Supporters of Palestinian-backed efforts to “Boycott, Divest, and Sanction” (BDS) Israel and its academic institutions suffered a setback last week when the American Historical Association rejected a resolution to condemn Israel for supposed restrictions on education in Palestinian Territories. The AHA considered the proposal over debates from both supporters and opposition, that concluded in a vote of 51 to 111.
The AHA is not the first academic organization to become politicized by the BDS movement; in 2013 the American Studies Association (ASA), among other organizations, passed resolutions condemning the “Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements.” Since then, more than a dozen academic organizations have passed proposals condemning Israel. In January of 2014, the National Association of Scholars released a statement critical of the BDS movement’s desire to single out Israel, its actions limiting academic freedom, and politicizing academic institutions.
This action by the AHA will surely be a testament of academic integrity to other organizations considering similar resolutions.