[this piece is written in the context of the 2014-2016 campaign]
A number of our Israeli colleagues recently wrote an important open letter supporting the open discussion of a boycott among anthropologists and criticizing the Israeli Anthropological Association’s attempts to shut down debate on the matter:
We therefore encourage an open and public discussion of [academic boycotts] along with other possible measures. We wish the American Anthropological Association success in pursuing this debate at the coming Annual Meeting, whether its end result is adoption of the boycott or other measures of censure, or simply a productive professional exchange. We are confident that this critical discussion in no way makes the AAA an unsafe space for us as citizens of Israel opposed to its policies. At the same time, we urge the IAA [Israeli Anthropological Association] to condemn the oppression of the Palestinian people, and especially the recent murderous war in Gaza. In taking such a stance, the IAA would take a first step towards dissociating itself as a body from policies and values that anthropologists cannot support in good faith. Until the IAA does so, its call to avoid discussion of boycott in the name of “dialogue” evades the cause it claims to uphold.