We, the undersigned students and alumni of Tufts University, hereby issue a statement of our solidarity with the American Studies Association (ASA) in its decision to honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The ASA is not the first major academic organization to honor the Israeli academic boycott call; it joins the Association of Asian American Studies and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association in doing so.
The field of American Studies, as stated in the boycott resolution of the ASA, “is committed to the pursuit of social justice, to the struggle against all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, discrimination, and xenophobia, and to solidarity with aggrieved peoples in the United States and in the world.” We encourage you to read the brief statement here: http://www.theasa.net/american_studies_association_resolution_on_academic_boycott_of_israel
We believe that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza, and illegal Israeli settlements oppress, dehumanize, and compromise the rights and freedoms of Palestinian peoples through an aggressive form of systemic racism. The undersigned support the boycott of a system that represses Palestinian peoples’ opportunities for intellectual freedom, political expression, physical safety, and overall well-being, and thereby support the American Studies Association in their decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions who partake in and support this system of oppression.
We would like to stress that the ASA has made it clear that while it endorses the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, it is cognizant of individual Israeli scholars who support the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions and does not oppose dialogue with individual scholars.
In our local community, it has come to our attention that several Tufts faculty members have been targeted for signing on to the American Studies Association’s resolution. We hereby affirm our unwavering and unequivocal support for them and their right to express their opinions in an environment free of harassment, coercion, or intimidation.
These professors and leaders have encouraged us to open our minds, supported us in our varied endeavors, and helped us achieve our best work as our best selves. As they have supported and fiercely defended our academic freedom and self-expression, we now pledge to support and fiercely defend theirs.
With the American Studies Association’s history of defending academic freedom and self-expression – values that Tufts shares – we sincerely hope that Tufts professors and Tufts University will remain active members of the American Studies Association for years to come. We also hope that Tufts will continue to support the academic and intellectual freedom of its faculty and staff in the face of controversy.