B’nai B’rith International condemns the Modern Language Association (MLA) for reportedly denying Hillel International and the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) a chance to present a discussion on Israel and academic freedom at the organization’s annual conference. Meanwhile, a “roundtable discussion” titled “Academic Boycotts: A Conversation about Israel and Palestine” will be held solely featuring academic supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
In addition to the one-sided program, the organization will consider a condemnatory resolution toward Israel. The MLA is seemingly following in the path of the American Studies Association (ASA), which enacted an academic boycott against the Jewish state in December. B’nai B’rith applauds the more than 100 colleges and universities that have rejected the ASA's discriminatory and unwarranted boycott.
By only hosting academics that support the BDS movement, the MLA is openly perpetuating an anti-Israel agenda. It is a perplexing decision, considering Israel’s universities are widely known for their openness and environment of academic freedom. Thus, it is even more incomprehensible that the MLA is not focusing its efforts on the long list of countries which inhibit academic freedom and have long records of human rights abuse.