The American Association of University Professors on Friday released an open letter to members of the American Studies Association, urging them to reject a resolution supporting an academic boycott of Israel that was recently approved by the scholarly group’s executive body.
The ASA’s National Council on Wednesday said that it had voted unanimously to endorse such a boycott. The council stressed that the boycott would focus on higher-education institutions, not individual scholars. The resolution had stirred up a public debate in the association, featuring petitions supporting both sides.
The AAUP’s letter reiterated its opposition to academic boycotts as violations of academic freedom. It said the AAUP was “disappointed” by the council’s vote, and urged the ASA’s membership to vote down the boycott resolution. Online voting for the ASA’s members ends this month.
The AAUP expressed similar dismay after members of another scholarly group, the Association for Asian American Studies, this year voted to support a boycott of Israeli institutions.