Another day and another boycott of the apartheid state of Israel.
As has been widely reported, on 15 December the American Studies Association (ASA), which has more than 5,000 members, joined a growing movement to boycott Israel in protest at its treatment of the Palestinians.
The ASA, in the words of the Guardian, “is the most significant US academic organization to back a boycott of Israeli educational institutions following a two-thirds majority vote”. According to the paper,
The ASA resolution was “in solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom”, the organization said in a statement. It cited “Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; [and] the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights”.
The resolution bans “formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions”.
For the first time, Israel has begun to worry publicly about where the boycott might lead to. While dismissing the ASA as a “radical leftist group” with few links to academia in the Zionist state, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin told Israel Radio “we need to prepare for the danger that it [the boycott call] will pass to other, more serious academic forums”, the Israeli news website Ynet reported.
He said that Israeli diplomats and the Zionist lobby in the US were “intensively” trying to dissuade other US academics from following the American Studies Association’s lead.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, he added, had set up an advocacy group, “Faces of Israel”, to “work among those who wield influence exactly in order to prevent cases such as this”.
But try as it may, there’s no doubt which way the wind is blowing.
As we said last week, “Israel’s relationship with the civilized world appears to be deteriorating to the point of no return, as more and more countries, particularly in Europe, summon the courage to say ‘enough’ to Israeli crimes”.
Now that a prestigious US institution has set a precedent in standing up to racism, injustice and criminality, things can only get worse for the apartheid Jewish state.