Two leading Jewish organizations have come out in opposition to a bill in the House of Representatives which would ban federal aid to academic institutions that boycott Israel or its institutions.
Although they are both fighting the move to boycott Israel, the American-Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), are against the Protect Academic Freedom Act on First Amendment grounds, Globes reports.
The bill, in the form of an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965, was introduced by Representative Peter Roskam (Republican, Illinois) and Representative Dan Lipinski (Democrat, Illinois) last Thursday in response to the decision by the American Studies Association (ASA) to boycott Israeli universities.
“The boycott of U.S.-Israeli academic exchanges proposed by the American Studies Association and Association of Asian American Studies would lead to negative effects on educational and research institutions in both nations. I am proud to join Rep. Roskam in introducing legislation that would help assure that no federal funds would go to any American university that would consider this ill-conceived boycott and thus deter U.S. based academic institutions from joining it.”
However, without support from AIPAC and ADL, the bill may not pass.