In light of the ASA boycott of Israel, Senior Campus Coordinator at CAMERA Samantha Mandeles wrote a letter asking the president of her alma mater, Hampshire College, to condemn the ASA resolution.

The text of her letter is below:
Dear President Lash,
I hope this letter finds you well.

My name is Samantha Rose Mandeles, F’06. As a proud Hampshire alumna, I am appalled that the American Studies Association recently voted to boycott Israel’s (and only Israel’s) academic institutions. I am equally appalled that a Hampshire professor, Margaret Cerullo, has signed her name to this assault on academic freedom.

I remember the relief and pride I felt as a Hampshire student when President Hexter and Sigmund Roos clearly stated that Hampshire did not and would not divest from Israel.

I urge you to follow this example, and the example of the many universities who have rejected the ASA boycott. I urge you to ensure that Hampshire continues to live up to the standards that make it a safe, wonderful place to learn for students of all nationalities and religions, and reject this boycott as a bigoted political tool designed to do nothing but marginalize the world’s only Jewish State.

I would expect no less from my alma mater.

Kindest regards,
Samantha R. Mandeles

The Response:

Dear Samantha,Thank you for writing. Hampshire College is not a member of the ASA, played no role in its deliberations on the boycott, and has not taken a position on it.  The College is committed to the protection of academic freedom and the rights of individuals to articulate differing views in open and respectful debate.

Warm regards and happy new year,

Joanna L. Olin
Chief of Staff
Office of the President
To read more about Samantha’s experiences at Hampshire College, read her September 2013 piece in the Algemeiner, here.
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