AHA won't be considering petition on Israel, unless it's introduced at the Business Meeting

Historians in the News
tags: Israel, BDS, AHA2015

Jim Grossman is the executive director of the AHA.

HNN Editor  The petition missed the deadline set for the upcoming annual meeting of the American Historical Association.  Someone at the Business Meeting of the AHA could still put the issue on the agenda. Historians Against the War is asking its members to press for two resolutions to be placed on the agenda. 

Related Links:  Resolutions backed by Historians Against the War


In November 3 an AHA member submitted a petition for a resolution to be considered at the Association’s business meeting on January 4. The deadline of November 1 specified by the bylaws had been extended by two days because November 1 fell on a Saturday. After consultation with the AHA’s parliamentarian, the Association’s president determined that the petition failed to meet two of the requirements stated in the bylaws. An insufficient number of AHA members in good standing had signed the petition, and the resolution as written went beyond matters “of concern to the Association, to the profession of history, or to the academic profession.”

AHA staff remain neutral on the content of resolutions that are under consideration for the business meeting. Rather than offer opinions on the substance of resolutions submitted for consideration at the business meeting, their role is to supply resources that speak to the technical matters of submission. The content of resolutions is a matter for the members to debate once the president, in consultation with the parliamentarian, has determined whether the proposal conforms to the requirements of the bylaws. The role of AHA staff is to facilitate submission of such petitions, as we are a membership organization that depends on participation for our vitality. In this spirit, AHA staff provided guidance to the organizer of the petition. The president, after explaining the reasons for her decision, reminded the petitioner that the Association’s parliamentarian is available to all AHA members “for advice in interpreting the provisions of the AHA constitution and bylaws relevant to the submission of petitions.”

The guidance provided by staff, and the president’s reference to the availability of the parliamentarian, underscore the AHA’s commitment to participation by the membership. Perhaps sometimes the rules seem more like hoops than pathways, but the bar is quite low: 50 members (out of more than 13,000) must sign on, and the resolution must be relevant to our work....

Read entire article at American Historical Association's Perspectives

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