Box 358530 18115 Campus Way NE Bothell, WA 98011-8246

425.352.5350 fax 425.352.5335

uan 8erger, Þh.u.
AsslsLanL Þrofessor,
ComparaLlve LLhnlc SLudles

Aprll 17, 2014
1o 1he AssoclaLed SLudenLs of Lhe unlverslLy of WashlngLon,

My name ls uan 8erger, and l am an asslsLanL professor of comparaLlve eLhnlc sLudles aL Lhe
8oLhell campus of Lhe unlverslLy of WashlngLon. l am wrlLlng ln reference Lo Lhe resoluLlon
belng consldered by Lhe ASuW perLalnlng Lo dlvesLmenL from Lhe lsraell occupaLlon. l wrlLe as a
professor who sLudles lssues of lnequallLy and [usLlce, as an employee of Lhe unlverslLy of
WashlngLon, and an Amerlcan !ew whose moLher ls lsraell and grandparenLs survlved Lhe
PolocausL. l supporL Lhls resoluLlon as an efforL Lo ensure LhaL our unlverslLy respecLs human
rlghLs and operaLes wlLh a sLrong eLhlcal and moral compass.

1he lsraell occupaLlon ls boLh lllegal under lnLernaLlonal law and lnvolves exLenslve and ongolng
vlolaLlons of human rlghLs and lnLernaLlonal law LhaL are sysLemlc ln naLure and Lhoroughly
documenLed by a range of lnLernaLlonally respecLed organlzaLlons. CorporaLlons LhaL
collaboraLe wlLh and proflL from Lhe occupaLlon are Lhemselves Lherefore compllclL ln Lhe
perpeLraLlon of human rlghLs vlolaLlons. lurLhermore, a declslon Lo dlvesL from corporaLlons
LhaL proflL from Lhese fundamenLal vlolaLlons ls ln keeplng wlLh Lhe commlLmenL Lo respecL for
human rlghLs, non-dlscrlmlnaLlon and eLhlcal values LhaL ls a cornersLone of any unlverslLy's
moral and lnLellecLual mlsslon. Such dlvesLmenLs helped end aparLheld ln SouLh Afrlca and
curLall Lhe use of sweaLshops, l hope Lhey can now be used Lo supporL an end Lo Lhe lsraell
occupaLlon and help secure [usLlce for ÞalesLlnlan people.

As you well know, Lhe movemenL Lo boycoLL, dlvesL from, and leverage sancLlons upon (8uS)
Lhe lsraell occupaLlon ls growlng. LasL fall, Lhe members of Lhe Amerlcan SLudles AssoclaLlon,
lncludlng myself, Lhe largesL and oldesL lnLerdlsclpllnary professlonal assoclaLlon of scholars
sLudylng Amerlcan culLure and hlsLory, adopLed a resoluLlon boycoLL of lsraell academlc
lnsLlLuLlons for Lhelr connecLlon Lo Lhe lllegal occupaLlon. uesplLe some medla speculaLlon LhaL
Lhe move would hurL Lhe ASA, Lhe assoclaLlon membershlp rolls have grown ln response Lo Lhe
voLe, whlch was Lhe largesL voLe ln Lhe hlsLory of Lhe ASA. Slmllar resoluLlons have been
adopLed by AssoclaLlon for Aslan Amerlcan SLudles and Lhe naLlve Amerlcan SLudles
AssoclaLlon, Lhe Modern Language AssoclaLlon volced lLs dlsapproval of lsraell sLaLe censorshlp
of academlc freedom by denylng academlcs access Lo Caza and Lhe WesL 8ank. Slmllar
resoluLlons are belng debaLed by unlverslLles around Lhe counLry.

Box 358530 18115 Campus Way NE Bothell, WA 98011-8246
425.352.5350 fax 425.352.5335
1hls resoluLlon ls an exclLlng opporLunlLy Lo send a powerful message, LhaL uW sLudenLs
recognlze Lhe gravlLy of Lhe confllcL, buL also Lhe posslblllLles LhaL grassrooLs movemenLs llke
8uS provlde. lL ls clearly ln keeplng wlLh Lhe unlverslLy of WashlngLon's own sLaLed
commlLmenL Lo ºLhe acLlve pursulL of global engagemenL and connecLedness" and Lo fosLerlng
ºengaged and responslble clLlzenshlp." l hope LhaL Lhe unlverslLy can be a leader ln Lhls urgenL
lssue of [usLlce.


uan 8erger