“As of today, more than ninety university presidents and chancellors have released statements rejecting the American Studies Association’s recent decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions,” said Robert G. Sugarman, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The leaders expressed their appreciation to the presidents and chancellors from across the nation who “stood up against this discriminatory and unjustified measure and rejected the ASA boycott of Israel. This is now a clarion call to reject the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and assure that American campuses are not subverted for extremist political ends.”

Sugarman and Hoenlein highlighted some of the important statements reaffirming close ties with Israeli counterparts and calling for the rejection of the boycott initiative:

President Lee C. Bollinger of Columbia University said, “I reject the ASA’s position which would compromise an essential value of universities in an increasingly global society–and we look forward to continuing Columbia’s long history of engagement with our peers from Israel.”

President Christopher L. Eisgruber of Princeton University said, “I share your dismay at the American Studies Association’s misguided boycott . . . and, whatever one thinks of boycotts in general, to single out Israel alone is indefensible. My personal support for scholarly engagement with Israel is enthusiastic and unequivocal . . . My hope is that the ASA’s more thoughtful and reasonable members will eventually bring the organization to its senses–here, too, engagement may be better than a boycott.”

President William P. Kelly, Interim Chancellor of City University of New York, said, “We take this opportunity to reaffirm our long association with Israeli scholars and universities . . . and we repudiate any effort to foreclose productive dialogue.”

President Joseph M. McShane, S.J., of Fordham University said that it “stands resolutely in opposition to the call for the boycott of Israeli universities recently advocated by the members of the American Studies Association. We believe that boycotts of this kind seriously undermine and hinder the efforts of any intellectual community to fulfill its mission in the service of wisdom and learning.”

President John Sexton of New York University said, “We write on behalf of New York University to express our disappointment, disagreement, and opposition to the boycott advocated by your organization of Israeli academics and academic institutions . . . We urge your organization to overturn this boycott.” v

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