New York Senate leader wants to cut off cash to colleges involved in American Studies Association

Dov Hikind stands with Jeffrey Klein at a press conference in February 2012. (Photo: DovHikind,Blogspot.com)

Dov Hikind stands with Jeffrey Klein at a press conference in February 2012. (Photo: DovHikind,Blogspot.com)

The backlash against the American Studies Association’s (ASA) decision to boycott Israel continues to intensify. Two New York Democrats say they are planning to introduce legislation early next year that would cut off state aid to schools that retain membership in the ASA.

One of the legislators, Dov Hikind, is a right-wing Democrat who is a familiar face to any disputes on Israel in New York.  The other, Jeffrey Klein, is a left-leaning Democrat who is a less well-known face on Israel.  Klein, who last year joined hands with Republicans to form a bi-partisan majority in the State Senate, is the co-leader of the legislative body.

In a statement released today, Hikind and Klein say their new legislation would cut money off from private and public schools if they remain in the ASA, which earlier this month endorsed the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.  The bill would give schools a month to withdraw their membership from groups like the ASA–or else lose funding.  The measure would prohibit schools from spending money on ASA conferences, or on other conferences involving groups that support boycotting Israel.

“The ASA’s boycott of Israel is not only a direct violation of New York State’s Human Rights Act, it’s a slap in the face to Jews and supporters of Israel everywhere. Make no mistake: the ASA’s boycott is targeted discrimination against Israel that betrays the values of academic freedom that we hold dear,” the two legislators said in a statement. “We cannot encourage our colleges and universities to engage in this type of discrimination against Israel. New Yorkers expect us to reject discrimination in every form, and cutting off the state spigot is the best way of doing that.”

The legislation is framed as targeting colleges that support the boycott of Israel.  But no school administration has come out in support of the academic boycott, and today, the City University of New York, the largest urban public institution in the country, came out against the boycott.

Hikind has been leading the push in New York to punish the ASA over its decision. Earlier this week, he wrote a letter to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman imploring him to look into taking action against the ASA.  Hikind claims the boycott violates New York State’s Human Rights Law, which prohibits boycotts based on national origin.  That law also upholds the right to boycott “to protest unlawful discriminatory practices.”  The ASA boycott targets Israeli institutions to protest the government’s policies on the Palestinians.

Hikind, an Orthodox Jewish Democrat who wields outsize influence in New York politics, has targeted supporters of BDS before.  He was one of the leaders of the campaign against Brooklyn College when the school’s Political Science Department co-sponsored a talk on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

A former member of the Jewish Defense League and an admirer of Meir Kahane, Hikind was a suspect in a series of bombings linked to the extremist Jewish group, though he was never arrested.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is an assistant editor for Mondoweiss and the World editor for AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.
Posted in Activism, BDS, Israel/Palestine, US Politics

{ 70 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Tzombo says:

    Boycott, the weapon of choice for those alledgedly opposed to boycotts…

    • seafoid says:

      I was thinking the same thing. It must be like the IDF code of honor. Save life wherever possible LOL.

    • lysias says:

      Boycott by the government is very different from — and much more objectionable than — a boycott by a private entity. If this plan for New York State goes through, it would be open to a very promising First Amendment challenge.

      In the meantime, these politicians should be asked about their attitude towards the First Amendment.

    • Giles says:

      Last we heard from Hikind he was covering up for the 15-20 Jewish men who beat a gay black man very badly on 12/1/13 in Brooklyn.

      As far as I can tell, there have still been no arrests despite the fact there were witnesses and those witnesses took pictures of the license plates of the cars the attackers were using.

      Does anyone know if anything is being done on that case?

  2. yrn says:

    The American Studies Association’s (ASA) opened up a front.
    Now they will have to face the consequences.
    If they thought their act is going to be with no rejection.
    They really live in La La land.
    So what are you whining about, can you be so foolish and think that the Jewish establishment will react different.
    With all your stupidity and illusion that the Jewish establishment is not pure pro Israel.
    Here you have the proof.
    And if you ask me it is only the beginning.

    Or you hang on to Phil & Co, with their bull about the Jewish Anti Zionist fantasy.

    • seafoid says:

      It is going to be a long war. They have the money but they don’t have the people. And hasbara is really banjaxed.

      • yrn says:

        Seafoid

        Its you who claim that the Jews dominate and control the media in the US.
        So they got the money and the Media and the congress and the president.
        So it’s about time to see how it really works.
        Don’t you see it’s a Jewish issue not Israeli.

        • seafoid says:

          I don’t buy that antisemitic crap. There is definitely a lot of money behind Israel and very little sustainable informed support for Zionist nihilism. It is going to go tits up. You can’t convince mw.otherwise. There are just too many lies. Zionism has zero decency. The world probably does need a jewish state but that doesn’t give Israel the right to run apartheid.

        • Ellen says:

          yrn, explain to the millions of Jews around the world that have no interest in the construct of the country named Israel why it is a “Jewish issue?”

          Not all Jews identify with the colonial project.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “The American Studies Association’s (ASA) opened up a front.
      Now they will have to face the consequences.”

      LMAO. Yeah, Hivkind is going to make another one of his ugly faces and lie about New York State law. Ooooh, the ASA is quaking in their boots, no doubt.

      • Mike_Konrad says:

        LMAO. Yeah, Hivkind is going to make another one of his ugly faces and lie about New York State law. Ooooh, the ASA is quaking in their boots, no doubt.

        Hikind is not fooling around.

        New York State Law is tougher than Federal Law on boycotts against Israel. In fact, it may even be tougher than the recent anti-boycott legislation in israel’s Knesset.

        Israel Law Center has mentioned New York State

        link to israellawcenter.org

        s an example, the law in New York, where so many ASA members reside and work, defines boycotts as “unlawful discriminatory practice” and, that any decision to “refuse to buy from, sell to or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person, because of…creed…[or ]national origin”, is unlawful and even places secondary actors, aiding the policy, under liability. Even calling for or inciting a boycott against someone because they are Israeli could subject you to criminal prosecution.

        The New York State Legislature has decided — correctly — that discriminatory boycotts aimed at a sovereign nation and its nationals are not to be tolerated. Then-Governor Carey, upon signing the legislation that created this anti-boycott framework wrote “that no nation or person is welcome to do business in this state, if that business is accompanied by… bigotry.” How many ASA members are salaried employees of state universities and city owned colleges?

        The anti-boycotters are talking about going after the ASA in New York since they know New York law is tougher than Federal Law.

        The anti-boycott BDS Monitor mentions New York

        Dov Hikind will win this one. He fights EVERY SINGLE anti-Israel manuver like a pit bull.

        This time, he will have a very strong law behind him.

        I am NOT in favor of BDS against Israel.

        I am not sure where I stand on that particular New York State Law in general principle, since there are first amendment considerations. I do know that in New York State, the BDS movement will lose big time.

        The BDS movement – which was not well thought out to begin with – has walked into a hornet’s nest on this one, and will lose.

        New York’s Large Jewish community is often more Zionist than Israelis.

        If Hikind goes to court the ASA will lose.

        One thing the Israel lobby is right about is this: There are many nations more worthy of boycott.

        • ritzl says:

          Typical “I’m the only one that matters” take on the NY law. Where was this law during the Park51 mosque furball. That Jewish-led (Pam Glick and cohorts) effort was discrimination based on national origin/ethnicity to the nth degree.

        • seafoid says:

          Zionism has no choice now. It has to fight BDS away from the shadows and the backrooms. It’s another thing to worry about when you run an ideology without mass popular support in the US. You don’t want to argue in public with hasbara as flaccid as it is now and you have nothing in common with the Walmart people, nothing to offer them. From the good old days in the 50s when the very name “Palestinian” was unmentionable to today when they are forced out into the open with their dead memes. It has been a long dysfunction .

        • Citizen says:

          So who’s been prosecuted so far under the NY statute for boycotting the sovereign state of Iran?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Hikind is not fooling around.”

          LOL. Well, having “Hikind” and “fool” in the same sentence is appropriate, just not in the manner you’ve arranged things.

          “New York State Law is tougher than Federal Law on boycotts against Israel.”

          And the First Amendment is tougher than them all.

          “Dov Hikind will win this one.”

          He doesn’t have a chance in hell. (Unless by “win” you mean get his ugly mug in the newspaper as the super-zio defender, in order to increase his electoral chances and his fat wallet, in which case he’s won…)

          “This time, he will have a very strong law behind him.”

          No, they don’t. The First Amendment (which the zionists have yet to destroy to protect their shitty little state, thank the gods) permits the ASA to endorse a boycott. Deal with it.

          “I am NOT in favor of BDS against Israel.”

          You don’t say…

          “I am not sure where I stand on that particular New York State Law in general principle, since there are first amendment considerations.”

          Well then it’s good that no one’s asked you, because it’s crystal clear that not only can New York law not trump the 1st Amendment, but that the acts of the ASA are protected by the 1st Amendment.

          “New York’s Large Jewish community is often more Zionist than Israelis.”

          Yes, and it’s one of the problems we face here in the US of America.

          “If Hikind goes to court the ASA will lose.”

          Nope. Not a chance. Which is why Hikind didn’t go to court, but went before the cameras to make his ugly face and rant and rave.

          “One thing the Israel lobby is right about is this: There are many nations more worthy of boycott.”

          Then let them propose to boycott all of those nationals IN ADDITION TO israel. If they don’t do that, then it is clear that this talking point is nothing more than another tactic to excuse israeli evil.

        • Even if that’s true, you’re assuming that New York is the only state in the US where academics who support BDS reside. That’s not true; there’s strong support for BDS on the west coast as well as in Research I universities in the midwest. And this kind of action on the part of someone as controversial as Hikind is likely to create a lot of pushback as has been the case previously.

    • Hostage says:

      The American Studies Association’s (ASA) opened up a front.

      What a joke. The ASA doesn’t have armed forces in another country violating human rights. Israel opened the fronts in 1948 and in 1967, when it started its perpetual war of aggression.

      If we were going to open a front, I’d suggest that Palestinians go after the assets of the Israel Lobby with an Alien Tort Statute lawsuit. It wouldn’t require extraterritorial application of any US law and they could be held responsible for the role they play in aiding and abetting the illegal settlements and the crime of apartheid.

      Remember that by convention responsibility for apartheid apples, irrespective of the motive involved, to individuals, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State, whether residing in the territory of the State in which the acts are perpetrated or in some other State, whenever they:

      (a) Commit, participate in, directly incite or conspire in the commission of apartheid;

      (b) Directly abet, encourage or co-operate in the commission of apartheid.

      See for example Article 3 of the Apartheid Convention.

      link to www1.umn.edu

      Failing that, we should press for laws or make it an ethics violation for lawmakers to aid and abet human rights violations committed by foreign states.

      • yrn says:

        Hostage

        ” we should press for laws or make it an ethics violation ”
        Amusing, keep on dreaming.

        • Hostage says:

          ” we should press for laws or make it an ethics violation ”
          Amusing, keep on dreaming.

          I do more than just sit idly by. I help fund groups and press for legislation to revoke tax-exemptions for those that lobby candidates on behalf of foreign states, use federally subsidized programs to conduct public propaganda for foreign states, or advocate violations of our laws, treaties, and UN Charter obligations regarding the illegal threat or use of force against others.

          • Citizen says:

            We need to freshen our criteria to force AIPAC to register as an agent of a foreign state and make them lose their non-tax status. Finish the job for JFK and bro Bobby.

          • Hostage says:

            We need to freshen our criteria to force AIPAC to register as an agent of a foreign state and make them lose their non-tax status. Finish the job for JFK and bro Bobby.

            The IRS has asked for public comments about the things tax exempts should not be allowed to do with respect to candidates. link to regulations.gov

            So go over and say that the US has several anti-war and conciliation treaties and multilateral treaties renouncing the use of war as an instrument of national policy, as well as treaties against state supported war propaganda, and that it shouldn’t be “tax deductible” to promote or lobby for foreign wars.

            While you are at it, cite the FARA and Bluman v FEC and point out that it shouldn’t be “tax dedeuctible” to violate the Logan Act, campaign against candidates, or send 300 lobbyists to capitol hill to twist their arms to go to war in the interest of a foreign state. Both the Congress and the Courts have ruled that foreign states have no constitutional right to participate in our self-governing democracy and their friends and agents should not be able to advocate that we violate our laws on arms control, wars, and public propaganda and publicity campaigns while enjoying a tax exemtion.

      • Mike_Konrad says:

        If we were going to open a front, I’d suggest that Palestinians go after the assets of the Israel Lobby with an Alien Tort Statute lawsuit.

        Oh?! And Zionists would not sue to attach PA assets?! The PLO/PA did not commit crimes?

        Who do you think would win in an American court?

        • Hostage says:

          Oh?! And Zionists would not sue to attach PA assets?!

          Well I doubt that many Palestinian criminals are living in the United States or are keeping their financial assets here.

          Zionists have long since employed lawfare and have exploited the fact that States enjoy sovereign immunity in US and many foreign Courts. So, you wouldn’t be able to enforce judgments against Palestine in the majority of other countries today. You really can’t use retaliation against the PA here in the US as much of a threat either. There are a billion dollars in default judgments against it, and it’s assets in the US were already frozen years ago. link to nycommdivcompendium.com

          The President and the Congress sidestep those judgments by providing the foreign assistance through USAID and non-PLO/PA World Bank-managed accounts. The US government has also reserved its right to intervene in those cases and on the grounds of sovereign immunity (which can be retroactive in effect).

          Here in the United States the Supreme Court recently ruled that there is a presumption against extraterritorial application of the ATS, unless the crimes were aided, or abetted by US citizens or companies. See for example the on-going apartheid lawsuit against Ford and IBM. link to reuters.com

          There are thousands of dual and US citizens serving in the IDF, living in illegal settlements, operating companies that facilitate the illegal settlement enterprise, and there are US organizations that aid and abet Israeli apartheid.

    • Abierno says:

      “We cannot encourage our colleges and universities to engage in this type of discrimination against Israel. New Yorkers expect us to reject discrimination in every form, and cutting off the state spigot is the best way of doing that.”

      It takes very little to change this statement to “We cannot encourage our colleges and universities to engage in this type (or any other type) of discrimination against either Israel or Palestine. New Yorkers expect us to reject discrimination in
      every form and cutting off the state spigot is the best way of doing that.”

      Giving the political class the space to expand their arguments to a broader, multicultural forum will be important in this “war” – since the above constituents
      stand out as so “1950′s white” in this country’s amalgam of ethnic, religious and social/economic backgrounds. They may wield considerable financial ,media and
      political power, but the demographics are changing radically. Neither the literati
      nor the young, take their information from the “papers of record” – the NYT, the
      the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. This battle will play out across
      a variety of sophisticated social media forums and many of this country’s younger
      citizens will be watching closely, fully aware that the Hon. Hikind advocates significant abrogation of their constitutional rights. People in this country are
      fundamentally against censorship, particularly of their expressed political opinions.
      The effect of broaching an all out war on this issue on college campuses is foolhardy
      since can it only result in further alienating those Jewish youth that Hikind, et. al. want most to return to their religious community. The Jewish ethos is a tradition
      of amazing brilliance, astuteness and is accompanied by a strong sense of social
      justice. Unfortunately, the Hon. Hikind is a less than optimal representative of
      this ethos as are his political hench persons, here and in Israel. The blowback will
      simply heighten awareness of the Palestine narrative; a first amendment court
      battle would be an excellent venue for review of the bases for the boycott as well
      as highlighting Israeli transgressions of Palestinian human rights.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “It takes very little to change this statement to…”

        Well, it would require Hovkind to actually recognize the humanity and rights of the Palestinian people, even if this has the effect of inconveniencing the Jews who covet the Palestinian’s land. And to do that, he would have to deny the very racist essence of his being. I’ve seen nothing to suggest that there is any chance of any change in the black, sulfurous, dessicated mass that passes for his soul.

        • Abierno says:

          You misunderstand my point. I have no doubt that Dov Hikind will never be able to move beyond his remarkably hyperfocused point of view. However, despite comments on this thread to the contrary, politicians – even those with gerrymandered “safe” districts are attuned to the changing demographics in this country. In New York state, signing onto Dov Hikind’s demand to defund every college in New York state that has faculty members belonging to ASA is not only insane but it also highlights the truth of what the ASA boycott is all about. The essence of what Hikind is proposing is: If we don’t like your political speech, we will simply close down your university, fire faculty who refuse to resign from ASA, expel students who fail to fall in line (by defunding their programs). A typical, aggressive disproportionate response in the Israeli tradition of disproportionate, aggressive responses and the Israeli tradition of ignoring, if not actually
          stomping on, human and civil rights, not the least of which is free political speech. Unfortunately for Hikind – this is not Israel and this country has a constitution and a long tradition of supporting constitutionally guaranteed civil rights (Think Judge Brandeis). Citizens of New York state are already attuned to the need to stand up for their political freedoms – the politician who stands with Hikind is simply providing his 2014 opponent
          an outstanding opportunity to say with clear conscience, ” I support Israel but in so doing it will be in concert with the civil rights of those constituents of my district – be they student, faculty, university employee, et. al.” While Hikind frames the argument -”antisemetic,” “either us or “them”, the wise politician frames his argument thus: My platform encompasses all the constituents in my district and thus I will support no discrimination against anyone on the basis of color, religion, ethnic background, in my district, my state or in my country. Hikind fails to realize the strength of this country rests with the fact that we are a marvelous amalgam of differing traditions, colors, ethnic and religious backgrounds, a point with Hikind and his Israeli colleagues still fail to understand but which US politicians must, of necessity, take heed of if they wish to continue to be re elected. Finally, Hikind has stepped on the hornet’s nest by demanding that university students, faculty and administrators must be aligned with his views of Israel or be targeted as “antisemetic”, and expunged from jobs, education and career path. These are articulate, well meaning people – who not only will vote, but among them will emerge the next Frank Luntz, who will build strong and articulate campaigns against Hikind and those who follow him – all carried out through doorbelling, social media and word of mouth.

      • ritzl says:

        Jews are increasingly identified as leading these high-profile, free speech suppressing efforts. Not good.

        I mean a huge chunk of the rationale for Jews to get involved in the black civil rights struggle was the commonality of purpose and effect. What does doing the opposite portend?

        I’ll just say it again, Zionism corrupts everything it touches. And it touches everything.

    • Shingo says:

      The American Studies Association’s (ASA) opened up a front.
      Now they will have to face the consequences.

      Yes Yrn,

      It was to be expected that polical hacks trying to win campaign money from AIPAC would put Israeli interests before those of US schools.

    • Giles says:

      Yes.

      Consequences will have to be faced by the Israel Firsters. Sooner or later

    • John Douglas says:

      There has been discussion lately on MW about how damaging to U.S. interests the U.S. support for “Israel right or wrong” is. Here we have politicians willing to use their control over tax money to harm private colleges for any association with an academic organization that expresses its condemnation of Israeli behavior towards Palestinians. Think of the harm done to the U.S. if this were to pass and become standard policy for legislatures. The next step could be an application of the law to Hillel chapters whose support for the settlement policies is clearly an expression of prejudice against Palestinians.

      • Hostage says:

        Think of the harm done to the U.S. if this were to pass and become standard policy for legislatures.

        I think that a smart lawyer could make a case that Jewish lawmakers in the US and their supporters are trying to impose an unconstitutional religious test on public educational funding. It’s important to remember that the reason for the 2005 call to action from Palestinians regarding the need for BDS was the fact that a year had lapsed since the ICJ had found that Israel was systematically violating fundamental human rights, including among other things the right to an education and the right to work (see paragraphs 132-134), and nothing at all had been done to remedy the situation. The call was co-authored and endorsed by a number of Palestinian academic associations and educators:
        * Network for the Eradication of Illiteracy and Adult Education, Ramallah
        * Arab Educational Institute – Open Windows (affiliated with Pax Christie International)
        * Tamer Institute for Community Education, Ramallah
        * Yafa for Education and Culture, Nablus
        * Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
        link to bdsmovement.net

        There is a copious amount of information available in the public domain which establishes that Israeli lawmakers refuse to adopt a constitution where it would have to spell-out the legally entrenced and flagrant discrimination against non-Jewish citizens resulting from the application of rabbinical laws. Hannah Arendt wrote about that in the 1960s during the Eichmann trial. Israeli newspapers frequently carry articles where lawmakers and cabinet members state publicly or on the Knesset record that Judaism is incompatible with equality and democracy. See:
        * Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Google ebook, page 7
        * Finance Minister and lawmaker Yair Lapid, publicly stated to an audience of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel that the State’s definition as a Jewish and democratic state is a contradiction that cannot be solved, because democracy is incompatible with Judaism. link to jpost.com
        * Religious and secular members of the Knesset participating in a meeting of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee said it was better to have no Constitution at all, than one that did not defend the unequal values of Judaism and that equality contradicts their religious beliefs. MKs debate protection of ‘equality’ in future constitution

        It’s also a matter of public record that Israeli officials have advised our government that they want Palestinian territory without its inhabitants and intend to keep them permanently disenfranchised. They do not favor Palestinian statehood or annexation of a large non-Jewish population that would have to be allowed citizenship and the right to vote. See 442. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State, Re: Israeli Views on Middle East.

        The UN treaty bodies tasked with monitoring compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination have stated that racial segregation in the areas of education and housing is a problem in Israel, not just in the occupied territories:

        The Committee notes with increased concern that Israeli society maintains Jewish and non-Jewish sectors, which raises issues under article 3 of the Convention [on racial segregation and apartheid]. Clarifications provided by the delegation confirmed the Committee’s concerns in relation to the existence of two systems of education, one in Hebrew and one in Arabic, which except in rare circumstances remain impermeable and inaccessible to the other community, as well as separate municipalities: Jewish municipalities and the so-called “municipalities of the minorities”. The enactment of the Admissions Committees Law (2011), which gives private committees full discretion to reject applicants deemed “unsuitable to the social life of the community”, is a clear sign that the concerns as regards segregation remain pressing (Articles 3, 5 and 7 of the Convention).

        link to www2.ohchr.org

        American administrations have subsidized and underwritten Israel for generations with billions of dollars. We have a first amendment right to call for boycotts, divestments, and even government imposed sanctions to recitfy Israel’s unlawful practices of discrimination. Here in the US it is illegal to impose religious tests based upon Jewish creeds or beliefs regarding the inequality of non-Jews.

  3. seafoid says:

    The POTUS cut off funding to UNESCO after it defied the bots and recognised Palestine. It hurt US interests. The bots have money and very little else. No respect for pluralism, no manners, no openness to debate.

  4. Hostage says:

    The ASA’s boycott of Israel is not only a direct violation of New York State’s Human Rights Act, it’s a slap in the face to Jews and supporters of Israel everywhere.

    ASA’s boycott isn’t a slap in the face to Jews everywhere. A number of Jewish organizations support BDS.

    What troubles me is the fact that New York State has a Human Rights Act that is oblivious to extreme abuses of Palestinian human rights, and the role played by Jews in high government offices here in the USA, who help perpetuate Israel’s flagrant violations of the civilized norms contained in the applicable international conventions on human rights and international humanitarian law. Shouldn’t there be a law against that?

    • yrn says:

      Hostage
      “A number of Jewish organizations support BDS.”

      Well count them and see, what’s going to be the result.

      • Hostage says:

        Hostage
        “A number of Jewish organizations support BDS.”

        Well count them and see, what’s going to be the result.

        There are plenty of organizations where Jews make up the majority of the membership and where they have called either for boycotts, or divestments, or legal sanctions at one time or another, including New Israel Fund, B’Tselem, Partners for Progressive Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights, Machsom Watch, Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against Violence, Yesh Din, and JVP to name a few.

        I wonder how many votes these ass hats would lose if they had to defend statements by the leaders of the governing coalition in Israel and the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee who say that Judaism is incompatible with democracy and equality?

      • Yes, we will see. What we’ll likely see is an escalating contest over who is permitted to have academic freedom and who is not. The Palestinians don’t have it (and you’re right the PA is a partner, albeit a very junior one, in the Israeli occupation as well as the entire Oslo edifice), and there will be efforts to punish those who are in solidarity with those who do not have that freedom. Whether Hikind will “win” and what it would even mean for him to “win” this particular tangle isn’t clear, but part of it will be an increasingly open and likely intensified battle within the US Jewish community over its relationship to Israel, because like it or not, there are prominent academics who happen to also be Jewish, playing central roles in this boycott.

    • Shingo says:

      Hostage,

      Is it true that “The ASA’s boycott of Israel is not only a direct violation of New York State’s Human Rights Act” or are these just a bunch of political hacks resorting to hyperbole?

      • Hostage says:

        Is it true that “The ASA’s boycott of Israel is not only a direct violation of New York State’s Human Rights Act”

        No, the statute in question specifically exempts boycotts directed against unlawful discriminatory practices. In any event, the Supreme Court has ruled on 1st Amendment grounds that States can’t adopt statutes that prohibit politically motivated civil rights boycotts.

  5. seafoid says:

    “It is a slap in the face to Jews” is typical bot- tar all Jews with the cruelty and nihilism of Zionism. Who voted Dov whatshisname as spokesman for Dajooz?

  6. MHughes976 says:

    Well, I’m interested to see the claim that boycotts amount to ‘targeted discrimination against Israel’ and are therefore illegal. This is essentially the position taken in respect of UK law by the University and Colleges Union over here on extremely respectable (though never tested in court) legal advice. I mentioned before that the ASA will be lucky to exist in a couple of years’ time.

    • Mike_Konrad says:

      Well, I’m interested to see the claim that boycotts amount to ‘targeted discrimination against Israel’ and are therefore illegal. This is essentially the position taken in respect of UK law by the University and Colleges Union over here on extremely respectable (though never tested in court) legal advice. I mentioned before that the ASA will be lucky to exist in a couple of years’ time.

      I will be surprised if they have any assets left by Christmastime next year. Their officers might be facing criminal prosecution in NY.

      They are located in DC, so they might have a fighting chance. But Israel Law Center has noted that since some members are in NY State, there might be standing in a NY Courtroom.

      I am against BDS. I am not sure where I stand on the criminalization aspect, since that is a 1st Amendment issue. New York State law with its criminalization of boycott is even toughter than Israel’s law.

      • Hostage says:

        I will be surprised if they have any assets left by Christmastime next year. Their officers might be facing criminal prosecution in NY.

        They are located in DC, so they might have a fighting chance. But Israel Law Center has noted that since some members are in NY State, there might be standing in a NY Courtroom.

        LoL! If these lawmakers are located in the United States, then they should be aware of the fact that customary international law is part of federal common law.

        The New York Statute exempts boycotts conducted against unlawful discriminatory practices. So, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the Attorney General there to make a case that the ASA got the material facts wrong about those illegal Jewish-only settlements and other violations of international law:

        Whereas the United States plays a significant role in enabling the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements and the Wall in violation of international law, as well as in supporting the systematic discrimination against Palestinians, which has had documented devastating impact on the overall well-being, the exercise of political and human rights, the freedom of movement, and the educational opportunities of Palestinians;

        Whereas there is no effective or substantive academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars under conditions of Israeli occupation, and Israeli institutions of higher learning are a party to Israeli state policies that violate human rights and negatively impact the working conditions of Palestinian scholars and students;

        Whereas the American Studies Association is cognizant of Israeli scholars and students who are critical of Israeli state policies and who support the international boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement under conditions of isolation and threat of sanction;

        Whereas the American Studies Association is dedicated to the right of students and scholars to pursue education and research without undue state interference, repression, and military violence, and in keeping with the spirit of its previous statements supports the right of students and scholars to intellectual freedom and to political dissent as citizens and scholars;

        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.

        link to theasa.net

        The last time I checked many of those allegations, including the establishment of Jewish-only settlements, have been declared illegal by several US administrations. In any event, many of those Jewish settlements were established in violation of Articles 28, 46, and 52 of the Hague IV rules of 1907 and are war crimes under both customary law and the provisions of 18 U.S. Code § 2441. I think that’s what they call an affirmative defense. The defendants are engaged in the exercise of an unqualified 1st Amendment right to boycott for equal civil and political rights or against unlawful discriminatory practices.

  7. just says:

    BDS now and until and unless Israel adheres to any LAWS!

    Yech to this lot of zionists.

  8. HarryLaw says:

    These Israeli Universities are heavily involved with Government policy, some of which involve at the worst war crimes or at the least discrimination of people with non Jewish origin, many laws in Israel attest to that fact, how is it possible to legally prevent a boycott in such circumstances? I think this is the section referred to in the article… 13. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice (i) for any person to boycott or blacklist, or to refuse to buy from, sell to or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, or disability of such person, or of such person’s partners, members, stockholders, directors, officers, managers, superintendents, agents, employees, business associates, suppliers or customers, or (ii) for any person willfully to do any act or refrain from doing any act which enables any such person to take such action. This subdivision shall not apply to:

    (a) Boycotts connected with labor disputes; or

    (b) Boycotts to protest unlawful discriminatory practices.

  9. MHughes976 says:

    Another UK lawsuit is in the offing because one of the NHS ‘trusts’ in Manchester cancelled a visit by an Israeli academic to a conference on the advice of one of our biggest trade unions, Unison. A thickening plot. Grim humour in that the subject of the address would have been ‘Conflict Resolution’.

    • HarryLaw says:

      MHughes976 @UK lawsuit, This is a difficult one, the 1976 Race Relations Act states,
      1/ A person discriminates against another in any circumstances relevant for the purposes of any provision of this Act if,
      a/ On racial grounds he treats that other less favorably than he treats or would treat other persons and which he cannot justify on non racial grounds etc, Then..3 Meaning of “racial grounds”, “racial group” etc.
      (1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
      “racial grounds” means any of the following grounds, namely colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins;
      “racial group” means a group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins, and references to a person’s racial group refer to any racial group into which he falls.
      (2)The fact that a racial group comprises two or more distinct racial groups does not prevent it from constituting a particular racial group for the purposes of this Act.
      Can a public institution like the NHS or a Union boycott an Israeli or could the Union argue their policy is to ban all Israelis whether Jewish or Non Jewish? Interesting questions here, not sure the NHS/Union is on safe ground.

      • MHughes976 says:

        I suppose that Unison’s lawyers, in contrast with the UCU’s, must think that they can ‘justify the action on non-racial grounds’. Can you tell me whether the 2010 Equalities Act has made any relevant difference?

        • HarryLaw says:

          MHughes976 @ “Can you tell me whether the 2010 Equalities Act has made any relevant difference?” I am sorry, I can’t, although glancing at it, it does not seem all that different from the Race Relations Act 1976. On its face it looks like discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, but as you say, can they justify it? The question of race/and or nationality can be thrown into the mix, but I don’t want to go there, should be well worth following.

  10. dbroncos says:

    The night flower is now blooming 24/7. Good. Zionists will meet their match in making war on an instution even more powerful than they are:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

  11. seafoid says:

    You only have to kill one academic to silence hundreds

    http://Www.academic-refugees.org

    Israel, the ultimate Jewish failure

  12. piotr says:

    Guliani, when he was a mayor, wanted to cut the funding of the Brooklyn Museum, and more recently, Hikind and few others wanted to cut the funding of Brooklyn College over artistic and political disagreements.

    I am rather optimistic that this latest initiative will go nowhere, and the lawsuits will go nowhere.

    • Hostage says:

      I am rather optimistic that this latest initiative will go nowhere, and the lawsuits will go nowhere.

      It’s extremely unlikely that there will ever be any such lawsuits against the ASA. The only reason that US citizens and organizations are not indicted for war crimes is because the Congress has refused to provide a private right of action for violations of the Geneva and Hague conventions and the Attorney General won’t act on complaints from the public.

      The New York Statute specifically exempts boycotts for unlawful discriminatory practices. Do you really think the Zionists are going to invite the US Courts to test the lawfulness of Israel’s discriminatory practices, knowing full-well that customary international laws like the Geneva and Hague Conventions are part of our federal common and statutory law in the US? I’d pay to watch that happen.

      • piotr says:

        I would not bet against any lawsuits being filed, because in California there were lawsuits against UC (and other universities) by Zionist organization. But they failed.

        • Hostage says:

          Those lawsuits were against public educational institutions that received federal grants and subsidies under Title VI, not against private or professional organizations. These state senators aren’t citing Title VI or federal law (because it allows for civil rights boycotts). They are decietfully concealing the fact that the New York law has exemptions for boycotts against unlawful discriminatory practices.

          The fact is that the CERD has cited separate and unequal funding of Jewish and Arab public education and the establishment by Israel of Jewish-only settlements and community screening committees as racially discriminatory practices and our own government considers the settlements and segregated housing and educational programs illegal and discriminatory. These blowhards won’t ever take those issues anywhere near a US court.

      • Djinn says:

        “The New York Statute specifically exempts boycotts for unlawful discriminatory practices. Do you really think the Zionists are going to invite the US Courts to test the lawfulness of Israel’s discriminatory practices, knowing full-well that customary international laws like the Geneva and Hague Conventions are part of our federal common and statutory law in the US? I’d pay to watch that happen”.

        THIS! Zionist law fare is increasingly failing as a tactic because it is demonstrably easy to prove that supporting BDS has nothing whatsoever to do with Judaism and you end up with unpleasant little facts about Apartheid getting a lot more airtime and attention than normal.

        I’d love to see Hikind do anything more than bleat about this and would most definitely pay to watch it unfold. Of course I’m pretty sure he knows this so I’ll be surprised if he ever introduces any legislation or does anything more concrete than piss and moan.

  13. Walid says:

    No end to the silliness of Congress people in their desperate attempt to demonstrate how much they love Israel, or most probably their love of the money that their love for Israel channels their way. 3 summers back, there was a tree-cutting incident at the Lebanon-Israel border and an Israeli officer was killed by a Lebanese army sniper when the IDF wouldn’t stop cutting down the Lebanese tree. The Congress immediately suspended military aid to the Lebanese army (Humvees, light arms and a big Cessna) pending a Congressional investigation to determine if the Israeli officer had been shot (God-forbid)by an American-supplied M16. It can’t get any sillier than that. It took a few months for Obama to convince the Congress to lift the suspension on the aid. What the Israel-loving Congress people didn’t take into account was that immediately after the killing of their officer, Israelis sent in an American-supplied Apache across the border and fried 2 soldiers and a journalist with an American-supplied missile.

    • piotr says:

      It can’t get any sillier than that.

      Ever the optimist.

    • American says:

      I am waiting for Fisher to become head of the US Fed. If he does there will be such a massive transfer of US wealth to Israel and its henchmen that we will experience what Russia did when it went belly up. Fisher might kick off that ‘event’ Americans need to rid themselves of the zionist. The good ending if this happens is in reaction the US might elect a nationalist Putin to put the US back together after the fall.

      AIPAC’s Fed Candidate Stanley Fischer on a Warpath Against Iran

      Dual-citizen nominee’s lifetime benefit to Israel comes at a heavy cost to America

      by Grant Smith, December 28, 2013

      link to original.antiwar.com

  14. yrn says:

    State Senator Jeffery Klein and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, both Brooklyn Democrats, plan to introduce a bill that gives colleges and universities in New York 30 days to withdraw support from ASA and similar groups or aid will be stripped.

    Start counting the days…………………

    link to nydailynews.com

    • Hostage says:

      Start counting the days…………………

      Maybe some opposing lawmakers or Governor Cuomo will see my comment here (or even in their email inboxes). link to mondoweiss.net

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      They can introduce whatever they want. It’ll never pass. And in if a miracle occurred and it did pass, it would be unconstitutional. This is all nothing but playacting in an attempt to increase their visibility, and to heighten the paranoia of the zionist community in America so as to avoid facing the evil of the zio state the pledge their allegiance to.

    • If this is all they have in their arsenal, members of the ASA will easily endure this. It’s difficult to imagine Deans denying faculty travel support to attend ASA conferences. I just don’t see it happening. But even if it did, faculty will pony up their own funds to attend. Most public universities, which are not exactly swimming in money these days, do not provide much financial support for faculty to attend conferences, although Research I universities provide more. To withdraw an institutional membership simply means non-renewal the following year, which for the ASA totals all of around $170 dollars per institution. There aren’t that many institutions with membership in the ASA, so this is chump change. I’m not saying what they’re trying to do to the ASA isn’t chilling; I’m simply saying that these people have the time and funds to fight on behalf of Israel and will do so, but that the outcomes aren’t predetermined, nor are they financial ruin.

  15. yrn says:

    Two weeks after an American academic group voted to boycott Israel, 100 Jewish university students from around the globe will gather in order to learn the best methods to combat attempts to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel. The training is part of the Global Campus Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) and the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS).

    • Hostage says:

      100 Jewish university students from around the globe will gather in order to learn the best methods to combat attempts to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel.

      The groups you mention surely know, that after the US Civil Rights movement and the South African Anti-Apartheid movement both defeated attempts to stop boycotts, divestments, and sanctions, “the best methods” to combat them are nonetheless ineffective.

    • talknic says:

      @yrn Lemme see now…. these methods would first include how to lobby using:
      Denial
      Cherry pickings
      Truncated, out of context quotes
      Claiming “we made the desert bloom”
      Failing to cite Article 7 of the LoN Mandate for Palestine
      Using words not in UNSC resolutions and;
      Ignoring hundreds of UNSC resolutions
      Lie
      Falsely accuse
      Smear
      Slur
      Demean
      Claim racism, bias
      and failing any of the above to gain traction:
      all of the above while screaming Antisemitism