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November 07, 2002

U.S. May Punish Colleges Boycotting Israel, Jerusalem Post Says

You boycott Israel we boycott you.
Jerusalem, Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. may punish universities that sell holdings in Israel-linked securities, using a law against complying with the Arab boycott of Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing a U.S. official.

The government is monitoring protest movements on U.S. campuses to determine whether they are supported by Arab states and violate amendments to the 1977 Export Administration Act, Kenneth Juster, the undersecretary of commerce for industry and security, told the Post in an interview.

Students at Harvard, Princeton and other universities are demanding that holdings in companies that do business with Israel be sold off to protest Israeli military operations against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Among the companies are International Business Machines Corp., Lehman Brothers Inc. and McDonald's Corp.

The U.S. government is seeking to increase penalties for observing the anti-Israel boycott, which include fines of as much as $50,000 and 10 years in prison, Juster told the Post.