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PACBI-Statement in Support of Academic Boycott of Israel

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UMass | 14 March 2014

Statement in Support of Academic Boycott of Israel

The following is a statement from the faculty and staff members whose names follow the statement.

Many UMass Boston faculty, staff, and students support the American Studies Association (ASA) resolution to join the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The academic boycott is part of the international BDS (Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, a nonviolent, grassroots solidarity campaign explicitly modeled on the movement against South Africa’s apartheid system in the 1980s. It was initiated by Palestinian civil society and is supported by people of conscience all over the world. The academic boycott movement is rooted in the idea that, as institutions, Israeli universities—almost all of them state institutions—are demonstrably complicit with egregious violations of Palestinian human rights. Academic boycott means ceasing to collaborate with and support state institutions that perpetuate human rights violations. It in no way silences, censors, restricts the academic freedom of, or prevents collaboration with any individual scholar.

Like Chancellor Motley, we too are committed to academic freedom. We are urgently concerned about the routine attacks on Palestinians’ academic freedom: Palestinians are daily prevented from traveling to and from the West Bank and Gaza or Israel to attend school (and have been denied the right to travel to the United States for study); Palestinian schools and universities are often subject to prolonged closures and violent raids that make any course of study impossible; Palestinian universities have been targeted for destruction by the Israeli military; and Palestinians are prohibited by Israeli law from recognizing—much less studying—their own dispossession in 1948.

We believe that support for the academic boycott of Israel and the ASA resolution is fully in keeping with the mission and values of UMass Boston, which seeks to serve “the public good of our city, our commonwealth, our nation, and our world."

Ping-Ann Addo, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Randy Albelda, Professor of Economics; Pamela Annas, Professor Emerita of English; Anneta Argyres, Program Manager, Labor Resource Center; Paul Atwood, Senior Lecturer of American Studies and Interim Associate Director for the Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences; Elsa Auerbach, Professor Emerita of English; Anna Beckwith, Senior Lecturer of Sociology; Ann Blum, Associate Professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies; Chris Bobel, Associate Professor and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies; Matthew Brown, Associate Professor of English; Elora Chowdhury, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies; Philip Chassler, Lecturer II in American Studies*; Reyes Coll-Tellechea, Professor of Latin American and Iberian Studies; Dick Cluster, Associate Director, University Honor’s College (ret.); Amy Den Ouden, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies; Linda Dittmar, Professor Emerita of English; Doreen Drury, Lecturer II of Women’s and Gender Studies; Amani El Jack, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies; Anne Erde, Senior Lecturer, ESL Center, Academic Support Programs; Leila Farsakh, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science; Kade Finnoff, Assistant Professor of Economics; Marilyn Frankenstein, Professor of Community and Labor Studies; Christopher Fung, Lecturer of Anthropology; Tom Goodkind, Senior Research Machinist, CSM Dean’s Office; Panayota Gounari, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics; Itai Halevi, Lecturer of English; Fadia Harik, Lecturer of Mathematics; Claudia Heske, Program Coordinator of IMSD, Biology; John Hess, Senior Lecturer of English and American Studies; Sandra Howland, Senior Lecturer of English; David Hunt, Professor of History; Arjun Jayadev, Associate Professor of Economics; Luis Jiménez, Assistant Professor of Political Science; Larry Kaye, Senior Lecturer of Philosophy; Esther Kingston-Mann, Professor of History; Steven Levine, Assistant Professor of Philosophy; Martha London, Assistant Director of Prospect Research; Arthur MacEwan, Professor Emeritus of Economics; Jeffrey Melnick, Professor of American Studies*; Askold Melnyczuk, Associate Professor of English; Susan Moir, Director of the Labor Resource Center; Nadia Nurhussein, Associate Professor of English*; Louise Penner, Associate Professor of English; Rachel Rubin, Professor of American Studies*; Emmett Schaeffer, Senior Lecturer of Sociology; Wendy Schoener, Lecturer in English; C. Heike Schotten, Associate Professor of Political Science; Jack Spence, Associate Professor of Political Science (ret.), Rajini Srikanth, Professor of English*†; Karen Suyemoto, Associate Professor of Psychology; Clark Taylor, Professor Emeritus, College of Public and Community Service; Lynnell Thomas, Associate Professor and Chair of American Studies*; Lynne Tirrell, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Susan Tomlinson, Associate Professor of English; Ann Torke, Associate Professor of Art; Joseph Torra, Lecturer II in English; Leonard von Morze, Associate Professor of English; Paul Watanabe, Associate Professor of Political Science; and Ann Withorn, Professor of Undergraduate and Human Services

* indicates membership in the American Studies Association

 indicates membership in the Asian American Studies Association, the first academic association to uphold the academic boycott of Israeli universities

Posted on 20-03-2014

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