Washington, D.C., – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) issued the following statement in response to the American Anthropological Association (AAA)’s endorsement of a resolution by members at its annual meeting to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
“This resolution is misguided, both by betraying the ideals of academic freedom and debate and by damaging the hope of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. We urge the members of the association to vote against this resolution.
It is telling, and deeply disturbing, that the AAA rejected an amendment to the resolution opposing any form of discrimination based on a range of characteristics including national origin. It is not hard to draw the inference that the AAA now stands ready to discriminate on the basis of national origin.
Finally, this resolution will have reverberating negative effects on the study of anthropology in America, by making pariahs out of venerable Israeli institutions such as Yad Vashem and its International Institute for Holocaust Studies because it is based in Israel. Restricting the academic freedom for scholars to work with these institutions is utterly self-defeating. We commend the Israel Action Network and other organizations that have worked to counter the delegitimization of Israel, which surely this move represents.”
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.