Major U.S. Academic Group Joins Boycott Of Israel

israel1There is a major development in the movement among universities and colleges to boycott Israeli universities over objections to its treatment of the Palestinians. The influential American Studies Association on Monday endorsed the boycott with mover 3000 of its members voting and 66 percent supporting the action as a response what they view as a pattern of human rights violations by Israel. It is a major victory for academics pushing for cutting off ties to Israeli educations institutions.

The association passed the endorsement of the boycott with the statement that “The ASA condemns the United States’ significant role in aiding and abetting Israel’s violations of human rights against Palestinians and its occupation of Palestinian lands through its use of the veto in the UN Security Council.”

The boycott is beginning to impact academics in Israel, a major part of the country’s economy and culture. A similar boycott against Israeli products has been expanding with many stores pledging not to buy products from the country.

The academic boycott not only calls for cutting off ties to Israeli institutions but divestment and sanctions against Israel. It has even greater support in Europe.

Kenneth Stern of the New York-based American Jewish Committee objected to the American Studies Association’s vote “abhorrent.”

Notably, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) opposes the boycott as a violation of academic freedom — a legitimate concern. However, the ASA insists that it is not limiting individual collaboration on scholarship and only “formal partnership[s] with or sponsorship[s] by Israeli academic institutions.”

Here is the ASA resolution:

American Studies Association Resolution on Academic Boycott of Israel

December 4, 2013

Whereas the American Studies Association is committed to the pursuit of social justice, to the struggle against all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, discrimination, and xenophobia, and to solidarity with aggrieved peoples in the United States and in the world;

Whereas the United States plays a significant role in enabling the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law, as well as in supporting the systematic discrimination against Palestinians, which has had documented devastating impact on the overall well-being, the exercise of political and human rights, the freedom of movement, and the educational opportunities of Palestinians;

Whereas there is no effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars under conditions of Israeli occupation, and Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students;

Whereas the American Studies Association is cognizant of Israeli scholars and students who are critical of Israeli state policies and who support the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement under conditions of isolation and threat of sanction;

Whereas the American Studies Association is dedicated to the right of students and scholars to pursue education and research without undue state interference, repression, and military violence, and in keeping with the spirit of its previous statements supports the right of students and scholars to intellectual freedom and to political dissent as citizens and scholars;

It is resolved that the American Studies Association (ASA) endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. It is also resolved that the ASA supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Source: ABCNews

60 thoughts on “Major U.S. Academic Group Joins Boycott Of Israel

  1. “MS I too regard your comments as well grounded in logic and facts. Unfortunately, you have a knee jerk reaction to any criticism of Israel which I understand, but just as I have no hesitation hitting the US government for its misdeeds and crimes, I would have hope you would take a similar view of Israel.”


    Read my comment above and then get back to me.

  2. “What the Israelis did was to refuse to let the owners back into their homes once the shooting had stopped. They then used the color of “law” to permanently dispossess them. That is also ILLEGAL and a WAR CRIME by the way. So please try and use some sense in this matter and not fall for the propaganda.”

    Those Arabs who left Israel did so because they were opposed to a government controlled by Jews. 20% of the Israeli citizens today are Muslims. They did not leave in ’48, retained their land and have representatives in the Knesset. Can you say the same about the 500,000 Jews who were expelled from Arab ME countries in the late 40’s and early 50’s who had their property confiscated. Would they have been welcomed back with opened arms by the countries who expelled them because they were Jewish. As for that being a war crime, I think not. As for falling for propaganda I would see it that you are the one who has been mesmerized.

  3. Carlyle,

    You’ve got your historical sources, I have mine. They disagree and so too we will have to disagree.

    However, as I mentioned to you in a comment some time ago isn’t this the way of the world? Were Whites welcomed in Australia by the natives. Were they welcome in the U.S., or Canada? Were the Muslims welcome in many of the European countries they seized? I have never defended Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State on grounds of morality and I refuse to do so now. Israel is a fact of life and quite frankly will remain so. Now if you want to talk about the government Netanyahu is a hack and a fool. currently Israeli political policies are self defeating. however, given the condition of governments around the world, what else is new and this includes my own country. As I explained to pdm above my reasons for wanting Israel’s continuation as a Jewish State are personal and selfish. I need a country to escape to when the crazies decide they need to start killing Jews. Australia doubtfully will provide shelter, Europe definitely won’t, for some crazy reason anti-Jewish feeling is rife in Japan. My own country proved itself lacking in WWII. I’m a Jew. I’m proud of it and I would like my progeny to continue on in this insanity we call life. Hitler proved that your family could have converted 100 years before, but if you had Jewish blood you were a threat, As I’ve said many times before though I am strongly in favor of a two state solution and Netanyahu and his cronies are idiots and knaves for not getting it done.

  4. One final comment. I arrived at the Turley blog many years ago because those at kept questioning my intellectual honesty because I supported Israel’s continued existence. I wasn’t banned but decided to leave because in the course of one discussion I mentioned that Yassir Arafat was actually an Egyptian, not a “Palestinian” and that he got his position because he was the nephew of the “Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.” I went one to explain the “Mufti’s” history of hatred for Jews and his residence in Berlin during WWII as Hilter’s guest. The reply was “Mufti Schmufti…who cares. Israel is a rogue state and should be abolished”, it was then I arrived here where people at least attempt to have a dialogue. I’ve laid out my beliefs honestly, accept them….or not. I’m not into continuing this argument because it ultimately goes nowhere.

  5. Mike, Thanks for your reply.

    I believe absolutely in the Shoah. My in-laws have been most annoyed by my efforts to ensure that my grandchildren learn about the Holocaust (eyes roll with yet another gift of Anne Frank, Sophie’s Choice or The Painted Bird). I believe in Israel’s right to exist although I strongly disagree with your history of the war of 1947. My comments about the lack of any response to the Max Blumenthal videos were not directed solely towards you. There are several other commenters who I hoped would be engaged. Unlike you, I found the videos shocking although you are quite correct that such hatred is found all over the world and specifically here. What is different about Israel?

    Its ELECTED government, for one: Bibi and Liberman. It is both sanctioned and mandated by the people of Israel – not all people – but more and more Israelis. OUR important role in enabling Israel’s ability to build more settlements. Their deliberate efforts to effect our presidential election. The planned and deliberate policy of creating Greater Israel. The building of walls making a two state solution impossible. The brutal embargo of Gaza. It’s checkpoints. Its militarization. The destruction of ancient homes, farms,olive groves. The eviction of people. The ridiculous argument that god gave them what’s left of Palestine. The whole bloody forever and ever occupation. It all approximates South African apartheid.

    Mike, I’m entirely sympathetic to the discrimination you suffered as a child. I remember some of that although I was immune from such. But I saw it and it registered as wrong, wrong, wrong. I suppose that same instinct (I think it’s instinct – I don’t remember my parents giving us lessons on the evils of discrimination.) is what causes my disgust of what is going on in Israel today.

    There was an Israeli woman in the video who spoke of “a cancer on our body”. There is a cancer, but she mistakes the cause.

  6. To those of you who think that Americans are fine young fellows, I present the following stuff:

    From Google:

    Everyone is familiar with Adolf Hitler and the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. Few remember that in the mid- to late-1930s the United States experienced a Nazi crusade of its own, one led by Fritz Julius Kuhn (1896-1951), a radical anti-Semite who dreamed of a fascist America led by a Nazi president. Kuhn never realized his dream, but he did develop a national Nazi movement–complete with propaganda wing, youth group, and its own version of the Schutzstaffel (SS)–that inspired a concerted effort (among politicians, law enforcement and media alike) to destroy him and his organization.

    But on February 20, 1939–the day Kuhn’s German-American Bund (Der Amerikadeutsche Volksbund) held a Nuremberg-style rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden–Kuhn and his rabid followers seemed a very real threat to order. Tens of thousands of protestors surrounded the Garden while Bundesf hrer Kuhn addressed 17,000 enthusiastic supporters–men and women who demonstrated their support by extending their right arms straight out, palms down, in that instantly-recognizable salute, all the while shouting ‘Free America! Free America! Free America!’ Yet that night would mark the peak of the Bund’s reach and influence, as the New York-based group was effectively marginalized later that year when Kuhn was convicted of larceny and forgery and sent to prison at Sing Sing, the state’s infamous maximum-security prison.

    In the new book ‘Swastika Nation’ (St. Martin’s Press), author Arnie Bernstein deftly chronicles the rise and fall of the German-American Bund, which emerged from the remnants of a group known as the Friends of New Germany. ‘Kuhn did a remarkable job of marshaling the movement,’ says Bernstein. If Kuhn was running a corporation instead of a Nazi movement he would have been [considered] an astute businessman.’

    The Bund maintained a diversified income stream derived from annual dues and various ancillary fees, as well as the mandatory purchase of uniforms, armbands, pins and badges. Uniforms for both the rank-and-file and the group’s Ordnungsdienst (‘well-dressed bodyguards who undertook their duties with brutal seriousness,’ according to Bernstein) had to be purchased from Bund-approved tailors. In fact, the Bund strongly encouraged its membership to spend their hard-earned dollars at Aryan-owned businesses that were a part of the Deutscher Konsum Verband (D.K.V.), or German Business League.

    Meanwhile, the organization’s publishing arm (the AV Publishing Company, the name derived from the initials of the Bund’s German name, Amerikadeutscher Volksbund), pushed out books and propaganda materials, and also published a weekly newspaper, The German Wakeup Call and Observer (Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter). Members were obligated to subscribe to the newspaper, and to buy a copy of Hitler’s autobiography/manifesto ‘Mein Kampf,’ among other propaganda materials.

    But what really drew the ire of the American public were the Bund’s camps and retreats–Camp Siegfried in Yaphank, New York, andCamp Nordland in Andover Township, New Jersey, for example–where thousands of Bund members gathered en masse to picnic and swim. Think summer camp, with a Nazi twist.

    The retreats were a key component of the Bund’s youth initiative, which was loosely modeled after Germany’s Hitler Youth and female counterpart, the League of German Girls. As in Germany, youth group retreats were sexually charged gatherings. ‘They encouraged the boys and girls to sleep with each other to produce good Aryan children for the day that they would take over,’ notes Bernstein.

    Predictably, neighbors didn’t take kindly to the idea of Bund members goose-stepping the streets of Yaphank or Andover Township in Nazi-styled uniforms, and the pushback against the camps attracted media coverage coast-to-coast. Syndicated newspaper columnistWalter Winchell painted Kuhn and his followers in a particularly unflattering light, the former taking delight in referring to the Bund leader as Phffftz Kuhn, Fritz Kuhnfucious, or simply Fat Fritz Kuhn. In fact, Winchell became Kuhn’s chief antagonist, so much so that The German Wakeup Call and Observer declared Winchell ‘Kuhn’s worst enemy.’ Worse yet, Kuhn promised to ‘blacken Walter Winchell’s eyes’ (promise kept, courtesy of two thugs) and to piss on his grave (promise not kept).

    Hitler and the rest of Germany’s Nazi leadership didn’t think much of Kuhn, either. In the summer of 1936, the Bundesf hrer and his lieutenants visited Germany and, via a mutual connection, managed to gain an audience with the F hrer. ‘It was basically one of those grip-and-grin photo ops. Hitler shook Kuhn’s hand and said, ‘Go over there and continue the fight,” recalls Bernstein, a statement that Kuhn viewed as an official endorsement. ‘Of course, Hitler meant nothing by it,’ continues the author. In fact, Hitler was embarrassed by Kuhn, and Nazi officials wanted nothing to do with the German-American Bund, viewing the ‘stupid and noisy’ group as damaging to the Third Reich’s image in America.

    Meanwhile, back in the U.S., powerful forces began amassing against the Bund. In August 1937 United States Attorney General Homer Cummings launched an FBI probe of Bund camps, and five months later issued his findings in a fourteen-volume report, Nazi Camps in the United States.

    But the campaign to bring down Kuhn went into high gear shortly after the Madison Square Garden rally, when New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and prosecutor Thomas Dewey seized the Bund’s financial records, hoping to put Kuhn away on tax evasion charges. The plan worked: Kuhn was charged with grand larceny and forgery for embezzling from the Bund’s bank accounts. After being found guilty he was sent to prison, first to Sing Sing, then to Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, where he was incarcerated until being paroled on June 18, 1943. He spent the remainder of the war in the federal internment camp system for wartime enemy aliens, and was subsequently deported to Germany, where he spent the next several years in and out of prison.

    Though the Bund attempted to soldier on under the leadership of Bund F hrer Gerhard Wilhelm Kunze, ‘the movement flopped around like a fish on a deck for a couple more years,’ quips Bernstein. ‘Then Pearl Harbor happened and that was that.’

    As for Kuhn, his death attracted little notice; the news didn’t reach the United States until two years later. ‘Hitler’s U.S. Bund Chief Fritz Kuhn Died Friendless in Germany,’ announced Winchell in his February 6, 1953, column for the Daily Mirror. Kuhn had fallen so far, so fast that the columnist had little to say about the disgraced Bundesf hrer. Winchell’s final words about Kuhn and his dream of a Nazi America were: ‘(End of shrug).’

    Jason Zasky is the founder and editorial director of

  7. I tried to post a comment and it was not posted.

    This Word Press thing sort of sucks. I think that dogs might need to go poop elsewhere. I know that many of you do not like us dogs on the blog but you have been fine about holding your distaste of dogtalk back. Danke Fraulein.

  8. The attacks on Israel are not only hypocritical, but are fueled primarily by anti-Semitism. If you relied on thee “academic” ultracretins, you would think that Israel was not only against human rights, but was the ONLY nation on Earth against human rights. All other nations, are just and wonderful in their treatment of citizens. But evil Israel? It’s simply a Hitlarian viewpoint that more and more ultracretins in academia and elsewhere are getting very comfortable with.

    George Gilder has written one of the best contemporary books on this subject, called “The Israel Test.” Read it. Of course, the “academic” ultracretins refuse to read anything that does not conform with their anti-Semitic propaganda. But they wouldn’t be such ultracretins if they did.

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