National Women’s Studies Association votes to join international BDS movement
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National Women’s Studies Association votes to join international BDS movement

Protesters urging sanctions against Israel at a rally in Melbourne, Australia, June 5, 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

Protesters urging sanctions against Israel at a rally in Melbourne, Australia, June 5, 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

(JTA) — The National Women’s Studies Association voted to join the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The vote on the BDS referendum passed 653 to 86 at the organization’s annual conference earlier this month, the association announced last week. Slightly more than a third of the members voted.

The recommendation to join the BDS movement was sponsored by Feminists for Justice In/For Palestine, an ad hoc group founded at the studies association’s annual conference in Puerto Rico in 2014.

In January, the association released a solidarity statement against a litany of injustices, including “settler colonialism.”

“As feminist scholars, activists, teachers, and public intellectuals we recognize the interconnectedness of systemic forms of oppression,” the recommendation to join the BDS movement reads. “In the spirit of this intersectional perspective, we cannot overlook the injustice and violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, perpetrated against Palestinians and other Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, within Israel and in the Golan Heights, as well as the colonial displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba [a term that means “catastrophe” in Arabic and refers to the Palestinians’ perception of Israel’s founding].

“These violations, which severely impact the daily lives and working conditions of Palestinian scholars, students, and the society at large, are also enabled by U.S. tax dollars and the tacit support of western powers, thus making any taxpayer in the West complicit in perpetuating these injustices.”

Established in 1977, the association, according to its website, “has as one of its primary objectives promoting and supporting the production and dissemination of knowledge about women and gender through teaching, learning, research and service in academic and other settings.”

A number of academic associations and unions support the BDS movement.