The Road to #AAA2014 and Beyond

For those of you who are members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and/or will be at the AAA annual meetings in Washington, DC this December, we want to update you on our plans for promoting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Contrary to what some media outlets have been reporting, we will not be putting forth a resolution at this year’s meetings calling on the AAA as an organization to join the boycott.  From the beginning, we felt that in order for such a boycott resolution to succeed we would need to do a substantial amount of organizing and educating of the organization’s 10,000 members first.  The statement pledging individual support for the boycott was one important step in this direction.  The response this petition has generated in such a short time is inspiring — over 900 signatures already — and cause for much hope.  But we do not want hope to rush us.

Much more can still be done to mobilize members of the AAA. We intend to do this in order to generate even more momentum for the boycott over the coming months and year.  We already have a series of panels discussing the boycott scheduled for December 4th during the annual meetings that will serve as an additional means of outreach and education.  We will use the discussions that emerge from the annual meetings to plan our next move.  According to the AAA bylaws, there are ways to submit a resolution to a vote at any time after the annual business meeting.  We have not ruled out such options, but are prioritizing the process of educating the membership to maximize our chances for success.  We feel this approach will keep Palestine and the boycott front and center as an issue among anthropologists as well as in the general media.  We have also decided not to put forth a diluted resolution in order to keep the focus on the academic boycott.

As a next step, we will be maintaining a public presence at the conference and urge you to get in touch with us to help in engaging colleagues in discussion, passing out flyers, and collecting more signatures.  We encourage you to attend the boycott-related panels and to help us spread the word about them.

Many thanks for your support. We look forward to seeing you in Washington.