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State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams Reacts to American Studies Association’s Boycott of Israel
PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 6, 2014 – State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams has drafted a resolution addressing a controversial move by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli scholarship. He offered the following comments:
“I’ve been greatly disappointed by recent actions taken by people lauded as ‘scholars,’ and particularly offended by them as someone who fights for equal justice for all. The only glimmers of hope I’ve seen in this debacle are the rigorous and principled retorts and rebukes of the ASA boycott by academic leaders in our area, across Pennsylvania and across the country.
“The rationale offered for this boycott is flimsy at best; intellectually dishonest at worst, and seems to indicate an encroaching anti-Semitic sentiment that was shameful a century ago, but even more so as we enter 2014. Intolerance will not lead to acceptance or understanding. An exchange of ideas, even conflicting ones, will bring us closer to that desired outcome, which once was the goal of higher education. Let’s hope it will be again.”
The resolution has been filed as SR 279 and will be taken up by the Pennsylvania State Senate when the legislative session resumes Tuesday, Jan. 7.