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Thursday, December 19, 2013

For once, Mr. Justice Brandeis should be pleased

For a change, Mr. Justice Brandeis can be proud of the actions taken by the university that bears his name with respect to Israel. Brandeis has followed Penn State Harrisburg and become the second American university to suspend institutional support for the American Studies Association after the latter decided to boycott Israel.
"It is a with deep regret that we in the American Studies Program at Brandeis University have decided to discontinue our institutional affiliation with the American Studies Association," a message on the university's American Studies program said.
The program views the ASA vote to affirm the academic boycott of Israel "as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster."
"We remain committed to the discipline of American Studies but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture - freedom of association and expression," the Brandeis statement continued.
The leadership of the much larger and more influential American Association of University Professors wrote an open letter earlier this month saying it was disappointed by the ASA decision and that it rejected boycotts.
The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) also decided to join the academic boycott against Israel earlier this week.
Ohio State English Prof. Chadwick Allen, president of the association and coordinator of American Indian studies at the university, wrote on the association’s website that 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 Association for Asian American Studies adopted the boycott in April.
But at least two universities have come out against the ASA boycott. Have the BDS'ers finally overstepped enough that people are noticing?

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