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Middle East Issues





The Ideology and Rhetoric Behind the ASA Boycott


The American Studies Association's [ASA] vote to boycott Israeli universities exposes a seamy side of American academia where anti-Israel activists have siezed control of academic associations to promote their radical agendas. While opponents of the boycott were subsequently heartened by the vigorous reaction of university presidents and scholars against this attack on the free exchange of ideas, the vote, nevertheless, signals the weakening of core principles upon which universities were founded and the transformation of some disciplines into enclaves of radical group-think.

The ASA, along with several other academic associations that will soon vote on anti-Israel boycotts of their own, seek to exclude universities from a nation that ranks among the most free and vigilant in protecting intellectual freedom. Compounding the offense is that they have chosen to side with those who do not foster these freedoms.
 
The hypocrisy of the boycott advocates was evident in the manner that they conducted the campaign against Israel. There was little debate or publicity prior to the vote and the discussion that did take place excluded boycott opponents. This ensured there would be no thorough consideration of the facts. Only about a quarter of the association's membership even voted. The boycotters demonstrated that they have no problem violating the very principles that they accuse Israeli universities of violating. As David Greenberg, a professor at Rutgers University observed, "A 'Town Hall' organized by Curtis Marez, the association’s president, featured six speakers echoing each other’s agitprop likening Israel to an apartheid state."
 
It is notable that the boycott campaign garnered little support from past presidents of the association or from distinguished scholars. That is because the charges that the boycott advocates level against Israel do not stand up to serious scrutiny. Greenberg sums up the significance of the vote,
The anti-Israel activists within the American Studies Association may be patting themselves on the back, congratulating themselves on their effort to marginalize Israel. But there is reason to ask whether they, having squandered the good name of a once-proud organization, are in fact simply marginalizing themselves.
As Cary Nelson, former president of the American Association of University Professors [one of the largest academic associations] noted in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed on Jan. 9, 2014, "A truer indication of the real goal is the boycott movement's success at increasing intolerance on American campuses."
 
But few in the media or in academia seem willing to delve too deeply into who these anti-Israel academics are or assess the impact of their relentless anti-Israel activism on the academic quality of the institutions that pay their salaries, many of them tax-payer supported.
 
The arguments advanced by the boycotters rest upon the repetition of distorted history, fables and slanderous accusations. Their writings feature outdated Marxist rhetoric and a tendency to equate the Palestinians with indigenous peoples overrun by European and American expansion. It is likely many do not even realize that the Arabs arrived in Palestine as colonizers and conquerors themselves. Comparisons to the American civil rights movement or South African apartheid fail to consider the distinct differences in the origins of the conflict and that Palestinian Arabs' intended outcome is entirely different from these civil rights movements. All significant Palestinian Arab political movements steadfastly reject Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and remain committed to its violent dissolution.
 
For many radicals in academia, Israel has become the scapegoat of convenience on which they heap all the alleged sins of West: imperialism, colonialism, sexism, racism, apartheid and whatever else an offended group can dredge up. For some that is not enough. Several of the ASA boycott advocates deny that Israel is a democracy and even apply the term "totalitarian" to Israel, implicitly lumping it with other totalitarian states, like Nazi Germany. As Cary Nelson, concludes, "The fundamental goal of the boycott is not the peaceful coexistence of two states, one Jewish and one Palestinian, but rather the elimination of Israel." The academic boycott attempts to provide intellectual cover for this noxious goal.
 
 
They won't succeed in undermining Israel. Israeli intellectual achievement and the innovation it fosters is too valuable to the world. But they have already succeeded in poisoning the intellectual environment at many American universities. The real losers may be American students, especially those who take their courses.
 
An Academic Cult that Scapegoats Israel for the Alleged Sins of the West, While Giving Arab Society a Pass
 
The boycott advocates are a clique of individuals afflicted with an unremitting hostility towards the Jewish state, paired with a willful blindness toward the deplorable conditions of academic freedom in the rest of the Middle East. In order to unravel what lies behind the ASA boycott it is helpful to look at the members of the ASA's Academic and Community Caucus that helped organize the vote.

It is ironic that the Caucus featured heavy representation from Gender and Sexuality and Queer Studies departments because Israel boasts a culture uniquely tolerant and accepting of the full participation of women at all levels of society and of individuals who openly express their alternative lifestyle. In most of the Middle East, women suffer from a degraded status, many are prisoners in their homes until they are married and for homosexuals, the prospect of harsh treatment, even death, awaits those who are exposed.

But to this undeniable reality, the boycott advocates have a response. It was given by Sara Schulman in an Op-Ed in the New York Times on Nov. 23, 2011, where she dismissed Israel's tolerant society as a clever deception, what she called pinkwashing," to conceal Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

Schulman's Op-Ed portrays Palestinian society, which is notoriously homophobic and where women still suffer the occasional "honor killing," as more tolerant than Israel. After the article was published many in the Gay community were outraged. But the agenda laid out by Shulman, a BDS advocate, serves as a blueprint for the boycott campaign.

When Jesse Ghannam, host of Arab Talk, a radio show in San Francisco, asked Neferti Tadiar, the Chair of Women's Studies at Barnard College and Caucus member, why she focused on Israel as opposed to other humanitarian problems, she asserted that the situation of the Palestinians was unique in that "the urgency is such that it is something that needs to be addressed now..."

Tadiar's assertion is no more believable than the response given by ASA boycott spokesman Curtis Marez of the University of San Diego when asked why they chose to boycott Israel instead of other nations whose human rights abuses were so evident and serious. Marez stated, "we had to start somewhere."

How does one conclude that the situation in "Palestine" is more urgent than the situation in Syria, just a few miles to the north and east, where thousands are slaughtered monthly, and where the government, in 2013, suffocated the residents of an entire city neighborhood with poison gas? What about Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, or for that matter, even her native Philippines, where an Islamic insurgency wreaks havoc.

Tadiar's rhetoric about the Palestinians and Israel is detached from the reality of the Middle East. In Israel, all citizens - regardless of religion or ethnic affiliation - feel secure in criticizing their government and its national icons, even to the extent of openly questioning the right of their nation to exist. Only in Israel do those who flout societal norms of sexuality and behavior celebrate and flaunt their lifestyles without fear of retribution.

Moreover, Israel and the Palestinian administered West Bank has been an island of tranquility in a region engulfed by upheaval since 2011. Despite the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian dispute, the West Bank has experienced several years of unbroken economic growth. Even in Gaza, a much more problematic situation because it is run by an Islamic group dedicated to violent confrontation with Israel, residents have fared better than many of their brethren in the region.

While the boycotters are fixated on what they allege are Israeli denials of Palestinian rights and privileges, hundreds of thousands of Arab civilians, trapped between Islamic radicals and an Iranian grab for regional hegemony, suffer and perish. The already dire circumstances faced by women in the region threatens to get worse with the rise of Islamic radicalism. Homosexuals live in abject fear.
 
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a visit to Tadiar's sister university, Columbia in 2007, actually told a disbelieving audience "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country... I don't know who's told you we have it." That didn't stop one of the ASA Caucus members, Charlotte Karem Albrecht, from signing a letter criticizing an Iranian Studies conference; not for Iran's denial of homosexuality or its harsh treatment of gays, but for allowing an Israeli university located in the West Bank to attend.
 
For professor Tadiar, the calamities of the Arab and Muslim world fail to impinge upon her conscience sufficiently to spur action. Only Israel so inflames her moral indignation, because in her view it is "an egregious example of a state that has been consistently defying the most agreed upon principles of human rights and defying international law with impunity."
 
Supporters of the ASA vote have reacted to the condemnation that followed. One of the most illuminating letters on the ASA web site was from Caucus member Cynthia Franklin of the University of Hawaii. Unlike most of the other letters, she divulges what she views as the infractions of an Israeli university that justify a boycott. She writes,

Tel Aviv University has chosen to remain silent while the entire population of Gaza has been excluded by the Israeli government from the possibility of enrolling and studying at the university Palestinian students from Gaza have a better chance of acceptance at a university in the United States than at Tel Aviv University.

The Tel Aviv University administration restricts the freedom of speech and protest of Palestinian students by honoring the “Nakba Bill,” discriminatory legislation meant to discourage academic discussion and public commemoration of a day of mourning, on the anniversary of the establishment of Israel, for the expulsion by Zionist and Israeli forces of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and land, and the massacre of thousands more, during 1947-49.

Tel Aviv University requires potential enrollees to take psychometric exams, a combined aptitude and personality test that has been criticized as culturally biased. The university likewise administers English language proficiency entrance exams that are structurally biased as a result of Israel’s “separate-but-equal” primary and secondary education system, which prioritizes and promotes Jewish Israeli advancement while under-funding and thus under-developing Palestinian-majority schools.

Like all Israeli universities, Tel Aviv University also adheres to an Israeli law which stipulates that universities must give special treatment to student military reservists... This evidences both Tel Aviv University’s complicity in the occupation and its discriminatory practices against Palestinian students, who are not required to serve in the Israeli military. The university likewise discriminates against the small but significant number of Jewish conscientious objectors who refuse to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Tel Aviv University is participating in a settler-run archaeological dig in the “City of David” national park located in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, in violation of international law.

Tel Aviv University, like most Israeli universities, is built on the land of a Palestinian Arab habitat, in this case, Shaykh Muwannis, a large village whose inhabitants were forcibly expelled by the IDF in early 1948...

The implications of her complaints might give pause to many here in the United States. Is it discriminatory for Tel Aviv university to block entrance of students from Gaza, a foreign entity ruled by a terrorist organization, or common sense security precautions? Is the reliance on aptitude exams  a violation of human rights because someone thinks they are "culturally biased"? Are preferences to armed services veterans also a violation? Franklin may want to learn about the opportunities the GI Bill provided to Americans.
 
It is telling that these concerns spelled out by Franklin justify a boycott of Israeli institutions, while in Iran, students are slaughtered on the streets by Revolutionary Guard simply for demanding the same freedoms that Israeli students of all religions already enjoy. Yet there are no calls by the ASA Caucus to boycott Iran or any of the other countries that curtail free speech or practice discrimination.
 

 
Brief sketches of some of the Caucus members
 
As a first step to trying to understand the mindset of the ASA boycotters and others that will follow, it is important to expose what academic disciplines they cluster around and what they espouse:
 
Of the 35 people listed as members of the ASA Academic and Community Caucus no less than 11 are associated with departments of Women's, Feminist, Gender Studies, Sexuality or Queer Studies. As noted they isolate and target Israel, the one place in the region where such issues can be discussed safely and openly without fear of retribution. There are also a number of members of Ethnic and Cultural Studies departments. Several are English professors and a few are history professors. Some have backgrounds in Anthropology and the History of Consciousness, a relatively new area.
 
Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi is Associate Professor of Ethnic studies at University of San Francisco. Abdulhadi also sits on the Advisory Board of USACBI. The university hosted a conference in 2009, Ethnic Studies 40 Years Later: Race Resistance and Relevance. The conference featured numerous talks and subsequent discussion in which Israel was accused of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and theft of Palestinian land, and the "Zionist lobby media" was charged with unwarranted attacks on Palestinian political activists.

An event on November 7, 2013 sponsored by Abdulhadi's department was so infused with hostility toward Israel and Jews that the university's president, Leslie Wong felt compelled to issue a statement "There is no place at S.F. State for celebrating violence or promoting intolerance, bigotry, anti-Semitism or any other form of hate-mongering." An article, Identity Politics, the Pursuit of Social Justice, and the Rise of Campus Antisemitism:A Case Study provides more information on this event.

Professor Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the AMCHA initiative that publicized the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic components of the event, reported that the Facebook site of the organization which Rabab Abdulhadi served as senior scholar posted a statement bearing the header: "Zionists: Hands off our San Francisco State University Students!"

Sunaina Maira, a professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, is currently a visiting fellow with MADA Al-Carmel: Arab Centre for Applied Social Research in Haifa, Israel. Yet that didn't stop her from signing on to the boycott. She also writes in her biography that she is a member of South Asians for the Liberation of Falastin (that's Palestine).

In an article appearing in an internet magazine called Mzine she wrote, "the war on Gaza is a continuation of genocidal activities against the indigenous population...Over 80% of the population cannot afford a balanced meal."

The charge of genocide is a lie, as is the implication that Gazans are going hungry. In 2010, Robert Serry, UN envoy to the Middle East stated that no humanitarian crisis exists in the Gaza strip. And numerous reports, even by Palestinian authorities, observe that there are not food shortages there.
 
In the same article she irresponsibly accused former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright with proclaiming that the death of a half million Iraqi children was worth the price of U.S. national security. A review of the 60 Minutes show in which Albright allegedly made this statement reveals that it was the host, Lesley Stahl, who described the death of 500,000 Iraqi children in the context of whether America's sanctions on Saddam Hussein's Iraq were justified. Albright's answer was clumsy, but clearly she was addressing the broader question of whether U.S. sanctions were justified, not about the children. That figure is also not substantiated.
 
Neferti X. M. Tadiar, is the Chair of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College. In her interview with Jess Ghannam, Tadiar states, Israel is "a place that claims democracy... the gaps between the claims and the reality reveal the absurdity of the claims... " She denounces Israel as "a state that has been consistently defying the most agreed upon principles of human rights and defying international law with impunity... It is a blatant system of apartheid."
 
Ghannam asks her, "Are you against human rights only for Palestinians", Tadiar answers that she sees the situation in Palestine "connected to other struggles" and more broadly to the issue of "racism." But when he presses "why Palestine?" Tadiar asserts, "it is an urgent situation... the difference is... people's lives are being strangulated in many ways... the urgency is such that it is something that needs to be addressed now." She claims the "everyday violence" against Palestinians "has no limits."
 
When one contrasts the massive violence in Syria that has taken over 100,000 lives in less than three years, with the coordinated and targeted police actions against individual terrorist cells carried out by Israeli and Palestinian security forces in recent years, her distorted perspective is apparent. In "The Corrupt Academy" (Dec. 28, 2013), Rael Jean Isaac exposes Tadiar as an ideologue who spouts boilerplate Marxist rhetoric justifying the boycott because it "heralds a new era of anti-racist, anti-colonial solidarity. "
 
Nikhil Pal Singh is a professor of social and cultural analysis and a member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. In February 2012, he published his Palestine diaries. In it he observes that "the road to Ramallah is characteristic of the geography of apartheid... the ever-present reminder of a manic dispossession that never ends."
 
He then contends that eastern Jerusalem is undergoing a process of "Judaisation," via the systematic population transfer of Palestinians beyond the boundaries of what Israel now calls "Greater Jerusalem." It's a compelling story, but it is also false. The Arab population of Jerusalem has grown at a faster rate than the Jewish population of Jerusalem since 1967 and there is no "systematic" transfer of the Arab population out of Jerusalem. In fact, Israel offered the Arab residents of east Jerusalem citizenship and most refused. Singh continues,
After only a short time, it becomes avidly apparent that the settler colonial project constitutes the core logic of the Israeli state. Every type of space and resource is reserved and controlled in the interest of the privileged caste, from parking spaces to university places, to the most vital resources: land, air and water—in an effort to make Palestinian life less and less possible here.
He seems to project his own ethno-societal conflicts on to Israel. India has privileged castes, not Israel. Contrary to Singh's ruminations of Arab disappearance, the Arab population in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza has maintained one of highest rates of increase the world since 1967. The United Nations human development index ranks the standard of living of Arabs residing in the West Bank and the Gaza strip as in the middle of the pack of the world's nations.
 
He misrepresents the position of Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, stating
While, most Israeli Jewish politicians tend to avoid the rhetoric of "final solutions," prominent figures like Likud Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman have openly envisioned the large-scale forced transfer of millions of Palestinians from the land of "Greater Israel."

In reality, Liberman supports land swaps in which certain small areas of Israel inhabited by Israeli-Arabs are transfered to a newly created Palestinian state in exchange for Jewish settlements in the West Bank being incorporated into Israel.

Bill Mullen, a Purdue University professor of English wrote on 27 January, 2012 on the internet site, Socialistworker.org that Israel's colonization of Palestine is a de facto totalitarianism meant to strangle decades of resistance by an entire people. But it has not succeeded. He demanded:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

Mullen doesn't define what he means by "Arab lands", or whether that includes all of Israel. But in the article he states, "Tel Aviv University sits in part on land belonging to Sheikh Muwannis, a Palestinian village whose residents were expelled by Jewish militias or fled in fear in March 1948."

His third demand requiring Israel to allow the descendants of Arabs who left what is now Israel be allowed to resettle is widely recognized as an implicit attempt to undermine the stability and integrity of the Jewish state.

Mullen possesses an active imagination that leads him to make a bizarre charge that "Technion is Israel's leader in "applied science" research and the development of killing machines like the unmanned armored tanks used in Israel's 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead that massacred more than 1,400 Gazans."

Putting Mullen's science fiction aspirations aside, Israel's tanks are upgraded models of its Merkava battle tank,they are manned by crews of 4 to 5, similar to tanks in every modern army. Most of the Palestinian deaths in Operation Cast Lead resulted from air strikes. The majority of those killed were Hamas or affiliated fighters as has been repeatedly demonstrated by reviews of published lists of the casualties.

Mullen pronounces Israel, "Guilty" because

Given the opportunity, the large majority of Israeli academics have shown little concern for supporting academic freedom for Palestinians. As Haim Bresheeth and Sherna Berger Gluck have pointed out, a few months before the Gaza incursion by the Israeli Army in December 2008, a petition for academic freedom in the occupied territories was circulated to more than 10,000 Israeli academics. The petition, requesting that the Israeli government allow Palestinians the same freedom enjoyed by Israeli academics, was signed by only 407 Israeli academics — 4 percent of the total.

Mullen implies that unless an Israeli academic agrees to sign on to a statement condemning his state for supposedly curtailing Palestinian academic freedom, he is the legitimate target of a boycott. Some of Mullen's colleagues label Israel "totalitarian." Mullen should look in the mirror to see what a real "totalitarian" looks like. His methodology recalls the methods employed in the Soviet Union's show trials which required the accused to sign a statement confessing to the crime they were told they committed. If they refused they were shot. If they confessed they were tried, convicted, then shot. Similarly, Israeli academics are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Mallini Schueller, University of Florida and David Lloyd of University of California, Riverside, both professors of English published in the Journal of Academic Freedom an article titled, "The Israeli State of Exception and the Case for Academic Boycott." In their article they write,

This is not to say that either South Africa was or that Israel is a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word: apartheid systems function precisely by claiming democratic rights for only a part of their population, and systematically denying those rights to the subordinated remainder.

Their argument ignores critical details. Israel's Arab population possesses full civic rights, but is not required to serve in the army. If they are referring to the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza, these are not citizens of Israel, so they do not possess the same rights and privileges.

They continue to argue that
Indeed, it is because Israel is constantly distinguished or singled out from other nations, particularly here in the United States, that a boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign is justified. US aid underwrites Israel's commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity

Indeed, Israel has violated more UN resolutions than any other state in the world, including twenty-eight Security Council resolutions ... Israel is singled out most clearly by being the only country that cannot be criticized openly in the United States and on university campuses without serious repercussions.

The United Nations is dominated by a 57 member Muslim bloc of countries and other mainly non-democratic nations aligned with it that vote as a bloc. They condemn Israel incessantly because most do not recognize its right to exist. So essentially the Schueller-Lloyd argument boils down to this: because Israel is repeatedly condemned by a bloc of states that are inimically hostile to it, it is appropriate to join in on this condemnation.
 
When asked why they chose to boycott Israel and not other countries with far more egregious violations of human rights, Schueller responded:

I will repeat that the boycott of Israeli universities is in response to over a hundred Palestinian civil society organizations that have asked for the boycott in response to the violence of settler colonialism and the denial of academic and other freedoms to Palestinians. When there is a similar request from other civil society organizations in a country that is the recipient of major US funds, and when a boycott has a reasonable chance of having an effect on a government, such boycotts will not be ruled out.

So according to this logic, the merits of the alleged human rights violation do not matter, only how loud and often you shout. Following the logic to its conclusion, the regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge would not warrant a boycott because no request came from any civil society inside Cambodia. That would have been most difficult during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror, since any members of civil societies inside Cambodia would be dead.
 
Lloyd claims that the boycott "targets institutions on the basis of what they do not what they are: it does not target them because they are Jewish or Israeli, but because of their complicity in Israel's systemic and ongoing violations of human rights and international law." He doesn't spell out what exactly it is that he thinks Israeli academic institutions do that violates human rights and international law. His position is hypocritical. Israeli institutions tolerate, even encourage, dissent, while such activities are proscribed in most Arab universities. Yet he chooses only to boycott Israel.

Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary Nash endowed professor of history at UCLA. He describes his most recent work on Grace Halsell, a granddaughter of Confederate slave owners who chemically darkened her skin to live as a black woman for a year. He then describes she traveled to Israel with Jerry Falwell's "Moral Majority" and wrote a scathing critique of the Christian Right's uncritical support of Israel and what she regarded as the brutal treatment of Palestinians and Arab Jews. According to Nash, "As a result of her sharply critical stance against Israel, her jobs, lucrative book contracts, and other opportunities began to disappear."

In a book titled African Americans and Jews in the Twentieth Century: Studies in Convergence and Conflict. Kelley reveals some of his thinking on Jewish success in America. Despite the disproportionate role Jews played in the American civil rights movement, he writes, that for Jews "well-being and continued upward mobility often depended on their willingness to distance themselves from blacks."

David Naguib Pellow who holds the Don Martindale Endowed Chair University of Minnesota deals with Environmental Justice Studies; Racial and Ethnic Inequality; Transnational Social Movements" among other topics. He gained some publicity when a student he mentored, Scott DeMuth, was charged with conspiracy and terrorism related to participation to the activities of the Animal Liberation Front. Pellow wrote glowingly of DeMuth.

Curtis Marez is an associate professor of Ethnic studies at UC San Diego and is the ASA's outgoing president. He specializes in the "history of race and technology; film, television, and new media; and the political economy of culture." Marez was a participant in a conference entitled: "Between Life and Death: Necropolitics in the Era of Late Capitalism."
 
Alex Lubin writes "Academic freedom means very little when it takes place in a context of segregation and apartheid." But would Lubin concede it still beats no academic freedom at all, which is what exists in many nations.
 
Has Lubin ever supported the boycott of any nation that denies academic freedom? He also claims that "the boycott targets Israeli State institutions that violate Palestinian academic freedom." It would be helpful if he would provide actual evidence of this and also contrast the situation with universities in other Middle East countries which he chooses not to boycott.
 
Charlotte Karem Albrecht as noted above, received her PhD in Feminist studies. She signed an ironic 2010 letter protesting the inclusion of an Israeli university located in the West Bank in a conference hosted by Iranian Studies group.
 
Rachel Afi Quinn is a professor at the University of Houston in the department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [USACBI].

Gina Velasco is a professor at Keene state in Women's and Gender Studies, previously in Anthropology department at Bryn Mawr.

Heather Turcotte, an assistant professor of Gender and Sexuality studies at the University of Connecticut, who studies institutionalized sexual violence recently came under fire for her involvement in a lawsuit alleging sexual assaults were ignored by the university's president and chief of campus police, both of whom are women.
 
Judy Rohrer, also in Feminist studies, left the University of Connecticut under disciplinary threat related to her role in this same lawsuit.

Aren Z. Aizura is a member of the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and Institute for Research on Gender at Rutgers University . His research focuses on "how biopolitical technologies of race, gender, transnationality, medicalization and political economy shape and are shaped by transgender and queer bodies."

Evelyn Al Sultany is an associate professor in the department of American Cu lture. She focuses on Arab Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging.

Jordana Rosenberg of the University of Massachusetts is an English professor, who coauthored a piece, titled, "Queerness, norms, utopia" in GLQ, a Journal of Lesbian and Gay studies. Her piece was replete with Marxist rhetoric.

Chandan Reddy, a professor at the University of Washington specializes in "Critical Race Theory, Sexuality and Queer Studies, Globalization Studies, and Asian American Cultural Studies."

Macarena Gomez-Barris is an Associate Professor of American Studies Ethnicity and Sociology at the University of Southern California. She lists her interests as a focus on memory, culture, and power.

Craig Willse, an assistant professor of Cultural Studies at George Mason University boasts that he organizes anti-Israel activities including a group called GMU Students Against Israeli Apartheid. He unsuccessfully harrassed Israeli businesswoman Shari Arrison in her visit to the university in 2013.
 
Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘˘pua is an associate professor of Indigenous and Hawaiian politics. In common with several members of the ASA committee, she received her PhD in the History of Consciousness.
 
J Kehaulani Kauanui is an associate professor of American Studies and Anthropology at Wesleyan University. Anthropology is another academic discipline where anti-Israel activist congregate. She was introduced on an internet site "Struggle" as "an activist on Hawaiin, Palestinian and American indian rights."

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