May 24, 2023
The Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace supports the Anthropology Boycott Resolution being put before the American Anthropology association to be voted upon by members.
As rabbis who support nonviolent tactics pursued for the sake of justice, including boycott, divestment, and sanctions, we are encouraged by all actions that hold the Israeli state accountable for its regime of oppression against Palestinians. Although Israeli universities accept Palestinian students who hold Israeli citizenship, those students are treated with systematic discrimination throughout their academic careers. In addition, Israeli universities provide academic settings for the development of Israel’s military industrial complex and fully support the state’s apartheid policies. Indeed, Israel has targeted Palestinian educational institutions for decades.
The boycott does not target individual scholars; rather it targets institutional complicity with policies of apartheid such as denial of freedom of movement as well as the ability to tell the truth about the history of ongoing Nakba which is illegal to teach in Israel.
As rabbis we view Israel's misuse of the fields of anthropology and archeology to diminish and erase Palestinian culture and society as a violation of seeking truth and equity for all people. Boycott is a nonviolent means of noncooperation with oppression. We support boycotts as the exercise of a revered constitutional right. We stand proudly against all anti-semitism. As Jews in spiritual leadership, we view our stance against apartheid as a mitzvah that preserves rather than destroys the essence of Torah.
Rabbinical Council of Jewish Voice for Peace