Academic Freedom Must be Protected – A Statement from The Association for Israel Studies

The Association for Israel Studies is deeply concerned about a recent surge in both covert and overt boycotts targeting Israeli scholars and institutions. These actions manifest in various ways, such as the abrupt cancellation of joint conference invitations, the unwarranted refusal to review publications authored by Israeli academics, the withholding of grants from Israeli researchers, and on-campus disruptions during lectures and talks delivered by Israeli scholars.

Academic freedom is a cornerstone principle that must be safeguarded irrespective of political differences or tensions. Every scholar, regardless of nationality or research focus, deserves the opportunity to pursue academic interests and contribute to scholarly discourse without encountering discrimination or censorship.

Moreover, the disruption of lectures and talks by demonstrators is unacceptable and undermines the foundational values of free speech and academic exchange. Academic institutions bear the responsibility to ensure that all scholars, irrespective of their perspectives or research topics, can present their findings and engage in constructive dialogue without fear of intimidation or harassment.

The plea from the Association for Israel Studies for the preservation of academic freedom resonates profoundly, underscoring the imperative for academic institutions globally to take tangible measures to uphold the principles of academic freedom and foster intellectual exchange.

April 28, 2024 by AIS