Pro-Israel Lobby Demands Big Brother Snoop on Students

Arab News reports,

Major Jewish organizations are lobbying the Senate to approve a bill that would authorize federal monitoring of government-funded Middle East studies programs throughout US universities.

The bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives and is now before a Senate committee, would establish a federal tribunal to investigate and monitor criticism of Israel on American college campuses.

Imagine if this were a bill to spy on Jewish studies programs. I’m wretching over here.

11 thoughts on “Pro-Israel Lobby Demands Big Brother Snoop on Students

  1. I feel your pain. Being a student at Sarah Lawrence College, I’m not workin in the vain of Stalin’s art police. However, having to listen to some “humanist”/”cosmopolitan” professors talk about how the crux of the world’s /evil/ rests on /Israel/ /alone/ is enough for me to be frightened into silence.

  2. well clearly that professor’s a dunce; but dunces are still entitled to their opinions and you don’t have to take their classes.

  3. I don’t think you need to be ‘frightened’ by a Prof.’s opinion. As a student, you have just as much of a right to voice your opinion as the Professor does. I’m more than certain that others felt the same way that you did and how else are you going to start an intelligent dialogue, without discussion? Withholding your opinion/comments allows others who are unsure or sitting on the fence to be armed with the only information that they receive–from the professor.

  4. I know the whole Big Brother spying on students shtick stinks like my sullied leather coat, but I am actually not against it. Let me tell you why.
    However messed up you or I might consider Sharon/Israel’s actions in the occupied Territories, all across university campuses in Europe and the UK (I am a Brit who has studied in London and is now doing so Paris), not to mention elsewhere,Israel-hatred is utterly disproportionally rabid. Its vociferousness is quite shocking and Jewish students do pay the price — just one anecdote: A female friend of mine was spat on and pushed for having a visible Magen David around her neck — at the first British University to accept Jews, Protestants and women, as it happens.
    Anyway, this hyperbolic demonization clearly needs addressing and however many of the globe’s 12/13million jewish people are enlightened, politically correct advocates of justice and peace…well, the hatred and scapegoating remains.
    Nowhere is this more the case than at Middle East Studies departments. Often they are funded by the same (Saudi, in particular) people who fund the most, um, how can I put this, virulent mosques in Europe and elsewhere, such as the Finsbury pakr Mosque in North London. In short, some of the same people that fund the teaching of Mid East students pay for the hateful preaching against Jews in Mosques and Madrasses.
    Now, as a Brit I have nothing but admiration for your 1st Amendment, which seems to me both under assault from Bush and the Patriot Act and one of the things – like your constitution – that makes the US such a great nation. A light unto the naitons, almost. Yet in the Uk we have anti-hatred legislation, which while surely an infringement on the freedom of speech makes illegal any incitement to racial hatred and violence. Recently various clerics have ‘gone down’, as Enlgish argot has it, for preacing that Jews should be slaightered wherever they are found. Is this the answer? Will this stop hatred? No and nope. But I feel that our society is safer without people stoking the fires of religious enmity.
    Similarly, if there was monitoring of MidEast departments, which frankly propogate the whole Israel (Zionists) is (are) to blame canard that might curtail some of the bellicosity and hatred and lead to a truer and less malignant debate. Well, I’m for it.
    Peace unto you all.

  5. we have those laws too danny; it’s called hate crime legislation. i’m iffy on the subject, tho i see the need for it, with homosexuals being found killed, chained to fences in texas and whatnot. however it’s the whole “pre-crime” aspect that bugs me. committing a crime is one thing. sending a network of spies to look for that crime where it doesn’t exist is another.
    imagine this was happening to jews. we’d be drawing comparisons to nazi kommisars monitoring jewish institutions. that we’d be calling for this ourselves is a ghastly irony.

  6. You know what? I dunno about this one, man. Maybe you’re right. I just worry that campuses in the US will soon become like campuses everywhere else — and I imagine that you wouldn’t want that either.
    Anyway, truth be told, I really don’t know what exactly the Bill will result in (assumong it’s passed) so don’t feel like i’ve picked the best topic to debate with you!
    Not that I’m looking for an argument, by the way. From what I’ve read by you (especially the almost beautiful letter you wrote to Adbuster, with which I totally agreed) I think we’d agree on most things, especially, perhaps, that it’s best not to ruminate on matters about which one knows basically BUBKES (that’s me I’m talking about).
    Cheers and hopefully next time I contribute it’ll be on somehting about which I either feel strongly or, inshallah, know about.

  7. on re-reading my post, rumination wasn’t my problem; sharing the premature fruits of what little rumination had taken place was. Just to clarfiy…

  8. I’m speaking from afar, but it seems to me that, should this actually pass, those in the U.S. who are truly concerned about it have some useful work ahead of them.
    Here‘s the Forward’s take (mirrored here).
    The bill apparently proposes the establishment of an advisory board to gather information on “Title 6” programs, to ensure that activities funded by the government “reflect diverse perspectives and the full range of views on world regions, foreign languages, and international affairs.” (But don’t take the Forward’s word for it; that part of the Bill is here.
    Sounds like folks would want to shine a light on that advisory board to make sure that it was using established and fair criteria; that it openly published its evaluations of the extent to which programs met those criteria; and that any final recommendations it made were consistent with those criteria.

  9. I know how the Middle East studies people can completely confound the government watchers.
    Don’t take the money

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