The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation will join more than 50 organizations from all over the United States tomorrow, Wednesday, February 4 in calling upon the Senate to protect academic freedom in international studies.
Constituents of Senators will be requesting them to drop consideration of a proposed International Studies Advisory Board. Legislation for the advisory board was passed by the House in 2003. If established, the advisory board would be repsonsibleSar for the oversight of curricula, course materials, and even the hiring of faculty at institutions that accept federal government money for international studies.
Chris Toensing, Executive Director of the Middle East Research and Information Project, a member organization of the US Campaign, stated that "criticism and debate are the soul of intellectual endeavors. But current attacks on the field [of international studies]-- based on the idea that scholars should produce 'useful knowledge' for the national security state -- only thinly disguise an anti-intellectual and partisan political agenda."
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has also endorsed a petition to be delivered to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee asking it to drop consideration of the International Studies Advisory Board.
The petition can be viewed at: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=317
This action is being coordinated by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a diverse coalition of more than 100 member organizations. The US Campaign promotes a US foreign policy toward the Israel/Palestine conflict based on peace, justice, human rights, and international law rather than on support for Israel's military occupation.
For more information, please see: http://www.endtheoccupation.org
Petition to Support Academic Freedom in International Studies
We, the undersigned organizations, support academic freedom in international studies and strongly urge the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to oppose the creation of an International Studies Advisory Board in any Higher Education Reauthorization Act. Language coming out of the House and soon to be considered by the
Senate calls for the creation of such an advisory board. This board, which would have at least two appointees representing national security agencies, would oversee curricula, course materials, and even the hiring of faculty at
institutions that accept federal government money for international studies.
While all area studies programs--Asian, African, European, Latin American--will be affected, the current target of this legislative effort is Middle East studies. This advisory board is being supported by think tanks and self-appointed campus watchdog groups like Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch' that want to stifle academic debate in institutions across our nation.
The movement to politicize the content of what is taught at our universities is incompatible with the cherished American values of free speech and academic inquiry.
Al-Awda DC--The DC Area Chapter of the Palestine Right to Return
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Commitee
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Washington, DC Area
American Association for Palestinian Equal Rights
American Movement for Advancing Arab-American Matters
Americans for a Just Peace in the Middle East
Arab/Jewish Peace Alliance
Atlanta Palestine Solidarity
Bards for Free Palestine
Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
Caucus on Class of the Society for Cinema Studies
Center on Law and Human Rights
Citizens for Fair Legislation
Citizens for Justice in the Middle East
Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace
Colorado Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
Council for the National Interest
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Fellowship of Reconciliation, South Florida Chapter
Friends of Sabeel, North America
Houston Coalition for Justice Not War
Jewish Friends of Palestine
Jewish Voice for Peace
Jewish Voices Against the Occupation--Seattle
Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine
Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel
June 1st Peace and Justice Coalition
Kalamazoo Non-Violent Opponents to War
Marin Peace and Justice Coalition
Marylanders for a Free Palestine and a Secure Israel
Michigan Faith and Resistance
Middle East Network of United Methodists
Middle East Peace Now of Minnesota
Middle East Research and Information Project
Northwest Middle East Peace Forum
Not in My Name
Palestine Aid Society
Palestine Solidarity Committee--Seattle
Partners for Peace
Pax Christi--Hilton Head
Philadelphia Jewish Peace Network
Rally of One
Salinas Action League
September 11 Action
Stop the Wall--Philadelphia Working Group
Students for Justice in Palestine, American University
Tikkun Community, Santa Barbara Chapter
Tri-City Action for Peace
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land
Western New York Peace Center