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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

Loyola U. ‘Suspends’ and Reinstates Students for Justice in Palestine

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Loyola University Chicago suspended and subsequently reinstated its chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine following an anti-Israel protest this month by the SJP chapter that blocked an event promoting Birthright Israel.

The university informed the chapter on Sept. 19 that it was “temporarily prevented from hosting any on-campus activities or events until their leadership meets with University representatives and the group complies with stated policies and procedures that apply to all student organizations,” according to a statement released by Loyola.

After meetings with university officials on Sept. 25 and 26, the group was allowed to resume its activities.

The one-week suspension was enough time for the university to win accolades for the suspension of SJP. The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB) commended Loyola for instructing SJP to temporarily stop hosting any on-campus activities or events.

It remains to be seen if SJP now will function without violating the rights of others.

The temporary sanctions on SJP came shortly after a member of the group and of the student senate, Israa Elhalawany, was censured by the judicial board of the student government on Sept. 16 for “several Facebook posts over the summer in response to the attacks on Gaza” that included “profanity or expletives.” The board noted that the censure was for the manner of the posts, not the content.

In a protest on Sept. 9, SJP members lined up in front of a table manned by Hillel students promoting Birthright Israel trips. A student news website, The College Fix, quoted Hillel chapter president Talia Sobel as recounting that students from SJP asked Hillel members, “How does it feel to be an occupier?” and “How does it feel to be guilty of ethnic cleansing?”

In March, Loyola’s United Student Government Association took two votes on divestment resolutions. The measure at first passed unanimously. In a subsequent vote, it passed narrowly before being vetoed by the student president.

The university’s president dismissed the resolutions as irrelevant.

JTA contributed to this report.

Israeli Lunar Mission and Chicago’s iCenter Join Hands

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The Chicago-based iCenter, a national Israel education organization, has teamed up with SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit seeking to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon, to develop a series of educational materials to engage North American Jewish students in Israeli science, technology, and space flight.

SpaceIL is the only Israeli team currently competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition to become the first team to successfully land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon and send pictures back to Earth.

Anne Lanski, executive director of the iCenter, said in a statement that SpaceIL “represents an unprecedented opportunity to engage North American Jewish youth in an inspiring narrative of contemporary Israel.”

“At a time when Jewish educators and communal leaders are eager to connect youth with the richness, diversity, and sophistication of contemporary Israeli life, SpaceIL provides a unique portal, showcasing the leadership and ingenuity of Israelis in science and technology, and the Israeli spirit of overcoming long odds to accomplish great things,” Lanski said.

IDF Soldiers Trained in Underwear in Snow

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Elite combat soldiers in the IDF’s Maglan unit might be ready for duty in the Arctic cold in Chicago, having trained in their underwear after last month’s “once in a century” snowstorm swept through Israel.

The soldiers were caught on camera training in their military vests and underwear while carrying rifles.

The video of the stunt was posted on Israeli television, prompting charges that the IDF was guilty of abuse, but one of the men said it was the soldiers who came up with the idea

“Any claim that the activity was imposed from above is baseless,” an IDF spokesman said.

Arab-US Woman Arrested for Lying about Terrorist Bombing In Israel

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

A naturalized American citizen who immigrated from Jordan in 1995 could be deported from the United States for lying about her conviction for the 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket, in which two Israelis were killed.

Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 66, was arrested Tuesday in her suburban Chicago home on immigration charges and appeared in federal court in Chicago.

She faces up to 10 years in prison for lying about her past in order to immigrate and could be stripped of her U.S. citizenship.

She was convicted in Israel in 1970 and sentenced to life in prison for her participation in the 1969 bombings of a Jerusalem supermarket and the British consulate. The bomb that exploded at the supermarket during the heavy Friday crowds killed two and injured several others, and a second bomb planted at the consulate failed to detonate.

The attacks were planned by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States in 1995.

Odeh was released from prison in 1980 in a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Popular Front in which Israel released 76 prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon.

On her application for immigrant status, Odeh stated that she had lived in Amman, Jordan from 1948 onward, she also answered no to a question that asked if she had even been arrested, convicted or been in prison, and if she had ever been the beneficiary of a pardon or an amnesty.

Odeh works from an organization that helps new Arab immigrants, and its director Hatem Abudayyeh told the Associated Press, “She is a leader in the community — a stalwart, an icon… We are very, very angry.”

It was not clear why they are angry, but there probably are more than a few Chicagoans who are angry at federal authorities for having allowed a former terrorist, who denied her past, to live under their noses.

The JTA contributed to this report.

Hundreds of Chicago Muslims March for Morsi

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Hundreds of Chicago Muslims marched in support of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Sunday and held signs condemning the Egyptian military, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Many of the Chicago demonstrators were born in Egypt, and others have roots elsewhere in the Arab world.

Fisal Hammouda, who left Egypt in the 1960s, told the newspaper that the U.S. government risks losing credibility if it fails to condemn the military takeover and support returning Morsi to office.

“The United States always says, ‘We are for democracy.’ This is a fair election,” he added.

U of Chicago Teams up with Ben Gurion for Clean Water

Monday, June 24th, 2013

The University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will begin funding research collaborations that apply the latest discoveries in nano-technology to create new materials and processes for making clean, fresh drinking water more plentiful and less expensive by 2020.

The joint projects will explore innovative solutions at the water-energy nexus, developing more efficient ways of using water to produce energy and using energy to treat and deliver clean water.

“We feel it is critical to bring outstanding scientists together to address water resource challenges that are being felt around the world, and will only become more acute over time,” said University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer.

A Time for Zero Tolerance and a Time for Tolerance

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

I have never been sexually abused. I therefore have no real way of identifying with the pain suffered by victims of abuse. All I can do is take the word of the victim about the pain they suffer. And of course observe the tragic consequences when the depression a victim falls into as a result of both the abuse the reaction to them by their community. Those consequences are sometimes so severe that they end up in suicide for the victim.

Recent events here in Chicago have once again resulted in a resurfacing of this issue. I am not going to name names. Full disclosure requires me to say that I know and admire some of the people involved. But I am not in a position to interview them. Nor am I in a position to judge them since I do not know all the details of the case. But based on what has surfaced so far in the public square I feel the need to speak out so as to be consistent in my approach to sex abuse.

Here is what I know so far.

An 18 year old female victim who is a student at a religious school here in Chicago posted on her Facebook page about the sex abuse she suffered. When officials at the school discovered this, they asked her in a very insensitive way to remove it as that violated the school’s code for use of social media. She was severely reprimanded for this violation and unless she removed the ‘offensive’ content from her Facebook page she faced a possible expulsion.

The outrage from some in the “victims’ advocates” community against officials of the school came fast and furious… defending the victim’s right to express her pain in any way she saw fit. They condemned the official response of the school. Some are even asking heads to roll. That is the way some see it – calling it a no tolerance policy. I call it ‘slash and burn’ policy.

I completely understand a no tolerance policy when it comes to sex abuse and fully support it. The question arises when such a policy is extended to secondary concerns – important though they may be.

Should there be a slash and burn policy in every case where an official errs in how they handle the pain of a victim? Should the welfare of a fine institution with exceptional leaders be destroyed because someone made a mistake? Should the career and good name of someone who has contributed so much – and many decades of service – be instantly destroyed because of a few poorly chosen words – hurtful though they may have been?

I don’t think that’s right.

Personally, I do not think the response was appropriate. There is little doubt that victim was hurt beyond anyone’s imagination by the abuse she received. And she was once again hurt here. Based on what is public knowledge about this case – this should not have been done. The response seemed cruel to me.

In defense of the institution, they have every right to set a policy for the use of social media and demand that it be followed. And I fully support a school’s right to carry out whatever consequences they spell out in their literature for violations of that policy.

On the other very legitimate hand, doing so in this case – especially the way in which it was done – was using very poor judgment in my view. A school’s right to carry out its policies does not mean they can’t use discretion when it is warranted. When it comes to victims of abuse, there is no better time to use that discretion. What was warranted here was compassion.

I do not fault the school for telling the victim that she should not have used social media to express her pain. This does not stifle her from expressing it. All it does is limit who will have access to it. No matter how much pain a victim suffers, it does not give them the right to use a shotgun approach to disseminating it to the world. There are other – far better ways to do that. Like speaking with parents; or counselors who are experienced in these issues; or a sympathetic teacher; of even a group of intimate friends.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/a-time-for-zero-tolerance-and-a-time-for-tolerance/2013/03/03/

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