Friday, January 03, 2014

115 colleges and universities denounce academic boycott of Israel

When the American Studies Association voted to support the academic boycott of Israel in December, I felt very discouraged. Was this anti-Israel and antisemitic scourge going to impose itself on American academia as it has on British academia (the main British academic union, the University and College Union, endorsed the academic boycott several years ago)?  And when I heard that a couple of smaller academic societies - the Native American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies had also endorsed the boycott, I felt even more anxious about the possibility that American academia would turn against Israel.

The very quick response, however, to oppose the academic boycott, by a wide and growing range of college and university associations and individual colleges and universities has been very heartening. The blog Legal Insurrection has an updated list of institutions that have announced their opposition to the boycott, including my alma mater, Harvard. The blog has also posted letters from various institutions and discussions of the reactions of the boycotters to opposition.

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