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Israeli Lobby Slips Anti-Free Speech Bill Through House

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    Israeli Lobby Slips Anti-Free Speech Bill Through House Bill Can Still Be Defeated in Senate if Citizens Act Now By Michael Collins Piper From
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18, 2004
      Israeli Lobby Slips Anti-Free
      Speech Bill Through House
      Bill Can Still Be Defeated in
      Senate if Citizens Act Now
      By Michael Collins Piper
      From americanfreepress.net
      1433 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC 20003

      The Israeli lobby has launched an all-out drive to ensure
      congressional passage of a bill (approved by the House and now
      before a Senate committee) that would set up a virtual federal
      tribunal to investigate and monitor criticism of Israel on American
      college campuses.

      Ten months ago the New York-based Jewish Week newspaper claimed that
      the report by American Free Press that Republican members of the
      Senate were planning to crack down on college and university
      professors who were critical of Israel was "a dangerous urban legend
      at best, deliberate disinformation at worst." In short, they were
      saying AFP lied.

      Now the truth has come out. On September 17, 2003 the House
      Subcommittee on Select Education unanimously approved H.R. 3077, the
      International Studies in Higher Education Act, which was then passed
      by the full House of Representatives on October 21. The chief
      sponsor of the legislation was Rep. Peter Hoekstra, a conservative
      Republican from Michigan.

      This bill is dangerous - a direct affront to the First Amendment and
      the product of intrigue by a small clique of individuals and
      organizations which combines the "elite" forces of the powerful
      Israeli lobby in official Washington.

      There are absolutely no grass-roots organizations supporting this
      measure whatsoever. Instead, leading the push for Senate approval of
      the House-originated bill, are the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of
      B'nai B'rith, the American Jewish Congress, and the American Jewish

      Also lending its support is Empower America, the neo-conservative
      front group established by longtime pro-Israel publicist William
      Kristol, editor and publisher of billionaire Rupert Murdoch's Weekly
      Standard which is said to be the "intellectual" journal that governs
      the train of foreign policy thinking in the Bush administration.

      One other group has lent its support: the U.S. India Political
      Action Committee, an Indian-American group that has been working
      closely with the Israeli lobby now that Israel and India are
      geopolitically allied.

      H.R. 3077 is innocuously worded and quite bureaucratic in its tone,
      decipherable only to those with the capacity to wade through
      legislative linguistics , but essentially it would set up a seven-
      member advisory board that would have the power to recommend cutting
      federal funding for colleges and universities that are viewed as
      harboring academic critics of Israel.

      Two members of the board would be appointed by the Senate, two by
      the House, and three by the Secretary of Education, two of whom are
      required to be from U.S. federal security agencies. The various
      appointees would be selected from what the Christian Science Monitor
      described on March 11 as "politicians, representatives of cultural
      and educational organizations, and private citizens." In other
      words, it would be another federal "blue ribbon" panel akin to the
      Warren Commission that ostensibly investigated the JFK assassination
      and the now highly-suspect federal commission looking into the 9-11
      terrorist attacks.

      Gilbert Merkx, vice provost for international affairs and
      development and director of the Centre for International Studies at
      Duke University has echoed the fears of many when he charged that
      this so-called advisory board "could easily be hijacked by those who
      have a political axe to grind and become a vehicle for an

      In fact, the primary individuals promoting this effort to control
      intellectual debate on the college campuses are known for having a
      political axe to grind: they are all prominent and outspoken
      supporters of Israel and harsh critics of the Arab and Muslim
      worlds. They are:

      * Martin Kramer, a professor of Arab studies at The Moshe Dayan
      Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel;

      * Stanley Kurtz, a contributor of ex-CIA man William F. Buckley
      Jr.'s bitterly anti-Arab National Review Online and a research
      fellow at the staunchly pro-Israel Hoover Institution; and

      * Daniel Pipes, founder of the pro-Israel Middle East Institute and
      its affiliate, Campus Watch, an ADL-style organization that keeps
      tabs on college professors and students who are-or are suspected of
      being-critics of Israel.

      Hiding behind the banner of defending America, these three-along
      with the Israeli lobby affiliates promoting H.R. 3077-are claiming
      that they are fighting "anti-Americanism" as it is being taught on
      the college campuses.

      Republicans in Congress have joined this chorus, preferring to allow
      their constituents to think that this is an "America First" measure
      when it is anything but that.

      Juan Cole of the History News Network responds to this extraordinary
      twist on reality saying that the claim of "anti-Americanism" is
      intellectually dishonest. "What they mean . . . if you pin them down
      is ambivalence about the Iraq war, or dislike of Israeli
      colonization of the West Bank, or recognition that the U.S.
      government has sometimes in the past been in bed with present
      enemies like al-Qaeda or Saddam. None of these positions is 'anti-
      American,' and any attempt by a congressionally-appointed body to
      tell university professors they cannot say these things-or that if
      they say them they must hire someone else who will say the
      opposition-is a contravention of the First Amendment of the U.S.

      The promoters are also suggesting that this legislation would-in the
      words of the American Jewish Committee-"enhance intellectual freedom
      on campus by enabling diverse viewpoints to be heard," when, of
      course, the legislation would do precisely the opposite.

      Lisa Anderson of the Columbia University School of International and
      Public Affairs says in response that "this plan . . . is not about
      diversity, or even about the truth." Unfortunately, she doesn't
      choose to tackle the Israeli lobby head on.

      Instead, she targets her ire at the Republican conservatives who are
      acting as the Israeli lobby's surrogates and says that this plan
      is "about the conviction of conservative political activists that
      the American university community is unsufficiently patriotic, or
      perhaps simply unsufficiently conservative." What she should be
      saying is that these Republicans who are carrying water for Israel
      are concerned that universities are "unsufficiently pro-Israel."

      The Republican House members who originally joined Hoekstra in co-
      sponsoring this dangerous legislation should be named for the
      record. They are:

      * John A. Boehner (Ohio)
      * John R. Carter (Texas)
      * Tom Cole (Oklahoma)
      * James Greenwood (Penn.)
      * Howard (Buck) McKeon (Calif.)
      * Patrick J. Tiberi (Ohio)
      * Joe Wilson (South Carolina)

      However, don't try to find out how your representative voted when
      the bill came before the full House. Hoekstra asked for a suspension
      of the House rules-which was approved-and made it possible for this
      controversial measure to be passed with an un-recorded "voice vote"
      wherein there is no record of how individual House members voted, or
      if they even voted at all.

      In fact, the measure passed by the House is precisely the very same
      type of proposed "ideological diversity" legislation that AFP first
      warned about, although, at the time, the measure was being kicked
      around for possible introduction in the Senate by two prominent
      Republicans, Rick Santorum (Penn.) and Sam Brownback (Kan.).

      What happened was that AFP's initial report on the legislation
      gained so much widespread circulation in e-mails being sent out
      nationwide among American college and university professors and on
      the Internet, even so far as the Arab world, that the resulting
      negative publicity forced Santorum and Brownback to back off.

      However, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) picked up their torch and
      introduced H.R. 3077 in the House, containing precisely the language
      that his Senate colleagues had intended to introduce until AFP blew
      the whistle.

      To their credit, virtually every major American education
      organization-including even the teacher's union, the National
      Education Association-have raised their concerns about this campaign
      to muzzle the free speech of teachers, professors and instructors.
      And the American Civil Liberties Union has also protested this

      Critics say this is a new form of what has been known in the past
      as "McCarthyism" and no matter what you may think about the late
      Sen. Joseph McCarthy whose name rightly or wrongly inspired that
      terminology, the truth is that this legislation is "McCarthyism" by
      virtue of the popular definition.

      The only chance to destroy this legislation and stop it dead in
      tracks is for enough gras-roots citizens to rise up and demand that
      H.R. 3077 be put to rest. And believe it or not, the onesenator who
      may be able to stop it is Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy of Massachusetts.
      (See accompanying story).


      Contact Senate Members.
      Urge that H.R. 3077 be shelved.

      The Israeli lobby's pet project, H.R. 3077, innocuously named as The
      International Studies in Higher Education Act of 2003-and popularly
      known as "Title 6"-is now before the Senate's Committee on Health,
      Education, Labor and Pensions.

      This committee is controlled by the Republican majority who are
      likely to support the bill, but the ranking minority member is
      powerful Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) who has been-perhaps to
      the surprise of many, including even AFP readers-an outspoken critic
      of Daniel Pipes, one of the leading proponents of H.R. 3077.

      Although it is not well known, Kennedy's second wife is an Arab-
      American and he has become quite attuned to Arab-bashing of the type
      that Pipes engages in. As such-despite what one may think of
      Kennedy's views on other issues-he is seen as a possible roadblock
      in the way of final approval by the Senate committee of H.R. 3077.

      For this reason, AFP recommends that those who want to work for the
      defeat of this Israeli measure contact the offices of the following
      senators-all of whom are Democrats with the exception of independent
      James Jeffords of Vermont-and urge them to oppose H.R. 3077.

      IMPORTANT NOTE: Be very precise in your language. Simply tell the
      senators to oppose H.R. 3077-that it is an infringement upon the
      First Amendment and a threat to academic freedom in America. Do not
      lecture the senators about the power of the Israeli lobby or give
      them the "facts" that have been reported in AFP. Rest assured that
      the senators are well versed in the realities of the situation.
      Simply give them the opportunity to say publicly that they have
      received a flood of calls, letters and e-mails urging them to oppose
      H.R. 3077. The list of senators is as follows:

      Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.)
      TEL (202) 224-4543
      FAX (202) 224-2417

      Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.)
      TEL (202) 224-2823
      FAX (202) 224-1083

      Tom Harkin (Iowa)
      TEL (202) 224-3254
      FAX (202) 224-9369

      Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico)
      TEL (202) 224-5521
      FAX (202) 224-2852

      Patty Murray (Washington)
      TEL (202) 224-2621
      FAX (202) 224-0238

      John F. Reed (Rhode Island)
      TEL 202) 224-4642
      FAX (202) 224-4680

      James M. Jeffords (Vermont)
      TEL (202) 224-5141
      FAX (202) 228-0776

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