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Leading Native American Group Joins Academic Boycott of IsraelTim King Press TV
The council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) declares its support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
(SALEM) - Years of conflict have greatly impacted the ability of Palestinians to receive an education. This critical issue has now prompted one of America's leading Native American group's to join the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, says the decision came after much discussion. In fact they wrote their own declaration of support, rather than simply adding their name to the existing declaration.
Chadwick Allen, 2013-2014 NAISA President, says an NAISA member initially brought the petition to the attention of NAISA Council. "After extensive deliberation on the merits of the petition, the NAISA Council decided by unanimous vote to encourage members of NAISA and all who support its mission to honor the boycott."
It is no secret that many Native Americans find a distinct parallel between their own history and that of the Palestinians, who have lived under Israeli occupation since the late 1940's.
In Palestine, students who attempt to reach Lebanon to file scholarship paperwork have been shot and killed.
Regarding NAISA's decision to join the Boycott, Inside Higher Ed touched on the critical aspect of Israeli involvement, discussing how, "Academic boycotts have been deeply controversial: opponents argue that boycotts in general represent a violation of academic freedom, while they say that boycotts against Israel in particular are discriminatory in singling out one nation for criticism." 5
In their declaration, NAISA clearly confirms their understanding that everyone is not on the same page when it comes to Israel and Palestine, and explains they are committed to the robust intellectual and ethical engagement of difficult and often highly charged issues of land, identity, and belonging. "Our members will have varying opinions on the issue of the boycott, and we encourage generous dialogue that affirms respectful disagreement as a vital scholarly principle. We reject shaming or personal attacks as counter to humane understanding and the greater goals of justice, peace, and decolonization."
Edward Said, the world-renowned scholar, writer and critic, wrote after visiting Jerusalem and the West Bank, that Israel's violence strengthened Palestinian determination. "Palestine and Palestinians remain, despite Israel's concerted efforts from the beginning either to get rid of them or to circumscribe them so much as to make them ineffective," Said wrote in the English-language Al-Ahram Weekly, published in Cairo6.
NAISA's President Chadwick Allen, explains that the NAISA Council's Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is an expression of the group's dedication to free academic inquiry about, with, and by Indigenous communities.
The declaration states:
"The NAISA Council protests the infringement of the academic freedom of Indigenous Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the Occupied Territories and Israel who are denied fundamental freedoms of movement, expression, and assembly, which we uphold...
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