USACBI salutes boycott victory at American Anthropological Association conference

The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) salutes the American Anthropological Association, whose general conference voted in a landslide last night in support of a resolution for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israeli academic institutions.

The resolution, which passed with 1040 votes in favor and 136 votes against, mandates the AAA to honor the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The resolution will now go to a vote of the full membership. An anti-boycott resolution was overwhelmingly defeated, with 1,173 against and 196 in favor.

The AAA is the largest academic association to date to pass an academic boycott resolution in response to the Palestinian call. It follows the adoption of the boycott by the American Studies Association, Association for Asian American Studies, African Literature Association, Critical Ethnic Studies Association, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Association for Humanist Sociology and the Peace and Justice Studies Association.

Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, the group that led this effort in the AAA, issued a statement saying:

“As heirs to a long tradition of scholarship on colonialism, anthropologists affirm, through this resolution, that the core problem is Israel”s maintenance of a settler colonial regime based on Jewish supremacy and Palestinian dispossession. By supporting the boycott, anthropologists are taking a stand for justice through action in solidarity with Palestinians.

Today”s historic result is due to over three years of organizing within the Association to educate and mobilize members to stand against Israel”s widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights, as well as to protest the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in these abuses. The vote was also a powerful act of protest against U.S. support for Israel”s actions.”

The boycott resolution concludes by affirming the BDS movement, noting that ” AAA will support the rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel/Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.”

USACBI salutes the powerful efforts of Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, who have gathered the public support of over 1000 anthropologists in support of the resolution, developed resources, hosted teach-ins, and engaged with an AAA task force to build a solid movement within the AAA and the discipline of anthropolgy to stand with the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice and against colonialism through the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

We urge all anthropologists and AAA members to vote in favor of this resolution in the upcoming full membership balloting, and urge all other academic associations to follow in the footsteps of the AAA and adopt the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, which are deeply complicit in the colonization, apartheid and occupation imposed upon the Palestinian people.

This achievement adds fire and inspiration to all other ongoing boycott campaigns, including the upcoming discussions of academic boycott in the Modern Language Association (MLA), representing 25,000 scholars.

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