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Boycott Calls Against Israel
Association for Asian American Studies Passed Resolution Supporting Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions
Editorial Note
IAM has reported that, following a new campaign of pro-Palestinian groups, there has been an increase in academic boycotts of Israel around the world. The General Membership Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) is the latest to embrace the Palestinian appeal.  This is a highly significant step as the AAAS was previously not involved in the Middle East conflict. According to pro Palestinian websites the resolution has passed.
The practical applications of this move are not yet clear.  Israeli scholars may face difficulties in appearing at the AAAS conferences and have their papers rejected by journals sponsored by the AAAS and/or editors of journals who may feel bound by the decision.  Israeli scholars who plan to spend a sabbatical leave in Asian studies departments may face similar difficulties.


Association for Asian American Studies Annual Conference April 2013

Resolution Proposed: Support Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

The Association for Asian American Studies is an organization dedicated to the preservation and support of academic freedom and of the right to education for students and scholars in the U.S. and globally. This year’s conference theme, “The Afterlife of Empire,” demonstrates AAAS commitment to a critique of U.S. empire.We urge the General Membership to vote for the resolution in support of the boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. The call to boycott Israeli universities is in protest of the illegal occupation of Palestine, the infringements of the right to education of Palestinian students, and the academic freedom of Palestinian scholars and students in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. This resolution links AAAS to a world-wide movement behind the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

AAAS participation in this boycott is an act of solidarity with Arab (West Asian) and Muslim American communities, students, and scholars who have been subjected to profiling, surveillance, and civil rights violations that have circumscribed their freedom of political expression, particularly in relation to the issue of human rights in Palestine-Israel.Israeli academic institutions are deeply complicit in Israel's violations of international law and human rights and in its denial of the right to education and academic freedom to Palestinians, in addition to their basic rights as guaranteed by international law. As an organization that supports research and open discussion about these issues without censorship, intimidation, or harassment, and seeks to promote academic exchange, collaboration and opportunities for students and scholars everywhere, AAAS must join in the global movement to protest the rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine.
We urge the general membership to attend the general meeting on Saturday, April 20th, 4:30 p.m. St. Helens, Westin Hotel.
Vote to pass this resolution!


Leslie Bow,Lucy Burns, Keith Camacho, Mark Chiang, David Eng, Candace Fujikane,Anna Guevarra, Sora Han, Helen Jun, LauraKang, Jodi Kim, Richard Kim, Kevin Kumashiro,James Lee, Karen Leong, Lisa Lowe, Anita Mannur,Glen Mimura, Susette Min, Gary Okihiro, JunaidRana, Eric Reyes, Robyn Rodriguez, Cathy Schlund-Vials, Malini Johar Schueller, Sarita See, Nikhil PalSingh, Rajini Srikanth, Dorothy Wang

 Other academics and/or Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies scholars who have endorsed/and or are involved in the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel(USACBI); this list is avery small subset, as there are 800 endorsers: Sarika Chandra, Shefali Chandra, Iyko Day, Vicente M.Diaz, Diane Fujino, J. Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua, Inderpal Grewal, Christine Hong, Adria Imada, JaneIwamura, J. K ē, haulani Kauanui, Elaine Kim, Sunaina Maira, Yong Soon Min, Chandra Talpade Mohanty,Rupal Oza, Vijay Prashad, Jasbir Puar, R. Radhakrishnan, Chandan Reddy, Roshni Rustomji-Kerns, SetsuShigematsu, Noenoe Silva, Neferti Tadiar.

Rahim Kurwa wrote this piece encouraging AAAS members to vote for the resolution: 


Rahim Kurwa

a grad student,
a member of students for justice in palestine,
a south asian american

Three reasons why Asian American Scholars should support an academic boycott of Israeli institutions

Update: The resolution has passed.
A BDS resolution has been offered at the AAAS conference happening this
 week in Seattle. The resolution should be supported for the following three

1. The extent of racist exclusion practiced by Israeli academic institutions and the people t
hat comprise them is shocking to anyone who scratches the surface. If a university practiced
the same level of racial discrimination in the US it would be boycotted without question.
Imagine for a moment that UCLA closed an academic department because too many black
students enrolled, or that a university implemented rules that resulted in white students
being given preferential access to the dormitories. An American university engaged in such
practices would be boycotted and protested without question. These are just examples of
how Palestinians are treated by Israeli universities (see example 
1 and 2).

2. The degree to which these institutions serve parts of the state which openly violate
international law has only grown in recent years. Ariel University, for example, is built on
stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank and was recently upgraded from college to
university status by the Israeli government (see here for coverage).

3. These universities continue to serve as the research centers for war-making devices and
new theories of warfare that openly flaunt international law. One example of the academy’s
technical support for violences is Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology. Technion has developed some of the military equipment that has proved to be most damaging to
Palestinians and most instrumental in human rights violations (see here for a review of
Technion’s military contributions). An example of the academy’s ideological support for
violations of international law is the Dahiya doctrine. this doctrine was developed at Tel
Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (see here for more). It calls for the
wholesale flattening of a neighborhood as a “message” to the other side (see coverage of the
effects of this policy). 

Thus to freely engage with these institutions is to give them a normalcy and endorsement
they do not deserve, and moreover sends the message that there is no price, even symbolic,
to pay for their racism and support for violations of human rights and international law. To
have any credibility in the area of human rights and equality, or even academic freedom,
AAAS must boycott Israeli academic institutions. 

This would mean, for example, not holding joint programs with Israeli universities, but
would not mean banning individual Israeli professors from speaking and visiting as
individuals. The distinction between individuals and institutions is very important, and
reiterated in the boycott’s guidelines

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