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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Divestment and Sanctions’

N. California Conference Prepares High School Students to Combat On-Campus Anti-Semitism, BDS

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Club Z, a Zionist youth movement based in northern California that fosters a commitment to Israel and Zionism among teenagers, is holding its “Third Annual High School Conference on Israel and the Middle East” to provide teenagers with an understanding of current events in Israel, tools for advocating for Israel on campus, and knowledge about anti-Israel trends on campuses, so that they could respond effectively. Sixty high school students from all over the US are expected to attend.

The conference will take place on the weekend of January 14-16 at Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA, and will feature some of the leading voices in pro-Israel activism today: pastor Dumisani Washington; First Nation’s indigenous rights activist Ryan Bellerose; human rights attorney Brooke Goldstein; university professors Tammi Benjamin-Rossman and Naya Lekht; and creative activist Chloe Simone Valdary.

The conference will address, among a wide range of topics, a contemporary history of the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, anti-Israel groups, and the BDS movement on campus.

“For the majority of Jews across the United States, Zionism is synonymous with justice, human rights, and freedom,” said conference organizer Masha Merkulova. “Yet on college campuses today, Jewish and Zionist students are attacked by anti-Israel students and by faculty trying to paint Israel as racist and oppressive. We’d like to raise the new generation of Jewish leaders who show the world and their fellow students that Zionism is, in fact, the most powerful human rights movement in the modern world.”

Mordechai Kedar, an Israeli scholar of Arabic culture and lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, teaching a class at Club Z

Mordechai Kedar, an Israeli scholar of Arabic culture and lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, teaching a class at Club Z

Avital Rutenburg, a Club Z member, said: “I look forward to the Club Z conference every year, and there is no place I would rather spend my MLK Weekend. I always leave feeling refreshed, hopeful, more knowledgeable, more confident, more equipped, with new friendships and stronger old ones, with fresh memories.”

Club Z began as a quick study group for a few teens that wanted to arm themselves with accurate information about Israel and the Middle East conflict. Over the years, it has grown into a movement that inspires the participants to connect their identities to Israel.

“At some point, American Jews have to face the fact that while we think we are ‘defending Israel,’ it is the strong and proud State of Israel that has brought about the renaissance of the American Jewish experience,” said Esther Kozakevich, a Club Z alum, currently a student at UC San Diego. “Israel doesn’t need us to ‘speak up’ for her. It is us, Jews living in America, that need to speak up for ourselves, because when Israel is attacked, they are attacking every single one of us. We are one people, with a history and heritage and one future. Club Z has taught me that.”

“Club Z offers a long-term program that does not shy away from the word Zionism, from the truth of our belonging in Israel, from the fact that Jewish rights matter just as much as any other people’s rights,” said the conference organizers in an email to the press. “The education is extensive and academically oriented, and, like anything worth doing it requires a serious effort from participants and their families.”

Keren Moiseev, a Club Z teen whose sister is currently serving in the IDF as a lone soldier summed up her past conference experience, saying: “Club Z conferences always leave me feeling inspired and ready to not only face the anti-Semitism in the world but also fight against it if I’m directly questioned or attacked.”

JNi.Media

Why the Oldest Hatred Flourishes on US Campuses

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Jewish Americans who have been paying attention know there is a serious anti-Israel problem on U.S. campuses, and they have some idea of where it is happening. What most still don’t know is how or why it happened.

In Richard L. Cravatts’ new book,”Dispatches from the Campus War Against Israel & Jews,” (2016) he lays it all out.

“Dispatches” starts with the evolution of the “cognitive war against Israel.” Dr. Cravatts traces the modern trajectory of the oldest hatred. In its latest incarnation, the “new anti-Semitism” has morphed into a more widely acceptable, but just as hate-filled and irrational, version which hides behind the fig leaf of “criticism of Israeli policies.”

The intense contortions of those whose anti-Semitism was not acceptable forged a more acceptable conduit for the irrational hatred, which then flowed into the most-favored blame receptacle, now represented by the Jewish State.

Cravatts names the leading players behind this movement to recast and legitimize anti-Semitism, such as the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole, and Columbia University’s Joseph Massad and Edward Said. “Dispatches” also reveals how various cultural currents, such as multiculturalism, moral relativism and the grotesquely misnamed social justice warrior movement buttress this new lethal narrative.

American campuses are the petri dishes in which the latest version of the oldest hatred festers. Tuition and tax dollars feed the disease, while the fecklessness of campus administrations and even most Jewish organizations ensures its continued growth.

Today’s version of the Big Lie – that Israel is responsible for nearly every “pathology and failure” not only in the Middle East but for many even where Israelis have no footprint – is meticulously catalogued by Cravatts through his series of articles which make up “Dispatches.”

Luckily, moral detectives were able to recognize and categorize this new version of the old disease which lurks behind the moral narcissists’ claim of mere Israeli criticism. The villains are not the only ones whom Cravatts names.

Contemporary maccabees such as Martin Kramer, Ruth Wisse, Phyllis Chesler, and Canada’s Irwin Cotler, whose heroic efforts to name and shame those spreading the disease in the hopes of controlling the contagion are saluted. But the numbers and the ferocity of those seeking to extirpate the Jewish State are, sadly, far greater in number.

The effort to cast Israel – and therefore its Jewish citizens and supporters – as the ultimate evil in the world includes fevered references to Israelis as the new Nazis. It is a form of ex post facto exculpation, and also lets off the hook the youthful initiates who might otherwise feel uneasy spewing hatred. The linkage between Zionism and Nazism is frequently displayed in the signs held aloft at many campus demonstrations, as “Dispatches” reveals.

But the professoriat and their acolytes also delve into more recent history to stigmatize Jews and the Jewish State. Apartheid South Africa is a favored comparison to Israel, which reveals how little concern for facts plays a role in this academic game. Israel is one of the most diverse nations on Earth, one that has absorbed people of every imaginable color and religion. A quick peek at the Israeli legislature or the Israel Defense Forces puts the lie to the claim of Israeli apartheid, but as Cravatts repeatedly points out in his book, “facts are irrelevant” because Jew-hatred blinds the hater.

The second part of “Dispatches” explains the current malevolent phenomena of the BDS (Boycotts against, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement. This section focuses on recent efforts by academic associations to attack Israel using the BDS form of warfare. Why American academic associations such as the Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association and others believe themselves justified in attacking Israel (and only Israel) is examined in-depth. What’s revealed in that examination is shameful. That academics fail to recognize the moral failure of attacking Israel says volumes about the state of the American academy. It is not only a moral failure but an intellectual failure for a profession of those whose sole job is education.

The final section of “Dispatches” consists of nearly two dozen campus case studies. The role of the virulently anti-Israel organization “Students for Justice in Palestine” gets a lot of play, and deservedly so. Cravatts catalogues a plethora of outrages set on university campuses throughout the country.

Although Israel and Jews are the primary targets of the latest version of anti-Semitism, Cravatts does a masterful job of revealing one of its collateral victims: free speech. The chapters dealing with the abandonment by the left of a bulwark of freedom, that of speech, demand attention. Further, the co-existence of “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings” and hate speech codes, with calls for Israel’s extermination and the justification of murdering Jews because of the mythical “occupation” should boggle the mind. And yet it hasn’t. Not yet.

The author of “Dispatches” told the JewishPress.com he wrote the book with the hope that “by understanding the toxic tactics of pro-Palestinians, readers can begin to see the danger of teaching a whole generation of students a false and damaging narrative about the Jewish state.

“If we understand the tactical strategy and know its weaknesses, we can begin to combat the lies and degrade the odious campaign to vilify Israel.”

Cravatts lectures around the country on higher education, anti-Semitism and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He has published hundreds of articles on these topics and is the immediate past-president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Currently Cravatts sits on the board of the AMCHA Initiative, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, and the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism. Read his book.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

BDS Jackal Eran Cohen Gets Rolled Up Newspaper Smacking from UK Jewish Students

Monday, December 12th, 2016

The Union of Jewish Students, comprised of 64 Jewish Societies on UK campuses “from Exeter to Edinburgh, London to Liverpool and many more in-between,” and representing more than 8,500 Jewish students in the UK and Ireland, on Sunday gave their vote to Josh Holt to become their next president. Holt received 682 of 1049 votes cast for a field of four candidates (one of whom was dubiously named “Re-open nominations” and received 20 votes).

In third place, with 89 votes, came Israeli-born Eran Cohen, a fellow celebrated by Israel’s Ha’aretz in its late Sunday night story headlined “Israeli-born BDS backer loses U.K. student union bid.” But he did defeat “Re-open nominations” by a whopping 69 votes.

Among the UJS core values is the belief that “Jewish students should have the support and space to explore their connection and relationship with Israel.” This explains why Eran Cohen attracted so much attention despite his miserable loss: because in a near-meaningless organization, where only about an eighth of the members bothered to vote for president, a full 89 of those picked a guy who advocates a boycott of Israel. This, apparently, was the outcome of their exploration of their relationship with Israel.

Eran Cohen was described by Ha’aretz as member of the UK’s Jewish anarchist collective Jewdas and a committed “diasporist.” It’s tough walking into two previously unknown concepts in one story, right? Well, imagine my surprise… OK, let’s deal with them, one at a time.

Jewdas, “Radical voice for the alternative diaspora,” is reminiscent of the 1960s’ Youth International Party, a.k.a. the Yippies, who fought the Johnson and Nixon tyrannies with humor and, occasionally, rage. They were often referred to as the  “Groucho Marxists.” They were almost exclusively Jewish: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner, Stew Albert, Wolfe Lowenthal, Brad Fox. Ah, the days when Jewish leftists still had a sense of humor…

In Jewdas you’ll find promising articles, such as “BREAKING: Discovery of 1939 message of ‘congratulations’ from Board of Deputies to General Francisco Franco,” and “Exclusive: New Testament chapter reveals Jesus became a Tory.” But much of it is raw, nasty anti-Zionist and especially anti-settlements inyourfacials.

“Diasporist,” to my shame, is a very old concept, established by Ronald Brooks Kitaj (1932-2007), an American artist “with Jewish roots” (he was totally Jewish, btw), who spent much of his life in England. In 1989, Kitaj published his “First Diasporist Manifesto,” a short book analyzing his own alienation and its contribution to his art. In it, he stated: “The Diasporist lives and paints in two or more societies at once,” and, “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Diasporist.”

What did we learn in this strange report today?

1. Almost nobody gives a flying hoot about the UJS, especially not UK Jewish students.

2. Out of that miniscule, itsybitsy minority, a negligible number cares a hoot about BDS.

3. Jewdas is mostly unfunny, especially compared with master shenaniganers like Abbie Hoffman.

4. Jews become restless in captivity and start gnawing on their own flesh, which totally explains BDS.

5. “Inyourfacial” is totally yes a word.

We now return to our regularly scheduled reports.

David Israel

African BDS Activist Refused Entry at Ben Gurion International

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

A citizen of Malawi was prevented from entering Israel Monday at Ben Gurion International airport, based on her participation in the World Council of Churches (WCC), which supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel, based on the “Kairos Palestine Document,” which is a call by Christian Arabs to Christians around the world to help fight the “Israeli occupation,” Walla reported.

This is the first time Israel blocked the entry of a foreign visitor solely on the basis of their activism in the BDS movement. The move was decided by both Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan (Likud), who in charge of operations against boycotts of Israel.

The visitor, Isabel Phiri, landed Monday afternoon at Ben Gurion and presented her tourist visa. Following his consultation with Erdan, Deri banned her from entering.

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs has determined that, as of 2002, the WCC has been promoting a program called The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) which sends activists to Israel to encourage the boycotting of the Jewish State.

Minister Deri said in a statement that it is well within his authority to prevent the entry of travelers whose purpose in Israel is to support and encourage anti-Israeli activities. “I will continue to use my authority to prevent harm to Israel.”

Minister Erdan said in a statement, “The place for boycott activists is outside Israel’s borders, and we will continue to use every available means to prevent their entry into our country.”

David Israel

Gov. Cuomo Blacklists Foreign BDS Supporters

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

The State of New York has created a blacklist of a foreign companies supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, The NY Post reported Friday.

Back in June, Gov. Cuomo told reporters–just before going out to lead the annual Celebrate Israel Parade: “Today, I’m going to sign an Executive Order that says very clearly, we are against the BDS movement, and it’s very simple. If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you. If you divert revenues from Israel, New York will divert revenues from you. If you sanction Israel, New York will sanction you, period. Thank you.”

“We are against the BDS movement in every way,” the governor reiterated. “We are against companies that do it. We are against the promotion of it by companies and by entities. I am very proud to be the first governor in the United States of America to sign this Executive Order, and I encourage every governor in this country to sign such an Executive Order.”

The governor presented his vehement anti-BDS position from a staunchly liberal perspective. “One of the great capacities of New York, is New York can lead by example and when New York does something, it’s a fair question for every elected official across the country, ‘Why don’t you do what New York did?’” he noted, continuing, “That was true historically when we led all sorts of reforms, the women’s movement, the environmental rights movement, human rights movement. It was true when we passed marriage equality a few years ago, and I signed that bill, and the next week they went to every elected official across the country and said, ‘Well, New York, Governor Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality bill, would you?’ They went to the Vice President and the President – the next week literally.”

“New York signs this Executive Order today,” Gov. Cuomo concluded, “It’s a fair question for every elected official. Why don’t you sign the same Executive Order? Why don’t you stand up for Israel? We want to know where you are, who you are and actions speak louder than words. Sign the Executive Order.”

JNi.Media

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/on-eve-of-trump-presidency-obama-administration-still-views-bds-militancy-as-free-speech/2016/11/16/

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