|AJC Applauds Withdrawal of New York State Bill on Academic Boycotts|
February 5, 2014 -- New York -- AJC is gratified that the New
York State Assembly will not consider a bill to bar state funding of colleges
and universities that support boycotts against Israel. The New York State
Senate had adopted the proposed legislation, but the measure’s sponsors in the
Assembly decided to withdraw it.
“There is no question that the academic boycott against Israel is
a gross violation of academic freedom,” said Steven Bayme, AJC’s Director of
Contemporary Jewish Life.
“But the proposed legislative action, which itself raised
academic freedom questions, is not the answer to discriminatory acts
against Israeli academics, such as boycotts.”
The American Studies Association has called for a boycott against
Israel, an act denounced by more than 200 university presidents across the
country. In response, the proposed New York State bill would have cut funding
to any institution in the state that participates in ASA programs or other
anti-Israeli boycott movement activities.
AJC reiterated its appreciation for the American Association of
University Professors, and many New York colleges and universities, that have
consistently condemned threats to academic freedom, including boycott
resolutions and legislative proposals.