AJC Applauds Withdrawal of New York State Bill on Academic Boycotts

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.