$5.6 Million from Soros Aids Universities That Boycott Israel - Academic boycott ignores hypocrisy, cites Palestinian grievances

The American Studies Association is asking its member universities to join the growing academic boycott of Israel. Eight out of the 14 member universities of the ASA’s National Council that approved the boycott have received more than $5.6 million from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations since 2000. The ASA has also been working closely with anti-Israeli organizations to promote this movement. Promoting anti-Israeli and liberal propaganda, Soros has poured more than $400 million into colleges and universities around the world, including money to most prominent institutions in the United States.

According to a May 2012 article in The New York Times, Soros gave $500,000 a year to J Street, a “two-state solution” organization whose co-founder, Daniel Levy, called the creation of Israel in 1948 “an act that was wrong.” Some of the $23.8 million that Soros has given to Bard College in New York has gone to a Palestinian youth group, and Bard also offers joint degree programs at a Palestinian school in Jerusalem, and partners closely with Al-Quds University.

According to the ASA, this boycott is part of the larger BDS, or “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement. BDS promotes the work of Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as arguing for a “one-state solution” to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which would involve Palestinians having equal right of return status in Israel with Israelis. BDS’s “eight years in context” overview referred to Israel as a “colonial Zionist apartheid regime.” The boycott is so extreme that even the typically liberal schools Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg have pulled out of the ASA because of it.

BDS hosted a “one State Solution” conference at Harvard University in March, 2012. This conference was connected with the international “Israel Apartheid Weeks” and “Palestinian Awareness Weeks” on campuses nationwide, which “have regularly sought to intimidate Jewish students, occasionally through acts of physical violence,” according to a report by the conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center.

BDS recently made the news for speaking out against Scarlet Johansson, when the Hollywood star endorsed SodaStream, an Israeli company with a factory in the West Bank.

Both ASA and the BDS movement work closely with the pro-Hamas Electronic Intifada. According to the Electronic Intifada, the terrorist group Hamas is “a radical resistance movement,” which defends Palestinian rights. The U.S. government recognizes both Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.

According to The Blaze, the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV network encouraged its views to ‘harvest the skulls of the Jews.” Hamas has also used a soccer stadium in Gaza as a base for launching rockets at civilians in Israel. Hamas has also staunchly defended the Muslim Brotherhood

The ASA, which boasts a membership of about 5,000 scholars from top universities throughout the U.S., has called for the boycott, claiming that Israel’s policies violate Palestinians’ human rights. The boycott would prevent member universities from collaborating with Israeli universities.

Brandeis and Penn State Harrisburg both withdrew their memberships from ASA as of Dec. 19, and Brandeis president Fred Lawrence issued a statement on Dec. 24 condemning the ASA boycott.

In November, Brandeis University cut ties with the Palestinian Al Quds University in response to Al-Quds reaction to pro-terrorist, pro-Nazi demonstrations at the school. After being confronted by the president of Boston-based Brandeis University, the president of Al-Quds advised students not to participate in such demonstrations because of “vilification campaigns by Jewish extremists.”

According to USASpending.gov, Al-Quds University has received $779,318 from the US State Department, since 2008. 

The Palestinian-run BDS movement focuses on calling for academic, personal and national boycotts against the nation of Israel. As an academic institution, ASA is only focusing on the academic boycott. According to the BDS official website, Israel is “still persistently and grossly breaching international law and infringing fundamental human rights with impunity afforded to it through munificent U.S. and European economic, diplomatic and political support.”

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