Thought control mechanism?

July 1, 1993

Thought control mechanism?

By Joe Baker, Senior Editor

Israeli influence on the U.S. government was revealed again last week as news broke of special legislation planned by Republican members of the Senate.

The proposed legislation, termed “thought control” law by some, would bar any criticism of Israel’s actions or government on American college campuses.

Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa, the third-ranking GOP member intends to introduce a bill establishing what is termed “ideological diversity” legislation.

This measure would slash federal funding for any U.S. college or university if they are found to be allowing professors, students and student organizations to openly criticize Israel. Santorum, who is as pro-Israel as you can get, considers any such criticism as anti-Semitism. That is the knee-jerk reaction of the neo-conservatives to anything or anyone dissenting from their views.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a leading pro-Israeli ideologue, wants to create a federal commission—critics say it is actually a tribunal—under Title IX to “investigate” any anti-Semitic incidents on campus.

Neither senator has explained how this proposed law would be compatible with the First Amendment of the Constitution which guarantees free speech.

This proposed bill has attracted little, if any, attention from major national media, but is being discussed in some high-level circles. Wayne Firestone, director of the Center for Israel Affairs for the Hillel Foundation, commented: “Everywhere I go, this is the lead topic. This is drawing a lot of interest.”

It was Firestone’s organization, in fact, that leaked the news of the proposed legislation. There also were some details published in the New York Sun, which is a small-circulation, stridently pro-Israel, conservative daily, supporting the neo-conservative position.

Firestone said Sen. Santorum and several other senators, invited representatives of Jewish organizations and others to a meeting on Capitol Hill to discuss Santorum’s concern about growing criticism of Israel on American college campuses.

Most colleges and universities are keeping their own counsel on this issue for fear of being branded as anti-Semites.

Costs of the meeting were borne by U.S. taxpayers, but no transcript of the private session is available.

Sen. Santorum is rapidly emerging as one of Israel’s leading spokesmen in the Senate. He is one of the co-sponsors of the Syrian Accountability Act that accuses Syria of backing terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction. It demands Syria withdraw from Lebanon. The chickenhawk clique in Washington is trying to use these allegations as a basis for a war against Syria.

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