International Academic Friends of Israel

The International Academic Friends of Israel (IAFI) is a non-profit organization of leading academics and scientists set up to support the free and open exchange of ideas within the international academic community,, and to ensure that Israeli academics are not excluded from that exchange. It is registered as a non-profit organization in the United States and it maintains offices in New York City and Jerusalem, Israel.

The worldwide network of academics and scientists was founded in 2003 by Dr. Andrew Marks, Chairman and Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and editor in chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, as a result of proposals raised within most prominent academic communities, notably in England, South Africa, United States, Canada, Australia, and even Israel to boycott Israeli academics; proposals that supporters and opponents maintain are either a legitimate response to the Israeli-Arab conflict or an example of what some have described as "new anti-Semitism."

The purpose of the organization is to raise funds to support academic and scientific conferences in Israel, promote networking opportunities for young Israeli researchers now denied such contacts, and publicize Israel's scientific and academic achievements around the world. The group regularly participates in the The Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism, for which it has been thanked by Israeli Minister for Jerusalem & Diaspora Affairs, Natan Sharansky, for helping address “the threat of anti-Semitism has returned with such dreadful force around the globe requiring our urgent, concentrated and coordinated response.” The group has also worked with American Jewish Congress to “thwart efforts to isolate Israel's academic experts in the fields of medicine, medical technology, high-tech, and biotech.”

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