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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

American Legislator Predicts Rosy Israeli Future During Trump Era

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Ardently pro-Israel American politician Alan D. Clemmons, Republican Representative in the South Carolina House of Representatives, was in Israel last week.  He was there with a number of Texas state legislators whom he is helping draft and work on passing anti-BDS legislation, just as he did in South Carolina.

Clemmons took time out of his trip to meet in Gush Etzion with American and Israeli leaders to discuss work he and others are currently doing to support the state of Israel and to find areas of future collaborations.

Clemmons was brought to Gush Etzion by the Yes! Israel Project for an event at the home of Project leader Ruth Jaffe Lieberman.

In addition to his recent work promoting anti-BDS legislation in state legislatures throughout the United States, the South Carolina legislator was instrumental in crafting the intensely pro-Israel plank for the Republican party’s platform last summer. Clemmons had tried to get similar language included in the 2012 platform but had not been successful.

The language of the plank which Clemmons helped to craft compares Israel’s vision to that of America’s, rejects dictating terms of any peace agreement by those not living in the region and calls for the termination of funding for any entity which attempts to do so. Clemmons introduced the language and shepherded it through the subcommittee and then the full committee. When the language was formally approved, the members present rose to give it a standing ovation.

Clemmons also introduced legislation into the South Carolina legislature to allow its states drivers to purchase special license plates emblazoned with the message: “South Carolina Stands With Israel,” and which contains entwined flags of South Carolina and Israel. That legislation was enacted in 2011.

Although not a member of President-Elect Trump’s transition team, Clemmons is well-connected and spoke plainly to those present about the rosy future he sees for Israel during the Trump administration.

The last many years of living under the thumb of the State Department mentality which treated peaceful Israelis and recalcitrant Arabs as equally culpable was over. During the Trump administration, Israel’s view about itself and its own sovereignty will be what sets the agenda.

Also present at the gathering was Caroline Glick, author, journalist and analyst. Glick also spoke expansively and enthusiastically about the incoming Trump administration.

The president-elect is an iconoclast, according to Glick, and she means that in the best possible way. Boldly tearing up old, dysfunctional plans and replacing them with exciting, untried new ones is a mark of leadership Glick respects, nowhere more so than with Trump’s Israel outlook. Glick elaborated on what she told the group in an article she published the next day.

Clemmons  also gave a pep talk about the importance of American, Israeli, and European Jews to “stand up and speak up!”

Clemmons told Avi Abelow of Yes! Israel that Jews need to “speak words of truth to push back on the lies of the world.” He continued: “There is a lie of ‘Occupation’ being taught in universities across the nation, and across the world.”  It is Clemmons’ hope that Jews will “push back on those lies of occupation and replace them with the truth regarding Israel.” He concluded: “Israel is not an occupier of anyone’s land other than the land that God gave to Israel, as eternally hers.”

Abelow understood that Clemmons was saying to Jews that Christian supporters of Israel are eager and waiting for Jews to stand up for Israel so that, together, they can extinguish the malevolent efforts against the Jewish State.

Other important olim present at the event included Nadia Matar of Women in Green along with several board members, the media personality and activist Josh Hasten, and Marc Zell, co-chair of Republicans Overseas Israel.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Why the Oldest Hatred Flourishes on US Campuses

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Jewish Americans who have been paying attention know there is a serious anti-Israel problem on U.S. campuses, and they have some idea of where it is happening. What most still don’t know is how or why it happened.

In Richard L. Cravatts’ new book,”Dispatches from the Campus War Against Israel & Jews,” (2016) he lays it all out.

“Dispatches” starts with the evolution of the “cognitive war against Israel.” Dr. Cravatts traces the modern trajectory of the oldest hatred. In its latest incarnation, the “new anti-Semitism” has morphed into a more widely acceptable, but just as hate-filled and irrational, version which hides behind the fig leaf of “criticism of Israeli policies.”

The intense contortions of those whose anti-Semitism was not acceptable forged a more acceptable conduit for the irrational hatred, which then flowed into the most-favored blame receptacle, now represented by the Jewish State.

Cravatts names the leading players behind this movement to recast and legitimize anti-Semitism, such as the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole, and Columbia University’s Joseph Massad and Edward Said. “Dispatches” also reveals how various cultural currents, such as multiculturalism, moral relativism and the grotesquely misnamed social justice warrior movement buttress this new lethal narrative.

American campuses are the petri dishes in which the latest version of the oldest hatred festers. Tuition and tax dollars feed the disease, while the fecklessness of campus administrations and even most Jewish organizations ensures its continued growth.

Today’s version of the Big Lie – that Israel is responsible for nearly every “pathology and failure” not only in the Middle East but for many even where Israelis have no footprint – is meticulously catalogued by Cravatts through his series of articles which make up “Dispatches.”

Luckily, moral detectives were able to recognize and categorize this new version of the old disease which lurks behind the moral narcissists’ claim of mere Israeli criticism. The villains are not the only ones whom Cravatts names.

Contemporary maccabees such as Martin Kramer, Ruth Wisse, Phyllis Chesler, and Canada’s Irwin Cotler, whose heroic efforts to name and shame those spreading the disease in the hopes of controlling the contagion are saluted. But the numbers and the ferocity of those seeking to extirpate the Jewish State are, sadly, far greater in number.

The effort to cast Israel – and therefore its Jewish citizens and supporters – as the ultimate evil in the world includes fevered references to Israelis as the new Nazis. It is a form of ex post facto exculpation, and also lets off the hook the youthful initiates who might otherwise feel uneasy spewing hatred. The linkage between Zionism and Nazism is frequently displayed in the signs held aloft at many campus demonstrations, as “Dispatches” reveals.

But the professoriat and their acolytes also delve into more recent history to stigmatize Jews and the Jewish State. Apartheid South Africa is a favored comparison to Israel, which reveals how little concern for facts plays a role in this academic game. Israel is one of the most diverse nations on Earth, one that has absorbed people of every imaginable color and religion. A quick peek at the Israeli legislature or the Israel Defense Forces puts the lie to the claim of Israeli apartheid, but as Cravatts repeatedly points out in his book, “facts are irrelevant” because Jew-hatred blinds the hater.

The second part of “Dispatches” explains the current malevolent phenomena of the BDS (Boycotts against, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement. This section focuses on recent efforts by academic associations to attack Israel using the BDS form of warfare. Why American academic associations such as the Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association and others believe themselves justified in attacking Israel (and only Israel) is examined in-depth. What’s revealed in that examination is shameful. That academics fail to recognize the moral failure of attacking Israel says volumes about the state of the American academy. It is not only a moral failure but an intellectual failure for a profession of those whose sole job is education.

The final section of “Dispatches” consists of nearly two dozen campus case studies. The role of the virulently anti-Israel organization “Students for Justice in Palestine” gets a lot of play, and deservedly so. Cravatts catalogues a plethora of outrages set on university campuses throughout the country.

Although Israel and Jews are the primary targets of the latest version of anti-Semitism, Cravatts does a masterful job of revealing one of its collateral victims: free speech. The chapters dealing with the abandonment by the left of a bulwark of freedom, that of speech, demand attention. Further, the co-existence of “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings” and hate speech codes, with calls for Israel’s extermination and the justification of murdering Jews because of the mythical “occupation” should boggle the mind. And yet it hasn’t. Not yet.

The author of “Dispatches” told the JewishPress.com he wrote the book with the hope that “by understanding the toxic tactics of pro-Palestinians, readers can begin to see the danger of teaching a whole generation of students a false and damaging narrative about the Jewish state.

“If we understand the tactical strategy and know its weaknesses, we can begin to combat the lies and degrade the odious campaign to vilify Israel.”

Cravatts lectures around the country on higher education, anti-Semitism and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He has published hundreds of articles on these topics and is the immediate past-president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Currently Cravatts sits on the board of the AMCHA Initiative, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, and the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism. Read his book.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

UN Ambassador Danny Danon Welcomes Colleagues to Israel, Ancient and New

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon welcomed a delegation of 14 of his ambassadorial colleagues from the UN to Israel this week.

The UN ambassadors arrived for a tour organized by Project Interchange, of the American Jewish Committee and led by AJC Director of Diplomatic Affairs Ambassador Aaron Jacob.

The ambassadors, from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America toured the Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim, and spent considerable time in the Western Wall tunnels. They also were taken on a detailed tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, during which time Danon seized the opportunity to talk about the UN Human Rights Council and its bias against Israel.

He spoke about the resolutions erasing the ancient historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and he spoke about the UNHRC’s efforts to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement, as well as the UN’s blacklist against businesses linked to Israel.

“Ambassadors to the UN represent their countries in the world’s most important international forum,” said Ambassador Danon. “Their visit to Israel provides them the opportunity to view up close the challenges, and opportunities, facing the Jewish state during a tumultuous time in our region. Additionally, this delegation is sure to strengthen our ties with these important countries.”

“We appreciate and thank each ambassador for taking the time to experience first-hand Israel’s dynamism and start-up economy, as well as the serious security challenges this small UN member state continues to confront in the tumultuous Middle East,” said Jacob. “The more one knows about Israel, the more one understands, and that is why this five-day visit is so important.”

To provide a deeper understanding of the geopolitical and security challenges Israel faces, the ambassadors traveled throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the northern border and southern region. Visits to hi-tech and agricultural research facilities were expected to demonstrate Israel’s role as a world leader in innovations with global impact.

They met with Israeli officials and academic experts, as well as with Israelis from the general population. Meetings took place on topics specific to the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda, including special needs, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and food security.

The delegation also traveled to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority government officials and with Arab entrepreneurs, to discuss co-existence opportunities, including the new joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian Authority Industrial Zone.

Hana Levi Julian

British PM Stands Firm on Support for Israel as ‘Remarkable Country’

Monday, December 12th, 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May praised Israel on Monday in a speech to the Friends of Israel group in her Conservative Party, calling the Jewish State a “remarkable country” and a “beacon of tolerance.”

May vowed to upgrade bilateral ties in the trade relationship between the two nations, saying the bond between Israel and the UK was “crucial.”

She was blunt about that support: “I couldn’t be clearer,” she said. “The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is wrong, it is unacceptable and this party and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to it.”

The address, which took place at a luncheon sponsored by the Christian Friends of Israel, won a standing ovation. She also called the Balfour Declaration, the letter in which the British government decided to endorse the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine and which reaches its 100-year anniversary in 2017, “one of the most important letters in history.”

Hana Levi Julian

State of Ohio Approves Anti-BDS Law

Monday, December 12th, 2016

The Ohio State Legislature last week approved a bill prohibiting the state from signing contracts with any company that “engages in boycott, divestment, sanction (BDS) against Israel.”

HB 476, passed by a vote of 26-5 on December 8, opposes economic warfare that threatens the sovereignty and security of allies and trade partners of the United States, including Israel.

The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support as well as the endorsement of a broad coalition of grassroots community organizations, including StandWithUs, Christians United for Israel, The Jewish Federation, The Israel Project, and Israel Allies Foundation.

Austin Reid, a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow and student at Capital University, represented students who often feel the brunt of BDS activity on American campuses in his testimony before a Senate hearing on the measure.

“The true aims of BDS become clear when you listen to the movement’s leaders in their own words,” he said in his testimony, referencing a quote by pro-BDS author Ahmed Moor, who said plainly, ‘BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state.’ He also quoted Ronnie Kasrils, who said, ‘BDS represents three words that will help bring about the defeat of Zionist Israel and victory for Palestine.’

Likewise, he quoted As’ad AbuKhalil, who said, “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel… That should be stated as an unambiguous goal.. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.’

Reid told the Senate hearing: “Within the United States, some supporters of the BDS movement have taken to issuing threats of violence against persons or organizations advocating for open academic and/or business ties to Israel.”

He then offered several examples, and then pointed out, “It is clear that BDS is in no way conducive to a healthy campus environment.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israel’s Economy Defies BDS

Monday, December 12th, 2016

1. In December, 2016, Israel is unprecedentedly integrated into the global economy, highlighting the successful battle against BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), while rejecting pessimism and fatalism.

2. According to a Bloomberg study: “An examination of foreign capital flow into Israel shows a near tripling from 2005 when the so-called BDS was started…. Israel’s economy is expected to grow 2.8% in 2016, compared with 1.8% for the US and the EU.  In 2015, Israel’s industrial high-tech exports rose 13%, from 2014, to $23.7BN….”

3. 2016 is already a record year for total (mostly foreign) investments in Israel’s young high tech companies, exceeding the $4.4BN invested in 2015. For instance, Israel’s NeuroDerm, which develops drugs for central nervous system diseases, is expected to raise $75MN, on NASDAQ, by December 12, 2016.  Some of the recent investments were made by the US-based Johnson & Johnson’s Development Corporation, the Australian Stock Exchange, the German medical equipment giant B. Braun Melsungen AG, China’s Internet giant Alibaba and Japan’s Sun Corporation.

4. A trilateral cooperation agreement has been concluded between Israel’s Mobileye – a collision avoidance sensor developer – Delphi Automotive, the UK-based global automotive parts manufacturer and the Silicon Valley-based Intel, aiming to manufacture a self-driving car by 2019.  A similar partnership was struck between Mobileye, Intel and the German car giant, BMW.

5. A wave of acquisitions of Israeli companies by global giants persists, as evidenced by the November, 2016 acquisition of Israel’s valve repair device company, Valtech Cardio Ltd., by the Irvine, California-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp., for $340MN in stock and cash, in addition to $350MN in milestone payments over ten years and $300MN for Valtech’s research and development program.  Just like 200-250 other (mostly US) major global hightech companies, Edwards has leveraged Israel’s brain-power by operating a research and development center in Israel, since the 2004 acquisition of Israel’s PVT for $90MN and milestone payments.

6. The London-based mega-billion-dollar Chinese/European XIO Group has acquired Israel’s Meitav-Dash Investment House for $400MN.  In 2015, XIO acquired Israel’s medical device company, Lumenis, for $510MN. China’s telecommunications giant, Xinwei, is negotiating the acquisition of Israel’s Spacecom Satellite Communications for $190MN, reflecting the surging Chinese interest in the Israeli market and the significantly expanding Israel-China trade balance from $50MN in 1990 to $11BN in 2015, in addition to $15BN in acquisition of Israeli companies.  The Hong Kong-based Rightleder Holding Group aims to acquire Israel’s sewage recycling (water purification) company, Advanced Membrane Separation.  Also two Chinese capital funds, CDH and ZZ explore the acquisition of ironSource, Israel’s largest Internet company, for $1BN.

7. The Israel-India trade balance surged from $200MN in 1992 – when diplomatic relations were normalized – to $3BN in 2009 and $5BN in 2015, accompanied by a rise in two-way-tourism, paving the road to a negotiated free-trade-agreement, and highlighting India as one of Israel’s fastest growing trade partners in the commercial and defense areas. New Delhi has become the top customer for Israel’s defense industries, in addition to a series of co-development and co-production initiatives with Israel – in the face of joint economic and national security challenges – while Israel has become the number two/three exporter of military systems to India, following Russia and the USA.

8. On November 16, 2016, India signed $1.4BN contracts with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), purchasing two additional Phalcon/IL-76 Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems and ten Heron unmanned aerial vehicles. IAI has submitted a proposal for the co-development, in India, of an advanced version of the Heron. The growing Israel-India defense ties are demonstrated by the recent Indian procurement of Rafael’s Gil anti-tank missiles, upgrades of Indian tanks by Elbit Systems and a joint development of the Barak-8 surface-to-air missile.

9. Russian SberBank has extended a $100MN venture-loan to Israel’s taxi hailing and delivery service Gett (GetTaxi), which operates in over 100 cities word-wide, including New York, London and Moscow. In May, 2016, Volkswagen invested $300MN in Gett.

10. On December 1, 2016, Bloomberg assessed the state of Israel’s economy as follows: “We expect real GDP to rise by an annual average of 3.5% in 2017-21…. We expect the shekel to strengthen considerably against both the euro and the British pound…. The trade deficit will narrow steadily, reaching near-balance in 2021….The opening of new production facilities by Intel will further boost technology goods exports….  We expect the current accounts to remain in surplus in 2017-21, by an annual average of 4% of GDP.”

11. Against the backdrop of the aforementioned, documented track record of Israel’s economy, one may define the claim that Israel is isolated as either dramatically mistaken, or outrageously misleading.

Yoram Ettinger

BDS Jackal Eran Cohen Gets Rolled Up Newspaper Smacking from UK Jewish Students

Monday, December 12th, 2016

The Union of Jewish Students, comprised of 64 Jewish Societies on UK campuses “from Exeter to Edinburgh, London to Liverpool and many more in-between,” and representing more than 8,500 Jewish students in the UK and Ireland, on Sunday gave their vote to Josh Holt to become their next president. Holt received 682 of 1049 votes cast for a field of four candidates (one of whom was dubiously named “Re-open nominations” and received 20 votes).

In third place, with 89 votes, came Israeli-born Eran Cohen, a fellow celebrated by Israel’s Ha’aretz in its late Sunday night story headlined “Israeli-born BDS backer loses U.K. student union bid.” But he did defeat “Re-open nominations” by a whopping 69 votes.

Among the UJS core values is the belief that “Jewish students should have the support and space to explore their connection and relationship with Israel.” This explains why Eran Cohen attracted so much attention despite his miserable loss: because in a near-meaningless organization, where only about an eighth of the members bothered to vote for president, a full 89 of those picked a guy who advocates a boycott of Israel. This, apparently, was the outcome of their exploration of their relationship with Israel.

Eran Cohen was described by Ha’aretz as member of the UK’s Jewish anarchist collective Jewdas and a committed “diasporist.” It’s tough walking into two previously unknown concepts in one story, right? Well, imagine my surprise… OK, let’s deal with them, one at a time.

Jewdas, “Radical voice for the alternative diaspora,” is reminiscent of the 1960s’ Youth International Party, a.k.a. the Yippies, who fought the Johnson and Nixon tyrannies with humor and, occasionally, rage. They were often referred to as the  “Groucho Marxists.” They were almost exclusively Jewish: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner, Stew Albert, Wolfe Lowenthal, Brad Fox. Ah, the days when Jewish leftists still had a sense of humor…

In Jewdas you’ll find promising articles, such as “BREAKING: Discovery of 1939 message of ‘congratulations’ from Board of Deputies to General Francisco Franco,” and “Exclusive: New Testament chapter reveals Jesus became a Tory.” But much of it is raw, nasty anti-Zionist and especially anti-settlements inyourfacials.

“Diasporist,” to my shame, is a very old concept, established by Ronald Brooks Kitaj (1932-2007), an American artist “with Jewish roots” (he was totally Jewish, btw), who spent much of his life in England. In 1989, Kitaj published his “First Diasporist Manifesto,” a short book analyzing his own alienation and its contribution to his art. In it, he stated: “The Diasporist lives and paints in two or more societies at once,” and, “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Diasporist.”

What did we learn in this strange report today?

1. Almost nobody gives a flying hoot about the UJS, especially not UK Jewish students.

2. Out of that miniscule, itsybitsy minority, a negligible number cares a hoot about BDS.

3. Jewdas is mostly unfunny, especially compared with master shenaniganers like Abbie Hoffman.

4. Jews become restless in captivity and start gnawing on their own flesh, which totally explains BDS.

5. “Inyourfacial” is totally yes a word.

We now return to our regularly scheduled reports.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bds-jackal-eran-cohen-gets-rolled-up-newspaper-smack-from-uk-jewish-students/2016/12/12/

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