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Brandeis University severs Middle East Studies Association over its relation with BDS

USA (The Inside Palestine)- Brandeis joins several other universities, including Florida State University and University of Arizona, in disassociating itself from MESA over its debate over the BDS movement.

BDS “upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity”, according to the group’s website, and calls for a peaceful boycott of Israel in part due to its occupation of the West Bank.

It says that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories constitutes “apartheid” and that Palestinian academic freedoms are curtailed by Israeli oppression.

MESA’s vote, which took place between 31 January through 22 March, saw a resounding 768 votes for and 167 against the resolution.

“Our members have cast a clear vote to answer the call for solidarity from Palestinian scholars and students experiencing violations of their right to education and other human rights,” said MESA President Eve Troutt Powell in a statement on the association’s website.

“MESA’s Board will work to honour the will of its members and ensure that the call for an academic boycott is upheld without undermining our commitment to the free exchange of ideas and scholarship,” the statement read.

The resolution, which goes into the association’s history of its positions on the BDS movement, says it will not target individuals but instead focus on Israeli institutions.

Source: The New Arab

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