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Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

BDS Activist Admits: Boycott Call Limited

Monday, June 30th, 2014

A senior official in the BDS movement has admitted that the “boycott” of Israel is limited to areas that don’t hurt the boycotters too much.

In a series of emails obtained by The Jewish Press, a leader of the BoycottIsrael.info website confirmed that “the BDS campaign, supports a boycott of Israeli institutions, not a blanket boycott of all Israeli individuals.”

The emails were prompted by a news article about Israeli doctors from Haifa who volunteered their time in May to treat hundreds of patients in northern Ethiopia. BDS activists were asked whether Ethiopians would have correctly boycotted the Israeli doctors, in order to show their disgust with the Zionist enterprise and support for the “Palestinians”.

The BoycottIsrael website calls for “Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from Within, and claims to be inspired by the South African struggle against apartheid. The website authors are “especially opposed to the international community’s decision to boycott the Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” but not to Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians or to the abduction of teenagers in the name of “national liberation”). They say that “the ‘occupation’ will end only when its cost for Israelis, its elites in particular, outweighs the benefits.”

Seems, however, that even BDSers recogniser the benefits of Israeli expertise, not only for “Israeli elites,” but also for “oppressed” Palestinians: “I’ve never heard a Palestinian civil society call for people not to receive urgent medical treatment from someone,” wrote Ofer N. an anonymous individual who responded to the ‘contact us’ email form on the website.

But when challenged on the scope of the boycott – the maxillofacial surgeries were not emergency procedures, and the doctors in question visited Ethiopia as representatives of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa – Ofer confirmed that the “boycott” was limited to those areas where boycotters aren’t too inconvenienced.

“I have never heard a Palestinian civil society call for people not to receive urgent medical treatment from someone,” Ofer repeated. “(But) when it comes to everyday matters, as opposed to emergency, people all over the world are asked to boycott Israeli institutions, including Rambam hospital.”

Q: Do the “everyday matters” you boycott include the use of mobile phone and computer technology, much of which can be traced directly back to Israeli companies?

A: As for Intel and others, there are campaigns in which people are asked to look for alternatives.

SFSU: Supporting Terrorists is Legitimate University-Funded ‘Research’

Friday, June 27th, 2014

The latest at San Francisco State University (SFSU) illustrates the corrupt way professors are gaming the system and manipulating their access to vulnerable students and public funds.

A recent California Public Records Act (PRA) Inquiry revealed that SFSU Professor Rabab Abdulhadi received more than $7,000 from SFSU to fly to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel to meet with members of terrorist organizations and promote political advocacy.

On all of the documents regarding the funding, insurance, and administrative approval of her travels, Abdulhadi indicated that the primary purpose of her trip was academic: to deliver a paper at a scholarly conference in Beirut. However, Abdulhadi never attended the Beirut conference. Instead, as she herself acknowledged at a public event she organized at SFSU, the trip was a “political solidarity tour” to Jordan, the West Bank and Israel, the primary purpose of which was to promote “resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.”

As part of her “political solidarity tour,” Abdulhadi met with individuals affiliated with the US State Department-designated terrorist organizations Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas, including convicted terrorist Leila Khaled and Islamist leader Sheik Raed Salah.

Khaled is a convicted hijacker and the most famous member of the PFLP, a terrorist organization responsible for 159 terrorist acts such as bombings, armed assault and assassinations, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths including those of more than 20 US citizens. Salah was recently incarcerated for incitement to violence and aiding and abetting Hamas, an organization responsible for the murder and maiming of hundreds of Jews that is suspected in the recent abduction of three teenagers in Israel.

Although evidence demonstrates that Abdulhadi had planned the “political solidarity tour” and meetings with PFLP and Hamas members almost a year in advance, nowhere in the documents she filled out in order to receive funding and insurance from the University did she mention that the primary purpose of her trip was political advocacy — to promote the academic boycott of Israel — nor did she mention the intended meetings with individuals affiliated with US State Department-designated terrorist organizations.

And, this isn’t the first time. In June 2011, Abdulhadi organized and led another Middle East trip, most likely courtesy of California taxpayers. According to a statement from participants, the purpose of the 2011 trip was political — “to affirm [their] association with the growing international movement for a free Palestine” — and the statement itself was a call to “academic and activist colleagues in the U.S. and elsewhere to join [the delegation's participants] by endorsing the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] campaign.”

The statement also indicates the group met with the “Boycott National Committee,” whose first and most important member organization is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which includes among its constituent organizations Hamas, the PFLP and PFLP-General Command. All three groups are on the U.S. State Department’s list of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

Why should California taxpayer dollars fund a ‘free Palestine’ campaign, and why, as a professor, is Abdulhadi taking taxpayer money to carry out her own political agenda?

And, now, San Francisco State University is defending the Professor’s personal advocacy mission as ‘research’. SFSU President Leslie Wong released a statement this week stating, “Faculty can and do communicate with others relevant to their research…Abdulhadi’s academic work in race and resistance studies requires examination of some of the world’s most challenging and controversial issues.” ‘Controversial’? Seriously? Terrorists are murderers. ‘Research’? Make no mistake about it, this isn’t research, this is advocacy. Professors should not be meeting with terrorists and propagating hate on the taxpayer dime.

World Expo Site Removes ‘Capitals’ from Site to Duck BDS Rage

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

The 2015 World Expo has removed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from its website — and every other national capital as well — following the release of an angry statement condemning Israel and claiming “land grabs and water theft” by the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) Italy movement.

The Expo body managing the event, scheduled to take place next year in Milan, apparently removed the field “capital” from all country profiles for world fair participants as a means of avoiding clashes with the BDS movement.

BDS claimed this week in a false, hysterical email campaign sent to its international list of thousands that “Israel, under the pretense of a manhunt for the three missing settlers, has killed 6 Palestinians, wounded dozens, arrested over 400 without charge, closed entire cities and areas, raided thousands ofhomes and organizations and bombed Gaza in an act of collective punishment.”

An Open Letter to Presbyterian Church Spokeswoman Ms. Kathy Francis (and to Presbyterians Everywhere)

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Dear Ms. Francis,

I read your comments on CNN regarding the recent unfortunate divestment vote by the Presbyterian Church. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that the divestment vote was, in your words, “about morality and not politics”.

Morality? Really? HP computer technology helps prevent Gaza’s Hamas army from getting more missiles and explosives via sea and air routes; Motorola Solutions surveillance equipment prevents Palestinian terrorists from infiltrating Jewish communities to brutally murder Jewish families; and Caterpillar D9 bulldozers clear land mines as well as abandoned buildings used to snipe from at Jewish drivers.

If the decision were about morality, the vote would have been to double down, not to divest.

And as for the claim that no politics were involved, this is merely self-delusion. When you take the position that Jews do not have the right to live in all their ancestral land, and that military occupation is not justified despite all the wars and terrorist operations launched from the disputed territories, then at least have the intellectual honesty to admit that you’ve taken a particular political position – however justified you may feel it is. These kinds of decisions are all about politics, make no mistake about it.

And lest any reader consider unwarranted my accusation that politics dominated the recent Presbyterian Church’s vote, permit me to draw everyone’s attention to a webpage currently on the Church’s official website, PCUSA.org. This is a boycott page that accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” (put this term in the website’s search engine to find the page). This alone makes the point just how much the pro-Palestinian lobby within the Church has hijacked its policy-making.

The same page also spits out pro-Palestinian political positions, such as the supposed illegality of Israeli settlements (despite the split opinion of international law experts), the labeling of settlements as “impediments to peace” (as pure a political stance as there is), and the call to work towards a two-state solution, which may sound semi-apolitical until one realizes that this means empowering two organizations whose official charters both call for the elimination of Israel: Fatah and Hamas.

But the Presbyterian Church Israel Boycott page goes even beyond the above accusations, claiming that “those [Palestinians] living inside Israel are second-class citizens.” Not even the ardently pro-Palestinian Jimmy Carter agrees to such a description.

Perhaps most odious and poignant of the canards included on this page is the claim that Israel abducts Palestinian children! To have that particular blood libel on one if its webpages at this particular point in time when Israel is desperately searching for three Jewish children who were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists who enjoy widespread support for their actions, and even from Palestinian members of Israel’s Knesset, is simply horrific. I have no doubt that there are many Presbyterians only learning of this now who are equally horrified.

And yet, there’s more. The kicker comes at the bottom of this page, where it unequivocally states:

There is now a global effort to boycott and divest from Israel in order to pressure the Israeli government to end its illegal occupation and apartheid and to respect international law. Like the effort which helped end apartheid in South Africa, this movement is working. (See www.bdsmovement.net)

Need I even comment? This statement belies everything that the current leadership has said in denying any connection to the international BDS movement. Period.

More examples of the politicization of the Presbyterian Church by certain pro-Palestinian members can be found by searching for the term “Palestine” and following the links. But I believe what I have presented above suffices to make the point.

I urge all sincere Presbyterians who understand the immorality of what is happening to their church to make a stand and effect the appropriate changes. Or, if in fact the majority of Presbyterians wish to adopt a pro-Palestinian political stand, let the Church state so clearly, and then those with a pro-Israeli political view will respond in kind. For now, I am withholding judgment of what the Presbyterian Church stands for, and await the actions of its constituents.

Sincerely,

Robert Klein
Be’er Sheva, Israel

Jewish Groups Anticipate Rupture After Presbyterians Vote to Divest

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

(JTA) — Jewish groups predicted a rupture with Presbyterians in the wake of a close vote favoring divestment from three companies that deal with Israel’s security forces in the West Bank.

The Presbyterian Church-USA biennial General Assembly approved the measure 310-303 late Friday evening after hours of at times emotional debate. The resolution divests from three companies, Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions and Hewlett-Packard. A similar resolution was narrowly defeated at the last biennial in 2012.

Some of the delegates promoting the resolution were at pains to distance it from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, noting that it targeted only American companies profiting from West Bank security systems, and successfully added amendments making the distinction clear.

Others said that the resolution, coupled with an anti-Zionist tract released earlier this year by a church committee, allied the church with groups that seek to dismantle Israel.

The “decision will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on relations between mainstream Jewish groups and the national Presbyterian Church (USA),” Rabbi Steve Gutow, the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, said in a statement.

“We hold the leadership of the PCUSA accountable for squandering countless opportunities, not only to act responsibly to advance prospects for Middle East peace, but also to isolate and repudiate the radical, prejudiced voices in their denomination,” Gutow said.

Other groups anticipating a rift included the Anti-Defamation League, the Union for Reform Judaism and the American Jewish Committee. Many of the groups sent delegations to the general assembly.

Jewish Voice for Peace, which campaigned at the General Assembly for divestment, welcomed the vote.

“We are grateful the church voted not to profit from the suffering of Palestinians under Israel’s 47-year-old occupation,” said the group’s deputy director, Cecile Surasky, in a statement. “Now that US-backed peace talks have proven to be ineffective, we hope that others, including Jewish institutions, will follow suit. Divestment has become one of our best hopes for change.”

The URJ’s president, Rick Jacobs, had in a personal appearance on Thursday invited the church’s leadership to join him in making the case against West Bank settlement in a meeting this week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as long as the resolution was rejected.

Earlier Friday, the general assembly also approved a resolution that called for reviewing the church’s commitment to a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Why I Support Israel

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Let’s Boycott Hypocrisy

Monday, June 16th, 2014

When Professors call for an academic boycott of Israel, I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Professors represent the pinnacle of scholarship and teaching. They represent the spread of discourse and positive criticism that should expand our perspectives and better our world. And then we have academic boycotts, which represent a censorship that stands antithetical to the values of education.

As scholarly teachers, it should be the professor’s job to challenge his or her students to critically interact with course material, connecting it with real-world issues that the student can bring to civic life. We must ask what professors supporting the academic and cultural boycott of Israel are encouraging their students to bring to civic life. Hypocrisy is what I see.

Take, for example, NYU Professor Lisa Duggan, who was shamed in a media advertisement for heading the American Studies Association (ASA), which calls for an academic boycott of Israel. After drawing negative publicity, she called for an academic conference on campus that was called “an anti-Israel conference of hate and bile against the Jewish state” by an advocacy group called The Israel Project. Of course, supporters of Israel were not invited to this conference. Because Duggan’s goal for the meeting was to advance the BDS movement (Boycott of, Divest from and Sanctions against Israel), which censors pro-Israel academic voices, it is unsurprising that she did not invite pro-Israel perspectives to her conference. But by doing so, Duggan compromised her professorial duty to engage with multiple perspectives of a complex issue.

A look at her RateMyProfessors reviews shows she takes this political censorship with her to the classroom. The most recent feedback from one of her students reads, “She is too political for a classroom setting. She gives her own biased opinions instead of just teaching facts. Not what I expect from an academic atmosphere.” This occurs too often in American classrooms. If Duggan would like to voice her views in a forum, she should go for politics, not academics. She should know, as a Professor, that offering only one perspective to otherwise uninformed students, is academically dishonest, detrimental to the critical learning process, and is nothing more than academic censorship.

On campus, I see such hypocrisy and censorship spreading to the students. I once went to a meeting regarding the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, hosted by an anti-Israel group on campus. The group leader read a typed list off of his iPhone (which, unbeknownst to him, was made possible by the virtual keyboard, an Israeli invention) of what he would like to see boycotted on our campus. Among the boycott of Israeli professors, Israeli textbooks, and Israeli products that he suggested, he wished to cease our school-sponsored study abroad to Israel. I asked him, then, why we shouldn’t increase study abroad to Israel, so students could judge Israel for themselves first hand. He did not have an answer, and I have yet to hear a compelling one from any other students, professors, and supporters of the ASA with whom I have inquired.

I believe that I haven’t heard a compelling argument because this ASA movement is simply hypocritical. The hypocrisy again came to light on my campus when a pile of school newspapers were found in the trash and the incident was berated as a hideous act of censorship, as that issue contained articles discussing underprivileged groups on campus. But the same students and Professors who called this newspaper censorship shameful were often the same ones who were pushing the ASA censorship of Israeli academics and culture; insinuating that censorship is okay, as long as the opinions being censored are the perspectives with which they disagree.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/lets-boycott-hypocrisy/2014/06/16/

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