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By Blake Neff, DailyCaller.com

An academic organization that drew national attention when it voted to begin a general boycott of Israeli academic institutions appears to have retreated in the face of threatened legal action.

The American Studies Association (ASA) raised a ruckus in American higher education when it voted in late 2013 to enact a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in protest of the nation’s policies in Palestine. At the boycott’s outset, ASA said it was designed to cut off collaboration with Israel’s government, universities and any academics who acted as representatives of either. . . .

The cause of the backtrack is a letter sent by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a conservative legal organization, to the Westin Bonaventure hotel in Los Angeles arguing that the ASA’s boycott violated a California state law prohibiting discrimination based on religion or national origin. If the Westin went forward with hosting the ASA’s annual convention in November and the boycott policy was still in place, the group warned, legal action against the hotel was possible. . . . 

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