Middle East studies in the News
Misuse of Higher Education Act Title VI Funding could Stoke the Flames of anti-Semitism
by Nita M. Lowey, Member of Congress
Dear Secretary Duncan,
During a hearing in April, you and I discussed the International Education and Foreign Language Studies program, which advances national security, foreign policy, and economic interests. We agreed that it was necessary to strengthen Title VI of the Higher Education Act.
I was alarmed to read the attached statement from several education and Jewish advocates proclaiming a misuse of federal funds and that some recipients "fail to satisfy Title VI's intended purpose, flout congressional intent, and thwart American national security and foreign policy interests." The statement mentioned a number of problems with imbalanced programs of Middle East Studies that are disproportionately focused on and are biased against Israel. This could engender anti-Semitism or criticism of Israel that devolves into the defamation of the Jewish people.
Over the past year, your Department has revised many Title VI program performance measures. While those measures have focused on quantitative metrics, I strongly urge you to immediately adopt standards to prevent imbalanced programs, particularly those that may spread anti-Semitic attitudes, from receiving funds. Additionally, as Congress considers amendments to the Higher Education Act, I am interested in any proposals you may have to reform Title VI to exclude programs with a strong anti-Israel bias.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to working with you to improve Title VI programs.
Nita M. Lowey
Member of CongressNote: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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