Native American Studies group latest to join academic boycott of Israel


Native North American academic association is newest group to declare their support for boycotting of Israeli academic institutions.




Another small North American academic association – the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) –  decided this week to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

oycotting Israel - Photo: REUTERS

Boycotting Israel – Photo: REUTERS

Ohio State English professor Chadwick Allen, the president of the association and coordinator of American Indian Studies at Ohio State, wrote on the association’s website that the move followed a “member-generated” petition asking that the group “formally support the Boycott of Israeli Academic and Cultural Institutions that was initiated by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.”

Over the course of several months, Allen wrote, the NAISA council reached a consensus to support the boycott, and wrote their own declaration of support for the boycott.

The document reads that the NAISA Council “protests the infringement of the academic freedom of Indigenous Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the Occupied Territories and Israel who are denied fundamental freedoms of movement, expression, and assembly, which we uphold.”

“As the elected council of an international community of Indigenous and allied non-Indigenous scholars, students, and public intellectuals who have studied and resisted the colonization and domination of Indigenous lands via settler state structures throughout the world, we strongly protest the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of the Israeli state that systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples,” the statement continued.

The statement said that the boycott is directed “specifically at the Israeli state, not at Israeli individuals. The NAISA Council encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state and we wish to place pressure on that state to change its policies.”

The statement was written Sunday. On Monday another US academic association – the American Studies Association – also announced it was joining the boycott.

This elicited a strong statement from Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, who called the move “shameful” and a “travesty,” and clearly hinted that it constituted anti-Semitism by the singling out of the Jewish state.

Another small group, the Association for Asian American Studies, adopted the boycott in April.  The much larger and more influential American Association of University Professors recently reiterated its opposition to such a boycott.


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