World Jewish Congress denounces "Orwellian anti-Semitism" of US academic group's Israel boycott move

As murder and mayhem rage across the Middle East, the World Jewish Congress is incensed that the Jewish state has been singled out for a boycott by an academic institution

by the commentator on 16 December 2013 18:39

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Ronald S. Lauder, President of the New York based World Jewish Congress (WJC), representing Jewish groups in 100 countries, has denounced in the strongest terms a vote by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli institutions.

Speaking of the boycott move by the group, which has almost 5,000 academic members, Mr. Lauder said Monday:

"This vote to boycott Israel, one of the most democratic and academically free nations on the globe, shows the Orwellian anti-Semitism and moral bankruptcy of the American Studies Association (ASA).

“The Middle East is literally filled with dead from governments’ reaction to the convulsions of the ‘Arab Spring,’ but the American Studies Association singles out the Jewish State, the one Middle Eastern country that shares American values, for opprobrium? No wonder many Americans dismiss the academy as deeply biased and disconnected with reality."

WJC President Lauder added:

"...the ASA should follow the example of the American Association of University Professors, which notes that any such boycott ‘undermines exactly the freedoms one wants to defend, and it takes aim at the wrong target."

In a statement adding to Mr. Lauder's remarks, the WJC further noted that:

"The American Association of University Professors, one of the largest US academic groups, recently reiterated its opposition to boycotts targeting Israel and others. The ASA, a group of scholars who teach American studies, approved the anti-Israel boycott resolution by a 2-to-1 margin in online balloting that concluded Sunday night, with about a quarter of the members voting, according to the New York Times.

"The vote is the first time the association has boycotted any nation’s universities and only the second such academic boycott of Israel by a group of American scholars. The Association for Asian American Studies endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities in April."

Analysts say that the United States may now be experiencing a form of contagion from countries in Europe such as Britain, though academic boycott moves in the UK have tended to be defeated or overturned in subsequent ballots.

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