From Israeli citizens, in support of the American Anthropological Association BDS resolution

[this statement originally appeared here]

From Israeli citizens, in support of the American Anthropological Association BDS resolution


To the American Anthropological Association,

We are citizens of Israel, from all walks of life, including academics, who support the Palestinian call for BDS [1]. We write to congratulate you on your recent vote to adopt a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in accordance with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of complicit Israeli institutions [2]. You have taken a moral position that will impact the lives of millions of people for the better! 

As the vote is now up to the full membership of the AAA, and as attempts at pressure to reverse the decision are already being made, we wish to express our strong support of anthropologists everywhere who are taking part in the campaign, standing up to Israel’s policies of settler-colonialism, apartheid and belligerent military occupation, and holding it accountable for its crimes.

The effect of your decision is already evident, as Israel’s media is in uproar. Actions like yours – taken by the Association for Middle Eastern Studies, the American Studies Association, the Asian American Studies association, and the Teachers’ Unions of Ireland, before you – have led to an “emergency meeting”, hosted by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, with heads of Israel’s academic institutions. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted him [3], as saying that “standing against an academic boycott is a strategic matter, which I will share with all relevant institutions, both in the international arena and at home… I consider myself one of your soldiers in this fight and I will continue to meet with you and discuss this subject in the future.” Rivlin also made sure to slander academic boycott as having “anti-Semitic” aspects.

Despite the fact that this letter of ours constitutes grounds for lawsuit under Israel’s draconian “Anti-boycott Law” [4], we write to you, as Israeli citizens and/or academics, to say that there is nothing anti-Semitic in boycotting institutions which normalize “security studies” and reward military strategists, philosophers, and scientists, who plan, calculate, and justify the commission of violations of human rights, war crimes, and crimes against humanity [5].

We join our Palestinian colleagues, whose universities are bombarded [6] and raided [7] by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, and Palestinian citizens of Israel who are systematically discriminated against within Israeli academic institutions [8], in applauding your decision. Palestinian Academic freedom cannot be practiced at the barrel of Israel’s gun. We hope that your members will uphold the committee’s decision and that this important resolution will embolden all other academic associations to take part in supporting a more ethical academia with respect to the practical support of oppressed people in general, and the Palestinian people in particular.



Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within