Are You or Have You Ever Been a Member of the ASA? New York Legislators To Move To Ban Funds To Schools Associated With Israeli Boycott

Unknown-2Unknown-1We previously discussed how the American Studies Association joined a growing boycott of Israeli institutions, which is part of an even broader boycott of Israeli goods in many stores. There are good points to be made on both sides, including the absence of such boycotts for Chinese institutions and those of other abusive nations. However, we should all be able to agree that the response of New York legislator Dov Hikind is excessive and absurd. Hikind is showing his support for Israel by pushing legislation to cut off money to colleges involved in American Studies Association. He ignores the fact that the ASA resolution is non-binding and an expression of opposition to Israel’s policies as opposed to an enforceable ban. However, he wants to cut off whole institutions for even a loose association with a group that has condemned Israel. It is precisely the type of unhinged reaction that has distorted the debate over Middle East policies. He is being joined by Jeffrey Klein (right), another Democrat.

Hikind is planning to formally introduce the legislation early next year that would cut off state aid to schools that retain membership in the ASA. Under their plan, all money would be cut off from both private and public schools if they remain in the ASA. It is hard not to see the analogy with McCarthyism. Are you or have you been a member of the ASA?

You may recall Hikind from prior controversies involving racism and intolerance. In addition to his black-face controversy in our prior blog, he has protested any act or statement viewed as a slight on Jews or Israel. For example, he led protests against Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ, chanting “The Passion is a lethal weapon against Jews.” He is a follower of the late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane and his Jewish Defense League — identified as “a right wing terrorist group” by the FBI. He opposed same-sex marriage by saying it would lead to incest and insult God, adding “If we authorize gay marriage in the state of New York, those who want to live and love incestuously will be five steps closer to achieving their goals as well.” He was previously charged but acquitted of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funds which were supposed to be used for children’s services, including money that the federal government said was used on his personal expenses and used for a trip for him to Israel.

Klein is a lawyer and partner in the law firm of Klein Calderoni & Santucci, LLP. Klein has made his support for Israel as part of his political base stating in one press release against Hamas “I stand with Israel as an American, I stand with Israel as an elected official, and I stand with Israel for the 6 million.” He is quoted as calling the resolution a form of ” support institutionalized discrimination.” However, this is governmental action punishing schools based on an act of free speech in the form of a non-binding resolution. It raises serious constitutional questions and should be denounced by anyone who believes in free speech in my view.

What do you think?

33 thoughts on “Are You or Have You Ever Been a Member of the ASA? New York Legislators To Move To Ban Funds To Schools Associated With Israeli Boycott

  1. You remember the German American Bund, don’t you Professor? Too young to remember? Do you remember the Reichstag Fire Decree? Similar to the Patriot Act. Thereafter schools in Germany banned Jews from While we are at it in NY we should cut off state funding for schools that allow segregation by race or sex in their state supported fraternities and sororities in state colleges.
    I bark in my support for the legislation.

  2. Professor Turley: I have to ask. Does your law school now have any Jewish students from Israel? Does your school belong to the ASA? Do you belong to the ASA? Maybe a Jewish law student from Tel Aviv might oppose West Bank settlements. Maybe an Arab student from a Jewish Law School might want to come to America for a year to study the ways of America and learn about the German American Bund.

  3. Yes. The boycotting of Jewish goods, people, and services has its history in the State of New York with the German American Bund. So those who wish to follow the Bund need to be cut off from state subsidy. Here is an excerpt from Wiki:

    In May 1933, Nazi Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess gave German immigrant and German Nazi Party member Heinz Spanknöbel authority to form an American Nazi organization.[3] Shortly thereafter, with help from the German consul in New York City, Spanknöbel created the Friends of New Germany[3] by merging two older organizations in the United States, Gau-USA and the Free Society of Teutonia, which were both small groups with only a few hundred members each. The Friends of New Germany was based in New York but had a strong presence in Chicago.[3] Members wore a uniform, a white shirt and black trousers for men with a black hat festooned with a red symbol. Women members wore a white blouse and a black skirt.[4]
    The organization led by Spanknöbel was openly pro-Nazi, and engaged in activities such as storming the German language New Yorker Staats-Zeitung with the demand that Nazi-sympathetic articles be published, and the infiltration of other non-political German-American organizations. One of the Friends early initiatives was to counter, with propaganda, the Jewish boycott of German goods which started in March 1933.
    In an internal battle for control of the Friends, Spanknöbel was ousted as leader and subsequently deported in October 1933 because he had failed to register as a foreign agent.[3]
    At the same time, Congressman Samuel Dickstein was Chairman of the Committee on Naturalization and Immigration, where he became aware of the substantial number of foreigners legally and illegally entering and residing in the country, and the growing anti-Semitism along with vast amounts of anti-Semitic literature being distributed in the country. This led him to investigate independently the activities of Nazi and other fascist groups. This led to the formation of the Special Committee on Un-American Activities Authorized to Investigate Nazi Propaganda and Certain Other Propaganda Activities. Throughout the rest of 1934, the Committee conducted hearings, bringing before it most of the major figures in the US fascist movement.[5] Dickstein’s investigation concluded that the Friends represented a branch of German dictator Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party in America.[6][7]
    The organization existed into the mid-1930s, although it always remained small, with a membership of between 5,000-10,000, consisting mostly of German citizens living in America and German emigrants who only recently had become citizens.[3] In December 1935, Rudolf Hess ordered all German citizens to leave the Friends of New Germany and recalled to Germany all its leaders.[3]”
    –end of Wiki–

    I suggest that we look into the ASA for its anti Jewish front activities and suggest to any school in America that they not follow ASA dogma. Woops. I hate that word. That they not follow any German American Bund propaganda against Israel, Jews, and West Bank residents.

  4. Anti-Semitism is on the rise, as I’ve been saying for several years. That hate has never gone away, it lives on through millennium. I believe it will never end, just ebb and flow. My father always pointed out to me injustices of people, Jews were near the top of that list.

  5. This is one of those areas of freedom of association and freedom of speech collide…. In this one…. If they are taking a political stance…. They should consider the consequences….

  6. Fundamentalism, no matter the religion, is dangerous because they feel they have a Divine Imperative to legislate their belief system onto their fellow citizens. They have no place in any governmental positon. I know we can’t discriminate against their belief system, but we certainly should be able to protect ourselves against them.

  7. Here is the concluding paragraph in the ASA proclamation:

    It is resolved that the American Studies Association (ASA) endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. It is also resolved that the ASA supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
    -end-

    Let me just ask the ASA what is: “..the call of Palestinian civil society”?

    I recall when Jordan and Egypt both attached Israel without notice in 1967 from the Wall on the Jordanian side and Gaza border on the west side of the country. Israel pushed back. On the Egypt side all the way to the Suez. They later gave the invaders and its present day holy terrorists the Sinai desert. Gaza is independent but run by terrorists. The Jordanians were allowed to live in the West Bank of the Jordan River and there are negotiations to alter the border and bring it west of the river. But terrorists live amongst these Jordanians who chose to stay on the West Bank. These Jordanians started calling themselves Palestinians in recent years– as if they are a different ethnic and nationality from Jordan.

    I call for a Palestinian State on the West Bank of the river that runs by George Washington University. Let Professor Turley and his
    ASA hole pals play ball with them.

  8. Is it legal to suggest that people not buy products from ‘x’ source? That would seem to be the basic question here. Certainly, it’s accepted as a given that it’s perfectly legal to pay money to suggest that people BUY from source ‘x’. So, why the fuss about the ASA? It raises the idea that perhaps those proposing such sanctions lack any articulable arguments against the ASA suggestion, and so punishing people is the only response they have. Which, of course, lends credence to the original statement that Israel may be in the wrong in certain practices. I find it difficult to believe that a practicing attorney would be so lacking in ability as to be unable to formulate a credible argument against a political stance.

  9. I once again call for support for the establishment of Cardinal Nation on the West Bank of the Mississippi River where present day St. Louis exists. We Cardinal Fans have the same rights as Jordanians in the West Bank of the Jordan River who call themselves Palestinians. We are not terrorists and have one goal and that is three successive World Series Championships. We need Cardinal Nation to be an independent state with a seat at the UN. We have a Cardinal in mind as our delegate and he is not a Catholic Cardinal but a guy who wore a Redbird outfit. We need the support of the ASA. We think that that organization is bright enough to back our movement.

  10. First, the ASA came for the jews and I did not object because I was not one. Next they came for the gypsies and I did not object because my last name was not Roma or Romney. Then they came for the Italians in DC. I did not object. When they come for he dogs living in Florida there will be no one left to stand up for the dogpac. Because you are not dogs. The ASA needs to go the way of the Bund. Ausfart from America.

  11. My parents tried to instill an understanding of how deep antisemitism was in America, but it wasn’t until ASA adopted this blatantly discriminatory, anti-Israel resolution, by a healthy majority in fact, did I really understand and fear it. I applaud Hikind’s actions and hope that others, no matter what their own religion might be, take similar actions in any organization that provides funds to any organization that remains a member of ASA.

  12. The actions of Mr. Hikind and Mr. Klein are disappointing, but not surprising. Blind support of any policy is, well, blind.

  13. These two representatives have too much time on their hands. Sounds like a bill of attainder to me. So eager these two are to go after what this ADA represents to them that they are going to cut off the means for thousands of young adults to earn an education from the school of their choice. Who do they represent, the voters or themselves and their own misaligned thoughts of what the world is like?

  14. With apologies to the shade of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his immortal poem “Ozymandias,” I offer here a brief meditation on the current, continuing, and contemplated depredations of the Apartheid Zionist Entity upon those captive Palestinian Arabs who had absolutely nothing to do with the German/Christian persecution of Jews in Europe before and during World War II.

    Regarding the reflexive support for such racist, pseudo-theocratic policies by the United States government, I can only considert them:

    Cozy, Scandalous

    I met a refugee from Gaza Strip,
    Who spoke to me with empty, staring eyes
    Dumb words whose depth of pain I could not grip
    With all the helping hands the world denies
    While lapping up the lurid lies that slip
    And roll so greasy off the practiced tongue
    Of Zionists whose caged and wounded prey
    Are told to flee and leave their dying young
    To weep beside the corpses of their old
    In darkened shattered former homes where they
    Cannot refute the garbage we’ve been told
    By glib Israeli liars trained to spread
    A veil of darkness over crimes they’ve sold
    As “Peaceful Co-Existence” — with the dead.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2009

    Oh, and by the way, what American can have anything against boycotts when the U.S. government’s “sanctions” against Iraq and Iran — in blind, obedience to Apartheid Zionist aggrandizement — have resulted in so much misery and death to so many Muslims who never did any harm to America?

    Study that heartless hypocrisy, Americans.

  15. Just what I came to Jonathan Turley’s blog to read. Classic examples of argumentum ad hitlerum, aka, reductio ad hitlerum, drowning any attempts at intelligent discussion.

  16. Really? Criticizing Israel is like the Bund Party? That’s not even a subtle way of avoiding Godwin. How about this idea: equal rights for everyone regardless of religion or ethnicity? I guess holding that sentiment makes you a Nazi.

  17. While I don’t care much for the German attempt to spread their vile anti-semitic propaganda during WWII and while I am going to investigate the ASA and their views about both the Jewish people and Israel, I wouldn’t want Mr. Hikind close to me, let alone this new proposed law. Why would anyone defend this vile, belligerent man to get back at the supposed belligerent ASA? As long-time supporter of Israel I will also reserve the freedom to criticize policies and leaders I find objectionable. Since when has this kind of criticism become proof of anti-semitic sentiment? Grow up already. Oh, and Happy New Year to Professor Turley and regulars on here.

  18. The legislators concerned would do well to remember that they are elected to serve the interest of the people of New York state – not to act as foreign agents serving the agenda of a specific group of people in Israel.

    Disgraceful and treasonous behaviour.

  19. […] Jonathan Turley writes: We previously discussed how the American Studies Association joined a growing boycott of Israeli institutions, which is part of an even broader boycott of Israeli goods in many stores. There are good points to be made on both sides, including the absence of such boycotts for Chinese institutions and those of other abusive nations. However, we should all be able to agree that the response of New York legislator Dov Hikind is excessive and absurd. Hikind is showing his support for Israel by pushing legislation to cut off money to colleges involved in American Studies Association. He ignores the fact that the ASA resolution is non-binding and an expression of opposition to Israel’s policies as opposed to an enforceable ban. However, he wants to cut off whole institutions for even a loose association with a group that has condemned Israel. It is precisely the type of unhinged reaction that has distorted the debate over Middle East policies. He is being joined by Jeffrey Klein (right), another Democrat. […]

  20. My the hasbara trolls are out in force! If you want to see real racism, go to Israel. If you can’t, read Blumenthal’s Goliath.

  21. @ rafflaw (free speech or don’t): Since money is now considered speech, in this case denial of money is denial of free speech, IMHO.

  22. Let those idiots do that….start a war between Americans and Jews….there’s only one winner…someone’s going to have to eat….

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