There are at least two important differences between a touring musician who skips a state to make a point and a service provider who doesn’t want to provide services on account of personal opposition to the larger thing being served.
The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement against Israel, which has gained some traction in mainline denominations, raises hotly contested questions. (See, for example, my article “Boycotting the boycott” and the responses to it.) A particularly salient one: Do ordinary Palestinians support BDS? Do Palestinians in the occupied territory want more separation from Israel or more integration with it?
Scholars traveling to Chicago for the joint AAR–SBL meeting will have to make hard decisions—beginning with where to lay their heads.