The New Face of BDS: Avi Benlolo, National Post, Mar. 10, 2016— The world is finally waking up to the cancer called BDS — the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign.
Time to Draw Lines and Defend Them: Caroline Glick, Truth Revolt, Feb. 29, 2016— At a certain point you just have to know when to draw a line in the sand.
Connecticut College Anti-Semitism Continues; Some Faculty Speak Out: Noah Beck, IPT, Mar. 4, 2016 — A Connecticut College professor has told colleagues that his school has grown so hostile toward Jews that he can no longer recommend Jewish students or professors study or teach at the college.
Jewish Professor Hounded at California Riverside Campus for Holding Pro-Israel Views: Phyllis Chesler, Jewish Press, Feb. 29, 2016— Dr. Denise Dalaimo Nussbaum, Chair of the Sociology Department, distinguished author and professor, is suing the Governing Board of Mount San Jacinto Community College for 9.5 million dollars…
An Anti-Semitism of the Left: Roger Cohen, New York Times, Mar. 7, 2016
‘Jew Haters’ Spread Fear at CUNY Colleges: Carl Campanile, New York Post, Feb. 24, 2016
Privileging Islamophobia Over Antisemitism on Campus: Corinne Blackmer, Algemeiner, Mar. 10, 2016
Methodists Restarting BDS War Against Israel: Susan Warner, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 10, 2016
National Post, Mar. 10, 2016
The world is finally waking up to the cancer called BDS — the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign. I can recall countless meetings with Israeli officials who originally dismissed this insidious, anti-Semitic movement. Now they want to set up conferences and send emissaries to counter the scourge.
Yet the BDS campaign is no longer just the BDS campaign. Like all anti-Semitic libels and propaganda initiatives dating back over 2,000 years, it metastasized while the Jewish world was slowly catching on. It is now going through a re-brand on university campuses because of: 1) the negative and anti-Semitic connotation of the term “boycott,” with its undertones of the Final Solution; 2) political condemnation and counter-legislation targeting BDS in Canada, the United States and Europe; and 3) the need for a wider, socially acceptable umbrella to be used as a cover to promote an anti-Semitic narrative through the denunciation of Israel.
The new brand name for BDS is “Divestment.” This latest incarnation is billed at Toronto’s York University as #YUDivest. It is a strategy that aims to bring together student groups and faculty alike under a singular declaration against the financing of arms manufacturers. On the surface, almost everyone would agree that a university should not be investing in military equipment. And yet, the organization behind the #YUDivest campaign at York is called “Students against Israeli Apartheid” (SAIA). It’s is a group that promotes harmful propaganda against Israel. Indeed, the only democracy in the Middle East that safeguards minority rights, gay rights, women’s rights, Palestinian rights and freedom for all, is the only country maligned by SAIA and slandered as an “apartheid state.”
While most student groups and faculty had difficulty aligning with the BDS movement, they now find vindication under the #YUDivest umbrella, which masquerades as an anti-military coalition. Its true raison d’être, however, is the condemnation of Israel under the SAIA mandate — a mission that finds a receptive audience in the toxic, anti-Semitic environment on the York campus. The campaign struck gold when it received the endorsement of the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) executive and Stewards Council. YUFA, however, adamantly denies the endorsement of #YUDivest has anything to do with BDS. That’s a disingenuous sentiment, considering SAIA acknowledges it is the group that initiated the #YUDivest campaign in the first place.
The change from BDS to Divestment is spreading widely. Over 125 University of Toronto faculty members have announced their support for the Graduate Student Union’s Divestment campaign, while students at the University of Illinois in Chicago, who have an active Divestment campaign, are less shy about admitting this is all about Israel. In fact, the map of Israel features prominently in their logo — as their target country.
The Divestment movement, couched in the language of human rights, is in reality a malicious campaign that targets and singles out the Jewish community as a collective, demonizes Israel and Israelis, applies unfair double standards to Israel at the exclusion of other nations in the Middle East and rejects the legitimacy of Israel as the only Jewish state in the world, thereby inciting an abhorrent resurgence of anti-Semitism.
It is deeply troubling to see this phenomenon of hate coming from an ideologically inspired group of students. It is contemptible to learn it is supported by university professors. History has shown us that not even campuses, and faculty, are immune from the forces of hatred and discrimination. All of this speaks to the critical question: is there a cure for anti-Semitism in academia?
Truth Revolt, Feb. 29, 2016
At a certain point you just have to know when to draw a line in the sand. Sloan and Guy Rachmuth, Jewish parents in Durham, North Carolina, reached that point in 2014 when they opted to walk away from their local Jewish day school and home school their two children. The Rachmuths pulled their children out of the Lerner School when they concluded the school would not abide by its commitment to assist “all students in developing a positive Jewish identity and pride in their Jewish heritage.”
As committed Zionists, the Rachmuths were dismayed to see that far from fulfilling its commitment, the Lerner school was cultivating a learning environment that questioned the legitimacy of the Jewish national liberation movement and of the State of Israel. Perhaps the turning point was when the school took down all the maps of Israel from the classroom walls. Perhaps it was when their five-year-old son came home and asked them why the map of Israel hurt some people’s feelings.
Perhaps it was when they discovered that the school had employed a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activist as a Hebrew teacher. Perhaps it was when they discovered that the school’s development director and former president of the board was an anti-Israel activist whose group, Jews for a Just Peace, had joined forces with the anti-Semitic and rabidly anti-Israel BDS groups Students for Justice in Palestine and the Palestinian Solidarity Movement. Perhaps it was when the school refused to back Israel during Operation Protective Edge during the summer of 2014.
Or perhaps the Rachmuths felt obliged to draw their line and walk away when they got the sense that the school rejected not only their Zionism, but vigorously opposed their right to defend their values. According to Andrew Passin’s two-part report on the Rachmuth family’s ordeal published by JNS, in internal memos, the current school board president Tal Wittle referred to Sloan Rachmuth’s repeated complaints about the school’s diffident position on Israel, and the dominant role BDS supporters played at the school as “bigotry.”
If the Lerner school had simply let the Rachmuths walk away, the story would have been relegated to the shadows. Instead, it became a matter of importance for the American Jewish community and for Israel because the school decided to punish the Rachmuth’s for their decision. Last fall the Lerner school sued the couple for breach of contract for their refusal to pay $20,000 in tuition for the 2014-2015 school year, despite the fact that their children did not go to school that year. School officials told Passin that it was “a business decision” to sue the family.
Maybe monetary considerations played a role, but Passin quoted an internal email from Wittle to school principal Allison Oakes making clear that “business” was only one consideration. “Part of me,” Wittle wrote, “wants to say [to the Rachmuths] fine, keep your money because our school doesn’t need such bigotry anywhere near it. But, one, that sends the message that they are in the right, and two, we run a business.” In other words, the school decided that it needed to sue the Rachmuths in order to punish them for rejecting the school’s values.
And that isn’t the end of it. Passin reported that community members are so angry at the Rachmuths that some are calling for the Durham Jewish community to boycott their business. That is, “A family withdrawing from a school in protest of those who support the boycott against Israel [is now being threatened with] being boycotted by those who support the school.” Passin was assured by Oakes that while she had heard the same talk, the community would never really carry out the threat, although she is maintaining the lawsuit.
It’s hard to know the precise moment that unapologetic Zionism became controversial or even, as the president of the board of the Lerner School would have it, a form of bigotry, for a significant portion of American Jews. But there can be no doubt that it happened. Last month a group of alumni from Oberlin College tried to oppose the rabid anti-Israel and anti-Semitic atmosphere on their alma mater’s campus. They organized a closed Facebook page and sent an open letter to the college’s president demanding action to protect Jewish students.
Among the many incidents that upset the alumni were the student cooperative association’s decision to expel the kosher food co-op. Another low point was when anti-Israel activists planted 2,133 flags in the center of campus to symbolize the Palestinians killed during Operation Protective Edge. They planted the flags on Rosh Hashana. Rather than thank the alumni for acting to protect them, last week three Jewish student leaders published an op-ed in the Cleveland Jewish News condemning the alumni for failure to take a “nuanced” view of the Palestinian conflict with Israel. The students wrote that they believed that the alumnis’ call for an end to BDS on campus needed to include “a call to end settlement expansion and other obstacles to lasting peace and a two-state solution.”
“We all agreed,” the Jewish student leaders wrote, “that working to end the occupation and achieve a two-state resolution is vital for the future of a Jewish and democratic Israel.” In other words, you can’t be for Israel without embracing J Street’s moral equivalence – at best – between Hamas, a terrorist group which aspires to murder all Jews, and law abiding Israeli citizens who live in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
IPT, Mar. 4, 2016
A Connecticut College professor has told colleagues that his school has grown so hostile toward Jews that he can no longer recommend Jewish students or professors study or teach at the college. "In my opinion, this harassment of Jews on campus in the name of fighting for social justice should end; immediately," wrote Spencer J. Pack, an economics professor, in a faculty-wide email.
His comments were triggered by the smear campaign that pro-Palestinian students successfully waged against a pro-Israel professor, resulting in his indefinite leave from campus, and a more recent push to malign Birthright (a program enabling student travel to Israel) by plastering the campus with posters. The posters reportedly intimidated Jewish or pro-Israel students and faculty, while attempting to poison the minds of uninformed students and faculty with vicious falsehoods about Israel. The posters were put up by Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP), whose faculty adviser, Eileen Kane, runs the school's Global Islamic Studies program.
Kane's Global Islamic Studies program also invited Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi to speak at Connecticut College on April 12. Kanazi, who is scheduled to give a "poetry performance," is on the organizing committee of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and listed among its endorsers. His strategy has been to connect anti-Israel politics with popular urban struggles.
Making matters worse, Jasbir K. Puar also was invited to speak at Connecticut College. At a Feb. 3 talk at Vassar College, Puar unleashed a torrent of vicious anti-Israel lies and blood libels, including outrageous accusations about Israel harvesting Palestinian organs and conducting scientific experiments in "stunting" the growth of Palestinian bodies. Her Connecticut College appearance was scrapped, but Kane has ignored repeated questions about the invitation.
Hatred of Israel and overall hostility towards Jews at Vassar has been amply detailed. More generally, campus hate against Israel and Jews has become an increasingly frequent and widespread problem thanks to the "Boycott, Divest, Sanction" (BDS) movement. Even Palestinians who aren't sufficiently critical of Israel are targeted by BDS. Bassem Eid, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, was directly threatened by anti-Israel protesters while lecturing at the University of Chicago on Feb. 18. More recently, the New York Post reported on the hateful harassment of Jews at four City University of New York campuses.
Connecticut College seems to be moving in the same direction. Last spring, Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin was libeled and silenced in a campaign led by Students for Justice in Palestine activist Lamiya Khandaker. That campaign included condemnation of Pessin by scores of Connecticut College departments and affiliates, including the Global Islamic Studies program. The administration nevertheless gave Khandaker the "Scholar Activist Award." Then came the Birthright smear last December, the Puar invitation, and the scheduled talk by anti-Israel activist Kanazi, sponsored by the Islamic studies program.
These developments reinforce the perception that Connecticut College is hostile to pro-Israel voices. Meanwhile, discussion of the Pessin affair continues as questions mount over the role and nature of the school's Islamic studies program. In a Jan. 26 email to fellow faculty members, Manuel Lizarralde, a professor of anthropology and botany, called the Pessin affair a "train wreck" and expressed regret at previously staying silent. "Why did we not have the Andrew defending his views?…We acted like vigilantes and found the perfect scapegoat," he wrote.
In a Feb. 4, faculty-wide response to Lizarralde, Pack accused the Islamic studies program of organizing students to join the anti-Pessin campaign and then sponsoring "a new group on campus that [posted the anti-Birthright and anti-Israel] posters." That's when he called on the harassment to stop and indicated that he couldn't recommend Jews join the Connecticut College community. In response, Pack received some private support but wrote that "many, (perhaps most?), of the faculty…are quite upset with me."
Kane responded to Pack's email on Feb. 9, denying that CSSP is anti-Israel. But CSSP's posters smear the Birthright program with the label "settler colonialism," effectively demonizing any student participant in that program, and spread the blatant lie that that there are "seven million Palestinian refugees today." Even the pro-Palestinian United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) claims that there are only five million Palestinian refugees, and that total is grossly inflated because UNRWA defines the term "refugee" to include all subsequent generations of the original refugee – a definition unique to Palestinians among all other global refugee groups…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Jewish Press, Feb. 29, 2016
Dr. Denise Dalaimo Nussbaum, Chair of the Sociology Department, distinguished author and professor, is suing the Governing Board of Mount San Jacinto Community College for 9.5 million dollars for “assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gender discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, violation of constitutional and statutory rights of free speech and political activities, retaliation, tortious interference with law enforcement investigation, and breach of fiduciary duty.”
I think she should sue for more—far more—since this long-time tenured professor now faces a potentially dangerous and hostile work environment. Her crime? She is a Zionist and proud of it. More importantly, she is a great believer in objective truth. This is currently out of fashion on so many American campuses when the subject of Israel, Palestine, and Islam are discussed. Dr. Nussbaum is also a feminist—and this figures in this story as well. Her love of truth, love of Zion, and love of freedom for women and minorities are anathema to those who have attacked her.
What is going on? Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel Brownshirts are growing more and more aggressive on North American campuses. They support “hate speech” and “blood libels” but in the name of “free speech.” They claim “academic freedom” to do so. But they behave in absolutely uncivilized ways. They glare, stare, yell, march, chant, intimidate and bully, even as they conduct intense internet and campus-wide smear campaigns. They interrupt, challenge, and walk out on outside speakers who hold “false” ideas. If a faculty member shares such ideas, the Brownshirts create a hostile, even a dangerous work environment—all the while accusing their (usually) single opponent of having done so.
Such Brownshirts (students, faculty, administrators), are both actively and passively involved in destroying, one by one, all those who hold “false” ideas. They advance on—or refuse to stop such an advance on—the “politically incorrect” professor like a swarm of killer bees. For years, I have called this phenomenon Gaza on the Pacific or Gaza on the Hudson. Otherwise good people fear them and do not want to get involved. I have been writing about this danger for fifteen years now; as I feared, matters have worsened. Senior, competent, beloved professors are being forced to flee for their lives by mobs of vicious haters, often led by one or two Islamists who are always, always “pro-Palestine” and “anti-Zionist.”
For example, in 2002, a riot took place at Concordia University in Montreal. Dear friends were bruised, knocked down and beaten bloody. This is hardly constitutes a free exchange of ideas. Also in 2002, at San Francisco State, students had to walk a hostile gauntlet attacking Israel and Jews. Posters read: Zionism=Racism and Jews=Nazis. At one point, Jewish students had to be escorted by campus police away from a hostile, near-rioting mob.
In 2003, I experienced one of the earliest near-riots in academia in America when I told the truth about Islam and Israel at a free-standing conference that had rented space at Barnard. I had to be hustled out for my safety. I wrote about that experience in these pages. In 2009, at York University, another pro-Palestine/anti-Israel riot took place. Nora Gold fictionalizes this in her award winning novel Fields Of Exile. Her heroine is badly wounded in just such a riot—because she is known as being pro-Israel.
In 2011, while Charles Small was not physically assaulted, he was psychologically and verbally assaulted by those who forced him out of Yale, actually who punished him, for daring to tell the truth about contemporary Jew-hatred in both the Islamic world and in the West. In 2015, Philosophy Professor Andrew Pessin had to take a medical leave of absence due to the swarm of vicious propaganda that circulated against him on campus as well as the death threats—all because he was known to be pro-Israel. This campaign was led by a pro-Palestinian religious Muslim female student.
Early this year, Dr. Nussbaum, became the next, known victim of a similar four-month campaign in which she was bullied, harassed, shunned, shamed, turned on by her colleagues, betrayed by her own administration—and physically assaulted by a more junior faculty member. Unbelievably, infuriatingly, her administration is now paying for her attacker’s lawyers.
How and why did this happen? Observing due process, Dr. Nussbaum persuasively objected to the lecture invitation extended to a known non-academic Israel-hater, Miko Peled, an Israeli Jew. She went through channels. Most of the involved faculty agreed with her. But two, perhaps only three faculty members who wanted Peled to speak bypassed all appropriate channels and used their own faculty “turf” to pay him $2,500. Peled’s March 23rd speech consisted of a series of inflammatory, ahistorical, out-of-context Blood Libels. Dr. Nussbaum herself did a content analysis of it.
In Miko Peled’s speech on March 23, 2015, he made more than a dozen references to “Israeli occupation” and “Israeli occupiers;” 19 references to “ethnic cleansing (of) Palestinian refugees”; depicted Israelis as “racists” nine times and as “oppressors” 17 times. Peled compared Israel to “South African Apartheid” five times; and portrayed Hamas as “resistance fighters” nine times—but called Israelis “terrorists” three times. Peled “demonized” Israel constantly, referred to Jewish “conspiracies” resorted to “double standards” as a way of “deligitimizing” Israel. He did not mention the Holocaust or the historical fate of Jews in Muslim countries…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
An Anti-Semitism of the Left: Roger Cohen, New York Times, Mar. 7, 2016— Last month, a co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, quit in protest at what he described as rampant anti-Semitism among members. A “large proportion” of the club “and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he said in a statement.
‘Jew Haters’ Spread Fear at CUNY Colleges: Carl Campanile, New York Post, Feb. 24, 2016 —Jewish students at four City University of New York campuses are being harassed and intimidated by a pro-Palestinian student group, and the university isn’t doing enough to protect them, according to a leading advocacy group.
Privileging Islamophobia Over Antisemitism on Campus: Corinne Blackmer, Algemeiner, Mar. 10, 2016—Southern Connecticut State University, where I teach, has gone to great lengths to accommodate Muslims — and reject the slightest manifestations of Islamophobia — while acting complacently toward egregious antisemitism and hate crimes. Concurrently, widely publicized events at Vassar and Oberlin Colleges reveal that displays of antisemitism typically cause uproar within the Jewish community but near silence by others, who even go so far as to defend hateful expression as freedom of speech.
Methodists Restarting BDS War Against Israel: Susan Warner, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 10, 2016—On May 10, 2016, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) will gather at the Oregon Convention Center, hosting thousands of Methodist leaders, delegates and visitors. This leading policy-making event meets once every four years to revise church law and adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. The conference also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs. This year, four new proposals in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are being prepared for consideration of the general assembly during the 10-day event.