NEW YORK, Jan. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised American Historical Association (AHA) members for firmly rejecting a resolution that blatantly targeted Israel. The measure accusing Israel of restricting Palestinian academic activities in Gaza and the West Bank was decisively defeated by a vote of 111 to 50, at the AHA annual meeting in Atlanta.
"AHA members rebuffed the efforts of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activists to exploit American academic groups to single out Israel for condemnation," said AJC CEO David Harris. "Israeli-Palestinian peace can only be achieved in bilateral talks between the parties, not by anti-Israel activists trying to win over scholarly groups in the U.S."
AHA members opposed to the resolution had argued that, in calling on the group "to monitor" Israeli action regarding Palestinian educational institutions, it contravened the organization's constitution and mission.
AHA members "understood that this was part of a political campaign and an attempt to use the American Historical Association for political purposes, and they rejected that," Jeffrey Herf, a history professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, told the Times of Israel.
The resolution was sponsored by Historians Against the War (HAW), a group formed in 2003 in response to U.S. military action in Iraq. HAW has since expanded its agenda, opposing Israeli actions regarding Gaza, U.S support for Israel, and endorsing the BDS movement.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee