web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Anti-Boycott Bill In Albany

It’s no secret that many in the academic community support boycotts as a means of pressuring and punishing Israel. So it’s understandable that proposed legislation to prohibit use of public funds to promote boycotts – authored by New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and now being considered by the Assembly – has created an uproar. An identical bill was passed last week by the State Senate.

But the logic employed by those opposed to the legislation escapes us. After all, opponents of the bill – including those not openly hostile to Israel – claim it stifles free expression and academic freedom, yet the law only seeks to discourage actions designed to limit those very values.

The statement of intent in a section of the bill itself, which critics conveniently leave out of any discussions, provides an important context in which to consider the legislation. Here are some excerpts:

The legislature hereby finds that it is beneficial to students of this state to have access to an education that is not bound by borders and to have the opportunity to obtain a global education…. A global education allows students to connect, compete, and cooperate with their peers around the world. Therefore it is the policy of the State of New York that colleges not use state funds to support boycotts of countries, or higher education institutions located in countries, that host higher education institutions chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

In order to implement this policy the operative provisions of the law provide, in pertinent part:

No college in this state may use state aid provided directly to such college to: fund an academic entity, provide funds for membership in an academic entity or fund travel or lodging for any employee to attend any meeting of such academic entity if such entity has issued a public resolution or other official statement or undertaken an official action boycotting a host country or higher education institutions located in such country.

Significantly, in terms of free expression and academic freedom, another provision of the bill clarifies that it does not

limit the attendance by any employee of a college at any event of an academic entity that boycotts a host country or higher education institutions located in such country and attendance at meetings of any such entity shall not be used by the college with regard to employment decisions.

Typically, though, for most opponents who have gone public with their views, the pro-free speech and academic freedom thrust of the bill is ignored. Thus, the New York City chapter of the Center for Constitutional Rights airily concluded in a letter to legislators last week that the legislation “attempts to stifle constitutionally protected speech by denying aid to colleges and universities who fund membership in organizations that support boycotts of an enumerated list of countries, including Israel. But government restrictions and regulations cannot be based on the desire to punish speech that aims to influence public opinion on a nation’s policies and actions….”

It was even more pronounced for The New York Times. In an editorial titled “A Chill on Speech,” the Times presented the issue as follows:

The New York legislature is moving to pass a bill that would bar state financing for academic groups that have taken official action to boycott higher-education institutions in Israel. The initiative, which last week passed the State Senate, is now pending before the Assembly. It should be voted down by lawmakers, or, if they prove feckless, Gov. Andrew Cuomo should veto it.

The bill was introduced after the American Studies Association, an organization of scholars, in December adopted a resolution supporting a call by Palestinians to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The group said it would refuse formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions or with scholars who represent those institutions or the Israeli government until “Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “The Anti-Boycott Bill In Albany”

  1. Nathan Katz says:

    The sentiment is good but it is a bad idea.

  2. freedom of speech will not be turned off by stupid government cover up.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
George Soros: No friend of Israel
Hillary: George Soros is NO Friend of Israel
Latest Indepth Stories
George Soros: No friend of Israel

George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”

President Obama

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Seder at the White House. The one without the kippa is President Obama.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

peace in our time iran

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

More Articles from Editorial Board

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-anti-boycott-bill-in-albany/2014/02/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: