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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Harvard University’

Cabinet Minister Calls U.S. Government ‘Hostile’

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Gilad says the State Dept. believes lies to draw false conclusions, but he does not expect an apology because the Obama administration is “hostile” to Israel.

The off-and-on irritable relationship between the United States and Israel is back into the “testy” category with frowns from Washington that Israel uses excessive violence to quell rioters and terrorists and a Cabinet minister’s labeling Washington as “hostile.”

Public Security Minister and Likud hawk Gilad Erdan, speaking on Army Radio Thursday morning, accused the State Dept. of being “misled by lies.”

He said he expects the Obama administration to “clarify” its statements,” but then added:

I don’t expect anything from the spokesmen at the State Department. The State Department has traditionally been hostile to the State of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has talked himself into trouble again. The JewishPress.com reported here earlier this week that he told Harvard University students that there has been a rapid growth of settlements and followed by noting “frustration” among Arabs.

As reported here this morning, Kerry’s spokesman John Kirby tried to roll back the remark but only make things worse by referring to “excessive violence.”

Errand’s response is bound to be raised at today’s daily press briefing at the State Dept., whose spokesmen have found it very difficult lately to answer questions by journalists who have finally realized that something is rotten in the Washington as well as in the Palestinian Authority

But Erdan’s use of the word “hostile” may have been out of order.

“Ignorant” would Netanyahu more appropriative.

As for excessive force, does anyone remember Ferguson?

Kerry Committed to Return to ‘Save’ Israel from Violence

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will return “soon” to speak with Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and pointed to “settlements” as a major cause of Arab “frustration” that presumably justifies the latest spree of murders and attempted murders of Jews.

Speaking at Harvard University, Kerry said he will “try to work to re-engage and see if we can’t move that away from this precipice.”

His comments were made almost at the same time his spokesman John Kirby issued a statement, reported here, that indicated a change in tone from the usual “balanced blame” and instead was weighted to highlight Palestinian Authority and Israeli Arab terrorist attacks.

It appeared that the State Dept. finally has given up on its magic act that tries to equate Arab violence with Israel’s self-defense, but Kerry once again showed that he looks at the world through a blindfold.

Kerry and his boss President Barack Obama have spent years boosting the hopes of the Arab world that they can annihilate Israel by assuming that forcing Israel to concede to its tactical demands would change their grand strategy to annihilate Zionism.

President Obama made his mark in history with his “reaching out to Muslims” speech in Cairo in 2009, which not coincidentally was followed two years later by Arab Spring rebellions that have left the Middle East in flames.

Kerry led the “peace process” that supposedly “solved” every problem until he came up against the status of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Arab demand for millions of foreign Arabs to flood Israel under the lie of “returning to their homeland.”

But Kerry did not tell Harvard students about any of these issues on Tuesday.

The only subject he mentioned was the “settlements,” which he directly stated are “the” problem.” He asserted:

There’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years. Now you have this violence because there’s a frustration that is growing, and a frustration among Israelis who don’t see any movement.

So I look at that and I say if that did explode – and I pray and hope it won’t and I think there are options to prevent that – but we would inevitably be – at some point we’re going to have to be engaged in working through those kinds of difficulties. So better to try to find the ways to deal with it before that happens than later.

The Israeli government has found ways to deal the violence. Terrorists’ homes will be destroyed as a deterrent to others who need to know that their acts of “martyrdom” will leave their families with a house in ruins.

The police will be able to place a curfew on violent Arab neighborhoods, an act that hit the good and decent Arabs – and there are plenty of them – in the wallet, where it hurts most.

Kerry apparently still lives somewhere in outer space, where his telescope sees only the “settlements,” Jewish communities whose erasure from the map supposedly would end Arab “frustration” and not inject the Palestinian Authority with adrenalin to return Tel Aviv and Haifa to “Palestine,” as drawn on official Palestinian Authority maps.

Kerry thinks he can do more by “re-engaging” two sides that don’t trust him, for good reason.

The Obama, and to be fair, also the Bush and Clinton administrations, have not changed their destructive tactics to continue the century-old philosophy of “making the world safe democracy.”

Every time the administration’s recipe fails, it cooks up the same poison stew time and time again even after admitting it didn’t cure anyone.

Kerry said at Harvard:

We need to understand here, and we’re trying to do that in a way that doesn’t embroil us in a larger war and once again go through a routine of young Americans being on the ground in a Middle Eastern or other country in the region with a predominant Muslim population and fighting yet again. So we’ve been very careful and tried to do this in ways that we hoped would marshal the people who themselves oppose these activities in order to do it.

Now, it hasn’t panned out as well as some people had thought. [emphasis added].

So we are rethinking and retooling a bunch of different options. The President has already made additional choices. And if Russia were to legitimately commit that it wants to do ISIL and not preserve the Assad regime, but is rather committed to the political settlement that was embraced in the Geneva communiqué of two years ago, then there’s a chance we really could take on ISIL and save Syria and provide the political solution, which is the only legitimate outcome for Syria.

After his speech, the best question that was posed by Harvard students was from an undergraduate, named Gabe Gladstein, who asked if the world really is interested in American ideas. He asked Kerry:

You mentioned nation building earlier and you justified it in general as a concept that is like – by our values and in our interests. I’m wondering how you respond to critics who say that while it’s fine and good for the United States to attempt to sort of import its values and its forms of government into struggling nations, the end product is sort of unnatural, forced, maybe even imperialist.

Kerry hinted he had no answer direct answer by immediately responding, “It’s a very good question.”

All he had to say was:

We don’t run around shoving our idea on other countries anymore. We work very intimately with other nations.

If that is the case, why he is returning to Israel?

Who invited him? Who wants him?

Divest Harvard Plans Week Long Spring Protests (not About Israel!)

Friday, February 20th, 2015

The headline from The Crimson, Harvard University’s newspaper, was worrisome: “Divest Harvard Plans Week-Long Sit-ins.”

Another university full of students attacking Israel, when the world is so full of unequivocally bad actors?

But what a relief! The Harvard student and faculty body, with serious prodding by a dozen prominent alumni – including Nobel prize winners and the unlikely combination of Cornel West and Natalie Portman – are planning a weeklong series of sit-in protests outside the university’s Massachusetts Hall in April “to demand that the Harvard Corporation – the University’s highest governing body – divest Harvard’s endowment from fossil fuels.” It will be called Harvard Heat Week.

Last week more than two dozen Harvard students occupied Massachusetts Hall, the site of the president and other university officials offices, for 24 hours. The Divest Harvard group wants the university to divest its $35.9 billion endowment from fossil fuels.

There’s even a loose coalition of Harvard faculty which goes by the name of “Harvard Faculty for Divestment,” which is about supporting the fossil fuel divestment movement.

Harvard President Drew Faust has rebuffed the call, arguing instead that there other other ways to achieve the desired goals in other ways, ones that would not imperil the financial stability of the university. According to the Crimson, last week Faust’s Climate Change Solutions Fund awarded $800,000 in grants to Harvard affiliates for projects focusing on climate change.

This spring there will be a week-long divestment event at Harvard, the students are being trained in civil disobedience, and none of it has anything to do with Israel. Stay cool, Harvard.

V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Jeremy Bird, the Team Obama community organizing campaign wizard, has come far from his early midwestern roots. He is currently ensconced in a tiny office in Tel Aviv, working to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming March elections through the V15 campaign vehicle of the Peaceworks Network Foundation.

Bird was born in a small town in Missouri, and attended Wabash College in Indiana.

But small town boys can become big time operatives, particularly after spending time in that hothouse of hubris, Harvard University. Bird attended Harvard’s Divinity School from 2000 until 2002, where he encountered Big Ideas and learned he could do Big Things.

While in Cambridge, Bird came under the wing of Edmund Hanauer, a bilious defamer of Israel. In 1972, Hanauer founded Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel. Hanauer firmly believed that Israel was able to “disregard international law, human rights and democratic values” because of the amount of U.S. aid it received.

On Feb. 25, 2002, while Bird was working with him, Hanauer penned an op-ed which ran in the Milwaukee Sentinel, “The Double Standard Must End.”

The loathing for Israel is woven through his words, even as he used a tagline with an invaluable hecksher: “Edmund Hanauer, American Jewish political scientist.”

In that op-ed, which ran just days before Bird appeared with Hanauer at a Bash Israel event at Harvard – more on that in a moment – Bird expresses outrage that President Bush condemned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s actions as “terrorism,” while failing to similarly demand that “Sharon stop Israeli state terrorism.” That is what Hanauer considered the evil American double standard. He called it “selectively” defining terrorism.

Bird’s mentor also excoriated Bush in that op-ed for “making it harder for Arafat to stop Palestinian extremists” and “curb violence.” And this is what Bird’s boss claimed was the basis of the “cycle of violence.”

The suggestions Hanauer offers in that Feb. 2002 op-ed range from using diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel to grant Palestinian rights (he was calling for U.S. government boycotts – way ahead of and more extreme than the current failing BDS revolution), allowing all Palestinian Arab “refugees” their “full rights” and an end to the “occupation” of Gaza, Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.

Oh, and Hanauer also cited as if fact, the vile Chris Hedges’ quote in Harper’s magazine that Hedges “visited many war zones, but only in Gaza has he found soldiers killing children for sport.”

The entire op-ed is rife with examples of how wrong, evil and anti-democratic Israel is, with a few crumbs of “balance” by admitting there are some Palestinian extremists. But Hanauer dilutes that balance by blaming the U.S.-funded Sharon for preventing Arafat from stopping those extremists due to Israel’s brutality and its history of “dispossession, systematic discrimination and a consistent assault on the basic rights” of Arafat’s people.

We know that Bird was thoroughly marinated in Hanauer’s mindset, because the same themes and message in that op-ed were what both Bird and Hanauer pressed at an event they put on for a Harvard audience the same week the op-ed was published, as revealed in a Harvard Crimson article about that event.

It is interesting that this twisted blame-only-Israel, pro-Arafat background was not revealed when Jeremy Bird played an instrumental role in U.S. President Barack Obama’s two campaigns for presidency, or his continuing role thereafter in Obama’s Organizing for America, for which Bird was deputy director.

But at least Bird’s blame-only-Israel background should be known now that he is playing a huge role in the V15 effort to overthrow Netanyahu. Or is it overthrow Israel?

Harvard Will Investigate, But Will it Reverse SodaStream Boycott?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

The provost of Harvard University, with the backing of the university’s president, announced there will be an investigation of the decision made by Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) to boycott an Israeli company.

While this latest decision is welcome, the language of the university’s statement left room for the university to “investigate” and to redistribute a policy that should have prevented the boycott decision, but to do nothing more.

As explained in yesterday’s Jewish Press article, “Harvard Boycotts SodaStream (Despite Company’s Surrender)” some Harvard students complained about the presence of the Israeli company’s SodaStream machines in some Harvard university dining halls. The presence of those machines “might offend” Palestinian Arab students.

SodaStream’s main factory is located less than five miles from Jerusalem. It employs approximately 900 Arabs, but opponents of Israel prefer to force actions that will deprive those 900 Arabs of the best chance they have of making a decent salary in order to “punish” the Jewish State. SodaStream has already announced it is moving the factory away from the Arabs. Despite that capitulation, the Harvard students continue to support a boycott of SodaStream by the university.

After a few meetings with various administration officials and students, the managing director of HUDS, in consultation with the Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde, made the decision to remove the SodaStream label from the machines, sever the business relationship with SodaStream, and switch to different providers.

A Jewish student who is a member of two anti-Israel Jewish organizations, the Progressive Jewish Alliance and Open Hillel, attended the SodaStream boycott meetings.  Rachel Sandalow-Ash gleefully commented for the Crimson on the boycott decision. She noted some students were disappointed that HUDS declined to issue a statement announcing its boycott decision, but she was glad the university “was receptive.”

The obsequious behavior by the administration (imagine removing the name of a company because some students simply could not bear to be in the same building with a machine bearing the name of an Israeli company!) may, it turns out, have violated Harvard policy.

Provost Alan M. Garber issued a statement about the matter. Garber wrote that he and Harvard University’s president Drew Faust only learned of the SodaStream issue on Tuesday. He informed the community that President Faust:

asked staff to get to the bottom of how these conversations started and to learn more about where matters currently stand. Regardless, Harvard University’s procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals’ views of highly contested matters of political controversy. If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the University, that will be rectified now.

So the university policy of not allowing procurement decisions to be driven by politics will be made known, presumably, to all with procurement responsibilities. That part is clear.

Decisions “should not” be made exactly the way the SodaStream boycott decision was made, according to those involved and as reported by the school’s newspaper.

But will the boycott decision be revoked and harvard’s business relationship with SodaStream revert to its pre-April status? Garber’s statement elides that point.

We’re still waiting for the answer to that question, which The Jewish Press posed to a Harvard spokesperson earlier today.


UPDATED Harvard Exams Interrupted by Bomb Threat

Monday, December 16th, 2013


At 9:02 Monday morning, Dec. 16, Harvard University students were gearing up for exams when students received a university alert that a bomb threat had been received. Students were instructed to immediately evacuate four university buildings: Emerson Hall, Thayer Hall and Sever Hall, as well as the Science Center.

Harvard University Police Department received an email tip that bombs had been placed in those four buildings.  The Harvard Police contacted the Cambridge Police Department and state and local explosives experts were called in.

Exams were cancelled, police and bomb squads arrived on campus, exams in those buildings were cancelled and the famous Harvard Yard was closed down.

By 11:00, three of the buildings had been combed and no explosives were found.  Afternoon exams resumed in the affected buildings other than in the Science Center, which was the last building searched.

Within six hours of the initial email alert, all four buildings had been combed and declared explosives-free.  Cancelled exams were already being rescheduled, and life returned to normal (for exam week) at Harvard.

UPDATE: A Harvard sophomore has admitted that he was responsible for emailing the bomb threats to Harvard University police on Monday morning.  Eldo Kim, 20, confessed to sending the fake bomb threats and has been charged with making a false threat about an explosive device, 18 USC § 1038(a).

Kim attempted to disguise his identity by using various anonymizing internet applications, but his personal email was tracked as having accessed one of those applications.

According to an affidavit signed by an FBI agent, Kim admitted sending the threats, and said that he acted alone. Kim told law enforcement personnel that he engaged in the ruse because he wanted to avoid a final exam given in one of the buildings he identified as possibly having a bomb.

Kim could face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Larry Summers Withdraws From Consideration to Head Fed

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Was it all the negative articles in which the other front-runner for Federal Reserve Chair, Janet L. Yellen, was compared to Lawrence Summers and Summers was found wanting?  Was it that, plus the snarky articles pointing out that despite what some saw as Yellen’s superior credentials, that Obama was intent on naming Summers to replace Ben Bernanke as the head of the Federal Reserve?  Was it the remaining residue of sexism that plagued Summers when he was the president of Harvard University that finally caught up with the politically correct police guarding the gates in Washington?

According to the letter Summers released following his telephone call to the White House to inform the president of his decision, he wanted the job but recognized the deleterious sideshow that would ensue were the president to name the prickly former secretary of the treasury.

But timing was probably the decisive factor in Summers’ withdrawal.  Had the president not just gone through a bruising clash with the left wing of his party over the potential use of military force in Syria, which followed on the revelations of this administration’s sanctioned government snooping by the National Security Agency, the president might have pushed hard for his choice, and Summers might have been willing to take on whatever criticism would come his way in a confirmation hearing.  But this summer’s one-two NSA-Syria punch sucked out all the air from Summers’ sails.

“I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the Administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation’s ongoing economic recovery,” was what the 58-year old Summers wrote, according to an article posted to the Wall Street Journal website late Sunday afternoon.

The Federal Reserve system, which sets monetary policy for the country, is the central banking system of the United States.  The chairmanship of the Fed will be open after January 31, when the second term of the current occupant, Ben Bernanke, concludes.  Bernanke did not wish to continue for a third term.

Mr. Obama accepted Summers’ withdrawal, although it was widely believed that the former secretary of the treasury and president of Harvard University was the president’s first choice.

Obama described Summers as “a critical member of my team as we faced down the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and it was in no small part because of his expertise, wisdom, and leadership that we wrestled the economy back to growth and made the kind of progress we are seeing today.”

While Summers was the first Jewish president of Harvard University, he would hardly have been the first Jewish chairman of the Federal Reserve.

In fact, while the chairman of the Fed has been a Jew for more than the past 25 years, with Alan Greenspan at the helm from 1987 – 2006, and then Bernanke in the seat from 2006 until his term ends in early 2014, there have been at least three other chairmen who have been Jewish.  However, there has never been a woman chair, and the likely choice now for President Obama is Janet Yellen.

Yellen, 67 years old, is currently the vice-chair of the Fed.  She is also Jewish.

Is it likely the old anti-Semitic canards about Jews running the global financial market will start up again if Yellen is named?  No, because they never stopped. Enter the words “Jew” and “Federal Reserve” in a search engine and be prepared to see lots of hysterical rants from Jew-haters.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/larry-summers-withdraws-from-consideration-to-head-fed/2013/09/16/

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