Another US group joins academic boycott of Israel

Another group of American scholars has joined two other organizations in boycotting Israel’s academic institutions.

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) urges its members to boycott Israeli academia over Tel Aviv’s violation of international law and UN resolutions, the NAISA president wrote on the association’s website this week.

Ohio State English Professor Chadwick Allen said the NAISA council has reached a consensus to support the boycott, saying the move followed a member-generated petition asking that the group “formally support the boycott of Israeli academic and cultural Institutions that was initiated by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.”

The statement reads that the NAISA council “protests the infringement of the academic freedom of indigenous Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the Occupied Territories and Israel who are denied fundamental freedoms of movement, expression and assembly, which we uphold.”

“As the elected council of an international community of indigenous and allied non-indigenous scholars, students and public intellectuals who have studied and resisted the colonization and domination of indigenous lands via settler state structures throughout the world, we strongly protest the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of … Israel … that systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other indigenous peoples,” the document added.

On Sunday, the American Studies Association (ASA), which has nearly 5,000 members, approved the academic boycott of Israel to protest its treatment of Palestinians, indicating that a movement to isolate the apartheid regime of Israel that is gaining momentum in Europe has also hit the US.

“The ASA condemns the United States’ significant role in aiding and abetting Israel’s violations of human rights against Palestinians and its occupation of Palestinian lands through its use of the veto in the UN Security Council,” the organization said in a statement explaining the endorsement.

The campaign to cut off ties with Israeli academic institutions dates back a decade, but it was not until April that the Association for Asian American Studies, which has about 800 members, supported an academic boycott of Israel.

On Tuesday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin termed the ASA as a “radical leftist group”, but added that “we need to prepare for the danger that it (boycott call) will pass to other, more serious academic forums.”

He stated that Israeli officials were striving hard to discourage other American groups from following the ASA’s lead.

Elkin went on to say that the Foreign Ministry had established an advocacy group called the “Faces of Israel” to “work among those who wield influence exactly in order to prevent cases such as this.”

Israeli officials have recently announced plans to build thousands of more illegal settler units on Palestinian territory, despite the opposition of the United Nations and the international community.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.

And the apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

By Press TV


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