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Support Israel & Academic Freedom

December 23, 2013 

Update: January 13, 2014

On January 9, the Modern Language Association (MLA) hosted a panel discussion in support of academic boycotts of Israel at its annual conference. In response, a group of MLA members presented a counter panel in partnership with several Jewish organizations including the Israel Action Network. Videos of the counter panel are available on YouTube from the Israel on Campus Coaliton.

As a member of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), Hadassah collaborates closely with the Israel Action Network, a project of JCPA and Jewish Federations of North American working to counter the assault on Israel's legitimacy. The Israel Action Network (IAN) was on the ground throughout the conference, monitoring the panels and anti-Israel resolutions. Hadassah joins with IAN in applauding the MLA Delegate Assembly's decision not to consider an emergency resolution on boycotts, and urge the MLA Executive Council and full membership to reject a resolution criticizing Israel for "denials of entry to the West Bank by U.S. academics" traveling to Palestinian Universities, which was approved.

Click here for additional information about the MLA Conference and IAN's full statement.

Last week, Hadassah released a statement criticizing the American Studies Association decision to issue a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Hadassah is a staunch advocate against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to tarnish and delegitimize the State of Israel. Hadassah maintains its long—standing policy against all forms of organized boycotts—opposing destructive actions in favor of constructive dialogue in order to pursue a future of peace in the Middle East.

Take Action Now!

  1. Contact the President's office of your alma mater or local college/university to ask about their affiliation with ASA, or if the school has already condemned the boycott. Currently, Brandeis University and Penn State University— Harrisburg have canceled their institutional memberships, and several other schools have released statements opposed to the boycott.
    • Urge the university President to condemn the boycott and cancel any institutional or individual ASA memberships, if applicable. Even if your alma mater or local college is not affiliated with ASA, it is important that they hear about public opposition to any boycotts of Israeli academia.
    • If you learn that the college has already condemned the boycott, make sure to thank them and urge them to withdraw support for the ASA.
    • Click here for draft letter that you can copy, personalize and send to your alma mater or a college/university in your community. Hadassah encourages its members, associates and supporters to send a version of this letter, or use the talking points when contacting universities by phone, social media, or in letters to college and local press.

  2. Contact the ASA to voice your opposition to the boycott. Explain why boycotts are not the pathway to peace and urge ASA to reverse the boycott resolution.
  3. Forward this action alert to friends and family, and use social media to mobilize your networks.
    Educate others about the dangers of BDS, take a stand in support of Israel, and share stories about how Hadassah Medical Organization is a bridge to peace in the Middle East!

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, of which Hadassah is a member, has released a statement about the boycott and published contact information for the colleges and universities speaking out against the American Studies Association boycott. If you receive a response from a college or university that is not on this list, please forward that response to advocacy@hadassah.org> so the site can be updated.

Date: 12/23/2013 12:00:00 AM

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