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APN Opposes ASA's Boycott of Israeli Universities

Americans for Peace Now opposes boycotts of Israel and of Israeli institutions, such as the American Studies Association's decision to boycott Israeli universities.

We believe such campaigns are misguided and counterproductive. They target the average, innocent Israeli citizen -- who may well support an end to the occupation and a two-state solution -- rather than objectionable Israeli government policies. 

The ASA's boycott of Israeli universities underscores the merits of our position. Israeli universities are the ultimate Israeli environment in which dissent and critical thinking flourishes. Boycotting them only damages efforts to encourage internal Israeli opposition to objectionable Israeli government policies. 

Campaigns such as this have caused many Israelis and supporters of Israel -- people whose voices are vitally needed to oppose the policies that such campaigns target -- to feel compelled to defend Israel, regardless of the policies in question. 

APN has joined its Israeli sister organization, Israel's peace movement Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in its call for boycotting products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

APN believes that for their actions to be both effective and morally defensible, pro-peace activists must make clear, emphatically and unambiguously, that their target is the occupation and its manifestations - such as Israeli settlements in the West Bank - and not Israel proper or innocent Israeli civilians.

To read APN's policy on boycotts, divestment and sanctions, click here

APN recommends reading Peter Beinart's recent article on this issue