World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


US Congress Introduces Unconstitutional Bill Against BDS

Breaking: Congress Introduces Unconstitutional Bill Against BDS. Passage Will Stifle Academic Freedom.

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 6, 2014 - Today in Congress an unconstitutional bill was introduced, and if passed it would stifle academic freedom, chill free speech, and penalize the use of non-violent means of resistance and protest against the Israeli occupation. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has received a lot of attention in recent months, after various American academic organizations, including the American Studies Association, instituted an academic boycott of Israeli universities and institutions. New legislation introduced in Congress today would prohibit any institution that participates in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars from receiving federal funds under the Higher Education Act.

The Protect Academic Freedom Act provides that, “The Secretary shall consider an institution of higher education to be participating in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars if the institution, any significant part of the institution, or any organization significantly funded by the institutionadopts 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.”

To explain the rational for the legislation in terms that appeal to the average american taxpayer, Representative Peter Roskam made the following statement on Tuesday while introducing the Act:

“These organizations are clearly free to do what they want to do under the First Amendment, but the American taxpayer doesn’t have to subsidize it. The American taxpayer doesn’t have to be complicit in it. And the American taxpayer doesn’t have to play any part in it.”

So, according to Congressman Roskam's reasoning, it is perfectly ok that the American taxpayer has to be complicit in and play a part in sending Israel $3 billion dollars per year in foreign aid while Israel maintains its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and continues to expand illegal settlements. Yet by contrast, our government's funding of American institutions of higher education that merely fund an organization that in turn makes a statement against a foreign country is somehow an unreasonable burden for American taxpayers to bear. If the goal is to save the American taxpayer some money, why not cut aid to a foreign country before we cut aid to American education?

Congressman Roskam's argument has no basis in logic.

For years Palestinians have adopted non-violent measures aimed at bringing an end to occupation. Through the BDS movement, activists are seeking to create international pressure on Israel to abide by international law, and end the occupation of Palestine. If passed, this bill will reveal the extent to which the American Congress instinctively seeks to protect Israel, even at the expense of time-honored American traditions like free speech and association.

ADC will continue to monitor the progress of the bill and will send subsequent action alerts related to the matter.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news