As we previously reported, at its annual business meeting last December, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) passed a resolution at its business meeting endorsing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) academic boycott of Israel. Per association rules, the resolution was then sent to its membership for ratification. Voting closed March 22, and MESA declared victory the next day:
In a 768-167 vote, members of the Middle East Studies Association have voted in favor of a resolution endorsing the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions of Israel as a way to hold the government accountable for ongoing human rights violations. All full 2022 MESA members were asked to cast their votes electronically on the proposed resolution during a 50-day voting period that lasted from January 31 through March 22. Now that the resolution has been ratified, MESA's Board of Directors will work in consultation with its Committee on Academic Freedom to enforce it in a manner consistent with MESA's bylaws as well as relevant U.S. federal, state, and local laws.
"Our members have cast a clear vote to answer the call for solidarity from Palestinian scholars and students experiencing violations of their right to education and other human rights," said MESA President Eve Troutt Powell. "MESA's Board will work to honor the will of its members and ensure that the call for an academic boycott is upheld without undermining our commitment to the free exchange of ideas and scholarship."
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