If you are a current member of the American Anthropological Asociation and are going to the AAA annual meeting, please plan to attend Friday’s AAA Business Meeting at 4:30 in Ballroom Salon 2, and to bring allies. Some member(s) of the AAA have placed an anti-boycott measure on the agenda of the AAA Business Meeting, a copy of which is here. You will see that this resolution blatantly mischaracterizes the boycott, and we need to vote it down.
We need to establish a quorum of 250 current AAA members (bring your conference badge OR AAA membership card) and we need a simple majority to vote down this resolution. If the resolution passes, it will seriously set back our thus far successful movement.
The quorum is established at the beginning of the meeting, so please arrive on time and block out enough time to stay for your vote to be counted (the meeting is scheduled to end at 6:15pm). We have assessed our numbers and know we have enough signatory attendees to defeat this, but only if we all show up. Even if you are not registered for the conference, if you have a current AAA membership card or other proof of membership, you are entitled to vote at the business meeting.
As you know, we are committed to getting a boycott measure passed by our membership soon. But we understand that it is a difficult decision to join the boycott, so we have focused on a long-term, broad-based campaign to organize, educate, and persuade colleagues within the AAA. That is why we did not propose a resolution this year, even though we may have been able to pass one. We don’t just want to win a vote, we want to win over our colleagues.
The anti-boycott resolution takes the opposite route. It is trying to short circuit debate by forcing a vote based on misinformation. Anti-boycott awareness raising has consisted mostly of a single panel at the AAA with no anthropologists on it. They want to push the AAA to take a stand before it is ready.
The anti-boycott resolution’s sole operative clause is a bankrupt endorsement of the status quo. It uncritically endorses “peace talks” that have led only to deepening colonization and human rights abuses in Palestine, and claim that the boycott movement is based in negativity. In reality, it is this resolution that is negative: it offers no ideas, no solutions, no contributions, but simply echoes US government policy. In contrast, we view the boycott as a means for anthropologists to stand up to US policy and its unconditional support for Israel’s actions.