Society for the Study of Social Problems Votes by Majority To Support BDS, Motion Falls Short Due To Rules Change
A majority of SSSP members stand in solidarity with Palestinian academics and support the call from Palestinian civil society for effective measures to hold Israel accountable for its denial of the fundamental human rights of millions of Palestinians.
Members of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) voted by a majority to support the nonviolent Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights. The Resolution garnered 53% approval in an unprecedented vote of 217 (“Approve”) to 142 (“Deny”), with 51 abstaining. However, due to a recent rule change necessitating a two-thirds majority, the BDS resolution fell short.
This vote has demonstrated that the majority of SSSP members stand in solidarity with Palestinian academics and support the call from Palestinian civil society for effective measures to hold Israel accountable for its denial of the fundamental human rights of millions of Palestinians.
At its annual meeting, held in early August, ten members of the SSSP co-sponsored a resolution calling for the boycott of complicit Israeli academic institutions. The resolution sought to foster solidarity with and support for our Palestinian academic colleagues, whose basic human rights, including the right to education and academic freedom, have been denied for decades under Israel’s military occupation and racist policies.
The resolution detailed the multiple ways in which Palestinian students, teachers, and university-level faculty are excluded on a daily basis from full participation in educational endeavors in the occupied Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in Israel, with long-term educational and democratic consequences.
A spokesperson for the group of ten co-sponsors said: “SSSP as a society strives to model solidarity and social justice to foster alternative visions and practices. SSSP members are committed to full human rights and academic freedom for all, including Palestinians who have formulated specific requests for effective solidarity. We will continue to work to ensure that the values of SSSP are upheld at our annual 2021 conference in Chicago.”
In addition to receiving support from the majority of SSSP, the resolution also received endorsements from international solidarity organizations such as Boycott from Within (Israel) and Independent Jewish Voices (Canada).