Uncivic and Internecine — American Studies Palestine Civil Society Boycott Israel

civil society

The proposed motion to boycott Israel and Israeli universities by the American Studies Association (ASA) is being based as a decision in part as solidarity with calls from Palestinian civil society. Which means that the ASA and its membership is planning to commit itself to one side of a complex internecine brawl with no clear exit strategy. Under what conditions would such a boycott be called off? With the establishment of a 2 state solution, or the creation of a 1 state solution that turns Israel into Palestine? Why the ASA wants to commit itself to Palestinian civil society remains unclear, but surely there should be ways to do this that do not shut down open lines of communication between parties while maintaining the free and critical exchange of ideas basic to civil and civic society. I don’t see how boycotting Israeli universities contributes to those goals.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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