Stop National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Silencing
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The National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) recently made a historic mistake -- passing a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution against Israel, which includes the boycott of Israeli academics. Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel voices in the feminist movement have been silenced by this resolution. The NWSA must revoke its discriminatory BDS resolution that excludes marginalized groups from academia.
The systematic silencing of oppressed groups in academia is nothing new; we must act to stop such discrimination. Let's not forget when Black women were silenced in academia because White men were in charge of deciding who has access to professional positions and who is able to be published. Because of this academic exclusion, Black women’s voices have not received the same amount of attention within the feminist movement as White women have. Just as we have resisted academia's exclusion of Black women on the basis of race and gender, we must protest the NWSA's exclusion of Jewish and Israeli women on the basis of religion and nationality.
The NWSA's resolution discourages students and professors alike from engaging in peaceful dialogue on any topic related to their lived experiences and struggles as Jewish and/or Israeli women. Dr. Janet Freedman, a Jewish, pro-Israel feminist and member of the NWSA has expressed her deep concern over the BDS resolution. She explains that “The voices of Jews and others whose positions are rooted in the right of Israel to exist as a state have been silenced."
Fearing harassment from their colleagues, numerous members of the NWSA were afraid to vote against the resolution. A mere 33% of NWSA members voted on the BDS resolution, many not even taking the time to read the discriminatory proposal. "Several people told me it would be damaging to their careers to openly express opposition to the resolution," Dr. Freedman stated.
Academia is one of the main outlets for progressivism, and cutting off Jewish and Israeli feminists from this institution of knowledge is highly counterproductive to achieving social justice. This is not a resolution we should expect from a feminist organization boasting its openness to engaging in “difficult dialogue.”
This is not academic freedom. This not freedom of speech. This is silencing.
It is time for the NWSA to end the silencing of Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel feminists by revoking its discriminatory BDS resolution. Please sign this petition demanding that the NWSA uphold its commitment to academic inclusion.
Please contact Feminists.For.Israel@gmail.com with any questions or ideas to help promote this campaign.
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