A Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution calling for an academic boycott against Israel was rejected Saturday by the Delegate Assembly of the Modern Language Association.
According to a report Monday by the Forward, the resolution was rejected by a vote of 113 opposed to 79 in favor. The rejection took place in Philadelphia, during the MLA’s annual convention. In contrast, a proposal rejecting all academic boycotts was approved by a vote of 101 in favor and 93 opposed.
The counter-resolution said the BDS proposal “contradicts the MLA’s purpose to promote teaching and research on language and literature” and would also “curtail debates with representatives of Israeli universities … thereby blocking possible dialogue and general scholarly exchange.”
The anti-boycott resolution will be reviewed by the MLA Executive Council and will then be voted on by the MLA membership, requiring 10% of member support to pass, as per a 2012 bylaw.
Founded in 1883, the Modern Language Association says its ambition is to “strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature.” The primarily professional organization for literature academics, it currently has almost 25,000 members in 100 countries, according to its official website. It is known for creating the citation system used by most English students.