Israel boycott angers US congressman

New York Rep. Eliot Engel

The boycott of Israeli academic institutions by the American Studies Association (ASA) has angered Democratic Congressman Rep. Eliot Engel.

Last week, the American Studies Association said its boycott was in protest to Israelâ„¢s brutal treatment of Palestinians and the involvement of Israeli universities in supporting such policies.

Two thirds of the 1,252 members of the organization who participated in the vote approved the measure.

Å“The ASA condemns the United States’ significant role in aiding and abetting Israel’s violations of human rights against Palestinians and its occupation of Palestinian lands through its use of the veto in the UN Security Council,” it said in a statement.

The move is part of a larger international effort to win boycotts of Israeli institutions over its policies toward Palestinians.

In a letter to the associationâ„¢s leaders, Rep. Eliot Engel urged the ASA to end the boycott.

He said he was surprised that other countries that violated human rights are not subject to a boycott.

Å“I have attached several sections from the State Departmentâ„¢s most recent Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for your review,” the congressman wrote.

Å“If you desire any assistance in further identifying other countries with human rights records of concern, I and my staff stand ready to assist you and the ASA in that regard,” he added.

The American Studies Association is a professional group of about 4,000 scholars who study US history and culture.

The group has been debating a boycott since 2006 and put the matter to a vote after its leadership endorsed the idea in early December.

AGB/HJ

Source: Press TV