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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Northeastern University’

Echoes Of McCarthyism In UCLA Anti-Israel Campaign

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

UCLA has some proud moments in the history of civil liberties.

After World War II, UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, were hotbeds of opposition to an anti-communist loyalty oath that California tried to impose on academics. Ultimately the professors won in court in 1954.

Sixty years later, a different pressure group purportedly speaking for the “progressive” grassroots wants to impose on UCLA students a loyalty oath of sorts – a pledge foreswearing going on trips to Israel sponsored by certain Jewish organizations.

Issued by five pro-Palestinian groups, the call demanded that candidates for student government take the pledge.

Who would have thought that McCarthyite tactics would be used to target, harass and intimidate pro-Israel students, Jewish and non-Jewish, at UCLA? There are ominous echoes here of both the medieval witch hunts against Jews and Stalin’s show trials.

Leading the charge is Students for Justice in Palestine, which is funded in part by two organizations dedicated to the destruction of Israel, American Muslims for Palestine and Al-Awda.

SJP is using cyberbullying to punish Jewish students in the UCLA student government majority who voted against a recent resolution to divest from and boycott Israel. Jewish students who opposed the resolution reportedly feel uncomfortable even walking on campus because of the hate mail they have received.

Adding insult to injury, SJP has introduced an initiative calling for a judicial board investigation of student council members who have taken trips to Israel sponsored by groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Hasbara Fellowships; the SJP deems the groups have “political agendas that marginalize multiple communities on campus.”

On other campuses across the country, SJP tactics include mock eviction notices against Jewish students, “die-ins,” and promotions of virulently anti-Israel speakers and events.

The SJP initiative demanding that candidates for student government positions sign a pledge not to take certain trips to Israel violates both the UCLA Principles of Community Conduct and the Student Conduct Code against harassment of all kinds.

Unfortunately, what’s happening at UCLA is not an aberration but part of a national trend. Here are examples from a coast-to-coast report compiled by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a founder of the AMCHA Initiative, a nonprofit group that combats campus anti-Semitism:

  • At UC Davis, a student who expressed concern about anti-Semitic banners displayed at an anti-Israel “occupation” rally was physically assaulted by a protester who screamed in his face, “You are racist and you should die in hell.”
  • At UC Berkeley, a Jewish girl holding an “Israel wants peace” sign was ramrodded with a shopping cart by the head of the local SJP chapter.
  • At San Francisco State University last fall, the General Union of Palestine Students hosted an all-day event where participants could make posters and T-shirts that said, “My heroes have always killed colonizers” – meaning Jews.
  • At Harvard, the Palestine Security Committee frightened Jewish students by placing mock eviction notices on their dormitory rooms.
  • At Northeastern University in Boston, SJP vandalized a menorah and disrupted Jewish events.
  • At the University of Michigan, anti-Israel student activists hurled death threats at Jewish student council members and called them “dirty Jew” and “kike.”

Why is it that so many university administrators and academics seem paralyzed to act if the victims of campus bullying are Zionist Jews?

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s reactions to the developments on his campus have been unsatisfactory. First, according to the Daily Bruin, he wanted to “leave the matter to be resolved by students.” Later, he said, “I am troubled that the pledge can reasonably be seen as trying to eliminate selected viewpoints from the discussion,” but he nevertheless stood up for the pledge as free speech protected by the First Amendment.

Anti-democratic Effort to Bar Pro-Israel Voices in UCLA Govt Fails

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

An effort to invalidate the votes of presumably anti-divestment voting students at UCLA who had traveled to Israel on trips sponsored by pro-Israel organizations was defeated on Wednesday, May 21.

That effort was one of two promoted by the aggressively anti-Israel organization Students for Justice in Palestine. The other SJP initiative was to ask students wishing to serve in the UCLA student government to sign a pledge that they would not go on such pro-Israel sponsored trips to Israel.

The decision Wednesday rejecting SJP’s effort was issued by the UCLA judicial board. The judicial board was considering a Complaint brought by SJP which claimed that the pro-Israel groups had, essentially, “bought” the students anti-divestment vote by bringing the students to Israel.

The two students whose experiences were under investigation, Sunny Singh and Lauren Rogers, visited Israel on trips sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, respectively, according to the Jewish Journal.

The vote by the undergraduate Judicial Board was 4 – 0, with two abstentions. The vote meant that taking such trips did not constitute a conflict of interest for members of student government. In other words, members of the student government who had been on trips to Israel sponsored by pro-Israel organizations were not required to abstain from voting on matters pertaining to the Middle East, or be barred from participating in student government altogether.

Representatives from local ADL and AJC branches which sponsored the trips to Israel on which Singh and Rogers went were called to present evidence and undergo cross-examination. Both maintained, apparently credibly, that the trips were not a quid pro quo for pro-Israel votes on relevant matters that came before the UCLA student government.

A written opinion will be issued by the judicial board on June 4.

This vote constitutes the latest in a series of stinging defeats for SJP. That organization, heady from a series of successful bullying tactics, hit the wall once Jewish and other pro-Israel students began standing up to the organization’s bullying, over-the-top tactics.

Pro-Israel students at Brooklyn College, Northeastern University, Cornell University and New York University, to name just a few, have defeated anti-Israel efforts by the SJP over the past year.

Unfortunately, the judicial board vote rejecting SJP’s complaint came too late to save Singh’s run for the UCLA student government presidency. It is Singh’s opinion that, although his platform was about increasing mental health resources and efficiency of student government, the SJP’s harping on the issue of Israel helped lead to his defeat by a candidate who took the SJP pledge not to travel to Israel on trips sponsored by pro-Israel groups.

The SJP initiatives were also supported by the radical pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for Peace.

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.

Northeastern U. Reinstates Students for Justice in Palestine Group

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Northeastern University has provisionally reinstated the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus.

The SJP chapter will remain on probation through January 2015, according to a notification letter from Dr. Laura A. Wankel, the university’s vice president for student affairs.

Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from campus on March 7 for at least a year, and its current executive board members were barred from serving on future boards in the organization, after the group distributed mock eviction notices in student residences to protest Israeli policies against the Palestinians.

Wankel’s letter said that she found the original decision to suspend the chapter “appropriate.”

Conditions for the chapter’s provisional reinstatement include: electing a new executive board, creating new organizational and leadership development plans, and developing a proposed program plan for the fall semester.

“Of course, we disagree with the administration’s statement that the earlier decision to suspend SJP was appropriate and we believe this is largely a face-saving statement,” SJP leader Tori Porell said in a statement emailed Wednesday. “SJP is happy to work cooperatively with Associate Dean Bob Jose, one of the conditions the university is imposing – and, frankly, we were insisting upon – to plan our upcoming programs addressing important social justice issues.”

California’s Ugly Anti-Semitism Spreads East to Vassar

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

California is the lifestyle incubator of the nation. And now the trendy anti-Semitic thuggery that debuted at California’s public universities has metastasized across America, all the way to the elite halls of Vassar.

Before we discuss the fashionable pogrom that just took place on the Vassar campus where Jackie Kennedy once strolled in pearls, let’s look back at May 7, 2002. On that day, Professor Laurie Zoloth, Director of the Jewish Studies program at San Francisco State University, attended a “Peace in the Middle East” campus rally, organized by Hillel students, where they sang songs and prayed for peace in Israel. Wrote Professor Zoloth:

“As soon as the community supporters left, the 50 students who remained praying in a minyan for the traditional afternoon prayers, or chatting, or cleaning up after the rally, talking — were surrounded by a large, angry crowd of Palestinians and their supporters. But they were not calling for peace. They screamed at us to ‘go back to Russia’ and they screamed that they would kill us all, and other terrible things.

“As the counter demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to ‘Get out or we will kill you’ and ‘Hitler did not finish the job,’ I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter demonstrators from the Plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised. The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, “it would start a riot.” I told them that it already was a riot.”

Eventually, the terrified Jewish students gathered under the flag of Israel and were led by armed police guard back to the Hillel House. “This was neither free speech nor discourse, but raw, physical assault,” wrote Professor Zoloth, who noted with sadness, “Not one administrator came to stand with us.”

May 7, 2002 turned out to be a grand day for Jew-haters, because things only got better from there. Threatening, harassing, intimidating and assaulting Jews is now a venerable tradition on California’s public campuses, protected by taxpayer-funded administrators and enshrined by public indifference.

SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY

Let’s flash forward to San Francisco State University today. Mohammad Hammad, president of the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), has recently enjoyed organizing campus art projects that read “My heroes have always killed colonizers,” posing on social media sites with a knife that he claims “makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier,” and vowing to use his GUPS presidency “to radicalize half of our population and bring them back with me as fighters.”

Upon being informed of these threats by a Jewish group called AMCHA Initiative, SFSU President Leslie Wong took decisive action by yawning, shrugging and sticking his fingers in his ears. Mohammad Hammad is no longer at SFSU, but presumably he still has his weapons collection intact. But the radical student group that elected him president still has free reign.

AMCHA Initiative, led by the politely relentless Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, documents the anti-Semitic tsunami on University of California’s campuses. At UC Berkeley, a Jewish girl holding an “Israel Wants Peace” sign was ramrodded with a shopping cart by the head of Students for Justice in Palestine. At UC Irvine, eleven Muslim students disrupted the speech of the Israeli Ambassador with such ferocity they were convicted of disturbing the peace. And on and on and on.

The regal disinterest of UC’s Board of Regents has allowed the cancer to spread. If these characters can get away with it in California, they can pull it off in Michigan, Boston, and Brooklyn, too. As Caroline Glick explains, anti-Israel student activists at the University of Michigan recently hurled death threats at Jewish student council members and called them “dirty Jew” and “kike.” Michigan university administrators aggressively intervened — on behalf of the anti-Semites.

Northeastern U Suspends Aggressive Anti-Israel Group

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Northeastern University has been criticized for several years for harboring deeply anti-Semitic professors and enabling anti-Israel student groups on campus.

Last week the school administration finally had enough and suspended the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. This group, one of the most aggressive in its hostility towards and intimidation of pro-Israel students and events on campuses, has met with some setbacks over the past year.

The final straw at Northeastern – after a long list of previous out of bounds acts – was the distribution to students of mock eviction notices, pretending to mimic what Arabs receive from Israelis. The same tactic has been tried and received reprimand on many campuses, including at Pitzer College in California, Yale University, Ohio State University and Florida Atlantic University.

The eviction notices distributed at North­east­ern on February 24 stated that the recipients’ dorm rooms would be demol­ished in three days and that “evic­tion notices are rou­tinely given to Pales­tin­ian fam­i­lies liv­ing under oppres­sive Israeli occu­pa­tion for no rea­son other than their eth­nic background…to cleanse the region of its Arab pop­u­la­tion, and cre­ate space for set­tle­ments.”

In reality, both Arabs and Israelis receive Israeli eviction notices if their homes were built without the requisite permits or if an imminent security threat exists, such as when terrorism smuggling tunnels are positioned below the homes. Security, not ethnicity, is the driving force behind Israeli eviction notices.

Northeastern’s SJP organization received a letter from the school’s Director of the Center for Student Involvement, Jason Campbell-Foster.  The letter referred to prior inappropriate acts by the groups, including vandalization of university property and a repeated “disregard for university policies over an extended period of time.”

“You have not shown a concerted effort to improve your practices and educate your members on how to properly operate your organization within the boundaries of university policy,” Northeastern’s Campbell-Foster wrote.

According to Campbell-Foster’s letter, all current members of Northeastern SJP’s current executive board are permanently banned from serving on any future board in the organization and the organization itself is disbanded until December, 2014. Further, SJP members must undergo a strict regimen of trainings led by university administrators as a condition for reinstatement.

Dima Khalidi, director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support and legal advisor to to SJP since last spring, when the administration put SJP on probation, said that two female members are being investigated by the Northeastern University Public Safety Division (NUPD) in addition to the suspension. They were summoned to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR), according to a school newspaper.

The president of the SJP is a third year law student at Northeastern, Max Geller. He claimed that the SJP eviction notices were singled out because of their content, and not because the SJP failed to observe some minor rules regarding appropriate leafletting procedures. In this way he is attempting to make out a claim for a violation of the SJP’s Free Speech rights, where the content of a protest may not be restricted, but only the time, the place or the manner of protest.

“The issue here is not one of free speech or the exchange of disparate ideas,” the university asserted. “Instead, it is about holding every member of our community to the same standards, and addressing SJP’s non-compliance with longstanding policies to which all student organizations at Northeastern are required to adhere.”

Geller claimed that he and the members of SJP are hurt by the response from Northeastern.

“Being a part of the Northeastern community is really important to us and being told as an organization that we’re no longer welcome hurts our feelings and is disappointing,” Geller told a student newspaper. “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

(Even More of) 2013′s Bright Pro-Israel Lights on US Campuses

Monday, January 6th, 2014

There were so many new and/or successful pro-Israel initiatives on U.S. campuses in 2013, that, in order to explain how creative and successful each one was, we had to divide the article into a two-part series.

This is the second part, the first ran on December 31, “Guess What: 2013 was a Great Pro-Israel Year on US Campuses!

Most of the stars reported here were born out of some stalwart’s refusal to allow the anti-Israel forces to get away with the kind of mischief they have enjoyed for far too long on far too many campuses.

Hat’s off to the initial seven and to the following five:

8.  A brand new, student conceived of and run organization was created in late 2013 in response to a specific event, but so generalizable, it’s a surprise it took this long for pro-Israel students on U.S. campuses to create.

The name of this new initiative is Students for Accuracy about Israeli and Palestinian Affairs. According to Daniel Mael, co-founder and Brandeis University junior from Newton, Massachusetts, SAIPA was not created as a “hasbara” organization. Instead, it is intended to ensure that public conversations or events about the Arab-Israeli conflict take place before an audience that has been provided with accurate facts and appropriate context.

Think of SAIPA as a CAMERA-like organization that deals with campus events about the Middle East, rather than with media coverage of the Middle East.

Mael, whose op-ed in The Jewish Press described a pro-Israel event at Brandeis last spring that went wrong and which was one of the main inspirations for SAIPA, and co-founder and fellow Brandesian Guy Morag launched SAIPA in October. It became an approved student organization at Brandeis in December.

9. Tammy Rossman-Benjamin teaches Hebrew Language at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  A few years ago she and a colleague, Leila Beckwith, started the AMCHA Initiative, the mission of which is to  investigate, document, educate about, and combat antisemitism on U.S. college campuses.  If this list were not year-specific, the AMCHA Initiative would be on the list. But what Rossman-Benjamin did in her personal capacity in 2013 has earned her a spot.

The Hebrew professor originally filed a Complaint alleging anti-Jewish discrimination by California colleges in 2009.  But the Office of Civil Rights, the entity which has jurisdiction over such claims, rejected Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint and two others alleging anti-Semitism at California campuses this summer.  Rossman-Benjamin refused to accept the dismissal.

The mistakes made by the OCR which Rossman-Benjamin pointed out in the appeal she filed in October – ones that are made constantly and nearly universally by academic institutions – is the confusion between “free speech” and “academic freedom” to make horrible, false statements about Jews and/or the Jewish state, and support of such events by the academic institutions themselves.  The latter constitutes an element of discriminatory harassment, one that is not blanketed with immunity with constitutional protections, even when those may at times may be applicable for individual speakers.

So whether the Office of Civil Rights is willing to recognize Rossman-Benjamin’s painstakingly thorough appeal as valid, her efforts to require academic institutions as well as the U.S. Office of Civil Rights to apply appropriate legal standards and offer legal protection to victims of anti-Semitic activities on U.S. campuses is heroic and a model to be emulated.

10. An example of pro-Israel (or simply anti-anti-Semitic) activity similar to Rossman-Benjamin’s was undertaken by several pro-Israel Brooklyn College students who refused to accept their ouster from an anti-Israel event on campus.

On February 7, Brooklyn College hosted an event co-sponsored by its own political science department promoting the economic and legal warfare movement against Israel known as BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel).  Efforts to remove the school’s official promotion of the event went unheeded.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/even-more-of-2013s-bright-pro-israel-lights-on-us-campuses/2014/01/06/

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