Members of the Middle East Studies Association voted overwhelmingly at their annual conference here on Monday to defend the right of scholarly associations toboycott Israel and to set their own organization on a course to consider a boycott of its own.
Conference participants voted, 256 to 79, in favor of a resolution that urges the organization's leadership to provide a means to discuss what stand MESA should take in connection with the boycott, divestment, and sanction (or BDS) movement directed at Israel. The measure acknowledges that the group's members disagree "on the necessity or productivity" of endorsing the BDS movement, but describes calls for involvement in it "protected free speech and legitimate forms of nonviolent political action."
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