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House bill would defund colleges that back Israel boycotters

JTA

February 6, 2014 | 1:53 pm

Pete Roskam (R-Ill.)

Pete Roskam (R-Ill.)

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.

Under the bill proposed Thursday by Reps. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), the chief deputy whip in the House, and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), 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.

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