MESA - Middle East Studies Association

MESA Members Vote on 2014 Resolution

At the MESA Members Meeting held Monday, November 24, in Washington, DC, 335 members cast votes on the 2014 Resolution that calls for free discussion about BDS. See full text of resolution here. Of votes cast, 256 were in favor of the resolution, and 79 against. The resolution will now go to the full membership for a vote within the coming months.

Questions and Answers on the 2014 Resolution

1.  What did MESA vote on?

The 2014 resolution voted on November 24, 2014 by the MESA membership 

  • Affirms that 1) calls for institutional boycott, divestment and/or sanctions are protected free speech and legitimate forms of non-violent political action; 2) the right of MESA members to engage in open discussion of the BDS movement at the Annual Meeting and other forums and 3) the right of the membership of other organizations to discuss, debate, and endorse or not endorse the BDS campaign;
  • Deplores intimidation directed against organizations who have adopted BDS resolutions, such as the American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies;
  • Urges MESA to organize discussions at its Annual Meeting and for the MESA Board to create opportunities in 2015 to discuss the academic boycott and consider an appropriate position for MESA.

2.  What are the next steps?

As a majority of MESA members present and entitled to vote at the Annual Members Meeting voted in favor of the resolution, the Board of Directors will prepare the resolution for a vote by the entire membership.  A ballot will be sent out by mail to every member in good standing and with voting rights.

MESA’s Executive Director will determine a date by which mail ballots must be returned to be counted, but it will not be less than thirty (30) days from the issue of the ballot.  The results of the vote on the resolution will be announced to members by the MESA Secretariat.

If a majority of those MESA members voting vote in favor of the resolution, then it passes.

3.  What would happen if the resolution passes the membership?

If the entire MESA membership votes to pass the resolution, the MESA Secretariat and Board would work to implement the resolution and provide opportunities for the membership to discuss positions about the academic boycott.

4.  What would happen if it fails?

While no special forum would be required, MESA members would still have opportunities to discuss the issues, as they have in the past, through scholarly presentations, roundtables, and other conversations.  MESA's Committee on Academic Freedom would still vigorously assert, as it has in the past, that whatever one’s opinion of the campaign to boycott Israeli academic institutions, the principles of academic freedom protect the right of faculty and students to speak and act for, as well as against, such boycotts.


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