B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International condemns the American Studies Association’s (ASA) continued one-sided criticism of Israel and its distorted views of Hamas as the organization demanded the United States withdraw its support for Israel and asserted that “the U.S. is complicit in the ongoing siege of Gaza, Israeli war crimes, and Palestinian suffering.”
This is the second time this year that the ASA has censured Israel after unanimously voting for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in December 2013. In a recent press release, the organization condemned Israel for “attacks on identifiable academic institutions are part of its campaign of collective punishment that has already claimed more than 1,650 lives”—referring, in part, to Israel’s targeted strike on Gaza’s Islamic University.
The ASA continues to place blame solely on Israel for its incursion into Gaza and ignores not only Hamas’ incessant rocket fire at the Jewish state, but also the organization’s widespread use of human shields. The ASA takes issue with the Israel Defense Forces’ targeting of a university, but does not mention that it was used as a weapon’s production facility. The ASA also fails to mention that Hamas’ use of academic institutions as human shields for armaments and personnel is a routine, encouraged practice.
In keeping with its earlier academic boycott in response to the Israel’s supposed human rights violations against Palestinians, the ASA continues to exercise selective memory and bias when evaluating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This latest demand is just another showing of its complicity with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.