Michael Collins Piper's address at the Zayed Centre
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Saturday September 20, 2003
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UPDATE: US Senator Santorum's Attempts to Stifle Critics of Israel on American Campuses
Proponents Trying to Refute Story of
Santorum-Brownback Ideological Diversity Scheme
By Michael Collins Piper email@example.com
Exclusive to American Free Press americanfreepress.net
Self-appointed Thought Police who want to impose so-called 'ideological diversity' onto American college campuses as a way of preventing open discussion of Israeli misdeeds 'in the name of "fighting anti-Semitism"' are squirming now that their news about their plan has been revealed to a national and international audience.
On April 29, Hillel, which amounts to a national network of self-appointed pro-Israel 'campus police', complained on its website that newspaper 'namely American Free Press' and web pages such as Rense.com , which picked up an advance copy of the American Free Press story, and the Palestine Media Center, among others, are trying to 'distort' the intentions of those who participated in the Capitol Hill meeting where 'ideological diversity' legislation was discussed.
The entire original American Free Press article follows below.
Hillel claims that American Free Press and the other media that picked up the American Free Press story 'are promoting a bizarre version of the meeting' that was held between various U.S. Senators 'led by Rick Santorum (Pa.) and Sam Brownback (Kansas)' and a variety of pro-Israel lobby groups including Hillel, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America and the American Jewish Committee.
Rather than directly addressing the specifics of the American Free Press article, Hillel instead takes a shot at American Free Press and makes accusations that the paper is 'anti-Semitic' which, of course, is precisely the specter that is raised any time any one on any campus anywhere even dares to criticize Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.
However, whether American Free Press or any other source is 'anti-Semitic' has no real bearing on the fact that the meeting did indeed take place and that Republican Senate conservatives are 'or, at least were' planning to introduce legislation to deny federal funding to American colleges that are found to be in some way permitting freedom of speech which is deemed to be 'anti-Semitic'.
Hillel now claims that the meeting of the Republican leadership was arranged to discuss campus anti-Semitism, not to combat anti-Israel groups.
However, this is disingenuous at best. First of all, the American Free Press account was largely based on the material that appeared both on the Hillel website and in the article in the very proudly and unabashedly pro-Israel neo-conservative daily, The New York Sun And, for the record, the Sun article (dated March 27, 2003) stated flat out that:
'By the end of the meeting yesterday, Mr. Santorum was talking about introducing legislation that could cut federal funding to colleges where anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiments are prevalent' or more generally, where "ideological diversity" is lacking'.
So Hillel is indeed being disingenuous when it denies that 'anti-Israel' sentiments were not at issue during the meeting with Santorum and other Jewish organizations. Indeed, anti-Israel sentiments were at issue.
Aside from this, there is no critic of Israel on any college campus anywhere in America who is not fully aware of the fact that virtually all mainstream media accounts of criticism of Israel on college campuses have regularly quoted sources such as the ADL and others who equate criticism of Israel with 'anti-Semitism', however unfounded the accusation may be.
Hillel says that the intention was 'not to suppress free speech but to address hatred against Jewish students'.
However, as anyone who has participated in campus protests against the war against Iraq and/or against Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians can attest, those who have participated have been regularly tarred with the label of 'anti-Semitism'.
So Hillel's attempts to refute the American Free Press article fall very flat. In the end, all Hillel can do is allege that some groups are using the 'noble objective' of fighting 'hatred against Jewish students' 'to fuel their theories of international conspiracy'.
THE TEXT OF THE ORIGINAL EXPOSE OF THE SANTORUM-BROWNBACK SCHEME FOLLOWS:
Republican members of the Senate are planning to introduce police-state-style
'thought control' legislation designed to prohibit criticism of Israel on American college campuses.
By Michael Collins Piper
The third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate, conservative Rick Santorum (Pa.), plans to introduce so-called 'ideological diversity' legislation that would cut federal funding for thousands of American colleges and universities if those institutions are found to be permitting professors, students and student organizations to openly criticize Israel, which Santorum considers to be an act of 'anti-Semitism'.
Santorum wants to rewrite the federal funding formula under Title IX of the Higher Education Act to include 'ideological diversity' as well as sexual equality in education as a perquisite for federal funding.
Joining Santorum is another Senate conservative GOP stalwart 'and a leading pro-Israel ideologue' Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.) who has his own scheme to call for a federal commission 'critics call it a "ribunal"' to be established under Title IX to 'investigate' anti-Semitic incidents on American campuses.
This is no 'conspiracy theory'. It's a fact but not one that is getting much attention except in a few high-level circles.
Although the average American student or college professor has not heard of the Santorum-Brownback scheme, Wayne Firestone, director of the Center for Israel Affairs for the Hillel Foundation, says that 'Everywhere I go, this is the lead topic. This is drawing a lot of interest'.
In fact, it was Firestone's organization, Hillel 'which has units on campuses across America' that first leaked word of Santorum's scheme. Further details appeared in a circumspect report on April 15 in the small-circulation New York Sun, a stridently pro-Israel 'neo-conservative' daily published in Manhattan.
Hillel told its supporters that Santorum, along with several other members of the Senate, had invited representatives of a number of powerful Jewish organizations to attend a private meeting on Capitol Hill in order to discuss the senators' concerns about growing criticism of Israel on American college campuses.
The senators in question 'all Republicans' were: Santorum, Robert Bennett (Utah), Sam Brownback (Kansas), and newly-elected Norm Coleman (Minnesota). In addition, Senate Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), and his GOP colleagues, Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and George Voinovich (Ohio) sent staff representatives.
Jewish organizations represented at the private meeting were the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Committee and Hillel, represented by the aforementioned Firestone and his college Jay Rubin, Hillel s executive vice president.
Louis Goldstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, represented the Bush administration.
During the private Senate session 'of which there are no transcripts available to the taxpayers who footed the bill for the enterprise' an ADL representative reportedly claimed to the gathering that the ADL's 'annual audit' of anti-Semitic activity in America had detected an increase by 24% of anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses in the year 2002.
That 24% increase 'even by the ADL s own admission'constituted only 21 actions.
However, the ADL definition of 'anti-Semitism' is so broad that it largely includes even the mildest criticism of Israel that doesn't happened to be framed in the particular parameters that the ADL determines to be acceptable.
In the meantime, word of the Santorum-Brownback initiative is spreading among leaders of the educational community.
However, spokesmen for universities and educational organizations are being quite circumspect about commenting too quickly or too loudly, recognizing that they, too, could be accused of encouraging 'anti-Semitism' if they dare to speak out against the thought control mechanism that Santorum, Brownback and their allies want to set in place.
Santorum is rapidly emerging as one of Israel's leading Senate spokesmen. He is one of the chief co-sponsors of the so-called Syrian Accountability Act that accuses Syria of supporting terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction and demands that Syria withdraw from Lebanon. Forces now clamoring for war against Syria are using these allegations as the foundation for launching a war against the Arab republic.
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