israel actively blocks education opportunities for Palestinians.

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The AHA’s latest rejection of anti-Israel efforts occurred around the same time that the Modern Language Association (MLA) voted down a proposal to boycott Israeli universities.

As The Algemeiner reported, the MLA BDS resolution was defeated on Saturday, in a 113-79 vote. During the vote, a Jewish academic invoked Nazi rhetoric to attack fellow scholars who were successful in preventing the motion from passing. A second resolution opposing academic boycotts in general passed 101-93.

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