Friday, December 27, 2013

  • Friday, December 27, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
This was received from a faculty member at Columbia University. It is planned to be posted at the Columbia website later today or tomorrow.

I have made my opposition to academic boycotts of Israel emphatically clear over the years, most prominently in my 2007 letter that was signed by some 400 of my fellow college and university presidents speaking out against the British University and College Union's boycott of Israeli scholars and universities. I stand by that statement today when considering the recent vote by the American Studies Association for just such a boycott. To be sure, it is entirely appropriate for our campuses to provide a forum for discussion and debate about the policies of any government, including our own. But the ASA's vote runs counter to this essential academic and political freedom and, taken to its logical conclusion, would necessarily result in boycotts of fellow scholars and peer institutions from many nations around the world. I reject the ASA's position which would compromise an essential value of universities in an increasingly global society-and we look forward to continuing to Columbia's long history of engagement with our peers from Israel.

- Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University

Columbia now joins dozens of other universities who have denounced the ASA boycott.

The latest list from Avi Mayer:

The following is a list of institutions whose presidents or chancellors have publicly rejected the academic boycott of Israel in recent days. The Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities, which represents 62 top institutions in the U.S. and Canada, has also expressed its strong opposition to the boycott, as has the American Association of University Professors, which counts more than 48,000 members.


In addition, the following institutions’ American Studies programs have withdrawn their membership in the American Studies Association (ASA) following last week’s boycott vote:
Furthermore, the following institutions have flatly denied being institutional members of the ASA, though the organization lists them as such:
There have also been lots of articles denouncing the ASA.

I'm wondering if any universities, at all, will publicly side with the ASA.



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