Comment on a Delegate Assembly Resolution

At its meeting on 11 January 2014 in Chicago, the Delegate Assembly approved a resolution that the Executive Council has forwarded to the membership for a ratification vote. Before the vote is conducted, 2014 MLA members are invited to comment on the resolution on the MLA Web site (log-in required) until 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on 16 April.

To ensure that your comment is part of the official discussion of the resolution and seen by as many voting members as possible, please go to to comment. Replies to this announcement are not included in the official comments.



Alan Astro

I would urge MLA members to vote against this resolution for a reason not often put forward. It is totally counterproductive. Anyone who knows Israel knows how the Israeliest Israelis relate to isolation and a feeling that an unfair world is against them: they just dig in their heels further. A common perception there—whether or not you think it is true—is that the world metes out to Israel an unjust proportion of criticism. It will be easy to ask something along these lines: “Why, in this resolution, are only we criticized regarding free exchange of ideas in Gaza, when Hamas itself does not even allow Fatah to demonstrate?”
It might flatter a sense of moral righteousness to criticize Israel and come up with all sorts of postcolonial excuses for Hamas’ behavior, but it won’t help any Palestinian one whit.
I would also urge members to consider another, far more productive, way to register a protest: by supporting Third Narrative, an association that avoids Manicheanism in approaching this issue. It includes many academics and their statement runs as follows: “The American left—Jewish and non-Jewish—could use a third narrative, one that neither reflexively attacks nor reflexively justifies Israeli policies and actions.” This is a call that Israelis and, one hopes, Palestinians, could possibly heed. — Alan Astro

Naomi Lindstrom

The MLA is taking a wrong path with this resolution. If you examine the documentation offered in support of 2014-1, you will see that it would never withstand the rigorous review that the MLA is supposed to exemplify.

Anna Chang

Thank you to Professor Lindstrom and Professor Astro for your comments on the resolution. I would encourage you also to post them at, where more members will be able to view your comments and to read them as part of the full discussion of the resolution.

Noël Valis

The present resolution is too one-sided and does not reflect the historical complexities and difficulties of the Israel-Palestine situation. I cannot support this resolution.

Elizabeth Jane Ordóñez

Why are there only comments opposed to resolution 2014-1 on the opening page? Why are they always the same 4 comments? Are some comments weighted more than others? Why aren’t they changed and updated regularly to present a balance of arguments on the issue before us?

Anna Chang

Dear Professor Ordóñez,

Thanks so much for submitting this comment on the MLA news item. Although there are a few comments on the resolution here on the news page, most members are submitting their comments regarding the resolution in the official resolution commenting area on (, where they can be seen by the most number of voting members and viewed in the context of the resolution text, supporting materials, and other member comments.

Comments on the news announcement are submitted separately (by using the “Leave a Reply” button) from comments on the resolution itself and are not pulled from the official comments submitted on I hope this is helpful, and I thank you for your engagement with this process.

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