Pro-Israel and Jewish groups criticized the American Studies Association’s (ASA) academic boycott of Israeli institutions on Tuesday.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Association of University Heads in Israel, and Israel’s Deputy Education Minister MK Avi Wortzman have all released statements against the ASA boycott, according to Israel Hayom.
Avi described the ASA’s move as “despicable,” while the ADL said it was a “shameful, morally bankrupt, and intellectually dishonest attack on academic freedom.”
The ASA boycott was announced Monday after 66 percent of ASA members voted for it. The ASA said the decision to boycott is “an ethical stance, a form of material and symbolic action. It represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.”
This is the first time the ASA has enacted a boycott.
The Association of University Heads in Israel is calling for an end to the boycott and said it would harm academic freedom.
“We call on our colleagues, the heads of all universities worldwide, to denounce this boycott and call for its end. Imposing an academic boycott of any kind has severe ramifications on academic freedom and on collaborations that are vital for the promotion of teaching and research,” the group said. “It is the antithesis of the most basic principles of science.”