About the author  ⁄ The Endowment for Middle East Truth

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, EMET send a letter to Senator Mitch McConnell urging him to bring the Taylor Force Act to the floor for a full vote.

The letter was signed by 13 organizations, representing at least 4.1 million of Americans.

Click Here to Read EMET's Letter to Senator Mitch McConnell

 

 

Read More →

At the end of 2017, a monumental piece of legislation to curb anti-American and anti-Israel biases on college campuses was passed by the House Committee on Education and Workforce. The Higher Education Act (HEA) — last reauthorized in 2008, and now renamed the “PROSPER Act” — is the primary federal law governing higher education. Within the law is a statute called Title VI, which includes a section that provides grants for international and foreign language studies.

Unfortunately, for many decades, some of these grants have supported a number of professors and programs on university campuses that espouse anti-American, anti-Israel — and at times — antisemitic viewpoints, in violation of federal law. The new language within Title VI of the PROSPER Act, included by the House committee, seeks to remedy these biases.

On January 25, a group of 14 Jewish, educational and civil rights organizations sent a letter to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R, TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D, WA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, urging the committee to adopt the new Title VI language that is included within the PROSPER Act.

The original intent of Title VI of HEA was to prepare students to serve the national security needs of the United States, by funding foreign language and area studies programs at universities. These area studies programs, known as National Resource Centers (NRCs), receive millions of US taxpayer dollars each year. However, research shows that these funds are largely misused and abused by their recipients.

Title VI-funded NRCs — currently located at 100 institutions of higher education across the US — are replete with anti-American and anti-Israel biases. Specifically, many Middle East NRCs at prestigious institutions including Columbia University, Georgetown University, Princeton University and Yale University, among others, are teeming with Title VI-supported faculty and programs that advance the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel; whitewash terrorism; and create a false narrative of US foreign policy towards the Middle East.

Also, problematically, under Title VI, NRCs are required to extend their activities by creating programs of “public outreach,” including workshops where K-12 teachers are trained. Many of these workshops, and their lesson plans on the Middle East, are heavily influenced by Saudi money. Some of the training materials have included essays of Islamist radicals who advocate for terrorism, and textbooks painting Israel and the West as colonial powers. As a result, Title VI-funded Middle East studies biases are trickling down to our most vulnerable youth.

In 2008, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a pro-America and pro-Israel think tank, prompted Congress to amend Title VI to require the need for “diverse perspectives and a wide range of views” within the programs. But despite the new amendment, the US Department of Education, which provides these grants to the universities, as well as the recipients of the grants themselves, have largely ignored their statutory requirements to provide “diverse perspectives.”

In part due to EMET’s educational efforts on the Hill, changes were finally made to attempt to remedy Title VI within the PROSPER Act. The new language creates accountability for universities and Title VI-funded programs — including the NRCs — that fail to comply with the “diverse perspectives” requirement, including the possibility of losing funding. EMET’s work also prompted an amendment within Title VI which states that any Title VI-funded program “shall not promote any biased views that are discriminatory toward any group, religion, or population of people.”

The job is not done, however. The PROSPER Act still needs to be voted on by the entire House, and a companion bill will need to be introduced and passed in the Senate for the president to sign. But once this happens, we might finally see an end to the biased, anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric espoused by Title VI-funded faculty, centers and programs. And this, in turn, might result in a less hostile learning environment for pro-American and pro-Israel students on college campuses throughout the US. All of this would be a tremendous victory for American college students.

Originally published at: https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/02/01/congress-works-to-curb-anti-american-and-anti-israel-bias-on-us-campuses/

Read More →

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Recently, President Trump again waived key sanctions on Iran, keeping to the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA).

In his statement on his decision, Trump vowed that, “Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. I will not do so again. This is a last chance.”

I hope this happens. As I have argued before, not only is the JCPOA itself not in the national interests of the United States, but, keeping to it despite Iranian cheating and aggression makes the U.S. look weak throughout the world stage. And this weakness invites more belligerence from enemy nations.

But until another four months pass, we have no idea what the president will do.

However, I can say with complete confidence that nothing that happens over the next four months will prompt the former Obama administration foreign policy experts, and “the blob” they fooled, especially the European elites, to reconsider their support for the Iran deal. We know this because of the past two years since the deal was implemented. Time after time, the Iranian regime had violated the JCPOA, or acted in an extremely dangerous and aggressive manner in the Middle East, only to have the foreign policy establishment rush to the barricades to caution against any move that would punish Iran by nixing the JCPOA.

The 2017-2018 demonstrations against the Iranian regime are just the most recent example. Iranian civilians took to the streets, originally to protest their lack of demonstrable economic benefits coming from the JCPOA, but eventually objecting to the brutal Islamist theocracy that governed them as well. So far, at least 25 Iranians are dead; thousands more have been arrested, and hundreds of them may be experiencing torture in the notorious Evin prison.

None of this seems to have prompted any reevaluation of the Iran deal by the foreign policy elites in any nation: “Reviving sanctions on Iran’s main export would allow Tehran to argue that the United States is ultimately the cause of Iran’s economic problems, said Richard Nephew, who worked on sanctions policy at the White House under President Barack Obama,” Reuters reported.

Of course, open Iranian violations of the JCPOA also were excused away. At least twice, the Iranian regime was caught producing excess heavy water at Arak. This breech of the agreement was simply “solved” by allowing Iran to sell this excess heavy water for extra cash currency, which undoubtedly helps to fund more Iranian aggression throughout the Middle East by the IRGC or terror proxies.

So too, it was excused when Iran refused to allow international inspectors to inspect Iranian military sites, despite language to the contrary in the deal. Obviously, the likeliest place for any illegal Iranian nuclear testing to be occurring would be in a military site. But we will never know, since rather than demand access, the international inspectors simply chose not to ask for entry to those facilities.

When it was discovered that Iran is likely violating Section T of the Iran deal, which explicitly bans Iran from “activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” this too was pushed under the rug; even though these violations are directly related to nuclear weapons development. For example, Iran is likely using computer models to simulate a nuclear bomb, and/or designing multi-point, explosive detonation systems.

When Iran was caught sending missiles and weapons to fighters in Syria and Yemen, and some of the missiles sent to Yemen were fired at U.S. ships, in what was possibly an act of war, and clearly a violation of UN Resolution 2231 — which bans Iran from shipping weapons throughout the Middle East — the Iranians were once again given a pass. This was done despite the fact that UN resolution 2231 incorporates the Iran deal.

When Iran uses is monies from the JCPOA, including the sanctions relief that is still given to them each month, for nefarious purposes, this is immaterial to deal defenders. Some of this is being used to fund the Iranian controlled Shia militias in Iraq, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, which “dominate” Iraq, and whose membership includes terrorists with American blood on their hands.

When Iran went all in to protect its client regime, the vicious Assad government in Syria, to the tune of an estimated $15 billion a year, and waged an ethnic cleansing campaign against Sunni Arabs in Syria, once again funding all of this thanks to the JCPOA, this too was ignored by the elite.

Perhaps most prominently, when the Iranians threatened American Naval ships in the Persian Gulf, and even physically grabbed American sailors, who were intimidated and made to “apologize” to their captors — which the Navy deemed a violation of international law — this was also no big deal. The incident was quickly forgotten, even after Iran bragged that it (illegallyextracted information from the sailors’ confiscated phones and laptops, and made and took humiliating films and pictures of the prisoners.

As we can see, to the foreign policy establishment, the Iran deal is untouchable, no matter what Iran does. And when the facts don’t matter in evaluating a foreign agreement, this means that its proponents believe in it as an article of faith. Faith is most appropriate in shaping one’s religious views; it is not so appropriate when it determines one’s foreign policies.

Originally published at: https://www.newsmax.com/adamturner/iran-trump-jcpoa-nuclear/2018/01/31/id/840588/#ixzz56FTdmLcF

Read More →

1/30/18 – On Saturday, Islamist Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched an aggressive attack called ‘Operation Olive Branch’ on the American-backed Kurds in the territory in the northwest city of Afrin, Syria.  Erdogan threatened US troops stationed with the Kurds, stating, “This is what we have to say to all our allies: don’t get in between us and terrorist organizations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences.”  Erdogan added, “Either you [the United States] take off your flags on those terrorist organizations [the Kurds], or we will have to hand those flags over to you, don’t force us to bury in the ground those who are with terrorists.”

Before the invasion by the Turks, Afrin was relatively stable, home to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Syrians- regardless of ethnicity or religion. Afrin is 90 percent Kurdish mixed with Arabs, and the people have put forth a democratic system that accounts for equal representation for both men and women. Erdogan has labeled the Kurds as “terrorists” and aims to end their presence in Afrin. Surrounding Afrin are the so-called Syrian opposition, the Free Syrian Amy (FSA) rebels, and a mix of al Qaeda affiliated groups who have aligned with Turkey to remove the Kurds from their historical land.

By now, there have been at least 141 civilian deaths that we know of. The attacks have been concentrated on civilian areas and border villages. It is critical for the international community to immediately respond to Turkish aggression on the Kurds in what the Kurdish people call ethnic cleansing. Furthermore, Turkish advance into Syrian territory derails the Kurdish fight against the Islamic State and prolongs the 7-year Syrian civil war, likely leading to another humanitarian crisis.

Discussing the crisis is our Kurdish Project Director, Diliman Abdulkader.

Read More →

Sarah Stern Interviewed on The Jason Rantz Show

 

 

 

 

Jason Rantz interviews EMET president and founder Sarah Stern regarding a senior policy adviser to Sen. Patty Murray saying, “We don’t care about anti-Semitism in this office.”

Photo: JasonRantz.com

Read More →

EMET Mentioned on The Mark Levin Show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Levin mentions EMET’s Sarah Stern and Jennifer Dekel on his radio show, The Mark Levin Show, on January 17th, 2018 while speaking about the Free Beacon article on a senior policy adviser in Sen. Murray’s office saying, “We do not care about anti-Semitism.”

Photo: The Mark Levin Show

Read More →

Nick Burns, Harvard Kennedy School professor & former under secretary of State for political affairs, and Sarah Stern, Endowment for Middle East Truth president, discuss President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital.

This is a deeply unwise decision: Frmr. NATO ambassador on Jerusalem recognition from CNBC.

Read More →

 

EMET Commends the House Committee for Curbing anti-American, anti-Israel biases on College Campuses:

Education & Workforce Committee Reformed the Title VI International Education Programs 

(Washington, DC, January 2, 2017) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) commends the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for including new language into Title VI of the ‘‘Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity 6 through Education Reform Act,’’ also known the ‘‘PROSPER Act,’’ H.R 4508.  The PROSPER Act, which passed the House Education & Workforce Committee December 13, 2017, is the new name for the Higher Education Act (HEA), last reauthorized in 2008.  EMET has long been working on the issue of International and Foreign Language Studies grants in Title VI of HEA, in an effort to reform this law that helps support many professors and programs on university campuses that espouse anti-American, anti-Israel, and at times, anti-Semitic viewpoints, in violation of federal law.

The Higher Education Act was originally signed into law on November 8th, 1965, to strengthen the educational resources of American universities and colleges and to provide financial assistance to students in postsecondary and Higher Education.  HEA was a later version of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), signed into law in 1958 by President Eisenhower.  The original intent of Title VI of the NDEA was to prepare our students to serve the national security needs of the United States by funding foreign language and area studies programs at universities, particularly with respect to combatting the Soviet threat at the time.  The area studies programs are known as National Resource Centers (NRCs).  In 1965, Title VI legislation was included into HEA, most recently reauthorized as the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) in 2008.

In October 2014, more than $3.3 million of federal grant money was awarded to Middle East NRCs under Title VI of HEA.  More than $13.4 million will be awarded to 19 Middle East NRCs for the entire 2014-2018 cycle.

Unfortunately, the original legislative intent of Title VI of HEA had been turned on its head.  Research shows that many Title VI-funded NRCs – currently at 100 institutions of higher education across the U.S. – are replete with an anti-American and anti-Israel biases.  Specifically, many Middle East NRCs, including at such prestigious institutions as Columbia University, Georgetown University, Princeton University, and Yale University, among others, are replete with Title VI-supported faculty and programs that advance the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; whitewash terrorism and radical Islam; and create a false narrative of U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East.

For example, Hatem Bazian, a champion of BDS and anti-Israel causes, is a senior lecturer at Title VI-funded Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  Bazian co-founded the oftentimes anti-Semitic and pro-BDS student organization, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and is the chairman of the radical organization, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).  AMP was the topic of a Congressional hearing on BDS in April, 2016, which exposed the organization as one of the main funders of the BDS movement, as well as having ties to the terrorist organization Hamas.  AMP called the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration as a “sad date” in history, with Bazian stating, “Everything thing that has befallen Palestine – It’s partition, the settlements, random arrests and detentions, the Apartheid Wall, the siege on Gaza, and the millions of Palestinians living in exile and Diaspora – was made possible because of the Balfour Declaration.”

Also, problematic, under Title VI, NRCs are required to extend their activities by creating programs of “public outreach,” including workshops where K-12 teachers are trained.  Many of the workshops, and their lesson plans on the Middle East, are heavily influenced by Saudi money, reports show.  Some of the training materials include essays of Islamist radicals who advocate for terrorism; textbooks painting Israel and the West as colonial powers; and lesson plans that promote Islam and criticize the Jewish State.  As a result, Title VI-funded Middle East studies biases are trickling down to our most vulnerable youth.

In 2008, EMET was instrumental in amending Title VI of HEA to require the need for “diverse perspectives and a wide range of views,” within the U.S. taxpayer-funded Title VI programs.  Despite EMET’s exhaustive efforts in 2008, the U.S. Department of Education, which provides these grants to the universities, as well as the recipients of the grants themselves, have ignored their statutory requirements to provide “diverse perspectives.”  Since 2008, EMET has been the only organization on Capitol Hill regularly raising awareness about the abuses of, and calling for legislative changes to, Title VI, through one-on-one meetings with Congressional staffers and Members of Congress.

Thanks to EMET’s hard work educating congressional staff and Members of Congress on the House Education and Workforce Committee for several years on Title VI, these changes were finally made.  EMET was also instrumental in helping to draft and include amendments within the new PROSPER Act to strengthen the “diverse perspectives” requirement, and to create accountability for universities and Title VI-funded programs – including the NRCs – that fail to comply with the diverse perspectives requirement, among other amendments.  Specifically, the new bill states that the “Secretary shall use [the diverse perspectives] requirement…as part of the application evaluation, review, and approval process when determining grant recipients for initial funding and continuation of awards.”  And the bill further mandates that the Secretary annually “submit to the authorizing committees a report that identifies the efforts taken to ensure recipients’ compliance with the requirements under this title relating to the ‘diverse perspectives and a wide range of views’ requirement…”

Perhaps most notably, EMET’s work and diligence on Title VI biases prompted Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) to include an amendment to HEA which states: “Sec. 629 Compliance with Diverse Perspectives and a Wide Range of Views – When complying with the requirement of this title to offer a diverse perspective and a wide range of views, a recipient of a grant under this title shall not promote any biased views that are discriminatory toward any group, religion, or population of people.”

Sarah Stern, founder and president of EMET said, “I am thrilled by the new language included within Title VI of the PROSPER Act.  Congressman Wilson’s amendment is nothing short of historic; students previously discriminated under Title VI of HEA programming for their religious and political beliefs – including politically divergent views, Jewish student groups, and pro-Israel groups – will now be guaranteed protections under Title VI.  Furthermore, EMET has been calling for reforms to Title VI of HEA for years – and we are pleased that many of our recommendations have been included in the PROSPER Act, including an annual report by the Secretary of Education on ‘Compliance with Diverse Perspectives and a Wide Range of Views Requirement.’”

Ms. Stern added, “I applaud the entire House Education and Workforce Committee for taking the matter of Title VI of HEA seriously, and for taking the long overdue step to include language that will work to remedy the terrible anti-American and anti-Israel biases within the program.  EMET was also pleased to collaborate with other civil rights and pro-Israel organizations on the issue, and looks forward to working with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to help ensure the legislation passes and is subsequently signed into law.”

###

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact: Jennifer Dekel
Endowment for Middle East Truth
202.601.7422
Read More →