SPME BDS Monitor: Academic Situation Improves, Cultural Sphere Worsens (The Algemeiner)

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By Alexander Joffe
July 4, 2017

With the school year over, the focus of BDS activity has moved to other parts of the academic ecosystem. One of the most important developments last month was the adoption of a resolution by the membership of the Modern Language Association (MLA) calling on the organization to “refrain from endorsing the boycott” of Israeli universities. The resolution, which passed by a large margin, calls on the MLA to refrain from anti-Israel activities — including the endorsement of BDS. BDS supporters expressed outrage at the results, and claimed that the resolution “suppress[es] debate.”

Pushback against BDS was also seen at Pitzer College, where the student government passed a BDS resolution earlier this year. The college’s board of trustees, however, has now issued a forceful statement rescinding the resolution. Pitzer’s trustees also directed the student government to be neutral regarding BDS, particularly with respect to funding student groups. It said that the BDS resolution “applie[d] a particular point of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in restricting the use of Student Activities Funds by all Student Senate-approved student groups. In so doing, [the amendment] inappropriately curtail[ed] the funds usage rights of all such groups, including those that may have a different perspective.”

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