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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Boycott’

PA Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, (the good PA, not the bad PA) signed a bill on Friday prohibiting the State from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel or are connected to the BDS movement.

The bill, HB 2107, sponsored by Representative Matt Baker, prohibits the Pennsylvanian commonwealth from contracting with any company or organization that engages in an economic boycott against Israel.

Governor Tom Wolf said:

“We must make clear that we are in favor of a peaceful, negotiated solution to this conflict and that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States, stand behind our friends and allies, and will not encourage economic punishment in place of peaceful solutions to challenging conflicts,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We, as a Commonwealth, must make sure that Pennsylvania is not contributing to a cause that is antithetical to our country’s position on the world’s stage.”

Representative Matt Baker said:

“I would like to commend and extend my appreciation to the General Assembly and Governor for supporting and signing this important and historic legislation into law,” said Representative Matt Baker. “This legislation makes it very clear that companies can either perform a BDS action or they can do business with Pennsylvania. However, they cannot do both.”

This law will prohibit contracting with BDS businesses, states that a purchasing agency may not contract with a company unless the company certifies that it is not currently engaged in a boycott of an entity based in or doing business with a jurisdiction not prohibited by Congressional statute from engaging in trade or commerce. Also, the entity must certify that it will not engage in such boycotting during the duration of the contract.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli Coalition MKs to Snub Arab Lawmakers After Peres Funeral Boycott

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Knesset coalition lawmakers say they’ll walk out when Arab members of the Israeli parliament speak from the podium this week.

The action comes in response to the boycott of the September 30 funeral of former President Shimon Peres z’l, by the Arab legislators. The boycott was condemned by numerous other MKs.

Yisrael Beytenu party chairman and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman praised the coalition for the boycott. “I hope that same boycott will continue until the end of the session,” he said.

Liberman called the Israeli Arab lawmakers who boycotted the Peres funeral, “representatives of terror groups in the Israeli government” who were “not legitimate.” Most Israeli Arab citizens, he contended, are loyal and should be integrated into Israeli society.

Israeli Arab MK Ahmad Tibi, a member of the Joint Arab List, slammed the boycott. “The announcement by the prime minister, advocating for a boycott of an entire faction representing an entire segment of the population, is unprecedented,” he wrote in a Hebrew tweet on the Twitter social networking site.

Joint Arab List chairman and MK Ayman Odeh told reporters that he’s not surprised by the move, which he said was part of the “fascist and racist policies” of the Israeli government.

“Even if you leave the plenary, even if you shut your eyes really tightly, we will still be here,” he warned, adding that he saw the move as a way to speak directly to the public without interference from other lawmakers.

Hana Levi Julian

Pro-Israel Students Penned-in “like Warsaw Ghetto” on UK Campus

Friday, October 28th, 2016

An Israeli speaker’s talk at a London college campus scheduled for this week was canceled on Wednesday. Why? Because, according to the cancelation notice sent by the student union, “there had been controversy” when he spoke at the campus two years prior, and the hosting organization failed to disclose that when the room was booked for the talk.

After cries of suppression of speech and vehement protests, the university stepped in and “un”canceled the talk. Hen Mazzig’s talk at University College, London, was reinstated. It would take place, as scheduled, on Thursday evening, Oct. 27.

The response by the anti-Israel mob was swift and the attack was vicious. A protest was called. Outside the room where Mazzig was scheduled to speak, livid demonstrators screamed for murder and the end of Israel. “Intifada, Intifada!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” They barred the entrance to the talk while pummeling the doors and windows, leering malevolently. Two thugs yanked open a window, hurling themselves into the room, launching several students inside into panic attacks. A woman inside kept repeating: “This is like the Warsaw Ghetto!”

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

The prelude and the coda of this minuet reveals volumes about the campus wars being waged against anything Israel these days.

Let’s start at the beginning: Hen (pronounced Khen, with the throat-scraping sound most non-Israelis find unpronounceable) Mazzig is a 27 year old Israeli who completed his army service four years ago. Since that time Mazzig has been speaking to audiences, especially on U.S. college campuses, about Israel. Mazzig is an educator who wants non-Israelis to understand his tiny country and his fellow countrymen. He is soft-spoken with a recognizable, but comprehensible, Israeli accent.

When Mazzig first started speaking to college students back in 2013, he was shocked by the vitriol directed against Israel by some American college students, professors and community members. Even Jewish ones.

In 2013, Mazzig wrote an epic cri de coeur, calling on American Jews to “Wake Up!” He was horrified to learn that Israel’s enemies are not just the hostile Arab nations surrounding his tiny country. “It is also here in America, where a battle must be waged against prejudice and lies. I implore American Jews to do more.”

This time around Mazzig is more sanguine about the atmosphere on U.S. campuses. He told the JewishPress.com that he is “happy that I was able to bring my voice into the conversation, to help raise  awareness.”

There is now ample funding to fight the scourge he urged Jewish leadership to recognize a few years back, the movement known as BDS, Mazzig told the JewisPress.com.  But the recognition of BDS as a symptom of the underlying illness is still too attenuated, including by Jewish leadership. “BDS is only a symptom of the disease which is the same old hatred – anti-Semitism.”

That hatred of Jews and, by extension the Jewish state, is what fuels BDS and other symptoms is made clear by the response to Mazzig in London last night.

The original effort to shut down Thursday night’s speech was based on a “controversy” surrounding a talk he gave in 2014 at Kings College, London. But that controversy was one created solely by anti-Israel protesters, not by Mazzig. In fact, the video and public statement posted by the protesters reveal that disrupting Mazzig’s talk and the walkout were planned in advance. The protest was not about anything Mazzig said — it was about the fact that any former IDF soldier was allowed to speak on campus at all.

Again at Thursday night’s event the protest was fueled simply by anti-Israel animus. Pro-Israel female students were assaulted on their way to the event. Many who sought entrance to the speech were barred by the protesters, those who gained admittance were prevented from leaving without a choreographed police escort.

But here’s the rub: while the haters did their best to prevent him from speaking, they did so without realizing that in his message and in his essence, Mazzig is the ultimate slayer of untruths about Israel.

For one thing, Mazzig’s family hails from Tunisia and Iraq – he is one of those “brown bodies” people love to claim Israel oppresses. For another thing, Mazzig was an openly gay commander in the Israeli army, where being gay raises no eyebrows, let alone scaffolds. Next on the list: Mazzig served in the COGAT unit. COGAT works with the Palestinian Authority to coordinate activities in order to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the territories.

During his IDF service Mazzig focused on protecting everyone, “coordinating humanitarian aid, and tending to the needs of civilians” living in the territories, Jewish and Arab, he explained. Mazzig and his unit worked feverishly “in a special operation conducted in the middle of the night” to unite an Arab Gazan orphan with an uncle in Ramallah, so that the boy “would not be left alone on the streets of the Gaza Strip.”

And the title of Mazzig’s speech at UCL, back in 2014? “The Hope for Peace: Promoting Peace While in Uniform.”

When the thugs were pounding on the doors and windows and shouting that Mazzig is a “murderer,” they were, albeit unknowingly, attempting to silence a speaker who understands Israel in ways they really must prevent the world from learning about. Otherwise, anyone who is not automatically a hater will realize that the throngs of illiberal thugs attempting to block free speech are the real roadblocks to peace.

Speaking from London following the event, Mazzig told the JewishPress.com:

I was standing in the room, trying to calm the Jewish students, while the mob outside was banging on the doors, on the windows, and calling for intifada. I knew this was not normal, nobody should have to endure this.

But neither Mazzig nor his talk’s sponsor, the media watchdog group CAMERA, were deterred.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Embassy in UK Slams Event Hosted by House of Lords Blaming Jews for Holocaust

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

The Israel Embassy in London has condemned an event hosted by the House of Lords at the Palestine Return Center which also co-hosted the “Balfour Apology Campaign” launched ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

The event, which calls on Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration and show remorse for its “past colonial crimes in Palestine,” also blamed Jews for the Holocaust, and compared the Jewish State to the Islamic State, or Da’esh (ISIS).

The Balfour Declaration was the document which in 1917 pledged British support for a Jewish homeland in what was then called Palestine, the Roman name for the land referred to in the Bible as “Eretz Israel,” the Land of Israel.

The session, run by Baroness Tonge, an independent MP who was formerly a Liberal Democrat, was held to launch the Balfour Apology Campaign ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

“This Islamic State in Syria is nothing with Islamic. It is a perversion of Islam just as Zionism is a perversion of Judaism,” said a member of the audience at the event.

A second audience member said, “If anybody is anti-Semitic, it’s the Israelis themselves,” with panel members applauding in response.

Blogger David Collier, who attended the event, said he had “witnessed a Jew-hating festival.”

Hana Levi Julian

Im Tirtzu Reports on Anti-Israel NGOs Benefiting from National Service Internships

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

In recent weeks, the topic of National Service made headlines after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced that he would work to cancel National Service positions for B’Tselem following the controversial speech given by the organization’s CEO at the United Nations Security Council.

A new report released by Israeli Zionist movement, Im Tirtzu, reveals that there are at least seven far-Left organizations that are currently eligible to receive National Service positions from the government.

The report focuses on the anti-Israel activity advanced by these organizations, which includes accusing Israel of war crimes, promoting BDS, and calling for international pressure on Israel. The details acquired by Im Tirtzu via the Freedom of Information Law and the Ministry of Agriculture, which oversees National Service, reveal that 7 organizations benefit from a total of 17 positions. Since 2012, these organizations have received more than $20 million from foreign governments and an additional $14 million from the New Israel Fund.

The organization with the largest amount of positions – five – is Amnesty International, which accuses Israel of war crimes and advocates for an arms embargo on Israel. Israel Social TV, which provides a platform for BDS and the labeling of Israel as an apartheid and racist state, receives 3 positions, as does Hotline for Refugees and Migrants and Kav LaOved.

B’Tselem, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and Public Committee Against Torture in Israel each receive one position and accuse Israel of committing war crimes. Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg commented that in recent years Im Tirtzu has “exposed an absurd reality in which Israeli organizations, which are funded by foreign governments, enjoy government benefits in the form of National Service positions. These are the very organizations leading the campaign of delegitimization against Israel.”

Peleg added: “It is important to understand that European involvement in Israel’s internal affairs has increased in recent years with the goal of weakening Israeli sovereignty. National Service positions are a privilege and not another platform for anti-Israel activity.”

David Israel

Spanish Court Upholds Anti-BDS Ruling

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

A Spanish High Court in the region of Asturias, Spain, last week upheld a lower court ruling that declared illegal a Langreo City Council decision to boycott Israeli goods. The original suit against Langreo had been launched by ACOM, a pro-Israel lobby working against BDS in Spain.

David Israel

NY Senator Chuck Schumer Slams BDS as ‘Modern Anti-Semitism’

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

New York Senator Chuck Schumer slammed the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement this week as a “modern form of anti-Semitism.”

Schumer said in an address to the Israeli American Council’s 2016 National Israeli American Conference that ultimately, BDS organizers don’t “believe there should be a Jewish State in the Middle East, and are guilty of the same anti-Semitism. We need to make that argument loudly and strongly and go against the BBDS movement and call it for what it is,” he said,” an anti-Semitic and not just anti-Israel movement.”

The senator added that he applauds the governors of New York and California for passing anti-BDS legislation.

But although anti-Semitism is clearly rising on the campuses of American colleges and universities, Schumer noted that the problem is even worse in Europe.

“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism seems to be in far too many European homes,” he said, pointing to the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party as one example.

“Europe has shown how anti-Israel and anti-Semitic the BDS movement really is. Far-right parties are experiencing a rebirth, and far-left parties … like the Labour Party under Corbyn, are increasingly anti-Israel.”

Corbyn has repeatedly turned a blind eye to the anti-Semitism of veteran members of the party, prompting the recent resignation of a prominent Jewish Labourite, Lord Parry Mitchell. Corbyn in the past also has expressed his “friendship” for the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.

“Terrorism and violence against Jews is on the rise, from vandalizing synagogues to the horrible attack on a Jewish grocery in Paris,” Schumer pointed out.

“It is no wonder that last year France, home to the largest Jewish population in Europe, set a record for the migration of Jews to Israel,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ny-senator-chuck-schumer-slams-bds-as-modern-anti-semitism/2016/09/27/

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