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Friends of Sabeel North America Endorses the AAA Resolution to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions

Friends of Sabeel North America endorses the resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions, proposed at the 2015 American Anthropological Association.

The American Anthropological Association will be discussing and voting on a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions this November. The boycott of academic institutions is a non-violent tactic that supports the broader Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement to end the occupation of Palestine. The AAA boycott resolution takes a stand against harassment of Palestinian academics and censorship of Jewish Israeli academics critical of Israeli occupation, among so many other forms of intellectual oppression that come with military occupation and apartheid. This boycott resolution builds on the AAA’s record of high quality scholarly research by isolating the institutions complicit with the occupation rather than individual anthropologists.

The AAA Task Force published a Report on AAA Engagement with Israel-Palestine, which details egregious violations of Palestinian academic freedom and the right to education, including restrictions on access to books, research materials, and the internet. The report enumerates several ways that Palestinians are treated as second-class citizens within Israeli universities, even as 20% of Israeli citizens are Palestinian. In the West Bank in particular, the checkpoints, settlements and the separation wall “cut Palestinians off from one another, crippling the flow of ideas and cross-fertilization.”

We urge the AAA to take heed of those Palestinian voices, already so stringently muted by the occupation and academic apartheid. We hope that this resolution passes and acts as a moral guide to academics everywhere.

As we approach our 20th anniversary working for a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis, we acknowledge that the time for dialogue is over. The time for action is long overdue. The occupation must end, and no further delay is acceptable for people of conscience, particularly those equipped with the scholarly resources of the American Anthropological Association. 

Sabeel is an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians, who seek a just peace as defined by international law and existing United Nations resolutions. Friends of Sabeel—North America (FOSNA) is an ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolence and education. FOSNA seeks reconciliation between peoples in the Holy land, emphasizing the need for a just peace and the end of U.S. support for Israel’s military occupation.