University officials who opposed ASA boycott of Israel asked to follow suit for MLA measure

( Ahead of the consideration of a resolution condemning Israel at the Jan. 9-12 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in Chicago, the leaders of Hillel International and the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) asked nearly 100 American university presidents, provosts, and campus officials who spoke against the American Studies Association’s (ASA) recent endorsement of an academic boycott of Israel to also publicly oppose the MLA measure.

The MLA resolution condemns Israel for “arbitrary denials of entry to Gaza and the West Bank by U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.” In a letter to university officials obtained by, Hillel President and CEO Eric Fingerhut and ICC Executive Director Jacob Baime note that in MLA’s resolution, Israel is “being singled out for actions other Western nations pursue routinely.”

“The United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, and Australia, not to mention Western-leaning nations in the Middle East, such as UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia (which regularly partner with Western universities), all deny entry to individuals, for any number of reasons,” they wrote.

Baime stressed the importance of taking pre-emptive action against the potential passage of the resolution.

“I don’t think we need to wait for the MLA to take action to speak out,” he told “I think that the MLA should hear from the academic community loud and clear that this is not something that our colleges and universities support.”

Posted on January 6, 2014 .