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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Anat Berko’

Guess What: 2013 Was a Great Pro-Israel Year on US Campuses!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

For years those engaged on the pro-Israel side of the battle for hearts and minds of American college students have watched in horror as anti-Israel forces – whether they call themselves “pro-Israel” or not – metastasized on campuses.

The Israel-demonization events, the infiltration by Israel vilifiers into what were formerly at least moderately pro-Israel institutions, and the disruptions of Israeli or pro-Israel events, were met almost always with either complicity or a hands-off response from the academic administrations, faculty, and often eventhe organized Jewish leadership on campuses.

Things were so bad that Arab Israeli journalist Khaled abu Toameh famously wrote that on his speaking tours of U.S. campuses, he found more sympathy for Hamas than he does in Ramallah.

This is how abu Toameh analyzed the ugliness spread across American academia:

What is happening on these campuses is not in the frame of freedom of speech. Instead, it is the freedom to disseminate hatred and violence. As such, we should not be surprised if the next generation of jihadists comes not from the Gaza Strip or the mountains and mosques of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but from university campuses across the U.S.

But things were beginning to look quite different in 2013.

There has been a sea change on U.S. campuses this year, carried out by those who refused to back down when false claims of Palestinian Arab victimhood or Israeli brutality were raised.

Hallelujah. So we are fortunate to be able to write a list of Top Twelve Pro-Israel Bright Lights on U.S. campuses. What follows is the first installment. Part II will run later this week.

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1. Far and away the most significant example of this refusal to accept the tired meme of Israel As The-Worst-Human-Rights-Abuser -And-Biggest-Enemy-of-Peace is The Backlash to the American Studies Association’s vote to boycott Israeli Academic Institutions.  We now know that 95 universities across the United States have rejected and publicly condemned the ASA boycott of Israel.

That includes the most prestigious private schools, state schools, schools at which anti-Israel activity had been flourishing, and almost every other kind of American academic institutions. Condemnations poured in from the likes of Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Yale, University of Chicago, Penn State, Northwestern, Goucher, as well as industry-wide associations of professors and of universities. Several schools, such as Brandeis, Penn State, Kenyon and Indiana University summarily withdrew their membership in the ASA because the boycott so clearly reflected a loss of the association’s mission, an affront to academic freedom and a discriminatory singling out of a single nation for condemnation.

2. and 3. A tie for second place goes to two relatively new leaders of at least nominally Jewish institutions, each of whom staked new ground, rejecting their predecessors’ policies for tolerating abusive positions towards Israel.

Eric Fingerhut became president and CEO of Hillel International this past summer.  For years, many Hillels across the United States have chosen an aggressively passive response to anti-Israel events on campuses, choosing to have their own quiet events instead of confronting viciously anti-Israel events filled with misinformation and lies about the Jewish State. Hillels have even welcomed some of the worst offenders into their buildings or even their own events, in the hopes of showing the enemy that they are really good people. It’s been a disaster.

This past fall the Hillel group at suburban Philadelphia’s Swarthmore College decided it would publicly challenge the pro-Israel guidelines set by Hillel International.  Students bridled against being forbidden the “right” to invite speakers who engage in “demonization, delegitimization or applying double standards to Israel,” or support the economic and legal warfare movement known as the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel.  Swarthmore Hillel students voted unanimously to reject the guidelines and declare theirs an “Open Hillel.” And then they received a surprise.

Anat Berko, Unlike Bibi, Not Afraid to Shout-Down our Enemies

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

In the diplomatic, defense, policy and hasbara information fields Israel has been failing dismally and dangerously. Here and there Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gives a wonderful powerful speech about our inalienable rights to our Land and Jewish History, but most of the time he’s drowning in his conceptual “center” trying to be wise and “diplomatic.” One of his dangerous misconceptions is the concept of a fairy-tale “demilitarized Palestine,” when the Arabs refuse to accept such a state.

One day after Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett declaredthat the notion of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had reached a “dead end”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a response to the controversial statement on Monday, saying, “Foreign policy is shaped by the prime minister, and my view is clear.”

“I will seek a negotiated settlement [with the Palestinians] where you would have a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” Netanyahu told Reuters when asked about Bennett’s remarks.

They demand a normal state with a fully equipped army and the IDF behind barbed wire.

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday rejected any Israeli plans to retain territory or even maintain a security presence on any portion of the West Bank or east Jerusalem after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Peace with Israel is not possible unless a Palestinian state with full sovereignty is established in the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as it capital, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, announced.

It’s a refreshing pleasure to read of Anat Berko and how she managed to shout-down the pro-Arab hecklers at University of Florida, Gainesville on Oct. 10 (Hecklers Flee Israeli Speaker at U of Florida)

Berko showed that it’s possible to have a hasbara victory, even on campus. She had been invited by CAMERA. I’d love to see her representing Israel at the United Nations or be our Minister for Foreign Affairs.

We must stop creating our foreign policy according to “compromise.” Israel must make policy according to what’s best for the State of Israel, a truly sovereign Jewish State.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Hecklers Flee Israeli Speaker at U of Florida

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Anat Berko is a small-framed woman known for her ubiquitous yards long braid.  She is also one of the world’s leading counter terrorism experts who has sat in prison cells next to some of the most dangerous serial killers and attempted homicide bombers who ever lived.

A handful of anti-Israel University of Florida students chose the wrong speaker to interrupt.

Berko was at the Gainesville campus on Thursday, Oct. 10, as the guest of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

According to CAMERA fellow Avia Gridi, with approximately 7,000 Jewish students, the University of Florida has the single largest number of Jewish students at any university in the United States.

This is Gridi’s first year as a CAMERA fellow and the “More Hummus, Less Hamas” evening with Berko was her first event.

The Smarter Bomb is Berko’s second book about homicide bombers.  In it she tells the story of the women and children who are induced to attempt to become homicide bombers.  Berko knows the experience of those women well.  She spent decades inside Israeli prisons interviewing the women who failed to martyr themselves either because of a technical malfunction or because the authorities were able to disrupt the plans.

Berko gained the trust of dozens of such women in Israeli cells. Her particular interest in writing The Smarter Bomb was to uncover the motivation of the women and children to attempt to commmit such acts, especially the difference in motivations between women and men.

Having as your laboratory the prison cells of people who attempted to kill – they say “martyr” – themselves in order to murder Israeli men, women and children is not the choice of someone who is easily frightened.  But in addition to being a social scientist, Berko is also a Lieutenant Colonel (Res) in the Israel Defense Forces. That is also not a career choice for people who are easily intimidated. And Berko isn’t.

So eight minutes after Berko began speaking at Pugh Hall last Thursday night, when four students, who had arrived late, suddenly stood up, removed their outer shirts and began chanting accusations, Berko was having none of it.

“Hamas is not the Problem, the Israeli Occupation Is!” and “The IDF kills women and children!” were the slogans drawn on the students shirts, and chanted by the students.

“What is wrong with you?” Berko sharply addressed the four. “Sit down and listen to what I have to say and wait for the question and answer portion of this event to raise your issues!”

But the four students who later identified themselves as members of the seemingly ubiquitous, but certainly infamous, Students for Justice in Palestine were not interested in listening to Berko.  They came to make their own voices heard.

“She seemed disgusted by the display,” Gridi told The Jewish Press.

And then Berko really let them have it.

“You think the IDF kills children? You should go to Syria, where everyone knows they are murdering thousands of children with gas and other cruel weapons!  Go to Syria where there are actually thousands of real refugees. They need you to demonstrate in Syria, go!” Berko lectured the SJP hecklers.

And with that, the hecklers left the room and Berko continued her lecture. The people who came to hear about what could possibly motivate women and children (that’s the “smart bomb” Berko means) to want to kill themselves were able to hear from her first hand observations and watch video clips of many who attempted to be smart bombs.

And the four hecklers? They left the room with their tails between their legs, unable to grab the spotlight for their inane chants, unable to disrupt a carefully prepared evening of education which Gridi and CAMERA’s co-sponsors for the event, the ICC, MEMRI and the Gainesville Hillel put on.

“I’m used to sitting in jail cells with serial killers, did they think I would be intimidated by some American college students?” Berko said in a phone interview on Wednesday evening with The Jewish Press.

When asked about the Berko event, Gridi was both pleased and a bit nonplussed.

“The event went really well, although none of it went as expected.”

The West Looks Forward, Muslim Immigrants Look Longingly Backward

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Anat Berko is a criminologist and author who grew up in Israel, but whose parents and ancestors going back generations lived in Iraq.

Berko is best known outside of Israel for her books about suicide bombers.  Her first book, “The Path to Paradise: The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers,” was published in 2007.  Her second book, “The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers” was published in 2012.

Berko is very familiar with the psychology of suicide bombers and those who play a role in the industry, such as the dispatchers, the drivers, and the recruiters.  She spent 15 years interviewing those involved in the industry of suicide bombings, especially the women who attempted to blow themselves up. She has many insights into what drives the kind of violence which is largely unique to Arab culture.  Some of what she describes in her books support general theories about violent cultures, while other insights are unique to this particular culture.

So Berko knows the Arab world very well, both because her family history is firmly rooted in the Arab world, and her professional work  brought her into almost daily, extensive, contact with Arabs who were willing to risk everything, or to induce others to risk everything, for an Arab nationalist cause.

In an article published in Gatestone this week, “The Arab Spring in Europe,” Berko explores several themes, but in her very matter of fact manner writes about the refusal of the west to talk directly about the problem of Islamic violence. She brushes aside that reluctance and, with her hand to the back of the head of the readers, reveals in plain language what should be obvious, but which isn’t, because the reluctance to see it is so great.

One would expect that Muslim immigrants, whose children were born in the West, would adapt, become part of the Western society and partake of its freedom — otherwise, why did they immigrate? What we see, however, is the opposite. The beheading of a British soldier in London, and the murder of a soldier in France, are only the beginning of a wave of violence and a dictatorship of fundamentalists who will call the tune. The wave of riots and vandalism carried out by Muslim immigrants in France in 2005 was just a hint at what is to come. The immigrants are brainwashed in the mosques, the madrasas [Islamic religious schools] and informal discussion groups, all of which represent the West as worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.

Did we really need her to explain that to us?  Why, yes, we did, because so few others will say those very obvious things out loud.  The idea that multiculturalism is one of the greatest goods and that it therefore places no demands of adaptation to one’s host country is wrong, is her message.

Berko wants the west to recognize when tolerance moves from being a positive quality and instead endangers western countries, western identity and western freedoms.

If immigrants chose to move to a particular country, then they have decided it is a better place than the one from which they came.  And while pride in one’s origins is touching and sweet, a rigid demand that one’s new home adopt the foreign cultures of the homelands of its immigrants makes no sense.  And worse than that, it leads to an inevitable clash, one which need not have been inevitable.

As Berko explains in a lengthy interview with The Jewish Press, the values and the will of the west have become atrophied.

“What, Germany and France are unable to say that Hezbollah is a terrorist group for fear of offending Muslims,” Berko asks incredulously.  “And yet, Bahrain is able to say out loud: No! We do not want them here, that is a terrorist group.”

Once a country starts making excuses for the illegal acts of immigrants, and the excuse is that the people come from a different culture, the end is near.

“It has to be the same law for everybody, no excuses, no cultural justifications,” Berko says.  “Without clear boundaries, there will never be a rejection of the violence that is acceptable in their own culture.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-west-looks-forward-muslim-immigrants-look-longingly-backward/2013/07/06/

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