84 % Vote Yes to BDS: Membership Assembly of the National Women Studies Association Passes BDS Recommendation

The National Women Studies Association (NWSA) held its annual screen322x572conference from November 12 t0 15, 2015, in Milwuakee. During the meeting of the Membership Assembly voted in favor of a recommendation calling on the NWSA to support of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The recommendation was developed by Feminists for Justice in/for Palestine (FJP), an ad-hoc group founded in Puerto Rico at NWSA 2014.  The recommendation draws on transnational, intersectional feminist frameworks to emphasize an “indivisible sense of justice.”

Voting on this question follows on a solidarity statement (http://www.nwsa.org/statements) released by NWSA early in 2015, issued in response to strong membership engagement with BDS at the 2014 NWSA Conference in Puerto Rico.

The NWSA also voted on a second recommendation in support of Contingent faculty, emphasizing “the disproportionate impact of precarious employment in higher education on women and people of color.”

Both recommendations with the breakdown of the votes are included below.

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David Lloyd Reports on the AAA Vote for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

Reapalestined David Lloyd’s report on the American Anthropological Association’s vote in favor of a resolution endorsing the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The report is titled “Anthropologists Speak Out for Justice in Palestine” and appeared originally online at jadiliyyah.com. Lloyd is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. He attended the 2015 AAA convention in Denver and presented a paper at the meeting that can be read here. Below is an excerpt from the report.

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“‘Dialogue’ Isn’t Enough”: David Palumbo-Liu on the signifcance of the AAA vote for academic boycott

David Palumbo-Liu’s article, explaining BDS as a rights-based anti-colonial movement in solidarity with the Palestinian national liberation struggle,  appeared in Salon after the American Anthropological Association’s  vote to endorse BDS.

“Dialogue” isn’t enough to address the Israel-Palestine issue: A prominent academic organization endorses a boycott of Israeli institutions and support of BDS

The American Anthropological Association has taken up BDS as a human rights issue


This past Friday, the American Anthropological Association, with over 10 thousand members, became the largest US academic organization ever to endorse a boycott of Israeli institutions and to affirm the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement at an annual meeting. The resolution will be voted on by the full membership this spring. The results of the vote on Friday–1,040 for, 136 against–certainly lend pro-boycotters hope. Notably, another resolution, critical of Israel but condemning a boycott on the grounds that it amounted to a “refusal to engage in a productive dialogue,” failed spectacularly, with just 196 in favor as compared to 1,173 against.

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Nadia Abu El-Haj’s Presentation at the 2015 American Anthropological Association Convention in Denver

Nadia Abu El-Haj, professor of Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University, presented this paper as part of a round table included in the program of the 2015 American Anthropological Association Convention in Denver.

What is being asked of us by those suffering the harms of Israel’s racial regime?

Damage at the Islamic University of Gaza on August 2, 2014 in Gaza City after it was hit in an overnight Israeli strike. AFP/Getty Images (Source: The Independent 2 August 2014)

As the Anthropology Task Force Report on Israel/Palestine documented in detail [1], there is at present no academic freedom for Palestinian universities: campuses are raided on a regular basis, students arrested on campuses, permits and visas denied—to Gaza students who want to study in the West Bank, to foreign scholars wanting to come teach at Palestinian universities, to Palestinian scholars and students trying to go abroad. Meanwhile, but a few miles away, faculty and students at Israeli universities continue with the daily life of scholarship, teaching and research as if nothing is amiss. There are substantive reasons for calling attention to educational institutions in Israel and Palestine.

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Resources Page on Academic Boycott

See the new resources page on this website, which includes many of the documents posted by  Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. The main arguments for anthropologists to endorse the academic boycott of Israel also apply to scholars in other social science and humanities disciplines.
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Especially useful among the anthropology resources is the  Report to the Executive Board drafted by The Task Force on AAA Engagement on Israel-Palestine (October 1, 2015).  Task Force Members: Ramona Perez (Executive Board Liaison), Niko Besnier, Patrick Clarkin, Hugh Gusterson, John L. Jackson, Katherine Spielmann, Ed Liebow (AAA Staff Coordinator), and Katie Vizenor (AAA Staff Liaison).

A summary of the Task Force report and a link to the full text can be found here.


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American Anthropological Association Votes for Boycott

In a  vote at its 2015 convention in Denver, the American Anthropological Association overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution in support of an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The vote now goes to the general membership of AAA in the spring 2016.  The academic boycott movement continues to grow. Below is a report originally posted on the anthroboycott website. Continue reading

AAA and the Academic Boycott Vote: “the crucible for new thinking about ends and outcomes”

David Lloyd, Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California-Riverside, presented this  paper  at the 2015 AAA Convention in Denver.

It is six years almost to the day, and two further violent incursions, since Israel’s Operation Cast Lead rained the firepower of one of the world’s most advanced military forces on the open-air prison of Gaza. Some 1400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed in that act of collective punishment, and at least 23 educational institutions were destroyed or severely damaged. In response to this extraordinarily diAmerican-Anthropological-Association-2015-Annual-Meeting-Logo-w-Border-e1446059504323sproportionate offensive, the US congress passed a Senate Resolution in support of Israel that was a tissue of mendacity and half-truths. Only four very courageous representatives dissented. In the summer of 2014, none did.

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2016 MLA Convention: Debating the Resolution for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

In Fall 2014, David Lloyd and Rebecca Comay submitted to the Organizing Committee of the Delegate Assembly a resolution and supporting documents calling upon the MLA to endorse the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The resolution was proposed for discussion at the 2015 meeting of the Delegate Assembly. At that same time, two other members of the MLA submittY1KI7BqYed a resolution that opposed academic boycott resolutions. The Organizing Committee of the MLA requested that the two groups of proposers postpone the formal submission of their resolutions to the Delegate Assembly until 2017. In the meantime, both parties were granted space in the MLA convention program to debate the issue.  Debate panels and other sessions on Palestinian culture and politics are scheduled for the 2016 MLA Convention.  Below is the information on the debate panel organized by MLA Members for Justice in Palestine.

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