February 20, 2017

MLA to Vote to Boycott Israeli Universities; CCS Opposes

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is set to vote on a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.  CCS strongly opposes any academic boycotts.  Such an action closes movement in the direction of tolerance,  investigative thought and the promotion of new ideas.  CCS urges the participants at the Delegate Assembly to oppose such an action and to vote against such a boycott, in Israel and anywhere else that such an idea would be considered.

January 5, 2017

Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah
Modern Language Association
85 Broad Street, Suite #500
New York, NY 10004

Dear President Appiah:

The Committee of Concerned Scientists (“CCS”) is an organization of scientists, engineers and scholars dedicated to protecting the human rights and scientific freedom of colleagues around the world.

CCS has learned that the Delegate Assembly of the Modern Language Association (“MLA”) is set to vote on the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

CCS strongly opposes academic boycotts. Moreover, in the Middle East, a vast region marred by intolerance and human-rights violations, Israeli universities represent bastions of tolerance and liberal thought.

CCS appeals to the MLA’s membership to vote against a boycott that only does violence to the free flow of ideas.


Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer

Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists

Copy to:

Diana Taylor, President-Elect