Fida Adely is an active supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Adely is a member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and was part of a group that unsuccessfully attempted to get the AAA to boycott Israeli academic institutions in 2016. She is also a member of the eight-person organizing collective of Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions (Anthro Boycott), the primary body advocating for the boycott within the AAA.
Adely is an associate professor at Georgetown University (Georgetown). She is the Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in the School of Foreign Service (SFS). The majority of her research centers around Jordanian issues.
Adely is a supporter of Al-Awda. She is also a member of the Facebook group USPCN-DC, the Washington, D.C.chapter of the United States Palestinian Community Network, an organization known for its support of terrorists like Rasmea Odeh.
Vilifying Israel to Promote BDS
On November 12, 2015, Adely — in an Anthro Boycott blog post co-authored with Amahl Bishara — said of dialogue regarding Israel: "In this way many dialogue initiatives disguise the real issues of settler-colonialism, oppression, and occupation, and act as a kind of marketing tool rebranding the reality of separation and apartheid as a fantasy of ‘coexistence.’"
Adely and Bishara added that Israel has "pernicious policies of ethnic cleansing" in Jerusalem and has engaged in the “creation of an open-air prison in Gaza."
Adly and Bishara claimed that Israelis and Palestinians need to be viewed exclusively through the prism of "colonizer and colonized," a viewpoint that negates Jewish rights in the Land of Israel. They also touted the fact that the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organization endorsed their resolution.
On May 8, 2016, Adely and Thea Abu El-Haj co-authored an Anthro Boycott blog post where they alleged that various Israeli security measures — and actions Israel took during its Operation Protective Edge (OPE) against Hamas in 2014 — constituted a broad and "systematic" effort by Israel to deny Palestinians education.
Adely and Abu El-Haj wrote: "University students are not immune from these restrictions and violence. Israeli forces regularly raid university campuses, destroy property, and arrest student activists."
Over "raid university campuses" they linked to a Palestinian news story which quoted the Israeli army as saying it had "uncovered and confiscated inciting propaganda materials linked to multiple terror organizations including Hamas" at the Arab American University in Jenin.
Over "destroy property" they linked to a Palestinian news story which quoted the Israeli army as saying they were confiscating “material belonging to Hamas’ educational arm al-Kutla al-Islamiyah, including propaganda for Hamas" at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem.
Over "arrest student activists" they linked to a press release from Birzeit University’s Right to Education Campaign (discussed below), saying that it “condemns the Israeli army’s raid on Birzeit University’s campus that took place on January 11, 2016." The Israeli army said of the operation: “Security forces seized materials including propaganda for Hamas belonging to the illegal association ‘Kotla,’ known for its links to the Hamas terror organization."
Adely and Abu El-Haj opened their blog post by implying that Israel intentionally targeted United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools during OPE against Hamas in 2014. Israel commenced OPE to destroy Hamas attack tunnels and to stop rocket attacks from Gaza that targeted Israeli civilians.
Following the war, it was reported that Hamas had used UNRWA schools and other densely populated areas to fire rockets from and even threatened UNRWA workers at gunpoint to hide weapons in the schools. The United Nations, over a year before Abu El-Haj co-authored her blog post, admitted that Hamas had used its facilities to store weapons.
Adely and Abu El-Haj called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions as a means to support Palestinian education while neglecting to mention raids and student arrests conducted by the Palestinian Authority on university campuses. Placing full blame on Israel for such incidents, they concluded: "...we call on colleagues to make use of their privileged academic freedoms to stand against the systematic deprivation of Palestinian rights to education. What greater constraints on academic freedom can there be than those routinely faced by Palestinian students and teachers."
Anthro Boycott has regularly used material from Ramallah-based Birzeit University’s "Right to Education" tour. From May 4 to 19, 2016 — in the middle of AAA voting — Anthro Boycott posted six Right to Education videos on its Youtube page.
The "Right to Education" tour is known for featuring Birzeit students who spread anti-Israel propaganda. Birzeit has been accused of radicalizing students as well as promoting and encouraging political violence. The student body elected Hamas to power in 2003, 2015 and 2016.
The "Right to Education" tour brings students to U.S. campuses, who claim that Israel is obstructing the rights of Palestinians to higher education. These claims mischaracterize sweeps Israeli security forces have taken to shut down terror cells operating from Birzeit’s campus. In September of 2014, pro-Palestinian Haaretz reporter Amira Hass was thrown off of Birzeit’s campus — because Hass is Jewish.
The BDS movement was founded in 2005 by Omar Barghouti and asserts that it "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law."
The movement's most notable achievement has been the infiltration of university campuses through lobbying for "BDS resolutions." In these cases, backed by university anti-Israel affiliates, student governments have brought to vote on some form of boycott of — or divestment from — Israel and Israeli-affiliated entities. These resolutions, although non-binding, have been passed by student governments on numerous North American campuses.
BDS activity is often aggressive and disruptive. It has been noted that universities that pass BDS resolutions see a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. In 2013, when the student government of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) debated a BDS resolution, reports emerged of violent threats and the spitting on a student wearing a Star of David necklace. As a result, the student government chose to vote via a "secret ballot" in order to ensure its members' safety.
Social Media and Web Links