Association of American Universities Condemns Academic Boycotts of Israel

Such Actions 'Directly Violate Academic Freedom'

By Michael Kaplan

Published December 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Association of American Universities issued a statement late last week condemning rising support for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions, arguing that it infringes upon principles of academic freedom.

The statement, representing 62 American and Canadian universities, comes a week after the American Studies Association passed a resolution to “honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.”

“Any such boycott of academic institutions,” the AAU statement read, “directly violates academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general… We urge American scholars and scholars around the world who believe in academic freedom to oppose this and other such academic boycotts.”

The statement was signed by 11 members of the organization’s Executive Committee, all leading figures in higher education.

A number of universities have since published statements to their websites similarly condemning academic boycott, also citing issues with academic freedom.

“To restrict the free flow of people and ideas with some universities because of their national identity is unwise, unnecessary, and irreconcilable with our core academic values,” read a statement published by the Office of the President at the University of Maryland.

The AAU statement marks the most significant academic push-back yet against ASA’s controversial resolution and follows a wave of concerns expressed by other institutions about an infringement on academic freedom, which led to the withdrawal of two of its member organizations.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.