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Pro-Israel Groups Divided on Anti-Boycott Bill

Pro-Israel organizations are divided over a new bill in the U.S. Congress that would pull federal funding from universities that boycott Israel.

The bill, titled Protect Academic Freedom Act, proposed by U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL), has garnered polarizing reactions over whether or not it is constitutional by limiting free speech under the First Amendment.

“This bipartisan legislation seeks to preserve academic freedom and combat bigotry by shielding Israel from unjust boycotts. It is ludicrous for critics to go after our democratic friend and ally Israel when they should be focusing on the evils perpetrated by repressive, authoritarian regimes like Iran and North Korea,” Roskam said in a statement.

The bill is aimed at targeting groups like the American Studies Association, which recently voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

“We welcome any effort to challenge or fight the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement in colleges and universities,” Ant-Defamation League Chairman Abraham Foxman said, Buzzfeed reported. “However well-intentioned, we are not sure that this bill would be the most effective means of recourse.”

According to sources, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) may also come out against the bill.

In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, an AIPAC spokesperson said the group is reviewing the proposed legislation. Nevertheless, several other groups came out in support of the bill, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Christians United For Israel, and The Israel Project, according to the Free Beacon.

About the Author: www.JNS.org is an independent, non-profit business resource and wire service covering Jewish news and Israel news for Jewish media throughout the English-speaking world.


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4 Responses to “Pro-Israel Groups Divided on Anti-Boycott Bill”

  1. The boycott against Israeli Academia is not acceptable. Why would Jewish organizations be against the bill to protect Israel against discrimination?

    This are not pro-Israel groups, but they are cowards and self-hating Jews.
    We should not support such groups they are our enemies.
    Period
    Holocaust survivor

  2. great bill,hope it becomes law!

  3. Gail Appel says:

    Self-loathing cowardice amongst liberal Jews is a worldwide scourge. A whopping seig heil to Obama, Kerry and Hagel from the sycophantic minions who elected them. Debbie Wasserman- Schutz doesn't deserve to hold any sort of office. Disgraceful. Thank G-d for our Christian allies, Canada's Harper and Angela Merkel.

  4. Unless all states are boycotted, a boycott against Israel is discriminatory and singles out Israel for punishment when it has committed no crimes for which it is accused and holds only Israel responsible for peace with the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims when it is the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims who refuse to make peace with Israel.

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