In closing my first AN President’s column, I declared AAA a safe, accessible and shared space that welcomes anthropologists to come together to discuss, deliberate, agree, disagree, and agree to disagree on some of today’s most important and challenging issues. I wished for members to fully engage AAA. Now I write with ways to do so—right now and upcoming this April.
Please read the Report!
The Report is produced by The Task Force on AAA Engagement on Israel-Palestine, which was formed in August 2014 to help the Executive Board consider the nature and extent to which AAA might contribute as an Association to address the issues raised by the Israel/Palestine conflict. The leadership is deliberating a set of actions in accordance with the principles and the list of possible Association actions outlined in the Report.
The principles (pp. 75-77), abbreviated here, are fleshed out in the report: the Association’s commitments to human rights, academic freedom, to advocate on behalf of minorities, disadvantaged groups, and indigenous groups, to the peoples whom anthropologist’s study, the Association’s critical awareness of American complicity, our fiduciary obligation to the Association, obligation to democratic practice within the Association, and awareness of the Association’s leverage.
The possible forms of engagement (pp. 78-83), abbreviated here, are also fleshed out in the report: No Action; Censure; Letter to the US government; Letter Writing; Apply pressure on archaeological issues; Active resource support for Palestinians; Economic boycott; Academic boycott [to be decided upon by the membership]; Targeted boycott of individual faculty and institutions.
I invite you to ask questions, express concerns and get information on this issue from each other and from the Association in the comments sections on this AAA blog spot or on the Anthropology News website. I also ask you to please read the report in its entirety and check out “Additional Information and Resources” located at the bottom of the AAA Task Force webpage.
We will continue to provide you with relevant information as the discussion moves forward. Throughout, we will maintain our proud tradition of engaging in well-informed and respectful conversation.
Please Vote! Spring elections are April 15 – May 31
The Association reaches decisions on how to fulfill its commitments through a transparent democratic process.
AAA members attending the 2015 Annual Business Meeting voted to place a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions on the organization’s spring 2016 election ballot. There were approximately 1,800 attendees at the business meeting; among these were an estimated 1,400 AAA members. Of that number, 1,040 members voted for and 136 members voted against placing the resolution before the membership for a vote. The resolution will be decided when it is voted upon by the association’s full membership.
It is very important that the election results are representative of the entire membership. I expect a big turnout when voting opens on April 15—just three months from now.
So please read, discuss, and vote!