JVP welcomes the Middle East Studies Association endorsement of BDS
Jewish Voice for Peace welcomes the Middle East Studies Association recent endorsement of the 2005 call of Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing. The endorsement of the call for BDS by learned societies highlights the growing opposition to the Israeli state’s oppression of Palestinians, including Israel’s obstruction of Palestinians’ right to education. That MESA has passed this BDS resolution is especially significant, given that MESA is the leading association of scholars of the Middle East. No other international body of scholars has greater knowledge of the region and of the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
The Israeli government commits egregious violations of Palestinian academic freedom, including restrictions on access to books, research materials, and the internet; targeting Palestinian universities and schools in military strikes; raiding and forcing those institutions to close; preventing Palestinian academics and students from excerising their academic freedom; and restricting Palestinians’ movement which limits their ability to attend and work at universities, travel to conferences, and study abroad.
We believe the use of time-honored tactics outlined in the call for BDS will end this system, and allow for freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis. In the long history of Jewish experience, we follow in the footsteps of those who have fought for justice. By endorsing the call for BDS, we claim our own liberation as bound with the liberation of all.