George Washington University (GWU) will be a less anti-Semitic place after its recent decision to evict the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). In a terse note, GWU stated that the relationship between the university and MESA "had run its course" and that the two institutions were "now parting ways amicably." Observers of Middle East studies at the Middle East Forum noted the timing of MESA's expulsion, which comes a year after the organization's March 2022 endorsement of the anti-Israel "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions" (BDS) movement.
GWU made the right decision to cease hosting MESA. However, that it even hosted MESA in the first place speaks volumes about the acceptance of anti-Semitism on today's college campus. MESA is but one of many academic associations that substitute ideology for scholarship and that make hating Israel part of its activist shtick.
Indeed, MESA has many kindred spirits throughout the professoriate. Over 25% of the American Anthropological Association's members adopted the same stance as MESA while endorsing BDS. The American Studies Association, along with the Association for Asian American Studies, the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, the National Women's Studies Association, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, have all jumped on the anti-Israel bandwagon. A hatred of Israel and an embrace of anti-Semitism to advance ideological aims unite them all.