BDS is defeated at the MLA

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Dear Colleagues:

Happy New Year!

Over the past few weeks we have witnessed some positive movements and wins regarding BDS. First and most noticeable, was the defeat of the BDS vote at the Modern Language Association (MLA) meeting in Philadelphia ,79 in favor and a solid 113 voted against. During the meeting we saw  friends and colleagues stand up to debunk the fallacies presented on the reality of the Israeli Palestinian dynamic. In addition, a brief video was produced by a group of Israelis opposing the boycott resolution which served as another useful tool leading up to the MLA vote.

Our colleague Gabriel Noah Brahm who attended the MLA meeting and spoke out against the vote gives a good explanation of how the vote was defeated. As Brahm writes, the anti-BDS vote effectively vindicated both academic freedom and academic responsibility, over the pseudo-academic license to indoctrinate at will. Where p.c. everywhere mau-maus its enemies (those who insist on thinking for themselves), at this year’s MLA a majority of those debating the issue refused to be shouted down into submission by those who wanted to put the organization’s imprimatur on a dishonest slander campaign dedicated to smearing Israel.

Hopefully, we will be seeing more and more of these actions taking place in other academic associations when BDS comes to the floor

In an equally positive move, we saw that Fordham University has denied an application to form a Student for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter on campus, citing as its rationale the group’s political goals highlighting its support for BDS. This of course, has been underscored by the growing  evidence linking  Hamas financiers and the leadership of the BDS movement as Bret Stephens wrote in the Wall Street Journal (Google link) that SJP “has more than 100 chapters nationwide and has been canny in pairing itself with left-wing or minority student organizations to sponsor anti-Israel events, heckle pro-Israel speakers, and agitate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions on campus.”

Finally, we know you are always looking for solid analysis of the Middle East. We would like to recommend the work of our friends and colleagues at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, in Israel. You will undoubtedly find their cutting-edge and in-depth research very useful. Sign-up for BESA Center publications, at no charge, at

As always, we welcome your feedback and article submissions.


Asaf Romirowsky, PhD

BDS is defeated at the MLA

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Asaf Romirowsky

Asaf Romirowsky PhD, is the Executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME). Romirowsky is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Professor ​[Affiliate] at the University​ of Haifa. Trained as a Middle East historian he holds a PhD in Middle East and Mediterranean Studies from King's College London, UK and has published widely on various aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict and American foreign policy in the Middle East, as well as on Israeli and Zionist history.

Romirowsky is co-author of Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief and a contributor to The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel.

Romirowsky’s publicly-engaged scholarship has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, The American Interest , The New Republic, The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Ynet and Tablet among other online and print media outlets

Read all stories by Asaf Romirowsky