A Few Takeaways from the Controversy Surrounding the ASA Resolution


The ASA resolution denouncing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has provoked a great deal of discussion. I think that it may be beneficial to delineate some of the conclusions that might be drawn from that discussion.

Some of the discussion has been very beneficial because it is focusing attention in a much-needed way on the complexities of academic freedom.

On the other hand, much of the discussion is disadvantageous to advocates of academic freedom because the impetus for the discussion is one of the most longstanding and highly charged political issues of the last century. Although it is true that only such a high-profile issue might have provoked such extensive discussion, positions on that issue are coloring much of the discussion and distorting much of the understanding of what the assertion and the protection of academic freedom involves.

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