Largest organization of US historians rejects anti-Israel resolution

Last year, the association declined to put two resolutions critical of Israel to a vote.

January 10, 2016 17:35
1 minute read.
College students

College students (illustrative). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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NEW YORK -  The American Historical Association, the largest organization of historians in the United States, has voted down a resolution accusing Israel of limiting Palestinian academic freedom proposed during their 130th annual meeting, which took place in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend.

The resolution was reportedly rejected by a vote of 111 to 50. It had been introduced by a group of 126 scholars and members of the AHA and charges that “Israel’s restrictions on the movement of faculty, staff and visitors in the West Bank impede instruction at Palestinian institutions of higher learning.”

The proposal, titled “Protecting the Right to Education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” included a list of arguments stating for example that  “Israel restricts the right to lecture or teach at Palestinian universities by denying entry to select foreign nationals, including US citizens” and that “in summer 2014, Israel bombarded fourteen institutions of higher learning in Gaza, partially or completely destroying nine, and its military routinely invades campuses in Jerusalem and the West Bank and frequently impedes entry.”

This is the second year in a row that the AHA has blocked such a measure against Israel. Last year, the association declined to put two resolutions critical of Israel to a vote. The two motions were not submitted for consideration before a November deadline and supporters at the meeting demanded that normal procedural rules be suspended.

“The people originating the request for a discussion had not prepared properly in terms of meeting association regulations,” Sandi Cooper, a history professor at the City University of New York, had told The Jerusalem Post at the time.

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