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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Anti Israel’

Rep. Jim Moran, Notorious for Repeated Clashes with Jews, Retires

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, a longtime congressman from northern Virginia who repeatedly clashed with pro-Israel and Jewish groups, is retiring.

Moran, 68, told media Wednesday that he would not run again in his district, which comprises Arlington, Falls Church and parts of Alexandria and Fairfax County, because it has become strongly Democratic, making his vacant seat safe for the Democratic Party. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.

Moran had repeated clashes with pro-Israel groups and with Jewish members of his Democratic caucus over claims he made in 2003 and 2007 that without Jewish support, the United States would not have launched the war with Iraq.

A blunt speaker who never got the hang of holding his tongue, he got into deeper trouble with his apology in 2003, when he seemed to accuse Jews of controlling who gets elected.

His district includes one of the fastest-growing Jewish populations in the Washington area, and in the 2002 election he solicited a letter from Jewish lawmakers praising his support for Israel.

A year later, after his claim at a town hall meeting that “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this,” a number of the Jewish lawmakers who had signed the original letter repudiated him and said they would no longer support his election.

Referring to that repudiation and other calls for him to step down in an interview with a newspaper in which he also apologized for the original offensive remark, he said: “It’s unhealthy for the American political process for any group within our society to be able to decide who should and who shouldn’t represent a constituency.” That occasioned another round of condemnations.

His notoriety was such that in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama welcomed Moran’s endorsement, which was routine – and simultaneously reassured the Jewish community that he disagreed with Moran on who was to blame for the Iraq War.

Whenever he was faced with such complaints, Moran would note that one of his daughters had converted to Judaism.

Academic Group Hosts BDS, Bars Pro-Israel Groups at Panel on Israel

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The pro-Israel campus groups Hillel International and the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) have been denied the right to present a discussion on Israel at the Jan. 9-12 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in Chicago, JNS.org has learned.

MLA’s convention includes a roundtable discussion that will feature supporters but no opponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The discussion – titled “Academic Boycotts: A Conversation about Israel and Palestine “– is seen as a possible precursor to an MLA academic boycott of Israel, which would mirror recent boycotts by the American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

The MLA convention will consider a resolution that condemns Israel for alleged “arbitrary denials of entry to Gaza and the West Bank by U.S. academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.”

Hillel and the ICC asked the 30,000-member MLA for the chance to present what they called an “open discussion featuring MLA members regarding academic freedom in Israel, its territories, and Gaza,” but MLA said the deadline to book a meeting at the convention had passed.

“The MLA convention has procedures for its members to organize sessions, and that deadline was 1 April [2013],” MLA Executive Director Rosemary G. Feal, the MLA’s executive director, wrote in an email to ICC Executive Director Jacob Baime. “We do not rent space at our convention for nonmembers to hold discussions.”

The existing MLA session’s speakers will include BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti; University of Texas professor Barbara Jane Harlow, who has stated her support for the ASA boycott of Israel; University of Southern California professor of English David Lloyd, a well-known BDS activist; and Wesleyan University professor Richard Ohmann, who signed a 2009 letter that described Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “one of the most massive, ethnocidal atrocities of modern times.” University of Texas professor Samer M. Ali, who publicly defended the ASA boycott, organized the roundtable.

“We believe the members of the MLA deserve to hear a far more diverse set of perspectives on the issue of academic freedom in Israel and nearby countries. The MLA members, as academics, certainly can appreciate the value of multiple perspectives on what is a very controversial issue,” ICC’s Baime said.

ICC and Hillel said they are now considering organizing a “balancing panel” discussion at a nearby location during the MLA convention. The panel would feature MLA members who oppose the anti-Israel resolution being considered at the convention.

Ali, the organizer of the convention’s roundtable on BDS, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that the roundtable assumes that Israel violates the rights of Palestinians, and that the debate will center on what to do about it.

“If people want to come and debate occupation, I think it will be a waste of their time, because that’s not what the roundtable is about,” Ali said.

Brandeis, Penn State Quit ASA after Vote to Boycott Israel

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg on Wednesday announced they have withdrawn from the American Studies Association (ASA) following the ASA membership’s Dec. 15 vote to endorse a boycott of Israel.

“We view the recent vote by the membership to affirm an academic boycott of Israel as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster,” the Brandeis American Studies Department said in a statement. “We remain committed to the discipline of American Studies but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture—freedom of association and expression.”

Dr. Simon Bronner, the head of the American Studies department at Penn State in Harrisburg, said in a statement, “In the wake of the passage of the resolution by the ASA to boycott Israeli institutions, which programs and departments such as Penn State Harrisburg’s program in American Studies consider to curtail academic freedom and undermine the reputation of American Studies as a scholarly enterprise, the chair of the American Studies program at Penn State Harrisburg plans to drop its institutional membership and will encourage others to do so.”

Podhoretz Storms Off 92nd Street Y Stage in Spat with J Street

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

See Shushed and Booed, Podhoretz Walks Out on 92 St. Y Panel for a better informed version of this story.

Commentary editor John Podhoretz stormed off the New York’s 92nd Street Y Stage Monday night in the middle of spat with J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami but denied reports that he said “students at Swarthmore College deserve to be spat upon.”

Jewish Daily Forward Jane Eisner, who moderated a panel discussion on the term “pro-Israel,” wrote in her account of the incident that Podhoretz “lost it when a member of the audience asked about the American Studies Association’s announcement Monday that it would boycott Israeli academic institutions over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.”

Ben-Ami agreed that the ASA vote was “hypocritical” but then launched into a tirade against Israeli government policies, which he said “make it difficult for some Americans to believe Israel really does want peace with the Palestinians.” Podhoretz angrily replied, Eisner tried to calm tempers, and he then stalked off stage.

The Commentary editor wrote following the incident that he had a “bad night,” and he clarified his remark on spitting. Referring to the Hillel group at Swarthmore College, he wrote, “What I said was that if you advocate anti-Zionism, you are calling for the destruction of the homeland of my family. You are free to do so, and I am free to revile you and spit upon you.”

“This bit of hysterical rhetoric was not my finest verbal improvisation,” Podhoretz added, but he emphasized that he did not say anyone should be spat on. “Given that an organization cannot be spat upon, the flourish here, though admittedly stupid and in bad taste, was clearly and entirely rhetorical. Aside from that, I wouldn’t change a word of what I said, though.”

American Studies Association Votes to Boycott Israeli Universities

Monday, December 16th, 2013

A one-third turnout of American Studies Association (ASA) members have voted to endorse its national council’s call for a boycott of Israeli universities, the ASA announced Monday, a day after the deadline for voting.

There were 3,853 eligible voters, but votes were cast by only 1,252 members, two-thirds of whom approved the boycott, according to the ASA announcement. The resolution applies to ASA as an organization and targets institutions but is not binding on individual members.

The membership-wide canvas was unprecedented and was undertaken in part at the behest of boycott opponents, who said at a session during the ASA annual conference in Washington last month that the matter was too sensitive to leave up to the 20-member national council, which unanimously endorsed the boycott.

ASA describes itself as “devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.”

NY Times Concedes Error on Palestinian Authority Arab Photo

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The public editor of The New York Times said she received hundreds of complaints last week after the newspaper used a large and sympathetic photograph of a distraught Palestinian Authority mother to illustrate a story about her son’s stabbing to death of a sleeping Israeli soldier sitting next to him on a public bus.

The JTA  spoke on Monday afternoon to two senior editors at The Times, which prints all the news that fits its agenda. Both editors agreed that the photo was a regrettable choice because the dominant image with an article should reflect the overall point of the article and the reason for its newsworthiness.

“This did not represent the essence of the story, which was clearly the moment of the Israeli soldier being stabbed,” said Michele McNally, the assistant managing editor in charge of photography.

 

 

 

 

Netanyahu Offers U.N. Interpreter a Job in Israel

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday there will always be a job waiting in Israel for a United Nations interpreter caught wondering aloud at an excessive number of anti-Israel resolutions while her microphone was still on.

The interpreter’s remarks came during the Nov. 14 meeting of the United Nations General Assembly’s Fourth Assembly, attended by representatives of all 193 United Nations member states. Nine of the 10 resolutions adopted at the meeting condemned Israel.

“I mean I think when you have five statements, not five, but like a total of 10 resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I mean I know, yes, yes, but there’s other really bad s— happening, but no one says anything about the other stuff,” the interpreter said in English in remarks heard live by the delegates.

Amid titters of laughter from the delegates, the committee secretary states, “I understand there was a problem with the interpretation.”

Netanyahu splayed a recording of the remarks at the Cabinet meeting Sunday and said, “I would like to tell this interpreter that she has a job waiting for her in the State of Israel. There are moments that tear the hypocrisy off the unending attacks against us and this brave interpreter did so.”

Home Front Minister ‘Astounded’ by Kerry’s Anti-Israel Remarks

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Home Front Defense and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said Thursday morning he was “astounded” at  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s claim at a Senate committee session Wednesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is arguing against a deal with Iran before it is concluded.

“I have not heard such a claim for many years,” Erdan told  a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS). He explained that Iran “is a country that wants to destroy Israel. What do they expect from an Israeli prime minister? Not to cry out when the knife is in the hand, but only when it is across our throat?

“It is only thanks to the discussion about the terms being discussed in Geneva, behind closed doors, that we have received an additional delay of several days and perhaps even an improvement in the terms of the agreement.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/home-front-minister-astounded-by-kerrys-anti-israel-remarks/2013/11/14/

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