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UC Irvine 'Strongly Opposes' Academic Boycott of Israel

UC Irvine joins other prominent universities in condemning an academic boycott of Israel endorsed by an association representing professors of American history and culture.

UCI campus. Photo courtesy UCI.
UCI campus. Photo courtesy UCI.
UC Irvine said it "strongly opposes" a boycott of Israeli universities that was endorsed by the American Studies Association.

The association, the oldest and largest academic group devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, voted Dec. 4 to participate in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

"UC Irvine strongly opposes any boycott of academic institutions. While we support the right to free expression, we believe the ASA resolution interferes with academic freedom," the university said in a statement released just before the Christmas holiday.

The university said a boycott "narrows our world view and stifles the intellectual exchange that is central to our mission."

Earlier in December, after the ASA voted, UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake signed a statement by the Association of American Universities opposing the boycott. This organization represents 62 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada.

Many prominent university presidents and academic leaders have issued condemnations of the boycott over the past two weeks.


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