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    Olympia BDS supports the American Studies Association’s BDS vote

    OlympiaBDS supports the American Studies Association (ASA), “the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the
    interdisciplinary study of American culture and history” (www.theasa.net), that has recently adopted the academic boycott of Israel. The ASA has received significant negative pushback from detractors of BDS, and so we pass along this edited action statement from the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel to all our supporters. Additional links and resources are described at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s ASA action page here.

    “In an act of international solidarity, in line with its historic mission to advance social justice, the American Studies Association (ASA) announced on December 16, 2013, that it endorses an academic boycott of Israeli universities. This decision came about following an open public debate at the national convention in November 2013 and an unprecedented membership-wide vote. More ASA members voted on this resolution than in any previous ballot in the association’s history. A significant majority (66.05% “yes” to 30.5% “no”) of the voting members endorsed the boycott resolution.

    Many in the US are unaccustomed to public criticism of Israel. Some organizations and individuals are now mounting a campaign to discredit the ASA. The ASA’s elected leaders have been harassed and are receiving hate mail. The ASA office is being flooded with insulting and threatening phone calls. The ASA Facebook page has been subject to a barrage of inflammatory attacks. National organizations, including Stand With US, are mounting campaigns to undermine the ASA in the academy by appealing to donors and students to call on university administrators to withdraw support from ASA

    Here are some actions you can take to support the ASA:

    Renew your membership in ASA, especially institutional members of the organization, and encourage other programs to become institutional members.

    -Announce your support of the ASA and the right of the association to act according to the will of the membership. Denounce the campaign of intimidation against the ASA. Possibilities include letters to the editor, announcements in faith community bulletins, or sign onto the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s support letter which can also provide succinct language to use in your letter.

    -Support ASA-related activities. You can find more information about the activities of the ASA here.

    -Write to your congressional and state representatives and urge them to do the following:

  • Defend the academic freedom of the ASA and its membership.
  • Ensure that ASA activities are not subject to discriminatory practices.
  • Encourage and facilitate more critical discussions of the US-Israeli relationship.
  • Thank you for voting! Election results

    Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in this year’s Co-op election! We congratulate Mohamed El-SokkaryMicheal SnowIsa Bella Rogol, and Joshua Simpson on their election and welcome their experience, commitment to community, and dedication to the Olympia Food Co-op as they begin new terms in 2014. We believe Mohamed, Micheal, Isa Bella and Josh are well-rounded individuals who bring a range of experience to the board.

    Reelected incumbent Joshua Simpson writes, “I’m excited to continue my work with the Olympia Food Co-op and help the Co-op to fulfill its mission of commitment to social, animal, and food justice through ethical purchasing and especially to work to make these choices available to all Olympians.”

    In addition, bylaws changes proposed by the board were passed by large margins, another sign that Co-op members trust the service and volunteer-driven oversight of their elected representatives.

    Please stay tuned for upcoming educational and outreach events organized by Olympia BDS, and thank you for doing your part to support democracy and justice in our community. Thank You!

Olympia BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is a grassroots network of community members in Olympia, WA, joining the call by Palestinian civil society for a non-violent, global movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel, until it meets the requirements of human rights and international law.

In answering to the Palestinian Call, we stand with Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Elvis Costello, Richard Falk and many, many others. The failure of elected officials to hold Israel accountable for its atrocious actions forces global civil society to act, for a non-violent solution and justice for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

  • Disengage, avoid, and withhold support from whatever abuses, degrades and humiliates humanity. This we can do. We the people; who ultimately hold all the power. We the people, who must never forget to believe we can win.

    Alice Walker