Brandeis University has removed itself from a US education group that voted to boycott Israeli schools this week.
The prestigious Jewish college joined Penn State Harrisburg in announcing its removal from the American Studies Association, which made headlines in its decision to cease relationships with all universities located in Israel.
“We view the recent vote by the membership to affirm an academic boycott of Israel as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster,” Brandeis’s American Studies Department said on its website.
“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.”
Brandeis made the announcement yesterday, following Penn, which stated its resignation Tuesday.
“The withdrawal of institutional membership by our program and others allows us to be independent of the political and ideological resolutions issued by the ASA and concentrate on building American Studies scholarship with our faculty, students, and staff,” said Penn State’s Simon Bronner, chair of the American Studies Department.
The ASA endorsed its national council’s call for the boycott Monday, following a two-thirds majority rule within the 1,252 members that had voted by the deadline. The move drew immediate criticism from Jewish groups.