During October, 2014, a resolution endorsing the academic boycott of Israel failed to attract majority support in the Doctoral Students Council (DSC) at the City University of New York. This week, April 15, 2016, BDS forces once again are seeking to get the DSC to commit to shutting off contact with Israeli academic institutions and scholars. There are numerous reasons to oppose their effort.
Academic boycotts undermine core values of academic freedom, harming not only the institutions targeted but the individual scholars who teach and research at them. In January 2016, the Association of American Universities (AAU), speaking for 62 major research universities, stated unequivocally (renewing an earlier stand from 2013) that academic boycotts “directly violate academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general.” The AAU further stated that any such boycott also “clearly violates the academic freedom not only of Israeli scholars but also of American scholars who might be pressured to comply with it.”.