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Contributed by Maura Stephens on 02/24/2014
Most of the campus community were unaware when President Rochon issued a statement condemning the American Studies Association's (ASA) decision to join in an international academic boycott of Israel; the president's statement was published in Intercom during winter break, when students and faculty attention was elsewhere.
To shed some light on another side of the story -- that of Palestinians' human rights -- Eric Cheyfitz, Ph.D., of Cornell University's Department of American Literatures and Humane Letters, an ASA member and supporter of the boycott, will speak and respond to questions at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, in Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center.
The boycott was undertaken with the intention of drawing public attention to the deepening humanitarian crisis among Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, where faculty's and students' movement is restricted in daily activities as well as international travel for collaborative research or scholarly conferences, Palestinian universities have been bombed, and scholars and students have been deported. Israeli scholars who criticize their country's policies also face sanctions. As the ASA wrote in response to criticism that a boycott is in itself a suppression of academic freedom, "The goal of the academic boycott is to contribute to the larger movement for social justice in Israel/Palestine that seeks to expand, not further restrict, the rights to education and free inquiry."
A study and resource guide is available to provide background information and pertinent documents.
The event is cosponsored by the Departments of English and Politics; Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity; and Park Center for Independent Media.
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