Recent Projects

AEN frequently produces, supports, and promotes relevant publications by its leadership and by AEN members.

 

“We Are Cousins. Our Father Is Abraham…”: Combating Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism with the Abraham Accords

Written by Miriam Elman, AEN’s executive director, and Raeefa Shams, AEN’s director of communications and programming, this article addresses how the Abraham Accords could be harnessed to counter antisemitic discourses outside of the Middle East region. In particular, Elman and Shams argue that interfaith activities under the framework of the Abraham Accords demonstrate that hostility is not an inevitable response to Israel’s presence in the region. The article highlights the unique framework for peacebuilding that underpins the Abraham Accords and discusses how it has generated a new flourishing of Jewish life in its signatory countries, including unprecedented efforts to address antisemitism and an acknowledgement of the centrality of Zionism to contemporary Jewish identity.

 

BDS as a Threat to Academic Freedom and Campus Free Speech in the United States

Written by Miriam Elman, AEN’s executive director, and Michael Atkins, a lawyer and AEN’s former deputy director, this 2021 article is a part of a special issue first presented at the Michigan State University College of Law’s International Law Review 2020 symposium on Free Speech Around the World. It examines the most significant ways that the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement undermines and threatens to erode academic freedom and free space on a growing number of U.S. colleges and university campuses.

 

Israel Denial: Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, & the Faculty Campaign Against the Jewish State 

Written and edited by Professor Cary Nelson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this is a co-publication of AEN and Indiana University Press. Nelson has been a leading voice in speaking and writing against BDS influence in the academy and against anti-Israel boycotts on campus. In his book, Nelson marshals a tremendous amount of evidence to refute charges made against Israel and Israeli academic institutions by faculty proponents of the BDS movement. The book addresses the shoddy scholarship, questionable concepts, false analogies, and sometimes outright fraudulent claims advanced by BDS faculty activists. Nelson discussed his book during an evening roundtable at AEN’s May 2019 National Conference in San Diego. In addition to providing financial support to make the publication of the volume possible, AEN staff members helped edit and proof and volume and offered feedback to the author which was well received. AEN has distributed the volume at no charge to more than 200 faculty members in the AEN network and plans on further disseminating it this coming year. AEN members David Mikics and Monica Osborne reviewed Israel Denial for Tablet and the Jewish Journal, respectively.

 

Word Crimes: Reclaiming the Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

This Summer 2019 special issue of the journal Israel Studies, which will be reprinted as a book by Indiana University Press, was co-edited by Miriam Elman, Donna Robinson Divine, and Asaf Romirowsky, and features contributions by several other AEN faculty members. The publication focuses on how Israel’s detractors in academia have manipulated vocabulary over the decades to advance their cause. In March 2019, AEN extensively publicized a webinar in which the three co-editors discussed their work. AEN also distributed copies of the journal at its 2019 National Conference in San Diego, and the three co-editors participated in an evening roundtable about the book. The full introduction to “Word Crimes,” by Donna Robinson Divine, is available to read here.

 

Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary American Culture, Politics, and Education 

Co-edited by Corinne Blackmer and Andrew Pessin, two AEN members who have long been involved in combatting BDS on their campus and within academia, this collection of essays focuses on identifying and analyzing anti-Zionist and antisemitic currents within different groups, such as the media, academia, the LGBTQ+ community, religious groups, the far left and the far right, and includes contributions by an additional six AEN members. Among these are essays by Ken Waltzer and Miriam Elman.

 

Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS

Co-edited by AEN members Andrew Pessin and Doron Ben-Atar, the volume, which was subvented by AEN, includes essays by several AEN faculty members describing the adverse impacts the BDS movement has had on both faculty and students on campus. Pessin and Ben-Atar wrote about the book for Tablet and did an interview in the Algemeiner. The book was also reviewed by AEN member Jarrod Tanny in the Jewish Review of Books.

 

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