So You’re a Jew and You’re Starting College? Prepare for Anti-Zionism— Molly Harris, Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2016— Congratulations, new college freshmen!
Inside a Hate-Filled Anti-Israel Protest: Aedan O’Connor, National Post, Sept. 8, 2016 — I donned a headscarf and sunglasses, and removed the Star of David I wear around my neck.
The American Inquisition: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 5, 2016 — The cancer of Jew hatred has taken over the body of US academia.
Remember Iran’s Role in 9/11: Joseph I. Lieberman, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 7, 2016— ‘Never forget” is the commitment the American people made after Sept. 11, 2001.
BDS: A Threat to the Entire Middle East: Abed Almaala, Israel Hayom, Sept. 6, 2016
Review: Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict & the Movement to Boycott Israel: Ira Robinson, CIJR, Sept. 1, 2016
Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism, Jewish Students and Failed Policies: Seth J. Frantzman, ISGAP, Sept. 7, 2016
The College Formerly Known as Yale: Roger Kimball, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 8, 2016
Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2016
Congratulations, new college freshmen! Welcome to what will undoubtedly be some of the most exciting years of your life. Get ready to meet new people, learn things that fascinate you, and figure out who you are and who you want to be. If you’re Jewish, you should probably also prepare yourself for the various forms of anti-Israel sentiment, and maybe even anti-Semitism, you’re likely to encounter on your new college campus.
In the past year alone, as a Jewish student at McGill University in Montreal, I’ve been called a “Zionist b—-.” I’ve been told several times that Jews haven’t suffered (never mind the Spanish Inquisition, Eastern European pogroms and centuries of violence and marginalization leading up to the Holocaust). I’ve seen my friends mocked for their Judaism in crude, hateful language on popular anonymous social media platforms. When I asked if a student publication would write about instances of anti-Semitism on campus in its end-of-year issue, I was told that those instances were already covered in “mainstream Zionist media.” By no means do I defend every action of the Israeli government, but Israel as a Jewish homeland plays an integral role in my identity. I love Israel and firmly believe in its right to exist, just as I believe in a Palestinian state. I also consider myself a liberal and care deeply about a range of injustices, including gender inequality, homophobia and the racial opportunity gap.
Yet so many of my liberal peers, with whom I share so much common ground, have actively excluded Jewish students from their social-justice organizations. The activist community’s demonization of Israel is apparent again and again in my interactions on campus. These clubs propagate the idea that Zionism underpins many of the world’s problems, as well as claim that Jews have no right to feel connected to Israel and that any Jew who does feel a connection to his or her religious homeland is part of the problem. Despite many of our shared values, my Jewish peers’ and my attempts to reach out to these groups have often been dismissed.
As you begin your journey as a Jewish college student, you may find that the students involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel, which is on the rise on campuses across North America, are the same students who are active in feminist collectives, LGBT groups, environmental organizations and anti-racism clubs. As a Zionist, this can be extremely disheartening — why should you be alienated from a cause because you believe Israel has a right to exist?
The years to come will be challenging for you. Whether it’s fighting BDS, coming under attack in class discussions or being made to feel unwelcome in an activist group, your experience as a Zionist at school won’t be simple. But you should still get involved with the causes you care about. You are entitled to that as much as anyone else, and you might be able to build a very important bridge. Don’t abandon your causes just because some of the people involved with them condemn Israel. And don’t be afraid to speak up to peers, professors and community members. You never know where you’re going to find an ally, and they won’t know where to find you unless you’re vocal about what you’re doing.
At McGill, I and a group of students, both Jewish and not Jewish, have taken it upon ourselves to educate our peers about the discrimination that Jews face. When I moved into my dorm for my first year, I participated in a three-hour workshop about creating a safe space on campus for everyone. I mentioned a time that I was singled out for being Jewish — and the person in charge of the workshop told me that while I might be oppressed because I am female, “being Jewish didn’t constitute the grounds for systematic oppression.” That lack of knowledge of centuries of global history is stunning, and it has to change. My friends and I are dedicated to ending bigotry in all its forms — and that includes clueless or careless anti-Semitism.
Despite the frustrations, I know that your campus will also be a wonderful place to strengthen your Jewish identity and find community. I made some of my best friends and met brilliant professors as I attempted to tackle these issues. Despite the roadblocks that you will experience along the way, the work that you do on your campus will undoubtedly create positive change.
National Post, Sept. 8, 2016
I donned a headscarf and sunglasses, and removed the Star of David I wear around my neck. I knew that I was taking a risk by going undercover to the Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto on July 2. Al-Quds Day is marked by annual demonstrations around the world, opposing the existence of the state of Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, and supporting the Palestinian cause. In Toronto, there is usually a large Al-Quds Day protest and a strong counter-protest.
In years past, I have proudly waved my Israeli flag at the counter-protest. Police always set up barriers between the two groups of protesters, in order to keep the peace. I had thus never had a chance to experience the Al-Quds side for myself — until this year. I arrived early. The first thing I noticed was the signs the protesters were holding. Several claimed the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) are equivalent, saying, “ISIS and IDF are the same: Only difference is their name” and “Humanity devastated, Zionist collaborated, ISIS & IDF activated.” Some read: “Boycott IsraHell.” Others showed graphic images purporting to be bloodied Palestinian children being abused by the IDF. I later searched for these images online and found that they were from other conflicts, unrelated to Israel. The large crowd chanted “Zionism is racism is terrorism,” “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “Black, red, green and white, Palestine is going to fight.”
The speeches were also deeply unsettling. Speakers said there should be no “so-called” state of Israel, that Israel is committing ethnic cleansing, that “Zionists gun down women as their income” and that “Zionism is racism.” One speaker said that Israel had executed a 17-year-old boy, referring to the Palestinian who slaughtered a 13-year-old Israeli girl while she was sleeping and was shot by the IDF while trying to murder her family. Another said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not a true Canadian, claiming he was too pro-Israel. The crowd cheered each speaker, while constantly shouting, “Down with Israel.”
After I left, and took the scarf off, I was profoundly disturbed that there were people allowed to espouse this hatred outside the Ontario legislature. I was cautiously optimistic when B’nai Brith launched an investigation, both into the public school teacher who spoke at the event and the event itself. I was pleased when the Toronto District Catholic School Board suspended the teacher during its investigation.
But, as I head back to school this fall, I know I will continue to see these messages and tactics used frequently by anti-Israel organizations on campus. In my experience, most university students are anti-Israel. A major contributing factor is the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda spread on college campuses. I wish the Al-Quds Day event was an anomaly, but, as many students will attest, events like these occur far too frequently on campuses across the country. Simulated Israel apartheid walls are erected, “die in” protests are staged and demonstrations of fake IDF soldiers attacking students posing as Palestinians are all-too commonplace.
Even students who have no connection to the Middle East end up supporting the Palestinian cause, because anti-Israel groups often form coalitions with other groups of students who feel they have been oppressed in some way, by arguing that they have common cause. The fault in this logic is that Israel is comprised mostly of Jews. Canadian Jews have the largest number of religiously motivated hate crimes perpetrated against them. And Jews have been subjected to great injustices, including the Holocaust and various pogroms, around the world for centuries. It is the Jews, in other words, who are often oppressed. And the reality about Israel is, of course, that it is the sole liberal democracy in the region — the only country the offers legal protections to minorities — not the evil oppressor its enemies portray.
Canada has laws against hate speech, and targeting identifiable groups for intimidation. Having now spent time inside an Al-Quds rally, it’s hard for me to imagine that these events do not cross the line where free speech becomes something else, something far more sinister and dangerous. More Canadians, particularly those in positions of power and influence, need to know what is being said at these events. Until they do, they will not understand why Jewish students such as myself no longer feel safe wearing our Magen Davids on campus, even right here at home in Canada.
Jerusalem Post, Sept. 5, 2016
The cancer of Jew hatred has taken over the body of US academia. This week we caught a glimpse of the advanced state of the disease in an email sent by a Syracuse University professor to an Israeli filmmaker in June. As The Atlantic reported, on June 24, Syracuse professor Gail Hamner disinvited Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan from screening his film at the university’s film festival, scheduled for March 2017.
Hamner’s decision had nothing to do with the quality of Dotan’s work. She admitted as much, writing, “Obviously, my decision here has nothing to do with you or your work.” Dotan was disinvited because he is Israeli and because the title of his film, The Settlers, does not make it immediately apparent whether he reviles the half million Israeli Jews who live in Judea and Samaria sufficiently. Hamner explained, “My SU colleagues, on hearing about my attempt to secure your presentation [at our upcoming film festival], have warned me that the BDS faction on campus will make matters very unpleasant for you and for me if you come.”
She then elaborated on the harm his participation would cause her, personally. “My film colleague… who granted me affiliated faculty [status] in the film and screen studies program and who supported my proposal to the Humanities Council for this conference, told me point blank that if I have not myself seen your film and cannot myself vouch for it to the council, I will lose credibility with a number of film and women/ gender studies colleagues. Sadly, I have not had the chance to see your film and can only vouch for it through my friend and through published reviews.” Hamner added, “I feel caught in an ideological matrix and by my own egoic needs to sustain certain institutional affiliations.”
Hamner’s letter to Dotan provides us with a rare opportunity to see something that people generally go to great lengths to hide. Hamner demonstrated how boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists have enmeshed Jew hatred into the fabric of academic life in America. The BDS movement is qualitatively different from all other groups that operate on campuses today. Unlike even the most radical, fringe groups, the BDS movement isn’t seeking to advance or protect the rights of anyone. All it works to accomplish is the obliteration of Jewish rights, and indeed of Jewish existence in Israel.
Like Hamas and Iran, BDS activists seek the annihilation of the Jewish state. Like Hamas and Iran, the BDS movement does not strive to bring peace or to protect the rights of anyone. Rather, like Iran and Hamas, the goal of the BDS movement is the genocide of the largest Jewish population in the world and the annihilation of the only Jewish state in the world. Bullying is the BDS movement’s preferred tactic. They bully faculty, administrators and students into becoming anti-Semitic by harassing, ostracizing and persecuting everyone who refuses to actively promote Jew hatred. To force everyone into line, BDS groups have adopted two complementary tactics. First, they try to banish Israeli Jews entirely from their campuses by bullying their institutions into adopting and implementing anti-Israel boycotts.
Second, they enforce partial bans on Israeli Jews by requiring Israeli and non-Israeli Jews to behave in manners no one would never think of requiring of Israeli Arabs, or Italians or Japanese for that matter. BDS activists achieve both aims by bullying non-activists into enforcing their anti-Semitic positions – as Hamner did when she disinvited Dotan. These actions are a clear violation not only of the civil rights of Israeli and non-Israeli Jews. They are also an indisputable violation of the civil rights of all students, administrators and faculty at US universities. They deny everyone the right to hear viewpoints and receive knowledge from Israeli Jews and so limit the academic freedom of everyone.
BDS is a postmodern version of the pure, unrefined Jew hatred of Medieval Europe. Five hundred years ago, the only Jews permitted to enter the public square were Christians. Jews were rejected, ostracized, expelled and killed unless they could enthusiastically and soulfully recite the catechisms. On university campuses throughout the US today, Jews – Israeli and non-Israeli – are ostracized, silenced, harassed and humiliated unless they enthusiastically, soulfully and contritely declare their support for the annihilation of the Jewish state. Non-Jews who do not require them to do so are similarly ostracized and otherwise punished.
Case in point is the fate of Milan Chatterjee. Chatterjee is an Indian-American law student and a Hindu. Last year he was elected president of UCLA’s Graduate Students’ Association. Last week he announced his resignation from the post and his transfer to New York University Law School to complete his degree. In a letter to UCLA chancellor Gene Block, Chatterjee explained that his decision was the result of relentless attacks, harassment and bullying he has suffered at the hands of BDS activists and their enablers in Block’s administration.
Chatterjee wrote Block: “Your administration has not only allowed BDS organizations and student activists to freely engage in intimidation of students who do not support the BDS agenda, but has decided to affirmatively engage in discriminatory practices of its own against those same students. “Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, the fact is that the UCLA campus has become a hostile and unsafe environment for students, Jewish students and non-Jewish, who choose not to support the BDS movement, let alone support the State of Israel.”
Chatterjee got on the wrong side of UCLA’s anti-Semitism enforcers in November 2015 when he adopted a student government policy of strict neutrality on BDS. Under his leadership, the graduate council would neither support nor oppose BDS. To this end, he allocated funds for a “Diversity Caucus,” with the stipulation that the caucus remain neutral on BDS. It was for his refusal to actively endorse BDS – rather than any action to oppose BDS – that Chatterjee became a target for the BDS mob. They submitted a bid to impeach him based on frivolous claims. To its shame, rather than stand by Chatterjee, the administration joined the mob. Chatterjee was censured by the university and subjected to disciplinary proceedings. UCLA’s administration claimed that he had “violated university policy” for refusing to fund BDS groups…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Joseph I. Lieberman
Wall Street Journal, Sept. 7, 2016
‘Never forget” is the commitment the American people made after Sept. 11, 2001. Yet sometimes our leaders seem to have forgotten Iran’s role in that worst terror attack on American soil, and Iran’s continuing assistance to terror organizations and operations around the world. In the last 15 years, aggressive U.S.-led military and intelligence operations have killed many of al Qaeda’s leaders and damaged the group’s ability to plan and execute a similar attack. But a key al Qaeda partner, Iran, has never been held responsible for its enabling role—even though the 9/11 Commission found that “there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”
The State Department says Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. What is not adequately understood, however, is the regime’s willingness to work with extremists of the Sunni sect in the Arab world and elsewhere—even though it views itself as the vanguard of the world’s Shiite community. Iran is aiding both Sunni and Shiite terror organizations—including Sunni Hamas and Sunni Islamic Jihad, and Shiite Hezbollah and Shiite Iraqi militias.
Iran’s link to al Qaeda goes back to Sudan in the early 1990s, when Osama bin Laden lived in the nation’s capital, Khartoum. The Sudanese religious scholar Ahmed Abdel Rahman Hamadabi brought Sheikh Nomani, an emissary of Iran, to meet bin Laden and the nascent al Qaeda leadership. According to an account by scholar Rohan Gunaratna, Sheikh Nomani “had access to the highest echelons of power in Tehran.” As a result of these consultations, the Washington Institute’s Matthew Levitt and Michael Jacobson concluded, “Iran and al-Qaeda reached an informal agreement to cooperate, with Iran providing critical explosives, intelligence, and security training to bin Laden’s organization.” Because Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) already supported Hezbollah operationally and financially, a vehicle was in place through which they could support and influence al Qaeda.
Operating through Hezbollah gave Iran immense freedom to funnel money and weaponry and to train al Qaeda operatives in deadly tactics that would be employed around the world, including against the U.S. The coordinated 1998 truck bombings targeting the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were a direct result of the Iranian terror training, according to a finding by Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the 2011 case of James Owens et al. v. Republic of Sudan et al.
After 9/11, Iran became a more important haven for al Qaeda fighters who fled from Afghanistan as the Taliban collapsed. Iran claimed that these terrorists were under “house arrest.” In reality, Iran regularly granted the terrorists freedom to move within Iran and to cross into Iraq and Afghanistan to carry out attacks. From their safe base in Iran, al Qaeda members planned terrorist operations, including the 2003 attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that killed 26 people, including eight Americans, and the 2008 attack on the American Embassy in Yemen that claimed 16 lives, including six terrorists. It took the U.S. government 10 years to publicly acknowledge Iran’s aid to al Qaeda. In 2011, the Treasury Department officially accused Iran, as a Wall Street Journal report put it, “of forging an alliance with al Qaeda in a pact that allows the terrorist group to use Iranian soil as a transit point for moving money, arms and fighters to its bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
As recently as July 20, 2016, the U.S. blacklisted three members of al Qaeda who were living in Iran, saying these al Qaeda facilitators in Iran had helped the jihadist group on the battlefield, with finance and logistics, and in liaising with Iranian authorities. Newly declassified letters captured in the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden reveal how crucial Iran has been to al Qaeda. In a 2007 letter, bin Laden directed al Qaeda not to target Iran because “Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication.”
Yet even as the U.S. has decried Iran’s support for terrorism, Washington policy makers have pursued closer relations with Tehran. In the years following reports, court rulings and U.S. government findings exposing the Iran-al Qaeda alliance, the U.S. led the countries known as the P5+1 in making a deal with Iran that at best postpones Iran’s nuclear ambitions—while giving them billions of dollars now, and a legal path to nuclear weapons in the future. We negotiated with our enemy, the Iranian regime, notwithstanding its declared and demonstrated desire to destroy our country. On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the U.S. should not be rewarding Iran for its deadly actions with gifts of sanctions relief, and the easing of arms embargoes and ballistic-missile restrictions. It is time to hold the regime accountable for its reckless aggression and support of terrorism.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
BDS: A Threat to the Entire Middle East: Abed Almaala, Israel Hayom, Sept. 6, 2016—As a Jordanian politician, I feel obligated to speak out against the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and its effect on the Middle East and the world.
Review: Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict & the Movement to Boycott Israel: Ira Robinson, CIJR, Sept. 1, 2016 —It is not an exaggeration to say that the diverse community of supporters of Israel sees the movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions [BDS] as one of the greatest challenges it currently faces.
Antisemitism, Anti-Zionism, Jewish Students and Failed Policies: Seth J. Frantzman, ISGAP, Sept. 7, 2016 —A new article at The Washington Post by Molly Harris claims that liberal Jewish students are being “actively excluded” from social justice organizations.
The College Formerly Known as Yale: Roger Kimball, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 8, 2016—The English novelist Kingsley Amis once observed that much that was wrong with the 20th century could be summed up in the word “workshop.” On American campuses today, I suspect that the operative word is “committee.”