web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Pro-Israel Backlash to Anti-Israel Activity Continues

The last time the Philadelphia City Council condemned a boycott of Israel was 40 years ago. But that boycott was by Arabs, not American academics.
Philadelphia City Council member Kenyatta Johnson (D) introduced a resolution condemning the ASA boycott of Israeli academic institutions

Philadelphia City Council member Kenyatta Johnson (D) introduced a resolution condemning the ASA boycott of Israeli academic institutions
Photo Credit: Facebook

The forces aligned against Israel have had the playing field to themselves for so long that when there was finally some pushback, it took them by surprise.

First there was the resounding chorus of condemnation from a huge swathe of American academia, condemning a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.  Then there was the SodaStream boycott fizzle. And today there is more good news from a new corner, the Philadelphia City Council.

***

What pro-Israel person didn’t cheer when Israeli company SodaStream’s beautiful mega-movie star spokesperson Scarlett Johansson refused to back down from her job as Israel haters demanded? Then she resigned rather than continue as an ambassador to what is supposed to be a non-political, humanitarian organization like Oxfam International when it began making noises suggesting she was committing a political correctness faux pas by sticking with SodaStream?

And for those who haven’t yet seen it, a media outlet no one can suggest is biased in favor of Israel, the Christian Science Monitor, ran a story about the Palestinian Arabs employed by SodaStream who applauded Johansson’s position.

The significance of having someone from the Hollywood world which is so dominated by knee-jerk anti-Israel sentiment is huge.

So, too has been the response from academia to the American Studies Association’s decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

American academia has long been the restricted playground on which only anti-Israel positions and players were welcome.  But as of this week, 226 universities have condemned the ASA’s boycott.  The anti-boycott movement has had a watershed movement, but there remains much work to be done on college campuses.

Many of the same university presidents who publicly condemned the ASA boycott of Israel are still blind deaf and dumb – emphasis on the last – when it comes to distinguishing between academic freedom and inappropriate and unacceptable vilification of Israel when it is publicly accepted by, and even supported and sponsored by, the institutions themselves.  More on this next week.

Another arena in which pro-Israel, or at least anti- anti-Israel sentiment has not been in great abundance, is in municipal government. Sadly, even less likely to stand up for Israel have been the African American legislators who – or at least whose constituents – have been inclined to identify with the Palestinian Arabs. Who can fault them when national politicians as far apart as President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explicitly and so publicly made those comparisons?

The identification between the two groups of minorities is flawed almost to the point of being obscene. Wasn’t it the African Americans who were the ones being beaten, had summary justice- i.e. summary execution – applied, and were misrepresented as the aggressors? That’s more like the Israelis than the Palestinian Arabs. Nonetheless, the flawed identification remains the view of many.

PHILADELPHIA CITY COUNCIL LEADS THE WAY

But in what appears to be the first of its kind act of municipal government, the Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday, Jan. 30, condemning the ASA boycott.

The sponsor of the Resolution was Council member Kenyatta Johnson, an African American who has served in the Philadelphia City Council for two years. For the three years prior to joining the City Council, Johnson was a Pennsylvania state legislator.

The resolution calls on the City Council, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the State System of Higher Education and all colleges and universities in Pennsylvania to reject the academic boycott of Israel.

Councilman Johnson issued a release stating his pride in the passage of the resolution.

“This Boycott limits the academic freedom that is an indispensable component of a free and democratic society, and should be guarded vigilantly. Furthermore, the boycott is short sighted and diminishes the opportunity of American Universities that may engage in progressive dialogues with Institutions of Higher Learning in Israel.

“Institutions of Higher Learning are the foundation for the exchange of ideas, and should be an open floor for discussions of philosophical and political thought. This boycott stifles all of this and goes against the very essence of free speech,” Johnson wrote.

A copy of the entire Resolution can be seen at Legal Insurrection, which also shows a 1965 resolution from the Philadelphia City Council of that time, condemning a boycott against Israel.

That anti-boycott of Israel resolution is nearly 40 years old.  But it is significant in several other ways. For one thing, the member introducing the legislation, George X. Schwartz, was Jewish and was introducing the measure at the request of a Jewish organization. Even more striking is that the 1965 measure condemned a boycott of Israel by Arabs, not by American academics.  One step forward, one step (at least) backwards.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

15 Responses to “The Pro-Israel Backlash to Anti-Israel Activity Continues”

  1. BRAVO Philadelphia! My next vacation WILL be in your fine city.

  2. I ‘ll stand w/Israel.

  3. WOW! The black churches have to get involved too.

  4. Philadelphia! love the city !

  5. Yeshar Koach Philidelphia!

  6. What a wonderful example of a city living up to their city’s name and foundation.

  7. Expose the Emptiness of anti-Zionism.

  8. this is the tipping point. keep pushing back hard.

  9. This is very good news! We are with you guys!

  10. Alan Kardon says:

    3 cheers for the City of Brotherly Love.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. Nov. 22, 2014.
BREAKING: West About to Cave on Key Iranian Demand
Latest News Stories
Jordanian Prime Minister, Abdullah Ensour

This is in followup to the prayers and moment of silence that the Jordanian Parliament held in honor of the two terrorists.

US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. Nov. 22, 2014.

Is the West about to provide Iran with a major concession in order to reach an “historic” (but empty) deal?

Someone spray painted “ISIS” in Arabic on a memorial for fallen Druse soldiers up north.

Jerusalem Stone Throwers

Government ministers are examining steps the state can take to deter more terrorist attacks.

Yehudah Glick will be undergoing additional surgery on Sunday morning.

After discovering a tunnel from Gaza into the Sinai that extended 1850 meters, Egypt has decide to extend it sterile zone along its 14 kilometer Gazan border from 500 meters to 1000 meters.

The students were attacked as they walked back from Friday night prayers.

Bnei Akiva religious youth members joined forces with far left Meretz youth group members on July 4, 2011, to protest in front of the US Consulate in Israel, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard. That was years ago, and as of today, Pollard has now spent 30 years in jail. Enough is enough.

The task force will aim at keeping Americans from joining ISIS and other radical Muslim murder gangs.

The cell that planned to kill Lieberman was only of several planning to kill PA official and Israelisץ

Arab pathologist who originally agreed with the findings of Arab bus driver’s autopsy showing suicide, now disagrees.

Secret Service officers arrested a woman with a gun while she was walking along the White House fence around 8:30 p.m. (EST) Thursday at the same time President Barack Obama was addressing the country on the issue of immigration. The woman was identified as April Lenhart, 23, from Michigan. She was wearing a holster and […]

And we can already hear Obama and Kerry telling him not to upset Allah and thank God on the Temple Mount.

The 388 bus line from BeerSheva to Arad was attacked by rock throwing Arabs near Arad.

The IDF foiled a plot by a Hamas terror cell to fire an RPG rocket at the vehicle of Foreign Minister MK Avigdor Lieberman.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. Nov. 22, 2014.

Is the West about to provide Iran with a major concession in order to reach an “historic” (but empty) deal?

Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.

Arab pathologist who originally agreed with the findings of Arab bus driver’s autopsy showing suicide, now disagrees.

US can’t understand why the UAE is calling terrorist groups terrorist groups.

The NYPD has increased security for NYC synagogues in the wake of the Har Nof massacre.

Israel’s UN Ambassador called on entire UNSC to confront the reality of the Palestinian Arab barbarity.

U.S. Amb. to Israel Dan Shapiro harshly condemned the terrorist attack at the synagogue in Har Nof.

EU leaks latest noxious bag of dirty tricks to inflict on Israeli politicians and sovereignty

White House and State Dept. networks hacked by “state actor,” probably Russia or China

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-pro-israel-backlash-to-anti-israel-activity-continues/2014/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: