Friday, December 6, 2013

Divest This! A modest proposal to the American Studies Association

After heavy lobbying by anti-Israel activists, the American Studies Association has decided to "boycott" Israel. A glance at the "community activism" table at the conference shows the deliberate attempt to manipulate and deceive- note the widely discredited 4 part maps, and the Mohammed al Dura blood libel, both prominently displayed on a kaffiyah, no less. You'd hope- no, you'd assume that educators would be able to see past this propagandizing.  Apparently not.

Anti-Israel propaganda table from the ASA conference
Our old friend Jon from the Divest this blog weighs in on their decision.
From Divest This! A modest proposal to the American Studies Association originally posted at the CIF Watch blog

...a vote by the American Studies Association (ASA) to boycott Israeli academic institutions was passed the same way other votes have gone the BDSers way in recent months: by stacking decision-making committees with people who are BDSers first, academics second, whose fanatic devotion to “the cause” means they are ready to pass politicized motions they had no mandate to even discuss.  And like stacked student council votes that passed on a few campuses in the Spring, the notion that these measures represent student or academic opinion is laughable.

That’s because for any political measure to have an impact it must either be seen to reflect the will of the people it is supposed to represent or have some direct consequential impact.  But BDS votes taken in forums that involve as few people as possible demonstrate that even the boycotters know they are acting in their own interest, rather than the interest of those they are supposed to represent.

And as for consequences, the ASA vote is likely to produce the same complete lack of action similar votes have led to over the years.  That means no programs linking US and Israeli universities will be severed, no Israeli scholar will be disinvited from participating in a conference or submitting to a journal, no Israeli graduate student will be denied a place at a university, even with a boycott in place that allegedly represents the policy of an entire academic discipline.

This is because those who make such decisions, including those who forced this ASA boycott vote, know that actually enacting the boycott program they just stuffed down the throat of the membership would earn them the immediate and well-deserved contempt of the entire academy.  Which is why this vote, like all “successful” BDS votes, represents nothing because it will lead to nothing.
 Read it all at CIF Watch

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