Protesters call for boycott of Israel [file].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Some 20 Israeli academics have encouraged the American Anthropological Association to boycott Israeli higher academic institutions, according to a report released Thursday by the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization.
According to the report, prominent professors who enjoy salaries provided by the Israeli taxpayer, encourage, legitimize and often promote boycott efforts, including those that directly harm the institutions at which they work.
More than 10,000 members of the AAA are currently voting on whether to officially adopt a boycott to refrain from formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, though not of individual academics. The outcome is to be announced next week.
Should the resolution pass, it would mark the largest association to date to call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Using the Israeli Anthropological Association as a case study, the report outlines efforts to counter an AAA vote in favor of a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions and the efforts of Israeli professors to encourage the boycott.
According to the report, the AAA began to discuss the possibility of boycotting Israeli academia in 2013 and, in response, the IAA sent a letter to the AAA in August 2014 advocating against the BDS initiative.
Shortly thereafter, the report claims, a group of some 20 Israeli anthropologists, many of whom teach in publicly funded Israeli institutions, sent a petition to the AAA praising the effort and urging them to continue pressing for an academic boycott against Israel.
The report further stated that another letter by a group of 22 anonymous Israeli anthropologists that contained an unequivocal call for an academic boycott against Israel was sent in 2015.
Im Tirtzu’s report explains that all the Israeli signatories on the first petition sent to the AAA are activists in radical- left organizations that are backed by “copious amounts of foreign political funding” and “operate within Israel against the state and against the soldiers of the IDF.”
In addition, the report notes that, of the Israeli signatories not currently residing in the country, the vast majority are directly connected to other foreign-agent organizations or to the international BDS movement.
“Decision-makers and presidents of Israeli universities look to combat the international BDS movement, but completely ignore the boycott phenomenon from within Israel that is being led by Israeli academics. It is sad to see that those leading the boycott are cutting off the branch on which they are sitting and are working behind the scenes to mortally wound the future of Israeli academia,” Im Tirtzu CEO, Matan Peleg said of the report.