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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Jews Outraged As Canadian Greens Endorse BDS Against Leader’s Recommendation

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Canadian Jewish groups are furious at the Canadian Green Party for passing a resolution supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel over the weekend. The party’s national convention in Ottawa adopted a policy resolution declaring support for the use of BDS targeted at the sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the “ongoing occupation … until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in [Judea and Samaria], and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state.”

The resolution passed over the objection of Green Party leader Elizabeth May, who said she prefers to endorse “action that can work,” and told a workshop meeting about the policy: “I would rather not, as leader, be leading a party that has endorsed BDS.”

“This is a perfectly legitimate movement,” May continued, “There is nothing illegal about it, and within the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. So, I am uncomfortable with the demonization of this movement. But there is for me, no question that there’s a better way to put pressure on Israel, bearing in mind the history of Israel; the fact that it’s, I think, a tactic that won’t work.”

“We need a two-state solution, and the way things are going there will be no Palestine for a two-state solution,” May said. “So it comes to the point where, what’s our best method going forward? And I think tactics like BDS, that make the people and the state of Israel think that they are under assault, and that they have lost allies and friends around the world, is not going to succeed.”

Paul Estrin, who is Jewish and a former President of the Green Party, wrote on Facebook before the vote that “a vote for BDS is a vote by those who seek the delegitimization of Israel, and ultimately seek to have it, and its population, wiped off the map.” Estrin was forced to step down as party president in 2014 over his pro-Israel views.

Another policy resolution that called on the Canada Revenue Agency to revoke the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, passed committee by a comfortable margin, only to be modified later by the party leadership, which removed the J word from it altogether, and turned it into a call on the CRA “to revoke the charitable status of or to refrain from conferring charitable status upon any organization that is complicit in the violation of Canadian or international human rights law.”

Canadian Jewish organizations reacted swiftly and harshly to the pro-BDS resolution. Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, issued a statement saying, “With the Green Party’s support for unfairly singling out the world’s only Jewish state for contempt, it has firmly entrenched itself beyond the fringe of mainstream Canadian politics. Greens have chosen to embrace the policy position of shills for 9/11 conspiracy theories and terror apologists rather than side with the democratic and environmentally-friendly State of Israel. This clearly reflects how out of touch the Green Party has become with Canadian culture and values and it has made itself less relevant after its convention this weekend by voting for the politics of division and demonization.”

“All Canadians should be very concerned by these developments,” Mostyn added. “A political party with representation in Parliament chose to adopt an anti-Semitic policy, contrary to a recent resolution in Parliament condemning BDS as discriminatory. B’nai Brith will continue to expose the bigotry that festers within Green Party ranks.”

The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, issued a statement saying, “We condemn the Green Party’s decision to endorse this outrageous resolution. The BDS movement, which seeks to censor and blacklist Israelis, is fundamentally discriminatory and utterly at odds with Canadian values.” The statement continued: “Green Party leader Elizabeth May was right to oppose this toxic initiative as well as the disturbing assault on JNF, in keeping with her longstanding rejection of BDS.”


Israel Resolves to Track Down, Deport & Ban Entry of BDS Activists

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

A new joint ministerial task force has been formed to address the increasingly damaging phenomenon of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement activists entering Israel and organizing activities to delegitimize and destroy the country from within.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Interior Minister Arye Deri announced in a joint statement Sunday that the news task force will be focused on tracking down the hundreds of BDS activities who already exist within Israel and who organize events calling for boycotts of the Jewish State.

The task force “is a necessary step in light of the malicious intentions of delegitimizing activists who work to spread lies and twist the truth about the reality in our region,” Erdan said.

“We have a responsibility to do everything possible to crush any boycott and to state clearly that we will not allow the State of Israel to be harmed,” added Deri. The Interior Minister is responsible for the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority as well.

Both were firm that it is time to put a stop to the boycotts against Israel, and each expressed determination to fight the phenomenon via the laws and agencies at his disposal.

The move comes as the realization sets in that Israel is increasingly being seen in the international arena as a pariah state — an existential threat that must be turned around if Israel is to survive.

Speaking to the Knesset Committee for the Transparency and Accessbility of Government Information, Sima Vaknin-Gil said the goal of the Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry is to replace that image with one that is more positive, hopefully within the decade.

Vaknin-Gil, director-general of the ministry, said that if all goes as planned and the current “narrative” is replaced, by 2025, no one will question whether the State of Israel has the right to exist.”

Meanwhile, as a start, the lawmakers will work to deport those involved in the BDS movement in the country, according to the statement released by the ministers. In addition, BDS activists will be barred from entering the country. Boycotting Israel, said Erdan, “must have a price.”

At least two dozen NGOs receive more than half of their funding from foreign government and other sources outside the State of Israel, and use the money to delegitimize and further isolate the Jewish State.

Erdan — who doubles as Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister — added that BDS activists make a point of traveling to Judea and Samaria to incite violence among citizens of the Palestinian Authority, and to block operations by the IDF and Border Guard Police.

A Swiss BDS activist was deported from Israel for the first time this month before she was able to enter the country after landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Rita Faye has visited Israel a number of times in the past and is well known to the IDF for her harassment of Israeli soldiers at checkpoint crossings into the Palestinian Authority around Jericho. When it became known that she was on her way to Israel, the IDF requested the Interior Ministry block her entry into the country.

Faye is a member of a pro-BDS Christian organization. She was put on a plane and sent back to where she came from, with a deportation order signed by the Interior Minister.

Hana Levi Julian

BDS Activist Denied Entry to Israel, Deported at Ben Gurion International Airport

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

A Swiss activist with the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been deported from Israel for the first time, according to Channel 2 News.

Rita Faye has visited the Jewish State a number of times in the past, and is known for her harassment of IDF soldiers at Palestinian Authority crossing checkpoints around Jericho.

She is a member of a Christian organization that supports the BDS movement and has recorded the activities of the soldiers she has tracked, and then sent the information abroad, according to the report.

Upon her arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, she was taken for questioning by security personnel.

Faye was put back on a plane with a deportation issued by Interior Minister Arye Deri at the request of the IDF when it was discovered she was headed to Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Former Georgia Lawmaker Implies Israeli Linked to Nice, Munich Terror

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

It looks like anti-Semitism is starting to become a new fad among politicians in the United States — or perhaps those who long have cherished such feelings simply now feel safer about expressing and promoting them.

On the heels of reports this week that Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson referred to Jewish Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria as “termites,” came another revelation that a former Congresswoman from the same state also held anti-Semitic views on Israel. Johnson was compelled to issue a grudging apology for his slurs, although he refused to back down from the rest of his comments; it remains to be seen what the future will bring with former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, PhD, who was also the 2008 presidential nominee for the Green Party.

On the Twitter social media site a week ago (last Saturday night) McKinney tweeted: “Same Israeli photographer captures Nice and Munich tragedies. How likely is that? Remember the Dancing Israelis?” 

The photographer in question, Richard Gutjahr, tweeted photos from terror attacks both in Nice and in Munich, where the death tolls rose to 84 and 9 respectively.

Gutjahr is not Israeli, although he is married to former Labor Knesset member Einat Wilf, an Israeli woman. Wilf served in the elite IDF Unit 8200 intelligence unit.

The ‘Dancing Israelis’ thing is a reference to a conspiracy theory that five Israeli men were detained by New Jersey police on Sept. 11, 2001 after they were allegedly seen celebrating the Al Qaeda attack on Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

When McKinney’s tweet was challenged online, in response she defiantly followed it up with another: “Yes, remember the Dancing Israelis? Why were they dancing in the park as Americans were dying? Why were they in the park in the first place?”

But McKinney’s anti-Semitism didn’t stop with her potshots referencing the 9/11 blood libels. Take a look at her cozy relationship with the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. She tweeted a cry of joy in another post during her July 24 ‘blitzkrieg‘: “This is huge: NLRB rules that unions have a right to boycott Israel.”

And last but not least, another in the series which she retweeted and praised, saying, “I LOVE this!”

It remains to be seen what McKinney will do, now that the Democratic National Convention is over and all the hoopla of national attention is diverted elsewhere.

Hana Levi Julian

Israelis Not Happy Over Pharrell Williams’ Notice

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

If you live in Israel and are a fan of Pharrell Williams — the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who is known best for his music video “Happy” — you won’t be happy to read the following news.

For reasons unknown, Williams has cancelled his much-anticipated July 21 concert set to be held in Rishon Lezion this summer.

Promoters told media that “unexpected scheduling conflicts” were behind the sudden cancellation and apologized to ‘Happy’ fans, saying the star hoped to reschedule.

There was no mention of pressure on Williams by supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement that backs the Palestinian Authority against Israel.

Full refunds to ticket holders are set to begin on Sunday, July 17.

Hana Levi Julian

NY Daily News: BDS DOA at DNC

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

The feisty tabloid that gave the world the immortal 1976 headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead” has done it again on Tuesday, with the headline “BDS is DOA at the DNC,” which continued, “Staving off challenges from Bernie Sanders’ delegates, Democrats under Hillary Clinton’s leadership do right by Israel.”

The grownups have prevailed, apparently, at the 2016 democratic platform committee, according to the Daily News report, drafting a platform that would “stop the party from destructively setting benchmarks for negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians by calling for ‘an end to occupation and illegal settlements.” Not on Hillary’s watch, Mr. Sanders.

The draft platform reportedly suggests that “a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples, would contribute to regional stability and help sustain Israel’s identity.” Folks on the right may not like it, but the current, subdued version, beats whatever crazy talk had been suggested by Bernie Sanders’ five proxies on the platform committee— Keith Ellison, Bill McKibben, Dr Cornel West, James Zogby and Deborah Parker—including a call to “end Israel’s illegal settlements and military occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

While Sanders has 5 out of the 15 spots on the Democratic party’s platform committee, presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has 6, and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has 4. That’s 10 political grownups who actually want to win in November, versus 5 sons of Abbie Hoffman, who can be immensely entertaining in a debate, but usually lead to a GOP landslide come November.

But the Clinton-Wasserman Schultz platform draft doesn’t only push back the anti-Zionist crazies, according to the Daily News, it also commits to “retaining [Israel’s] qualitative military edge” in the region, and to Democrats opposing “any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.”

Like they said it so eloquently at the start: BDS is DOA at the DNC.


The American Jewish Community has Already Embraced BDS Against “Settlements”

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Elder of Ziyon}

On Tuesday, I visited the newest university in Israel, Ariel University.

It is a beautiful campus with 15,000 students. Over a dozen buildings are being constructed right now as it expands. I was shown the robotics lab and spoke with an expert in making wine from grape varieties that have been proven to have been used in First and Second Temple times. (I plan to write about that in the future.)

Ariel University has the only free electron laser particle accelerator in the Middle East.

The campus has hundreds of Arab students.  Student groups foster dialogue between Jewish and Arab students. It also attracts students from around the world. (Most of the lectures are in English.)

It is building a hospital which will be available for all residents of the region, with the aim of building a medical school as well. Ambitious plans to add more dormitories and more research centers are bearing fruit.

It has what may be the only college-level program in the world to mainstream students on the Aspergers’ spectrum. I met one very polite young man in that program who said that he had been rejected from every school he applied to before Ariel accepted him and he is soon to graduate with a degree in Middle Eastern studies.

Ariel U is centrally located, easily accessible via Highway 5 which goes directly there from Tel Aviv. From Ariel University’s “upper campus,” on a clear day, you can see Israel’s entire coastal plain.

Ariel University is a Zionist success story, in the edge of a bustling and beautiful town of 20,000 residents.

But when American Jewish groups visit Israel, nearly all of them avoid visiting Ariel University.

Jewish Federation trips to Israel do not go to Ariel University (with very few exceptions.)

AIPAC doesn’t visit.

Even Birthright won’t visit – left-wing or right-wing trips avoid it.

Because Ariel University is across the Green Line.

American Jewish organizations, afraid of criticism from the Left, have decided that Ariel does not exist and it should not be visited. It is too controversial.

But here’s the thing. Virtually every Israeli politician from left to right considers Ariel to be non-negotiable in any peace plan,

If you visit the community you know why. It is a large town and strategically situated. It is part of Israel in every real sense. The idea of uprooting the town is unthinkable.

Amazingly, J-Street U has visited Ariel to see what it is like and what their ideological enemies are up to. Yet groups that are unabashedly Zionist do not want to visit.

Christian groups love to visit the university when they go on Israel trips. But Jewish Israel missions almost all will avoid it.

This is outrageous.

The same people who say that BDS is terrible, even when practiced against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, are effectively engaging in BDS themselves by avoiding visiting the incredible, and very Zionist, accomplishments of Ariel and Ariel University.

They cannot argue that Ariel is dangerous. (That is Birthright’s official reason.)  It isn’t. There were no incidents since the knife uprising began last September. Hamas rockets never reached Ariel. It has been far more dangerous to visit Jerusalem than Ariel over the past year.

They cannot argue that Ariel University is filled with messianic right-wing Jews. It isn’t. Some professors there are leftists, even Meretz-voters. Arab students can and do write their theses on the “Nakba.” Yarmulkas are the exception, not the rule.

At the very least, these American organizations that tell their participants that they are going to learn about both sides of the conflict are completely ignoring the biggest settlement, and only Israeli university, that is in the territories not adjacent to the Green Line.

If anyone is going to claim that they are well-educated on the conflict, shouldn’t they at least visit Ariel?

To have Jewish groups – liberal or conservative – essentially boycott Ariel sends a message that American Jews are out of sync with what most Israelis believe would be part of any peace agreement.

If you are planning a mission to Israel for your Jewish group, ask yourself why you shouldn’t visit a miraculous, modern and liberal campus that could teach most so-called “pro-peace, pro-Israel” groups a lot about real co-existence and peace.

Elder of Ziyon

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-american-jewish-community-has-already-embraced-bds-against-settlements/2016/07/07/

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