Statement Condemning the Middle East Studies Association's Race to Embrace BDS
We are greatly concerned that the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has set itself on the path of approving the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) of Israel its organizational policy.
Singling out Israel for opprobrium makes a mockery of MESA's mission statement, which claims to promote "high standards of scholarship," "further intellectual exchange" and "defend academic freedom."
By giving its imprimatur to BDS, MESA adds its voice to ongoing efforts to whitewash Palestinian violence and refusal to accept Israel's existence, and to make the Jewish state a pariah.
It is willfully blind to systemic abuses throughout the Middle East region, including the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, discrimination against women, support for jihadi organizations, and myriad other human rights violations by the governments of Turkey, Syria, Iran, and beyond.
Passage of this resolution will confirm MESA as an activist, anti-Israel political organization masquerading as a scholarly association. It will imply political activism, biased scholarship, and politicized teaching as the accepted norms in Middle East studies.
For these reasons (and others), we the undersigned (1) strongly condemn MESA's plan to put before the full membership approval of a resolution adopting BDS as MESA policy and (2) if it does take place, urge all members to vote against the resolution.