update deskBoycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)

GW ends partnership with Middle East Studies Association after BDS vote

The university in Washington, D.C., is one of many to recently stop working with the group.

The campus of George Washington University. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
The campus of George Washington University. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The Middle East Studies Association members voted in March 2022 to endorse the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. That decision may have prompted George Washington University in Washington, D.C., to sever its ties with the group, which it hosted on campus.

That’s according to a recent article by A.J. Caschetta, a senior fellow at the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The association didn’t respond to Caschetta’s questions, but he wrote that GW pushed back following the vote, clarifying that it did not support BDS and that the group was not part of the university.

Caschetta noted that GW is one of several universities that have severed ties with MESA since last year, including Columbia, Georgetown and Harvard universities, as well as the University of Chicago.

Miriam Elman, executive director of the Academic Engagement Network, said MESA’s headquarters on the GW campus was “inconsistent with GW’s values, its rejection of BDS and its commitment to open inquiry, scholarly exchange and academic freedom.”

Julia Metjian, assistant director of media relations at GW, told JNS: “GW and MESA agreed to enter into a four-year partnership that has run its course, and we are now parting ways amicably. The agreement will expire by the end of the calendar year.”

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