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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Oxford University’

One-Third of Americans in Israel Live in Judea and Samaria

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Approximately 60,000 Americans, one-third of those who have moved to Israel, live in Judea and Samaria, according to a new book whose conclusions were reported by Haaretz.

The Americans also comprise approximately 15% of all Judea and Samaria Jews, otherwise known as “settlers” by most of the world and “illegitimate” and “illegal” by President Barack Obama.

The conclusions of the book, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967” by Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, are not surprising to anyone living in Israel but may come as a bit of a shock to the foreign policy “experts” at the U.S. State Dept.

They also might surprise some “expert” media stars, such as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, who once wrote that settlers are Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.

As late as last December, in a rant during the Israel election campaign. Friedman wrote:

The Israel right….is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots.

Hirschhorn, in her book to be published later this year, wrote:

“Something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs; they’re upwardly mobile, they’re traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice, and most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel.

So much for the “Wild West zealots” in the West Bank.

Much to the surprise of Friedman and the State Dept., Hirschhorn also wrote:

They’re not only compelled by some biblical imperative to live in the Holy Land of Israel and hasten the coming of the messiah, but also deeply inspired by an American vision of pioneering and building new suburbanized utopian communities in the occupied territories. They draw on their American background and mobilize the language they were comfortable with, discourses about human rights and civil liberties that justify the kind of work that they’re doing.

Yes, Americans in Judea and Samaria – or the occupied territories, the West Bank, or over the Green Line – are inspired by the Bible, and, no, they are not wild-eyed cowboys waiting around every bend to kill Arabs.

Her study does not cover the other 85 percent of Israeli settlers, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason that housing is cheaper than in most other areas and that “settlements” have clean air and are a great place to raise a family.

And some Americans, like myself, also live in the West Bank for practical reasons. When we left a kibbutz 26 years ago with three toddlers, our community in the Southern Hebron Hills was the only place close to a hospital where my wife, a nurse, did not have to work every other Shabbat.

Cheap housing is less available today in Gush Etzion, where Americans compromise a huge proportion of the population and where housing prices have soared. It used to be said that Efrat is not totally American, but on one Shabbat, it was all-American because the Israeli family went away for Shabbat.

That is no longer true, but Americans still account for approximately 40 percent of the city’s residents.

The image of the American cowboy arises because a large percentage of the minuscule number of crazies who have attacked Arabs in the past are from the United States.

The article in Haaretz on the book did not mention if Hirschhorn’s book also refers to the extremely large number of Americans living in neighborhoods in Jerusalem that the United States government and the United Nations also consider “occupied.”

President Obama does not realize how many “illegitimate” Americans live in Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Oxford University Press Bans Pigs to Avoid Offense to Muslims

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Je Suis Nuts: Is that the sign that will replace the prestigious Oxford Univerity Press sign outside of the publishing powerhouse’s headquarters?

Apparently a Guidance issued by the OUP prohibits authors from including anything that could be perceived as pork-related in their books. So schoolbook authors have allegedly been told not to write about sausages or pigs so that “certain groups” won’t be offended.

We thought it had to be a joke also, but apparently the issue was discussed (and, we’re pleased to report, it was met with ridicule and disgust) by members of the British parliament.

nopiggy.jpgWhile the so-called “guidance” could not be found by scouring the OUP website, it was apparently revealed during a BBC radio program on Monday, Jan. 13,  about free speech.

According to numerous British media reports, a spokesperson for the OUP said its guideline exists because it needs to make educational material available to as many people as possible.

‘Many of the educational materials we publish in the UK are sold in more than 150 countries, and as such they need to consider a range of cultural differences and sensitivities.

‘Our editorial guidelines are intended to help ensure that the resources that we produce can be disseminated to the widest possible audience.’

A spokesman for the Jewish Leadership Council told the Daily Mail: ‘Jewish law prohibits eating pork, not the mention of the word, or the animal from which it derives.

While Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said: “It’s utter nonsense. And when people go too far, that brings the whole discussion into disrepute.”

Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world, publishing around 6,000 new books a year across over 150 countries. It is 450 years old. It’s also gone a bit barmy.

UPDATE: Following publication of this article, an evasive admission about this new policy was found on the website of the OUP.  On Jan. 14, a statement was issued about OUP’s editorial guidelines. To wit:

OUP’s commitment to its mission of academic and educational excellence is absolute.

Our materials are sold in nearly 200 countries, and as such, and without compromising our commitment in any way, we encourage some authors of educational materials respectfully to consider cultural differences and sensitivities.

Guidelines for our educational materials differ between geographies and do not cover our academic publishing.

[emphasis added.]

In a word: yes. They banned the pig.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to Join Faculty at YU and NYU

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The Jewish Press had the teaser last week, but it’s now official: the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom will hold dual professorships at Yeshiva University and New York University, both centered in New York City.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks will officially become the  Kressel and Efrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at YU in January. He will also hold the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at NYU.

“The voice, the philosophy and the spirit of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has been a gift to the United Kingdom and beyond for many years, said Richard M. Joel, president and Bravmann Family University Professor at YU.

“It has long been our desire to welcome him into this next stage of his life by having him work at Yeshiva University to both inspire the next generation of Jewish leadership and to be a voice to the Jewish people and world for our timeless values. I join with the extraordinary John Sexton in celebrating yet another way for two great universities to work together to advance an agenda that matters.”

Rabbi Sacks, who received degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford Universities in England, and received his rabbinic ordination from the London School of Jewish Studies and Yeshiva Etz Chaim.

In 2005, Rabbi Sacks was knighted by the Queen of England and made a Life Peer.  He sits in the House of Lords as Baron Sacks of Aldgate in the City of London.

“I am excited at the opportunity to teach at Yeshiva University, one of the world’s great institutions of higher Jewish learning and at NYU, a university of global reach and distinction,” said Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. “This dual intellectual challenge is the perfect context to take forward the project of a Judaism engaged with the world in conversation with students in one of the major centres of Jewish life.”

At NYU, Rabbi Lord Sacks will be the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought.

With more than 25 books published and regular appearances in various media, Rabbi Lord Sacks is one of the most admired and feted public Jewish figures of modern times.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Why I Confronted George Galloway

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

This opinion piece appeared first in Great Britain’s “Trending Central

I was one among dozens in February who packed the auditorium of Christ Church College, Oxford University to hear that circus act of a man, the Member of Parliament for Bradford West, George Galloway, debate the evils of ‘Zionist apartheid.’ His speech – littered with such witty remarks as ‘Israel is not kosher, it’s not even halal’ – was mostly met with laughter. After all, the man is a joke. But some jokes are offensive – others, racist.

Like many, I was left stunned by Galloway’s disgraceful actions. In walking out on my friend Eylon Aslan-Levy, Galloway confirmed what we had all thought about him for a very long time. As Eylon put it: “to refuse to talk to someone just because of their nationality is pure racism.”

The moment Hunter confronted Galloway

The moment Hunter confronted Galloway

Galloway is a man who gives speeches toHezbollah rallies in Beirut, who has interviewedMahmoud Ahmadinejad for Press TV – and of course, has rather disturbingly implied support for Bashar al-Assad. Yet he will refuse to have a constructive dialogue with a PPE undergraduate solely due to an accident of birth. Because he happens to hold a specific passport. Because his parents are different.

Galloway refuses to recognise my national and civic identity. He denies my cultural existence. In effect, like Hamas, he seeks the destruction of the State of Israel. This to me and many others is racism of the worst kind. I couldn’t just allow him to return to Oxford and pretend as if nothing happened last time – after all, he is notorious for denying some of his more outrageous statements (thank goodness for the internet).

By looking him in the eye and speaking to him in Hebrew, I wanted to show my fellow students that Galloway’s continuing behaviour is completely inexcusable.

And how does Galloway reply? By implying that I am a fascist, of course. By equating my holding of the flag of my homeland with English Defence League (EDL) thugs. By comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa. By comparing Zionism to Nazism. The usual rubbish. The standard anti-Zionist spiel.

So I’m a fascist? But George, you’re the one who addresses the fascists of Hezbollah at their anti-Semitic rallies. You’re the one who openly admired Saddam Hussein’s ‘courage.’ And don’t get me started on the Nazi comparison. Comparing the Jewish people to the perpetrators of their attempted destruction is a classic and recognised anti-Semitic trope.

It’s funny that Galloway almost soiled himself when I approached him – thinking there was a weapon under my sweater. His hands were visibly trembling. I don’t believe in violence against individuals – but it can be argued that those whom Galloway could count as fans most certainly do.

Galloway looks close to "losing it"

Galloway looks close to “losing it”

I need not elaborate that Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. I don’t need to remind anyone of the steps Israel has taken for peace in the last twenty years: Oslo, Camp David, unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza, a settlement freeze. Above all, it is unnecessary to stress how Israelis (like me) continuously yearn for peace. I would have rather debated that with Galloway. He did not bother to hear what Eylon had to say last time. In a speech far better than anything that ‘hapless’ Member of Parliament could spout from his big mouth, Eylon magnificently argued the case for the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a negotiated final-status agreement. That is the official policy of the current Israeli government – and nearly all governments preceding it since Oslo.

It is truly perverse that for its first event this term, a debating chamber internationally renowned for its respect for free speech invited a man who denies that right to others on the basis of their nationality. Galloway epitomises everything the Oxford Union stands against. It is disgraceful that he was invited. It is even more disgraceful that he was sycophantically advertised as being one of the ‘most impressive debaters in Britain.’ I don’t know any ‘impressive’ debaters who walk out on their opponents. And I wouldn’t dream of hosting him as a ‘guest of honour,’ especially in light of the offence he caused to the Oxford student community when he last visited.

But as an important disclaimer, I must stress that I don’t deny Galloway’s right to free speech. I stand for constructive dialogue with others. My mocking imitation of Galloway’s behaviour was a statement to all, that on the political issues which divide us most, both sides must be heard. One opinion must not silence another. This is what debate means – and the Oxford Union’s invitation to Galloway is a slap in the face for all those who believe in that principle.

Jonathan Hunter is a student at Oxford University and is now internationally renowned for giving George Galloway MP an earful

Jonathan Hunter

Stiff-Necked Oxford Student Triumphantly Upstages Galloway (VIDEO)

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

SEE UPDATE AT END OF ARTICLE

Remember when that virulently anti-Israel British politician, George Galloway…well there are so many ways to end that sentence, but this article refers to Galloway’s storming out of a debate at Oxford University because, as he so diplomatically announced before flouncing out of the room last February, “I don’t debate Israelis!”

Well Galloway was just had by a young Jew from Oxford who made his own dramatic exit after brandishing an Israeli flag, intoning: “I don’t debate racists!”

First the background.

The topic for debate of the world famous Oxford University debating society, the Oxford Union, on February 21 was: “Israel Should Withdraw Immediately From the West Bank.”

After Galloway, a member of Parliament representing England’s far northern district of West Bradford, completed his presentation of the “pro” side of that question, the person chosen to represent the “anti” position, Oxford University student Eylon Aslan-Levy, rose to present.

As it happens, Aslan-Levy favors what he calls “an end to the ‘Occupation.'” But his problem was with the timing desired:  Immediately.  He began his talk by referring to the failure, prior to the 2005 Disengagement, of guaranteeing Israeli security as a condition of handing over territory. He barely got the following words out before Galloway’s dramatic exit:

This is the lesson from the disengagement from Gaza in 2005, which I supported – out of the same misguided faith that the cards were in Israel’s hands. Israel uprooted over 8,000 settlers and evacuated the military – but without a pledge from the Palestinians not to fire rockets at Israeli towns over the very border to which Israel had just withdrawn. We wanted peace: we got war. We mustn’t make the same mistake again. [emphasis added]

Aslan-Levy barely closed his mouth around those syllables, when Galloway ejaculated: “You said we! Are you Israeli?”

When Aslan-Levy acknowledged that he was indeed Israeli, Galloway flung his coat over his shoulder, and bellowed over it: “I’ve been misled, sorry. I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis,” and then flounced out of the room, followed by his wife.

Fast-forward to Monday evening, October 14.  The setting is again Oxford University and the forum again is provided by the Oxford Union. This time there was no debate, it was just a talk by Galloway.

According to those who were present, Galloway spoke for over an hour, mainly maligning other British politicians, telling the student audience, “you couldn’t split the difference between the left [expletive implied] cheek and the right cheek.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was the prime recipient of Galloway’s verbal lacerations, but the usual far left bugaboos of  “occupation,” “colonialism” and “bankers” all score poorly in Galloway’s book and starred in his talk.  Taxation, on the other hand, is a dearly beloved concept.  When Galloway completed his talk, the floor was opened for questions.

After three questioners had their turn, Jonathan Hunter, an Oxford student, was selected as the fourth questioner. Hunter rose from the audience, gesticulating, and speaking in fluent Hebrew.

As Hunter approached the table behind which Galloway was sitting, the politician warned, “Don’t come any closer to me. What’s that up your jumper?” Galloway pointed at a bulge beneath Hunter’s sweater.  Hunter told The Jewish Press, “Galloway’s hands were shaking.”

With Galloway’s fears voiced, Hunter reached under his sweater and brandished what he had placed there, knowing he would not have been called on had it been publicly displayed before this moment:

“This is an Israeli flag, I’m an Israeli, Mr. Galloway.”

“You speak for fascists in Beirut [Hezbollah], you interviewed [former Iranian president] Ahmadinejad for Press TV,” but here Hunter was interrupted by Galloway who intoned, “you’re doing yourself a lot of harm here, son.”

Hunter again refused to be cowed, and responded to Galloway, “I think you did a lot of harm by not speaking to my friend Eylon [Aslan-Levy, referring to the February debate], and not having a constructive dialogue with him, and sir, I don’t have a question for you, as you can see, because I don’t debate with rascists. Thank you, sir.”

With that, Hunter opened the Israeli flag, hoisted it up over his head, holding it aloft and streaming behind him, he strode, stiff-necked, from the room.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

UK’s Zionist Jewry Rejects British J Street Clone

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The Zionist Federation, the official representative body of Jewish organizations in England, this week rejected the membership application of Yachad UK, the leftist J Street-esque organization which was formed in England in 2011.

The vote took place on Monday, February 25, and was conducted as required by the ZF’s constitution: member organizations vote to decide whether an applicant organization’s mission and actions are consistent with the mission of the ZF.

According to a statement by the ZF, every constituent organization was given the opportunity to consider Yachad’s application, and representatives of those organizations consulted with their members in order to make a decision.  This process began ten months ago.  When the ZF met on Monday, the organization representatives voted on and rejected Yachad UK’s application.

Although ZF leadership members were unwilling to respond to media inquiries about the decision, they pointed to the deliberative process in which the ZF had engaged, which was consistent with prior membership decisions.

In response to the vote, Yachad, which is Hebrew for “together,” went on the offensive.  It instituted an email campaign informing contacts that they are being discriminated against, along with a twitter attack with the hashtag “whatswrongwithmyzionism.”

Yachad’s first line of offense was to present themselves as innocent Zionist victims of overbearingly aggressive, right-wing Zionist Jews.  They claimed at the top of their website that, “78% of Anglo Jewry favour a two state solution. Is their Zionism not good enough for the Zionist Federation?”

The Zionist Federation issued a public statement in response.  “It is important to note that despite claims by Yachad’s statement, the ZF strongly supports peace in the Middle East and the two state solution.  To say that we do not is factually incorrect.”

WHAT IS YACHAD UK?

Yachad UK is quite similar in orientation and mission to J Street in the U.S.  The tagline for Yachad is “together for peace, together for Israel,” and it describes itself as “the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement for British Jews,” exactly the same claim J Street makes for U.S. Jews.  About the only difference between the two organizations, as Hannah Weisfeld, Yachad’s director, said at its launch, is that Yachad will not engage in political lobbying.

And just as is the case with J Street, there are many Zionists who do not believe Yachad’s self-description is accurate.  They instead claim that Yachad’s relentless criticism of Israel and refusal to make any demands on the Arab Palestinians reveals the true nature of Yachad, one that they believe is instead an anti-Zionist orientation.

DOES YACHAD PRESENT ITSELF AS A ZIONIST ORGANIZATION?

The pingpong match of public statements declaring either that Yachad is a Zionist organization that should be welcomed into the UK’s Zionist Federation, or that it is an anti-Zionist organization which has no place in the ZF is not especially helpful in determining the truth.

Rather than look at the public rhetoric, The Jewish Press decided it is most useful to see what Yachad really does and where Yachad really goes. The best way to do this is to peruse the activities posted on Yachad UK’s Facebook page.

This is what you will find there:

• November 11 and February 10, Yachad showed the movie “The Law in These Parts,” a movie that is “a compelling indictment of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza,” another shows a Yachad trip to Israel in which the participants join up with an Israeli leftist activist group, Ir Amim, to rally against Jews living in parts of Jerusalem.

• February 11th and 12th meetings with former Haaretz editor David Landau, who famously told U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should “rape Israel,” and that it has always been a secret erotic dream of his to discuss this with her.”

• July 29, June 21, June 18, June 17 meetings with Nadav Greenberg of “Just Vision,” who recently completed a documentary, “Budrus and Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah,”  that presents four people, all of whom oppose the Israeli efforts to allow Jews to live in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem, known to pro-Arab Palestinian activists as the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Most of the more than 100 photos on Yachad’s page are of Yachad trips to Israel.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Oxford Students Resoundingly Reject BDS Movement

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Oxford University, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, is an exemplar of academic elite institutions.  Tonight,  February 27, the student leadership there voted to reject the motion to join in and promote the economic and political warfare anti-Israel effort known as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.

Students had been discussing the motion and voted in their own colleges in advance of tonight’s vote. “This boycott goes against everything the university stands for.  The idea that we are not going to read your books or articles or hear your arguments on the basis of your nationality is ridiculous,” Henry Watson, a student at Magdalen College, a constituent college of Oxford, said.  Magdalen College voted to defeat the motion 39-3, earlier this week.

The representatives of the affiliated Oxford colleges, who comprise the Oxford Student Union Organization, met in St. Edmund Hall tonight where the motion was put immediately to a vote.  The motion was defeated, 69 – 10.  There were 15 abstentions.

Had the motion passed, Oxford would have been required to recommend to Britain’s National Union of Students that they join the global BDS movement against Israel.

A representative of Brasenose College, Eylon Aslan-Levy, said, “Tonight Oxford students showed that their commitment to intellectual freedom is unshakeable.  In rejecting calls for a boycott against Israel by a seven-to-one margin, we demonstrated resoundingly that we want Oxford to continue to cooperate with Israeli academics, trade with Israeli businesses and – yes – debate with Israelis in debating societies.”

Aslan-Levy was in the news earlier this week.  He was slated to present the opposing side in a debate the topic of which was, “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank.” When he began his response, his opponent, British member of parliament George Galloway, stormed out of the room upon learning Aslan-Levy is Israeli.

“I hope that other British universities will follow Oxford’s lead in standing up against divisive attempts to hinder academic cooperation and progress,” Aslan-Levy said.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/oxford-students-resoundingly-reject-bds-movement/2013/02/27/

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