web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



House Bill to Slap Financial Penalties on anti-Israel Boycotts

The proposed legislation would prevent American taxpayers from having to subsidize the views of those seeking to marginalize and to penalize Israeli scholars and academic institutions
Cong. Peter Roskam (R-IL) introducing the Protect Academic Freedom Act on Tues., Feb. 4, 2014

Cong. Peter Roskam (R-IL) introducing the Protect Academic Freedom Act on Tues., Feb. 4, 2014
Photo Credit: Cong. Roskam screen capture

Share Button

This week the “Protect Academic Freedom Act” was introduced into the U.S. Congress. If passed, the legislation will block universities from receiving federal funds if they engage in the boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars.

The Bipartisan Protect Academic Freedom Act (H.R. 4009) was introduced on Tuesday, Feb. 4, by Reps. Peter Roskum (R-IL) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL). The measure would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965.

The congressmen said the bill was introduced in order “to address the growing threat of unjustified boycotts against the Jewish State of Israel,” according to a statement they released on Thursday.

By introducing the proposed legislation, Roskam and Lipinski seek “to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund bigoted attacks against Israel that undermine the fundamental principles of academic freedom.”

The much-maligned boycott resolution passed by the American Studies Association in December, 2013, was specifically mentioned as an impetus for the bill. The ASA was the second academic association to pass boycott measures in 2013.  It is anticipated that many more academic associations may consider similar measures this year.

On the floor of the House, Roskam described the ASA boycott as a “shameful thing” which was “clearly an act of anti-Semitism” on the part of those voting in favor of the boycott.

Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren is quoted in the statement released by the congressional co-sponsors announcing the proposed legislation.

“The Protect Academic Freedom Act represents the first legislation that defends Israel against discriminatory boycotts which impede rather than advance the peace process and that seek to deny Israelis the right to free speech on American campuses,” said former Ambassador Michael Oren.

“As a citizen of Israel and its former ambassador to the United States, as well as an historian and visiting professor on leading American campuses, I strongly support this courageous initiative. It can be the turning point in the struggle against the delegitimization of the Jewish State,” was Oren’s strong endorsement of the bill.

“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,” said Congressman Roskam, the Chief Deputy Whip and co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus.

Roskam explained that academics are protected by the First Amendment to have and to express their views against Israel, “but the American taxpayer doesn’t have to participate in it, the American taxpayer doesn’t have to be complicit in it, and the American taxpayer doesn’t have to take any part in it.”

“As a former university professor, I appreciate the value of academic exchanges involving universities and individuals, particularly between strong international allies with robust academic programs like the United States and Israel. Scholarship and research should be about the pursuit of knowledge, and universities have been and always should be a community where different opinions and ideas are encouraged and nourished,” said Congressman Dan Lipinski.

HOW THE BILL WOULD WORK IN PRACTICE

The language in the proposed bill states that any institution of higher education shall not be eligible for federal funds if the Secretary of Education “determines that such institution is participating in a boycott of  Israeli academic institutions or scholars.”

The way to determine whether a university is participating in a boycott – which is not necessarily obvious as, for example, the ASA is not a part of a specific university – is “if the institutions or any significant part of the institution, or any organization significantly funded by the institution adopts a policy or resolution, issues a statement, or otherwise formally establishes the restriction of discourse, cooperation, exchange, or any other involvement with academic institutions or scholars on the basis of the connection of such institutions or such scholars to the State of Israel.”

Share Button

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

8 Responses to “House Bill to Slap Financial Penalties on anti-Israel Boycotts”

  1. Romi Itzik says:

    nicht neu Nothing New

  2. Dan Silagi says:

    This is a stupid law, and is blatantly unconstitutional. If the BDSholes are proscribed from boycotting Israel, then it would only be fair to extend the law so that, for instance, American educational institutions can't boycott Italy for what the Italians are trying to do to Amanda Knox. This law would have to be extended to all academic boycotts because a law only forbidding boycotts of Israel would be a bill of attainder (a law affecting only one person or group of people). Even then, it would be a violation of the First Amendment.

  3. Jane Smith says:

    American universities aren't boycotting Italy over the possible extradition of Amanda Knox, so your analogy is ludicrous. The majority of US taxpayers do NOT want to participate in the persecution of the State of Israel or the Jews, and they should not be forced, through taxation, to do so.

  4. Terry Beals says:

    I am for the bill. However, I would say that if they want freedom to "boycott" or anything else, they should not be receiving government funds. Then again, can the government be totally without bias when in comes to spending our tax dollars? Government needs to get TOTALLY OUT of the subsidizing business and let business and institutions operate on their own, the way our nation worked a grew for 200 years. They need to go back to the constitution and do their responsibility stated there and get back to our sure foundations.

  5. How is it unconstitutional? It puts no restrictions on individual rights to say what they want or to boycott who they want. It does not restrict the rights to assemble. It does not promote or discourage any religion. It just prevents government money from being used to prevent others from practicing their rights to practice free speech and to assemble. Really, this bill does more to enhance the first amendment by preventing entities that take government money from promoting their own ideals at the expense of others. Your boycotts are both unconstitutional and anti-intellectual, and anybody supporting them has no interest in furthering the collective knowledge of mankind. Government grants should only go towards expanding our understanding of the universe around us, not as tools of pseudo-intellectuals to destroy part of that universe and understanding. If you still want to boycott Israel, start or join your own movement without government money or join the neo-nazis… this bill doesn't restrict your freedoms to do either.

  6. Lynn Bianca Baronti says:

    So glad something is being done about this.

  7. Maynard Miller says:

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that the bill will pass. Who ever came up with the idea to boycott Israel, our friend? Why not boycott our enemies i.e. North Korea and Iran? We are over run by dummies in this country.

  8. Lani Lowell says:

    Stopping The libel and slander against the State of Israel is hardly preferential treatment. This bill is preventing the unfair singling out of Israel by special interests groups who have no interest in acknowledging or presenting facts , simply because they want to block the development of Jews.When does free speech turn into attack, libel and slander with untruths? I think this bill is a great advancement exactly because it addresses that issue. When Jewish students feel intimidated on campuses across the country! it is simply time to address the anti semitic elephant in the living room.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest News Stories
Birkat Cohanim 2014

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Arab road terrorists often use huge boulders to create obstacle courses in the road to slow down drivers -- and then hurl huge rocks at their hapless victims in the hope of murdering them.

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Arab rioters hurl objects at Israeli security personnel who use pepper spray to quell the violence emanating from the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine this week were ordered to “register” themselves and their assets.

U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hebron is proving to be a popular family tourist site during the Passover Holiday.

Hundreds attended the funeral of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi, who was slain by terrorists on Passover eve.

A local Jewish merchant was stabbed Monday on the island of Djerba.

The Israeli hi-tech company Matrix has announced it is opening a “massive training center” in Nanjing, China.

Rabbis have been busy with preparations for the traditional Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing, set for Thursday.

The suspect charged in the pre-Passover shooting deaths of three people outside two Kansas Jewish centers is a known white supremacist.

More than 400 people sat down at the first seder this year at the Chabad House of Bangkok, Thailand.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

PM Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist murder of a police officer on Passover eve.

The officers had signaled to the Arab driver to pull over. He then rammed into them.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Ron Pundak, co-chairman of a peace NGO

Ron Pundak was involved in many leftist “peace” initiatives. Pundak died on Friday.

Cornell University Student Assembly Voting Against the Anti-Israel Divestment Resolution, April 10, 2014.

Another failed anti-Israel Divestment measure. This one at Cornell University.

The US may pretend it was forced to give up Pollard, but it is US that most wants to continue talks.

Hirsi Ali’s critics wanted her silenced; Brandeis granted their wish.

Brandeis buckled to those who embrace diversity and tolerance only of their own views.

Celebrate Israel Parade should be successful, without anti-Israel BDSers parading down 5th Avenue!

Iran named a terrorist as ambassador to the UN, the Senate passed a bill banning his entry.

The holder of a vast trove of potentially Nazi-looted artwork has agreed to cooperate with officials

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/house-bill-to-slap-financial-penalties-on-anti-israel-boycotts/2014/02/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: