Introduction to In Defense of the ASA

Against the Current, No. 169, March/April 2014

The Editors

THE CONTROVERSY ERUPTING around the American Studies Association’s resolution for the “academic boycott of Israeli institutions” is an indicator of the growing power of the broader Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement in support of the Palestinian people’s struggle. Regarding the ASA’s action, the editors of Against the Current look forward to further dialogue around the complex issues raised in this article by Alan Wald. Readers looking for background on the BDS movement may be interested in two previous ATC articles: “A BDS Movement that Works,” by Barbara Harvey (, and “BDS Campaign Sweeps UC Campuses,” by Rahim Kurwa (—BDS.pdf). Also of interest is an exchange in The New York Times, Sunday, February 2, 2014: “Losing the Propaganda War” by Hirsh Goodman, and “Why Israel Fears the Boycott” by Omar Barghouti (online at and

March/April 2014, ATC 169