The American Anthropological Association (AAA) voted on Friday to boycott Israeli academic institutes. The resolution was to pass the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). It was approved by 1040 members at its annual conference in Denver, Colorado.
Final approval must be made by the 10,000-strong membership which is expected to be made in April.
Some 30 Israeli anthropologists were present at the annual meeting and despite a competing resolution to reject the boycott, failed to stop the vote.
Although the embargo will apply to all institutions, it will not apply to individuals.
US website Inside Higher Ed states: “Israeli scholars will still be welcome to participate in AAA meetings, use funds from their institutions to attend the meetings, publish in AAA journals and take part in other AAA activities in their individual capacities. The boycott does not preclude communication and collaboration with individual Israeli scholars.”
Prof. Peretz Lavie, president of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and head of the chairman of the Association of University Heads in Israel, states: “As long as the American Anthropological Association, which is one of the largest professional associations in the US, will adopt the decision officially by the organisation’s institutions, it may sway other associations to take similar declarative decisions.”
“We must recognize the issue as a matter of national importance and jointly act to halt and prevent the spread of this phenomenon,” he said.
The Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions welcomed the decision.
“As heirs to a long tradition of scholarship on colonialism, anthropologists affirm, through this resolution, that the core problem is Israel’s maintenance of a settler colonial regime based on Jewish supremacy and Palestinian dispossession. By supporting the boycott, anthropologists are taking a stand for justice through action in solidarity with Palestinians.”
“Today’s historic result is due to over three years of organizing within the Association to educate and mobilize members to stand against Israel’s widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights, as well as to protest the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in these abuses. The vote was also a powerful act of protest against U.S. support for Israel’s actions,” they said.
P. Antonopoulos is currently a Candidate for an MA Degree, writing his dissertation on the Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War.
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