Thursday, Oct 27th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Politics Behind the scenes with Israel's campus lobby

Behind the scenes with Israel's campus lobby

E-mail Print PDF

Pro Palestinian protestOver the past year, I have obtained public records that shed light on how the Israel lobby works on US campuses. At UC Berkeley, my alma mater, as well as at UC Hastings School of Law, the documents reveal how the Israel lobby pressures university administrators to interfere with campus activity - both academic and political - that addresses Israel's policies towards and treatment of the Palestinian people.

My requests were made in the shadow of two high-profile backlash campaigns to counter events at UC Berkeley and UC Hastings School of Law. In March 2011, esteemed legal academics and practitioners attended a conference called "Litigating Palestine" at UC Hastings School of Law.

On the eve of the conference, the UC Hastings Board of Directors voted in a closed emergency meeting to withdraw its sponsorship of the event without explanation. Though the conference was permitted to proceed, the Dean of the Law School was asked not to give opening remarks as planned.

A year earlier, a historic decision by UC Berkeley's student government to divest from companies profiting from Israeli human rights violations and war crimes and occupation was overturned in response to similar pressure. Though the bill initially passed with a 16-4 majority, the student body president vetoed it and, after weeks of intense lobbying, the student senate was one vote short of overcoming the veto.

Though the fact of lobby pressure is a matter of common knowledge, it requires demystification. The records I obtained tend to reveal some of the ways in which the lobby actually applies its pressure. They contain valuable lessons for those who wish to defeat it. I draw several hypotheses from these documents.

Foremost among them is the proposition that the lobby's influence stems primarily from the fact that, despite public criticism, it is largely uncontested by organised campaigns. Subject to intense pressure, university administrators often make decisions they do not like because they feel they have no other choice.


Most Recent Related Stories...

Democrats ask judge to sanction Republicans over Trump

Democrats ask judge to sanction Republicans over TrumpThe Democratic National Committee on Wednesday asked a U.S. judge to hold the Republican National Committee...

Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Destroyed by Sledgehammer

Trump Star hammered to piecesDonald Trump took a lot of hits today, and not just in the Presidential race. With...

Right on Schedule, Gary Johnson’s Poll Numbers Are Crashing

Gary JohnsonPerhaps some of those who believed America was headed toward a “libertarian moment” are surprised by...

Hispanic crowd boos Marco Rubio off stage

Rubio bood off stage by LatinosFlorida Sen. Marco Rubio got booed off a stage in Orlando on Sunday, by a crowd...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!