Heated debate at the AAA voting for the resolution to boycott Israeli Academic Institutions…

aaa vote
The AAA vote, which includes within the ballot a resolution regarding an academic boycott, continues to garner one of the largest turnouts in AAA election history.
AAA, as an Association, remains neutral on theIsrael/Palestine issue, but encourages its members to take a position and vote. AAA has provided an official list of resources, including a brief list of top reasons to vote for/against the resolution, to help you navigate the wealth of information available as you make this decision.
Click here to login using your AAA member login information. Then vote using the “Vote Now” button on the right side of the page.

Important Message from President Waterston

Dear Esteemed Members,
In a collective email dated Sunday, April 24, Professor Tanya Luhrman intimates that I have taken a position against the boycott resolution and further states that my approach “is the right one.”
In fact, I have not taken a position or made any such statement. The Executive Board of the AAA remains neutral on the issue and we do urge YOU to take a position and VOTE.
I also urge you to read my actual words and the message I sent to the membership in a letter datedMarch 17.
As you consider your decision on the AAA boycott of Israeli academic institutions, please consult the AAA Resources Regarding Engagement with Israel/Palestine that includes my communications to the membership as well as the Task Force on Israel/Palestine Report.
Thank you very much for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Alisse Waterston

Letter from Myra Bluebond-Langner.

My name is Myra Bluebond-Langner. I am a medical anthropologist currently at the Institute of Child Health, University College London where I hold the True Colours Chair in Palliative Care for Children and Young People as well as Board of Governors Professor of Anthropology Emerita at Rutgers University. I am a long-term member of the American Anthropological Association and a recipient of the Margaret Mead Award from the AAA and the Society for Applied Anthropology. I am writing to urge you to vote against boycotting Israeli universities in the AAA’s spring ballot.
Please take a moment to watch anew video clip with Alma Gottlieb. A past Guggenheim fellow, Alma is a respected cultural anthropologist currently researching Cape Verdeans with Jewish ancestry, and she opposes the proposed boycott for scholarly, ethical, and pragmatic reasons. Alma’s recent blog post reflects her views on the matter more comprehensively.
There are many reasons to oppose the boycott. It will not benefit Palestinians under occupation. It will undermine our colleagues in Israel who themselves oppose the occupation. It will assist the current government of Israel in isolating those of its citizens who disagree with its policies, thereby eroding academic and political freedom. The selection of Israel for boycott from a number of governments whose policies are equally as odious as, or far more odious than, Israel’s cannot be reconciled with the principles and values that Anthropology has always promoted.

The AAA’s working group on Israel and Palestine listed 8 action points the AAA can adopt to help protect the rights of Palestinians and advance justice in the region.Boycotting universities was not one of them. The working group’s approach is the right one for academics wishing to promote reconciliation.

Faced with a choice between two options we dislike, we sometimes think abstentionis an appropriate reaction. That is not so in the case at hand. Over a thousand AAA members mobilized last November to vote YES to a boycott. Many of them will votethe same this spring. An abstention is tantamount to a vote for the boycott and could leave us with a resolution we will regret.

Please do not abstain!
Take a moment to log in and vote NO on AAA’s website.

Watch additional video clips where anthropologists Richard ShwederJackie Feldman,Keren Mazuz, Dan Rabinowitz, Amalia Sa’ar, Matan Shapiro and Gila Silverman offer critiques of the boycott resolution

Read more at Anthropologists for Dialogue on Israel and Palestine
and at Against Anthro Boycott.org

Myra Bluebond-Langner

Letter from Ulf Hannerz

I am Ulf Hannerz, Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University, Sweden. I have been a member of the American Anthropological Association since the 1960s, and I am a former member of its Committee on World Anthropologies. I have voted against the boycott resolution. My stand is in support of Israeli colleagues who make valuable contributions to international anthropological scholarship, and for whose civic endeavors on the Israeli public arena I have much respect. I believe they do more of the latter than anthropologists in most other countries.

Boycotts tend to be blunt instruments, and at worst risk to be counterproductive. We should seek more precise, yet inclusive ways of supporting Israeli anthropologists in their opposition to the policies and practices of the Netanyahu administration in the Occupied Territories; assisting Palestinian academic institutions and scholars in their work; and furthering dialogue and cooperation between
Palestinian and Israeli colleagues.

Over a thousand AAA members mobilized last November to vote for boycotting Israeli universities. Many of them will vote the same in the electronic spring ballot, underway until May 31st. In these circumstances, abstention is tantamount to a vote for the boycott and could leave us with a resolution we will regret.

Please take a moment to watch a new video clip in which anthropologists Alma Gottlieb, Dan Rabinowitz, Amalia Sa’ar, Rick Shweder, Jackie Feldman, Gila Silverman, Matan Shapiro and Tamar Elor state their views. And then: no more time for private, passive sympathies. Log in to AAA’s website and vote NO.

Please do not abstain!

Read more at Anthropologists for Dialogue on Israel and Palestine and at Against Anthro Boycott.org

Ulf Hannerz

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