As reported by Inside Higher Ed, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has issued a statement opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, a bill with bipartisan Congressional support and 48 Senate cosponsors that "would prohibit U.S. persons or companies from participating in or supporting boycotts of Israel organized by international governmental organizations like the United Nations."
MESA claims the bill, which targets commercial activity and is based on current law, "poses a grave threat to academic freedom." But as Northwestern University law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh points out, "This is a great disservice to claims of academic freedom and [the] First Amendment. They're really crying First Amendment wolf."
Given MESA's antipathy towards Israel and the fact that it removed the word "non-political" from its bylaws in March, most likely for the purpose of supporting BDS, the organization should look to itself for threats to academic freedom.