NEW YORK (Press Release)—The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praises U.S. Reps. Michael E. McMahon (D-NY) and Gary C. Peters (D-MI) for urging the Department of Education to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation.
In a letter sent Monday, August 9, to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Reps. McMahon and Peters joined three dozen other Members of Congress in supporting the ZOA’s long-held position that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be enforced to protect Jewish students, consistent with policy statements issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights in 2004. Title VI requires recipients of federal funding to ensure that their programs and activities are free from racial and ethnic discrimination.
In July 2010, 36 Members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary Duncan, urging that Jewish students be protected from harassment and intimidation under Title VI.
The two congressional letters to Secretary Duncan followed from a well-attended June 2010 congressional briefing convened by U.S Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL), co-chair of the Congressional Taskforce on Anti-Semitism. Susan Tuchman, Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, and representatives from three other organizations, briefed congressional staffers on anti-Semitic harassment on U.S. college campuses and the federal government’s role in addressing these incidents.
In addition to Rep. Klein, the July letter to Secretary Duncan was signed by the other co-chairs of the Congressional Taskforce on Anti-Semitism — Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Chris Smith (R-NJ ) – and by Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Shelley Berkley (D-NV); Gary Ackerman (D-NY); Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); Ted Deutch (D-FL): Keith Ellison (D-MN); Jan Schakowsky (D-IL); Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL); Brad Sherman (D-CA); Kendrick Meek (D-FL); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL); Allyson Schwartz (D-PA); Henry Waxman (D-CA); John Adler (D-NJ); Alan Grayson (D-FL); Kathy Castor (D-FL); Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX); Rush Holt (D-NJ); Jackie Speier (D-CA); Steve Israel (D-NY); Steve Kagen (D-WI); Doug Lamborn (R-CO); Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); Jared Polis (D-CO); Michele Bachmann (R-MN); Anthony Weiner (D-NY); Sander Levin (D-MI); Steve Rothman (D-NJ); Buck McKeon (R-CA); John Yarmuth (D-KY); Adam Schiff (D-CA); and Howard L. Berman (D-CA).
Their letter stated: “We believe that enforcing Title VI to protect Jewish students who, in rare but highly significant situations, face harassment, intimidation or discrimination based on their ancestral or ethnic characteristics – including when it is manifested as anti-Israel or anti-Zionist sentiment that crosses the line into anti-Semitism – would help ensure that we’re preserving the integrity of our higher education system by affording the same protection to all ethnic and racial groups on our college campuses.”
Endorsing this congressional letter “in its entirety,” Reps. McMahon and Peters said in their letter to Secretary Duncan, “It is critical that our civil rights laws be enforced as broadly as possible to make sure that all students can obtain their education in an environment that is tolerant, respectful, physically and emotionally safe, and conducive to learning.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein praised Reps. McMahon and Peters for calling on the Department of Education to provide Jewish students with the same legal protections that other ethnic and racial groups are already afforded:
“We know from our work on college campuses that Jewish students have been threatened and physically assaulted. Some students are even afraid for their physical safety because of the hateful speakers and programs that demonize Jews and Israel. The ZOA thanks Congressmen McMahon and Peters for joining their colleagues in the House in supporting these students and affirming their legal right to a campus environment free from anti-Semitic hostility and Israel-bashing.”
Preceding provided by Zionist Organization of America
NEW YORK (Press Release) — The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday (ADL) hailed passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA/H.R.2194), which seeks to pressure Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
“This is a crucial time for the United States to move from overtures to pressure in its effort to get Iran’s government to reverse course. The Iranian government has made clear its refusal to engage on its nuclear program and is intent on building a nuclear weapon and the ability to deliver it to target. At the same time, Iran remains a state sponsor of terrorism – funding and training terrorist organizations and cultivating extremist forces. Its leaders have repeatedly called for Israel’s demise and have propagated base anti-Semitism, including denial of the Holocaust.
“We commend the leadership of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ranking Member Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) for crafting and moving this legislation to passage. We urge the Senate to take swift action on similar legislation currently pending.”
The legislation, passed by a vote of 412-12, authorizes the president to sanction foreign firms providing refined petroleum to Iran – or otherwise aiding Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum through financing, brokering, underwriting, or providing ships for such activity.
The same would be true for those providing goods or services to help maintain or expand Iran’s domestic production of refined petroleum. The bill allows the president to waive the sanctions if he deems it to be in the U.S. national security interest.
Preceding provided by Anti-Defamation League
NEW YORK (Press Release)—The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194) before the December break.
“The timing for this vote is especially significant. After serious attempts by the United States and other world powers to engage Iran and negotiate an end to its nuclear weapons program, Iran refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program and also announced they would suspend cooperation with the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran continues to race toward nuclear weapons capability and escalate tensions, most recently with its announcement of plans to build 10 additional uranium enrichment plants in response to the IAEA Board of Governors’ November 27 resolution calling on Iran to suspend its nuclear activities,” said Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein.
“Should the IRPSA legislation pass the House, it has the potential to seriously impact the Iranian economy. The prospect of the sanctions in this bill and the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, which overwhelmingly passed the House in October, are essential to pressing Iran, the leading violator of human rights and state sponsor of terrorism globally, against pursuing a nuclear weapons capacity. We thank House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman and Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and all the co-sponsors for introducing this bill and for moving it through the committee. We urge all the members of the House to maintain the momentum and pass the bill this month. We hope the Senate will act on the sanctions bill before it during December as well. We recognize that Congress is focused on other issues of importance, but we should not allow this critical issue that affects the security of our country and the world to be delayed,” the leaders said.
Preceding provided by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations