On Tuesday, June 16th, 2015, Congressman Carlos Curbelo introduced this bipartisan legislation
, which is co-sponsored by Congressmen Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Kevin Boyle (D-PA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), and Brian Higgins (D-NY).
The BDS movement is an international organization that attempts to delegitimize Israel through academic, economic, and cultural boycotts of Israeli products. Through these boycotts, the global movement hopes that Israel will be forced to give into a list of demands, including but not limited to: the right of return of Palestinian refugees, the breakdown of the separation wall between the West Bank and Israel Proper, and returning to pre-1967 lines. BDS undoubtedly has another agenda, to wipe Israel off the map, and the group is particularly popular on college campuses. The BDS campaign is just one way that anti-Israel professors and students intimidate pro-Israel students every day, threatening the state of academic freedom on college campuses.
“The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on college campuses has unfairly singled out Israel, our closest friend and ally in the extremely volatile Middle East,” Congressman Curbelo explained. Congressman Curbelo also asserted that “academic boycotts eliminate the possibility of open exchanges of ideas, and it is time for Congress to take notice.”
Combating the BDS movement is a top priority for EMET. On U.S. college campuses, supporters of Israel are vilified every day. From verbal attacks by professors and students in class, to physical assaults and Swastika vandalism, anti-Semitism has increased dramatically over the past few years. BDS is simply another example of this hatred.
EMET has been at the forefront of fighting the academic war against America and Israel on college campuses since its’ founding. EMET is working to reform Title VI of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which gives funding to a select amount of foreign language and areas studies programs at colleges around the United States. Often, these programs funded with American taxpayer dollars, hire professors who spew anti-Israel, anti-American, and at times even anti-Semitic hatred.
“In the 2013-2014 school year, 54 percent of Jewish students reported experiencing or observing Anti-Semitism,” Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET said. “It is the time for Congress to address this issue as more and more youth report anti-Semitic activity on our nation’s college campuses, and the Department of Education often dismisses these reports. It is our responsibility to protect academic freedom, and it is also our duty to protect the civil rights of all of our students.” She concluded, “I would like to thank Congressman Curbelo and his Congressional colleagues, for this resolution, and for their willingness to take a stand against BDS.”