- 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.
- 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 "tribunal" 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
- 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.