Anti-Israel demonstrators. (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
Anti-Israel demonstrators

Lawsuit reveals: BDS led a covert campaign to take over the American Studies Association.  

BDS led a covert campaign to take over the American Studies Association and use it as a tool to bash Israel, a public interest lawsuit revealed. Newly revealed documents presented by the Louis D.Brandeis Center (LDB) for Human Rights Under Law proves that BDS attempted the action while trying to disguise its political agenda.

BDS activists were forced to reveal their secret agenda during the course of anti-boycott litigation brought against the American Studies Association (ASA) by Professors Simon Bronner, Michael Rockland, Michael Barton, and Charles Kupfer in 2016 .

The professors’ success set the stage for the dramatic new revelations. According to Jerome Marcus, the lead counsel for the plaintiffs, “The evidence shows that members of the pro-BDS ‘US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [USACBI],’ tried to take over the ASA and similar associations.”  BDS leaders named in the suit include Sunaina Maira, Neferti Tadiar, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Jasbir Puar, and Steven Salaita.

‘Illegal, Hostile Takeover’

Attorney Jennifer Gross said that  evidence points to an attempted illegal, hostile takeover of a non-profit, academic association by leaders of an anti-Israel group. According to Gross, “Through a series of misrepresentations and breaches of duty, USACBI activists obtained positions of trust in the ASA, and then abused those positions in order to capture and exploit the assets of the ASA to advance the agenda of the BDS movement.”

USACBI is an anti-Israel political activist group that seeks to de-legitimize the State of Israel in the world community. It bans any academic involvement with Israeli universities, including intellectual discourse, collaboration on research, and even study abroad programs. Newly revealed emails demonstrate how USACBI activists took over the ASA in order to use the academic association as a tool for advancing their anti-Israel political agenda. The lawsuit also reveals that BDS activists plotted the ASA takeover secretly, because most scholars opposed any form of academic boycott, and many considered the USACBI’s anti-Israel boycott to be anti-Semitic.

The person who initiated the plot was revealed to be BDS activist Jasbir Puar, who is notorious for his bogus claims that Israel harvests organs of Palestinians that it uses for scientific research.

Email Trail Shows Deception

Explicit emails between Puar and other defendants show how Puar promoted the USACBI agenda by packing the ASA leadership with BDS advocates.

The emails also reveal that the BDS candidates for ASA leadership plotted not to reveal their BDS agenda to ASA members. The one candidate who disagreed was defeated in the council election.

Once elected, the BDS frontmen manipulated ASA procedures to suppress voting for the boycott resolution by ASA members who disagreed with them.

“The email paper trails reveal nothing less than a focused campaign to capture a society of academics with no relationship to Israel, its Arab neighbors, or the Arab/Israeli conflict,” added Aviva Vogelstein, the Brandeis Center’s Director of Legal Initiatives.  “The ASA’s boycott campaign was conducted by activists who are focused on only one thing: using organizations of scholars – including but not limited to the ASA – and their resources, including goodwill, to attack Israel.”

The president of New York University (NYU) assailed the BDS movement, slamming the global initiative in a recent interview as “an affront to academic freedom.”

By: United with Israel Staff