The Academic Council for Israel and our Partner Organizations’ Petition Opposes All BDS Resolutions and Campaigns
May 31, 2016
New York, — A number of academic professional organizations have passed or are considering anti-Israel resolutions connected with the boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts against Israel. We oppose any academic professional organizational attempt to boycott Israeli institutions of higher education.
We the undersigned more than 1000 academics: professors, instructors, administrators, researchers and academic staff oppose all forms of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
The Academic Council for Israel (ACfI) and our partner organizations Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Stand With Us, the American-Israel Cooperative Enterprise and the Louis D Brandeis Center for Human Rights are releasing today our petition to fight the bigotry of the boycott movement, which seeks to apply a double standard against Israel and Israeli nationals, as well as anyone who supports Israel.
We are calling upon all academics of good conscience to join more than 1000 of your academic colleagues in opposing anti-Israel BDS resolutions being considered or already voted on by some academic professional associations.
WE OPPOSE ALL BDS RESOLUTIONS AND CAMPAIGNS.
The petition states the following:
We, the undersigned College and University faculty, administrators, staff, and trustees, oppose academic boycotts and specifically condemn the most recent attempts at boycotting Israel by the American Anthropological Association, National Women’s Studies Association, and other associations.
Understanding that academic, cultural, and commercial boycotts, divestments, and sanctions of Israel:
o Are counterproductive to the goal of peace,
o Represent an anti-democratic process intent on undermining the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in their homeland, Israel,
o Seek to commandeer our educational system and professional societies for political ends and are thus a travesty of professional ethics and conduct, and
o Are antithetical to genuine academic freedom,
We stand united in our condemnation of calls and campaigns for boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israeli academic institutions, professors, products, and companies that do business in or with Israel.
We recognize that individuals and groups may have legitimate criticism of Israeli policies. Criticism becomes antisemitism, however, when it demonizes Israel, applies double standards to Israel, denies Israel the right to defend its citizens, or questions Israel’s right to exist.
The BDS misrepresentation of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Arabs is one-sided and untruthful, and therefore unworthy of the academic community. Moreover, by pursuing delegitimization campaigns on campus and in academic professional organizations, anti-Israel proponents provoke harmful divisions among students and have created an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred.
BDS resolutions will not contribute to peace or justice. Political wisdom and moral good will require that they be resoundingly rejected.
THEREFORE WE OPPOSE ALL BDS RESOLUTIONS AND CAMPAIGNS.
The Academic Council for Israel is a national network, already present on more than 150 campuses, composed of faculty, administrators, researchers, librarians, and other professional university staff.
ACFI is a non-profit organization founded in 2015. Its offices are located in New York, California, and Florida. For more information, please contact the ACFI Executive Director, Dr. Samuel Edelman, or see the ACFI website: http://www.academiccouncilforisrael.com/
If you are concerned about anti-Semitism on your campus, or if you seek advice about best practices, contact us.
Tammi Rossman Benjamin Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is cofounder and director of AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that investigates, documents and combats anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America, and was a faculty member in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of California from 1996 - 2016.