“For a host of reasons, NYU thoroughly rejects the recent petition to boycott NYU Tel Aviv.
“Such a boycott is at odds with the tenets of academic freedom. Academic freedom rests, in large part, upon the principle of free exchange of ideas. Ostracizing colleagues or programs in this way flies in the face of that principle, and it suppresses free speech and debate, precisely the opposite of a university’s mission.
“NYU launched its site in Tel Aviv a decade ago because it is an important region for study and an area of interest for faculty and students; indeed, that is the basis for locating all of NYU’s global sites. To shun NYU Tel Aviv because of disagreement with policies of the nation in which it is located wrongly and unreasonably punishes the program - and its people - for matters over which they have no control. And the focused, repeated efforts to stigmatize our program and disown colleagues in Israel troublingly ignores the historic complexities of conflict in the region.
“There is no practical impact to this petition - just as no one at NYU is forced to participate in any of the University’s global programs, so, too, is it the case that the petition does not prevent anyone from engaging with or studying at NYU Tel Aviv as they wish. But the petition is at odds with NYU’s character: NYU remains fully and deeply committed to its program in Tel Aviv not only for the aforementioned reasons, but also because for many decades NYU has followed a clear direction: in the choice between engaging or withdrawing from the world, NYU has chosen engagement, believing it crucial to fulfilling its research and educational missions. We find the effort to repudiate engagement regrettable and misguided.”