web analytics
October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘standwithus’

Pro-Israel Groups Blast SJP for Racism and UCLA for Fecklessness

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Seven staunchly pro-Israel organizations told the California Board of Regents at a hearing on Thursday, May 15, that its failure to stand up to the thuggery and blatant racism of the UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine against pro-Israel students was a failure of leadership and of morality.

What was so egregious that these pro-Israel organizations were protesting?

JUDICIAL BOARD INVESTIGATE STUDENT COUNCIL MEMBERS WHO WENT ON ISRAEL TRIPS

The UCLA-SJP introduced an initiative which calls for a Judicial Board investigation of student council members who have taken trips to Israel sponsored by groups which the SJP deems to have “political agendas that marginalize multiple communities on campus.” The groups on SJP’s hit list are the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and Hasbara Fellowships.

As Dumisani Washington, the Pastor-leader of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, said in his remarks at the hearing Thursday morning, the SJP’s denunciation of pro-Israel groups for having a political agenda is not just hateful, it is hypocritical.

“One wonders exactly what SJP assumes itself to be, if not an organization with a ‘political agenda,’” Washington told the Regents.

STUDENTS MUST TAKE A PLEDGE NOT TO GO ON PRO-ISRAEL SPONSORED TRIPS TO ISRAEL

The second initiative promoted by the SJP to deprive pro-Israel students of a voice in campus discussions was its demand that candidates for student government positions sign a statement pledging that they will not go on any trip to Israel sponsored by the three Jewish organizations.

Washington boldly labeled SJP’s efforts reminiscent of the worst racism in American public life.

SJP’s wanton arrogance and blatant antisemitism in this manner is telling.  I am beyond appalled.  As an African-American, I could only imagine an anti-Black student group attempting to restrict my travel to Ghana or Senegal.  Such gall is reminiscent of the grotesque persecution my people suffered earlier in America’s history, when the US government restricted everything from which schools we could attend to which public restrooms we could use.

The SJP, as everyone knows who closely follows the way the Middle East is discussed on U.S. Campuses, is the most aggressively anti-Israel of any of the many anti-Israel organizations on campuses. The SJP’s antics include the mock eviction notices, “die-ins,” and promotions of virulently anti-Israel speakers and events.  In addition, the SJP, aided by lawyers happy to write intimidating letters to academic institutions, consistently claims that the behavior of its members is protected by free speech, whereas any criticism or objection to their activities is a violation of academic freedom and are constitutional violations.

Sadly, most school administrators and even some Jewish campus professionals are cowed by the lofty-sounding legalese. As a result, the views and sensibilities – and sometimes even the Constitutional rights – of pro-Israel students have been a casualty as administration after administration has caved to the outrageous positions and behaviors engaged in by SJP members.

BROOKLYN COLLEGE SJP THUGGERY

Perhaps the best example of SJP’s stranglehold over the better judgment people expect from university officials was a forum held at Brooklyn College last year. At that event, two promoters of the legal and economic warfare against Israel, the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel movement, were given free rein at an unbalanced forum which was co-sponsored and co-endorsed by the College’s Political Science Department.

Four pro-Israel Brooklyn College students who came to ask questions were ejected from the event on the say-so of the SJP event organizer, someone who was not even a student and had no affiliation at all with Brooklyn College. The leader claimed the four students were disruptive and disrespectful, and college administration and security personnel did his bidding despite being in the room and knowing full-well, as later proven in audio recordings, that the pro-Israel students were sitting quietly when they were ejected.

U. of New Mexico Grad Students Rescind Divestment Resolution

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

(JTA) — The Graduate and Professional Student Association at the University of New Mexico overturned a divestment resolution on the West Bank. Saturday’s vote rescinded an April 28 resolution calling on the university to divest from companies that operate in the West Bank. The vote was 10-10, with the tie broken by the meeting chair.

Since the agenda of the earlier meeting was not available in advance, members of the pro-Israel community did not attend and were not available to debate the resolution. The second hearing was held in order to allow the association to hear the other side of the issue, the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs said in a statement.

StandWithUs credited the groups Lobos for Israel and Hillel for convincing the association to hold another hearing on the resolution, which called on the university to divest from companies that “directly profit from the ongoing violations of international law and human rights, and have an economic stake in the continuation of these violations.”

The university’s Students for Justice in Palestine organization, which sponsored the resolution, said in a Facebook post that it would continue its divestment initiative in the coming semester.

Last month, a similar resolution was voted down by the Associated Students for the University of New Mexico.

Pro-Israel Event on New Orleans Campus

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

With the help of many friends, on Sunday, March 30, that African American Christian Zionist college student the pro-Israel world has been marveling over for more than a year, Chloé Simone Valdary, pulled off another huge student-led pro-Israel event in New Orleans.

Chloé Simone Valdary, pres. and founder of Allies of Israel and creator of Declare Your Freedom

Chloé Simone Valdary, pres. and founder of Allies of Israel and creator of Declare Your Freedom

Declare Your Freedom 2.0 was held at Tulane University, with over 400 in attendance. Last year, Valdary organized the first DYF, and held it at her school, the University of New Orleans.

The purpose of DYF, Valdary told The Jewish Press, was “to continue to say without compunction or regret that we are Zionists, and also to celebrate Zionism – the civil rights movement of the Jewish people.”

Valdary is a dynamo, but she also had lots of help from fellow Zionists Maor Shapira, Becca Leifer and Nicki Etseckson, all three of whom are students at Tulane.

Simon Deng, human rights activist, former child slave in the Sudan, at DYF 2.0

Simon Deng, human rights activist, former child slave in the Sudan, at DYF 2.0

The four Zionist college students put together a program which included speakers such as Brooke Goldstein, director of The Lawfare Project; Sudanese human rights activist Simon Deng; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Syrian American, founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy  and CAMERA on campus’s Samantha Rose Mandeles and Alan Mendoza, the executive director of the Henry Jackson Society.

The day-long event interspersed music and serious speakers. The music included a beautiful jazz rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah performed by Assaf Kehati. Other performers were Los Rakas, Pep Love, Zion I, Shi 360 and the Ori Naftaly Band.

As a victim of the true horrors of genocide in his native Sudan where he was a child slave, Deng spoke powerfully about the grotesque irony of people who claim to be human rights activists and focus their ire on Israel, yet completely ignore real genocide in places like the Sudan.

Jasser spoke about the need for reform in the Muslim world, while Mendoza also addressed the hypocrisy of groups like Students for Justice in Palestine who pay not attention to the complete deprivation of civil and human rights for so many in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Zach Stern of ZOA and Samantha Rose Mandeles of CAMERA at DYF 2.0

Zach Stern of ZOA and Samantha Rose Mandeles of CAMERA at DYF 2.0

 

CAMERA on Campus coordinator Samantha Rose Mandeles talked about the great work CAMERA does with pro-Israel students on campuses all across the country. In particular, Mandeles was full of praise for the DYF festival in carrying on the torch for freedom.

DYF 2.0 March 30, 2014

DYF 2.0 March 30, 2014

The student organizations which helped make DYF 2.0 happen were Allies of Israel (Valdary’s group), Tulane United for Israel and McNeese State’s Israel Alliance.

Declare Your Freedom 2.0, Tulane University, March 30, 2014

Declare Your Freedom 2.0, Tulane University, March 30, 2014

Sponsors of Declare Your Freedom 2.0 included CAMERA, the Zionist Organization of America, Standwithus, The Israel-American Council and the Leadership Institute.

The murals were created by Artists 4 Israel.

 

Students Angered by Hillel’s Pro-Israel Standards

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Hillel, which self-defines as the “center of Jewish life on campus,” and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, are calling attention to their frequent collaboration in an op-ed penned by national Hillel’s new president and chief executive officer, Eric Fingerhut, and Jonathan Kessler, AIPAC’s leadership development director, in this week’s issue of the New York Jewish Week .

The two acknowledge the Jewish community’s concern about this country’s campus environment “that is too often hostile to Israel. Public demonstrations, inflammatory language and personal attacks by anti-Israel organizations seek to exploit the spirit of open debate and public action central to American academic life.”

The article gives examples of the efficacy of their collaboration to “strategically and proactively empower, train and prepare American Jewish students to be effective pro-Israel activists on and beyond the campus.”

In theory, it is a good idea, and there is anecdotal evidence of success.

OPEN HILLEL

However, some students were alarmed by what seemed to be a formalizing of the relationship between Hillel and AIPAC.  These are students and adult mentors who are trying to create a movement known as “Open Hillel.”

This movement started earlier this year at Harvard – although it has not yet been successful there. However, it is cropping up on other campuses. In fact, this Sunday, Dec. 8, the Swarthmore College Hillel student board unanimously voted to declare itself an Open Hillel.

The activists behind Open Hillel are opponents of Hillel’s national guidelines. Those guidelines, crafted several years ago, discuss the many ways in which Hillel is an inclusive institution, but places outside its boundaries those entities that seek to “delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel,” or which advocate the economic and political warfare known as the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement.

What’s wrong with that standard?  Well, there are college students who are put out by such rules.  They say:

These guidelines are counterproductive to creating real conversations about Israel on campus. They prevent campus Hillels from inviting co-sponsorship or dialogue with Palestinians, as almost all Palestinian campus groups support the boycott of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel. They also exclude certain Jewish groups because of their political views. Although individual campus Hillels are not obligated to follow the guidelines, they have been used to pressure Hillels into shutting down open discourse on Israel.

Mind you, these students still want to benefit from the goodies they get from Hillel donors, such as the meeting space, the opportunity (i.e. funds) to bring in (anti-Israel) speakers, communication networks and lots of other goods and services for which the Hillel donors pay.  Those guidelines certainly could not stop any independent student groups from engaging in whatever anti-Israel activities they desire.  But the advocates for an Open Hillel want their tent and the right to blow it up, also.

Perhaps there will be a movement by Hillel donors demanding that the money provided to the Hillel foundation not be used for activities that are contrary to the organization’s stated guidelines.  Maybe an open door will be shown to those who want an Open Hillel.

However, in response to this newly formalized collaboration between Hillel and AIPAC, the Open Hillel advocates are lovingly supportive of the high priority Hillel places on inclusiveness. This time it is the “hawkish AIPAC” they resent.

Why?

Because, according to this group, AIPAC’s definition of “pro-Israel” cannot be the benchmark for what is and is not acceptable within the Jewish community on campus. The example of an unacceptable AIPAC position provided in the Open Hillel Response to Fingerhut and Kessler’s celebration of collaboration is “the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.” Why is that unacceptable? “Because the Palestinian Arabs also claim Jerusalem as their capital.”

Again, this is not a question of whether any group can bring anti-Israel speakers or activities to campus, the only question is whether Hillel donors should be required to pay for it.

A quote comes to mind from Cong. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) when talking about the “open-mindedness” of J Street with respect to Israel positions. He said “an organization so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out.”

There is another direction from which the Hillel/AIPAC relationship may receive criticism. But these students don’t demand that Hillel changes, these students seek out other organizations on campus with which to work.

For these pro-Israel students on campus, the Hillel method of dealing with anti-Israel activity, rather than being empowering, actually seems to empower the anti-Israel activists.

That is because the “behind-the-scenes” diplomacy and interfaith gestures Hillels generally favor seem, some believe, to result in pro-Israel students simply remaining silent and ignoring lies and distortions and the painting of Israel as an evil occupier. A preferred method for responding to, for example, BDS conferences is to host inclusive Shabbat dinners. Those are nice, but do nothing to counter the lies which, when repeated often enough, attain the status of truth to the students who hear them, or who read reports of those events.

For these less passive pro-Israel students, there are the more action-oriented groups such as the CAMERA Campus Activist Project, or StandWithUs or the Chabads on campus.

The students who work with these groups may still utilize Hillel resources for other activities, but turn to other sources of guidance, and resources, in order to pursue their version of Israel advocacy.

Vancouver Jews Fight Back

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

The pro-Israel education groups StandWithUs has responded to anti-Israel advertising on Vancouver’s public transit system with new ads stressing both the Jewish loss of land from biblical times to the present and Israeli-Canadian shared values, the Canadian Jewish News reports.

StandWithUs (SWU) is placing posters in ten TransLink stations to counter the misinformation of anti-Israel posters currently at these sites and on buses in Vancouver. The StandWithUs ads have been running beginning this week, until November 14, 2013.

“The anti-Israel ads distort facts. We have already encountered these particular ‘map’ ads in the U.S. They presume there once was an Arab country called ‘Palestine’ when in fact no such country ever existed prior to the one being considered today. Conversely, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land of Israel for 3 millenia, and the League of Nations recognized the Jews’ historical connection to the land which is why it carved out the Palestine Mandate as the Jewish homeland,” explained Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs.

StandWithUs, the international Israel education organization, opened its first Canadian chapter in Toronto in 2012, with community leader Meryle Kates as executive director. Though StandWithUs has countered anti-Israel transit ads in the U.S. since 2007, this is the first time the organization has posted ads in Canada.

StandWithUs will display two different posters. One depicts Jewish loss of land from Biblical times to the present by juxtaposing a map of the ancient Jewish kingdom circa 1000 BCE, a map of the land designated as the Jewish homeland by the League of Nations in 1920, and a map of the much smaller Israel of today. The second ad, with pictures of Israeli and Canadian children waving their national flags, celebrates the shared values and freedom both countries enjoy.

They will run on the Canada Line – Waterfront, Vancouver City Station, and Yaletown and on the SkyTrain – Commercial Station.

The SWU ads will counter the map posters sponsored by the Palestine Awareness Coalition (PAC) which depict a “disappearing Palestine,” with Israel appearing to expand into the West Bank.

SWUp2

In reality, it is the Jewish state that has steadily gotten smaller. It reached its largest extent during the reigns of Kings David and Solomon when it stretched into Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. In 1920, the League of Nations designated present-day Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, and the Golan Heights as the Jewish homeland. But over the decades, Israel shrank to its present size and is only 9 miles wide at its narrowest point and 290 miles long.

“As usual, the anti-Israel ad campaign tries to undermine North American support for Israel by misrepresenting its history. Now the campaigners have moved to Canada in an effort to erode Canada’s strong support for the Jewish state. Many community members have been frustrated with the anti-Israel rhetoric on campuses and in the community and requested that we respond. The StandWithUs posters balance the propaganda with the facts. They also remind Canadians of the shared values and many benefits of Canada’s steadfast alliance with Israel. “I am proud to be with StandWithUs, an organization working to correct misrepresentations about Israel with the facts,” commented Meryle Kates, StandWithUs Canada executive director.

The anti-Israel billboard campaigns began in the U.S. and for the past six years, StandWithUs has countered each one. SWU ran ads several times in San Francisco and New York City; Houston, Texas; Missoula, and Helena, Montana; Washington, DC; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Chicago, Denver, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“StandWithUs will not allow anti-Israel campaigns to go unanswered, no matter where they appear. Our goal is to set the record straight, and to inform the public about Israel’s challenges and extraordinary achievements in helping make the world a better place,” concluded Rothstein.

StandWithUs Responds to Anti-Israel Ad on NC Buses

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

The pro-Israel education group StandWithUs on Aug. 17 launched a one-year campaign that will feature pro-Israel advertisements on the interior of 98 buses in Chapel Hill, NC. The campaign counters an anti-Israel ad placed on Chapel Hill buses by the Church of Reconciliation. The church’s ad campaign, which also ran for one year, will finish at the end of August.

The Church of Reconciliation’s ad stated “Build peace with justice and equality. End U.S. military aid to Israel.” The ad “confuses and deceives the public,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs.

“The ad’s words suggest that the U.S. should stop financial assistance to Israel, implying that only Israel is to blame for a lack of peace,” Rothstein said in a statement. “The message is deceptive, and uses velvet-gloved rhetoric to try to influence unsuspecting commuters who may not know the facts.”

The StandWithUs ad, launched in partnership with NC Triangle Voice For Israel, shows Israeli and Palestinian boys with their arms intertwined, along with the text, “Imagine Peace… in a Middle East where Israel and her neighbors share technology and resources to create a future of peace and prosperity for generations to come. The possibilities are endless.”

In July, StandWithUs responded to anti-Israel advertising by placing pro-Israel ads in San Francisco’s Muni bus system and pro-Israel billboards in Montana. Next month, the group will take out ads in Seattle.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/standwithus-responds-to-anti-israel-ad-on-nc-buses/2013/08/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: