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Efforts by a small number of organizations in Europe and the US to boycott Israel continue to fail as members realize there is little to no substance to the anti-Semitic claims being made.

A resolution introduced by members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) who sought to have the academic organization boycott Israeli academic institutions was rejected and failed to garner the needed support to become policy.

The resolution banning cooperation with any Israeli university and research institution was defeated in a vote of 2,423 to 2,384, a slim margin of 39 votes.

About 51 percent of AAA’s 10,000 voting-eligible members voted via email over the course of six weeks.

“This is a dramatic shift stemming from the intensive publicity work and ground work with members of the association,” Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan, who is in charge of the portfolio to combat boycotts on Israel, stated. “I welcome the Israeli and American anthropologists who worked against the decision, and the academic pro-Israeli organizations in the US that led the ground work.”

Minister Gilad Erdan

Minister Gilad Erdan. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

In November, the AAA voted to boycott Israeli institutions. The resolution, considered by more than 1,400 members attending the AAA business meeting, was not final and was put to a vote by the organization’s 10,000 members for a final decision, when it failed.

If the resolution had passed, the AAA would have been the largest academic association to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions

Despite the failure with the boycott resolution, AAA anti-Israel activists are planning a series of anti-Israel actions, including issuing statements condemning Israel’s polices.

“The consensus within the AAA remains and that is that there are serious human rights problems that exist in Israel/Palestine as a result of Israeli state policy, practices and the occupation and that AAA must take a course of action,” Alisse Waterston, AAA’s president and an anthropology professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel