A coalition of more than a dozen pro-Israel groups is urging U.S. senators to make sure federal education funds are not being used illegally to spread lies.
A number of Middle East studies centers are funded under Title VI. Programs at the centers are designed to prepare students for careers in national security and educate the public on international affairs. But Tammi Rossman Benjamin of AMCHA says because of a lack of oversight, many of those funds are being misused.
"The 16 Middle East studies programs across the country that receive millions of dollars of federal funds, in many cases have been using those funds to promote a very biased, anti-American and anti-Israel perspective on the Middle East," she charges.
The result, says the coalition, is that the programs "have devolved into hotbeds of anti-American and anti-Israel activity" that are "disseminating falsehoods both in universities and to K-12 teachers and to the general public." In addition, many of the professors in the programs are using the federal funding to "push their own personal, political crusades to impressionable students."
Benjamin says a letter drafted and coordinated by the Louis D. Brandeis Center urges that language be included making it difficult for the centers to promote anti-American, anti-Semitic points of view.
"As they're reauthorizing it, we want [the senators] to include language that will make it very clear to the Department of Education that the kind of behavior that we're seeing in many Middle East studies programs is not acceptable for receiving federal funding," she tells OneNewsNow.
AMCHA monitors more than 400 college campuses across the U.S. for anti-Semitic activity. Last year alone, the group recorded 626 known anti-Semitic incidents – roughly the same number as in 2016.