Senator Ted Cruz threw down the gauntlet to the Palestinian apologists on college campuses, urging that any university that adopts a “boycott, divest, and sanctions” policy toward Israel be denied federal funding.
The senator also called Iran’s march toward a nuclear weapon the greatest threat to the national security of Israel and the U.S.
Cruz had harsh words for BDS proponents, calling the movement to force universities and companies to pull their money out of Israel “anti-Semitism plain and simple.”
Cruz never mentioned his presidential candidacy but sure talked a lot about what America’s next president needs to do when it comes to Israel and Iran. That includes imposing sanctions on Iran, transferring bunker bombs to Israel if “Iran has not stopped marching toward nuclear weapons,” moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and no longer fund the Palestinian Authority “as long as its engages in incitement” and is in a unity government with Hamas.
“If Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons that president in 2017 should stand up to the world and explain very simply either Iran will stop or the United States of America will stop it,” Cruz said.
Cruz continued to call the prospect of Iran securing a nuclear weapon the greatest threat to the security of the United States and Israel.
“The next 19 months are going to be perilous,” he said. “But I commit to you to do everything in my power to speak out and stop any deal that will allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.”
Cruz praised Sheldon Adelson, who spent $92 million on Republican candidates in 2012, and his wife Miriam as “fearless warriors standing for the United States and standing for the nation of Israel.” Cruz was seated at the same table as Adelson, who gave $1 million to the World Values Network, which put on the gala, and shed some light on how he allocates his fortune.
“We don’t just pledge it, we give it,” he said of his money, adding that if a gift is made on a Monday, the check goes out Tuesday. He also said he’s not the one with the money.
“I don’t have the money. My wife’s got all the money,” Adelson said.
Denying federal funding to schools who adopt a BDS policy is certainly a strong statement, but Congress would be sailing in uncharted waters by passing such legislation. It’s not even clear that there would be a legal basis for denying funds to individual school on the basis of a policy adopted by a school administration unless it was clearly discriminatory against students or faculty. Since BDS is directed at entities outside of the school, it may be problematic for the federal government to tell a university what it must do with its money.
BDS is a “civilized” way for the left to express its anti-Semitism. The movement holds itself up as a successor to the divestiture movement aimed at South Africa in the 1980s. But the parallels between South Africa and Israel drawn by BDS proponents are ludicrous and, as Cruz says, are “based on a lie.”
To date, no university has adopted BDS as a policy, although some academic organizations like the American Studies Association have done so. But the hysteria against Israel is growing and it may be that soon, some colleges and universities will be unable to resist the pressure to divest.