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July 31, 2016 / 25 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘BDS’

Jordan’s King Dissolves Parliament, Stifles Riots Over Approval of Israeli Investment

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Jordan’s King Abdullah II dissolved his country’s Parliament by royal decree on Sunday, and accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Abbdullah Ensour.

Reuters reported it was the end of the legislative body’s four-year term. But the move also had the effect of breaking week-long protests, and riots on Friday by hundreds of residents in the ancient city of Petra — a major tourist attraction — where Jordanians allegedly were rampaging over “fraudulent investments,” according to the English-language Jordan Times.

Veteran politician Hani Mulqi was appointed to become Jordan’s new prime minister, and charged by King Abdullah to set up new elections in October.

The decree came barely a week after an extraordinary session in which the Jordanian Parliament voted to allow Israeli companies to invest in the country. At the time, the king endorsed the decision and issued a decree to end the session at the end of last week, according to Albawaba. The vote was considered very controversial and there was widespread public outcry following the session. Specifically, the Jordanian Parliament voted not to exclude Israel from its National Investment Fund.

Originally, last Sunday morning (May 22) Parliament members had voted to exclude Israel from the Jordanian Investment Fund. But in the evening session, a re-vote was called, and the majority of parliament members instead voted to allow Israeli involvement.

“In a particularly shocking turn in the struggle over the new investment law, several vocally pro-Palestine politicians voted in favor of trade with Israel,” Albawaba reported.

“Among them was Rodaina Al Ati, a member of Jordan’s Palestine Committee who has made a name for herself by supporting the Palestinian cause. Jordan’s Arab Progressive Baath Party expelled Al Ati for her vote, and social media users launched a campaign of ridicule and criticism against her.”

The Jordanian Investment Law establishes the Jordan Investment Fund, which oversees development projects and those which foreign funds can invest in. The decision to allow Israel to participate in the fund was seen as a blow to the BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) movement.

The primary opposition to the monarchy in Jordan is that of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

However, according to Reuters it was tribal lawmakers who has dominated the last parliament, resisting any change that might have undermined their influence or sabotaged their ability to control the legislative body. The system favors those tribal regions which are sparsely populated and which benefit most from state patronage, and the support of the monarchy, Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper pointed out.

The reversal of the original decision has provoked outrage in Jordan, inasmuch as it also enables foreign companies to invest in Jordan.

Hana Levi Julian

New Report: 22 Israeli Academics in the Service of BDS

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

In recent years, an increasing number of academics and student organizations throughout the world have been promoting the academic boycott of Israel. The goal of this boycott is to halt the cooperation between Israeli academics and academics abroad, an act that would cause significant harm to Israeli research as it heavily relies on international cooperation. This phenomenon could pose severe implications on the Israeli economy, and would significantly harm Israel’s standing in the world.

A new report from Im Tirtzu reveals the level of involvement of Israeli academics in the encouragement and promotion of the international effort to impose an academic boycott on Israel. The report focuses on the Israeli Anthropological Association as a case study that reflects the significant influence of Israeli academics in promoting the academic boycott on Israel. The report highlights how prominent Israeli professors, who receive salaries provided by the Israeli taxpayer, encourage, legitimize, and often promote boycott efforts, including boycotts that directly harm the institutions in which they work. It is important to note that a 2012 resolution passed by the Israeli Council for Higher Education explicitly rejects boycott efforts:

“The Council for Higher Education views the call for academic boycott on Israel by members of Israel’s institutions of higher education as an undermining action to the foundations of Israel’s higher education system” and thus “calls on institutions to consider the matter, and to formulate ways of dealing with it.”

As stated above, this report focuses on the Israeli Anthropological Association as a case study and examines its involvement with the advancement of the academic boycott on Israel, which began to intensify in 2013 after the American Anthropological Association (AAA) began to discuss the possibility of boycotting Israeli academia.

On May 31, 2016, the 10,000-member AAA will conclude its vote on a proposed resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions, regardless of where the institution is located within Israel.

The Israeli Anthropological Association has sent a letter to the AAA in August 2014 advocating against this anti-Israel initiative and calling it an unprecedented and unjustified act of boycott against Israeli academia. But while the Israeli Anthropological Association was trying to block this attempt to harm the State of Israel, another group of 20 Israeli anthropologists, many of whom teach in publicly funded Israeli institutions, sent a petition to the AAA praising this effort and urging them to continue pressing for an academic boycott on Israel. These professors grant legitimacy to the academic boycott of Israel, and to the BDS movement against Israel as a whole.

In 2015, a task force sent by the AAA to “investigate” the situation in Israel produced a biased report filled with distortions and lies against Israel. The report repeatedly quoted anonymous Israeli academics as a means of attaining legitimacy to the baseless accusations raised in the report. These Israeli academics served as the “voice from within” who “verified” all of the anti-Israel charges in the report.

Several months prior to the publication of the report in July 2015, the Israeli Anthropological Association sent another letter in which they demonstrated a complete capitulation to the amounting boycott pressure. This letter condemned and severely criticized Israel for its prolonged “occupation,” urged Israel to rehabilitate Gaza, and called for a solution for the Palestinian refugees. At the end of the letter, however, they once again urged their colleagues at the AAA to refrain from academic boycott.

Like clockwork, this second letter by the Israeli Anthropological Association was also followed by another letter – this time from a group of 22 “anonymous” Israeli anthropologists – that contained an unequivocal call for academic boycott against Israel:

“We urge all members of the AAA to join in supporting the academic boycott resolution on the spring ballot.”

Im Tirtzu’s report emphasizes that all the Israeli signatories on the first petition sent to the AAA in attempt to foil the Israeli Anthropological Association’s effort to halt the boycott are activists in radical Left organizations, which are backed by copious amounts of foreign political funding and operate within Israel against the state and against the soldiers of the IDF.

In addition, the report notes that most of the Israeli signatories do not currently reside in Israel, and the vast majority of them are directly connected to other foreign agent organizations or to the international BDS movement. These facts substantiate the claim that Israeli organizations and individuals represent the head of the spear of the BDS phenomenon and often produce the initial efforts to boycott Israel.

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg stressed that the phenomenon in which a radical minority operates from within Israel in order to impose international pressure on Israel is not merely a display of ungratefulness, but an act of shamelessness. The challenge posed by the advancement of boycotts from within forces decision-makers to formulate a fitting response to this phenomenon: “Decision-makers and presidents of Israeli universities look to combat the international BDS movement, but completely ignore the boycott phenomenon from within Israel that is being led by Israeli academics. It is sad to see that those leading the boycott are cutting off the branch on which they are sitting and are working behind the scenes in order to mortally wound the future of Israeli academia.”

Peleg added that “The BDS movement is driven by blind hatred towards the State of Israel and is equipped with tremendous resources. Faced with the consistent attempt to harm the Israeli public, we as citizens need to mobilize against it. The State of Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and the only country in the region that preserves human and civil rights.”

Peleg stated that “The Im Tirtzu movement will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to fight against this theater of the absurd in which Israeli academics are playing the leading role.”

JNi.Media

Zionists Ambush a ‘Palestinian’ BDS Flash Mob in London

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Flash mobbing a BDS flash mob…

A group of pro-Israel London activists ambushed a BDS flash mob on Sunday, the BDS thugs attempted to close down Sabon, an Israeli-owned business.

Our chants drowned out their calls for the destruction of Israel and our flags turned their protest into a sea of blue and white.

They didn’t see it coming, they were caught completely off guard, it was an epic #BDSfail.

London Palestine Action your antisemitic actions are not welcome on British streets. No longer will we tolerate your thugs intimidating Jewish businesses, every time you persecute our people, we will respond in numbers until you end your bigoted persecution of Jews and Israelis.

Help turn this BDS action into an even bigger fail by supporting Sabon, follow this link to purchase incredible Israeli cosmetics: https://www.sabonuk.co.uk

At around 7:27, one pro-Israel advocate seems to have possibly begun opening up the eyes of one of the protesters to the fact that she has been lies to by the BDS movement.

A worried BDS leader tries to pull the young woman away from the conversation, but by the end of the intervention it appears that the young protester might actually try to seek out the facts for herself.

We recommend she visits Israel on an independent trip.

Video of the Day

BDS Spreads Anti-Semitism Across U.S. Campuses

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

{Originally posted to The Investigative Project on Terrorism website}

Anti-Semitic incidents seem to spring up each week on college campuses throughout the United States. According to a study, “The strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus” is the presence of a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The greater the BDS activity, especially involving faculty members, the more likely anti-Semitic episodes become, said the study issued last month by the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, and combating anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses.

One recent example occurred on April 15, when the City University of New York Doctoral Students’ Council passed a resolution calling for an academic boycott of Israel, 42-19. Weeks earlier, a CUNY professor and BDS advocate claimed that the killing of Palestinians in Gaza “reflects Jewish values.” On CUNY campuses, the New York Observer reports, Jewish students were harassed, with “Jews out of CUNY” uttered in at least one instance, and a professor who wears a yarmulke was called a “Zionist pig.”

On April 21, two-thirds of a union representing about 2,000 graduate students at New York University voted to approve a motion to support a BDS resolution against Israel. The motion also urges the union and its affiliate, the United Auto Workers, to divest from Israeli companies. The resolution asks NYU to close its program at Tel Aviv University, claiming the program violates NYU’s non-discrimination policy.

About a month earlier, NYU’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), one of the main organizing forces behind the nationwide BDS campaign, hosted Israeli academic Ilan Pappé, described by Benny Morris as “one of the world’s sloppiest historians.”

As reported by AMCHA:

“Pappé blamed Jews, perceived historically as evil, for antisemitism stating, ‘The [Jewish] Israelis…are responsible for bringing antisemitism back.’ He denied Jews self-determination and demonized Israel stating, ‘evil Zionism will come to an end – all immoral regimes do’ as well as suggested rich Jews should leave Israel as a process of ‘decolonization.’ He further demonized Israel throughout accusing Israel of carrying out ‘ethnic cleansing’ multiple times. Pappé delegitimized Israel consistently referring to Israel as a ‘settler colonialist project,’ …[and] promoted BDS.”

The Jewish Law Students Association at Harvard University and Harvard Hillel co-sponsored an event April 14 on “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict & the U.S.” During the question and answer session, Husam el-Qoulaq, an HLS student and head of SJP at the school, insulted  Israeli Knesset Member Tzipi Livni by asking, “How is it that you are so smelly?… A question about the odor of Ms. Tzipi Livni, she’s very smelly, and I was just wondering.” The student’s question resurrected the anti-Semitic stereotype of a “smelly/dirty Jew.” Incredibly, some “progressive” HLS Jewish students later defended el-Qoulaq.

As BDS campaigns spread on campuses, anti-Semitic expression increasingly follows – from swastika-filled vandalism at UC Davis and Purdue University to student “debates” at Stanford University that implicitly dignify classical anti-Semitic tropes about Jews controlling the media and economy. Among other recent incidents:

  • April 20: At Michigan’s Grand Valley State University, there have been six anti-Semitic incidents reported on campus since last December. These involved swastikas on walls or doors of residence halls, messages including “I am a Nazi” and “Hitler did nothing wrong,” a faculty member making anti-Semitic gestures in a classroom, and a Star of David with an “X” scratched into it on the window of a bus.
  • April 19: At the University of Maryland, about two dozen protesters arrived at a Hillel and Jewish Student Union event called, “Israel Fest” and, for about an hour, chanted, “Fight the power; turn the tide; end Israeli apartheid” and held signs saying “Zionism kills.”
  • April 15: At the University of Notre Dame, a letter published by three students in the school newspaper accused Israel of apartheid and directed readers to the Anti-Semitic site “IfAmericansKnew” and the site for a major BDS group, Jewish Voice for Peace.
  • April 10: At Atlanta’s historically black Morehouse College, participants at the U.S. Universities Debating Championship (USUDC) were forced to justify the motion, “This House Believes That Violence By Palestinians Against Israeli Civilian Targets Is Justified.”

According to AMCHA, 2016 already has seen 171 anti-Semitic/BDS incidents as of April 21. At this rate, 2016 will see a 36 percent increase in incidents over last year.

Faculty members have become increasingly active in BDS efforts and smears. During a talk at Vassar College in February, Rutgers professor Jasbir Puar accused Israel of harvesting Palestinian organs and conducting scientific experiments in “stunting” the growth of Palestinian bodies. Last month, 40 Columbia University professors signed a BDS petition. More recently, one pro-BDS professor even tried to link campus rape to Israel. As Rochester Institute of Technology lecturer A.J. Caschetta notes, “at a time when much of academe is jumping on the BDS bandwagon, there is little risk to academics who join the movement, whereas opposition to majority leftist positions often leads to a perilous path.”

Indeed, academics who buck this trend may be endangering their careers. At Connecticut College, one of the few professors who defended Andrew Pessin, who hasn’t been in his classroom for the past year after a hate-filled campaign miscast his comments about Hamas as a smear on all Palestinians, says his stance cost him a promotion. Manuel Lizarralde, associate professor in Ethnobotany, wrote in a faculty-wide email Jan. 26 that the college “acted like vigilantes and found the perfect scapegoat,” in Pessin.

Within days, Lizarralde said, he was called in by the administration for a scolding. Noting that he was recently denied promotion, Lizarralde suggested in a recent email that this was payback for his support of Pessin. Connecticut College has “a sense of racism since we are Latinos, Jews and advocate for social injustice…[and we] are being punished [for such activism].”

Responding to the negative media coverage generated by the Pessin case, Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron published an email to the faculty March 28, in which she championed “the right of all its members to express their views freely and openly.” She failed to explain how that principle applied to Pessin, who was hounded off campus for expressing his views, only to see them twisted and turned against him. She said that the school should promote “reasoned and informed debate about the most complex issues of our time,” but Pessin’s absence leaves the school with no pro-Israel voice. When asked about the contradictions between her email and the Pessin affair, she declined to comment.

Meanwhile, outrage against Connecticut College continues to build, with a petition to investigate the Pessin affair and revoke the school’s accreditation now exceeding 1,500 signatures.

Just as the character assassination targeting the only pro-Israel voice at Connecticut College appeared as a total surprise, BDS campaigns to influence student government votes across the country pop up with minimal notice, just weeks before the vote, giving the opposition little time to organize. That strategy helped secure SJP a BDS victory at the University of Chicago undergraduate student government in March.

It failed to persuade the university’s administration, though.

Who is funding BDS? Analyst Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies recently told members of Congress that former employees of Hamas-linked charities now work for the Illinois-based organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which is “arguably the leading BDS organization in the US, a key sponsor of the anti-Israel campus network known as Students for Justice in Palestine.” Schanzer noted that AMP provides money, speakers, training and even “apartheid walls” to SJP campus activists. More surprising, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has given anti-Israel BDS organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center.

On campus after campus, the BDS movement has proven itself to be well organized and determined to poison the minds of impressionable students against Israel. It will take an equally concerted and sustained effort to oppose BDS in academia.

Noah Beck

Exclusive Interview: Danny Danon to Kick Off Anti-BDS Initiative at UN with 1500 College Students

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

In an interview Monday with The Jewish Press, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon outlined a plan of action aimed at leveling the playing field against the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement.

In less than two weeks, Jews around the world will start getting some much needed back-up in the battle against BDS, as Danny Danon, Israel’s envoy to the UN, rolls out a plan of action designed to unite, organize, and train those on the front lines.

“Young people are being effected by the propaganda,” said Danon, “if we don’t counter it, it will become their truth and reality. We have to stand, fight back, and show the world the real face of Israel”.

The initiative’s inaugural event, entitled “Ambassadors Against BDS”, will take place on May 31st when Israel’s Mission to the UN will host 1500 students, organizations, and agencies from around the world at a summit aimed at cultivating a cadre of able young ambassadors who will carry the message back to their campuses, armed with practical advice and the resources to take on the toxic atmosphere created by BDS.

“The goal of the event is to empower students from around the world – not just from the US – by giving them the tools they need to fight back. By doing it at the United Nations, in the General Assembly, we send a clear message that we will not be silent. We are a strong nation and we will overcome this wave of incitement against the State of Israel,” explained Danon, “We can win, but in order to win, we – the State of Israel and world Jewish communities – have to work together in order to be strong and effective.”

Although the initiative is being spearheaded by Israel’s Mission to the UN, other Israeli government Ministries are also behind the trailblazing effort to which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allocated record funding last summer. “The Israeli government is very aware of the threat posed by BDS”, said Danon, “the Prime Minister takes it very seriously”.

Representatives from several Ministries will be arriving from Israel to take part in the May 31st event. The day will open with a plenary session in the UN General Assembly Hall and be followed by a series of professional panels, where experts from fields such as law and public diplomacy will work with students to hammer out guidelines and provide them with “Ambassadors Against BDS” kits to help implement a new cohesive plan of action.

BDS has been operating for almost 11 years. Its attempts to delegitimize Israel by pressuring businesses, intimidating academics, bullying artists, and the spreading of lies and messages of hate against Jews and Israel on college campuses, have seen more success than previous boycott attempts due to their centralized organization. “I see the work being done by the other side, the way they are organized on college campuses. I know that we can, and we must, be united as well. It’s crucial to understand that this needs to be a joint effort in order to be effective”.

Danon knows there are some people in Israel and here in the United States who think it’s best to ignore BDS, but he’s not one of them. “We cannot and should not ignore the BDS movement, it will not go away. We cannot sit idly by and watch an organized group bashing Israel, in the process of actively trying to delegitimize the State of Israel. Our economy is strong, but we can’t ignore the chilling effect of companies that think twice before investing in Israeli businesses. I don’t think we should wait until the moment when we see the numbers going down, we need to tackle it in advance”.

Although “Ambassadors Against BDS” kits will be available online after the summit, Danon is urging all college students that face anti-Semitism on campus to attend the summit on May 31st. “Registration is free and still open. I encourage all students who can, to participate, to make the effort, to come for one day to the UN. Together, we can proceed with structure, and move forward”.
To register for Ambassadors Against BDS click here.
 

Stephanie Granot

NJ State Senate Unanimously Rejects BDS for Pension Fund

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The New Jersey State Senate has unanimously rejected the Palestinian Authority-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

A bill requiring the state’s public worker pension fund to divest from companies that boycott Israel was approved in a 39-0 vote, NJ.com reported Monday.

The State Assembly must still vote on the measure (S1923), however. Under the legislation, the state Division of Investments would be unable to invest the public workers’ $68.6 billion pension fund in companies that support the boycott.

Those funds already invested with such companies must be removed within the next 18 months, except for companies providing “humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people through either a governmental or non-governmental organization (NGO) unless it is also engaging in prohibited boycotts.”

New Jersey has one of the largest Jewish populations in the United States. But the state also prohibits its pension fund from investing in businesses with ties to Iran, Sudan and Northern Ireland.

“New Jersey cannot support such biased practices as those of the BDS against our sister state,” state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said in a statement.

“Israel has long been a vibrant trading partner, ally and friend with our state, and making sure that we are not investing in any company that seeks to hurt the interests of Israel or its people through boycotts, divestments and sanctions will send a clear message that we stand against this kind of veiled discrimination.”

“I think this bill sends a very clear message to our friends in Israel that New Jersey has your back,” State Senator Jim Beach (D-Camden) added.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Human Rights Watch Suing 3 Councils in High Court over BDS

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) has taken Swansea, Gwyneedd and Leicester councils to the High Court in London, alleging their boycott of Israeli goods is anti-Semitic and violates the 2010 Equality Act.

The group noted on their Facebook page: “We’re in the #‎HighCourt today and tomorrow about The Labour Party’s Leicester City Council & City and County of Swansea & Gwynedd Council’s #‎Antisemitic #‎Boycott motions. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.”

Several local councils across the UK voted to boycott Israeli goods after 2009, when Israel refused to embrace the Hamas’ need to shoot rockets at its civilian population.

In 2010, Swansea council was seeking contracts with Veolia, a company connected to a project building a light railway in eastern Jerusalem. But then a motion was put before the council stating the project “not only contravenes UN demands but is in contravention of international law,” since the UN “has demanded that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported.”

Several council members called on the council to not do business with “any company in breach of international law or UN obligations or demands, so long as to do so would not be in breach of any relevant legislation.” The motion was approved.

Andrew Sharland, an attorney for Leicester’s council, which in 2014 approved a similar boycott of Israeli goods, said the JHRW is trying to “stifle criticisms of Israel.”

“What this challenge really concerns is criticism of the State of Israel, and the claimant’s desire to suppress it,” he said.

Following the 2014 vote, JHRW issued a statement saying, “Leicester City Council has taken steps down an anti-Semitic path under the guise of helping community relations in Leicester. Frankly this amounts to a get-of-out-town order to Leicester Jews.”

In 2014, Gwynedd council also passed a motion calling for a trade embargo against Israel, condemning the “attacks by the Israeli state on the territory of the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.” Just to make sure they did not come across as anti-Semites, Gwynedd council added, “It must be made clear that the proposal condemned the Israeli state and not the Jewish religion.”

The British government earlier this year issued guidelines for public authorities which say these boycotts are “inappropriate” without formal legal sanctions or embargoes by the national government. In fact, the Cabinet Office has said these boycotts “undermine good community relations, poison and polarize debate, weaken integration and fuel anti-Semitism.”

But Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been ridding itself of an industrial-size stash of anti-Semitic members in recent days, criticized the government’s warning against BDS as an “attack on local democracy.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-human-rights-watch-suing-3-councils-in-high-court-over-bds/2016/05/04/

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