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May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Canada Denies Hate Crime Laws to be Used against Israel Boycotters

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

The Canadian government has vehemently denied a media report that it is considering applying hate crime laws against Boycott Israel-BDS sponsors.

The original report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s (CBC) Neil Macdonald has been called into question by Honest Reporting (HR), which said that the writer jumped to illogical conclusions in the article that was falsely headlined “Ottawa Threatening Hate Charges against Those Who Boycott Israel.”

CBC later toned down the headline to delete the word “threatening” because there was no such threat, except in the imagination of Macdonald. Honest Reporting wrote that Macdonald’s “animus against Israel is well-known.”

His story was clearly his own imitative and was written after he asked the government what exactly it meant by statements that Ottawa would show “zero tolerance” for those who promote boycotts of Israel.

The Jewish Press reported the CBC story here yesterday. The office of Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney stated in a speech at the United Nations in January:

[Canada has] zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination including in rhetoric towards Israel, and attempts to delegitimize Israel such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

His spokeswoman Josée Sirois, asked by Macdonald what he meant and if Blaney intends to work against the BDS movement, e-mailed him that Canada has “one of the most comprehensive sets of laws against hate crime anywhere in the world.” She added that Canada’s Criminal Code applies to the promotion of hate against an “identifiable group,” which includes those of “national origin.”

After Macdonald wrote his article of the supposed “threat” to punish those who boycott Israel, Blaney’s office responded:

This story is inaccurate and ridiculous. These laws have been on the books for many years and have not changed…. We won’t dignify this bizarre conspiracy theory with further comment.

CBC’s “correction” insisted that the response “appears to contradict the email comments” by Sirois.

The Jewish Press wrote here yesterday that applying hate crime laws to the BDS movement would raise questions of freedom of speech, a supposed threat that may be exactly what Macdonald wanted to promote.

CBC wrote in its correction, “Those who support BDS fear that the change in the law could lump in people who speak against Israel with those who are anti-Semitic.”

Honest Reporting has asked CBC for some clarifications and charged the national media outlet with violating standards.

Concerning the original headline that Ottawa “threatened” hate crime charges against BDS promoters, HR wrote, “Can the CBC even cite one such example? The article itself does not contain anything to substantiate this charge except conjecture and Mr. Macdonald’s deductive reasoning, along with his forming conclusions based on some statements made by senior officials….

“In fact, Mr. Macdonald only says that ‘The Harper government is signaling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.’ This may or may not be the case, but there’s a marked difference between signaling intentions and claiming outright that the government has already ‘threatened’ those who boycott Israel.”

The possibility, if not probability, that Macdonald and CBC have an agenda to trump up charges against the government is supported by another headline, in a different article, that CBC had to change, according to HR.

The headline “McMaster students who boycott Israel among those who could face hate crime charges” was changed to “Are McMaster’s Israel boycott advocates among those who could face hate crime charges?”

HR said that “CBC adroitly changed the headline from a claim to a question and never did publicly disclose that the headline had been amended, a violation of CBC standards. The same violation occurred in the CBC’s failure to publicly acknowledge it edited its original inflammatory headline to Macdonald’s article.”

Canada May Propose Defining Boycott of Israel a ‘Hate Crime’

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The pro-Israel Canadian government may be planning to include boycotts of Israel as a hate crime, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported Monday.

It said that such a move would target organizations such as the United Church of Canada, Canadian Quakers, campus protest groups and labor unions. It also would raise legal questions under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Canadian Prime Stephen Harper is unarguably the most pro-Israel head of any government in the world. He sounded like an echo of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his visit to Israel last year.

Recently-retired Foreign Minister John Baird in January signed an agreement with Israel to fight the Boycott Israel movement, and government ministers have said they will show “zero tolerable” towards groups that are part of Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS). He described the Boycott Israel movement as “the new face of anti-Semitism.”

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney recently said that boycotts of Israel cannot be separated from anti-Semitic hate speech and the recent terrorist attacks against Jews in France.

CBC asked the government to explain the meaning of “zero tolerance,” and Blaney replied that Canada has “one of the most comprehensive sets of [hate] laws anywhere in the world.”

Last year, Canada changed its definition of hate speech to include statements made against “national origin” and not just race and religion.

That has raised fears among civil libertarians that anti-Israel remarks could be classified as statements against Jews.

The concept of associating Israel with Jews goes at the very heart of the liberal Jewish community, as well as Jews who have no interest in Judaism in Israel. Whether they like it or not, hatred of Israel and Jews increasingly makes them identified with Israel by the fact that they are Jews.

They can like it or not, but inevitably, “Jew” cannot be separated from “Israel.” They can like it not, but the “People of Israel” means Jews – everywhere.

The question is whether that definition has a legal standing.

CBC reported that the Canadian Quakers wrote a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson in March “expressing concern” about describing boycotts as acts of anti-Semitism.

Blaney’s office did not specifically say that would be the case but noted that it is illegal to promote hatred against an “identifiable group.”

However, BDS protests in other parts of the world have been anything but violent, with frequent clashes with police such as in France.

In Israel, it is against the law to boycott the country

In France, hate speech as a crime includes statements aimed at people’s “national origin,” and BDS activists sometimes have been charged with violating the law.

Belgium is considering a similar law.

On paper, it would seem that prohibiting a group from promoting a boycott of a country – and Israel is the only nation that is targeted – because of its political polices is a violation of freedom of speech.

In reality, such protests are often like the Palestinian Authority term “resistance,” a code word to encourage terrorists to kill Jews.

BDS-Linked Mob of 40 Hoodlums Attack 2 Jews in Paris

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Two young Jews were assaulted Friday afternoon on the street in Paris by a mob of about 40 people, an organization monitoring anti-Semitism in France reported.

The attack against the two young men, aged around 21, occurred on Boulevard Voltaire. The two young men were slightly injured, said the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA).

Police have launched an investigation into the incident and warned local Jewish businesses owners to be extra vigilant.

Sammy Ghozlan, president of BNVCA, denounced the attack against the two young men who were recognized as belonging to the Jewish community.

The BNVCA alerted police, who immediately sent forces to prevent an escalation of violence.

The gang of attackers was associated with anti-Israel groups Gaza Firm and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Witnesses on the scene said members of the Jewish community volunteered to watch over the many local Jewish businesses on Boulevard Voltaire.

In 2006, 23-year-old Ilan Halimi was kidnapped from a cell phone store on the same Boulevard Voltaire, tortured and ultimately killed by a gang.

Friday’s attack marks the latest in a growing anti-Semitic trend in France and Europe as a whole. Last January, an Islamist terrorist took hostages in a kosher supermarket in Paris and killed four Jews. Just a few weeks later, a security guard was killed in Copenhagen when a lone gunman opened fire in front of the city’s Great Synagogue.

This article was written by the European Jewish Press.

Indiana becomes 2nd State to Pass Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly has become the second-ever state legislature to pass a resolution that formally opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Tennessee lawmakers approved a similar measure on April 21.

Adopted in a voice vote, the Indiana Senate approved Resolution 74, which “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement.

The Senate’s move came after the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously (93-0) passed the anti-BDS House Resolution 59 on April 22. The measure now goes to Indiana Governor Mike Pence for his signature. Pence recently visited Israel and express his whole-hearted support for the country.

The Indiana bill contends that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.” The resolution goes on to thank the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University for “strongly” condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions after some faculty members and other staffers at those schools voiced support for the BDS movement.

Fight against Boycott Movement Moving to State Legislatures

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Resolutions condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel in the Tennessee and Indiana state legislatures mark what a group of pro-Israel organizations and grassroots activists hope is just the start of a new trend in fighting BDS on American soil.

The Tennessee General Assembly on April 21 became the first state legislature in the U.S. to formally condemn the BDS movement through the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 170. The resolution was initiated by Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder of the Christian Zionist group Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN). Cardoza-Moore worked with local Jewish and Christian organizations to bring the resolution to the state legislature.

Cardoza-Moore said:

With the current climate of increasing anti-Semitism, anti-Israel, and anti-Zionist campaigns, Tennesseans and all people of conscience should endorse public statements of support for our Jewish brethren living in Tennessee and pro-Israel students attending colleges and universities in our state.

The resolution, initially passed April 9 by the Tennessee Senate in a 30-0 vote, was approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives in an overwhelming 93-1 vote 12 days later, with Democratic State Representative G.A. Hardaway the lone dissenter.

The measure, which is expected to be signed next week by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, declares that the BDS movement is “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state,” adding that BDS activities in Tennessee “undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, which they are fulfilling in the State of Israel.”

Furthermore, the resolution states that the BDS movement and its agenda are “inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all the peoples in the Middle East.”

According to a PJTN press release, “BDS has an active presence in Tennessee, particularly through The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a group that is a leader of BDS. UT (University of Tennessee) Knoxville alumnus Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, a leader in the U.S. Campaign, was this year’s keynote speaker at the national meeting of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a college campus group that has spearheaded anti-Israel demonstrations.”

Christians United for Israel (CUFI), whose 2 million-plus members make it America’s largest pro-Israel organization, strongly supported the anti-BDS resolution in Tennessee. CUFI’s coordinator in the region, Pastor Lyndon Allen, testified in support of the measure.

Also testifying before the same committee to advocate for the resolution was Mark S. Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, who said, “While the majority of delegitimization efforts are defeated, and support for Israel in the United States and in Tennessee remains strong, the opponents of Israel continue to make headway simply by poisoning the public discourse around Israel.” Freedman added that besides condemning divestment, Tennessee can go further by beginning “to think about investment in Israel.”

Joanne Bregman, a local Jewish activist and attorney who advocated for the resolution’s passage, told JNS.org that the Tennessee General Assembly’s action could serve as a template for other U.S. states to recognize the growing threats of the BDS movement and anti-Semitism. She added that the Christian-initiated bill should be a “wake-up call” for the Jewish community to be the ones “who need to fill the public information void” on BDS and anti-Semitism.

That effort is already underway, with the Indiana House of Representatives this week unanimously (93-0) passing a resolution that now moves to the Indiana Senate, after which point it is expected to be signed by Governor Mike Pence.

Similar to the Tennessee resolution, the Indiana measure “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement, adding that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.” The resolution goes on to thank the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University for “strongly” condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions after some faculty members and other staffers at those schools voiced support for the BDS movement.

Supreme Court Judge Calls Anti-Israeli Boycotts ‘Political Terrorism’

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

A nine-member panel of the Israeli Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Boycott Israel and BDS movements Wednesday by unanimously rejecting leftist petitions against a law that prohibits boycotts of goods from Israel.

The part of the legislation that protected products from Judea and Samaria from boycotts also was upheld by the court, but only by a 5-4 margin.

The only part of the legislation that was struck down by the justices was a clause allowing people to sue for more than compensation covering damage.

The law was passed in 2011 to thwart the boycott campaigns, but the Supreme Court suspended the law in December 2012 following petitions challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.

Justice Hanan Meltzer wrote in Wednesday’s ruling that boycotts are “political terrorism.”

The anti-boycott law allows lawsuits against any company, individual or organization that has been discriminated against “solely because of their affinity with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage.”

The anti-boycott has been effective even when while it was suspended.

The left-wing 972 Magazine website, which states that is against the “occupation,” wrote Wednesday:

Civil society organizations self-censored in order to protect themselves from civil suits…. (Two years ago the editors of +972 Magazine decided to stop self-censoring boycott related articles.) [Parentheses are in the original content – [ed].

NGOs opposing the bill were quoted by the website as having commented on the court’s unanimous ruling, “The boycott law is a law to silence legitimate criticism. The High Court ruling is a serious blow to freedom of expression and basic rights for political participation on a disputed topic.”

“Freedom of expression” is very a popular concept among those who exploit it to demonize Israel and try to turn it into an Arab country.

The law does not ban debates against Israel. Nine justices on a court that is one of the most liberal judicial bodies in the Western world ruled that the law is constitutional. The decision implicitly made it clear that “freedom of expression” does not cover discrimination against a country’s goods simply because they are made by Jews, regardless of where they live.

Justice Meltzer explicitly wrote that Israel has the right to protect itself from people trying to use “freedom of expression” to destroy the country.

Even the 972 website told its readers that many anti-Israelis use the boycott “desire the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Waiting for an Aid Flotilla to Yarmouk

Monday, April 13th, 2015

I call on the ISM to get your act in gear and send your activists to Yarmouk. The “Palestinians” of Yarmouk need you as human shields to protect them from ISIS and Assad’s troops.

This is your opportunity to prove to the world that you are more than just antisemites and Israel haters, and are truly concerned about the welfare of “Palestinians”.

Among the most basic activist program I expect to see from you other studnt “Pro-Palestinian” groups is a mass US Campus sit-in and protest for Yarmouk. Perhaps even a Yarmouk Week. You can lie on the floor and pretend your throats were cut.

I am eagerly awaiting the announcement of the Yarmouk Aid Flotilla, which will bravely break the siege in and around the neighborhood, to provide the Yarmouk “Palestinians” with much needed bags of long-expired medicines and empty boxes.

I will be putting up a sign-up sheet for all the Leftwing activists to volunteer to go and walk the Yarmouk children to and from school every day.

And when that list is filled up, I will put up another volunteer list for planting and harvesting olive trees.

I call on all the rabbis concerned about human rights to travel to Syria and personally guide foreign journalists around the neighborhood so they can meet the desperate families and hear stories about the horrible conditions they are in.

And those women from the checkpoint watch groups must visit every ISIS checkpoint to make sure the “Palestinians” have free passage and are not degraded.

And not to mention, they need to directly confront the ISIS soldiers and rebuke them in person. Bring your cameras.

And I expect Adalah and other NGOs to be supply the much needed personal testimonials about ISIS war crimes to the UN investigation teams.

And for all those “pro-Palestinian” activists groups that have been astonishingly silent on Yarmouk these past two years, I remind you to immediately post a statement of concern on your website now that Yarmouk’s “Palestinians” are in the headlines, only so you don’t look like complete hypocrites.

I’m glad to see that you are at least doing that last item on my list.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/waiting-for-an-aid-flotilla-to-yarmouk/2015/04/13/

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