US academics deal BDS a critical blow

In yet another blow to the BDS movement seeking to economically assault the Jewish state with international boycotts, the Association of American Universities (AAU) on Thursday issued a statement affirming it rejects academic boycotts of Israel.

The statement began by noting how the American Anthropological Association in November approved a resolution calling to boycott Israeli academic institutions, paving the way for a vote on the resolution this year.

“In light of these developments, the Board of Directors of the Association of American Universities reaffirms the Board’s opposition to such boycotts and today reissues the 2013 statement on this subject by the then-Executive Committee of the association,” read the statement.

Quoting its 2013 rejection of the boycott, the AAU wrote: “any such boycott of academic institutions directly violates academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general.”

The statement also added that the AAU “strongly opposes a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Three U.S. scholarly organizations have now expressed support for such a boycott. Any such boycott of academic institutions directly violates academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general.”

“The boycott of Israeli academic institutions…clearly violates the academic freedom not only of Israeli scholars but also of American scholars who might be pressured to comply with it. We urge American scholars and scholars around the world who believe in academic freedom to oppose this and other such academic boycotts,” concluded the statement.

AAU represents 60 American and two Canadian research universities, both public and private. The US universities in the association award nearly half of all American doctoral degrees.

Thursday’s rebuff to the BDS movement follows on the heels of the American Historical Association (AHA) decision last Saturday to reject a resolution criticizing Israel.