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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘pro-israel’

IRS Told to Surrender Documents Containing ‘Israel’ ‘Zion’ ‘West Bank’ ‘Judea’ ‘Samaria’ and ‘Special Israel Policy’

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

The IRS has been ordered to surrender all documents since January 1, 2009 containing the words “Israel,” “Zion,” “West Bank,” “Judea,” Samaria,” and “Special Israel Policy” for review by Congress.

Late Tuesday night Israel time, investigative journalist Omri Ceren posted on the Twitter social networking site a copy of a letter dated December 14, 2016, that was sent to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, by House Ways and Means Committee co-chairs, U.S. Representatives Kevin Brady and Peter Rosam.

It said, in part:

“Although the Internal Revenue Service as vowed that it no longer considers inappropriate criteria, such as organization’s political beliefs, when reviewing applications for tax-exempt status, the Committee on Ways and Means remains concerned that IRS practices and policies may illegally target Americans and organizations based on their beliefs – in particular, their support for the State of Israel.

“… the Committee seeks documents from the IRS to understand how the IRS has treated tax-exempt organizations connected to Israel with viewpoints different than the Administration’s in the past and how the IRS plans to treat such organizations in the future…

“One such pro-Israel organization, Z Street, applied for tax-exempt status in 2009. After much delay in the application process, an IRS agent confirmed to Z Street that its application had been sent for special screening reserved for groups associated with Israel…

“It is distressing that the United States government subjected Americans to discriminatory treatment because of their political and religious beliefs,” the letter continues. “It is more distressing that it took seven years for one such group to get fair treatment by the IRS, even as the IRS told Congress that it no longer discriminated against such groups. And perhaps most alarmingly, recent press accounts suggest that even after all of this history, the IRS might even be pursuing new discriminatory policies. Reports state that the Administration is considering the possibility of pressuring Israel to make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians, such as through a United Nations Security Council Resolution, and in that context, also may consider new IRS actions that would affect the tax-exempt status of people or entities based on their viewpoints regarding Israel. Despite the IRS’s claim to Congress that it stopped political targeting in 2013, the IRS and Administration’s actions over the past seven years lend credibility to these reports…

“To help the Committee better understand the IRS’s historical and current position in these matters, please provide no later than 5:00 p.m., January 11, 2017, all documents dating from January 1, 2009, to the present to, from, or within the IRS, containing the words, “Israel”; “Zion”; “West Bank”; “Judea”; “Special Israel Policy”; and/or “Samaria.”

Beginning in 2011, Americans living in Israel began to hear stories circulating about friends or family members who also had immigrated on aliyah, or who were involved in Israel-linked activities, who were suddenly receiving notices from the IRS that their U.S. income tax returns for the years 2009 and/or 2010 were under audit.

One American living in Israel who has requested anonymity due to fears of retribution told JewishPress.com that during the process of untangling the long and “intimidating” audit, the IRS case manager assigned to the account said bluntly that American taxpayers whose “returns were coming in from Israel and who were getting money back for any reason, were being red-flagged.”

Now the House Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. Congress is ordering the IRS to turn over any and all documents that will reveal whether the Obama Administration has truly been engaged in a “Special Israel Policy.”

Hana Levi Julian

Campus Warrior Tells High School Seniors About College Anti-Semitism

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Last Wednesday, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative which combats campus anti-Semitism in America, spoke with 25 Brighton High School students in Rochester, NY. Later, in the evening, she spoke to an audience of 150 concerned parents, educators and community members. Both events were organized by Roc4Israel.

In early November, the Rochester Campus Times reported confrontations between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students at an event organized by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) after the screening of “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.”

Noah Spivak, president of the Jewish Student Union at the high school, told JNi.media via an email from an AMCHA activist: “Soon we will each be applying for colleges and we are very concerned by the recent rise in anti-Semitic behavior on campuses across the country. Thanks to today’s meeting with Tammi, many of us feel better prepared for what we might encounter.”

Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick of Congregation Beth Sholom in Rochester, also told JNi.media via the same email: “Recently our campuses have become the battleground for anti-Semitic and anti Israel activities, mostly  by pro-Palestinian protests orchestrated by experienced hate groups — under the blind eye of University administrators. This has left our Jewish students vulnerable and exposed to  hatred and under attack.”

“Last evening, Tammi Rossman Benjamin of AMCHA provided us with leadership and offered us a selection of opportunities to engage in, so that we can be able to approach this challenge successfully. We encourage all who are concerned for our Jewish children to become involved.”

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin summarized her message, saying: There’s bad news and there’s good news. The bad news is that as a result of BDS and other anti-Zionist activity, Jewish students are experiencing alarming and unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism on campuses across the country.  The good news is that the Jewish community and its allies are uniting at last to do something about it, and you can help.”

Following is a portion of Tammi Rossman-Benjamin’s talk, generously transcribed for JNi.media.

●  ●  ●

As you might imagine, anti-Zionist sentiment and activity have had extremely negative consequences for many Jewish college and university students. The injection of the anti-Zionist movement, and particularly BDS, onto campus in the past decade has fueled a significant resurgence and increase in anti-Semitism.  The lines between appropriate political discourse on Israeli policy and discrimination toward Jewish students have become blurred. Jewish students report that anti-Zionist activists single out, harass, intimidate, and even assault them, regardless of their personal feelings on Israel. And far too often, anti-Zionist expression is laced with centuries-old classic anti-Semitic stereotypes. The anti-Zionist activists target not only pro-Israel students, but anyone presumed to support Israel, first and foremost Jewish students, regardless of their actual personal feelings on Israel. As a result, Jewish students engaging in Jewish activity having nothing to do with Israel — wearing their Jewish sorority or fraternity letters, displaying Star of David necklaces, walking to Hillel for Sabbath dinner – report fearing for their safety and well- being. In addition, because of their support, or even just presumed support, for Israel, Jewish students report being rejected from progressive social justice activities such as pro-choice rallies, anti-rape demonstrations, Black Lives Matter events and racial justice conferences.In addition to ostracizing and alienating Jewish students from certain areas of campus life, anti- Zionist students repeatedly attempt to shutdown events organized by Jewish students and suppress their free speech about Israel and other topics. Sadly, Jewish students are being targeted, discriminated against and ostracized, and their civil rights are being egregiously violated.
That’s the view from 30,000 feet.  Now let’s get down to what I hope will be helpful specifics.

Anti-Israel student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, whose very mission includes the promotion of BDS, are found on hundreds of U.S. campuses. (I know that at University of Rochester, the group Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, has spearheaded considerable anti-Zionist activity on campus, most recently the screening of an the film “Occupation of the American Mind,” a film which not only demonizes and delegitimizes the Jewish state, its whole premise is based on the classic anti-Semitic tropes popularized in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” of Jewish wealth, power and mendacity being used to control the government and media). SJP and similar groups, besides promoting BDS on their Facebook pages and other social media, on the large “apartheid walls” they build, in op-eds they publish in student newspapers and at events they host quite regularly, groups like SJP are responsible for organizing campaigns to get their own schools to boycott Israeli products like Sabra humus, to terminate their school’s academic exchange programs with Israel, and, most frequently, to have their student governments vote on resolutions demanding that the university divest from any of its financial holdings in businesses which do business with Israel. More than 90 anti-Israel divestment resolutions have found their way to about 50 U.S. campuses across the country.  About half of all resolutions have passed, but this number is, frankly, irrelevant, because any school whose student government or student body even considers such a resolution is racked with divisiveness, hostility, and animosity for weeks on end. And whether a resolution ultimately passes or not, the anti-Israel forces have used these campaigns as opportunities to inject enormous amounts of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment onto campus.

And it’s not just student groups like SJP, whose members are devoted to anti-Israel activity, that are involved in these efforts.  In this age of “intersectionality,” where the grievance of one group is opportunistically linked to the grievance of other groups, SJP has deliberately forged alliances with many other minority student groups on campus, who frequently add their groups’ names to the sponsorship of BDS-promoting events and the endorsement of anti-Israel divestment resolutions. For example, SJP has made common cause with Black Lives Matter, and students from both groups frequently co-host rallies and events linking Blacks and Palestinians and promoting BDS. Last year at the University of Rochester a talk by Reverend Graylan Hagler entitled “Connecting the dots: From Ferguson to Palestine,” which demonized and delegitimized Israel and promoted BDS, was sponsored by several student groups, including an Arab group, an Indian group, a Muslim group, the Black Students’ Union, and a multi-ethnic fraternity.

In addition to that, thousands of faculty on hundreds of campuses have also publicly endorsed BDS efforts, especially the boycott of Israeli universities and scholars, as well as the divestment resolutions of students on their own campus. Some faculty boycotters bring their anti-Israel animus and activism into their classrooms, and it is not unusual for academic departments to sponsor virulently anti-Israel talks and symposia, some of them even including calls for the boycott of Israel.  For example, earlier this year at Vassar College, a talk by women and gender studies professor Jasbir Puar, in which she falsely accused Israel of maiming and murdering Palestinians and harvesting their organs, and she actively encouraged her audience to endorse the BDS movement, was sponsored and funded by 6 academic departments, including Women’s Studies, English, International Studies, Political Science, Africana Studies, and Jewish Studies.  Indeed, since 2015 we have documented more than 60 departmentally sponsored events like this, on campuses across the country.

Given the sheer number of students and faculty who have positioned themselves squarely against Israel, even to the point of opposing its very right to exist, it’s no wonder that many Jewish students who identify with the Jewish state feel like the whole campus community is united not only against Israel, but against them.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. In a recent study that our organization carried out, looking at the prevalence of anti-Semitic activity and the factors that affect it on more than 100 US campuses with the largest Jewish students populations, we found that on close to half the campuses we investigated, students are threatened because of their Jewish identity, sometimes regardless of their personal feelings on Israel. They are assaulted, harassed and intimidated, their places of residence defaced with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti, their participation in campus activities shunned, the events they organize disrupted and shut down, and more.

If you are a member of a Jewish or pro-Israel organization — perhaps Roc4Israel or a synagogue-affiliated group — or if you would consider forming an organization, perhaps an alumni group concerned about anti-Jewish hostility at your alma mater, please consider spearheading or participating in a campaign, say, to get the president of the University of Rochester or of your alma mater, to follow in the footsteps of the UC Regents.  We can help!   AMCHA will work with your group to develop a plan, provide you with our research on anti-Semitic activity at your school, advise you as you carry out your plan, and help you network with other groups across the country.

Together, we can make a real difference.

JNi.Media

J-Street Makes Best Pro-Trump Pro-Israel Endorsement Video Ever [video]

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Thanks to Brian of London, who only had to do some really minor tweaking, J-Street put out the best pro-Trump pro-Israel video ever.

The truth is, even without the tweaks the video would be a stunning endorsement for anyone who is pro-Israel.

Video of the Day

From Hebron to Hollywood

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

First, is it too late for the American campus? Yishai speaks with Ron Krudo, Director of Campus Affairs at “Stand With Us” – the premier pro-Israel advocacy organization, about winning back the Israel narrative. Then, Yishai visits the LA Museum of the Holocaust with Randol Schoenberg, the U.S. attorney and genealogist who helped recover Jewish artworks stolen by the Nazis, as depicted in the 2015 film, Woman in Gold.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Canada’s New Government Reaching Out to Arabs to ‘Help Israel’

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

The new government in Canada headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear how much Israel lost a friend after last month’s elections that ousted Stephen Harper.

The new Liberal party Foreign Affairs Minister, Stéphane Dion, said Wednesday he will try to improve relations with Arab countries in the Middle East in order to play “honest broker.”

Harper was unabashedly pro-Israel and strongly backed the Netanyahu government throughout every crisis, whether it was the IDF response to Hamas missile attacks on Israel or Palestinian Authority incitement and terrorism.

In an interview with the Ontario-based iPolitics, Dion said of the policy towards Israel in the new government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

The main difference is that we will stop making it a partisan issue

Israel is a friend, it is an ally, but for us to be an effective ally, we need also to strengthen our relationship with the other legitimate partners in the region.

For example, we need to strengthen our relationship with Lebanon and this will help Lebanon but also Israel. To be helpful, you need to strengthen your relationship with the other legitimate partners and that is what we will do.

Dion said that countries that are around Israel “should be part of the solution and not becoming completely dysfunctional as, unfortunately, Syria became.”

Dion said Canada’s strongly pro-Israel stance has cost it being an honest broker, and he gave one example:

I remember in the past, the minister of foreign affairs of Canada receiving a phone call from his counterpart in Israel, asking him to be in touch with a group in Lebanon that was legitimate but not willing to believe what the government of Israel was telling them.

He said to the minister of foreign affairs…. ‘I think if it is coming from you, because you have strong links with them, it may help us.’

I’m not sure today Canada is in a situation to do that anymore.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Thousands Show ‘Zero Tolerance 4 Terror!’ in Times Square

Monday, October 19th, 2015

It is a pure Jewish concept that the best way to overcome evil is with positive energy — and Jews are great at “rocking out” when it comes to combining that punch with pizzazz.

Thousands of young New Yorkers gathered in Times Square late Sunday to show their solidarity with Israel as part of the ‘Zero Tolerance 4 Terrorism’ movement.

Thousands were at the 'Zero Tolerance 4 Terror' rally in Times Square.

Thousands were at the ‘Zero Tolerance 4 Terror’ rally in Times Square.

“Let’s allow our voice of outrage to be heard loud and clear; Never again! Jewish blood is not cheap,” proclaimed the group’s Facebook page prior to the rally.

In response, demonstrators from all walks of life came to stand together with Israel and celebrate the Jewish State as a panoply of speakers, Jewish entertainment groups, musicians and vocalists took the stage.

'What part of 'Death to America, Death to Jews' don't you understand?' read one sign.

‘What part of ‘Death to America, Death to Jews’ don’t you understand?’ read one sign.

The pulsating music kept the atmosphere positive and energetic long into the night.

On Seventh Avenue and 48th Street, a pro-Palestinian Authority counter-demonstration did its best to raise a little action against the Jewish energy, but it was like bailing an ocean with a teacup from a raft.

Slogans included “Free Free Palestine” “Intifada Intifada” “Long Live The Intifada” shouted by young women wearing jihabs on stage.

Pro-Palestinian Arab signs read, "No Justice, No Peace" -- a slogan stolen from recent Black rioters across the United States, taken originally from the mantra chanted by Black rioters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn during the 3-day pogrom in Aug. 1991.

Pro-Palestinian Arab signs read, “No Justice, No Peace” — a slogan stolen from recent Black rioters across the United States, taken originally from the mantra chanted by Black rioters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn during the 3-day pogrom in Aug. 1991.

Despite the small numbers the signs that were brandished by those who attended the counter-rally were troubling. They signaled — as in the past — the joining of two completely disparate causes. Palestinian Arab terrorists have once again managed to hijack the civil rights struggle of people of color in the United States.

Photos exclusive to JewishPress.com courtesy of DSL/USA.

Hana Levi Julian

Pro-Israel Carson Breathing Down Neck of Pro-Israel Trump

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

A new poll released on Saturday shows that two solidly pro-Israel candidates, Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, are almost tied for the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump has been leading all of the polls both in Iowa and elsewhere, but Carson has sneaked up on the real estate mogul whose mouth so far is far stronger than his policy outlook outside of immigration.

Both men are solidly pro-Israel but their real attraction to voters, fed up with the establishment, is that neither of them have a background in politics.

Jews make up only 0.2 percent of Iowa’s population, and most of them live in Des Moines, where 59 percent of the city’s voters backed President Barack Obama in 2012. It can be assumed that most of the Jews were in the Obama camp, and it is questionable if they will vote for a Republican in 2016.

But the non-Jews lap up Trump and Carson’s tough talk, even though Carson is black in a state where blacks comprise only 3.3 percent of the population and Hispanics only 5.5 percent.

The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register survey gave Trump 23 percent support, compared with 18 percent for Trump. No one else even comes close. Third and fourth-ranked are Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, each with only 8 percent.

Perhaps the most pro-Israel of them all, if that can be measured by supporting Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, is Mike Huckabee. He has only 4 percent support in the survey.

Israel obviously is not the topic on the minds of Iowans, but the plain-talk attitude of Trump and Carson, neither of whom are too concerned about being politically correct, have no room for the “peace process” and the Palestinian Authority agenda.

The president of the polling company that carried out the survey, J. Ann Selzer, told Bloomberg:

Trump and Carson, one bombastic and the other sometimes soft-spoken, could hardly be more different in their outward presentations.

Yet they’re both finding traction because they don’t seem like politicians and there’s a strong demand for that right now.

Carson is a higher-profile Christian than Trump, which may be one reason why he is gaining support in the state has a large number of Evangelicals.

However, Carson still has a long way to go to catch up with Trump on a national basis. The average of polls, as tallied by RealClearPolitics, puts Trump at the top with 23.5 percent support. Carson is in second place but with only 10.3 percent.

Carson visited Israel late last year and paid a visit to the Western Wall.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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