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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Muslim Student Union’

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

Did Group Raise Money For Hamas On American Campuses?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


WASHINGTON – A U.S. congressman is the latest to call for a Justice Department investigation into whether a pro-Palestinian group has been raising money on college campuses for Hamas.


In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) urged a probe into Viva Palestina USA, a humanitarian aid convoy led by British lawmaker George Galloway that brought medical supplies to Gaza last July.


Both the Zionist Organization of America and Anti-Defamation League in recent months have urged Holder to investigate reports about the convoy’s links to Hamas.


The groups made their requests after Galloway and other Viva Palestina USA members appeared and reportedly raised funds at some college campuses in the spring and summer.


“Clearly, people and organizations in the United States cannot be allowed to solicit funds for foreign terrorist organizations,” Sherman wrote in his letter to Holder.


“That such solicitation is occurring during the middle of the day at a public university is truly frightening,” he said, referring to the University of California, Irvine.


Sherman wrote similar letters expressing concern about the reports on Viva Palestina USA to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, University of California, Irvine chancellor Michael Drake and Internal Revenue Service commissioner Douglas Shulman.


Viva Palestina USA was launched after the Viva Palestina group that Galloway set up in Britain sent a convoy to Gaza in March. It did not respond to request for comment.



At a meeting in Gaza with Hamas officials during the March trip, according to a report from terrorism expert Steven Emerson, Galloway held up a bag of cash and said, “This is not charity. This is politics” and “We are giving this money now to the government of Palestine. And, if I could, I would give them 10 times, 100 times more.”


When the Viva Palestina USA convoy arrived in Gaza months later, there was no similar public event with Hamas, although the group reportedly did meet with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.


Giving humanitarian aid to Gaza is legal under U.S. law, but providing it to Hamas officials or the Hamas government in Gaza would likely be considered illegal because Hamas is on the list of foreign terrorist organizations.


The most controversial appearance by Viva Palestina USA and Galloway in the United States came May 21 at the University of California, Irvine, a campus that has experienced tensions between Jewish and Muslim students and where a civil rights complaint was filed earlier this decade claiming a hostile environment for Jewish students. (A federal investigation found that the university acted appropriately.)


UC-Irvine has referred information about the event, which was sponsored by the Muslim Student Union, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ZOA leaders said they had obtained a video of the event and, at the bureau’s request, passed it on to law enforcement officials.


The university also says it is investigating whether the Muslim Student Union had violated university policy by raising money without the university’s authorization.


In a letter to the university’s campus counsel, the Muslim Student Union acknowledged that it may have “unknowingly breached university policy (as undoubtedly have every student organization on campus as well as university administrators).” But the student group rejected ZOA’s accusations that it may have raised money for Hamas as “nothing short of libel.”


“ZOA seeks to smear MSU’s reputation by maliciously accusing MSU of breaking U.S. laws without providing any real evidentiary backing,” the group said in its letter.


The ZOA praised the university’s decision to forward information on the Viva Palestina fund raising.


“They’ve done the right thing,” said Susan Tuchman, director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice. “All groups should be held accountable.”


University spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon said the campus police forwarded information on the Viva Palestina fund raising to the FBI because it felt “they were the best agency to handle it.” She said outside counsel is examining whether the Muslim Student Union violated campus procedures.

(JTA)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/did-group-raise-money-for-hamas-on-american-campuses-2/2009/12/09/

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