In response to the recent decision by the American Studies Association (ASA) to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, State Rep. Brendan Boyle releases the following statement:
“As a Pennsylvania state Representative and Drexel University professor I am disappointed and shocked at the tone-deaf decision by the American Studies Association to endorse and promote a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Israel’s institutions of learning have produced some of the best and most innovative technological contributions to our modern world in the few decades since its founding. Academic boycotts serve no purpose beyond stifling constructive discourse in a university setting designed to promote such discussions. An academic boycott of Israelis and their ideas would represent a misguided attempt to punish Israel, while succeeding only in contradicting the American Studies Association’s own 2011 resolution on Free Speech which stated that “the university must remain a place where ideas are freely expressed and openly exchanged.”
While a boycott of specific professors for espousing lies – such as Holocaust deniers who continue to spread misinformation under the guise of academic discourse – is certainly understandable, I stand opposed to any blanket boycott, and call on the ASA to end its boycott of Israeli academic institutions and apologize for its ill-advised attempts to stifle academic discourse in American universities.”
Brendan F. Boyle is the State Representative for the 170th legislative district in Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County. He was elected in 2008 and is currently serving his 3rd term in office. Brendan is on the board of the Holocaust Awareness Museum at the Klein Jewish Community Center. In 2012, Brendan introduced the Holocaust Education Mandate, which would require the teaching of the Holocaust and other instances of genocide in all Pennsylvania public schools. In March he visited Israel and met with elected officials and public servants as part of the PA State Legislators Mission to Israel.