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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. […] 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. […]

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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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