According to an announcement released Dec. 16, the American Studies Association (ASA), a group of some 5,000 university professors, has endorsed its national council’s call for a boycott of Israeli universities.
Two-thirds of the 1,252 members who voted approved the boycott, according to the release, and a third of the membership’s eligible voters participated.
The membership-wide canvass was unprecedented and was undertaken in part at the behest of boycott opponents, who said at a session during the ASA annual conference in Washington, D.C., last month that the matter was too sensitive to leave up to the 20-member national council, which unanimously endorsed the boycott.
The resolution is not binding on members and targets institutions, not individuals.
In its announcement, the ASA said it would invite Israeli and Palestinian academics to its 2014 national meeting in Los Angeles. ASA describes itself as “devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.” — JTA
by Robin D.G. Kelley
by David N. Myers