BDS Resolution Fails at Social Problems Conference

August 20, 2019

Members of the Society for the Study of Social Problems introduced a resolution calling for the boycott of “complicit Israeli academic institutions” at its annual meeting in New York this month. The resolution, which ultimately failed, sought to “foster support for our Palestinian academic colleagues, whose basic human rights, including the right to education and academic freedom, have been denied for decades under Israel’s military occupation and racist policies,” supporters said in a statement. The vote was 37 against and 34 in favor, with seven abstentions.

In response to outstanding concerns about the voting process, several leaders of the society said in a joint statement that only certified votes were counted. “We cannot know the motives behind every member's vote, but we can say with certainty that individuals who voted against the resolution voted as they did for a variety of reasons,” the leaders said. Numerous voting members reported that they disagreed with Israeli policies regarding Palestinians but also did not think an academic boycott was the solution, for example.

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