AJC Deplores American Anthropologists Boycott of Israel

Nov 21, 2015, 09:27 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Nov. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AJC denounced the American Anthropological Association (AAA) for supporting a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The boycott resolution was adopted by a vote of 1,040 to 136 at the group's annual meeting in Denver.

"The AAA's mission is 'advancing knowledge and solving human problems,'" said Dan Elbaum, AJC Assistant Executive Director and Director of Regional Offices. "In Denver AAA members lost sight of their mission, determining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be solved by boycotting the colleges and universities of the Middle East's only democracy. Only Israel's schools of higher education, where Jews and Arabs study together, merit AAA condemnation."

Elbaum praised the 136 AAA members who voted against the boycott resolution, and noted the introduction of a second motion that, while critical of Israeli policies, opposed BDS (boycott, discrimination and sanctions) against Israel. The resolution against BDS was defeated 1,173 to 196.

Elbaum pointed out that significant academic organizations, notably the American Association of University Professors, have steadfastly rejected the idea of academic boycotts. "Increased collaboration with Israeli institutions should be an American academic priority," said Elbaum.

"The AAA has mistakenly succumbed to the whims of the BDS movement leaders, who have no interest in a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and consider Israel itself an illegitimate entity that has no place in the community of nations," said Elbaum.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee