US scholars group endorses boycott of Israeli universities; largest US group to do so

The American Studies Association has become the largest U.S. group of scholars to approve a boycott of Israeli universities.

The scholars' group announced the boycott Monday, saying the action won support from 66 percent of members who voted. Last April, the much smaller Association for Asian-American Studies also approved an academic boycott.

The boycotts are in protest of Israeli policy toward Palestinians. The American Studies Association says their action aims to ban American academic groups and schools from working with Israeli universities and not a ban on work between individual Israeli and U.S. scholars.

Israeli officials have denounced the boycott campaign as an attempt to delegitimize the Israeli state.

The New York-based American Jewish Committee called the American Studies Association vote "blatant discrimination against Israelis."