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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Anti-Israel Resolutions Fail at American Historical Association

Monday, January 5th, 2015

The American Historical Association today, Jan. 5, defeated an attempt by a splinter group “Historians Against the War” to introduce two anti-Israel resolutions to its full membership, according to a report in the cutting-edge academic website Legal Insurrection.

Apparently the AHA is not as thoroughly infiltrated by the intolerants demanding tolerance, and a Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions Against Israel (BDS) resolution was not presented.

Instead, one of the resolutions HAW wanted the full AHA to vote on called for “Academic Freedom of U.S. Citizens Visiting Israel and Palestine,” and the other was for “Protecting the Right to Education in Palestine-Israel.”

The resolution demanding academic freedom deplores the efforts by the Israelis to place limits on the numbers of foreign nationals to lecture, teach and attend conferences at Palestinian Arab universities.

According to the proposed resolution, such a position denies those at Palestinian Arab universities, “both faculty and students the rich experience enjoyed by their peers at Israeli universities and other universities around the world.” Imagine. Israel refuses to treat the students and faculty at Palestinian Arab universities the same way they treat students at Israeli universities.

The HAW Protecting Right to Education resolution claims that Israel violates its obligations by “refusing to allow students from Gaza to travel in order to pursue higher education abroad, and even at West Bank universities.” Imagine that. Israel demands the right to protect its own borders against a culture and government dedicated to destroying the Jewish State. The nerve.

A motion was introduced at the meeting on Monday to try and get the anti-Israel resolutions considered at the AHA’s business meeting. This unusual procedural move was necessary because the HAW failed to submit a request to have their resolutions considered before the November 1 deadline.  These are professors, mind you, neglecting to submit the necessary request on time – somewhat ironic, no?

But the motion to get the anti-Israel resolutions through the business meeting and then before the full membership for a vote failed. The vote was 144 against, 54 in favor and three voting present.

 

ZOA: Anti-Zionists Should Not Be Allowed in World Zionist Congress

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The Zionist Organization of America has filed a formal objection with the World Zionist Organization against a coalition of what ZOA calls anti-Zionist organizations running a slate to have an increased presence in the World Zionist Congress.

ZOA points out that the World Zionist Organization’s Constitution does not permit members to be organizations that discriminate against Jewish and Israeli businesses, or against other Jews. In addition to violating the WZO’s own constitution, boycotts of Jewish or Israeli businesses also violate New York State Human Rights Law.

If that is the case, then the organizations which named their slate “Hatikvah,” Partners for a Progressive Israel, Ameinu, Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror, should be booted.

But there’s a catch, one that the anti-Zionists hope is a permanent life raft. The same organizations ZOA is calling to have tossed from the WZC’s fall 2015 election have all belonged to the WZO for years.

The organizations seeking to join the World Zionist Congress reads like a Who’s Who of the Jewish organizations who love to hate Zionism, and who claim to criticize Israel first, last and only, “out of love” for the Jewish State. Love like that kills.

The groups joining together in a united front include: Partners for a Progressive Israel (formerly MeretzUSA), Ameinu, Habonim Dror North America, and Hashomer Hatzair. The groups share various essentials, according to ZOA, including New York office space, various directors and ideology.

The PPI brazenly supports consumer boycotts against such Israeli companies as Ahava, SodaStream and a list of others.

While Ameinu calls itself an “American Zionist organization” and insists it opposes boycotts of Israeli products, the ZOA points out that Ameinu began a special unit in its organization which lobbies the American and European governments to impose severe financial and travel restrictions on Israel’s Finance Minister and other Israeli leaders.

Yet another objection ZOA raises to the HaTikvah slate is what ZOA describes as close involvement between PPI, Ameinu and the J Street organization. J Street has long hosted and supported many of the leading Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel groups and individuals. Despite claims of not being BDS advocates, their history and associations make clear the opposite is true.

The ZOA wants both the American Zionist Movement and the World Zionist Organization to expel PPI and Ameinu from membership, and to prevent HaTikvah from running for the World Zionist Congress. ZOA is currently a member of the AZM and the WZC, and so believes it has standing to bring this claim.

Should ZOA fail in its bid to bar the ani-Zionist slate from running, ZOA wants, at a minimum, for that group of organizations to be prevented from using the name HaTikvah. The basis for that move is that such a name, which of course evokes the Israeli national anthem, is confusing and will mislead uninformed voters who think the slate actually stands for what the words to the Israeli anthem mean, the essence of which is for Jews to be able to live freely in their ancient land.

As pointed out in ZOA’s  formal complaint filed first with the American Zionist Movement, and then with the Central Election Board, Ameinu’s  longtime director Leonard Fein called the words of the anthem HaTikvah “an insult” in a 2000 speech.

Judge Abraham Gafni of the American Zionist Movement rejected ZOA’s complaint. Gafni said that PPI, Ameinu and the HaTikvah slate were all entitled to participate in the 2015 World Zionist Congress election because they ran before and won at least one seat in the 2006 and 2010 World Zionist Congress elections.

The ZOA, however, said that fact should be irrelevant for several reasons. First of all, the BDS movement had barely gotten off the ground in 2010, and certainly in 2006. Furthermore, Ameinu’s new council seeking severe sanctions on Israeli leaders only began very recently.

Defend Cancer Against the Jews!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Syria Boasts Exports – with ZIM Containers

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

The official SANA Syrian news agency has announced its exports have reached $143 million this year, but the accompanying photo shows Israeli ZIM containers.

Does this mean Syria is renewing relations with Israel?

Or perhaps it means that the Boycott Israel movement missed the boat, so to speak, and should be picketing Syrian and not California ports.

In any case, according to SANA, “Textile exports have witnessed a considerable growth…and they were mainly exported to Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Italy.”

Lebanon? Beirut also is renewing ties with Israel?

H/T IMRA

Harvard Will Investigate, But Will it Reverse SodaStream Boycott?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

The provost of Harvard University, with the backing of the university’s president, announced there will be an investigation of the decision made by Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) to boycott an Israeli company.

While this latest decision is welcome, the language of the university’s statement left room for the university to “investigate” and to redistribute a policy that should have prevented the boycott decision, but to do nothing more.

As explained in yesterday’s Jewish Press article, “Harvard Boycotts SodaStream (Despite Company’s Surrender)” some Harvard students complained about the presence of the Israeli company’s SodaStream machines in some Harvard university dining halls. The presence of those machines “might offend” Palestinian Arab students.

SodaStream’s main factory is located less than five miles from Jerusalem. It employs approximately 900 Arabs, but opponents of Israel prefer to force actions that will deprive those 900 Arabs of the best chance they have of making a decent salary in order to “punish” the Jewish State. SodaStream has already announced it is moving the factory away from the Arabs. Despite that capitulation, the Harvard students continue to support a boycott of SodaStream by the university.

After a few meetings with various administration officials and students, the managing director of HUDS, in consultation with the Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde, made the decision to remove the SodaStream label from the machines, sever the business relationship with SodaStream, and switch to different providers.

A Jewish student who is a member of two anti-Israel Jewish organizations, the Progressive Jewish Alliance and Open Hillel, attended the SodaStream boycott meetings.  Rachel Sandalow-Ash gleefully commented for the Crimson on the boycott decision. She noted some students were disappointed that HUDS declined to issue a statement announcing its boycott decision, but she was glad the university “was receptive.”

The obsequious behavior by the administration (imagine removing the name of a company because some students simply could not bear to be in the same building with a machine bearing the name of an Israeli company!) may, it turns out, have violated Harvard policy.

Provost Alan M. Garber issued a statement about the matter. Garber wrote that he and Harvard University’s president Drew Faust only learned of the SodaStream issue on Tuesday. He informed the community that President Faust:

asked staff to get to the bottom of how these conversations started and to learn more about where matters currently stand. Regardless, Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy. If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the University, that will be rectified now.

So the university policy of not allowing procurement decisions to be driven by politics will be made known, presumably, to all with procurement responsibilities. That part is clear.

Decisions “should not” be made exactly the way the SodaStream boycott decision was made, according to those involved and as reported by the school’s newspaper.

But will the boycott decision be revoked and harvard’s business relationship with SodaStream revert to its pre-April status? Garber’s statement elides that point.

We’re still waiting for the answer to that question, which The Jewish Press posed to a Harvard spokesperson earlier today.

 

Harvard Boycotts SodaStream (Despite Company’s Surrender)

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Earlier this month there was a corporate-sponsored event at Harvard University which included a panel advocating the virtues of the BDS Movement (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel). Now we now learn of a recent decision by the Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) to suspend its contract with the Israeli carbonated water machine company SodaStream.

This boycott of the Israeli company was described in an article in Harvard’s school newspaper, The Crimson: “HUDS Suspends Purchases from Israeli Soda Company.” It is sure to ignite the ire of any who believe the last thing a university dining service should get involved in is international disputes, let alone those who will be outraged that any part of Harvard University is boycotting an Israeli company.

That decision by some in the Harvard administration should give pause to the parents of the 6,400 students in each class who will be spending a total of approximately $240,000 to attend the college for four years, while the university condones and participates in a movement to financially strangle a company simply because it is based in the Jewish State.

SodaStream, you may recall, was targeted by the BDS movement because its main factory was located less than five miles from Jerusalem, in the town of Maale Adumim. This town is across what Israel-haters support as an Apartheid Line (the “Green Line”) beyond which no Jews should live, breathe, work or employ Arabs, the BDS crowd actively sought to boycott the company.

Put aside the fact – which is mentioned in the Crimson article – that SodaStream already surrendered to the hatred and will move its operation to an area in which it is still largely deemed acceptable for Jews to own property (ironically this move means the loss for many if not all of the company’s 900 non-Israeli Arab workers of their highest possible paying employment). Yes, put aside that fact. That is what Harvard did when it chose to boycott SodaStream because, in the words of one of the students involved: “the machines and their association with the disputed territory could be offensive to Palestinian students.”

That student, Rachel J. Sandalow-Ash, a member of Harvard University’s Progressive Jewish Alliance and the Open Hillel movement, explained why she believed the Harvard University Dining Services had to remove the Israeli company’s machines:

I think it is neither anti-Israel of anti-Semite [sic] to take [a] stand against the occupation. These machines can be seen as a microaggression to Palestinian students and their families and like the University doesn’t care about Palestinian human rights.

In other words, no matter what Israel does, even caving to the demands of the haters will have no impact on the strength of the protest.

Such a position might move one to refrain from taking any action to accommodate the pain of others, mightn’t it?

In addition to Sandalow-Ash, whom the Crimson identified as present at the meetings preceding Harvard’s decision to boycott Sodastream, also present were representatives from HUDS, Lowell House Masters Diana L. Eck and Dorothy A. Austin, Mather House Co-Master Michael Rosengarten and Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde.

Following the discussions, according to the Crimson article, the Harvard Dining Services “agreed” to remove SodaStream labels on the machines they already have and to purchase machines from other companies in the future.

Repeated efforts to obtain input from David Davidson, managing director of Harvard University Dining Services, Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde, Harvard University president Drew Faust and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow were unsuccessful, as were attempts to obtain a response from rabbis at Harvard’s Hillel.

Empty Calif. BDS Vote Triggers Neutrality Reminder: Israel Wins

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The big news coming out of the west coast this week seems bad for Israel. If you listen to or read the news as most people do, the gist of the story was that the University of California voted to join the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel) movement.

What actually happened was that 65 percent of the voting members of the union representing the teaching assistants, readers and tutors and other student-workers at the University of California voted to join the national BDS movement.

That union, the UAW 2865, has more than 13,000 members. Fewer than 2,200 voted. That’s less than 17 percent of the total membership which voted, and of that number, only 65 percent voted in favor of the resolution. That means only 11 percent of the UAW 2865 membership voted to join the BDS movement. And that’s in California!

Still, it was a democratic election and the Resolution passed.

What exactly does the UAW 2856 BDS Resolution entail? Will Israeli academics no longer be permitted to speak at UC schools? Will Israelis be barred from attending UC schools? Will SodaStream no longer be used at UC events?

Of the three scenarios posed, only the last one could arguably be an issue under the UAW 2865 BDS Resolution, but it’s unlikely anyone is using SodaStream at UC events anyway.

The Resolution actually does very little. It calls on the University of California to “divest from companies involved in Israeli occupation and apartheid; it calls on the UAW International to do the same; and it calls on “the US government to end military aid to Israel.”

In other words, UAW 2865 BDS Resolution simply allows a group of self-righteous Israel haters to join together to ask the University of California to do something it will not do.

As for the U.S. government heeding the call from this tiny group of rabble-rousers? Not bloody likely. Finally, it is simply astounding that the UAW 2865 International has not already taken the action sought in this Resolution. Shouldn’t the members be sharing their hatred at home, first?

So, really, energy should not be expended worrying about the effects of this BDS resolution.

However, a group of knowledgeable non-profit organizations joined together and asked a very good question: are these teaching assistant and other student-workers permitted to engage in teaching their viewpoint about Israel to the UC students, as the organizers promised to do?

The AMCHA Initiative and 11 other pro-Israel organizations (see the full list at the end of this article) sent a letter to UC PResident Janet Napolitano several months ago, when the UAW 2865 vowed to push for a vote on its BDS Resolution.

In that letter, the pro-Israel organizations refer to a UAW 2865 public pledge:

We have a responsibility as educators to both learn about and teach the social issues of our time, including pressing global struggles such as the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation from settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Given that pledge, the concerned organizations called on Napolitano to explain how the university system was going to enforce its “UC Regents Policy on Course Content.”

In response, the provost for the university system, Aimée Dorr, explicitly reminded all the university chancellors that the Policy on Course Content prohibits the UAW 2865 graduate student instructors from promoting BDS and anti-Israel propaganda in the classroom.

That policy, Regents Policy 2301, explicitly states: “Misuse of the classroom by, for example, allowing it to be used for political indoctrination, for purposes other than those for which the course was constituted… constitutes misuse of the University as an institution.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/empty-calif-bds-vote-triggers-neutrality-reminder-israel-wins/2014/12/12/

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