Subsequently, the ASA has faced a torrent of criticism from the academic community and beyond.Among the critics are prominent academic associations, many university presidents, and a group of students who won awards from the ASA.Like most campus-related BDS “victories,” this one will have no impact on Israel and do nothing to help the Palestinians, many of whom now benefit from attending Israeli universities and from collaboration between colleges in the West Bank and Israel.
Another fifty institutions specifically denounced the ASA’s decision.
Drew Faust, President of Harvard University, said, “the recent resolution of the ASA proposing to boycott Israeli universities represents a direct threat to [academic freedoms and values], ideals which universities and scholarly associations should be dedicated to defend.” Individual universities were not the only ones to denounce the ASA boycott.
The American Council on Education (representing 1,700 academic institutions), the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (216 institutions), the Association of American Universities (62 institutions) and the American Association of University Professors (48,000 members) criticized the ASA vote.
Moreover, hundreds of American scholars enjoy fruitful collaboration with Israeli colleageues each year.
The call for a boycott was especially ironic given that just a few weeks earlier Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, told South African journalists, “We do not ask anyone to boycott Israel itself.…We have relations with Israel, we have mutual recognition of Israel.” The principal impact of the ASA action was to give the association a black eye and associate it with other zealots who believe academic freedom does not apply to research or cooperation with Israel.
Though it may have come as a shock to the ASA, the backlash did not surprise anyone knowledgeable about Israel or committed to the free exchange of ideas.Within a month more than 100 universities rejected the idea of boycotting Israel.“The Iran nuclear deal is working as expected.” (July 28) “Iran has moderated it's hostility and should be an ally in the fight against ISIS.” (July 15) “Palestinians oppose terrorism.” (July 8) “Israel is illegally demolishing Palestinian homes built with EU funds.” (June 8) “American policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be evenhanded.”(June 3) “Israel's rejection of the French peace initiative proves it does not want peace.” (May 27) “Convicted Palestinian terrorists do not receive payments from the Palestinian Authority.” (May 6) “Muslim terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.” (April 29) “The Palestinians have aboriginal rights to Palestine.” (April 7) “Human rights activists care deeply about the Palestinian people.” (March 31) “The United States has the formula to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” (March 18) “Hezbollah is only a threat to Syria.” (March 10) “The media is accurately portraying the current wave of violence against Israelis.” (February 26) “The Palestinians are now ready for peace talks.” (February 19) “The Palestinian Authority prevents and condemns terrorism.” (February 12) “Labeling products manufactured in West Bank settlements promotes peace.” (February 5) “Israel discriminates against it's Arab citizens.” (January 29) “Palestinians would never do anything to help Israeli settlements.” (January 22) “Palestinian workers suffer under Israeli rule.” (December 9) “Mahmoud Abbas never turned down a peace offer from Israel.” (December 1) “The terrorist atrocities in Paris are completely different from the violence by Palestinians against Israelis.” (November 17) “Israel is framing Palestinians for murder to justify shooting them and then leaving the wounded to die.” (November 10) “Prime Minister Netanyahu has backtracked on Prime Minister Rabin's positions regarding peace with the Palestinians.” (November 2) “Israel boycotts Palestinian academics.” (October 27) “The Western Wall is a part of Al-Aqsa Mosque.” (October 20) “Iran's missile research does not violate UN sanctions or the nuclear agreement.” (October 14) “Muslims revere the Al-Aqsa Mosque and treat it with the respect it deserves.” (October 7) “Israel remains the only Middle East country with a separation fence.” (September 9) “Summer is a time for Palestinian children to enjoy camp like Israelis and Americans.” (September 2) “There are no terrorist attacks on Israel originating from the West Bank anymore.” (August 26) “The Israeli government wants to destroy the al-Asqa mosque.” (August 19) “Israel is exaggerating the threat of a radical Islamic takeover of the West Bank to avoid territorial compromise.” (July 7) “The Iran deal reported in the media is the best the West can get.” (July 1) “Israel was guilty of war crimes during the 2014 Gaza War.” (June 24) “The IDF commits attrocities because former soldiers from 'Breaking the Silence' say so.” (June 17) “Jerusalem is not Israel's capital.” (June 10) “Abbas is finally prepared to negotiate with Israel.” (May 26) “The Pope considers Mahmoud Abbas an 'angel of peace'.” (May 19) “Myths & Facts Regarding the 'Framework Deal' With Iran.” (April 9) “Palestinian reconciliation makes the Palestinian Authority a partner for peace.” (April 1) “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes the creation of a Palestinian state.” (March 25) “Israeli Arabs have been denied political representation in the Knesset.” (March 18) “Israel systematically violated the laws of war during Operation Protective Edge.” (March 11) “Israel opened dams to flood Gaza.” (March 4) “Reported negotiations with Iran will make the Middle East safer.” (February 18) “The Palestinian public opposes terrorism and supports negotiations with Israel.” (February 11) “Palestinians all support asking the UN to recognize Palestine.” (February 4) “A Palestinian state will not be part of the Islamic State's caliphate.” (January 27) “Muslims are encouraged to visit Israel and meet Israelis.” (January 20) “The International Criminal Court will inevitably indict Israelis for war crimes in Gaza.” (January 13) “The Palestinian application to join the International Criminal Court is a response to Israels failure to negotiate peace.” (January 6) “Following Operation Protective Edge Hamas abandoned its goal of destroying Israel.” (December 16) “European recognition of 'Palestine' will advance the peace process.” (November 19) “Muslims recognize the Temple Mount as sacrosanct to Muslims and Jews.” (November 12) “Israel denies medical treatment to its enemies.” (November 5) “Palestinians support the boycott and divestment movements against Israel.” (October 29) “Iran has moderated its hostility and should be an ally in the fight against ISIS.” (October 14) “All nations have the same policy about avoiding civilian casualties in war.” (October 6) “The Palestinian's Peace Negotiator wants peace.” (October 1) “The Palestinian Authority believes in a secular Palestinian state.” (September 24) “UN peacekeepers can be relied upon to keep the peace between Israel and its neighbors.” (September 17) “Iran is an ally in the fight against the Muslim extremist group ISIS.” (September 8) “Israel was responsible for the 2014 war with Hamas.” (September 3) “Israel should now accept the Arab Peace Initiative.” (August 20) “Israel must end its illegal blockade of Gaza to end the war with Hamas.” (August 13) “There are no terrorist attacks on Israel originating from the West Bank anymore.” (August 6) “UNRWA is a humanitarian organization that remains neutral in the conflict.” (July 31) “Journalists are never deceived by Palestinian propaganda.” (July 22) “Hamas never endangers Palestinian civilians; it is the Israelis who target them.” (July 22) “Hamas is firing rockets at Israel to end the 'occupation.'” (July 16) “Israel is indiscriminately attacking Palestinian targets in Gaza.” (July 10) “Summer camp for Palestinians in Gaza is a fun escape for children like American camps.” (June 17) “Human rights organizations use reliable information in reports criticizing Israel.” (June 4) “Human rights organizations present unbiased reports on Israel.” (May 15) “Mosques are sacrosanct and never used by terrorists.” (May 7) “Hamas-Fatah reconciliation paves the way to peace negotiations with Israel.” (April 29) “Jonathan Pollard's conviction for espionage proved that Israel works against American interests.” (April 2) “The Arab world and Palestinians have changed since the three ‘noes’ of 1967.” (March 26) “The Palestinians have recognized Israel as the state of the Jewish people.”(March 19) “If Israel makes peace with the Palestinians the other Arab states will normalize ties with Israel.” (March 12) “The Palestinian Authority no longer engages in terrorism against Israel.” (February 19) “Jews will be welcome in a future Palestinian state.” (February 5) “Arab militaries do everything possible to protect civilians in war zones.” (January 28) “Academic boycotts of Israel are popular in America.” (January 9) In December 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) passed a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel and specifically demanding that American universities end all collaboration with Israeli institutions.The ASA itself, and its members, were not required to comply with the resolution; nevertheless, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement crowed about the “victory” and expect it to set a precedent for other academic institutions to follow suit.So far, only the tiny Native American Studies Association has done so, but the ASA has paid a high price in the court of public opinion and academia for its decision.Of the ASA’s total membership of 5,000, 826 members (17 percent) voted for the resolution.