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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Irwin Cotler’

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

SWC: Where are the Condemnations from Muslim Religious Leaders?’

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Continuing threats from French-born jihadists returning from Syria was the main issue raised today by leaders of an international delegation of Jewish leaders from the Simon Wiesenthal Center during a meeting today with French President François Hollande.

The 20-member delegation is in Paris to inaugurate the Wiesenthal Center’s new historic exhibition on the 3,500 Relationship Between the Jewish People and the Holy Land opening this evening at UNESCO World headquarters.

President Hollande confirmed that some 1,000 French citizens were or are in Syria, and that 31 were reported to have died there. Some of those who returned from Syria were scared by what they had experienced, but others have spread out among the French population, many of them armed.

The French President then outlined steps taken to protect the Jewish community, especially Jewish schools, and said that French authorities are also in contact with police and Intelligence services to better fight anti-Semitism.

“We would like to set an example to the world in fighting anti-Semitism,” but admitted the current situation reflected a “new, heavy context.”

As for the murderous attack by a French-born terrorist in Belgium, President Hollande said it was too early to conclude the terrorist had acted as a “lone wolf,” in what the president labeled a “barbaric act” that targeted the Brussels Jewish Musuem.

In his remarks, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the leading Jewish Human Rights NGO, said:

We meet at a pivotal time in history, when the Jewish community and France’s democratic values are under unprecedented attack by the forces of extremism both from the Far-Right and from extreme Islamist purveyors of religious intolerance violence and murder.”

We appreciated that in the immediate aftermath of the murders of a Rabbi and young children on the grounds of a Yeshiva in Toulouse, you and then President Sarkozy suspended your campaigns to come to Toulouse and denounce the savagery. But unfortunately, today, Mohammed Merah along with the French-born murderer of innocents at the Brussels Jewish Museum, are revered by many young Muslims, here in France and around the world.

–Why is this so?

Certainly, the Internet plays a role, but we believe the main reason is that religious leadership of the Muslim communities remains part of the problem, not part of the solution…

Mr. President, in our time these French-born terrorists, like other terrorists, were not born with hate in their hearts…In the presence of French, American, Canadian and British Jewish leaders gathered here today, I declare with certainty that if G-d forbid, a terrorist attack was carried out by a Jew against innocent civilians, there would be wall-to-wall public condemnation by every Jewish leader in the world.

No less should be expected from the leaders of the largest Muslim population in Europe.

Among the leaders of the delegation were senior Wiesenthal Center officials, Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Meyer May from Los Angeles, Dr. Shimon Samuels ( Paris) and Avi Benlolo (Toronto). Also in attendance was French Jewish leader, Baron Eric de Rothschild and Canadian MP and former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler.

Jewish Press Staff

Tens of Thousands Participate In Budapest Holocaust Memorial March

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Tens of thousands of Jews and Jewish supporters participated in the 12th March of the Living Hungary in Budapest in what is considered the largest civil anti-fascist event in Hungary.

It was held on the 70th anniversary of the mass deportation of Jews from Hungary by the Nazis.

Holding posters saying “Never again” and “History cannot be re-written!,” the participants marched from the Danube River to the Eastern Railway Station in Budapest to commemorate the loss of Hungarian Jewry in 1944, when two-thirds of Hungarian Jewry — nearly 600,000 people — were deported and killed.

Dozens of Hungarian Holocaust survivors were the guests of honor at the march.

“We go to Auschwitz, but this time we will return,” Ilan Mor, Israel’s ambassador to Hungary, said in an emotional speech.

Mor will be part of the Hungarian delegation in Monday’s Auschwitz commemoration, where Hungarian President Janos Ader will deliver a speech at the Auschwitz memorial site of Hungarian Holocaust victims.

The International March of the Living Conference was part of weekend memorial events in Budapest, including a panel discussion on the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe with the participation of members of parliaments from Poland, Greece, Spain and Canada.

Irwin Cotler, the former Canadian justice minister and lawmaker, as well as a human rights activist, chaired the panel.

“Jews died in Auschwitz, but anti-Semitism did not die, and we are experiencing anti-Semitism yet again,” he told JTA. “Now the time to mobilize all of humanity against this anti-Semitic phenomenon that again has come.”

Cotler visited the Budapest site of the daily protest against a monument being constructed to honor the country’s victims of World War II. Jewish groups have protested that it obfuscates Hungary’s Holocaust-era role.

“I hope that the Hungarian government will cease and desist from putting up this memorial as it now stands because in the end of the day, it will not serve neither the interest of remembrance nor the truth, or not even the interest of the Hungarian government, which I don’t believe want to be seen as mis-characterizing the Holocaust,” he said.

JTA

Canadian Politician Irwin Cotler ‘Honored’ to be Banned by Russia

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Irwin Cotler, a veteran human rights activist and member of Canada’s parliament,  says being banned from Russia is an “honor.”

When Russia issued its blacklist of 13 Canadians on Monday, Cotler was quick to express his pleasure at being included. ”I wear my exclusion from Russia as a badge of honor and am proud to be in such distinguished company,” he said in a statement. “I have no intention of visiting Siberia. I have no investments in Sochi. I have no desire to visit Moscow.”

This is not the first time Cotler, renowned for representing Jewish refuseniks from the Soviet era, has been banned from Russian soil.

He was expelled from the Soviet Union and then banned in 1979 while advocating on behalf of political prisoners, including Natan Sharansky. “I was arrested and accused of consorting with ‘criminals,’ among them the great Soviet human rights dissident, Andrei Sakharov,” Cotler wrote on his website. “These acts did not stop my human rights advocacy. Indeed, [Monday’s] announcement only inspires me to redouble my efforts to advance the cause of human rights for all.

“I stand in solidarity with the Russian people and those fighting for human rights and democracy. Their day will come and [President Vladimir] Putin will be no more.”

This time, Cotler suspects his banishment is because he introduced a bill regarding Sergei Magnitsky. The Huffington Post reported that Magnitsky was an accountant and auditor in Moscow who uncovered a corruption scheme and testified against several senior Russian officials. He was subsequently imprisoned and died in jail in 2009 at the age of 37. Cotler chairs an intra-parliamentary group on Magnitsky, and he said that is like a “red flag” to Russia.

“My sense is that’s probably the retaliatory reason in my case,” according to Cotler.

He said some of the Americans banned by Russia were people who had worked on the Magnitsky file. Cotler added he does not need to go to Russia to advocate for Magnitsky.

“Our intra-parliamentary group for Sergei Magnitsky is international. It contains parliamentarians from over 20 countries.”

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-politician-irwin-cotler-honored-to-be-banned-by-russia/2014/03/25/

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