While it is heartening that the presidents of the University of Maryland and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County declared their opposition to the American Studies Association boycott of Israel, much more is required from our public universities than issuing press statements (“Boycott Earns American Studies Association an ‘F,’” Dec. 27).
As the only educational institution in Maryland that belongs to the ASA, UMBC should take firm
action against the boycott of Israel by immediately withdrawing its ASA membership. In so doing, UMBC will join Indiana University, Penn State Harrisburg, Brandeis University and Kenyon College, which have all withdrawn their memberships in the aftermath of the boycott vote. More importantly, UMBC will be acting in accordance with its mission statement, which proudly proclaims UMBC’s commitment to social responsibility.
In addition, the leadership of UMBC and of every publicly financed institution that forms the University System of Maryland should take appropriate measures to ensure that as long as the academic boycott of Israel remains in place, not one penny of university funds is used to finance any ASA activities, such as faculty membership in the ASA or faculty travel to ASA events.
Since the ASA announced its boycott, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association has voted to do the same, and boycotting Israel is on the agenda of the Modern Language Association’s upcoming annual meeting. To prevent this virus from spreading further, leaders of the University System of Maryland must exhibit moral courage by cutting all ties with the ASA and with any other academic group that boycotts Israel.
Shalom USA Radio