Israeli Anthropological Association: We Won't Cooperate With Institutions in the West Bank

Decision comes in response to law extending Israeli jurisdiction over institutes beyond the Green Line

Ariel University campus
Moti Milrod

Members of the Israeli Anthropological Association passed a decision not to cooperate with institutes of higher education that are located beyond the Green Line.

The decision, published Tuesday, is in line with a similar decision reached by the Israeli Sociological Society several months back.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

The decisions come in response to a law that passed in February, extending the Israeli Council for Higher Education's jurisdiction over academic institutions in the occupied territories.

"Putting Ariel University, Herzog College, and Orot Israel College [under the Council's jurisdiction] harms both Israeli society and the academy," the Israeli Anthropological Association said in a statement. According to the decision, the bill sponsored by Yisrael Beitenu undercuts the Council's position as a barrier to the politicization of the Israeli academy, science, and higher education, and drags academics working in Israeli academic institutions into supporting the occupation and annexation efforts."

The Association's decision does not use the word boycott, but its meaning extends to avoiding holding "conferences and workshops or any general interaction" with institutions beyond the Green Line.

>> Don't drag Israeli academia into politics | Opinion

Alongside avoiding any cooperation with higher education institutes in the West Bank, the association's decision makes clear that its members can hold professional and personal relationships with those institutions. In addition, it will not bar students and researchers at those institutions  membership or participation in its conferences.

"The Association will continue to be the professional home of all anthropologists, regardless of the institution where they study or work," the association's statement said. Membership in the association, the statement emphasized, is made on an individual basis, not institutional.

The decision passed with a majority of 49 in favor against 25 in opposition.