Two years ago, SCA faculty voted to cease cooperation with NYU-Tel Aviv on the grounds that the program’s operation violates NYU’s own policy on ethics regarding nondiscrimination, mutual respect, and diversity. Israel’s law of entry makes it impossible for all of our students, faculty, and staff to access the Tel Aviv site. Then and now, SCA has students who have been denied access to Israel and the Occupied Territories on the basis of ethnicity and/or religion, or for their views on Palestinian human rights, and have been subject to censure on account of the latter.
A similar position has now been adopted in a Faculty of Color for an Anti-Racist NYU petition that has generated several hundred endorsements from NYU faculty, students, and staff.
In response to the recent (and ongoing) harms inflicted by Israeli authorities on Palestinian communities, we are expressing our solidarity with those who are confronting displacement, ethnic cleansing, land theft, and militarized violence. These views are in keeping with our fundamental commitment to racial justice and to decolonization.
In addition, and separately, SCA has a long-standing interest in scholarship and teaching that focuses on the Middle East and US entanglements with the region. Along with the American Studies Association, we recognize that settler colonialism in the US was not a singular, or exceptional, event, but is part of a larger history that continues today, on the lands of historic Palestine. In accordance with that shared disciplinary paradigm, SCA’s American Studies graduate program is a signatory to this statement.