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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Ali Abunimah’

Vassar and the BDS War on Campus

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

The anti-Zionist – and sometimes also anti-Semitic – website Mondoweiss recently published a lengthy report by the site’s founder Philip Weiss about a meeting that took place at Vassar in early March.

According to Weiss, the meeting had been scheduled by the school’s Committee on Inclusion and Excellence in order to discuss guidelines for activism after persistent protests by Vassar’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) against a trip to Israel planned by Vassar’s International Studies program.

VASSAR BDS WAR

Weiss began his report by quoting Jill Schneiderman, the professor who had apparently initiated the trip and who had mentioned the meeting in a post on her blog, where she wrote that she “was knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to vilifying anyone who dares set foot in Israel.”

Weiss confirmed that the meeting “was truly unsettling,” that “torrents of anger ripped through the gathering” and that “rage against Israel was the theme.” He contrasted this atmosphere favorably with the broad popular support for Israel in the US, asserting that it was very different at Vassar, where “the spirit of that young progressive space was that Israel is a blot on civilization, and boycott is right and necessary. If a student had gotten up and said, I love Israel, he or she would have been mocked and scorned into silence.”

But according to Weiss, Israel’s supporters should expect not just more of the same, but worse to come, because in his view, the “battles we’ve seen so far on campus are just preliminaries.” He predicted that “things are going to get much more belligerent” and asserted that “belligerence may be necessary to the resolution.”

At the end of his detailed report, Weiss offered something like a declaration of war:

“If the SJP students can be obnoxious, their manner is just what feminist Margaret Fuller saw in abolitionists during slavery: tedious, rabid, narrow, prone to exaggeration. And dedicated to a principle worth living and dying for.

Expect many more rage-filled meetings in years to come as the left is broken over this question. How long before students occupy administration buildings of liberal arts colleges that work with Israel? How long before students chain themselves to bulldozers at the Cornell-Technion project in New York city?”

According to Weiss, this militant conduct is also endorsed by BDS leader Omar Barghouti:

“That is what Omar Barghouti is saying to people in the middle now, Get out of the way. The intellectual labors are done, the activists are moving. The public square will increasingly belong to the warriors of both sides. And Vassar shows us clearly which side will win.”

This “war” rhetoric is also reflected in a new book by Ali Abunimah, another leading anti-Israel activist, who is currently touring the US to promote “The Battle for Justice in Palestine” which contains a chapter on “The War on Campus,” and his book tour includes numerous events on campuses.

To understand the growing militancy of anti-Israel activists it is useful to consider for a moment what it means when Weiss declares that the “intellectual labors are done.”

In order to justify the targeting of Israel with campaigns calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), anti-Israel activists have to exaggerate and magnify every failing of the Jewish state in ways that demonize Israel as an evil entity comparable to apartheid South Africa or even Nazi Germany. This demonization is also necessary in view of the fact that all leading BDS advocates insist that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state.

The inevitable result of this indoctrination by activists – and all too often also by professors who support the BDS agenda – is a radicalization of students. As professor Alan Johnson recently noted after an encounter with a group of BDS bullies at an Irish university:

Hacked: Anonymous Falsely Outed Thousands of Arabs as ‘Collaborators’

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Riad Yasmina, who writes for the Dubai-based website ITP, announced, back on April 7, that the group ‘Anonymous’ had managed to get a list containing the names of 37 thousand Mossad agents deployed around the world, and has disseminated the same list to many like-minded Internet websites for publication.

You may recall that Anonymous announced the day before that it started its major campaign to wipe Israel off the internet and has hit a large number of Websites belonging to the Israeli government. The whole thing lasted a few hours, causing some discomfort to users, but Israel’s Internet providers were able to block the attack handily and the websites were back online within minutes, give or take a half hour.

Yasmina celebrated this, announcing that the Anonymous group also “gained access to credit cards belonging to Israelis, and disabled many of the major sites of Israeli companies and banks.”

Why she would be so delighted that the credit card information of innocent civilians be hacked I’m not so sure, but in reality none of that took place in any significant measure, according to many news sources.

But the best part of this entire article, comes at the end:

“Correction of the news: Unfortunately, after we published this news, we recently received numerous complaints from our brothers the Palestinian Arabs inside the 1948 borders, including from individuals who are most hostile to the Zionist entity, saying that their names were mentioned in the list (of collaborators). After checking to make sure with several sources regarding the list and its credibility, we discovered that it is false and has nothing to do with Mossad agents. The names may have been collected for other reasons, and perhaps leaked from any of the branches of the Israeli security.

“We are sorry if we caused any harm with this misleading information, it was because all of us took pleasure in the victory when we published the list, and we promise not to do it again.”

Ali Abunimah, Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, sworn ally to any Jew hater in the cosmos, related the following tale of horror:

M. arrived at work last Friday morning in a city in the north of present-day Israel. As she walked in, one of her colleagues approached her with a look of concern and asked her to step outside. “Your name is on a list of Mossad agents,” M. recalls the colleague saying.

“‘Then congratulate me,’ I said, thinking this was all a strange joke,” M. recalls responding.

But then M. found that many other people at her workplace were talking about a list, a file obtained by hackers and circulated on social media purporting to contain the names of agents of Israel’s notorious spy and assassination agency Mossad.

The vast majority of names on the list are Hebrew names of Israelis.

“I looked at the list, it had my name on it, my ID number and other details. By the end of the day everyone knew about it and was talking about it.”

M., however, is a Palestinian, a citizen of Israel, with an Arabic name – although like all the other names on the list her name was written in the Hebrew alphabet. She was stunned.

The false accusation or suspicion of being an Israeli agent can be absolutely devastating for any Palestinian.

The Electronic Intifada was able to independently verify the identity of M. Because of the serious implications for her and her family, M. agreed to speak to The Electronic Intifada on condition that we not use her real name or initials or identify the city where she lives.

“After work I went home and started to google this list and I was horrified by what I found,” M. said. “It was everywhere.”

M. doesn’t know how she got on the list but looking at it she thinks that the information could come from the database of a store’s loyalty card program or an online commerce site that was hacked into. “I saw the names of many companies as well as individuals on the list, including shoe stores and baby clothing stores.”

M. is not the only one affected in the Palestinian community. “My dad’s cousin is on the list as well, among many other people I know,” she said.

Panet, a website for Israeli Arabs, warned its readers that the list was fake, adding its own tale of horror:

The Arab resident of one of the villages in the Upper Galilee, clicked to news site Panorama, to discover his name in the list of Mossad agents. Sparking surprise and dismay, he said in an interview: “I was shocked after I noticed that my name and my details appear in the list of Mossad agents, and to my even greater surprise and dismay, some people I have dealt with were listed, too. This is pure fabrication and extremely dangerous.”

Sure it’s dangerous, because Arabs understand that in their society folks regularly reverse the order of asking questions and shooting.

According to Ali Abunimah, On Friday, March 22, the English-language account for The Red Hack, a group of Turkish activist hackers, announced that it would be releasing “a large file regarding Israel.”

Meanwhile, another the group Sector 404 was launching a denial of service attack on the Mossad’s public website (lots of exciting job opportunities there, by the way, including for all of you language majors).

The Red Hack announced that the list it had acquired included the personal information of 35,000 Israeli officials — and then anti-Israel bloggers and The Red Hack themselves were goading each other to make more ambitious claims, “until finally they were 35,000 Mossad agents,” writes Abunimah.

Abuminah traced the list (on a PDF file) to GaZa HaCHeR, who published it in late November, 2012. It turns out to be a list of 35,000 names, phone numbers, addresses and emails of Israeli customers of imported goods.

“All the names are in Hebrew, but are accompanied by email addresses and phone numbers in Latin characters giving it all an air of authenticity,” explains Abunimah, adding: “People who don’t speak Hebrew – almost certainly the vast majority of people circulating the list – would not have noticed that many of the names were those of businesses or Palestinians or that there was other information that points to this being a list of customers and not a list of government personnel.”

 

Civil Rights Violations, Lies & Audiotape: B’klyn College Still in Spotlight

Monday, February 18th, 2013

The BDS event at Brooklyn College took place last week, but the fallout continues and what is coming may be far uglier than even the dueling charges of anti-Semitism and Zionist censorship that preceded the event.

As has been widely reported, an effort was made to bar four Jewish pro-Israel students who had pre-registered and received written confirmation of admission for getting into the building, and then again in the building, for getting into the room where the event took place.

Then, once those four were finally in the event room, they were forcibly ejected within 15 minutes of their arrival at the behest of Students for Justice for Palestine leadership, by Brooklyn College security, and with the tacit approval of at least one Brooklyn College administrator, Milga Morales, the Vice President for Student Affairs.

We are now in a situation where there seems to be no two ways about it – someone is lying, maybe several people.  And school officials, both administration representatives as well as faculty members were on the scene – so if the students were unfairly ejected, an apology will hardly suffice.

Perhaps the Jewish pro-Israel students who say they were tossed out of the anti-Israel event without cause aren’t telling the truth. Or perhaps it is the Brooklyn College administrators present at the event who confirmed and/or relied on students who claimed the pro-Israel students were being disruptive.  But there is admissible evidence available upon which a conclusion can be made.  So the next question becomes, what will the consequences be?

BACKGROUND As explained previously, the Brooklyn College division of Students for Justice in Palestine and the political science department of the college officially co-sponsored and endorsed an event at which two leaders of the virulently anti-Israel BDS movement – the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctioning of Israel – spoke on the Brooklyn College campus on February 7th.  The purpose of the event was to promote the BDS movement.

Critics charge that the BDS movement does not merely encourage the Israeli government to stop policies with which it disagrees, as some claim, but through its form of economic and political warfare, BDS seeks to cause the ultimate elimination of Israel, the Jewish State.

PRECEDING THE FEB. 7 EVENT Prior to the event there was much heated debate over whether it was appropriate for Brooklyn College, a publicly-funded university, to host the one-sided BDS event at all and whether the political science department should have endorsed and supported it.

The administration issued statements defending the department sponsorship on the basis of academic freedom and the marketplace of ideas. Admitting that the school-sponsored event only offered one side of an extremely controversial and divisive event, these statements claimed there was no suppression of ideas or speech because anyone would be able – and all were encouraged – to “attend, listen and fully debate.”  The BDS supporters got the green light from the school and the event took place.

THE CLAIM OF CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS Several pro-Israel students say attempts were made to intentionally block their attendance – some successfully – that non-conforming viewpoints were silenced and that Jewish pro-Israel students were rounded up and thrown out of a “public” event simply for having the “wrong” ideas.

WHO WAS EXPELLED The four Jewish students who were expelled from the event (the Expelled Four) are: Melanie Goldberg, 21, is one of the heads of the college’s Israel Club, is a Hasbara Fellowships Fellow and is a journalism student.  She said she has spoken up at other anti-Israel events in the past, but only to ask pointed questions, not in a disruptive way which others have confirmed.  The other female student who was ejected, Yvonne Juris, 22, is also a journalism student.  The other two are brothers,  Michael, 21 and Ari Ziegler, 23 – a Brooklyn College graduate student -  both of whom are members of the campus Hillel.

EVENTS AS CLAIMED BY EXPELLED FOUR According to two of the four Jewish students who were ejected, as reported by Ari Ziegler, in the New York Daily News, and Melanie Goldberg, in a Facebook posting, and in a blog at the Times of Israel:

• Goldberg explained that she and the other pro-Israel students had pre-registered for the event and received confirmation several times through several different sources, yet they were initially unable to enter the room or the building because their names had been removed from the “official” list.  It was only after the students were able to get a school administrator to intervene that they were able to enter the event room. How did that happen?  That should be part of the investigation.

New ‘Judea and Samaria’ Passport Stamp Drives Arabs and the AP Nuts

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

In what appears to be a recent change of events, the passports of non-Israelis who enter the areas of Judea and Samaria are now being stamped with “Judea & Samaria Only” “visitors permit,” whereas until fairly recently those passports were stamped with “Palestinian Authority Only” stamps.

There has been a hysterical response to this by such anti-Israel activists as Ali Abunimah, the founder and editor of the “Electronic Intifada,” an online media outlet dedicated to attacking Israel, the “Zionist entity.”

It would not be such a big deal if it were only the virulently anti-Israel fringe who read the Electronic Intifada who complained about the change.  But, incredibly, the issue has now been taken up by international media outlets such as the Associated Press who have been badgering the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department about the change.

During the press conference on Tuesday, December 4, the AP’s State Department correspondent Matt Lee repeatedly badgered Deputy State Department Spokesperson Mark C. Toner about the matter.  Lee parroted Abunimah’s over-the-top characterization of the stamp, and demanded to know what the U.S. is going to do about Israel’s “creeping annexation” over what he insisted Toner acknowledge was “occupied territory.”

The reporter compared what he considered to be a lackluster response to the concern expressed by the U.S. when the Chinese government began issuing passports in which maps showed Chinese ownership over disputed maritime territory.  Toner resisted the comparison, but ultimately relented and assured the AP reporter that he would “look into it,” and then “report back.”

The source of the concern, the Electronic Intifada, is so hostile to Israel that it describes the change in Israeli stamp policy in this way:

‘Judea and Samaria’ is the Jewish nationalist name Israel gives to the occupied West Bank to reinforce its bogus claims to the territory and to give them a veneer of historical and religious legitimacy.

The latest change is further proof, if it were needed, that Israel is, without announcing it, implementing a racist one-state solution where there is no such thing as a Palestinian state and even the ‘Palestinian Authority’ has been erased.

Of course, Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron in Hebrew) are the terms which have been used to refer to these areas throughout history.   It has only been since the 1960′s that the term “West Bank” began to be used to refer to that area.

Here is the full exchange at the State Dept. briefing on Tuesday, December 4, 2012:

QUESTION: The Israeli Interior Ministry today announced that they’re also – they approved, or they are about to build 1,600 units. It’s the Ramat Shlomo settlement. It was actually launched during the Vice President’s visit to Jerusalem back in 2010 and you guys stopped it. Today, they – so do you have a comment on that?

Mark C. Toner, Deputy Department Spokesman: Well, you won’t be surprised if – I’d just refer you to our statement yesterday, which is that these kinds of actions are unproductive and don’t help get the parties back to the negotiating table, which is our ultimate goal.

QUESTION: Okay, but this seems to be like a daily event now. We might expect tomorrow there’s going to be another settlement and so on, and you will continue to refer to your statement of the day before yesterday?

MR. TONER: Well, our position – as we said, we made it very clear yesterday in our statement, but our position has not changed, and we continue to convey that to the Israeli Government.

QUESTION: Okay. So you have no intention of, let’s say, following suit with the – with your –

MR. TONER: Said, we see you –

QUESTION: – allies, Australia, and others to call the Israeli ambassador and tell him that in person?

MR. TONER: Well, Said, we’re in almost – well, we are in daily contact with the Israeli Government through our mission in Israel, and we’re going to convey what we’ve – privately as well as what we’ve conveyed publicly.

QUESTION: I have one last question on – if you indulge me – on the West Bank. The Israelis now are stamping visitors’ passports, American visitors and others, when they enter the West Bank as Judea and Samaria. Are you concerned about that? Did you express your concern to the Israelis?

NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Gets Acquainted with Anti-Israel ‘Sources’

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Jodi Rudoren, the new Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, tweeted praise for Peter Beinart’s new book The Crisis of Zionism.

Rudoren, who is Jewish, wrote that the book is “terrific: provocative, readable, full of reporting and reflection.”

This comes after another questionable tweet the day before, in which Rudoren sent out introductory greetings to the founder of anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada. Rudoren wrote to Ali Abunimah that she “would love to chat sometime.”

Rudoren is taking over for Ethan Bronner in April.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ny-times-jerusalem-bureau-chief-gets-acquainted-with-anti-israel-sources/2012/02/15/

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