The American Studies Association’s supposed boycott of Israeli academics and institutions of education has landed it in hot water yet again.
So according to the ASA, scholars who are “representatives or ambassadors” (whatever that means) are barred; but according to their executive director, a “representative” would not be “turned away.” Of course, this could just mean that the ASA has decided to selectively enforce its discriminatory rules – even the notorious Arab League Boycott of Israel is porous.
About a year after the American Studies Association’s (ASA) widely condemned vote to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, the organization’s policy on Israel is receiving renewed scrutiny over a practical application of that vote.
The recent backtracking and dishonesty by the ASA is not surprising and represents another example of the disingenuousness that characterizes BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) efforts as a whole. As is common for BDS supporters, the ASA did not honor their own boycott policy—they invited several Israelis to participate in the conference, showing that, yet again, Israel BDSers will only abide by their own injunctions when it suits their needs,” she said. “BDS proponents will claim to boycott Israel, but actually only do so halfheartedly, when it is convenient and part of symbolic, theatrical gestures that have no effect on the conflict.
In summation, Professor Konotorovich wrote,
So here is the short history of how the boycott has played out for the ASA. First, it leads them have a policy that discriminates against scholars based on their national origin. Second, it got them to engage in an embarrassing and artless spinning of their actual policy. And finally, it leads them to abandon the policy. They got the worst of both worlds: exposure to liability and embarrassment for past discrimination, without the pleasure of continued discrimination.