The National Council of the American Studies Association announced Wednesday that it has unanimously endorsed a boycott of Israeli universities and other Israeli institutions — and urged its members to vote to make the boycott official policy of the association.
The move by the council, even if awaiting approval by the membership, is seen as a major victory for the movement for an academic boycott of Israel.
And yet I have a better idea. If one is going to boycott institutions of Israel, should one not also boycott strong, powerful nations which have supported much of what Israel has done, especially strong, powerful nations which stole a lot of land from the original inhabitants, refuse to give it back, and have recently practiced torture, aggressive military intervention, and the murder of innocent civilians, and which spy upon much of the world, mostly without apology?
That’s right, they might consider boycotting the United States, starting with their very own name, which now would read “Council of the Studies Association.” Cynical advocates of “self-deportation” (I am not one of them) might suggest a more general boycott of the nation as it relates to their choices of residence and employment, but I will settle for the group boycotting academic conferences in America.
I am in in Tel Aviv — albeit briefly — and happy to be here. I am reminded of David Brooks’s recent column on the creeping politicization of life. That is one trend we all ought to oppose.
Addendum: Here is a good dissent from the boycott.