Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein, Director of Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq., Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice Susan Tuchman, Esq., and Director of Govt. Relations, Dan Pollak released the following statement:
The Zionist Organization of America strongly thanks and deeply appreciates Congressman Mike Lawler (R-NY) for introducing the very important H.R. 3773, the “Stop Antisemitism on College Campuses Act” on June 1st. Congressman Lawler stated on twitter and in a press release that this legislation “will ensure that no college or university will receive a single dollar of federal education funding if they peddle in the promotion of antisemitism at an event on their campus.” The bill would add a requirement to the Higher Education Act of 1965 that “The institution will not authorize any event promoting antisemitism to be held on campus.”
Congressman Lawler’s press release, entitled “Following Hateful Speech at CUNY Law School Graduation, Lawler Introduces Legislation to Combat Antisemitism on College Campuses,” indicated that the recent dangerous, Nazi-like antisemitic, anti-American, anti-law enforcement commencement speech at CUNY Law School was the final straw that impelled this much-needed legislation. This may be the most Jew-hating, America-hating speech ever given in America from a respected, legitimate podium.
Indeed, withdrawing funding is one of several steps that ZOA urged following the latest murder-inciting, antisemitic, anti-Israel, anti-American hate speech at the CUNY Law School commencement. (See “ZOA Demands Action on SJP’s Fatima Mohammed’s Murder-Inciting, Antisemitic, Anti-American CUNY Law Commencement Speech,” June 1, 2023.)
ZOA also strongly thanks and appreciates the bill’s original co-sponsors, Congressmembers Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY); Joe Wilson (R-SC); Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA); Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ); human rights promoter Chris Smith (R-NJ); Max Miller (R-OH); Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-NJ); and David Kustoff (R-TN); and additional co-sponsor Cong. Ralph Norman (R-SC). (See also Cong. D’Esposito’s and Miller’s supporting tweets.)
ZOA is also gratified and appreciates that Congressman Lawler’s bill specifically and appropriately utilizes the widely-endorsed definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), including IHRA’s contemporary examples of antisemitism. It is particularly important and beneficial that Cong. Lawler’s bill specified the IHRA definition, because this helps counteract the Biden administration’s citation and “welcoming and appreciation as a valuable tool” the devastatingly dangerous NEXUS and JDA definitions in Biden’s “National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.” The NEXUS and JDA definitions allow antisemitism masked as hatred of Jews and Israel and Zionists to continue as legitimate and reasonable.
(See “ZOA Criticizes Biden Antisemitism Strategy’s Embrace of Dangerous ‘Nexus’ Antisemitism Definition & Not Calling Out Islamists & Other Antisemites,” May 25, 2023; “ZOA to President Biden: To Help Protect the Safety of the Jewish People, Recognize the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism,” May 23, 2023.)
ZOA also strongly thanks New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov (R-BK) for redirecting $50,000 of funding away from CUNY Law School last year due to the school faculty council’s endorsement of antisemitic anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS). We also strongly thank NYC Councilwoman Vickie Paladino (R-Queens) and her caucus for her tweet yesterday that: “When CUNY was seeking funding from my office last year, I denied their request flat-out due to the rampant antisemitism infecting their campus and faculty. My caucus did the same.”
ZOA strongly urges more co-sponsors to sign on to Congressman Lawler’s bill, on a bi-partisan basis, and more New York City Councilpersons to deny CUNY funding until there are real changes there.
Taking strong action to combat the vile poison of antisemitism infecting our college campuses is absolutely necessary to assure that the famous words of our great first President George Washington, in his letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, will once again ring true for Jewish communities in this country and in our institutions of higher learning:
“For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”