The convention will also host several panels during which the potential boycott will be discussed.
It is notable that, while the MLA continues their focus on Israel, the organization has turned a blind eye to countries that consistently top the list of human rights violators.
MLA Members for Justice in Palestine, a group established in 2014 within the MLA Commons, proposed a resolution titled Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions to the Organizing Committee of the Delegate Assembly for consideration at its 2015. At the time, it was decided that the vote would be postponed until the 2017 MLA Convention to allow for further debate and discussion of the issue.
The 24,000 member organization, comprised of faculty from the fields of English and other non-classical languages, will debate (again) whether or not to boycott their Israeli colleagues, and would extend to the Academy of the Hebrew Language.
We call on all supporters of Israel to ask the MLA to vote against the resolution.
The only path toward coexistence in this region is through direct cooperation rather than separation; and the academic boycott of Israel will hinder the prospects for peace.
Institutions of higher education serve as one of the few forums in Israel through which Jews and Arabs are able to interact directly, express their views in an uninhibited environment, and think critically together. A boycott of these institutions will not impact Israel’s political leadership, and is simply designed to delegitimize Israel in the general public.
So we ask, why would the MLA want to punish cooperation?
We call you to visit the MLA Facebook page, and ask them directly why they seek to boycott Israel. Paste this video (http://bit.ly/2hOW9HT ) on their Facebook page.
The following is a list of the sessions on the boycott of Israeli academic institutions:
53. “Association Presidents’ Perspectives on Boycott”
Thursday, 5 January, 1:45-3:00 p.m., Franklin 8, Philadelphia Marriott
116. Town Hall Meeting for MLA Members
Thursday, 5 January, 5:15–7:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salon E, Philadelphia Marriott
245. Open Hearing on Resolutions
Friday, 6 January, 10:15–11:30a.m., Grand Ballroom Salon D, Philadelphia Marriott
277.Open Hearing of the MLA Delegate Assembly
Friday, 6 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salon D, Philadelphia Marriott
510. MLA Delegate Assembly
Saturday, 7 January, 11:00 a.m., Grand Ballroom Salon GH, Philadelphia Marriott