U.S. Bill Would Cut Funding to Backers of Israeli Boycotts

New legislation would defund groups who support boycotters; drafters call academic boycott on Israel 'anti-Semitic effort.'

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Universities that significantly fund groups that boycott Israeli academic institutions would be ineligible for federal funds under legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday
Under the bill propos by Republican Representative Pete Roskam, the chief deputy whip in the House, and Democrat Dan Lipinski, the boycotters would not be eligible to receive funds or any other form of financial assistance. It was not clear what would constitute significant funding.

The bill, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, also would require the secretary of education to make public a list of universities designated as supporting a boycott.

Speaking Tuesday on the House floor, Roskam said he would soon introduce the legislation, which was prompted by the decision in December by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli universities. Roskam described the ASA move as clearly an anti-Semitic effort.

Legislatures in New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania are considering the reduction of funding to institutions that back boycotts or condemnations.

U.S. House Representative Peter Roskam, May 2013.Credit: AP

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