January 7, 2017 -- New York -- AJC welcomed the rejection today by the Modern Language Association (MLA) of a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The proposed measure was defeated by a vote of 113 to 79 at the MLA convention in Philadelphia.
“The MLA has firmly repudiated those who try to exploit American colleges and universities to delegitimize the State of Israel,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “The MLA today has sent a message to the entire academic community that American and Israeli campuses benefit greatly from academic cooperation and that boycotting Israel, the only democratic nation in the region, and a country which has been seeking peace with its neighbors since its rebirth in 1948, will not be tolerated because it does not in any way advance peace.”
Efforts to engage academic associations in supporting punitive measures against Israel are led by the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement.
In June 2014, the full MLA membership rejected a measure to boycott Israel that was narrowly endorsed at its convention six months earlier.
Two leading academic associations, the American Association of Universities and the American Association of University Professors, have long opposed the BDS movement.