Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Letter to Oberlin College Over the ASA Boycott

Below you'll find the letter I sent to Marvin Krislov, President of Oberlin College, my alma mater. I encourage you to send similar letters to your academic institutions to encourage their withdrawal from the American Studies Association over their Academic Boycott of Israel

Dr. Krislov:
 I am writing you to ask that Oberlin leave the American Studies Association over its boycott of Israel, just voted on this past week.
 I am a graduate of Oberlin College (class of 1998). I came to Oberlin because of its devotion to Social Justice, and have long been proud of its progressive history.
 This boycott, ostensibly to protest the treatment of Palestinians, in fact rejects the legitimacy of the State of Israel.  Diverse publications such as The New Republic (, Tablet Magazine (, Peter Beinart in the Daily Beast ( and HaAretz (via Alan Dershowitz, have railed against the boycott as an act of anti-Semitism at worst, a rejection of the legitimacy of the State of Israel, and at best an assault on academic freedom. . As argued by Brandeis University in their withdrawal: “We remain committed to the discipline of American Studies but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture–freedom of association and expression.” In addition to Brandeis, Penn State University (Harrisburg) has also withdrawn from the ASA. I’m sure more universities will do the same.
 Even the Palestinian Leadership, including Mahmoud Abbas, reject the idea of a boycott against Israel proper in their pursuit of a Palestinian State.
 As an Alumnus, a Jew, a rabbi, an American devoted to academic freedom, and a progressive devoted to the Peace Process and a Two-State solution, I urge Oberlin College and its faculty withdraw (temporarily) from the ASA until such time when the boycott is lifted. It flies in the face of all Oberlin represents.
 Thank you for your time. 

No comments:

Post a Comment