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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Muslim Student Association’

Why Are Student Leaders and Jewish Bruins Under Attack at UCLA?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

There will always be that one person who does not like you. There will always be that one person who thinks you can do no right. And while you acknowledge your own faults, that one person sees them as far greater than anyone else’s. Implicit in this is the antagonistic relationship between two people, between two differing belief systems, and two differing ways of thought. Unfortunately, this is the situation we have learned to accept when it comes to the relationship between Israeli and Palestinian leaders and pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian groups. On campuses across America, this dynamic is no different.

It seems, however, that during the past year at the University of California, Los Angeles, pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian tensions have reached a climax—partly because there are no longer just two voices fighting against each other, but multiple voices fighting against one. UCLA has seen the mobilization of self-identified minority communities banding together in order to combat the terrors they believe Israel inflicts on the world, and a concerted effort by pro-Palestinian organization to exploit this to their advantage and silence pro-Israel voices on campus.

By going to university, you expect to find yourself, to make friends, and to define beliefs that will guide you for the rest of your life. All of this is happening for me at UCLA, but in a high-pressure situation I could never have anticipated. More than anything else, this was made clear to me during the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) debate over an anti-Israel divestment resolution.

The resolution in question called for divestment from Caterpillar, Cement Roadstone Holdings, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, and Cemex, claiming that all these companies committed human rights violations against the Palestinian people. If passed, the resolution would be purely symbolic, since the Regents of the University of California had already declared that they would not divest from any companies that maintain operations in Israel.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a pro-Palestinian organization, authored the resolution, which was sponsored by three council members. SJP has long been active on campuses across America and its ideology is well known. Its website states,

As a solidarity organization, we support the Palestinian call for three basic rights, outlined in 2005: The right not to live under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the right to equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, the right for Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. As a group, we focus on supporting these rights instead of advocating for a particular political solution (such as one or two states).

The issue most pro-Israel students had with the resolution was that it did not allow a dialogue on whether or not Israel committed human rights violations; it assumed Israel’s sole culpability without looking at any event in a historical context. Bruins for Israel (BFI), the primary pro-Israel group on campus, was thus the most vocal organization opposing the resolution.

BFI is an entirely mainstream and moderate group. As outgoing President Miriam Eshaghian has said, “By framing factual current events in a historical context, we give the campus community the tools to comprehend the turmoil…. We advocate for a negotiated two-state solution: A Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state…. We stand firmly against any form of delegitimization of Israel as a Jewish state.”

To BFI, the resolution was part of the global anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state, and therefore had to be strenuously opposed.

The USAC meeting to vote on the divestment resolution was scheduled for February 25, 2014. For weeks before the deciding USAC meeting, both pro-divestment and anti-divestment groups lobbied individual council members intensely, bombarding them with fact sheets, presentations, explanations of historical context, and, in some cases, friendships that proved to be false and exploitative.

Tessa Nath

The Maltz Maneuver: Interfaith Dialogue or Hear No Evil

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage presented an interfaith dialogue, “Do Not hate Your Brother In Your Heart, How Interfaith Cooperation Builds Compassion, Respect and Understanding.” Participants were Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk of Beachwood’s Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple and Imam Mohammed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), who have been leading initiatives for interfaith dialogue for a decade. The evening seemed a lesson in duplicity.

Rabbi Nosanchuk spoke first. His leadership of the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a coalition of diverse religious groups, seemed inclusive and therapeutic, but out of focus with the needs of Jews worldwide and Israel. He feigned ignorance about the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) that is perilous for Jewish university students across the US, most egregiously on the University of California campuses, where forty protesters bullied, harassed and blocked Jewish students from entering a university administrative building; where the president of the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) hosted an event that spoke of killing Israeli “colonizers,” and where Jewish students have been physically attacked.

Palestinian students at Boston’s Northeastern University defaced a campus menorah, disrupted Jewish events, and frightened students for a year before they were finally suspended. Thirty-nine Vassar faculty members, administration and detached citizens, signed a letter supporting an academic boycott of Israel. Threats, harassment, intimidation and assaults on Jewish students are now a California tradition that is spreading across the country, yet this rabbi is not aware.

Fairmount Temple’s website reveals Nosanchuk’s concern is with social issues, meaning joining Olivet Baptist Church’s Rev. Colvin’s fight against voter ID laws, thereby squandering voter integrity. He is also against our Second Amendment, which will ensure that Jewish citizens remain unarmed and unprotected from those who would be armed to harass and kill Jews and Christians. His interests in social justice and interfaith relations do not encompass rampant Islamic campus violence.

Further, if the rabbi is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), one might assume he supports the anti-Zionist J Street and New Israel Fund, both of which work diligently against the true interests of Jewish survival.

Imam Mohammad Magid spoke of his family, his long friendship with the rabbi, and his leadership in ISNA, the largest Muslim organization in America. ISNA traces its 1963 origin to several US and Canadian organizations, including the Muslim Student Association (MSA), whose attacks against Jewish students are infamous. In the Holy Land Foundation terrorist-financing case, ISNA, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and the North American Islamic Trust, were named unindicted co-conspirators and one of a number of “members of the US Muslim Brotherhood” with ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine and Hamas, extremists and terrorists.

Since October 2003, Magid and ISNA have been providing US Bureau of Prisons with extreme orthodox Wahhabi Muslim clerics who promote their radical political, ideological and theological foundation, and connecting them to 50 to 79 percent of mosques in North America. Three-quarters of “charitable” funding to ISNA supports warriors (irregular combatants – terrorists) who volunteer to fight for the Cause of Allah.

Magid assured us that we believe in the same God, but the Judeo-Christian faiths differ greatly from Islam as do the Gods. The Qur’an consists primarily of Allah’s admonishments to Muslims, with eighty percent being commands to kill the infidel (Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, all non-believers). Islamic law, Sharia, is a strict legal system that controls every aspect of one’s life, including the demands, torture, dismemberment, and slaughter of humans for their God. Islam celebrates violence, with jihad as its driving force in an endless expansion and enforcement of Islam worldwide.

He also compared Sharia to Judaism and Jewish dietary laws (Kashrut – Kosher), and Christian laws. The Torah, Hebrew law, and the Ten Commandments, are the ideological basis for the 613 commandments (mitzvoth) in the bible – a God-given moral code. The first five prescribe man’s relationship with God (belief, worship, respect); the last five concern man’s relationship with people (honor, respect; prohibitions against murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, and coveting.) The dietary laws concern foods that are permissible and forbidden, cleanliness, preparation, and the humane slaughter of animals for food.

Tabitha Korol

Disturbing, But Not Hopeless

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Misinformation and hate are spreading thick at American colleges. We’d like to think that it’s not the type of thing that’s happening on our very own campuses, but it’s certainly occurring.

Here are some recent highlights: At UC Irvine Malik Ali screamed, “You Jews y’all the new Nazis!” At UC San Diego an active member of the Muslim Student Association, at its annual Hitler Youth Week, publicly declared his unashamed support of a genocidal statement by Hizbullah’s leader. At Brooklyn College Norman Finkelstein was invited by the Palestinian Club, who organized an Israeli Apartheid Week for the first time ever last semester.

Remember, it seems to be in vogue in academic circles to be unjustifiably critical of Israel. If not Jewish students, who will respond to the professor who repeatedly trashes Israel while dismissing its struggles against terrorism – while shaping the opinion of impressionable future professionals and leaders? If not Jewish students, who will arrange counter-events when Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Student Union, Muslim Student Association, and the assorted Palestinian clubs stage their propaganda, influencing unsuspecting college students?

Engaged and vocal students comprise a mere 10 percent of general student bodies. So in terms of pro-Israel active students, it’s disheartening to think that 90 percent are less than helpful. But in terms of the broader student body, it presents a prime opportunity. These figures mean that the enormous majority of students do not yet have strong opinions on issues concerning Israel (or they’d be rallying for or against Israel already), and that they can still be educated about Israel’s positions.

Who can most effectively educate them? Jewish students need to start passionately teaching and leading. They need to join hands, get inspired, share ideas, and take action to inform the 90 percent, who are the future public opinion shapers and decision makers.

It starts with individual, grassroots efforts. If you are the student, it isn’t enough to be an emotional supporter of Israel. Rather, step up your activism. If you’re the friend, parent or relative, do your part by encouraging students to get involved by offering support and guiding them to the right resources so they can be more vigorous in the face of increasing hostility.

Here are some worthwhile resources: JerusalemOnlineUniversity.com offers a stimulating, comprehensive online course titled, “Israel Inside/Out.” You can learn the facts and are equipped to counter the misinformation and hate. Participating students may be eligible for college credits or a stipend upon completion. StandWithUs.com and standwithusCampus.com provide a plethora of material already researched, event support to promote pro-Israel activism, and professional brochures and flyers to pass out to fellow classmates. Hasbara Fellowships, launched in coordination with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brings students to Israel for an exclusive opportunity to master pro-Israel advocacy. The DavidProject.org is another excellent avenue for advocacy material, featured seminars, and workshops.

We must stand up to anti-Israel and closely linked anti-Semitic attitudes on campuses. How are you going to help? You can begin to raise awareness by passing on this column to a Jewish student.

 

Student Action Alerts

Julie Cohen

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/disturbing-but-not-hopeless/2010/10/13/

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