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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Zionist Organization’

Incitement Underscores Palestinian Unwillingness To Make Peace

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

When Barack Obama entered the White House, he promised to make Israeli/Palestinian peacemaking his priority from “day one.” And, indeed, in his own way he did. He pressured Israel into freezing Jewish construction in the West Bank for ten months in a bid to entice the Palestinians to negotiate.

Yet Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority refused negotiations except for a few days near the end of the 10-month period and has not negotiated substantively since.

On its face, this is puzzling. If Abbas and the PA were eager for statehood alongside Israel – as they claim in their official speeches in international forums – nothing would be easier than to agree to negotiations that would lead in that direction, under an American president who has been strongly pushing for this.

But they don’t.

The reason? Lacking a state is less intolerable for the Palestinian movement than accepting the right of Jews to have a state of their own. And indeed, Palestinians turned down statehood on the four occasions detailed plans were proposed to create one – 1937, 1947, 2000 and 2008.

The common denominator to these rejections was that these plans all encompassed a Jewish state living alongside it. The leitmotif of Palestinian politics has been the rejection of precisely this proposition.

There are mountains of evidence to establish this proposition, but let’s confine ourselves to merely a recent six-week period.

Demonization of Jews: The PA TV children’s program “The Best Home” that aired on April 22 and again on May 8 featured a child reciting a poem which included the following words: “Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail.”

Terrorists glorified: On April 16, the PA publicly mourned the anniversary of the death of PLO arch-terrorist Khalil Al-Wazir (Abu Jihad). The PA held six sporting events in his honor and broadcast TV programs celebrating him and his career of terror attacks. WAFA, the official PA news agency, glorified his killing of Israelis and enumerated in detail and with approbation his attacks on Israeli civilian targets in an article that also appeared in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

An old Wazir speech was exhumed from the archives and rebroadcast, a section of which included the following, “On one street, for example, we will hold 500 people [hostage]…at any moment, he can blow up everyone; blow up their building, or the whole thing, no matter how many people are there.… We want to turn the Tel Aviv day black. We want to turn the Tel Aviv day into destruction, Allah willing.”

On May 31, ninety-one Palestinian terrorists, including many suicide bombers whose corpses were recently handed over by Israel to the PA as a goodwill gesture, were given a military funeral for heroes by the PA. Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other PA dignitaries were in attendance. All the returned terrorists were categorized as shahids (martyrs), thus conferring on them the status of national and religious heroes.

The secretary general of Abbas’s office, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, declared, “We ask Allah to gather you in the uppermost heaven, along with the prophets, the righteous,” while the Mufti of the PA, Muhammad Hussein, said, “By Allah’s will, we still have elite groups of martyrs like these among us.… The souls of the noble martyrs envelop us, and their souls tell us to follow in their path.”

Compromise repudiated: The day before Israel Independence Day, PA TV broadcast a political statement that included the following: ” Let all religions know that I do not make truces, let every person know that I do not compromise.… Let Jaffa [an Israeli city] know that I will return to it.” Clearly, such is the political program and message the PA wishes to transmit to its people.

Muslim supremacism: On May 11, PA TV featured a children’s program in which a young Palestinian girl was asked to recite a poem that includes insults to Christians and Jews (“They are remnants of the [Christian] crusaders and Khaibar [Jews]“; are “inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised” and the “enemies of destiny”).

These salient themes in the Palestinian public square inform us that Palestinian incitement is a symptom of rejection of Jewish sovereignty, not the absence of peace. In these circumstances, peacemaking is not so much premature as it is foredoomed.

JPress Radio w. Yishai Fleisher: Is Glenn Beck Good for Israel?

Friday, June 8th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai plays Glenn Beck audio and discussed the pros and cons of the Christian Jewish alliance. Then, Jeff Daube, Director of the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) Israel office on the difference between lobbying for Israel’s behalf in Israel and America.

To download, right-click, and “Save Target As” HERE

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @Kumah
Yishai on Facebook

Why Do Some Jewish Groups Have A Problem With Legal Protection For Jewish Students?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Imagine if the NAACP had responded with skepticism to the passage of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and urged African Americans to exercise their civil rights cautiously under this law. Title VI was landmark legislation when it was passed in 1964 to remedy racial and ethnic discrimination in programs receiving federal funding.

In fact, the NAACP fought for Title VI’s passage and has vigorously sought to enforce it to uphold the right of African Americans to be free from discrimination.

Jewish students are facing their own serious problems of harassment and discrimination at schools receiving federal funding. After a six-year campaign by the Zionist Organization of America, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, finally clarified in October 2010 that Jewish students finally would be afforded the same protection from harassment and discrimination under Title VI that other minorities have enjoyed for close to 50 years.

Yet instead of embracing the new legal protection, some in the Jewish community have been strangely critical of it.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs describes itself as “the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community” in the Jewish community relations field. Its national member agencies include the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee and more than 100 Jewish community relations councils throughout the country. A year after the policy clarification from the Office for Civil Rights, the JCPA proposed a resolution regarding Title VI. Instead of praising the new policy and committing to a nationwide campaign to educate Jewish students and university officials about students’ right to be protected from anti-Semitic harassment and discrimination under Title VI, the JCPA resolution tried to impose unreasonably harsh standards on when Jewish students should use the law to rectify a hostile anti-Semitic school environment – stricter even than the standards that the Office for Civil Rights applies.

Critics of the new Title VI policy have paid little attention to the fact that the policy has already shown its value.

University of California President Mark Yudof recently issued a public statement in which he condemned anti-Semitic harassment on the UC campuses.

Last month, Rutgers University President Richard McCormick issued a statement publicly condemning a student paper, The Medium, for falsely claiming that an article mocking the Holocaust had been written by a vocal Jewish, pro-Israel student.

McCormick said that “no individual student should be subject to such a vicious, provocative, and hurtful piece, regardless of whether First Amendment protections apply to such expression.”

Significantly, McCormick had failed to condemn previous anti-Semitic incidents on campus. It is likely that OCR’s Title VI policy, which recommends that university leaders label certain incidents as anti-Semitic, played a role in the decisions of both McCormick and Yudof to speak out. Surely also at play was the fact that there are Title VI investigations pending against their schools.

The David Project recently issued a report about rethinking Israel advocacy on campus. Curiously, the report cautions that “legitimate efforts to combat campus anti-Semitism could be complicated by overly aggressive complaints” under Title VI. But what are “legitimate efforts”? And what does the David Project mean by “overly aggressive”? Only weeks after the Office for Civil Rights issued its new Title VI policy, the ZOA was able to use it effectively without even filing a complaint with the OCR. We contacted officials at a Maine high school where there was longstanding anti-Semitic harassment and informed them of their Title VI obligations. The school acted on nearly all our recommendations and rectified the situation.

Would the David Project consider our actions legitimate or overly aggressive? What if school officials had refused to fix the problems? Would a Title VI complaint then have been legitimate?

It is difficult to understand why members of the Jewish community are skeptical of a critical new legal tool under Title VI or why they are sending a cautious message about using it.

We should be fully supportive of Jewish students and holding schools accountable when they don’t respond to campus anti-Semitism.

It’s time for us to stop being “shah-still” frightened Jews of the previous generation and start strongly speaking out on behalf of our Jewish brethren when necessary.

Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Susan B. Tuchman is the director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice.

Intensive Campaign for Jewish Rights on Temple Mount Launched

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

According to Tmount.org, a blog dedicated to all things related to the Temple Mount, a campaign for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount has been launched.

30 senior activists from Temple Mount groups and organizations around Israel recently convened an unprecedented meeting, and resolved to begin pooling their resources and work in coordination to attain their goals of expanding the rights of Jews on the Temple Mount.

Details of the planned projects were not released, due to the sensitive inter-religious issues that beset the Temple Mount, but Tmount.org reported that the projects will likely be launched within the next few months.

Among the organizations that participated in the historic meeting were Hatenua Lekinun HaMikdash (Movement for Temple Renewal); El Har Hashem (Temple Mount Advocacy Council); Nashim Lman Har HaBayit (Women of the Mount); The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation; and El Har HaMor.

The increased activism comes in the wake of a scathing press release by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which lambasted the Israeli government for its discriminatory treatment of Jews on the Temple Mount. The press release highlighted the measures police employ to ‘guard the calm’, including being “followed and filmed by Israeli police and representatives of the Wakf” and “arrests for ‘crimes,’ such as – praying, even silently if one’s lips are moving.”

Fatah/Hamas Means No More Concessions To Abbas

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which controls Gaza, have formally signed a unity agreement.

This means Fatah, which calls in its constitution for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism as an indispensable element in the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19), will be united with Hamas, which calls is its charter for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7).

Just last week Hamas condemned the killing of the arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden. Both Hamas and Fatah have each murdered more than 500 Israelis since Yasir Arafat launched his terrorist wave against Israel in September 2000.

Now that these two movements have seen fit to form a new, unified Palestinian terrorist regime, it should be crystal clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can make no concessions whatsoever.

Because the fact is, with such an agreement the PA need make no concessions to Israel in return for any UN declaration of statehood. As Mideast expert Professor Barry Rubin has observed:

In other words, there will be a widely, or internationally, accepted Palestine without the need to make peace with Israel. No concessions need be made. The Palestinians will get everything and give up nothing. They will not be bound in any way by border changes or security guarantees. The struggle to wipe Israel off the map can continue. It’s Hamas’s dream come true.

We know from recent, bitter experience that the PA is unlikely to accept even the most generous Israeli peace proposals – even ones that would endanger Israel, such as Ehud Barak’s 2000 peace offer or Ehud Olmert’s 2008 offer, both of which offered more than 90 percent of Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem to the PA.

But even if the PA were willing to accept a concessionary Israeli proposal, such a proposal should not be made, because Abbas’s PA has done nothing to suggest its war against Israel will not continue.

To the contrary, by naming schools, streets and sports teams after Jew-killers; by not arresting terrorists or outlawing terrorist groups; and now by initialing an agreement with Hamas, the PA has shown conclusively that it is not only not a peace partner but is an avowed enemy of Jews and the Jewish state.

Why, then, is Israel being urged to make concessions? Such importuning is based on the fallacy that creating a Palestinian state will bring peace. This will remain a delusion until and unless the PA genuinely cleanses itself of terrorism and extremism, fights and jails terrorists, and terminates the culture of hatred and rejection that fuels Palestinian violent rejection of the Jewish state of Israel.

Does any reasonable person sincerely believe these things can even begin to occur when Fatah/PA allies itself with Hamas?

Any withdrawal of Israeli forces from Judea and Samaria would be a strategic and dangerous mistake, one that would imperil Israel’s major population centers. In this context, it is irrelevant that PA forces are being trained by the U.S.; the PA lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007 and may yet lose Judea and Samaria, despite any agreement signed between the two.

The prospect of U.S.-trained PA forces occupying strategic positions in Judea and Samaria should fill one with dread, not reassurance. We have seen in recent weeks Arab regimes murdering their own citizens by the hundreds and a journalist, Lara Logan, sexually assaulted in Egypt, with crowds egging on the attackers with cries of “Jew, Jew.” What might we expect from a Fatah/Hamas state?

In these circumstances, the Netanyahu government should not accede to whatever pressure might be placed on it to produce yet another gesture, yet another retreat, yet another wasteful, dangerous, one-sided concession.

Capitulation would send the world a message of Israeli weakness, a message that says this is really Arab land to which Jews have no claim. And we could end up with an Iranian-armed and supported Hamas-run state in these territories.

Instead of seeking to buy time or breathing space with new concessionary proposals, Israel must speak the truth loudly and clearly: Abbas’s PA is an unreconstructed terror-sponsoring regime that refuses to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state and is undeserving of any international support, rewards or concessions until, at the very least, it fulfills its 17-year old commitments to end terrorism and incitement to hatred and murder. By initialing an agreement with Hamas, the PA has done the very opposite.

Protecting Jewish Students From Anti-Semitic Harassment

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that colleges and universities redress racial and ethnic discrimination or risk losing their federal funding. Thus, if African American or Hispanic students are harassed on campus, they can complain to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which is mandated to enforce Title VI and ensure that their schools fix the problem.

But Title VI does not clearly protect Jewish students, as we found out after the Zionist Organization of America filed a Title VI complaint with OCR on behalf of Jewish students at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

To correct this problem, Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) have introduced legislation that would require that Jewish students be protected from harassment and intimidation on their campuses. The legislation would add protection from religious discrimination to Title VI, which presently prohibits discrimination based on “race, color, or national origin.”

The Specter-Sherman bill will fill a legal loophole that right now effectively permits colleges and universities to ignore when Jewish students are harassed or discriminated against. Lawmakers should enact this bill quickly, so that Jewish students are assured a campus environment that is safe and conducive to learning, which all students deserve. Advertisement

The need for this amendment is highlighted by many troubling incidents of campus anti-Semitism. For example, at UC Berkeley last March, a Jewish student was holding a sign at a pro-Israel campus rally that read “Israel Wants Peace.” She was rammed from behind with a filled shopping cart. The attack was unprovoked and the victim required medical attention.

At UCI, a Holocaust memorial was destroyed, and swastikas have defaced campus property. Posters have depicted women in traditional Muslim garb saying, “God bless Hitler.” A Jewish student was told to “go back to Russia where you came from.” Jewish students have been threatened and physically assaulted. The campus regularly hosts one- to two-week-long events that demonize Israel and Jews. At the May 2009 event, a speaker compared Jews to Satan. Last May, this speaker referred to Jews as “the new Nazis.”

In October 2004, the ZOA filed a Title VI complaint with OCR on behalf of Jewish students at UCI. The complaint detailed years of increasing anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and discrimination, and charged that the university had either ignored the problems or made token efforts to address them.

At the time the complaint was filed, OCR had clarified its policy for enforcing Title VI, concluding that the law applied to religious groups that also share ethnic characteristics, such as Jews. Based on this policy clarification, OCR proceeded with the ZOA’s case, rendering it the first case of anti-Semitism that OCR ever agreed to investigate under Title VI.

Soon after the investigation started, the leadership at OCR changed, resulting in a change in the agency’s Title VI policy. OCR reverted back to denying Title VI protection to Jewish students, perceiving Jews simply as a religious group and not also an ethnic group that would be protected from “racial” and “national origin” discrimination under the law.

As a result, even though OCR had overwhelming evidence that Jewish students were facing severe and persistent anti-Semitism at UCI, and that the university hadn’t responded adequately to the problem, OCR dismissed the ZOA’s complaint, concluding that many of the allegations fell outside the agency’s jurisdiction. Our appeal of that decision has been pending since April 2008.

Even now, with new leadership at OCR under President Obama, the policy of denying Jews the same protections as other minority groups has not changed.

The injustice of the UCI decision inspired the ZOA to advocate for a change in the law. We communicated with many members of Congress, educating them about the problems that Jewish students are facing on their campuses and about the law’s failure to afford them the same protections as other ethnic and racial groups. At our annual Advocacy Mission to Washington last April, these problems were a centerpiece of our lobbying efforts with lawmakers.

When Congressman Ron Klein (D-FL), co-chair of the Congressional Taskforce Against Anti-Semitism, convened a briefing last June on campus anti-Semitism and the federal government’s role in redressing it, the ZOA briefed congressional members and their staffs. The briefing led to letters from 38 members of Congress to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, urging the Education Department to enforce Title VI to protect Jewish students.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/protecting-jewish-students-from-anti-semitic-harassment/2010/10/06/

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