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US scholars' group backs call for academic boycott of Israel

Published on Dec 17, 2013 6:00 AM
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WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - An association of American scholars has voted for an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities in protest against Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, the group said on Monday.

Two-thirds of the 1,252 members of the American Studies Association who voted approved a boycott resolution, which stems from a broader campaign to isolate Israel that has made little headway in the United States but has gained some traction in Europe.

The group, which is devoted to the study of American culture and history and has about 5,000 members, put the controversial issue to an online vote that concluded on Sunday.

It became the largest United States (US) academic group to back an anti-Israel boycott, a movement that Israel and its supporters say unfairly singles out the Jewish state. The vote, however, is mostly symbolic since the group has no power to compel members or any US institution to abide by it.

 
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