Dear Members of the Assembly,
I’ve been following the discussion on the Assembly listserv regarding the American Studies Association (ASA) call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. With fewer than 5,000 members, the group is not one of the larger scholarly associations but the story was picked up by the New York Times and other news outlets.
The APA responded to a similar incident in December 2006, when the APA Assembly put forth to the Board an action paper on suppression of free intellectual exchange. The Board voted to issue a public statement that opposed the British National Association of Teacher in Further and Higher Education’s call for a boycott of individuals and institutions that did not publicly dissociate themselves from Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians.
In the coming weeks, we will again publicly affirm that the field of psychiatry depends on the free exchange of scientific ideas and discoveries independent of any interference from politically or ideologically motivated groups or movements. Any attack on institutions of higher learning and individual scientists, academics and researchers based on political policy halts academic freedoms and negatively impacts the vital role research plays for our patients and profession.
Please feel free to share this with your membership.
Saul Levin, MD, MPA
CEO and Medical Director
American Psychiatric Association (APA)
1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825
Arlington, VA 22209-3901