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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

Anti-Semitism in Philadelphia on Full Display at Community Meeting

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

A Philadelphia City Council Member is taking steps to deal with a full display of ugly anti-Semitism that turned a meeting on gentrification of his neighborhood into a free-for-all.

City lawmaker Kenyatta Johnson last week proposed a bill authorizing the Human Relations Commission to publicize and enforce an ordinance to “regulate the conduct” of registered community organizations (RCOs).

“Organizations with RCO status have an official relationship with the City of Philadelphia, so we must ensure that they operate with a level of decency and order,” Johnson said. “The vast majority of RCO’s work very hard and play a vital function in the development process. This bill will hold all RCO’s to the same standard and ensure that there is a level of accountability.”

The move followed a raucous round of anti-Semitism aimed at Jewish real estate developers two weeks ago at a local meeting about gentrification in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Point Breeze.

“I want to go on record stating that that language is totally inappropriate, and shall not and will not be tolerated, but most importantly, does not reflect the sentiments of the loving and caring people who reside in Point Breeze,” Jphnson said in a statement to media.

“I’ll be the first to say that gentrification is a controversial issue by which people often disagree, and meetings in gentrifying neighborhoods are contentious and emotionally charged. I understand that. But hateful comments about one’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation will not and should never be tolerated.”

Activists with the Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze were clearly angry at the meeting on Feb. 22 about the city’s gentrification project for their neighborhood. They aimed their rage directly at the Jewish real estate developers who were presenting their plans for the project, including one wearing a kippah.

“Go back to Israel!” the developers were told, along with a few other choice insults, according to a report by Philly.com.

“This was not one person with a screw loose. This was a mob mentality,” said local Jewish developer Ori Feibush, who was not presenting at the meeting but was in attendance.

Feibush has dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship, according to the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. He grew up in the city and is a Philadelphia native. “This is not an isolated incident. There’s been a crescendo over the last several years. But this was incredibly antagonistic. No ambiguity: This was 100 percent anti-Semitism.”

According to an eyewitness who asked Philly.com not to use his name, one person yelled, “Go back to Lakewood!” The reference is to a specific, Orthodox Jewish enclave in New Jersey.

The local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League was also informed and had reached out to the various entities involved.

The Concerned Citizens of Point Breeze never returned the call.

Hana Levi Julian

40 Columbia University Faculty Sign Anti-Israel BDS Petition

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Dozens of faculty members at Columbia University have signed a petition calling upon their employer to “divest from corporations that supply, perpetuate and profit from a system that has subjugated the Palestinian people.”

The 40 signatories proclaimed their solidarity on the petition with Columbia University Apartheid Divest, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace.

CUAD demanded last month the university divest from eight corporations that “profit from the State of Israel’s ongoing system of settler colonialism, military occupation and apartheid law” as part of the BDS movement, the Columbia Spectator reported.

“As both scholars and community members, we are professionally, intellectually, and morally invested in our University. We deem it our duty to hold our institution accountable for the ethical implications of its own actions, notably its financial investments and their implications around the world,” the petition said.

“In particular, we take issue with our financial involvements in institutions associated with the State of Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian lands, continued violations of Palestinian human rights, systematic destruction of life and property, inhumane segregation and systemic forms of discrimination.”

As a policy, the University does not comment on specific holdings in its endowment portfolio.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Hitler Rules’ Graffiti at University of Missouri

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

University of Missouri officials expressed anger Tuesday at a flyer that proclaimed “Hitler rules” found in Gateway Hall this week.

It’s the second time this school year an anti-Semitic message was found in the building, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Last October, someone drew a swastika on a restroom wall using feces. The incident ignited racial tensions on campus during protests that led to the resignation of UM System President Tim Wolfe.

In April 2015, student Bradley Becker pleaded guilty to property damage and was sentenced to probation after being charged with a hate crime for two incidents of anti-Semitic graffiti in the Mark Twain dormitory building.

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley and Interim Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Chuck Henderson said in a statement, “Our core values – including that of Respect – must become more than words on paper or a banner.”

Missouri University Police Department Major Brian Weimer told the Tribune that he did not know when the graffiti was found or reported, but his department was investigating the incident together with the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX.

Hana Levi Julian

NY City Council Jewish Caucus Battles Anti-Semitism on Campus

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

New York City Council’s 14-member Jewish Caucus is drafting a new law to fight the anti-Semitism permeating the city university’s campuses.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) last week called on officials to deal with the rise in the number of hate incidents on City University of New York (CUNY) campuses.

The ZOA last week sent a letter to CUNY demanding a probe into ‘Students for Justice in Palestine,’ which it said has engaged in “anti-Semitic and violence-inciting conduct” against Jewish students, the NY Post reported.

The NYC Council Jewish Caucus also sent a letter to CUNY Chancellor James Milliken “demand[ing] to know what comprehensive actions” and, saying it “insist[s] the chancellor inform Council members of CUNY policies for reporting hate-based campus incidents to the NYPD – and if no system exists, set one up immediately.”

Caucus chair and Council member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) told The Post,“We’re not convinced that the university is adequately tracking what is clearly a pattern of bigotry.”

The university’s chancellor ordered an independent probe into the bias claims, days later. But CUNY has done little else in response, other than issue a statement.

“Our campus-based public safety officers are trained to identify possible hate crime incidents. They refer these incidents to and work closely with the [NYPD],” the statement said.

“Further investigation may lead the police to designate an incident as a hate crime. We report any such designations publicly to a federal registry as all colleges and universities are required to do.”

The City Council Jewish Caucus is now drafting legislation to require CUNY (City University of New York) to report all bias incidents to the Council.

Brooklyn Council member Chaim Deutsch is slated to be lead sponsor on legislation.

Hana Levi Julian

Ukrainian Jews Flee To Israel Amid Anti-Semitic Attacks in War-Torn Ukraine

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

Over 100 Ukrainian Jews fled war-torn Ukraine and arrived in Israel on Tuesday, February 23. Many Ukrainian Jews have been leaving their country of birth due to violence and frequent anti-Semitic attacks. They were assisted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which has been spearheading a project of bringing Jews to Israel from countries engulfed by war.

Sisters Marina and Alexandra Prokopovych, aged 17 and 15 respectively, were among the new immigrants who arrived in Israel. They had lived in the small suburb of Rakytne. Both were severely beaten at their high school in what began as a nationalistically-motivated attack, but which spilled over into overt anti-Semitism.

IFCJ Director of Communications Tali Aronsky told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the girls were called “separatists” and “Zhids” [Jews] prior to the assault because they spoke Russian instead of Ukrainian.

“The girls sustained serious injuries as a result. One suffered concussions and had to get stitches. Even the teachers joined in the beating. The father remembers similar things that happened when he was younger, but he decided that it was time to leave when it happened to his daughters,” she said.

Dmytro Prokopovych, the girls’ father, also remembers that he had switched schools three times due to his ethnicity. He himself suffered fourteen concussions from similar attacks during his childhood and he maintains that anti-Semitism is still very prevalent in post-Soviet Ukraine.

“I recently discovered that my family’s real surname is Evenbach and not Prokopovych. It was my grandfather’s surname. My father would not be admitted to university with this surname in Soviet times so he changed it to his mother’s maiden name,” Dmytro recalls.

IFCJ founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein decided that efforts to rescue Jews in countries with prevailing anti-Semitism were insufficient. The IFCJ then began actively searching for Jews suffering in countries affected by war. Many of the immigrants receive additional funds since they were forced to leave behind homes that have become essentially worthless due to the conflicts.

“We don’t wait for the Ukrainians to call us up. We go to them and we also give them more support. We offer them $1,000 per family and $500 for every child in addition to what they get from the government,” Aronsky told TPS.

The new immigrants will be given guidance and career advice. Aronsky said that the organization has also reached out to other countries such as Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, and even several Arab countries and has managed to bring some 2,355 Jews to Israel. Aronsky was unable to divulge the identities of the Arab countries due to security concerns for the Jews involved.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Sanders Keeps His Judaism Silent, Israel at a Distance

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

As residents head to the polls for Super Tuesday 2016 to choose a nominee for president in 12 states, Democratic U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is fighting to stay in the race against former Secy of State Hillary Clinton.

Folks in Vermont know their U.S. Senator likes to keep his Jewish faith on the “q.t.” and they have accepted it with equanimity.

But not so the American Jewish community at large – and that fact may now be creating a backlash at the polls, when Bernie Sanders most needs the support of The Tribe.

After his February 9 win in New Hampshire – the first Jewish candidate to win a major party presidential primary – Jews outside the country have been watching his progress closely. It was more sluggish than one might expect, given the swashbuckling performance he turned in last month.

Part of the problem is while most candidates are wide open about their personal backgrounds – they have to be for transparency’s sake – Bernie Sanders has been dismissive, almost brusque, about his own Jewish faith.

And in America, faith is very much an issue. There is still plenty of anti-Semitism, which Sanders is obviously trying to avoid, but most voters prefer some belief in the One Above. Complete secularism is not popular in the United States at election time.

After all, even on the U.S. dollar it says, “In God We Trust.”

Yet Sanders works hard to evade the issue. He does not identify himself as a Jew publicly even in the “cultural” sense. In fact, in 30 years as a politician he has totally avoided the issue, colleagues say.

He was heckled in Vermont during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and was among the few senators who did not co-sponsor the Senate resolution supporting Israel in the war. It passed with a voice vote.

As a presidential candidate, Sanders said he consulted the far-left ‘J Street’ lobby and the Arab American Institute founded by Jim Zogby on Mideast Policy. Last year he was one of the first who announced they were skipping the historic address to Congress on Iran by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is skeptical about Sanders as a candidate. “He’s never really been that identified that strongly with pro-Israel advocacy,” Hoenlein said.

Coming from Hoenlein, who is more of a centrist himself, that is a whopping red flag.

Perhaps all this is not as surprising as one might think, however, given his family background and the fact that his second wife, Jane, was raised a Roman Catholic. Sanders grew up in Brooklyn as the son of immigrants; much of his father’s family was wiped out in the Holocaust. In fact, he once told still remembers the call his father received in the middle of the night, telling him a relative had arrived at a DP (displaced person’s) camp.

From that, he told Margaret Talbot at New Yorker magazine, he learned that a 1932 election had led to the murders of 50 million people. From that, perhaps he left unsaid, he also learned early on that Jews could die when identified as Jews.

His brother Larry was quoted by PBS in an interview in England where he lives, as saying that being Jewish is “very important to us. There was no problem of debate, it was just a given in our lives, just as being Americans was a given in our lives. But Bernard is not particularly religious. He doesn’t go to synagogue often. I think he probably goes to synagogue only for weddings and funerals, rather than to pray.”

Hana Levi Julian

Memo to Trump: ADL Info on Hate Groups Coming All Candidates

Monday, February 29th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump set off more than a firestorm when he claimed to have “no knowledge about” the Ku Klux Klan and its former leader, David Duke.

He also spurred the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to spring into action with its own campaign to provide informatio to every presidential candidate (including Trump) on hate groups and other extremists.

The trigger for this brouhaha began with last week’s expression of support for “The Donald” by former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Dr. David Duke.

Trump disavowed the support on Friday, but in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, seemed to forget the entire affair and also disavowed any knowledge at all about David Duke or the KKK – a stumble that raised a firestorm.

“David Duke is a notorious anti-Semite and racist and his name is synonymous with bigotry,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “Duke is a perennial candidate for elected office and perhaps America’s best known racist and anti-Semite. He is a former Imperial Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. His message is racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American to its very core, and he’s clearly exploiting Mr. Trump’s candidacy to get publicity for himself and his hateful ideas.”

ADL’s Center on Extremism monitors and exposes extremists and hate groups.

The group said it is providing for the public at large, including the Trump campaign, information about extremists “so that all candidates can be fully aware of these individuals and have a more complete picture when determining whose endorsements they should accept or reject.”

Greenblatt said the ADL hopes it can prevent white supremacists from using the campaign to “mainstream their bigotry.

“It is imperative for elected leaders and political candidates like Mr. Trump and others in the public eye to disavow haters such as Duke and the other white supremacists who have endorsed his candidacy. By not disavowing their racism and hatred, Trump gives them and their views a degree of legitimacy. Even if it is unintentional on his part, he allows them to feel that they are reaching mainstream America with their message of intolerance.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/memo-to-trump-adl-info-on-hate-groups-coming-all-candidates/2016/02/29/

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