Israel Anti-boycott Bill Pulled Ahead of N.Y. Assembly Vote

Bill to cut state funding to academic associations that boycott Israel is withdrawn for reconsideration; speaker says he will re-introduce bill.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

A New York State Assembly bill intended to punish academic groups that boycott Israel was withdrawn for reconsideration ahead of a planned vote earlier this week.

One of the bills co-sponsors, Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, chairwoman of the legislative body's Higher Education Committee, withdrew the legislation amid sharp criticism from universities located in the state and professional associations. A similar bill was already passed by the New York State Senate in a 56-4 vote last week.

The bill would forbid colleges from providing state funding to groups advocating boycotts of other countries that "host higher education institutions chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York,” according to the New York Times.

New York's Board of Regents has chartered such institutions in four countries: Lebanon, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Israel. There are no significant academic boycott campaigns against the first three countries involving colleges located in New York State, the New York Times reported. However the American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies have announced boycotts of Israeli academic institutions to protest Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

Among the Assembly's 150 members, 48 sponsored the bill, including Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. Silver's press secretary, Michael Whyland, told the New York Times that the State Assembly speaker planned to reintroduce the bill, but would clarify its penalties to make sure it did not involve the cessation of state funding for universities. Whyland said that academic associations that violated the measure would not be able to receive reimbursement for their expenses.

The American Jewish Committee applauded the withdrawal of the bill. “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.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.Credit: AP

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Already signed up? LOG IN


הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile