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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

New Fund to Support Pro-Israel Activists

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

The Kadima Fund, a bottom-up online resource center for grass roots pro-Israel initiatives, has just been launched, and it’s been a long time coming.

When the entirely one-sided, anti-Israel play “My Name is Rachel Corrie” came to Seattle in the spring of 2007, there was no formal group to respond to the lies told about the Jewish state in the play.

A number of local pro-Israel residents protested about the falsehoods in the play, but the theater company turned a deaf ear. That was the catalyst for an idea that took root in the mind of Nevet Basker, an Israeli-born Seattle resident, to create the brand-new Kadima Fund.

“A group slowly came together, tried various approaches, and eventually created a fact sheet about Israel and the truth about what happened with Rachel Corrie,” Basker told the JewishPress.com

That group of volunteers had to cobble together the data, create a schedule so people would be at each performance handing out the additional information, “providing context,” to all of those who went to see the Rachel Corrie play. This loose-knit group also created a website as a repository for the information they gathered, so that others who wanted to do something if the play came to their towns and cities did not have to re-invent the wheel.

That experience, nearly a decade ago, has now given birth to the Kadima Fund.

“There are many more people who care about Israel than those who hate Israel. But the haters, though few in numbers, have passion on their side. Anti-Israel advocates ignore and reject plain truth and decency, engaging instead in biased, discriminatory, and slanderous campaigns. They are indifferent to the destructive effect their efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel have on the institutions and communities they target,” said Basker, the Kadima Fund’s executive director.

And, it is, finally, true that there are many excellent organizations across the United States whose goal is to help create and foster a pro-Israel voice across the country.” But still, the reality is that most of those organizations trip over each other in certain cities and on certain campuses, while the vast majority of communities and campuses remain unserved. It is in those places – the interstices – that the Kadima Fund can be a god-send.

The Kadima Fund will help individuals and small groups promote a positive image for Israel and counter hateful anti-Israel propaganda. It will enables activists to connect with and support each other.

How?

The Kadima Fund will offer advice, materials, contacts, professional resources, financial assistance, and other support to pro-Israel Activists in local, grassroots Initiatives. Basker describes the project as an “incubator” or perhaps imagine it as an ‘angel fund,” but one that provides more than just money. It will offer advice, materials, contacts, professional resources and other support, including financial assistance, to pro-Israel activists in local, grassroots initiatives.

Examples of what it will be able to help individuals or small groups to do is counter hateful anti-Israel propaganda, including boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts and the broader campaign to delegitimize Israel. It also supports proactive Initiatives that promote a positive image for Israel, including showcasing Israeli culture, people, innovations, and accomplishments.

It will also, in turn, create a vast network of “best practices” for responding to the negative and promoting the positive information about Israel, the former of which seems ubiquitous, while the latter is hard to find and harder to share.

Basker said she’s been talking about the idea behind the Kadima Fund for years, but was never able to interest any of the already-existing organizations to take on the concept. She said she was frustrated, because she knew to a certainty that there was need for such a project. In the meantime, Basker has been educating about Israel. She created and runs BroaderView, an online Israel Resource Center, and speaks, writes and acts as advisor on policies about modern-day Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Likud MK Demanding Expulsion of BDS Founder

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

In advance of a pro-BDS conference that was held on Friday in Nazareth, MK Nava Boker (Likud) called on the Interior Minister to revoke the permanent residence of Omar Barghouti, the founding member of the BDS movement who was the keynote speaker at the conference.

According to author and journalist Naomi Ragen, Barghouti is not “Palestinian”, having been born in Qatar and grown up in Egypt. He says he’s “Palestinian” because of his parents who supposedly fled their village in Judea and Samaria and today live in Jordan. He arrived in “Palestine” for the first time in 1993, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and his Israeli-Arab wife. He claims to be a Ph.D candidate in philosophy (ethics, actually) at Tel Aviv University. Yes, the occupation is hell.

Despite the fact that Israeli academia has accepted him with open arms, Barghouti became a leading proponent of an academic boycott against Israel, as he told a conference at London University entitled Resisting Israeli Apartheid: “The most urgent type of support the international community can provide to the Palestinian academy is to adopt various forms of boycott against Israel’s academic institutions. … Those who imagine they can wish away the conflict by suggesting some forums for rapprochement, détente, or ‘dialogue’ — which they hope can lead to authentic processes of reconciliation and eventually peace — are either clinically delusional or dangerously deceptive.”

After Barghouti published an opinion piece supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in the New York Daily News in 2013, the newspaper responded with an editorial saying that Barghouti is “skilled as a propagandist” and “piles falsehood upon falsehood to present Israel as relentlessly oppressing the Palestinians in violation of human decency, and to hold Israel exclusively responsible for the ills afflicting them.” The Daily News suggested that Barghouti wants a “secular, democratic state built on an influx of Arabs who come to dominate the population and vote an end to Israel as a Jewish nation. That, ultimately, is the nefarious truth behind his libels.”

Barghouti has an Israeli residency, by virtue of being married to an Israeli. MK Boker has urged Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, based on Barghouti’s relentless anti-Israeli activity, to “use your authority according to the Entry into Israel Law to revoke the permanent residence of Mr. Barghouti.”

Alon Schwarzer, CEO of the rightwing Im Tirtzu movement, also joined the demand, saying, “While the planted Israeli organizations are providing him with the raw material, Dr. Barghouti is the conceptual and executive arm of the crusade to destroy the State of Israel and to boycott it. The State of Israel must behave like a sovereign state, as do all the Western democracies, and not allow someone seeking its destruction to enter its territory and preach against it here as well.”

The Interior Minister’s office issued a statement saying the Minister “will consult with his professional staff and Consider the allegations seriously.”

JNi.Media

Canada Formally Condemns Anti- Israel BDS Movement

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

The Canadian Parliament voted overwhelmingly Monday afternoon (229-51) to formally condemn the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The historic motion was a wall-to-wall rejection of BDS by the representatives of the Canadian people.

Both Liberals and Conservatives backed the motion “That, given Canada and Israel share a long history of friendship as well as economic and diplomatic relations, the House reject the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and call upon the government to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”

Canada has for years stood beside Israel against the onslaught of the new anti-Semitism that began to creep up on campuses across North America and in Europe.

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was present to cast his ballot against the movement together with the rest of his Conservative colleagues. Tom Muclair, leader of the NDP, opposed it, according to CIJ News.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion declared after announcing the Liberals would also condemn BDS, “The world will win nothing by boycotting Israel, but depriving itself of the talents of its inventiveness.”

Liberal candidate Michael Levitt said during a February 18 debate that “BDS is about intolerance. It’s a broader movement to… collectively punish all Israelis by holding Israel alone responsible for the Arab-Israeli conflict. Whereas anti-Semites have long targeted Jews throughout the world as the root of all society’s ills, this new form of anti-Semitism targets Israel as the Jew among the nations, singling out the Jewish State as the root of all ills in the world.”

During the same debate, Liberal MP Anthony Housefather noted that the BDS movement is “asking for the disappearance of the State of Israel. BDS is saying that all Palestinian refugees must have the right of return to what is today Israel, which would automatically create a situation where we would not have a two-state solution. We would have a one-state solution where Israel was not a majority Jewish State…. the only one in the whole entire world, and that is wrong. BDS, which again singles out Israel, is not looking at all those other countries in the world that engage in egregious human rights violations… The whole idea of holding Israel to a higher moral standard than anyone else is clearly anti-Semitic,” he said.

MP Jeff Watson called the BDS movement “hateful and deceitful.” He denounced “this new anti-Semitism which is poisoning our Canadian campuses.”

Hana Levi Julian

Strategic Affairs Minister: Fight Against BDS About To Become a “Whole New Ball Game”.

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan addressed the threat posed by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement Sunday night before an audience of Jews and Israel supporters from around the world.

During the Global Coalition for Israel conference at a Jerusalem hotel, Erdan outlined Israel’s strategies for combating the movement that has gained momentum in recent years.

Erdan, whose Strategic Affairs portfolio includes the fight against BDS, told the audience he hoped that the meeting would signify a turning point in the fight against delegitimization. “BDS is spreading to more and more countries and fields. It is successfully building relationships with mainstream groups. They are making use of modern technology to spread their propaganda. The threats are known,” he said.

Calling for “cautious optimism,” Erdan went on to share several methods being developed that are designed to counter BDS activities.

These included responding to individual challenges such as attempts to prevent Israeli artists from performing, attempts to blacklist businesses that deal with Israel and attacks on Jewish advocates for Israel on college campuses.

“We are developing the capabilities to identify threats before they are publicized. Once we identify them, we will bring all of the relevant bodies together and use one of the many options at our disposal, which can mean using diplomacy, operating behind the scenes or implementing legal measures. For too long, BDS has attacked Israel without paying any price,” Erdan declared to applause from the audience.

Attacking sources of funding and degrading BDS activities were also mentioned as strategies. “Wherever they operate, we will make sure there is no safe space for BDS.”

Erdan praised the various foreign governments that have already set about implementing anti-BDS legislation in their respective countries including the United States, Britain, Canada and France.

Erdan also turned to technological initiatives and social media platforms that he said Israel intends to utilize with greater force. “Finally, we are going to become much more active on social media. We aim to spread the truth as quickly as our enemies spread lies,” he told the audience. “The BDS [movement] might not realize it, but pretty soon it is going to be a whole new ball game.”

Finally, Erdan concluded by stating that Jewish communities around the world play a crucial role.

“In Israel, we understand that we don’t understand everything and don’t have all the answers. You are on the ground and know what is going on. This consultation is so important to me because in this battle, cooperation between Israel and the pro-Israel community is not just a good idea but a necessity. I can’t do it alone. We are all on the front line together,” he said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

BDS Not About Economics, but ‘Demoralizing’ Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tells Young Olim

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely lambasted the BDS movement, saying “it is not an economic movement, but a movement which aims at demoralizing the State of Israel,” in an intimate meeting with young English-speaking olim in Rehovot last week.

Though it also urges a cultural boycott of Israel, the BDS movement prominently urges the boycotting of Israeli products, economic sanctions against Israel, and for companies and institutions which have invested in Israeli companies to divest from such companies.

Hotovely said the BDS movement has in fact had little impact on Israel’s economy and Israel is stronger than it ever has been economically and diplomatically.

Hotovely told of how since assuming the position of deputy foreign minister, she has witnessed foreign dignitaries from all over the world constantly visiting the country and looking for ways to partner with Israel.

As a movement which primarily targets Israel’s ” ideological soul,” Hotvely said the proper answer to BDS is to safeguard Israel’s Jewish identity and thereby Israel’s confidence in its cause.

Hotovely encouraged the young olim to be active in Israel’s political life in order to do so.

Jacob Silvermetz, a recent oleh from the U.S. who organized the meeting last Tuesday and who is a coordinator for Likud Anglos, said he hoped the meeting would stir his fellow immigrants to action.

Silvermetz said he felt “an amazing sense of purpose” in the meeting.

“I hope we can channel that collective feeling to make practical contributions to our country and its international image,” he said,

Silvermetz’s wife, Lizzy, an olah from London, England, and Penina Grunseid Katsch, an olah from Brooklyn, N.Y., who served in the IDF Spokespersons Unit and currently studies Government at the IDC Herzilya, also helped organize the meeting.

“I liked Hotovely’s message about having a bigger say in politics and the leadership of the country,” Lizzy Silvermetz said, adding that while the political system “affects so many people,” it is often “so little understood.”

Since being appointed deputy foreign minister Hotovely has turned heads with her approach of emphasizing the Jewish people’s just claim to the land of Israel.

Just a few days after being appointed Deputy Foreign Minister in May 2015, Hotovely told Foreign Ministry personnel around the world to use the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel as part of their diplomacy.

In that speech, Hotovely cited the 11th century biblical commentator Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaky (Rashi), who’s opening commentary on the Bible was to note that since God created the entire universe, he had the legal and moral authority to convey the Land of Israel to the Jewish people.

Jewish Press News Briefs

SodaStream – An Island of Peace

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

BDS actions forced SodaStream to close their factory near Mishor Adumim, resulting in 500 Arabs from Israel’s territories (“Palestinians”) losing their jobs.

That factory moved down to Levahim in the Negev, yet BDS continues to hound SodaStream as an “Occupation” company.

Let’s take a quick look inside SodaStream to learn the truth about SodaStream…

Video of the Day

Ariel University Wins BDS Case, Receives Compensation Payment From Spain

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Ariel University has received a payment of nearly $100,000 (NIS 430,000) from the government of Spain.

The payment is a compensation award by the Spanish government, paid to end a discrimination lawsuit forced on both parties by the BDS movement.

Six years ago, the Spanish government caved in to pressure from the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement and refused to allow students from the university – based in Samaria – to participate in an international contest.

The competition to design “green” buildings that were environmentally friendly was to be open to students from universities around the world. The students from Ariel University designed “Abraham’s Tent” – a design that attracted great interest, and brought them into the finals.

The anti-Israel BDS boycott movement got to work making sure the students would not be allowed to take part in the competition, however, because they study in Samaria.

Upon their arrival in Spain for the finals, however, the students were stopped. They were informed by the Spanish Construction Ministry which funded the competition that they had been barred from the contest.

Ariel University petitioned the decision in Spain via a local attorney, and sued the Spanish government for compensation. The university also demanded the students be allowed to return to the competition.

As mentioned above, that was six years ago.

After a legal struggle, the Spanish government was forced to admit it had discriminated against the students and the university. It offered to settle the case for NIS 430,000; the payment was transferred recently to the university.

“The decision to compensate the university and to declare the barring of the students from the competition as ‘null and void’ is the required, ethical and legal response to this attempt to boycott Israel,” Ariel University President Yigal Cohen-Orgad told the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot.

“It proves that it’s possible to succeed in foiling these efforts,” he added.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ariel-university-wins-case-in-spain-against-bds-boycott/2016/01/06/

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