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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Anti Defamation League’

Foxman Slams Israel on His Way Out the Door

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Abraham Foxman, perhaps the best known, certainly the best funded, of the American Jewish establishment “leadership,” let the veil slip as he began his long-awaited exit from his throne as the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

It happened at an event at the 92nd Street Y (when formed in 1874 it was known as the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, it’s no longer just for men or exclusively for Jews) on June 10. The program, entitled “What’s Next for Israel? Ari Shavit in conversation with Peter Beinart, Abe Foxman and Dan Senor,” received little attention until the virulently anti-Israel website Mondoweiss reported on it the following day, which was noted by JPUpdates.

The Mondoweiss article had the catchy title: “Foxman Bashes Israel for taking US and Jewish support for granted and not coming up with a peace plan.”

Although it is impossible to know what exactly Foxman said, and how much was taken out of context in order to have Foxman appear to be in complete alignment with the views of the Mondoweiss crowd, the direct quotes are alarming no matter what the context. This appears as a direct quote:

I think we have signed up for Israel. Some—some unreservedly, others with some more reservations. I don’t think Israel understands, appreciates, values, respects this partner– this side of the partner[ship]… There needs to be a lot more sensitivity and education in Israel as to the value of this community beside sending checks or in a moment of crisis, running to Congress…

Foxman appears to believe that Israelis are insufficiently grateful for American Jewish dollars and to American Jewish fat cats.

Perhaps in his retirement, Foxman might develop a curriculum for Israelis on the art of ring-kissing, or a class on American Jewish Leadership Veneration.

Why, the nerve of those folks over in Israel, living the easy life, probably sitting out on their deck chairs, popping bon-bons and watching their fingernails grow. And then they have the nerve to start whining when a rocket or two or three hundred interrupts their sunbathing. Foxman shouldn’t bet on lots of Israelis signing up for his classes, though. Too busy dodging vehicular terrorists and whatnot.

The 75 year-old Foxman then explained to the Upper East Side crowd that he sees there is an existential threat to Israel, but he wonders whether the Israelis do. For if they did, surely they would make many changes and be…why, more like Foxman! You know, someone with the shrewdness to recognize that what Israel really needs is a dynamic new approach for peace. Because American Jewish support for Israel, according to Foxman, is atrophying without it.

Here are the direct quotes:

Do we feel an existential threat to Israel? I do. I sometimes wonder why they don’t see it as I see it and as Ari [Shavit] articulated it. But I think we see the existentialist threat much clearer than they do. They’re so close to it.

Because if they would see it, they would change so many things. Take the U.S. relationship. It’s not that great, it’s not perfect, but what keeps me up at night is the dependence of Israel on the United States. Now if you understand that reality, then you understand how serious and significant it is in your future, facing whatever threats, existential or not. And if that’s the case, where is the sechel [Yiddish for shrewdness, sense]? Where is the smartness? Where is it to understand that you need to change that relationship, you need to find ways– and it’s not happening! It’s not happening!

So I sometimes say, What they say and what they do–don’t they see what’s around them? And they talk about the danger but I don’t think they’re acting it. If we have time, what do we tell Israel to do? Some of us see the crisis. But we don’t have any magic formula. But … if they asked me, I would say, Come up with some creative dynamic approach for peace. It doesn’t mean it will happen. But that’s part of the existential disintegration of the support base.

The main attraction at the event was Ari Shavit, a journalist for the blindly leftist Haaretz, who was, as always, calling for a “settlement freeze.” Mondoweiss quoted Foxman’s response to that call as “it’s smart for us to do it, regardless of whether we think it’s right or wrong.”

University of Missouri Students Kill Anti-Zionist Course

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

A University of Missouri (MU) fall 2015 honors tutorial that pro-Israel students felt would promote bigotry and misinformation on their college campus has been cancelled because of lack of interest.

“Perspectives on Zionism” was scheduled to be taught by self-proclaimed “post-Zionist” and “Nakba Jew-in-law” George Smith, a tenured biology professor who pushed for a curriculum that the instructor himself said would have included works by anti-Zionist authors such as Ilan Pappé. Smith also has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing.

The pro-Israel community welcomed the news of the course’s cancellation. and Destiny G. Albritton, former president of MU’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI) campus chapter, said:

I can now walk away with the knowledge that there is no interest among students [at MU] to take biased classes like Smith’s.

Smith has written dozens of columns and letters to the editor in the local and campus newspapers in Columbia, Md., equating Israel’s Independence Day with a Palestinian version of Holocaust Remembrance Day. He uses phrases such as “Zionist mythology” and accuses Israel of “colonization of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

He shows up at pro-Israel events and heckles the speakers. Earlier this year, when 25-year-old Israel Defense Forces reservist Hen Mazzig spoke at MU as part of the StandWithUs Israeli Soldiers Tour of the Midwest, Smith heckled him from the audience with hostile questions and accusations.

“[He said], ‘Why do you kill Palestinians? How many U.N. schools have you attacked?” Mazzig told the Chicago Tribune. “And at the end, he came to me and said, ‘How can you come here and defend Ashkenazi Jews—white Eastern European Jews—when you are an Arab Jew?’”

MU alum Daniel Swindell said Smith brought flyers to a talk by the Sderot Media Center’s Noam Bedein that made a joke out of the thousands of rockets that have been launched at Israel.

Smith has used his tenure to bring in anti-Israel speakers with university funding. Recently, six university depart-ments sponsored a talk by author Saree Makdisi, who has said it is more important to eliminate the Jewish state than to create a Palestinian one.

“He uses his reputation to get several departmental sponsors,” Albritton told JNS.org. “But when Students Sup-porting Israel or CUFI asks these same departments to co-sponsor events, we wither don’t hear back or we hear, ‘we cannot help you.’ It’s not fair.”

Smith disagrees and told JNS:

I do go to pro-Zionist meetings, but I don’t disrupt. I am just vocal with my questions. People have freedom of speech. Our university does not sensor our political speech—or any other kind of speech.

“The University of Missouri is not a hot bed of anti-Semitism or BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement),” Karen Aroesty, Missouri/Southern Illinois regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, told JNS.org. Until recently, the impact Smith had on campus was, in Aroesty’s words, “minimal.”

The honors tutorial, however, created tension.

“When I saw the roster of what honors tutorial would be offered in the fall and I saw that George wanted to teach this class, I immediately spread the word around,” said Albritton. “George [Smith] is not qualified to teach the class. His background is in biology. He has no background in international relations. His only interested in Zionism is that he has been a virulent anti-Zionist activist.”

Nancy West, director of MU’s Honors College, told JNS.org that honors tutorials are different than courses offered under the normal curriculum of the university. They are one-credit electives taught by instructors with “expertise in the subject area,” but not necessarily with credentials. Courses are reviewed by a faculty, staff, and student cur-riculum committee that reads the syllabus and interviews the teacher. According to university spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken, Smith’s class was approved by the committee with a vote of eight to four, with two abstentions. An affidavit is being prepared by Jewish community activists, in conjunction with the university legal department, that would help ensure Smith will be turned down next time he tries to teach about Zionism.

Anti-Semitic Crime Spikes in New York City

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

New York City officials and the Anti-Defamation League are expressing concern over a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the Big Apple.

There were 53 incidents of anti-Semitic grafitti and similar types of vandalism from January through May of this year, according to ADL spokesperson Etzion Neuer.

The figure is a 29 percent increase over the 41 incidents seen during the same period in 2014.

“That’s a significant rise,” Neuer told Channel 7’s Eyewitness News on Friday.

Local residents agree. “I think this is a pattern that we saw in the 1930s and I think it is repeating itself,” a Brooklyn resident said.

Although there has been no real rise in the number of violent anti-Semitic crimes, there was a 14 percent spike in anti-Semitic incidents in 2014.

“We need to be aware of it,” a member of the Jewish community in Brooklyn’s Marine Park neighborhood told JewishPress.com. “It is not something to panic about, but we need to be aware.”

ADL Joins Anti-Netanyahu Team, Says Cancel Speech to Congress

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Oooh, another bit of drama in the ‘Obama-Bombing-Bibi Soap Opera’ …

The White House has started bringing out the heavy artillery: The New York-based Anti-Defamation League is the latested to be recruited to pressure Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu into canceling his address to the U.S. Congress on March 3.

Yes. It’s another round of messing with Israeli politics, cloaked in the guise of harassing a prime minister over a speech to Congress. But it’s really about trying to rally enough bad blood to make Netanyahu look bad to people who know he’s probably one of the few in Israel who actually knows how to lead, mistakes notwithstanding.

Ah — and lest we forget — it’s also about trying to distract the American public from that other thing: the Iranian nuclear threat that’s being carefully hidden away in a pretty package with a shiny pink bow. It’s about to be sealed in an agreement between Tehran and world powers led by President Barack Obama at the end of March. Obama’s not very happy that Netanyahu is planning to talk about that with Congressional lawmakers.

Somehow ADL national director Abraham Foxman was persuaded to tell The Jewish Daily Forward that the controversy over the address by Netanyahu – who was invited to deliver the speech by the Speaker of House, John Boehner, months ago – is “unhelpful.” Foxman was quoted as saying the Netanyahu should stay home, according to the Feb. 7 edition of the UK-based Huffington Post.

(Frankly, Harriet, how on earth did the UK get into this? Oh, right — they get into anything that has Netanyahu involved — forgot. Carry on…)

“One needs to restart, and it needs a mature adult statement that this was not what we intended,” Foxman said in the Forward interview published Friday. “It has been hijacked by politics. Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions.”

Foxman said he “stands with Israel” and its concerns over the rapidly closing U.S.-Iran deal on Tehran’s nuclear development activities. However, he said Netanyahu’s upcoming appearance before the Congress has become “a circus.” Instead, he suggested the prime minister postpone the speech until after Israel’s March 17 elections. Or make his case at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference, scheduled the same week as his address at Congress.

Of course, the scheduled date of the AIPAC conference was the reason Netanyahu moved the date of the speech back to March anyway, even though it was closer to elections. He only travels once that way.

This writer finds it interesting that the White House staff has been so successful at recruiting nearly every major American Jewish organization into trying to pressure the leader of the State of Israel on a matter seriously affecting Israel’s national security.

Were the situation reversed, one wonders how the American people would react if the Kremlin were to play the same games to stop President Barack Obama from addressing the United Nations Security Council at a special session, for instance, or even the Duma in Moscow on a matter of equal gravity affecting American national security?

Another question might be to consider which threats, if any, were implied or outright tossed to haul the ADL on to this bandwagon.

Most of the American Jewish organizations tangled up in this shameful campaign of harassment benefit from at least some government funding for community assistance programs. As such, they are enjoined to avoid any form of political involvement or they lose that funding instantly.

So many questions … so few answers … so little time …

Huge Increase Reported in Anti-Israel Activity on US Campuses

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

The Anti-Defamation League issued an important report on Monday, Oct. 27, finding a dramatic increase in anti-Israel activity, compared to last year. The ADL attributes the increase to the aftermath of the 50-day Gaza war this past summer.

According to the ADL, this fall semester there have already been 75 anti-Israel events reported on U.S. college campuses. In the same period last year, there were only 35 such events.

The problem is even more alarming than the ADL’s report suggests.

It is certain there are more incidents that are either never reported or at least not reported to whatever source the ADL used for its calculations. The “full report” on the ADL website does not explain how the information was gathered or what definitions were used to determine whether certain activity would be included.

When contacted for her reaction to the ADL report, Susan Tuchman, the head of the Zionist Organization of America’s Center for Law and Justice explained that while the numbers mentioned in the ADL press release may not sound enormous, just yesterday she received “phone calls from three different students on three different campuses” with problems serious enough for them to raise with a lawyer.

Tuchman made an even more important point, as well.

 Most Jewish college students are fortunately having a positive experience on their campuses. But the ZOA is contacted so frequently by students feeling threatened and harassed on their campuses, that it’s a mistake for any of us to minimize the problem of campus anti-Semitism. What’s particularly troubling is that Jewish students are facing problems on campuses with large Jewish populations, where one would think these problems wouldn’t exist.

And the real takeaway from the ADL report, and from the ever-growing cache of reported incidents is that the wider Jewish community needs to pay attention to the problem.

Tuchman puts her finger on the problem:

If there’s a single Jewish student on any college campus in this country who feels afraid to be openly Jewish and to say that he or she loves and supports Israel, then that’s something all of us need to speak out against and demand that college administrators address. Some administrators are responding appropriately, but many aren’t.

And while this past summer’s conflict undoubtedly provided new content for the anti-Israel activities, it is not as if the anti-Israel organizations and individuals needed an excuse.

William Jacobson, clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School and founder and publisher of the excellent blog covering legal matters, especially anti-Israel activity on campuses, Legal Insurrection, made the point:

“It is no real surprise that anti-Israel groups are trying to leverage the summer’s fighting in Gaza to their advantage on campus.

“But that is just the latest excuse for what has been a long-running campus propaganda war against Israel. If it was not Gaza it would have been something else. There are groups always looking for an excuse to attack Israel on campus,” Jacobson explained.

The ADL report catalogues the myriad forms of anti-Israel activities on campuses, and those are alarming.

No longer content to simply protest or leaflet pro-Israel events, there is now a panoply of methods used to intimidate pro-Israel students on campuses.

METHODS OF CAMPUS ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVITIES

Those campus anti-Israel activities include mock “Apartheid Walls” intended to represent Israel’s passive security barrier as a weapon of racism; mock checkpoints in which anti-Israel thugs act out the role of Israeli security forces intimidating, harassing and aggressively demanding identification from hapless and often helpless students who are forced into playing the role of meek and innocent Palestinian Arabs, and fake “die-ins.”

Jewish Groups Back Muslim Woman’s Headscarf Appeal to Supreme Court

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Two Jewish groups joined a friend of the court brief on behalf of a Muslim woman whose right to wear a headscarf in a retail job is under consideration by the Supreme Court.

The court on Thursday agreed to hear the case, Politico reported.

The American Jewish Committee and the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism joined an amicus with Christian, Muslim and Sikh groups. The Anti-Defamation League and the Orthodox Union also are considering amicus briefs.

The federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission brought the suit against Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of Samantha Elauf, who had been recommended for hiring at an outlet in Tulsa, Okla. The outlet subsequently reversed its recommendation.

A lower court, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, ruled against Elauf, saying that she needed to give “explicit notice of the conflicting religious practice and the need for an accommodation for it, in order to have an actionable claim for denial of such an accommodation.”

That decision described Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy,” which, the court said, the retailer considers “critical to the health and vitality of its ‘preppy’ and ‘casual’ brand.”

Elauf contends that wearing the headscarf during her interview and communications with managers through a friend who worked at the store was sufficient.

The friend had checked with one manager who, citing the case of an employee who had worn a yarmulke, said there should not be a problem.

Elauf interviewed with another manager who was not certain of the policy and after consulting with her superiors dropped her initial recommendation to hire. Elauf did not explicitly raise her faith as an issue during the interview.

The religious groups argue in their brief that requiring an explicit notice of religious requirements is overly stringent.

“Hiring processes are often technologically structured in a way that precludes the employee from even raising the issue during the application process,” the brief argues.

Rampant Anti-Semitism Is Flourishing across the World

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Sitting in my office almost forty floors above ground level in midtown Manhattan last week, I was astounded to be drawn away from my work by chants of “Free free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Even up in the clouds, the demonstrators’ voices were clear and loud, almost as if they were just outside my window.

Based on the level of violent protests taking place across the globe, the pro-Palestinians in New York seemed comparably tame – yet no less offensive. For if there is any question that chants of “from the river to the sea” are wishful thinking for the annihilation of the Jewish State of Israel, the calls for “Death to Israel” were anything but vague.

Domestically, pro-Palestinians are using Israel’s defensive military incursion into Gaza as an excuse to let loose on the Jews. In San Francisco, 300 anti-Israel protestors surrounded and threatened 30 peaceful pro-Israel demonstrators. In addition to the usual chants, they screamed, “Long live the intifada, we support the intifada,” calling for violent uprising against Israelis.

At a protest this weekend in Los Angeles, what began as a peaceful pro-Israel event escalated as pro-Palestinians attacked the demonstrators, drawing in Federal Homeland Security officers, one of whom was forced to fire a weapon. Farther north in Seattle, signs and chants reflected more of a general hatred of Jews rather than simply protests regarding the current conflict in Gaza. “Zionist Israel = Nazi Germany”; “Palestine screams terror, Israel screams greed”; “AIPAC Supports the Murder of Children”; and a poster depicting a Jew eating a gentile child with a cup of blood on the side are but a few examples of the anti-Semitic displays.

Not to be outdone by their anti-Semitic brethren out west, here on the east coast (aka the other left coast), protests were not limited to the streets of New York. In Philadelphia, a pro-Israel vigil was interrupted by the typical chants for Israel’s destruction, but it was in Boston where things turned physical as a pro-Israel activist was assaulted by a woman shouting “that Muslims and Christians would someday take possession of Jerusalem and that the ‘Jews will go to hell, inshallah [God willing].’”

Alas, the domestic ugliness is in fact tame compared to the violent demonstrations erupting throughout Europe, reminding us that the hatred that led to the Holocaust during World War II remains alive and well. Last week pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris led to hundreds of Jews being besieged inside a synagogue while police clashed with the violent extremists; three Jews were hospitalized. While the pro-Palestinian demonstrators on Paris streets outnumbered domestic events, the violence, which the leader of the French ecology party justified, was quite distressing. One reporter stated, “What I have seen today is Arab hatred against Jews. Pure hatred. Right in the middle of Paris. Don’t try to ‘explain’ or ‘understand’, it was hatred, period.”

This past weekend, a rabbi walking to synagogue in Casablanca was badly beaten while his cries for help were ignored by passersby. Earlier this week, neo-Nazi Islamists took to the streets in Frankfurt chanting, “You Jews are beasts.” The police allowed the protestors to use their vehicles and megaphones, purportedly in order to “deescalate” the situation. In London, protestors stood in front of the Israeli embassy and in “blood curdling speeches” compared “Palestine” to Auschwitz and Dachau as “some mocked the Holocaust, others disfigured the Israeli flag, a few screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’, [and] they all called for the destruction of the Jewish state.”

Despite the latest wave of pro-Palestinian demonstrations, it is important to recognize that anti-Semitic voices are not new. In Europe, anti-Semitism is so pervasive that some are questioning whether Jews even have a future living there. Even before the violent demonstrations in response to Operation Protective Edge, Jews in Europe have been targeted – e.g., the recent murder of four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. France is particularly hostile, with 50% of all racist crimes in France motivated by anti-Semitism despite Jews representing 1% of the population.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rampant-anti-semitism-is-flourishing-across-the-world/2014/07/18/

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