AAU "Strongly Opposes" Israel Boycott

Back on December 16th, the American Studies Association voted to endorse an "academic boycott" of Israel. Now the Association of American universities has responded:

The Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities strongly opposes a boycott of

Israeli academic institutions. Three U.S. scholarly organizations have now expressed support for such

a boycott. Any such boycott of academic institutions directly violates academic freedom, which is a

fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general.

Academic freedom is the freedom of university faculty responsibly to produce and disseminate

knowledge through research, teaching, and service, without undue constraint. It is a principle that

should not be abridged by political considerations. American colleges and universities, as well as like

institutions elsewhere, must stand as the first line of defense against attacks on academic freedom.

Efforts to address political issues, or to address restrictions on academic freedom, should not

themselves infringe upon academic freedom. Restrictions imposed on the ability of scholars of any

particular country to work with their fellow academics in other countries, participate in meetings and

organizations, or otherwise carry out their scholarly activities violate academic freedom. The boycott

of Israeli academic institutions therefore clearly violates the academic freedom not only of Israeli

scholars but also of American scholars who might be pressured to comply with it. We urge American

scholars and scholars around the world who believe in academic freedom to oppose this and other such

academic boycotts.