Statement on ASA Boycott of Israel
Lehigh University strongly opposes the American Studies Association’s (ASA) boycott of Israeli academic institutions, and we are disappointed that a portion of the ASA's membership chose to take this action. We also believe that one cannot effectively impact a boycott by the ASA with a boycott of the ASA. It would be more productive for our faculty members who belong to that organization to express their displeasure to the leadership, and advocate for a change in policy. We will call upon our faculty to make their opinions known to the ASA. This would apply as well to any academic organization that might vote to adopt the same position as the ASA.
The boycott of an academic community is antithetical to the mission of academia. The essence of the academic enterprise is to advance the exchange of knowledge and ideas. This mission necessarily calls us to be open and receptive to intellectual discourse with others. There is no room in the pursuit of this mission for the isolation of any group of academics. A boycott of any group is harmful to all. International collaboration and exchange have never been more important than they are today. Through collaboration across disciplines – and across borders – we will continue to live up to our responsibilities to our nation and our world.
Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013