This week, under the guise of seeking a just peace for all, the American Studies Association voted to join the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement boycotting Israel’s academic institutions, faculty, students, and research. How can this organization preach peace while also severing ties with one of the key parties in that very peace process?
The Israel-Palestine conflict cannot be a zero sum game. Seekers of a true and lasting peace are cognizant of this and have constructively directed their efforts, working hard toward ensuring that both the Palestinians and the Israelis are afforded maximum opportunity to succeed – academically and economically.
Canadians are natural peacekeepers and appreciate the complexity of a peace process. Canadians understand that the most effective path forward in any peace process is to develop – not suppress – the positive elements of each party sitting around the negotiating table. Weakening Israel’s academic infrastructure therefore flies in the face of an honest peace process. The ASA’s stance and the BDS movement undermine the peace process.
Only when children on both sides are given full potential for growth, in security, will a true, lasting peace be on the horizon. Like Canada, agencies and organizations should all work to strengthen the two sides, not weaken them.