Palestine Legal issued the following statement in response to a lawsuit announced today against the American Studies Association (ASA) for adopting an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions:
“The ASA”s academic boycott resolution is aimed at challenging U.S. support for a system that denies academic freedom to Palestinian students and scholars. As such, the resolution falls squarely within the educational purposes for which ASA was established. Plaintiffs” theory that the “ultra vires” doctrine – a corporate law theory – could limit the ASA”s First Amendment right to endorse the academic boycott is meritless and will likely be thrown out by the court.
Israel advocacy groups have previously threatened to sue the ASA, alleging discrimination and antisemitism, unless the organization cancel its academic boycott resolution. Today”s lawsuit abandons these theories. As Palestine Legal and CCR documented in our report, meritless legal threats are a tactic used to chill speech supporting Palestinian rights. Such threats are being used to intimidate advocates for Palestinian rights, and deflect the conversation away from Israeli human rights violations.”
Jewish Voice for Peace’s Academic Advisory Council is collecting the signatures of U.S. and international academics in support of the ASA. To sign on, please click here: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/301/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19614
Academic Letter of Support for the American Studies Association
We, the undersigned, voice our strong support as academics across multiple disciples for the American Studies Association, and its 2014 resolution upholding the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
We condemn the distracting and meritless lawsuit being brought against them, which claims the boycott resolution violates the ASA’s “stated mission and purpose.”