A leading American language association is taking heat this week after it approved a resolution condemning Israel.
The Modern Language Association censured the Jewish state at a convention in Chicago Saturday, citing Israel for alleged denials of entry for American academics into the West Bank.
The resolution passed in a 60-53 vote among a special delegate committee, and will now get bumped up to the MLA Executive Committee for another vote. If passed, it will go out to all members.
The original language of the motion referred to “arbitrary denials of entry to Gaza and the West Bank by U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.”
However, the words “Gaza” and “arbitrary” were taken out just before the vote.
“Knowing that MLA members do not support their agenda of demonizing Israel and undermining a two-state solution to the conflict, this narrow resolution was watered down to focus solely on Israel’s alleged ‘arbitrary’ denials of entry to US academics to the West Bank,” said Israel Action Network (IAN) Managing Director Geri Palast.
“These allegations were refuted in a document provided to the Delegate Assembly by the MLA Members for Scholars’ Rights.”
“There is no understanding or explanation for Israel’s defense, and opponents of the Resolution are given only one minute to unwind a tangled web of misinformation, unsubstantiated anecdotes which are presented with no context,” added Peggy Shapiro, Chicago community coordinator for the pro-Israel education group StandWithUs and a member of the MLA.
“For example, removing the word Gaza because the resolution presenters were not even aware of the simple fact that the entry to Gaza is in Egyptian and not Israeli control. What else did they not tell and what else do we need to make an informed decision? They also said there is a State Department warning not to visit Israel. Not true, the warning is not to visit Gaza because its run by a terrorist organization.”
The MLA is the leading American body for professionals and academics in the language fields.