A boycott of academic institutions in Israel by a national group of professors and colleges has two lawmakers hoping to cut off state aid to schools that participate.
Senate Co-leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, say they will soon introduce a bill that would cut off state money to colleges that are members of groups that boycott Israel.
The American Studies Association announced earlier this month that it had voted in favor of an academic boycott of Israel as a way to protest its treatment of Palestinians. The move has been divisive, generating significant criticism from Israeli scholars and Jewish groups as well as several other prominent scholars.
Klein and Hikind will introduce the bill when lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, according to a news release. They also say they are mailing letters to the state and New York City university systems urging them to withdraw support from the ASA.
“Make no mistake: the ASA’s boycott is targeted discrimination against Israel that betrays the values of academic freedom that we hold dear,” Klein said in a statement. “We cannot encourage our colleges and universities to engage in this type of discrimination against Israel. New Yorkers expect us to reject discrimination in every form, and cutting off the state spigot is the best way of doing that.”