National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Annual Conference Endorses Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[The following press release was issued by The National Associate of Chicana and Chicano Studies on 19 April 2015]

The National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Annual Conference took place in San Francisco from April 15-18, 2015. The business meeting, open to all members, took place on Saturday evening at the close of the conference. At the business meeting, the membership gave unanimous support to the Resolution to Support the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. In addition, individual FOCOS (regional caucuses) and interest group Caucuses all voted to support the resolution.

The resolution follows:

National Association for Chicana/Chicano Studies Resolution to Support the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

This resolution was submitted by the Lesbian Bi Mujeres Trans Caucus and the Northern California FOCO.

NACCS has a historic commitment to social justice. Emerging out of the Chican@ Movement, NACCS convenes a collective of scholars and activists whose work critically interrogates colonial and white supremacist structures. NACCS is devoted to anti-racist and anti-colonial social movements and scholarship. For manyChican@s, our political consciousness grew through the political act of boycotting unjust labor practices as represented in the grape boycott. In his“Wrath of Grapes Boycott Speech,” Cesar Chavez reminds us, “My friends, the wrath of grapes is a plague born of selfish men that is indiscriminately and undeniably poisoning us all. Our only protection is to boycott (the grapes), and our only weapon is the truth.” In the spirit of our 500+ years of resisting and boycotting unjust colonial practices and institutions and our longstanding commitment to building relationships of solidarity with people of color in general and Palestinians in particular, we put forward this resolution.

Prior to cutting ties with an Israeli University in 2010, anti-Apartheid leader Desmond Tutu addressed this boycottstrategy: “It can never bebusiness as usual. Israeli Universities are an intimate part of the Israeliregime, by active choice. While Palestinians are not able to accessuniversities and schools, Israeli universities produce the research, technology, arguments and leaders for maintaining the occupation.” [[The academic boycott of South Africa, which was supported by academic associations and institutionsaround the world, was “controversial” for decades, as it challenged anoppressive regime that had its own powerful supporters and beneficiaries whodefended it under various pretexts. Still, that did not prevent people ofconscience, including artists and academics, to take a moral stand insolidarity with the oppressed and in defense of their basic rights.]] NACCS has a responsibility to take a position on one of the leading social justice issues of our time, and by doing so NACCS articulates its commitment to social justice and its opposition to projects of settler colonialism, racial exclusion, and heteropatriarchy. Through this resolution, NACCS would be following in the path already paved by the Association of Asian American Studies, American Studies Association, and Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, which have all endorsed the boycott of Israel academic institutions.

Whereas NACCS is committed to social justice and to the struggle against racism, colonialism and heteropatriarchy and to solidarity with the survivors of said violence;

Whereas NACCS, its scholars and researchers promote indigenous self-determined decolonial struggles across in the U.S., the Americas and globally;

Whereas NACCS recognizes the need to study and resist heteropatriarchal colonial violence that targets women, queer, and gender-non-conforming people and the occupation targets Palestinian women with sexual and reproductive violence and queer and gender-non-conforming Palestinians with harassment, physical, and psychological violence;

Whereas NACCS iscommitted to nurturing scholarship and activism that promotes migrant anddisplaced peoples’ rights, safety and well being and their right to return homeand Palestinians are one of the largest historic refugee populations in the world;

Whereas Israel has played a leading role in the US border military build up that has led tolarge-scale migrant deaths along the border, and the biggest Israeli privatemilitary manufacturer corporation was contracted to build the US-Mexico border,and the “homeland security systems” used in the West Bank and the Golan Heights are being set up in El Paso’s and Arizona’s borders with Mexico;

Whereas NACCS is committed to nurturing relationships between communities in struggle against interlocking systems of colonial violence and recognizes the role Israel plays in world wide repression of peoples’ movements particularly as it pertains to US federal and private institutional agreements with Israeli Defense Forces to learn from Israeli “technologies and techniques in the arena of homeland security andcounterterrorism” as a source of informing its own security apparatus.

Whereas the repression of Palestinian and Palestinian solidarity scholarship and activism legitimates a police build-up on college campuses and the suppression of student activism, and U.S. police forces are increasingly trained by Israeli military to use brutal tactics on communities of color;

Whereas NACCS promotes scholarship that vehemently challenges unequal state structures, and the legal structures of the Israeli state systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples;

Whereas NACCS recognizes and is inspired by the steadfastness of the Palestinian people living in diaspora, in occupied territories and in the Gaza refugee population strip which has been under Israeli military siege for the last nine years and who survived yet another Israeli offensive this last summer through operation Protective Edge which has targeted Palestinian land and life in direct violation of international law;

Therefore, be it is resolved that NACCS endorses and honors the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions made by Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination and freedom. Be it further that NACCS supports, protects and encourages Chican@ scholars’ right to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and their support of the boycott,divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

By-laws Implications: None

Financial Implications: None