ASA members vote 2-1 for academic boycott of Israel

Israel/Palestine
on 128 Comments

ASA logo tiff (1) copy

Update: There’s been a ton of response to the vote today.

The New York Times has a thorough story on the vote that says boycott is catching on– “a growing movement to isolate Israel over its treatment of Palestinians”– even though some allege anti-Semitism. The Times actually mentions the BDS movement (usually marginalized) and notes that a measure is coming up at the Modern Language Association next month to criticize Israel for its restrictions on Palestinian movement. And the Times suggests that PA President Mahmoud Abbas came out against the ASA resolution (though that’s not quite what he did).

Also, Jeffrey Goldberg, discounting the historical use of boycott to fight injustice, says the vote smells of anti-Semitism:

I believe that we will one day see groups such as the ASA call for the boycott of American institutions and individuals who support Israel. Such a campaign would represent a logical extension of the boycott ratified this weekend. Yes, a boycott of businesses owned by pro-Israel American Jews would have a special odor about it, but really, doesn’t the ASA boycott have something of the same smell?

Original post: This press release just went out from the American Studies Association:

ASA MEMBERSHIP ENDORSES ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL

The members of the American Studies Association have endorsed the Association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In an election that attracted 1252 voters, the largest number of participants in the organization’s history, the majority of votes (66%) supported the boycott. The election was a response to the ASA National Council’s announcement on December 4 that it supported the academic boycott and, in an unprecedented action to ensure a democratic process, asked its membership for their approval. Please see the ASA website for a collection of supporting documents, including FAQs, and boycott guidelines.

One year ago, the ASA Executive Committee was asked to consider a resolution from the Academic and Community Activism Caucus of the Association. The EC then forwarded the resolution to the National Council and, following a lengthy period of careful deliberations, the Council unanimously voted to draft a revised resolution and to recommend members endorse it.

The resolution is in solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and it aspires to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians. The ASA’s endorsement of the academic boycott emerges from the context of US military and other support for Israel; Israel’s violations of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights; and finally, the support of such a resolution by a majority of ASA members.

The National Council engaged and addressed questions and concerns of the membership throughout the process. During the open discussion at the recent convention, members asked us to draft a resolution that was relevant to the ASA in particular and so the Council’s final resolution acknowledged that the US plays a significant role in enabling the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Members asked for clarification about how the resolution would affect the ability of ASA members to engage with colleagues in Israel, and the Council developed guidelines specifying that collaboration on research and publications between individual scholars does not fall under the ASA boycott. Members asked us to deliberate carefully and consider diverse opinions and the Council thus deliberated for 8 days. Members asked that we create spaces for discussion and the Council established a lively Facebook page. Finally, members asked the National Council to put the resolution to a vote and the Council listened.

The ASA National Council thanks all who took seriously the task of debating and discussing the resolution.  As the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, the Association’s mission includes the ongoing study and discussion of pressing issues faced by the US and the world. As part of that process and in keeping with the ASA’s commitment to academic freedom, we are thus pleased to announce plans to bring Israeli and Palestinian academics to the 2014 national convention in Los Angeles.

The ASA National Council

The boycott vote had been anticipated inside the organizational Jewish community, which was “glum” but prepared to downplay the vote’s consequences.

The ASA also released these stirring statements with its announcement. Scholars cite the genocide of Native Americans, Jim Crow, Vietnam War protests, and the teachings of Edward Said as precedents for this historic decision.

ENDORSEMENTS

Eric Cheyfitz, Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters, Cornell University:

“I am a Jew with a daughter and three grandchildren who are citizens of Israel. I am a scholar of American Indian and Indigenous studies, who has in published word and action opposed settler colonialism wherever it exists, including of course the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It is worth noting in this respect that just as the myth of American exceptionalism seeks to erase the genocide and ongoing settler colonialism of Indigenous peoples here in the United States so the myth of Israeli exceptionalism seeks to erase Israeli colonialism in Palestine and claim original rights to Palestinian lands. It is from these personal and professional positions that I applaud the decision of the NC to support the academic boycott of Israel, which I support, and urge ASA members to affirm that support with their votes.”

Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, UC Santa Cruz:

“The similarities between historical Jim Crow practices and contemporary regimes of segregation in Occupied Palestine make this resolution an ethical imperative for the ASA. If we have learned the most important lesson promulgated by Dr. Martin Luther King — that justice is always indivisible — it should be clear that a mass movement in solidarity with Palestinian freedom is long overdue.”


Ashley Dawson
, Professor, College of Staten Island; editor, AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom:

“I am in favor of the boycott. As someone born in South Africa during the darkest days of apartheid, I simply cannot cleave to an abstract notion of academic freedom that ignores the material inequalities that structure people’s rights to speak and to be heard. As Robin D. G. Kelley and Erica Lorraine Williams remind us in their eloquent commemoration of Nelson Mandela, Israel’s settler colonial policies have created conditions for Palestinians that bear close comparison with those meted out by the apartheid regime in my homeland. These conditions directly impinge on the academic freedom, as well as the life possibilities, of Palestinian intellectuals.” (From Editor’s closing Statement, AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, 2013)

Robin D.G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History, UCLA:

“The ASA Resolution supporting a boycott of Israeli academic institutions has been grossly mischaracterized as an assault on academic freedom. On the contrary, it is one of the most significant affirmative acts any scholarly organization has proposed in defense of academic freedom since the anti-apartheid movement. Palestinian students and faculty living under occupation do not enjoy academic freedom, let alone the full range of basic human rights. Even the critics of the Resolution recognize this fact and are quick to proclaim their concern over Israel’s occupation and the plight of Palestinians. However, they argue that the boycott would, in turn, punish Israeli academics unfairly. But the truth is, Israeli scholars also suffer under the current status quo. They are denied genuine collaborative relationships with intellectuals in the Occupied Territories and Gaza, and Israeli intellectuals critical of the regime’s policies—most famously historian Ilan Pappe—have been harassed, censored, and in some cases forced into exile.  Much like the academic boycott of South Africa during the apartheid era, the point of the resolution is to pressure academic institutions and the state, complicit in the policies of occupation, dispossession, and segregation to comply with international law and make real academic freedom possible. The lessons from South Africa are very clear: boycott forced complacent academics to rethink their personal and institutional relationship to apartheid, to talk to each other across the color line, and to better understand how their own work relates to social justice. If adopted, the ASA Resolution will create the conditions for genuine intellectual exchange, free of the state’s political imperative to legitimize the occupation, and grounded in a politics of inclusion, justice, and equality.”

David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English, UC Riverside:

“The resolution that ASA has endorsed responds to the call for boycott, divestment and sanctions made by the great majority of Palestinian civil society organizations.  It represents the ASA’s recognition that in any act of global solidarity, we should follow the initiative of those who are oppressed, much as US civil society did in following the lead of the ANC in opposing South African Apartheid.  The ASA is proud to be the second US academic organization to pass such a resolution and believes that in doing so it has significantly furthered the awareness that, no less than any other group, Palestinians scholars and students are fully entitled to enjoy the fundamental rights of academic and other universally recognized freedoms.

“The boycott targets institutions, not individual scholars.  It leaves individuals free to enjoy the benefits of academic freedom, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or religion, and seeks to extend those benefits to all scholars without condition.  The boycott thus extends academic freedom to Palestinian scholars without denying it to Jewish scholars, Israeli or otherwise.  It targets institutions on the basis of what they do not what they are: it does not target them because they are Jewish or Israeli, but because of their complicity in Israel’s systemic and ongoing violations of human rights and international law.  These are practices, and therefore capable of termination or modification.  What would be truly anti-Semitic would be to accept that all Jews are de facto identified with a single state and its policies.

“By definition, the study of America includes both the study of its own colonial and imperial past and the study of its international relations.  No state has benefited more in recent decades from US material and political support than Israel and perhaps no people has been more continuously impacted by US global interests than the Palestinians.  The US relation to Israel/Palestine is therefore not only a relevant but a pressing object of analysis for American Studies.  The boycott resolution is in keeping with the Association’s long-standing ethical commitment to translating analysis into morally informed action (from condemnation of the war on Iraq to support for hotel workers).

“The ASA’s members have learnt and taught that every substantial advance in real and material freedom for people subject to racism, colonization and discrimination has come through intellectual analysis that finds expression in practice and in the alliance with social movements working for justice.  No more than political freedom is academic freedom the private possession of the privileged.  It has meaning only if it is translated into action and only if we are not afraid to translate our understanding into collective action for justice.  The boycott is in fundamental agreement with these principles and therefore with those that inform the ASA.”

Lisa Lowe, Professor, Tufts University:

“The collective practice of non-cooperation with institutions has a long distinguished international history, and the ASA resolution on the academic boycott of Israel situates itself squarely in this tradition.  Moreover, it is a mode of engaging both U.S. and Israeli publics to discuss, deliberate, and grapple with responsibility and complicity in the ongoing conditions suffered by Palestinian people in the occupied territories.  By putting the resolution to a vote now, the ASA expresses its view that it is no longer possible for academics of conscience to stand on the sidelines.  The vote on the resolution calls on us to reckon with our implication in the unjust treatment of this people, and of the many people, dispossessed and dehumanized by military occupation.”


Alex Lubin
, Associate Professor of American Studies, American University of Beirut and on-leave, University of New Mexico:

“Academic freedom means very little when it takes place in a context of segregation and apartheid.  Change came to the Jim Crow South not through academic dialogue, but through protest and, in some cases, through boycotts of the institutions that fostered segregation.  Change came to South Africa’s apartheid system not through academic dialogue, but through protest, resistance, and an international boycott. Those of us who value academic freedom must always struggle to ensure that the world surrounding academia provides the basic human rights that enable academic life. (Published in the Nation, December 13, 2013)

“The boycott resolution is intended to address a profound case of discrimination against Palestinians and is consistent with the ASA’s previous endorsement of anti-racist positions in other areas.  The resolution does not target Israelis, Jews, or any individuals; indeed, the ASA’s support for the boycott affirms its opposition to all forms of racial discrimination, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

“The boycott targets Israeli State institutions that violate Palestinian academic freedom.  The resolution very clearly does not infringe on individuals’ academic or other freedoms.  Israeli and Palestinian scholars will not only be welcome at future ASA conference, they will also be recruited.  In this way, the ASA will make clear in words and deeds that while it will ask its members to not travel to, nor to establish institutional affiliations with, Israeli institutions the boycott is not against individuals.

“This has been a clarifying moment for the American Studies Association; indeed, it is a profound example of what the American Studies scholar, Gene Wise, once called a “paradigm drama.”  Long-time ASA members and recent ones, graduate students and emeriti faculty, could be found on either side of this issue.  While I feel strongly that the ASA made the right decision to support the boycott resolution, I recognize that many colleagues disagree.  In no way should the passage of this resolution exclude or marginalize ASA members who opposed it.  The boycott resolution is not about severing intellectual connections or shutting down conversation; it is about extending academic freedom and enabling free speech.”

David Palumbo Liu, Louise Hewitt Nixon Professor, Stanford University:

“People who truly believe in academic freedom would realize protesting the blatant and systemic denial of academic freedom to Palestinians, which is coupled with material deprivation of a staggering scale, far outweighs concerns we in the West might have about our own rather privileged academic freedoms.

“There is no restriction whatsoever of individuals’ academic freedom–this is a boycott by an academic organization against academic institutions in Israel.  Individual ASA members are to follow their consciences; both Israeli and Palestinian scholars are invited to participate in ASA events.”

Fred Moten, Professor, University of California, Riverside:

“If, by academic freedom, we mean the unfettered exercise and exchange of speech, thought and research by every member of the global academic community, including both Israelis and Palestinians, then the ASA’s endorsement of the call for boycott and sanctions of Israeli academic institutions complicit in the administration of the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands is a significant advance in our assertion and protection of it. The responsibility of intellectuals is not only to exercise academic freedom but also to theorize and work to enact the conditions that make it possible, meaningful and universal. Thought is irreducibly social, irreducibly public, irreducibly human. When we callously accede to the exclusion of so many from the conditions that foster its free exercise we violate our own commitment to fulfill its responsibilities. The global history of settler colonialism is the history of the administration of such exclusion. Those of us who study the history and culture of the United States of America know that it has played and continues to play a major part in this tragic and brutal history, both within its own borders and everywhere it seeks to extend, consolidate and instrumentalize its power. In endorsing the call for boycott that first emanated from Palestinian civil society but is increasingly echoed by Israeli activists and intellectuals concerned with the moral and political sustainability of their country, we recognize that what it is to be a friend of the state of Israel and what it is to insist upon the right of the Jewish people to live and thrive in a just world are two entirely different things. There is and can be no such world in the absence of the Palestinians’ right to live and thrive as well. Israeli intellectuals Adi Ophir and Ariella Azoulay’s description of the occupation and its administration as a practice of incorporative exclusion is apt not only with regard to Israeli policy but with regard to American policy as well. My support of the ASA’s position is animated by the hope that this endorsement refreshes our capacity to think, speak and act against the structures and effects of incorporative exclusion that viciously shape and define the modern world.”

Barbara Ransby, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago:

“Professional organizations and individual scholars not only have the right but the obligation to speak out against what we deem to be unethical practices by our institutions and the Academy in general. Moreover, it would be a gross violation of academic freedom to punish any individual professor for expressing his or her political views or critical analysis on a controversial issue. During the McCarthy era intellectuals were persecuted and blacklisted for their left-wing views. In the Jim Crow South faculty members lost their jobs for supporting the Civil Rights Movement and opposing racism and segregation. Censorship and political intimidation was wrong then and it is wrong now. Today many academics, after much reading, research, debate and deliberation, have decided to support BDS as a nonviolent response to the unjust treatment of our colleagues and counterparts, students and others living under Israeli Occupation in Palestine. I applaud and support the American Studies Association in its ethical stance on this issue, an issue which in the final analysis, is not mainly about Jews or Palestinians, but about justice.”

John Carlos Rowe, Professor, University of Southern California:

“I realize this is a controversial resolution, but it is in keeping with our activist history. It is not directed at individual citizens and academics in Israel, but at academic institutions that have been demonstrated time and again their complicity with state policies intended to discriminate against the Palestinian people. During the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, we attempted and in some cases successfully closed American colleges and universities because they were part of the military-industrial complex. This resolution does the same kind of work. During the Divestment campaign to prevent retirement (and other) funds from being invested in companies doing business with Apartheid South Africa, we recognized the importance of what was at the time termed ‘symbolic action.’ (In fact, divestment resulted in real economic consequences for South Africa). This resolution does the same work.

Neferti X. M. Tadiar, Professor, Barnard College:

“The overwhelming support for this resolution heralds a new era of anti-racist, anti-colonial solidarity. It signals an American Studies unafraid to challenge some of the most hallowed underpinnings of global empire, including the imperative to uphold formal freedoms regardless of the dispossession and violence on which those freedoms depend. It is evident that the resolution’s passing has already generated a level of intellectual inquiry, engagement and exchange that is invigorating not only for the academic field but also for the broader arenas of public debate and political action.”

Robert Warrior, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

“This resolution achieves the clarity of balance that Edward Said, who was one of my teachers in graduate school, modeled at the intersection of scholarship and imperialism. I am proud to have the leaders of our association not only endorse the Palestinian call to academic and cultural boycott, but to advance our understanding of how to do so through a long, clear, and democratic process that has invited broad and lively participation.”

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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128 Responses

  1. Cliff
    December 16, 2013, 10:09 am

    Wonderful news!

    • Krauss
      December 16, 2013, 11:22 am

      History is being written before our eyes.

      Amazing.

    • thetruthhurts
      December 16, 2013, 9:41 pm

      hallelujah! may the gathering snowball of truth and justice continue to roll unabated . i see a great clash ahead, like two rams butting heads, between the darkness of jewish zionist israel and the brilliant light of the truth.
      i’m afraid there will be blood, and a lot of it.

  2. American
    December 16, 2013, 10:55 am

    ”As part of that process and in keeping with the ASA’s commitment to academic freedom, we are thus pleased to announce plans to bring Israeli and Palestinian academics to the 2014 national convention in Los Angeles.”

    So how are the Palestine academics going to get out of Palestine and into the US?
    I am confused by this boycott—-Israeli academics are still allowed? What is the deal then? Are some Israeli academics from some Israeli institutions boycotted or what?
    Is this a actual boycott or just a statement of sentiment for Palestine?

    • Naftush
      December 17, 2013, 5:41 am

      You ask “Is this a actual boycott or just a statement of sentiment for Palestine?” It’s probably neither. It’s hard to imagine an ASA member being in a position to honor this measure against Israeli institutions but not against Israelis per se. As for sentiment for Palestine, typically it fixates not on Palestine but on Israel, Israel, Israel, along with a spit in America’s face — either gratuitously or to stretch ASA’s mandate beyond its natural bounds.

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 4:45 pm

        @ Naftush
        How is a ASA’s statement “a spit in America’s face”? Are you saying it spits in the face of Dick and Jane? If so, how so? What is ASA’s “natural” bounds? Please clarify. Thanks in advance.

      • just
        December 17, 2013, 4:54 pm

        I thought Podhoretz was doing the spitting…….along with far too many members of Congress.

  3. piotr
    December 16, 2013, 11:00 am

    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.

    An important aspect of that resolution is if it does hurt individual students and scholars (as opposed to their institutions). I would guess that it is still consistent with that resolution to conduct research with Israeli scientists, but on individual basis and not as a part of a program that involves institutions. So accepting attendance of Israeli at a conference would be OK, but organizing a conference in Israel not OK — that would involve a local institution.

    But this is just my guess.

  4. David Doppler
    December 16, 2013, 11:11 am

    A testament to Netanyahu’s failed leadership. Aggression deceitfully disguised as victimhood becomes naked aggression when the disguise wears off. When your leader stands naked at the podium screaming about redlines, it is time to get a new a leader. The negative momentum Likud has generated for Israel’s world standing will take new leadership and years to reverse.

  5. MHughes976
    December 16, 2013, 11:22 am

    I remember that there were always some problems of definition over the SA boycott in the 80s. The intention is always to direct a symbolic condemnation at institutions, not individuals, but sometimes the distinction becomes difficult and sometimes you have to draw a rather arbitrary line. Mondoweiss itself, of course, does not exclude comments from people who are or claim to be affiliated with Israeli universities. I send comments to a Bible studies website where many of the contributors are Israeli academic archaeologists.

    • Citizen
      December 17, 2013, 4:51 pm

      In America, generally at least, you as a citizen get to blast both institutions, American or otherwise, and individuals–for their expressed political POV. It’s called constitutionally protected free speech. The idea behind it is that a democracy depends on the free exercise of speech, which is the requirement for the consent of the people, which, in turn, is the bedrock of American democracy.

  6. amigo
    December 16, 2013, 12:42 pm

    Brave and dedicated people leading the way for others to follow.

    And they will.

    Israel,s apologists and hasbarists will be working overtime to counteract this.Best of luck guys and keep your heads down.More shells incoming.

  7. NormanF
    December 16, 2013, 2:07 pm

    The ASA’s boycott is legally untenable. You cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin, prohibited by federal and state civil rights and anti-boycott laws.

    As many of their members are employed by public institutions, they can and will face criminal sanctions for participating in an illegal boycott of Israel.

    The ASA may not listen to reason and the law in its advocacy of bigotry but they will listen when it affects their bottom line.

    Wait for the lawsuits to be filed soon.

    • Krauss
      December 16, 2013, 2:45 pm

      Can’t wait to see it happen!

      “If defence of Apartheid…”

    • Walid
      December 16, 2013, 3:02 pm

      “Wait for the lawsuits to be filed soon.”

      I can’t wait; the publicity will work wonders for the Palestinian cause.

    • talknic
      December 16, 2013, 3:10 pm

      @ NormanF
      ” You cannot discriminate on the basis of national origin, prohibited by federal and state civil rights and anti-boycott laws ..”

      Boycotting on the basis of a state’s illegal activities under International Law and the UN Charter is not discrimination on the basis of national origin

      “Wait for the lawsuits to be filed soon.

      Uh huh and watch them as they’re thrown out

    • Les
      December 16, 2013, 3:28 pm

      “National origin” is a meaningless phrase insofar as Israeli citizenship is offered to Jews everywhere in the world.

    • Cliff
      December 16, 2013, 5:32 pm

      @NormanF

      Wait for the lawsuits to be filed soon.

      Excellent if it does happen. More exposure is a good thing. We need to get ordinary Americans informed on your crazy ethno-religious nationalistic cult and how twistedly antidemocratic you are.

      You WANT and PREFER suicide bombers and Qassams.

      That’s why you run over people in bulldozers or fire tear-gas cannisters at point blank range or shower children in white phosphorus.

      You can’t handle non-violent resistance to your EVIL.

      So you need to box people in until they literally blow themselves up.

      • Krauss
        December 16, 2013, 6:43 pm

        You can’t handle non-violent resistance to your EVIL.
        So you need to box people in until they literally blow themselves up.

        Part of it is psychological, not just tactics. Although there are many sociopaths among hard-core, pro-settler Zionists, some of them must have flashes of conscience. Some, but far from all.

        And in those rare instances, they must question, at some level, whether what they are doing is moral. So putting Palestinians into a position where they are slowly degraded and humiliated, in order to have them lash out violently, is a way for them to re-affirm their own psychological commitment to oppression.

        Yes, they tell themselves, look at these barbarians. As bad as what I am doing to them, they are not human beings, but beasts, and beasts have to be controlled, and – occassionally – put down. (i.e. “mowing the lawn” in Gaza etc).

        The non-violent resistance is much harder to counter. It is a direct challenge to their own ethics. And this is especially true not of direct pro-settler types but rather people who are enabling the settlers by trying to destroy all effective measures to stop Apartheid and the colonization of Palestinian land.
        Basically, liberal Zionists.

        And for these people, it is a personal crises on a human and even on a Jewish level. These people are telling themselves that they are liberals. They view smugly out against mainstream America, telling themselves they are so cultured and sophisticated. This is the mainstream narrative they like to believe about themselves. Can such a person still be a defender of racist Apartheid? Well, as Josh Block, former AIPAC goon and current head of the Israel Project, stated in a discussion on BDS a few months ago: the afrikaaners were cultured people too. They liked to sip wine, listen to mozart. They had an advanced economy, far ahead anyone else in Africa.

        It didn’t help. Technology says little to nothing about morality. And morality is something a lot of these supporters – and especially enablers – have to finally confront after years of being able to avoid it. Hence the primal and visceral reactions. This is really the first time in their life they’ve truly been forced to deal with their own myths about how liberal they are.

      • Naftush
        December 17, 2013, 5:53 am

        Your tirade confirms my suspicions, at least where you are concerned: it isn’t about peace, end of “occupation,” or Palestinian Arabs at all. It’s all about the “you” in your post (meaning me as an Israeli) and the you who are behind the ASA’s narcissistic and tendentious resolution.

      • Krauss
        December 17, 2013, 9:21 am

        BREAKING: Opposition to Apartheid is now based on “narcissicism”!
        People like you are a gift that keeps on giving.

    • xanadou
      December 16, 2013, 6:32 pm

      Normie, you have not read the full article. Bad boy! (slap wrist)
      1. The boycott refers to Israeli institutions. The individual contacts between students and scholars will continue.
      2. You invoke “national origin”. Which and whose “national origin”, exactly? Israel refuses to define its borders, and identifies itself as a Jewish state, i.e., a theocracy for Jews only. Ergo, no Palestinians fit into Israel’s “national origin” definition. As in: “case dismissed”.
      3. Considering how many institutions and individuals have already signed similar calls to boycott, with many more coming on line, and vis a vis the historic and present-day tens of thousands of visuals showing the true face of Israel, the lawsuits, if any, will not fly. And you obviously have no understanding of contract law that dominates the above-clerk-level employment market. To break one, (on what grounds exactly?) is to expose oneself to consequences, including “the bottom line”.

      The ASA boycott is in RESPONSE to Israel’s unrelenting, even escalating, barbaric bigotry and psychotic policies. The bigotry is all Israel’s.

      Oh, and, Normie, DO check out the names on the list of signatories. Start with the few names in above quoted press release.

    • Shingo
      December 16, 2013, 8:46 pm

      As many of their members are employed by public institutions, they can and will face criminal sanctions for participating in an illegal boycott of Israel.

      What evidence do you have that it is illegal?

      The ASA may not listen to reason and the law in its advocacy of bigotry but they will listen when it affects their bottom line.

      Please cite the law they are allegedly ignoring.

      Wait for the lawsuits to be filed soon.

      I hear crickets.

    • thetruthhurts
      December 16, 2013, 9:50 pm

      hey norm- this is the wrong place to post your truth perverting israeli lies. we’re not michael savage(jewish weiner) stupid brainwashed psychos. you can’t pull that ol’ crap here. it’s just not goin to fly.
      we know exactly what you’re israeli project for america is all about and it’s all about to come undone!

    • ziusudra
      December 16, 2013, 10:18 pm

      Greetings NormanF,
      ….boycott is legally untenable…..
      Pssst, tell that to the People of
      North Korea,
      Cuba,
      Iran,
      Syria,
      etc.
      Laws don’t stop the West from boycotting any sovereign Country
      where the People suffer.
      ziusudra
      PS Zionistan ne’er recognizes any int’l laws. They are all antisemetic.
      Pssst, an indiviual was boycotted back in 1880, an Irish land-Agent for
      the wealthly in Ireland, who went by the name Capt. Boycott.

  8. W.Jones
    December 16, 2013, 2:21 pm

    How important an organization is the ASA? What role does it play in Academia? Is it something academics belong to like the ABA (law) or AMA (medicine) in other professions?

    Or is it just one of many academic associations?

    • xanadou
      December 16, 2013, 6:39 pm

      The American Studies Association is the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.
      Chartered in 1951, the American Studies Association now has 5,000 individual members along with 2,200 library and other institutional subscribers.
      * Together these members represent many fields of inquiry, such as history, literature, religion, art and architecture, philosophy, music, science, folklore, ethnic studies, anthropology, material culture, museum studies, sociology, government, communications, education, library science, gender studies, popular culture, and others.
      * They include persons concerned with American culture, such as teachers, researchers, and other professionals whose interests extend beyond their specialty; faculty and students associated with American Studies programs in universities, colleges and secondary schools; museum directors and librarians interested in all segments of American life; public officials and administrators concerned with the broadest aspects of education.
      More at: http://www.theasa.net

  9. Walid
    December 16, 2013, 2:56 pm

    Palestinians everywhere must be very happy with this decision. Bravo ASA, bravo Palestine.

  10. pabelmont
    December 16, 2013, 3:19 pm

    I am so happy for the ASA’s 66% membership vote and for the beautiful (i.e., ethical) testimonials written in this posting. I hope they get a lot of attention — and further opportunity to explain the action — if not now then later when they try to implement this decision.

    • Ira Glunts
      December 16, 2013, 4:40 pm

      I agree this is great and they have already gotten much attention, which is also great. However, I do not see how an organization of American Studies scholars has any power or authority to change the behavior of a university.

      The ASA boycott resolution speaks against partnerships between US and Israeli academic institutions. Near where I live, Syracuse University’s school of Counterterrorism (INSCT)has had a very close partnership with the Institute of Counterterrorism (ICT) at the IDC Herzliya, which is an Israeli private university. What action can the ASA take to stop this multimillion dollar cooperative venture from continuing?

      I imagine this action is completely symbolic, but symbolism is important.

      BTW, Ronald Lauder, heir to the Estee Lauder fortune and President of the American Jewish Congress, just came out with a statement calling the ASA resolution “antisemitic.” Lauder is a major donor to IDC.

      • ritzl
        December 16, 2013, 7:37 pm

        I think it’s somewhere in between, Ira.

        As you say, it probably won’t be a particularly effective boycott, but it’s more than symbolic because the public-sphere vote tally/metric tells people sitting on the sideline that there are others out there who think like them/us/me and are doing something. Maybe even a lot. Like a Code Pink demonstration, in some respects.

      • American
        December 16, 2013, 10:30 pm

        Near where I live, Syracuse University’s school of Counterterrorism (INSCT)has had a very close partnership with the Institute of Counterterrorism (ICT) at the IDC Herzliya, which is an Israeli private university. What action can the ASA take to stop this multimillion dollar cooperative venture from continuing?”’Ira

        I can almost promise you that partnership is the result of a US government grant program for Israel by congress…..there are hundreds of them in the millions of dollars every year for all kinds of so called ‘cooperation” but which in reality are a way for the congressional Israel firsters to shuffle more money to Israel. The grants or funding will given to some college or entity with the catch that Israelis must particpate in the study or research. It’s another I firster racket on the US taxpayers.

      • Ira Glunts
        December 17, 2013, 1:18 pm

        The program may be helped by such government funding. Syracuse University has a bunch of programs with the State and Defense Depts. However, is this case, I think that the fact that a major Syracuse donor and trustee is also a major funder of the Israeli university, IDC/ICT, is the direct reason for this partnership.

        I wonder if anyone over at SU or IDC is talking about the ASA resolution today.

  11. hophmi
    December 16, 2013, 3:35 pm

    link to tabletmag.com

    Hey, listen, if you want to hitch your star to an organization that hands out an Angela Davis award, go right ahead. It’s a leftist org doing the fashionable thing.

    More food for the cultists.

    • Cliff
      December 16, 2013, 5:19 pm

      What’s the fashionable thing? Standing up to Jewish nationalism, colonialism, apartheid and Israel Firsters like you?

      • hophmi
        December 16, 2013, 5:39 pm

        The fashionable thing is to ignore all human rights violations around the world and to focus on Israel’s only.

      • xanadou
        December 16, 2013, 6:44 pm

        That is an infantile tantrum, not an argument. Or a public admission of your ignorance regarding what goes on in the world that is not Israel.

      • Dutch
        December 16, 2013, 7:13 pm

        How are you doing yourself, Hophmi? Any ignoring, lately?

      • RoHa
        December 16, 2013, 7:38 pm

        Fashionable among whom? Even here in MW there is condemnation of other human rights violations.

      • Shingo
        December 16, 2013, 8:47 pm

        The fashionable thing is to ignore all human rights violations around the world and to focus on Israel’s only.

        So which human rights violatiors is the ASA affiliated with?

      • Naftush
        December 17, 2013, 6:20 am

        That’s only the first step. The penultimate in fashionability is to strip banal Israeli actions (and only Israeli actions) of all context until they’re recast as human rights violations. If that isn’t thrilling enough, one can move on to the ultimate: making things up (“Plan Dalet,” the dam that flooded Gaza [not] or, if you want to go all the way, the spy buzzards).

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 7:38 am

        The fashionable–and most lucrative–thing, is to keep funding Israeli’s human rights violations with, by far, the biggest chunk of American foreign aid tax dollars, year after year after year.

      • Naftush
        December 17, 2013, 5:58 am

        There it is, Cliff, straight out of the bag. For you, the ASA resolution isn’t about justice, peace, suffering, Palestinian Arabs, or anything but “standing up to Jewish nationalism, colonialism, apartheid and Israel Firsters like you.”

    • thankgodimatheist
      December 16, 2013, 8:26 pm

      “It’s a leftist org doing the fashionable thing. ”

      It’s the same kind of people who brought down the South African Apartheid. Dismiss them at your own risk.

  12. NickJOCW
    December 16, 2013, 3:43 pm

    Bravo, noble decision. A cynic might further welcome it as a beacon for the faint of heart and a bandwagon hedge-betters.

  13. just
    December 16, 2013, 4:44 pm

    Standing Ovation and heartfelt thanks that these folks acted on the side of justice and real conscience!

    Hurrah! Now on to our seemingly soulless government!

  14. jon s
    December 16, 2013, 4:54 pm

    I doubt that such a racist boycott will survive a legal challenge.

    • Shmuel
      December 16, 2013, 5:07 pm

      I doubt that such a racist boycott will survive a legal challenge.

      Shurat Hadin must be sharpening its pencils, but can you envisage any circumstances under which it would be OK to boycott Israel (not just settlements), or does Israel have a get-out-of-boycott-free card? Are any other countries boycott-proof?

      • tree
        December 16, 2013, 6:30 pm

        Elaborating on Shmuel’s point, here, I’d like to ask a question of jon, hophmi and Norman F.

        If you sincerely think that the boycott resolution is racist and illegal, then do you likewise think that the previous boycott and sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, the present sanctions against Iran, and the present Israeli blockade of Gaza are (or were in the case of SA) racist? Your argument against the ASA boycott statement is that it is based on “national origin”, While I disagree with that argument, there is no clear reason why that argument can’t likewise be made against boycotts of apartheid-era South Africa, sanctions of present day Iran and the Israeli blockade of present day Gaza. And yet I have not seen any of you argue that “racism” is behind those actions. Is there any consistency in your stance regarding BDS or does it only upset you when Israel is the target? And if so, isn’t that an indication of your own racism?

      • ritzl
        December 16, 2013, 8:06 pm

        Great questions, tree. And it’s not just somewhat far-removed geopolitical boycotts. Alice Walker gets “disinvited” for having the wrong opinion. Blumenthal is shunned by people that still believe they are gatekeepers (e.g. NPR’s “Fresh Air”). Lawrence Summers castigates boycotts/actions (against his interests) and calls for them (to support his interests) within the same Charlie Rose interview. Or the Park 51 Mosque. Or Hillel. Or so many others.

        Zionists have zero misgivings about boycotts, or “disinvitations,” or PNG status, etc., when it suits them. They embrace the method fully and use it routinely. Small and large. Near and far.

        They have no clue how they look to people as they flail to answer, or work around answering, your questions. Simply irreconcilable.
        Comical even, if it weren’t for all the cold, hungry, or dead people that are the result of the hideous death-grip that that hypocrisy has on the formulation of our public policy.

    • just
      December 16, 2013, 5:09 pm

      It ain’t racist. Bring on the “legal” challenges and watch them wither on the vine.

    • Cliff
      December 16, 2013, 5:18 pm

      How is the boycott ‘racist’?

      Who is the boycott against, jon s?

      What race are they? Is it based on race?

      • hophmi
        December 16, 2013, 5:42 pm

        “What race are they? Is it based on race?”

        No, it’s a boycott based on national origin. They’re getting around the legal problems by targetting institutions, because, you know, there were no US institutions of higher education who partnered with the US government, which invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and killed hundreds of thousands in the process. Oh well. The world is full of hypocrites.

      • talknic
        December 16, 2013, 5:58 pm

        hophmi “it’s a boycott based on national origin”

        You’ll say anything no matter how absurd. Its based on the illegal actions of a state according to International Law and the UN Charter which is the same for all UN Member nations

      • just
        December 16, 2013, 5:59 pm

        Nope. It’s a boycott based on the horrible actions of a “state” that practices genocide, apartheid, mayhem, murder, theft and still takes money from the US taxpayer while stabbing them gleefully in the back and proclaiming that they are a wunnerful democracy.

        National origin my a**.

      • hophmi
        December 16, 2013, 6:04 pm

        “You’ll say anything no matter how absurd. Its based on the illegal actions of a state according to International Law and the UN Charter which is the same for all UN Member nations”

        Again, it’s illegal to discriminate based on national origin. Discriminating against Israelis in America because they are Israelis violates antidiscrimination law. Thus, the ridiculous, antisemitic, hypocritical boycott must be about institutions.

      • Cliff
        December 16, 2013, 6:05 pm

        So what if there were or weren’t.

        And yes, the world is full of hypocrites. Especially Zionist Jews like you or Shimon Peres – who supported/supports apartheid except when doing a photo-op decades after Apartheid SA falls and Nelson Mandela dies.

        No one is obligated to be one-man-Amnesty Internationals or HRWs.

        We do what we can and pick and choose our battles. If we held ourselves back from doing anything simply to satisfy your cynical standards, then people all over the world would suffer. It’s impossible to be perfectly equal on every single issue.

        Becoming an activist would require a lifestyle change (like going to jail for not paying your taxes as a protest against let’s say, the Vietnam War). I couldn’t do it, which is why I instead support those who do.

        I’m sure a lot of Zionist Jews and Israel Firsters like you do that – instead of going to Israel to steal Palestinian land, you support that theft from the comfort of your American home.

        You promote nihilism when it suits your schizophrenic political agenda. Like right now – you’re promoting nihilism because Jewish colonialism depends on non-Jews not doing anything to stop you.

        So you’ll do your whole schtick/song-and-dance woe-is-Israel-everyone-is-out-to-get-the-Joos routine.

        Get a life, loser.

      • talknic
        December 16, 2013, 6:54 pm

        @hophmi Discriminating against Israelis in America because they are Israelis violates antidiscrimination law”

        I’m sure it does. However. the boycott is not against Israelis in America. Read the headline ASA members vote 2-1 for academic boycott of Israel

        You’re taking Jeffrey Goldberg’s strawman prediction which is based on his unsupported assumption as though it can stand and walk, when in fact it’s only chaff ……… dust

        I believe that we will one day see groups such as the ASA call for the boycott of American institutions and individuals who support Israel. Such a campaign would represent a logical extension of the boycott ratified this weekend. Yes, a boycott of businesses owned by pro-Israel American Jews would have a special odor about it, but really, doesn’t the ASA boycott have something of the same smell?

        Nothing is as smelly as a meaningless Hasbara dump

      • Naftush
        December 17, 2013, 6:07 am

        According to your doctrine of choosing your battles, you’d never assault ethnic Chinese in New York due to the PRC’s behavior in Tibet, or ethnic Turks in Cleveland over Cyprus, or, for that matter, your American neighbor over Gitmo, but you might empathize with those who do. The problem is that nobody does. Of all territorial disputes on earth, only one upsets you and, in fact, only one upsets anyone.

    • hophmi
      December 16, 2013, 5:21 pm

      “I doubt that such a racist boycott will survive a legal challenge.” I think that’s why it targets institutions rather than individuals; doing the latter would likely violate antidiscrimination legislation universities must comply with to receive federal funding.

      The day someone starts targetting individuals, they’ll regret it, I assure you.

      • Cliff
        December 16, 2013, 5:36 pm

        If it hasn’t happened now, it ain’t gona happen later.

        The chilling effect would cause a backlash even greater than the one burgeoning now.

        But you and your cult should definitely target individuals (more so than you already do).

        The more Americans realize this is truly them versus Israel Firsters like you and the rest of the Zionist orgs, the more righteous they will become.

      • talknic
        December 16, 2013, 5:56 pm

        hophmi ” ..“I doubt that such a racist boycott will survive a legal challenge.” I think that’s why it targets institutions rather than individuals”

        Uh huh. A) Targeting a state for its illegal activities in occupied territories is not based on race, it’s based on that state breaking the law. B) For argument’s sake, let’s say such a boycott did survive a legal challenge, what would targeting individuals achieve in stopping a state from continuing to pursue illegal activities in occupied territories? C) I’ll bet Israel would boycott a certain Mr Waters if he wanted to play in Jerusalem, even though Jerusalem is not legally a part of Israel (UNSC res 476)

      • hophmi
        December 16, 2013, 6:02 pm

        “A) Targeting a state for its illegal activities in occupied territories is not based on race, it’s based on that state breaking the law. ”

        I’m not making that argument. I’m arguing that once it targets individuals, you’ll have a legal problem. You can target any state you like (or not target any state you like), no matter how immoral or hypocritical your position, ok talknic?

        Have fun. Knock yourself out. But watch out if you targetting individuals.

      • American
        December 16, 2013, 10:12 pm

        ‘I’m not making that argument. I’m arguing that once it targets individuals, you’ll have a legal problem. You can target any state you like (or not target any state you like), no matter how immoral or hypocritical your position, ok talknic?
        Have fun. Knock yourself out. But watch out if you targetting individuals”’………hoppie

        In case you havent noticed zios who have been suing people for hurting their feelings by shunning them are losing their lawsuits hand over fist…the worm has turned..

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 7:59 am

        @ hophmi
        The FBI and NYPD have been targeting Arab/Muslim Americans for years now–who’s watching out? link to thenation.com

      • Dutch
        December 16, 2013, 7:32 pm

        Hophmi,

        I remember very well how you guys treat academics of name and fame when they say no to an Israeli propaganda party. And that’s just one example. Ask MJR.

        What will be regretted by many is the fact that they waited so long to step in. Your threat is telling, BTW.

    • Shingo
      December 16, 2013, 8:51 pm

      I doubt that such a racist boycott will survive a legal challenge.

      There won’t be one, it will come in the form of behind the scenes politicking and/or vast amounts of money thrown at a civil lawsuit.

    • American
      December 16, 2013, 10:20 pm

      jon s says:
      December 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm
      I doubt that such a racist boycott will survive a legal challenge

      You so dumb….neither Israeli or any other foreign ‘institutions’ are protected under any US discrimination laws.

  15. Blaine Coleman
    December 16, 2013, 5:32 pm

    I think none of us realize the global reach of this overwhelming boycott resolution approval. Today’s boycott coverage in the New York Times, Reuters, AP, UPI, ABC, etc., is only the beginning. Think of the campus Boycott-Israel resolutions that are surely coming next semester. You can see the apartheid state being abolished sooner than anyone imagines.

    In Spain’s mass media today: link to internacional.elpais.com

    In Italy’s mass media today:
    link to ilmondo.it

    • Cliff
      December 16, 2013, 5:37 pm

      Awesome.

      The Times article was pretty decent.

    • hophmi
      December 16, 2013, 5:40 pm

      “I think none of us realize the global reach of this overwhelming boycott resolution approval. ”

      Perhaps someone who pushed the boycott will receive the totally mainstream Angela Davis award that the ASA gives out.

      Yay, radicalism!

      • just
        December 16, 2013, 6:53 pm

        Yay! If it’s “radical” to support bds of Israel, count me in!

        (Angela Davis is a brave and brilliant American woman, btw.)

      • Obsidian
        December 17, 2013, 10:18 am

        Angela Davis bought the weapons, including a shotgun, used to kidnap and murder of San Raphael Judge Harold Haley.
        link to news.google.com

        Some role model.

      • amigo
        December 17, 2013, 10:51 am

        “Angela Davis bought the weapons, including a shotgun, used to kidnap and murder of San Raphael Judge Harold Haley.”obsidious

        Mind providing evidence of her trial and conviction instead of insinuations and accusations by some prosecutor

        Some desperado obsidious.

      • thankgodimatheist
        December 16, 2013, 8:23 pm

        Sour grapes, homphi. I’m pretty sure you’d die to count her on your side.

      • hophmi
        December 17, 2013, 6:58 am

        “Sour grapes, homphi. I’m pretty sure you’d die to count her on your side.”

        Nope. I actually have standards.

      • Shingo
        December 16, 2013, 8:57 pm

        Yay, anti apartheid!

        Oh wait, is that racist?

      • Chu
        December 17, 2013, 11:42 am

        “Yay, radicalism!”

        Yay, meltdown. I smell fear…

      • hophmi
        December 17, 2013, 12:20 pm

        Perhaps you’ll win the award for best Communist, sorry, I mean the Angela Davis award, next year, Chu! Then, you too can be photographed shaking hands with a dictator; shall we schedule you for a portrait with, say, Robert Mugabe?

      • Chu
        December 17, 2013, 12:42 pm

        try and make sense Hophmi. I know your scared out of you schoolpants and it’s difficult, but breath deep. I’m not the pinko, but you’re the admitted fanatic when it comes to Israel. Seems like someone has the holiday blues. :C

      • hophmi
        December 17, 2013, 1:11 pm

        It’s not that hard to understand, Chu. You got a thumbs up from another org that isn’t really in the mainstream. I know; I get happy when I see one of my issues in the NY Times too. But it will only further entrench your issue in a partisan corner. The corner got a bit bigger, but you’re no closer to the center of the room, and you’re certainly not attracting anyone in the center toward your corner. Let me know when you break that big five percent barrier.

    • NickJOCW
      December 17, 2013, 3:33 am

      I think the world was waiting for a lead like this.

    • Naftush
      December 17, 2013, 6:13 am

      Your dirty underwear is showing. Not a word about how your “victory” might improve things for Palestinian Arabs, how it might bring peace closer, etc. — just an eruption of Schadenfreud about the impending abolition of the “apartheid state.”

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 5:01 pm

        @ Naftush
        Schadenfreud? Joy at the misery of others? Yes, I am sure some folks rejoiced at the misery of KKK folks when MLK won the day, and when apartheid S African folks lost to Mandela. Not to mention the many folks who rejoiced in Hiterl’s and ToJo’s defeat. So what’s your point otherwise? Who’s dirty underwear are you talking about?

    • Citizen
      December 17, 2013, 8:09 am

      This guy says BDS has nothing practical to show for itself after ten years, just a few symbolic gestures: link to spme.org

  16. Allan
    December 16, 2013, 6:32 pm

    In calling for the academic boycott of Israel, Curtis Marez said that he didn’t dispute that many nations, including many of Israel’s neighbors, are generally judged to have human rights records that are worse than Israel’s, or comparable, but, “one has to start somewhere.”

    I could point out that Israel is a democracy where Jews and Moslems have equal rights and Moslems are represented in the Knesset, while PA President Abbas has declared that not a single Jew will be allowed in Palestine, not even NATO peace keepers, if they happen to be Jewish. I could also point out, as did Laurence Summers, that boycotts such as yours “are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent”.

    I prefer to concentrate on Mr. Marez’s need to “start somewhere.” Singling out Israel for special attention is a very dangerous way to start. What happens after this? Does the ASA go on to boycott other nations, or does it expand its anti-Israel actions? It seems clear that members of the ASA’s national council felt some tug at their consciences – else why try to rationalize their actions against possible objections? But it is precisely when we ignore our consciences and try to rationalize objectionable first steps that next steps go astray. Nazi atrocities did not begin the day that the Nazis came to power – they built up gradually with seemingly innocuous boycotts and actions that gradually suppressed collective consciences. In the end, the public raised no objections as the Nazis murdered six million Jews and millions more Gypsies, homosexuals and other minorities.

    • amigo
      December 17, 2013, 10:43 am

      “I could point out that Israel is a democracy where Jews and Moslems have equal rights and Moslems are represented in the Knesset, while PA President Abbas has declared that not a single Jew will be allowed in Palestine, not even NATO peace keepers, if they happen to be Jewish.”Allan.

      Source please.

      “I could also point out, as did Laurence Summers, that boycotts such as yours “are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent”. “Allan.

      Well if that bothers you then get out of Palestine and obey the many UNSCR,S you are in violation of.

      That would be a good start.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 2:14 pm

        Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency published on July 28 its version of Abbas’ briefing to the Egyptian media, quoting him as saying: “I’m willing to agree to a third party that would supervise the agreement, such as NATO forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the NATO forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land”. This version was reprinted by Palestinian newspapers al-Quds and al-Hayat al-Jadida on July 30 and by other Arab newspapers.” (link to ynetnews.com)

        And please don’t lecture me about UN resolutions! My father was an Assistant-Secretary General there for many years, so I am probably just a bit more familiar with how it works than you are. Why in God’s name should anyone care about UN resolutions when the Arabs have a guaranteed two thirds majority in the General Assembly and can pass whatever they want? And none of the Security Council resolutions were passed under Chapter VII, so none of them are binding.

      • amigo
        December 18, 2013, 2:18 pm

        “I’m willing to agree to a third party that would supervise the agreement, such as NATO forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the NATO forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land”. allan

        Wrong again Allan.this response is Hasbara 101.

        Abbas never mentioned the word Jews.

        Here is what he actually said.


        Abbas pledges: There will be no Israelis in Palestine
        ‘In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands,’ says PA leader

        link to timesofisrael.com

        “And please don’t lecture me about UN resolutions! My father was an Assistant-Secretary General there for many years, “Allan,

        And you are happy just being a paid troll.Daddy must be terribly dissapointed.

      • Allan
        December 18, 2013, 3:44 pm

        “Abbas pledges: There will be no Israelis in Palestine
        ‘In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands,’ says PA leader”

        two different speeches, two different places.

        And dad was an ardent Zionist!~

      • talknic
        December 18, 2013, 5:56 pm

        @ Allan “And please don’t lecture me about UN resolutions! My father was an Assistant-Secretary General there for many years, so I am probably just a bit more familiar with how it works than you are”

        Uh huh… let’s see how you fare

        ” Why in God’s name should anyone care about UN resolutions when the Arabs have a guaranteed two thirds majority in the General Assembly and can pass whatever they want?”

        UNESCO says there are 21 Arab States out of a total of 193 UN Member states. Maths is obviously not your forte.

        “And none of the Security Council resolutions were passed under Chapter VII, so none of them are binding”

        That’s odd. The UN Charter says the UN Charter is binding in its entirety on all member states. Please quote, verbatim, the exclusion of Chapt VI resolutions …. I’ll wait ….

        Furthermore, reaffirmed, reconfirmed, recalled, reiterated and/or emphasized Laws (all law is binding), UN Charter (binding in its entirety) and relative convention articles ARE binding, no matter what resolution they’re reaffirmed, reconfirmed, recalled, reiterated and/or emphasized in

      • MHughes976
        December 17, 2013, 5:01 pm

        To me, anti-Semitism is a form of prejudice. The ‘effect’ of which Summers speaks may be that of causing, by ‘intentionally’ denouncing bad things, negative opinions of those doing those bad things which go too far and end up by being unfair or prejudiced. But if you are making rational arguments you are always correcting more than you are provoking prejudice, that’s the nature of reason. It can’t be right to say that bad things should not be opposed because people may think too badly of wrongdoers.
        Insistence that you must never think badly of anyone is itself a form of prejudice, a refusal to face up to what reason is telling you. Refusal of all sympathy and forgiveness is inhumane, of course, and denial of the truth that we all sin. But that is a different matter.

    • Danaa
      December 17, 2013, 2:33 pm

      Allan, singling out israel is perfectly legitimate since it singles out itself – and not just by its actions. israel is a country way worse than Iran which is subjected to extreme sanctions – promoted by Israel.

      israel is, in fact, one of the most dangerous countries in the world when it comes to threatening peace. A look at their words and actions just in the past year should be convincing enough. Contemplating their nuclear arsenal and where exactly those warheads are aimed is another. No better way to defang an increasingly crazy, theocratically minded and soon-to-be–despotic state actor than BDS. Alas, I wish only that BDS was applied far more broadly, universally and sooner rather than later. In fact, one could say once a broad-based sanctions regime is instituted against this madcap apartheid state, there are a few others lining up behind it, ready to stand in the dock. Among which Saudi Arabia is near the head of the line (as soon as it becomes clear, if it isn’t yet, that they are already well past their peak oil production phase).

      At the end of the day, we all need to decide whether enlightenment is here to stay or whether it was just a phase, as we role things back to the Middle Ages – where over a third of israel’s population dwells (yes, i am referring to the black coats + like-minded allied nationalists).

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 4:02 pm

        Oops! Your ignorance is showing! The “black coats”, as you call them, have no allegiance to Israel, even though they live there. According to them, there shouldn’t be a state until the Messiah comes to create one. One of the major crises brewing in Israel today is their refusal to serve in the army! Some nationalists!

        I just noticed that you used lower case letters when you mention Israel, but capital letters for every other country. Seems that your prejudice is showing too. Are you sure the boycott doesn’t have any anti-Semitic overtones??

      • Danaa
        December 17, 2013, 4:30 pm

        Allan, it is you who is ignorant – the haredi are now over 20% (exact percentage is a closely guarded state secret)of the people in israel and, depending on sect, some have turned quite nationalist – in a biblical sense. It’s only one sect the neturei karta which does not recognize israel. To the ultra-orthodox (haredi) you should add the not-quite-so-black-coats who are the orthodox, usually allied with mizrahi and they are quite nationalistic in a very authocratic sense (how many turned out for that ayatollah Ovadia guy’s funeral? 700,000? did you notice all the black coats by any chance?). To this you should add the ultra-nationalist religious, American influenced who are allied with the settlers. In tot, that makes over 50% of the people. And almost all of these want an israel ruled by sharia law (oops, did I mean halacha? ouch it’s all these lower case letters. Confusing…). And that’s what i meant by counter-enlightenment.

        really, Allan (see?/ upper case!!) you should check into the pedigree of the state you so support.

        BTW, should halacha be upper case or lower? what about sharia? what about ayatollah? oh my, but for a few good editors…

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 5:28 pm

        Yes, danaa, Niturei Karta is different from other sects, but no, they are not the only ones who don’t recognize Israel. And none of the charedi accept service in the Israeli army, even those whose parties are members of the Knesset. And by the way, Mizrachi are certainly not “not-quite-so-black-coats” – they wear knit yarmulkas, not black hats, and would never be caught in a black coat. Mizrachi and Charedi don’t even get along very well. Aren’t you familiar with what is going on in Beit Shemesh?

        “In tot, that makes over 50% of the people”
        I thought you said their number was a closely guarded secret…

      • yrn
        December 17, 2013, 6:39 pm

        “that makes over 50% of the people.”
        Dana you sound like a replica of Gilad Atzmon.
        But not so wise
        If the “Black coats” are 50% and their rate of Votes is far stronger then the average in Israel.
        How come they don’t rule and have more then 60 Knesset members.
        You are ignorant.

      • Danaa
        December 17, 2013, 11:45 pm

        Allan, it’s the precise number of the Haredi that’s closely guarded. As is the number of the palestinian residents of israel, BTW. So all we have are estimates. The 50% figure is for all the religious sects combined – and I believe I may be conservative here. If not for the Russian influx (of which more than 1/3 were not erven jewish) the Ashkenazi secular would already be down to something like 30% of the jewish population. As it is, they can still claim a 40%n representation in the population, but that one is going down fast.

        The number I just recently read is that over 50% of kindergartners in israel now go into the religious education system. That should be indicative of where the country is heading.

        Also BTW, I did not count in my percentage those who are “merely” observant. Most of those tend to be more nationalistic than the average secular. So, add those to the numbers.

        As to the political parties – the religious and ultra-religious distribute their votes among many parties – quite a few members of the Likud for example are religious (though not haredi). Check out the distribution of the different parties in israel – should be quite an enlightening exercise.

        I do expect that sometime in the next decade we’ll see the first religious israeli PM. A few will make their way to the higher ranks in the military as well. No, they won’t be haredi, but may be something that’s even worse. Naftali Bennet is just a canary in the mines. Hope you get to enjoy the show about to be unveiled.

      • just
        December 17, 2013, 5:31 pm

        Agreed, Danaa– especially with your first comment. Well said.

    • Citizen
      December 17, 2013, 5:12 pm

      @ Allan
      Why don’t you count the number of allied and soviet forces who died to defeat Nazi Germany and imperial Japan? Jews are not the litmus test for world history.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 5:30 pm

        Who the heck said that Jews were the litmus test for anything? And what in God’s name do the number of allied and soviet dead in WWII have to do with anything?

        But as long as you bring up the irrelevant subject of WWII, are you aware that Jews outnumbered Arabs more than three to one in England’s so called “Palestine Brigade” during WWII?

    • talknic
      December 18, 2013, 6:09 pm

      @ Allan

      “I could point out that Israel is a democracy where Jews and Moslems have equal rights and Moslems are represented in the Knesset, while PA President Abbas has declared that not a single Jew will be allowed in Palestine, not even NATO peace keepers, if they happen to be Jewish. I could also point out, as did Laurence Summers, that boycotts such as yours “are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent””

      You did point out, pointlessly. Israel the Occupying Power over territories outside its internationally recognized sovereign extent, is acting in contravention of the laws of occupation

      “Singling out Israel for special attention is a very dangerous way to start”

      Israel is the ONLY Occupying Power over territories outside the State of Israel, acting in contravention of the laws of occupation

      “Nazi atrocities did not begin the day that the Nazis came to power – they built up gradually with seemingly innocuous boycotts and actions that gradually suppressed collective consciences. In the end, the public raised no objections as the Nazis murdered six million Jews and millions more Gypsies, homosexuals and other minorities”

      Uh huh. The UN adopted a Charter and Laws based in large part because of the treatment of our Jewish fellows under the jackboots of the ^&%$ Nazis. Don’t you think it’s rather ironic that now Israel, the Jewish state, is in breach of International Law and the UN Charter?

  17. nabokov
    December 16, 2013, 9:07 pm

    Why stop with this boycott? Why not push for divestment of personal and institutional funds in Israeli corporations? Boycott all Israeli products especially the innovative drugs and technology. Boycott El Al airlines. Boycott all concerts by Israeli Symphony Orchestra. Take all books written by Israeli authors out of libraries and burn them. And, then, add to this list of one nation’s racist and colonial policies all of the other nations of the world that practice some form of racism and colonialism. Then we will make a statement.

    • Allan
      December 17, 2013, 9:20 am

      I think that you’ve proven my point about dangerous first steps.

    • Chu
      December 17, 2013, 11:48 am

      Israel’s eradication of the Palestinians was sure to backfire due to their own arrogance and decades of the slow simmering occupation. And NO country in the world has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israel is losing any cards it has left to play – all it has left it weapons and stale hasbara ~that no one is buying.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 2:28 pm

        Eradication??? According to the World Bank, Palestinian population in the West Bank increased from 1.978 million in 1990 to 4.047 million in 2012, and their standard of living has been increasing at 7% – 9% annually (Better than the US?). Maybe we should just set the clock back and let the Palestinians go back to the miserable way they were treated under the illegal Jordanian occupation of the West Bank prior to 1967.

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 5:20 pm

        @ Allan
        If what you say is true, imagine how Palestinians would prosper without being subjected to Jewish Israeli “diet.”

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 7:26 pm

        Well, let’s see… According to UN estimates cited in Wikipedia, (link to en.wikipedia.org), in 1950-1955, well before there were any “occupied territories”, the Palestinians averaged 44,000 live births per year and 19,000 deaths. By 1960-1965, still before the occupation, the live births rose to an annual average of 59,000 and deaths stayed at 19,000. No sooner were the Palestinians subjected to the occupation than the number of annual deaths dropped to 14,000. Annual deaths remained at 11,000 from 1980 to 1995, while annual births rose to 107,000. By 2005-2010, the number of live births had jumped to 128,000, and deaths rose to only 14,000, pretty remarkable considering that the total Arab population had risen to more than 4 million from just a few hundred thousand! Seems that the Palestinians did pretty well on their “Jewish Israeli diet”!

    • Danaa
      December 17, 2013, 2:24 pm

      nabokov,

      Some of us are already boycotting israeli products (when they are marked as such), israeli performers (especially when we feel like not going anyways), israeli airlines (good thing that – way too much security for those of us who like to show up at the last minute plus I have to sneak in my milk for lunchtime coffee due to all the silly kosher stuff) and collaborations with israeli companies and individuals (within reason; There are a couple of people I really like to collaborate with, so I defined them as ‘exceptions”). This not to mention the hebrew language and certain israeli cultural thingies I’m intent on forgetting.

      So, you see, boycott can be a very personal thing – we all basically boycott what we can.

      As for israeli drug companies, I’d have to look into which multi-national bought them and what are the clinical trial practices in israel (say with regard to animal care). Also, I might take a look at the photo of the CFO, before deciding whether I really needed that one drug. If Intel chose to erect yet another center in israel (out of the 10’s they have around the world) well, that’s just opportunism on intel’s part and the day may come when boycott calls will be extended to companies like Intel for choosing to put up facilities in a country that believes and practices supremacy, ethnic cleansing and whatever is to follow those.

    • yrn
      December 17, 2013, 6:43 pm

      nabokov
      Why stop with this boycott?
      Why want you ask the elected Leader of the Palestinians.
      He rejects the boycott.

  18. American
    December 16, 2013, 10:06 pm

    Well mj rosenberg is whistling thru the gravyard again.On Mandela would have had nothing to do with BDS on Israel. lol…..he says he was reading about Mandela but he must have missed the part about Mandela’s violent years as a freedom fighter….now referred to terrorism. I imagine Mandela was for all the BDS movement on Africa that eventually resulted in getting him out of prison.
    Oh yea he’s on the how MWs and BDS’ers all hate Israel thing again…he expects us to love it?….hey mj!… demonizing is the name of the game—we got it from the zionist, including you lib zios who demonize us Israel critics as haters.

    link to mjayrosenberg.com

    • Allan
      December 17, 2013, 10:03 am

      Sure – no hatred in your heart, is there? Certainly not for any “lib zios”, right?

      • American
        December 18, 2013, 5:20 pm

        Allan says:
        December 17, 2013 at 10:03 am
        Sure – no hatred in your heart, is there? Certainly not for any “lib zios”, right?>>>>

        Of course I hate some zionist, how can one not—but I’am not out there killing them, starving them, torturing them and lying about them as they do to others.
        Lib zios I dont actually hate- hate—-y0u cant hate the mentally disconnected. You can only feel some disgust with them for refusing to take the medicne that would cure their condition.

    • Chu
      December 17, 2013, 11:59 am

      I read this and scoffed. First off, why not just criticize Weiss directly for the comments section (which is what he is doing). Second, MJ was an I-firster (his choice of words) for half his life. In my mind he ain’t got squat on Phil. Another naysayer that saw the writing on the wall too late, and now masks his messages in confusing pop-laden sarcasm.

      And why is he hating Abinimah? If my families roots were wiped out for people that said they has rights to my property because of some 2000 year historical bogus claim, I think any normal person would hold a severe grudge. Agent provocateurs need to be called out, and added he has the terrible track record for his life’s work.

      • W.Jones
        December 17, 2013, 4:26 pm

        MJ writes: “Previously, I might have thought that he would support the anti-Israel BDS movement if he was active now but, after learning who he really was, it is inconceivable that he would be part of it.”

        MJ is saying that BDS is hate, and that after he learns about Mandela he now knows that Mandela would not support it because he does not hate.

        Does that make sense? Only now MJ knows Mandela does not hate? OK…..

        By the way, this is what, post number 10 ripping on Ali Abunimah??????????

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 5:26 pm

        MJ asap block out anybody who sends a tweet questioning his tweets. Enough said.

    • Sumud
      December 17, 2013, 1:10 pm

      Haha MJ thinks Mandela of all people would not support BDS – can only wonder what brought on this latest outburst.

      I don’t even hate Israel – I hate Israel’s behaviour.

      I pity Israel and zionists more than anything. I can sympathise with the desire for a homeland. But they really blew it, starting way back in 1947. Nakba, original sin.

  19. Walid
    December 16, 2013, 10:29 pm

    Haaretz: “Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of Israel will surely and understandably protest the decision and possibly launch their own “counteroffensive” against the ASA and its members. American campuses could turn into an arena for thrashing out not only the issue of boycott but the pros and cons of Israel and its occupation of Palestinian territories. Such a clash is sure to generate the kind of publicity that would spread news of the boycott far and wide.”

    link to haaretz.com

    • just
      December 16, 2013, 10:40 pm

      As they say: “bring it on”!!!!!!!!!!

    • nabokov
      December 17, 2013, 12:11 am

      You might be surprised to find out that it doesn’t matter. No one cares because there is no high moral ground here.. No one stands on it–not the Israelis or the Palestinians. And, certainly not the ASA.

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 5:31 pm

        @ nabokov
        Really? Let us look at the principles supported by the Nurenburg Trials, and their Geneva progeny. How many millions died for those curbs?

  20. Obsidian
    December 16, 2013, 11:59 pm

    Curtis Marez, the association’s president, admitted that Israel’s neighbors have worse human rights records than the Jewish State, but he told the New York Times: “One has to start somewhere.”

    Pastor Neimoller is rolling in his grave.

    • amigo
      December 17, 2013, 10:38 am

      “Curtis Marez, the association’s president, admitted that Israel’s neighbors have worse human rights records than the Jewish State, but he told the New York Times: “One has to start somewhere.””Obsidious.

      Well, Israel,s neighbors are not claiming to be the “Lights unto the nations and have the “most moral armies ” and be the “only democracies” in the ME.

      One gets tired of zionist hypocrisy after 60 + years of your self ingratiating twaddle.

      But am glad to see you lump Israel in with a bunch of criminal dictators.

      • hophmi
        December 17, 2013, 11:30 am

        “One has to start somewhere.”

        So, by all means, start with the democracy made up of refugees and Holocaust survivors. Idiot. That’s the reasoning that racist cops might use. “Why’d you commit the entire department’s resources to arresting minorities suspected of hurting white people?” “Well, we had to start somewhere.”

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 10:54 pm

        @ hophmi
        It’s not unreasonable for an American taxpayer to start with the #1 recipient of US foreign aid who claims it’s the moral and ethical light onto the world, the security guard for western civilization in the ME, the oil depot.

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 10:57 pm

        @ hophmi
        Yeah, refugees from the tyrant USA, from places like Brooklyn–getting the US government and Israeli government to pay for their homes. And all those refugees from Russia, where the Russian taxpayers paid for their higher educations.

      • Citizen
        December 17, 2013, 10:50 pm

        @ amigo
        Yes, and Israel is the number once recipient of US foreign aid in all US history, so I think it’s that much more important to see there what we Americans pay for with our taxes, and to pursue informed consent as the pillar of our democracy.

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