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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Divestment and Sanctions’

Anglo-Israel Cardiovascular Conference Defies Academic BDS

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

The Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, near Tiberias in northern Israel, next week will host a two-day international conference of notable cardiologists and heart surgeons from Israel and the UK. The 6th Anglo Israel Cardiovascular Symposium will take place Dec. 7 and 8 at the Rimonim Galei Kinneret hotel in Tiberias.

Dozens of senior cardiologists from Israel and the world will attend the conference, including the president of the Israel Heart Society, and six cardiac surgery department heads from the Padeh-Poriya, Sheba, Rambam, Soroka, Shaare Zedek, and Carmel medical centers.

Prof. Oren Gross, Irving Younger Professor of Law and Director of the Minnesota Center for Legal Studies at the University of Minnesota Law School, will lecture on the legal aspects of the stubble against the BDS movement and the phenomenon of anti-Israel boycotts on British and European campuses.

Prof. Ofer Amir, Director of the cardiovascular system at Padeh-Poriya, stressed that the conference is being held as part of an ongoing effort to increase cooperation between Israeli and European and British cardiology. According to Amir, beyond its academic value, the conference sends a message challenging the validity and purpose of the BDS movement, which supports boycotting Israeli scientists, physicians and other academics.

Also appearing at the conference: Dr. Romeo Vecht, one of the founders of the Anglo-Israel Cardiovascular Conference, who used to be the cardiologist for the King of Jordan; and Prof. Ulrich Sigwart, from University of Geneva, Switzerland, who will lecture on Alcohol Septal Ablation (minimally invasive treatment) for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – is it as Good as Surgery?

JNi.Media

On Eve of Trump Presidency, Obama Administration Still Views BDS Militancy as ‘Free Speech’

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

An exchange on Tuesday between State Dept. Press Office Director Elizabeth Trudeau and a reporter during her daily press briefing, served as a reminder of the vast difference between the ways Obama and Trump officials view sovereignty and a state’s right to defend itself against political enemies from afar.

On Monday, the Knesset plenum passed in a preliminary reading by a vote of 42 to 15 with 7 abstaining an amendment to the Entry into Israel Act banning entry non-Israelis who are members of organizations that promote boycotting the State of Israel.

A reporter, who mentioned that even former Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni called the bill “McCarthyism,” asked Trudeau to comment on the legislation, and the State Dept. senior official said: “We’re aware of the various reactions to the proposed bill to bar pro-BDS activists from entering Israel. We understand. I’d also note that the legislation requires several more steps before becoming law (a committee debate and two more Knesset plenum votes).”

Trudeau continued: “The United States’ strong opposition to boycott and sanctions of the state of Israel is well-known. However, as a general principle, we value freedom of expression even in cases where we do not agree with the views espoused.”

Of course, the US as well as several American states do not view the BDS movement’s activities in the realm of freedom of expression, but rather as driving a hostile attack on the vital interests of a friendly country. Only this past Monday, Reps. Pete Roskam (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) introduced a bipartisan bill imposing criminal penalties on US companies complying with the BDS movement, including the boycott of communities in Judea and Samaria.

There’s no doubt that a broad consensus of American politicians would strongly disagree with Trudeau when she states, as she did Tuesday: “While every country has a right to control its borders, we certainly support the freedom of expression even when we don’t agree with the policy.”

Not really. The US happens to be one of the toughest countries to get into if one is associated with a large number of groups and organizations or is on record as authoring material that is repugnant to the American public — as it well should be. Why should the US, or Israel, or any country for that matter, play gracious host to individuals who wish to see it dead?

Oh, how we’re looking forward to the first State Dept. press briefing in late January, 2017…

David Israel

ZOA Head Wants ADL’s Greenblatt to Apologize to Bannon

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released a statement saying “it is painful to see Anti-Defamation League (ADL) president Jonathan Greenblatt engaging in character assassination against President-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen Bannon and Mr. Bannon’s company, Breitbart media. ADL/Greenblatt essentially accused Mr. Bannon and his media company of ‘anti-Semitism’ and Israel hatred, when Jonathan Greenblatt/ADL tweeted that Bannon ‘presided over the premier website of the ‘alt right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and anti-Semites.’”

But Klein insists that, as pro-Israel writer (who happens to be an orthodox Jew) Joel B. Pollak wrote, Mr. Bannon is “an American patriot who defends Israel & has deep empathy for the Jewish people.”

According to Klein, ZOA’s experience and analysis of Breitbart articles confirm Bannon’s and Breitbart’s “friendship and fair-mindedness towards Israel and the Jewish people. To accuse Mr. Bannon and Breitbart of anti-Semitism is Orwellian.” He cites cases in wich Breitbart fought against anti-Semitism:

Bannon joined ZOA in fighting the anti-Semitic rallies at CUNY, a Breitbart reporters called CUNY officials and Gov. Cuomo aides urging them to do something about it.

Breitbart regularly publishes articles reporting that the Palestinian Authority defames Israel with blatant falsehoods.  On November 13, 2016, Breitbart reported that “the Palestinian Authority’s official TV network has been airing a video several times a day baselessly accusing Israel of poisoning former PA President Yasser Arafat and further claiming that Israel is targeting current President Mahmoud Abbas next.  Arafat died at the age of 75 on November 11, 2004, just outside of Paris. A French forensic team examined his remains and concluded that there were no traces of poison in his body.  Nevertheless, every year around the anniversary of his death, the PA disseminates the libel that Israel murdered him.”

On November 14, 2016 Breitbart reported the human cost and pain to a Jewish student at the New School of finding a swastika scrawled on her dorm room door.

Breitbart publicizes Iran’s violations of the nuclear deal – which pose an existential threat to Israel.  On November 13, 2016, Breitbart reported that “despite a finding published by the UN’s atomic energy agency this week that Iran has — for the second time — stockpiled more heavy water than permitted under the terms of the nuclear agreement it reached with six world powers last year, the US State Department is declining to acknowledge this as a violation of the deal.

Breitbart also reports sympathetically on the scourge of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).  On November 2, 2016, Breitbart reported that “reports of anti-Semitic incidents on US college campuses have increased, much of it attributed to the rise of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”

Klein declared the ZOA is urging “Jonathan Greenblatt/ADL to withdraw and apologize for their inappropriate character assassination of Mr. Bannon and Breitbart Media.”

JNi.Media

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 Envoy: Anti-Israel UN Seminar Was Led by BDS Activists

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

The UN Dept. of Public Information held a three-day media seminar in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this month, on peace in the Middle East, with the stated goal of bringing together “politicians, academics and other experts exploring new ways to narrate the complex and evolving story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” relates a press release from Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon, but “no official Israeli representatives were invited to participate.” Instead, “the current Palestinian representative to the UN and their former representative to the European Union both took part in the seminar,” the Danon statement said.

“Moreover, most of the speakers at the event are known for their anti-Israel views including Professor Steven Friedman from the University of Johannesburg who attacked Israel and defended the BDS movement,” Danon complained, adding that “other officials affiliated with the BDS movement took part in the seminar and were quoted on the official UN website.”

Ambassador Danon wrote a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon harshly criticizing the fact that the UN sponsored an anti-Israel event: “The UN has a moral obligation to act in accordance with the values and purposes of its charter, and events like this undermine the integrity and impartiality of the UN,” he wrote, saying “it is unfortunate that approximately 6.5 million dollars annually are diverted from those in dire need of humanitarian assistance to bodies whose only function is to serve as public relations departments for the Palestinian cause.”

Ambassador Danon also noted that “BDS is a notorious anti-Israel movement, which is conducting a global campaign of misinformation and outright slander against my country. Such activity against a member state ought not to be promoted by the UN.”

David Israel

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.”

JNi.Media

‘Movement for Black Lives’ Pushes BDS, Anti-Semitism in Platform

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

The umbrella organization known as the “Movement for Black Lives” under which more than 50 political groups are operating, has just released its political agenda — a deeply anti-Semitic, pro-BDS document.

The group clearly targets the State of Israel while proclaiming the global unity of “Black” and “Brown” people as it describes far-left planks.

“The US military accounts for over 50 percent of discretionary federal spending, a total of 598.5 Billion dollars spent annually, as compared to 70 billion spent on education, 66 billion spent on healthcare, $63.2 billion spent on housing and 29.1 billion spent on social security and unemployment,” the movement writes in a detailed presentation on its website, under the section called “A Cut in US Military Expenditures and A Reallocation of those Funds to Invest in Domestic Infrastructure and Community Wellbeing.”

This manifesto is part of a list of issues that are placed under the “INVEST-DIVEST” section of the group’s “Platform” on the pulldown menu of the website. It comes just before the section called, “DEMANDS.”

“Approximately 3 billion dollars in US aid is allocated to Israel, a state that practices systematic discrimination and has maintained a military occupation of Palestine for decades,” the section continues.

“Together with aid to Egypt — Israel’s most important regional ally — this figure represents nearly 75 percent of all US aid dollars. As these figures demonstrate, resources and funds needed for reparations and for building a just and equitable society domestically are instead used to wage war against a majority of the world’s communities.

“In 2006, AFRICOM was established by the US government to expand US military presence on the continent under the claim of protecting the region against “terror” and “radical Islam”. In reality, this effort was designed to expand western colonial control over the region, its people and their resources. AFRICOM is a major example of U.S. empire and is a direct threat to global Black liberation.

“The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people. The US requires Israel to use 75 percent of all the military aid it receives to buy US-made arms.

“Consequently, every year billions of dollars are funneled from US taxpayers to hundreds of arms corporations, who then wage lobbying campaigns pushing for even more foreign military aid. “The results of this policy are twofold: it not only diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs, but it makes US citizens complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government. “Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people. Palestinian homes and land are routinely bulldozed to make way for illegal Israeli settlements.

“Israeli soldiers also regularly arrest and detain Palestinians as young as 4 years old without due process. Everyday, Palestinians are forced to walk through military checkpoints along the US-funded apartheid wall.

“The interlinked systems of white supremacy, imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy shape the violence we face. As oppressed people living in the US, the belly of global empire, we are in a critical position to build the necessary connections for a global liberation movement.

“Until we are able to overturn US imperialism, capitalism and white supremacy, our brothers and sisters around the world will continue to live in chains.

“Our struggle is strengthened by our connections to the resistance of peoples around the world fighting for their liberation. The Black radical tradition has always been rooted in igniting connection across the global south under the recognition that our liberation is intrinsically tied to the liberation of Black and Brown people around the world.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/movement-for-black-lives-aims-at-israel-allies-with-bds/2016/08/04/

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