|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.