AJC Applauds Bipartisan House Action on ASA Boycott of Israel

AJC Applauds Bipartisan House Action on ASA Boycott of Israel

January 19, 2013 -- New York -- AJC praised a congressional initiative to declare firm opposition to the American Studies Association (ASA) decision to boycott Israeli colleges and universities.

“We believe that the decision to blacklist Israeli academic institutions for Israeli government policies with which ASA disagrees demonstrates a blatant disregard for academic freedom,” states the House letter to ASA President Curtis Marez. To date, 134 members of Congress have signed on to the letter, led by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Doug Collins (R-GA), and Brad Schneider (D-IL).

“The ASA call for an academic boycott against Israel never should have happened,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “But the outpouring of outrage against the ASA and support for Israeli academia is encouraging. Members of Congress now are joining with more than 200 university presidents and chancellors in publicly repudiating the disgraceful ASA action.”

Asked on the eve of the ASA convention last month why Israel was being targeted, Marez said, “one has to start somewhere.”

David Harris is AJC Executive Director, Edward and Sandra Meyer Office of the Executive Director.