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European Sociological Association Passes New Anti-Boycott Guidelines


Michael Kleinman, Brandeis Blog

November 5, 2015
 

In August, the European Social Association (ESA), an academic association of sociologists and a non-profit Europe-wide association made up of over 2000 member scholars, approved ethical guidelines holding that “its members, conference participants and partners are not to be discriminated against in any way, direct or indirect, including boycott of themselves or their institutions, based on their ethnic, national [or] religious…backgrounds.”

These ethical guidelines prohibiting ESA associates from boycotting themselves or their respective institutions, because of ethnic or religious discrimination strongly implies that the ESA considers the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS), a self-described “global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions…against Israel” to be ethnic, religious, and national discrimination against Jews and Israelis.

Moreover, the ESA explicitly stated last year, in its “Resolution against Boycott and Discrimination of Israeli scholars and research institutions,” passed unanimously by the Research Network 31 board and conference participants at a mid-term meeting of the Research Network 31 in Vienna, that “in view of recent calls for boycott of Israeli scholars and research institutions, Research Network 31 ‘Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism’ of the European Sociological Association (ESA) calls on our colleagues in ESA and scholars around the world to oppose such boycotts and condemn this discriminatory practice which contributes to creating an antisemitic climate. Any such boycott violates academic freedom and discriminates against individuals and institutions on the basis of their national background.”

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L. Rachel Lerman, Esq.
L. Rachel Lerman is Vice President of the Louis D. Brandeis Center. She is a litigation partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Los Angeles office, and co-chairs the national Appeals and Critical Motions Practice Group.
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