Statement of Support for the ASA By Palestinian and other Arab-American Scholars and Writers

January 18, 2014
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The American Studies Association (ASA), which voted on Dec. 16, 2013, to endorse the Association’s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institution, has been coming under harsh attack. The American Muslims for Palestine is calling upon our supporters to take action and stand in solidarity with the ASA by signing a petition of support.

The ASA, which is comprised of academic scholars, attracted 1252 voters, the largest number of participants in such a referendum in the history of the organization. Sixty-six percent of voters endorsed the resolution. By doing so, the ASA’s members sent a message that it stands in full solidarity with the world-wide BDS movement initiated and led by Palestinian civil society, according to the Palestinian Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

We must not stand by idly. We must stand in solidarity with these courageous individuals who chose to stand for academic freedom and justice for Palestinians in the face of harsh criticism and at a time when college campuses are coming under increased attack for lectures, activities and student groups, which are critical of Israeli policies that contravene international law and deprive Palestinians of their basic human rights.


[The following statement of support was issued by the below signatories on 7 January 2014.]


We, the undersigned Palestinian and other Arab-American scholars and writers as well as Arab scholars in the United States affirm our strong solidarity with the American Studies Association’s position in favor of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

We also condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the expressions of hate and intimidation to which ASA members are being subjected, tactics that are illegal or verge on illegality under U.S. law.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to the ASA – and to all other academic associations including the Association for Asian American Studies and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) – that have taken this principled and courageous stand despite the fierce backlash from organizations that support Israel’s atrocious and decades-old human rights record of military occupation and dispossession of the Palestinian people and their lands.

We appreciate your recognition of the 2005 Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and its three rights-based demands as one for solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination.

We further express our appreciation of your recognition that BDS is a legitimate, non-violent tool of resistance by peoples enduring settler-colonialism, occupation, and apartheid. The effectiveness of this form of struggle was demonstrated during the South African struggle for freedom, justice and equality and is now being demonstrated by the Palestinian-led BDS movement, which represents all major political and civil society forces within and beyond Palestine.

We welcome ASA’s stand as an affirmation of the decades of groundwork laid by earlier generations of Arab American scholars in the study of the impact of the U.S.-Israeli alliance in the Middle East and the United States. For many years Arab American scholars as well as Arab scholars in the U.S. have worked in isolation and those tackling this issue have faced a grueling combination of anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, and various levels of censorship with little or no support from most professional organizations.

By broadening the possibility for critical discussion and debate about the U.S., Palestine, and Israel, the ASA’s stand has created a new opening that will help to challenge the attack on academic freedom that Palestinian and Arab-American scholars and our allies encounter in the U.S.

We strongly uphold the principles of free speech and association guaranteed in U.S. jurisprudence and demand that the legal protections offered by these guarantees be extended to our colleagues in the ASA without delay.

We urge all of our colleagues of whatever ethnicity to support the ASA by:

Becoming a member of the ASA and/or making a donation to the organization,
Encouraging your department to join the ASA.
Writing a letter of support to the ASA.

Rabab Abdulhadi, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University

Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University.

Bashir Abu-Manneh, Visiting Assistant Prof., Brown University.

Ali Abunimah.

Samer Alatout, Associate Professor.

Evelyn Alsultany, University of Michigan.

Paul Amar, University of California Santa Barbara.

Sam Bahour, Co-editor, Homeland: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians and political pundit at

Riham Barghouti, Teacher, NYC and Founding Member, Adalah-NY

Moustafa Bayoumi, Associate Professor, Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Hatem Bazian, University of California Berkeley and American Muslims for Palestine.

George Bisharat, Professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law.

Lara Deeb, Scripps College, Department of Anthropology

Noura Erakat, Freedman Fellow, Temple Law School

Samera Esmeir, Associate Professor, Department of Rhetoric, University of California Berkeley.

Leila Farsakh, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Boston.

Nadia Guessous, Rutgers.

Layla Azmi Goushey, doctoral student in Adult Education, Teaching and Learning Processes, University of Missouri; Assistant Professor of English, St. Louis Community College.

Bassam Haddad, Director, Middle East Studies Program, Associate Professor, Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University.

Toufic Haddad, senior teaching fellow, School of Oriental and African Studies.

Elaine Hagopian, Prof. Emerita of Sociology, Simmons College, Boston.

Lisa Hajjar, Professor of Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara.

Wael Hallaq, Columbia University.

Nadia Hijab, Co-Founder and Director, Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.

Amira Jarmakani, Georgia State University.

Rania Jawad, Assistant Professor, Birzeit University.

Suad Joseph, University of California, Davis

Nour Joudah, Institute for Palestine Studies.

Rhoda Kanaaneh, Visiting Researcher, Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia University.

Remi Kanazi, poet and writer.

Ahmed Kanna, University of the Pacific

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Department of History, Columbia University

Lisa Majaj, Independent Scholar.

Saree Makdisi, professor of English, University of California Los Angeles.

Dr. John Makhoul.

Nadine Naber, Associate Professor, Gender and Women's Studies, Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Chicago.

Dena Qaddumi, Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies; Policy Member, Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.

Steven Salaita, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech.

Therese Saliba, Evergreen State College.

Aseel Sawalha, Department of Anthropology, Fordham University

Sherene Seikaly, Director, Middle East Studies Center, The American University in Cairo.

Julie M. Zito, PhD, Professor of Pharmacy and Psychiatry, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

* Institutional affiliation for purposes of identification only.