Washington, D.C. – Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the senior Democratic member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the decision by the American Studies Association (ASA) to launch an academic boycott of Israel.
“I am deeply disappointed with the decision by the American Studies Association to launch an academic boycott of Israel. I simply fail to see how cutting off ties to Israeli universities furthers the interests of peace and coexistence. Ironically, many within the Israeli academic community are strong and vocal proponents of peace -- and are simply being boycotted due to their nationality and academic affiliation. I would note that Israel is the first country to be boycotted by this academic organization, which has chosen to stay silent on the slaughter in Syria, the continued imprisonment of democracy activists in Iran, or the scores of other dictatorships around the world. Yet once again we see this unfair double standard applied to Israel.”
“I find it ironic that the ASA – which bills itself as ‘the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history’ -- feels the competence to pronounce judgment on Israeli society and Middle Eastern politics. Unfortunately, these professors deserve a failing grade.”