web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014
French Driver Shouting “Allahu Akbar” Plows into Crowd
Latest Indepth Stories
Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

President Shimon Peres receives the Congrssional Gold Medal.

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

KidSport-Everybody-Is-A-Winner1

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

More Articles from Editorial Board

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.

If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.

Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.

There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

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: