The Council of the American Anthropological Association passed two motions concerning the Middle East at its annual meeting on December 5, 1982, in Washington, DC. With 7,500 members, the Association is the principal professional association for anthropologists in the United States.
Motion on Lebanon Whereas the American Anthropological Association has long stood opposed to the destruction of peoples and cultures; and Whereas what is occurring in Lebanon is a massive destruction of the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples and cultures by the Israeli and Lebanese militaries, and militias supported by both governments; and
Whereas the recent massacres in Shatila and Sabra were part of a much broader pattern of destruction—for example, in recent weeks the entire Palestinian Red Crescent, with 40 clinics and nine hospitals which served poor Lebanese and Palestinians, has been destroyed; the Palestine Research Center, a repository of Palestinian history and culture, has also been destroyed; and
Whereas the presence of American, French and Italian troops is serving to aid the Israeli and Lebanese militaries, and militias supported by both governments, to continue rounding up, arresting and detaining thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians, destroying their cultures;
Therefore be it moved that the American Anthropological Association condemn the systematic and deliberate destruction of Palestinian and Lebanese peoples and cultures in Lebanon and call upon the American government to 1) end US military aid to Israel and Lebanon, including military equipment and advisers; 2) use its offices to facilitate the earliest possible withdrawal of all foreign military forces from Lebanon; and 3) withdraw support from any government in Lebanon which plays any role in the destruction of the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples and cultures; and that the Association send copies of this motion to President Reagan and to the Israeli, Lebanese, French and Italian governments.
Motion on the West Bank Whereas the American Anthropological Association has a long history of defending human rights and academic freedom, be it moved that the Association:
First, condemns the work permit restrictions on “foreign” professors, the expulsion of professors, the harassment of students, the censorship of books and teaching materials, and the closure of universities as suppressions of academic freedom by the present Israeli government on the occupied West Bank;
And second, recommends that the Executive Board communicate this motion to the Secretary of State and Chairmen of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House and Senate of the United States government and to the acting head of the Israeli administration on the occupied West Bank.