23 Anthropologists submit a proposal for resolution to the AAA’s Business Meeting:

Engaging Israel Palestine: End the Occupation, Oppose Academic Boycott, Support Dialogue.

The proposed resolution will be debated and voted on at the AAA’s business meeting on November 20th at 18:15, during the Association’s annual conference at the Denver Convention Center. ADIP fully supports this resolution and urges anthropologists of all persuasions to support it and, if possible, attend the business meeting for the vote.

The proposed resolution reads as follows:

Proposal for Resolution

At the Business Meeting of The American Anthropological Association

To be held on November 20th 2015

Denver, CO

Title: Engaging Israel Palestine: End the Occupation, Oppose Academic Boycott, Support Dialogue

Authors submitting the proposed resolution: Yoram Bilu, Peter Brown, Dale Eickelman, Judith Farquhar, Harvey Goldberg, Yehuda Goodman, Michael Herzfeld, Susan Kahn, Jack Kugelmass, Mark Nichter, Michele Rivkin-Fish, David Rosen, Amalia Sa’ar, Gila Silverman, Sydel Silverman, Alex Weingrod, Allan Young (Dan Rabinowitz, Bruce Kapfere, Mia Goodman, Andrew Lakoff, Charles Lindholm and Jenny White also took part in drafting and preparing the resolution but for technical reasons were ineligible to become official signatories).

Whereas: Human rights, the quest for justice, and a hope for a viable future for Israelis, Palestinians, and the broader Middle East is a concern for many;

And whereas: Israel’s occupation since 1967 of Palestinian territories is an impediment to peace;

And whereas: The need for a speedy recovery and reconstruction of the Gaza strip following the devastation inflicted on it by Israel in 2014 is as urgent as ever;

And whereas: Resolution of the tragedy of Palestinian refugees remains a prerequisite for reconciliation in the region;

And whereas: Moderate segments in Israeli and Palestinian society, including academics, continue to have a crucial role in the difficult struggle for peace;

And whereas: Associating academics with the political regimes in which they operate contradicts anthropology’s most enduring contribution to intellectual and political sensibilities, namely its ability to recognize and articulate nuance, deal with social and cultural complexity, and avoid essentialization;


The AAA calls upon the Israeli government to follow UN resolutions and adhere to the initiatives of many in the international community by:

  • Finding a way to end the siege of Gaza and cooperate with the Palestinian leadership, Egypt, and the international community in a genuine effort to reconstruct the Gaza strip after the damages inflicted on it in 2014, while safeguarding security for Israelis;
  • Negotiating in good faith with the Palestinians towards a just and final settlement of the conflict, based on Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967;
  • Recognizing the rights of Palestinian and Bedouin citizens of Israel to full equality, and doing everything necessary to fulfill this right;
  • Promoting and implementing a spectrum of dignified, just, and effective solutions to the tragedy of Palestinian refugees.

Further: The AAA calls on anthropologists and academics to resist conflating the activities of academics with the policies and actions of their governments, and to refrain from initiatives to boycott universities as a means of applying pressure on political regimes and governments everywhere, Israel no exception.

Further: The AAA urges its members and anthropologists everywhere to strengthen anthropological engagement with Palestine and Israel by focusing research, debate, and teaching in and about the region; by mobilizing anthropological insight, sensitivity to histories and heritages and moral integrity in the service of renewed dialogue between willing parties on either side; and by contributing to ongoing and future efforts to terminate the occupation and nudge reluctant leaders towards peace.

Further: To enhance this engagement, the AAA membership instructs the Executive Committee to allocate 1% of its annual expenditure to Scholarly Endeavors in Conflict Areas, with an initial emphasis on Israel and Palestine. These endeavors will include grants and scholarships for budding anthropologists, funding of anthropological courses, seminars, workshops and study programs, both locally and abroad, and developing curricula and research projects that focus on understanding conflict generally and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular (see appendix 1 for a more detailed note on finance).

Appendix 1

Financial Note

To ensure that implementation of the AAA’s Scholarly Endeavors in Conflict Areas does not exert undue pressure on the AAA’s already over-stretched budget, we propose that the necessary funds for these endeavors will be generated through a voluntary contribution drive that the AAA will initiate at its earliest convenience. Appeals to members and non-members to contribute to it will use all media outlets available, including online prompts for those initiating or renewing membership with AAA. Activities associated with this initiative will be implemented only on budget years in which the contributions received by the Scholarly Endeavors in Conflict Areas’ voluntary contribution drive exceed 0.99% of the AAA’s overall expenditure.