The Modern Language Association, a top American academic group, on Saturday voted down a proposal to boycott Israeli academia.

The measure, which was brought to a vote during a convention in Philadelphia, was defeated by 113 to 79.

The boycott initiative was pushed primarily by the group MLA Members for Justice in Palestine.

The MLA, in addition to rejecting the motion, approved a separate measure that calls on the association to “refrain from boycotts.”

“It’s not only racism and anti-Semitism, it smacks of McCarthyism,” said one opponent of the boycott measure during the debate, according to Haaretz.

The decision was praised by the American Jewish Committee advocacy group.

“The MLA has firmly repudiated those who try to exploit American colleges and universities to delegitimize the State of Israel,” AJC CEO David Harris said in a statement.

“The MLA today has sent a message to the entire academic community that American and Israeli campuses benefit greatly from academic cooperation and that boycotting Israel, the only democratic nation in the region, and a country which has been seeking peace with its neighbors since its rebirth in 1948, will not be tolerated because it does not in any way advance peace,” he added.