By DEE LAZENBY, BREAKING CHRISTIAN NEWS—
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) hailed the introduction of a resolution in the U.S House of Representatives condemning resolutions or policies promoting boycotts of Israeli academic institutions and scholars by American institutions of higher learning and scholarly associations.
The measure, introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), criticizes the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement for encouraging actions targeting Israel on campuses across the country. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Kevin Boyle (D-PA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), and Brian Higgins (D-NY), joined with Curbelo as initial co-sponsors of the resolution.
“Efforts to uniquely isolate Israeli institutions and scholars undermine academic freedom and, moreover, does not advance the cause of peace,” said Richard Foltin, AJC Director of National and Legislative Affairs. “We applaud this important measure and encourage quick House adoption of it.”
AJC has been leading a national effort to combat initiatives targeting Israel on college and university campuses across the country.
In addition to condemning any restriction on interaction between American and Israeli academic institutions, the House resolution “praises the university presidents and institutions that have opposed academic boycott and have shown dedication to the free and open exchange of ideas.”
Recognizing “the significant global contributions made by the Jewish state” in a range of fields, the resolution “encourages institutions of higher education to enhance and accelerate their engagement with counterpart Israeli institutions.”
The House resolution recognizes that calls for boycotting Israeli academic institutions “are part of campaign that hinders the possibility of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
“Israeli-Palestinian peace will not be achieved through boycotts,” said Foltin. “The vision of sustainable peace can and will be achieved in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and those who truly support peace should not pursue punitive measures against the State of Israel.”