Letter on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association of North America calling on the Biden administration to support an immediate, unconditional, and permanent ceasefire in — and lifting of the siege on — Gaza.
The MESA Board of Directors is heartbroken by the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives over the last week. There can be no justification for the targeting of civilians. We join our members directly affected in grief, and we join all who are committed to a political solution that offers safety, dignity, and equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis. We are deeply concerned about the cumulative effect of the Israeli siege and bombardment of Gaza, resulting in massive death, displacement and destruction — including the bombing of schools and universities — imperiling, among many other things, the possibility of access to education for generations of Gazan students indefinitely. We also reaffirm the right and ability of students, faculty, and staff at universities across North America (and elsewhere) to express their viewpoints free of harassment, intimidation, and threats to their livelihoods and safety. MESA calls on university leaders and administrations to oppose all forms of discrimination, including anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism and anti-Semitism, and to affirmatively assert and protect the right to academic freedom and freedom of speech on their campuses.
The Italian Society for Middle East Studies (SeSaMO), the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) and the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) have written to express concern for the detained Italian-Palestinian student Khaled El Qaisi. SeSaMO, BRISMES and MESA call upon the relevant authorities to intervene to ensure his immediate release.
MESA has endorsed a statement from Academia for Equality concerning the designation by the Israeli defense minister of six Palestinian civil society organizations as "terrorist" groups.
The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America calls for the cessation of state-directed cyber surveillance attacks against members of the academic community. Digital violence, such as hacking, is inimical to academic freedom and basic rights.
MESA’s Board of Directors condemns the ongoing Israeli government assault on the Palestinian people. It views the damaging and targeting of educational facilities and violence toward students and teachers as part of a systematic domination of Palestinians. We recognize there can be no academic freedom and adequate access to education, so long as there is apartheid.
Letter to Israel authorities about restrictions on international academics working in Palestinian universities
MESA and other scholarly societies issue letter that calls upon Israel authorities to issue a transparent policy that allows entry and the presence of foreign faculty and staff on Palestinian university campuses in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law.
The Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) expresses its strong opposition to the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” (S. 720 and H.R. 1697), currently under consideration by Congress.