There is a growing backlash against the American Studies Association's decision not to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions until Israel ends it human rights violations (you can read JVP's positions on this issue here and here.)
The ASA is being accused of violating academic freedom and of being anti-Semitic. We appreciate the heightened interest on academic freedom and remind ASA supporters and opponents alike that Palestinians have not enjoyed and continue not to enjoy academic freedom. Their right to education is severely compromised by Israel.
It is not inherently anti-Semitic to speak up against discrimination. Jews are not the target of ASA’s academic boycott. Discriminatory institutional policies are.
It is not inherently anti-Semitic to focus attention specifically on Israel's human rights violations. It would be an unacceptable double-standard if Israel would be the only country that could not be critiqued until every other country's human right record was addressed first.
The ASA has every right to focus on the Palestinian right to education and it should not be attacked for doing so.
Whether you agree with the ASA's boycott decision or not, please call your university and remind them that you support the right of the American Studies Association to respond appropriately to the ongoing violations of Palestinian academic freedom. Tell your university that you oppose calling the ASA's actions anti-Semitic, when neither Jews nor Judaism are targeted.
Are you an alumni? Search online for ["name of your university] alumni" and look for a number to call.
Are you a student? Call the head of your school and the head of the American Studies Department.
After you call, post one of these images to Facebook or Twitter, and encourage others to call as well!