American Studies Association sued for discrimination


I mentioned that New York attorney David Abrams filed a lawsuit against the National Lawyers Guild for discrimination, under the legal theory that an Israeli organization is considered a "person" under New York anti-discrimination laws.

He has filed a similar lawsuit against the American Studies Association on behalf of the same Israeli organization, Athenaeum Blue & White. As the lawsuit says,

In late 2013, ASA announced a boycott of Israeli organizations. Thus, because of its citizenship and origin, Plaintiff is barred from joining ASA or NYMASA; barred from sending a representative to events put on by these organizations; barred from applying for grants offered by these organizations, and barred from enjoying any other benefits offered by these organizations.
At the time the boycott resolution was enacted, ASA's president admitted that many nations, including many of Israel’s neighbors, are generally judged to have human rights records that are worse than Israel’s, or comparable, but stated, "one has to start somewhere."
In the two and a half years since that statement, ASA has not boycotted any other nation besides Israel and not even put any such other boycott up to a vote of its membership. In other words, the ASA started and finished with Israel.

Athenaeum was recently formed; has an interest in American Studies, and as part of its intended activities would like to join the ASA (and therefore NYMASA); send a representative to activities in New York; and otherwise enjoy the benefits of membership in ASA and NYMASA. 

The lawsuit only asks for $100,000 - and for the ASA to overturn its anti-Israel rules.

Why sue the ASA and not one of the other groups that proudly support BDS?

Well, one has to start somewhere.



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