Deja Vu: Historians will once again be debating a resolution about Israel at the annual AHA convention

Historians in the News
tags: Israel, BDS, Historians Against War, AHA2016

Rick Shenkman is the editor of HNN. His newest book is Political Animals: How Our Stone Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books, January 2016).

The historians who tried but failed last year to persuade the AHA to consider a resolution critical of Israel are back, this time giving themselves plenty of time to round up support. Acting with dispatch, they have given notice that they plan to petition the AHA to consider the issue at the upcoming annual meeting in January in Atlanta.

By taking early action they are answering one of the chief objections of critics, who argued at the past year's meeting that historians hadn't been given enough time to think through the implications of the proposed resolution.

Both sides are preparing for battle, posting full-page dueling ads (see below) in the current issue of Perspectives, the AHA's monthly news magazine. (The ads appear on pages 22 and 23.)

The proposed resolution would put the AHA on record against Israel's alleged practice of restricting the rights of Palestinian educators. Judging by the advertisement in Perspectives, more than fifty historians, including several past presidents of the AHA, have signed onto the new resolution.

Opponents argue that the indictment of Israel leaves out the context in which Israel's actions have taken place.

Go here for background on last year's controversy. 

Resolution Critical of Israel

Statement in Opposition to the Resolution

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