23 December 2013

REJECTED: academic boycott of Israeli universities

From Washington Post 23 Dec 2013, by Valerie Strauss:

Dozens of American colleges and universities are rejecting an academic boycott of Israeli universities recently approved by the academic American Studies Association... And a few schools said they are withdrawing from the organization.
The association’s membership — or, rather, 66.05 percent of the 1,252 votes that came in from the group’s 5,000 members — approved the boycott last week over the objections of numerous former presidents of the organization and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who angered activists by saying that he does not support a boycott of Israel ...
Schools including Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton and Boston universities and the Universities of Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Texas at Austin  and others have slammed the boycott, issuing statements similar to one by Harvard President Drew Faust that said that 
academic boycotts “subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of scholars.”
Penn State University at Harrisburg and Brandeis University have said they are withdrawing their memberships from the American Studies Association, and other schools are considering doing the same thing. In addition, two major associations of institutions of higher education, the Association of American Universities and the Association of American University Professors, have issued statements rejecting the boycott....