At Least 90 U.S. Universities Reject ASA Boycott, Jewish Group Says

Rejections have come in the form of statements by university presidents and chancellors rejecting the decision.

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At least 90 American universities and colleges have rejected the American Studies Association membership vote in favor of an academic boycott of Israel, according to a Jewish umbrella group.

The number, correct as of December 31, was tracked by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The rejections have come in the form of statements by university presidents and chancellors rejecting the decision.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Presidents Conference expressed its appreciation to the school chiefs who stood up against this discriminatory and unjustified measure and rejected the ASA boycott of Israel.

This is now a clarion call to reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and assure that American campuses are not subverted for extremist political ends, said the statement signed by Robert Sugarman and Malcolm Hoenlein, the chairman and executive vice chairman, respectively, of the group.

Four schools withdrew their membership in the wake of the vote: Brandeis University, Indiana University, Kenyon College and Penn State Harrisburg.

Two-thirds of the 1,252 ASA members who voted approved the boycott, according to an ASA announcement on December 16, a day after the deadline for online voting. At the time of the vote, there were 3,853 eligible voters, meaning one-third of the ASA membership participated.

Earlier this year, the Association for Asian American Studies announced it would mount an academic boycott of Israel. On December 15, the Native American Studies Association urged its members to boycott Israeli educational institutions.

In February, the Modern Language Association will debate an academic boycott of Israel.

Campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 30, 2012. Credit: AP

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