Middle East Studies Scholars Discuss the Academic Boycott of IsraelBreaking News
tags: Israel, BDS, boycott of Israel
Should the Middle East Studies Association take a stand on the academic boycott of Israeli universities?
Two panels at MESA’s annual meeting on Sunday focused on the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The discussions at MESA came on the heels of a vote by attendees at the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting to back a boycott of Israeli universities. The full membership of the anthropology association will vote this spring on whether support for the boycott should become association policy.
Discussions of the academic boycott within MESA have not progressed as far, though hundreds of individual Middle East studies scholars have signed on to the academic boycott movement as individuals. MESA members approved a resolutionearlier this year affirming “the right of MESA members to engage in open and transparent discussion of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in the context of the annual meeting and other forums.” The resolution also strongly urged “MESA program committees to organize discussions at MESA annual meetings, and the MESA Board of Directors to create opportunities over the course of the year that provide platforms for a sustained discussion of the academic boycott and foster careful consideration of an appropriate position for MESA to assume.”
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