After the rejection of the Israeli boycott proposal, a new proposal calling for a rejection of any and all boycotts was accepted. The pro-Israel proposal stated that MLA only deals with research, books, and languages – not politics.
The vote took place at an MLA meeting in Philadelphia. MLA is one of the largest language associations in the United States and is considered an authority on American English language spelling and grammar. There are 24,000 members in the association, including some of the US's top linguistic specialists.
Following the vote, Prof. Tzvi Zigler – head of the The Committee of University Heads in Israel, a forum to combat academic boycotts – said "boycott attempts (against Israeli universities) have failed by and large due to the immense efforts of The Committee of University Heads in Israel vis-à-vis our counterparts abroad."
"In regards to the MLA decision, the fight was conducted within the Association itself, led by Prof. Neslon from the University of Illinois, and Prof. Berman from Stanford University. They were assisted by various Jewish organizations, along with The Committee of University Heads in Israel," Professor Zigler continued.
Zigler added that "we view the overt and covert boycott efforts with increasing amounts of worry. These boycott efforts primarily hurt young researchers who are just starting out, primarily researchers in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. We at the committee are continuing to fight energetically against boycotts, especially when they run contrary to the principals of the academic community."
This victory comes at the heels of a victory at the American Anthropological Association, when a vote to boycott Israel was narrowly averted.