The boycott of Israeli Education Institutions by the Association of Asian American Studies received some support from a well known scientist, but was condemned by the American Association of University Professors, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Last week, noted scientist Stephen Hawking of the University of Cambridge said he would not attend a major conference in Israel in support of the boycott.
In San Francisco last month at its convention, the Association of Asian American Studies passed a resolution endorsing the boycott. The resolution raised a number of concerns, saying Israeli education institutions were “deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights and in its denial of the right to education and academic freedom to Palestinians, in addition to their basic rights as guaranteed by international law.”
But the American Association of University Professors reiterated its opposition to such boycotts as inhibiting “the free exchange of ideas.”
“We urge that they seek alternative means, less inimical to the principle of academic freedom, to pursue their concerns,” a statement read.
The Association of Asian American Studies has been fairly silent on this issue since passing the resolution and has not responded to criticism from the academic community. It also did not respond to an offer from AsAmNews to blog about its reasons for calling for the boycott.
The offer remains open should the group change its mind. You can read more about this controversy in Inside Higher Ed.