This article was recently published on the YAHOO website. A comment is posted after each paragraph.


Israelis celebrate Israel’s 68th Independence Day with fireworks in the southern city of Ashkelon. The author argues that attempts by educational nonprofits to boycott Israel breaks the law that nonprofits’ funds from members cannot be used to push a political agenda that has nothing to do with the association’s mission.

Israelis try very hard to stifle the voice of freedom not only in the land of Palestine but also in the United States and anywhere in the world they can. We should encourage everyone, specifically college students, to speak their minds and get their opinions heard. But, as the Israelis see it and want everyone to see and believe it that when people’s opinions and the truth is not to the Israelis liking, it’s against the law.

Boycotts against Israel are making headlines again. The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is voting this month on whether to boycott Israel. If the resolution passes, AAA will be the largest and oldest academic association to do so.

The AAA is doing the right thing, and boycotting Israel is the right thing to do. The Israelis need to know that their lies and intimidation are not as effective as they used to be. People in this country are waking up and realizing the reality in the Middle East which’s driving the Israelis off the wall.

In response, many heads of U.S. universities, including MIT, the University of Chicago and all 10 University of California campuses, recently reaffirmed their opposition to academic boycotts, specifically citing ones targeting Israel.

The pressure and intimidation still works on those heads especially when added to the lack of morality on their part. Those heads should be chopped off and replaced by more reasonable and encouraging ones to the freedom of fact finding and opinions’ expression. 

Fierce debate has surrounded boycotts since the American Studies Association (ASA) endorsed an Israel boycott two years ago. Are boycotts antithetical to the mission and values of academia? Do boycotts violate academic freedom?

Boycotts do not violate academic freedom. In fact they have nothing to do with academic freedom. They are a matter of opinions’ and should not be associated with academic value in any way.

Others questioned: Why the obsession with Israel?  Considering all the non-democratic, non-feminist and non-free religion, free speech and free press countries, why Israel? Israel is the only country in the Middle East to provide equal rights to women and all members of the LBGTQ community, to guarantee freedom of press and religion and to safeguard the opportunity to vote, regardless of ethnicity. In fact, Jews, Christians and Muslims all serve in Israel’s government. North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Myanmar, Russia and many other recidivist human rights violators are not singled out for boycott. Among the 196 nations in the world, why is the only Jewish state being singled out? Are boycotts of Israel really thinly veiled anti-Semitism?

It is typical of the Israelis and their allies to try to divert the attention of the facts and discussion matter at hand. What does the treatment of women and members of the LBGTQ have to do with boycott of Israel? and why Israel is comparing itself to those counties? We are not discussing any of those countries or  their democracies, we are discussing Israel and it’s illegal occupation of the Land of Palestine and demolishing the homes of Palestinians which prompted the call for boycott of Israel. Incidentally, the statement above is not true. The so called democracy in Israel applies to the Israelis only, not the Palestinians. And only to the Jews, not Christians or Muslims.

Putting those concerns aside, though, there is a new question gaining much traction in legal circles: Are such boycotts even legal? Law professors Eugene Kontorovich and Steven Davidoff Solomon on the Wall Street Journal opinion page recently concluded they are not. And days ago, a group of distinguished American Studies professors and longtime ASA members, two of whom were recipients of the highest ASA award for outstanding teaching and program development, sued their Association.

Boycott of Israel is not only legal but necessary. I challenge all those so called Law Professors to show me where it’s stated in the law that it’s illegal to boycott Israel. The Israelis need to know that the days of suppressing the truth and forcing their lies on the American people are over. Those so called professors prove that not only goods can be bought, people can be as well.

The American Studies professors describe how a handful of radicals, including founding members of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, hijacked their academic association to ram through a personal and political mission having absolutely nothing to do with American Studies. This new legal question is probably the most relevant.  Let me explain. Nonprofits incorporated in D.C. are governed by the D.C. Non-Profit Corporations Act. It provides that an organization is limited to the terms of its charter. Knowing that nonprofits are often run by a handful of active members, the law was created to protect the entire membership from officers and directors who abuse their positions and coopt an organization for political purposes.

Let me ask you a question “Mr. know it all”, if those so called, according to you, announced their unconditional support to Israel, would you call them radicals, and more importantly, would you call them “Law Brakers”? and in your opinion, would they be abusing their positions for political reason? Of course not. That’s the divination of hypocrisy which Israel and its supporters demonstrate on daily bases.  

Funds from members cannot be used for purposes beyond activities authorized in the charter. Activists cannot legally trade on an academic association’s reputation to push a personal political agenda that has nothing to do with the association’s mission. At the time the boycott was initiated, ASA’s constitution clearly stated that “[the object of the association [is] the promotion of the study of American culture through the encouragement of research, teaching, publication…about American culture in all its diversity and complexity.” According to the American Studies professors, for 60 years, ASA has been an association focused on American Studies. It is not a social justice organization, nor is it a foreign policy organization. Indeed, according to the professors, boycotting a foreign nation has absolutely nothing to do with ASA’s mission and is therefore illegal.

How much does it cost for someone to endorse someone else or agree with an idea or a philosophy? When a political candidate is endorsed by someone or some group or organization, does the endorser start packing to move into the poor house? Or does he or do they have to spend any amount of money for the endorsement? Of course not. So, why are you accusing the ASA of misappropriating the organization’s funds for the purpose of pushing a personal political agenda? You know something, even if they were, it will be well worth it using those funds to promote the boycott. Whether you admit it or not, the US is very much involved in the Middle East and this falls in the category of American studies.

I agree, which is why my organization has assembled a team of lawyers to represent these esteemed American Studies professors in this significant and pivotal case.The question of whether an arguably anti-Semitic academic boycott of Israel violates academic freedom continues to be debated. But whether it violates the law seems pretty clear.

Yes it is. It clearly does not violate the law in any form or fashion.


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