***IAFI Condemns American Studies Association Boycott***

The vote by the American Studies Association to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest Israel's treatment of Palestinians is a misguided attempt to isolate Israel and draw attention to the plight of Palestinians. Instead, academics should promote the open and free exchange of ideas and participation in international conferences. The world-wide academic community prides itself in the sharing of ideas and is one of the best hopes for drawing diverse cultures together and finding common ground. Trying to isolate and condemn Israeli academics is precisely the wrong approach to ending years of separation and misunderstanding between Palestinians and Israelis. The American Studies Association would likely not want the world to know that Palestinian students study and gain academic degrees in Israeli Universities, and Israeli physicians train Palestinian doctors, invite them to their medical conferences and provide medical care for Palestinians. Promoting interactions and sharing of knowledge helps the Palestinians, nothing good can come from an academic boycott of Israel.

Andrew R. Marks, M.D.
Professor and Chair Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Founder and President of IAFI

 

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