American Anthropological Association Clears the Way for Final Vote on Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

DENVER, Nov. 20 — In a historic vote Friday night, the American Anthropological Association at its annual business meeting resoundingly approved a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions by a vote of 1040-136. The resolution will now be forwarded to the full membership for a final vote by electronic ballot in the coming months.

The resolution enjoins the Association not to enter into any formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions. Individual Israeli scholars may continue to participate in AAA conferences and publications. Moreover, individual AAA members will remain free to determine for themselves whether and how to apply the boycott in their own professional practice.

As heirs to a long tradition of scholarship on colonialism, anthropologists affirm, through this resolution, that the core problem is Israel’s maintenance of a settler colonial regime based on Jewish supremacy and Palestinian dispossession. By supporting the boycott, anthropologists are taking a stand for justice through action in solidarity with Palestinians.

Today’s historic result is due to over three years of organizing within the Association to educate and mobilize members to stand against Israel’s widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights, as well as to protest the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in these abuses. The vote was also a powerful act of protest against U.S. support for Israel’s actions.

With over 10,000 members, AAA is by far the largest academic association in the United States to endorse the boycott at an annual meeting.

A competing resolution rejecting the boycott under the guise of promoting “engagement” was soundly defeated by a vote of 1173-196.

Details to follow.

Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is a group of scholars working in support of justice and human rights in Israel/Palestine from all major sub-fields of the discipline, including tenure-track and adjunct faculty, graduate students, post-docs, and practitioners.

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