Resolution in favor of BDS movement passes by vote of 768-167
The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) voted to endorse the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, the academic organization said on Wednesday.
The "Regarding BDS" resolution passed by a vote of 768 for and 167 against with voting taking place over a 50-day period from January 31 through March 22.
The resolution calls for an academic boycott of Israeli institutions for their "complicity in Israel's violations of human rights and international law through their provision of direct assistance to the military and intelligence establishments."
The text also accuses the United States government of "shielding" Israeli governments from being held accountable for the alleged violations, going further by saying that the US "facilitates" alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians "through unprecedented diplomatic, military, and economic support."
The Tucson, Arizona-based non-profit association has in the past been criticized for its anti-Israel bias.
The AMCHA Initiative, a US-based non-profit dedicated to countering antisemitism on college and university campuses in the US, blasted the move.
"What MESA did is morally reprehensible and incredibly dangerous. Although the academic boycott that MESA members voted to endorse seemingly targets only Israeli institutions and scholars, the biggest victims of academic BDS are students and faculty on US campuses," AMCHA Initiative Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin said in a statement.
MESA has 2,700 members and over 60 institutional members worldwide, as well as 39 affiliated organizations.