(JTA) – The Association for Asian American Studies voted in favor of boycotting Israeli academic institutions.
The academic nonprofit, known by the acronym AAAS, passed the vote last week during its annual conference in Seattle, according to Inside Higher Ed. The resolution calling for a boycott passed unanimously and accused Israeli universities of being complicit in violations of international law by the Israeli government. In addition to other claims, the resolution also accused Israeli universities of discriminating against Palestinian students and academics.
Former AAAS president Rajini Srikanth said the boycott applies only to Israeli institutions, not individuals.
"We are very aware that there are Israeli scholars who understand the difficulties that Palestinian academics and students have, and speak up in support of Palestinian rights," Srikanth told Insider Higher Ed. "So we would absolutely be working with them and proving in them with whatever support they need to challenge their institutions."
In a statement, the American pro-Israel organization Scholars for Peace in the Middle East condemned the AAAS resolution.
“The boycott is directly in opposition to decades of agreements between Israeli and Arab Palestinians, in which both sides pledged to negotiate a peaceful settlement,” the SPME statement said.
Founded in 1979, AAAS says it aims to promote closer ties between various fields of Asian American Studies. Ten percent of the association’s membership attended the annual conference in Seattle, where the vote was held.