AAA Denver 2015

Real Justice Requires Dialogue! Reject Boycott, Work for Peace: Vote YES on Resolution #1

On FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 AT 6:00 PM in Colorado Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2&3, the members of AAA will be asked to vote on two resolutions addressing the situation in Israel and Palestine.



This resolution asks AAA to implement alternatives to a boycott that could bring our skills as anthropologists to productive use. Many of these actions were proposed by The AAA’s Task Force on Israel/Palestine. We should:

  • Call on Israel to end the occupation and do justice with the Palestinians;
  • Call on the US government to put pressure on Israel to this effect;
  • Call on Israel to enhance freedom of speech and movement for Palestinians and stop curtailing Palestinian universities;
  • Support anthropologists’ efforts to teach and conduct research in the region;
  • Provide Palestinian libraries access to anthropological journals at no cost;
  • Offer funds for visiting professors at Palestinian universities and to Palestinian anthropologists wishing to teach at home and abroad;
  • Have the AAA dedicate resources to promote scholarly endeavors in conflict areas, with an initial emphasis on Palestine and Israel.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. Every vote will count. We believe strongly that the future of Anthropology and the American Anthropological Association is at stake. This is not just a vote about a boycott.


Make sure to bring your conference badge. Only AAA members will be allowed to vote.


  • Resolution #2 urges us to disengage from dialogue by boycotting our fellow anthropologists
  • Universities must not be confused with states, their policies or the injustices they sometimes produce. Israeli universities are no more accountable for the Occupation than US universities are for the invasion of Iraq or Russian universities for the crisis in Ukraine. Some of the clearest voices criticizing Israel’s oppression of Palestinians in fact are the voices of  Israeli academics.
  • Boycotting Israeli universities will not propel progressive change in Israeli politics. It will augment a sense among Israelis that ‘the world is all against us,’ deepen intransigence, isolate critics and stymie initiatives for peace. Ostensibly designed to defend Palestinian academic freedom, it could become an instrument of blunt retaliation, a punishment administered to moderates.
  • An academic boycott will curtail the ability of scholars of all persuasions, anthropologists included, to teach, research and open minds in Israel/Palestine.
  • The conditions set by the pro-boycott resolution for lifting a future boycott are vague. With no prospect of ever being lifted, a boycott can only exacerbate acrimony and conflict.
  • A boycott, once in place, flattens all distinctions between individuals and institutions. Our universities are part of our identities. Delegitimizing them becomes a personal affront, andprotocols that list activities an academic is ‘allowed’ to be involved with are shameful exceptions that prove a repugnant rule.
  • A vote for an academic boycott will damage the reputation of the AAA and anthropology generally. No matter what the focus of your own anthropological research, a vote for an academic boycott will undermine the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Association and the profession.


ATTEND THE ADIP SOCIAL RECEPTION. Thursday November 19th at 7-8pm, Hyatt Regency Denver, Capital Ballroom 7.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE. SHARE IT WITH OTHERS. We have posted a number of analyses of the complex issues facing AAA. Please read them, educate yourselves, and share widely.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER. Stay connected. Stay informed. Share information about the resolutions on your own facebook and twitter feeds.

ATTEND the panel and roundtable, organized by ADIP members to debate these issues, and to explore the anthropological issues underlying the current debate:

  1. Defamiliarizing Anthropological Interventions for Social Justice: The BDS Controversy Reconsidered Through the Lens of Homo Anthropologus organized by Yehuda Goodman (Hebrew University) and Michele Rivkin- Fish (UNC-Chapel Hill)   (Thursday, November 19th from 1:45 PM to 3:30 PM).
  1. A House Divided: Politics, Professional Mobilization, and Academic Freedom in American Anthropology organized by David Rosen (Fairleigh Dickinson University) and Richard Shweder (University of Chicago) (Friday, November 20th from 10:15 AM to 12:00 PM).

Contact us at: and get our updates here.


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