Almost 40 Nobel laureates have signed a statement opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Roger Kornberg, of Stanford University, and Steven Weinberg, of the University of Texas at Austin, drafted the document, which specifically criticises academic boycotts.
The statement, organised by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, declared: "We believe that the university should serve as an open, tolerant and respectful, co-operative and collaborative community engaged in practices of resolving complex problems."
Professor Edward Beck, president of Scholars for Peace, said BDS campus activity, which normally begins in spring, had begun early this year. "The American Jewish community has not yet tackled BDS activity," he said.