Archive for the ‘Antisemitism in academia’ category

Professor Claims Anti-Semitism and ‘Islamophobia’ Are Equal Threats

January 13, 2018

Professor Claims Anti-Semitism and ‘Islamophobia’ Are Equal Threats, Jihad Watch

Are “Islamophobia” and anti-Semitism comparable? Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, senior lecturer in history at King’s College London, maintains that the answer is yes. Zia-Ebrahimi recently made this argument with a talk co-sponsored by Harvard University’s Saudi-funded Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program and titled, “When the Elders of Zion Relocated to Eurabia: Conspiratorial Racialisation in Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”

Speaking to a largely middle-aged crowd of about twenty, Zia-Ebrahimi contended that both The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—a Czarist forgery published circa 1903 alleging that Jews were plotting world domination—and Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis—a 2005 book by Bat Ye’or declaring the demographic and political transformation of Europe into “Eurabia”—employ conspiracy-theories that incite hatred for Jews and Muslims, respectively.

In his introduction, Zia-Ebrahimi credited the late Columbia University professor Edward Said with having originated this link by comparing Orientalism to anti-Semitism. Acknowledging that the “Israel-Palestine conflict” has “cast a long shadow on these discussions,” Zia-Ebrahimi advocated viewing anti-Semitism and “Islamophobia” as “manifestations of racism” in order to transcend these “divisions.” He described one camp as having “a tendency to be friendly to the state of Israel” and a “problem with Islamophobia,” while the other considers “Israel a colonial state” and believes in “Islamophobia.” The way to overcome these differences, he reasoned, is “to show that Jews and Muslims have been racialized.”

Zia-Ebrahimi further asserted that the two groups have suffered from conspiratorial bigotry, with the “world Jewish conspiracy” on one hand and its “Islamophobic corollary, ‘Islamicization,’” on the other. While conspiracists see Jews as seeking financial control, they see Muslims as “bent on our destruction” through “demographics,” he claimed.

While acknowledging that Eurabia and the Protocols “are two very different texts,” Zia-Ebrahimi maintained that they share certain qualities: representing “Jews and Muslims as a monolithic pack,” “supernatural reimagination” whereby the “most vulnerable sectors of society are perceived as almighty,” and claiming that “both Jews and Muslims benefit from a “European fifth column,” such as socialism or internationalism.

Zia-Ebrahimi focused the bulk of his talk on Eurabia, ostensibly because the Protocols have “been extensively studied.” Yet his hostility for Bat Ye’or and her book drove – and distorted – his presentation. Referring gratuitously to Egyptian-born Ye’or’s “European Jewish heritage,” he correlated her critique of Islam with “Lebanese Christian militias” and “Serbian ultranationalists.”

Zia-Ebrahimi excoriated Ye’or for associating Islam with “jihad,” “genital mutilation,” and “stoning,” and implying that its “principal urge is to subjugate Jews and Christians.” Eurabia, he proclaimed, “assumes all Muslims agree on sharia and want to impose it on everyone else” and above all, portrays a “diabolical Islamic civilization actively scheming destruction of Europe.”

Never once did Zia-Ebrahimi address the reality of such practices within Islam, nor the fact that Islamists advocate Islamic supremacism and are implacably hostile to Europe – seen as Christendom. In his eagerness to whitewash all things Islamist, Zia-Ebrahimi ignored the multiple terrorist attacks throughout Europe and the often-contorted Western reaction to Islamist aggression.

True to his biases, Zia-Ebrahimi lambasted a “coterie of counter-jihadi authors” such as Robert Spencer, Melanie Phillips, and Mark Steyn, and academics like Bernard Lewis, Niall Ferguson, Martin Gilbert, and Robert Wistrich for supporting and legitimizing Ye’or’s work. He savaged Ibn Warraq, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and “others referred to as ‘Muslim dissenters’” for adopting the “same discourse” in order to “be salvaged” from their “Muslimness.” Falsely conflating valid criticism and introspection with hatred and violence, Zia-Ebrahimi described the 2011 Anders Behring Breivik killings in Norway as the natural outcome of this line of thought.

While Zia-Ebrahimi’s premise seemed at first intriguing, if flawed, his mention of the Protocols and alleged concern for anti-Semitism were in the end little more than a pretext for attacking Bat Ye’or, Eurabia, and critics of Europe’s lenient—some might say culturally suicidal—policies toward its growing Muslim population. In denying any legitimacy to these widespread concerns, and in failing to support his argument with hard evidence, Zia-Ebrahimi exposed as disingenuous his contention that anti-Semitism and “Islamophobia” are twin evils of equal force.

That Harvard would host an Islamist apologist masquerading as a champion of virtue exposes the intellectual weakness, duplicity, and true intents of scholars who charge their opponents with “Islamophobia.” Coined not to spur debate but to silence it, the efficacy of “Islamophobia’s” peddlers rests far more on the prestige of their platforms rather than the rigor of their thought. Their intellectual and moral comeuppance is long overdue.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at stillwell@meforum.org. This article was originally written for Campus Watch and posted at the Algemeiner.

The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness?

November 17, 2017

The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness? | Anne’s Opinions, 16th November 2017

Linda Sarsour is an extreme leftist, “progressive” American activist with a nasty history of supporting terror and antisemitism cloaked as anti-Zionism. The latest saga in which she has become involved is her invitation by New York’s New School to speak at a panel on …. you guessed it… antisemitism – along with that other admirer of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace (which is hardly Jewish, nor promotes peace).

The New School, a Manhattan- based university, is sponsoring the event in cooperation with the Jewish Voice for Peace and Jacobin Magazine, both of which promote causes of the radical Left.

Sarsour is Muslim activist and unrelenting critic of Israel who supports a boycott against the Jewish state. Among numerous other controversial statements, she tweeted in 2012, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.”

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of JVP, is also scheduled to speak at the event, which will be moderated by Amy Goodman, host of the radio program Democracy Now.

The mind boggles. Jason Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, tweeted:

Israellycool explained the Tweet for non-Yanks:

It’s just a shame he used a US-specific reference and spelled ‘Oscar Mayer’ (the American meat and cold cut production company, owned by Kraft Heinz) as ‘Oscar Meyer’

Israellycool describes these anti-Israel “activists” thus:

Because the speakers include Linda Sarsour, who denies beingantisemitic, but boy does she hatethose who support a Jewish homeland.

And Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice For Peace (JVP), who sure love their murderers of Jews.

 

Linda Sarsour is also not the great feminist that she promotes herself as being, as the Tower notes:

In a critique of Linda Sarsour, Julie Lenarz, a senior fellow at The Israel Project, observed this past June in The Tower, “Linda Sarsour is not a feminist. She supports a culture that is forcing millions of women into religious slavery. She is a false apostle selling her regressive views to a blinded liberal audience.”

As for Rebecca Vilkomerson, you can read some of her anti-Israel activity and comments here, and below is a clip of her speaking at J Street, promoting BDS:

The New School did not seem to see the enormity of the problem, and assured the Jerusalem Post wide-eyed and disingenuously of their good intentions:

The New School responded in writing to The Jerusalem Post, saying the institution “is founded on principles of tolerance, social justice, and free intellectual exchange. These values remain central to our mission today, and we believe that engaging in debate on a range of issues and ideas is critical to our role as an academic institution”.

A representative who spoke on behalf of the school added: “We understand that there are different views on this issue.

For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these different views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League”.

The ADL declined the invitation.

Liel Leibowitz in The Tablet magazine launched a blistering attack on the New School for twisted thinking that led to their invitations:

Founded in 1919 by progressive New York intellectuals, The New School rose to prominence two decades later, when it took in a small band of Jewish intellectuals fleeing the Nazis. Eminences like Hannah Arednt, Leo Strauss, and Erich Fromm all benefited from the institution’s commitment to taking in the victims of the world’s most ancient and persistent hatred and giving them a place to pursue their ideas in peace.

How things change: Later this month, the university will co-sponsor a panel on anti-Semitism that will feature, among others, Linda Sarsour, who opined that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and believes one cannot support the right of Jews to a homeland of their own and still be a feminist. Alongside Sarsour will be Rebecca Vilkomerson, who heads the odious Jewish Voice for Peace. The group, as an ADL report aptly put it, “uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and to provide the movement with a veneer of legitimacy.” Among JVP’s recent achievements are the enthusiastic support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist convicted of a bombing attack on a Jerusalem supermarket that left two young students dead and who was recently deported from the United States after lying about the incident on her immigration forms. The group is also a frequent supporter, despite its allegations to the contrary, of Alison Weir, an activist robustly promoting modern-day blood libels against Jews.

It goes without saying, sadly, that the event—which is co-sponsored by prominent progressive institutions like the radical magazine Jacobin—features not a single actual scholar of anti-Semitism, nor one voice that doesn’t belong comfortably in the deep left.

The New School, scrambling to respond to the widely broadcast negative reactions it received, offered to organize a second panel “to discuss these issues”:

We understand that there are differing views on the issue of anti-Semitism. For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these differing views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

to which Liel Leibowitz at The Tablet angrily responded:

The aforementioned invitation arrived several moments later, to myself and other editors at Tablet, strongly suggesting that it had more to do with stanching the bleeding of a public relations problem that seriously resolving a brutal moral error. Even more insulting and infuriating is the fact that the invitation suggests that the New School sees this as a matter of balancing out two equally legitimate sides, each with its own point of view.

There ought never to be a debate between those who fan the flames of hatred and those who suffer its consequences. The New School of all institutions ought to know this, and it’s a shame that this once revered institution now peddles in the bluntest form of moral relativism rather than speak out against bigotry of all stripes.

My question remains: can the organizers at the New School really be so ignorant and obtuse as to think there is no problem with the panel of speakers at the antisemitism debate? Do they honestly think having another panel to discuss these “controversial issues” will balance out the problem?

Either they are so open-minded their brains fell out. Or they are outright antisemites. I still have not made up my mind.

Trump’s Jewish nominee for Civil Rights Office smeared by Arab groups

November 10, 2017

Trump’s Jewish nominee for Civil Rights Office smeared by Arab groups, Israel National News, Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, November 9, 2017

(Please see also, Trump’s Latest Education Nominee Steps into the Maelstrom. – DM)

No sooner had President Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, then extremist anti-Israel groups began to mount an aggressive campaign to derail the appointment.

This is a remarkable affront to a civil rights lawyer who has spent his career fighting for the rights of women, the disabled, and members of many minority groups: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, as well as Sikhs, Arabs, and Muslim Americans. Marcus’s prior tenure at the federal Office for Civil Rights was widely lauded for effective leadership and support for the rights of all students. For this reason, most civil rights groups have thus far refrained from subjecting Marcus to the vituperation that other recent Trump nominees have faced. 

Some extremist anti-Israel groups have broken ranks, however, attacking the administration’s Jewish civil rights nominee with reckless and malicious falsehoods.

One of these groups, Palestine Legal, whose mission is to bolster the anti-Israel movement by challenging efforts to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitism, immediately issued a letter smearing Mr. Marcus as an “Anti-Palestinian Crusader” and opposing his nomination in terms of the so-called Livingstone Formulation. Under that formulation, as identified by British sociologist David Hirsch, anti-Semites accuse Jews of fabricating anti-Semitism claims in order to silence decent people who are concerned about Israel’s supposed human rights violations.

In this way, Palestine Legal’s director, Dima Khalidi, levels the spurious charge that “Marcus is the architect of a strategy to abuse civil rights law to suppress campus criticism of Israel.” In other words, she contends that Marcus’ campaign to ameliorate campus anti-Semitism is not based on a virtuous desire to end bigotry but is a disingenuous attempt at “shielding Israel from scrutiny,” consistent with the “Livingstone Formulation.”

Part of that notion is “the counteraccusation that the raisers of the issue of anti-Semitism do so with dishonest intent, in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israel. The allegation is that the accuser chooses to ‘play the anti-Semitism card’ rather than to relate seriously to, or to refute, the criticisms of Israel.”

Of course, those who refuse to acknowledge that their speech or behavior may, in fact, be anti-Semitic normally resist such designations, but the allegation of Palestine Legal against Mr. Marcus is particularly odious because it seeks to impugn his integrity as someone fighting anti-Semitism, suggesting instead that his true motive, carefully hidden from view and masked as benign activism, is actually to serve the interests of Israel by trying to delegitimize and libel its campus critics.

Moreover, Palestine Legal claims, in order to shield Israel from scrutiny, to insulate its policies and state behavior from critique, Mr. Marcus, they say, pretends to be interested in anti-Semitism but is actually creating a smokescreen to shield Israel “at the expense of civil and constitutional rights.”

In addition to the Livingstone Formulation, these groups are also going after Marcus with the classic charge that Jews are attempting to use gain control of government power for nefarious purposes. “Marcus has no business enforcing civil rights laws when he has explicitly used such laws to chill the speech activities and violate the civil rights of Arab, Muslim, Jewish, and other students who advocate for Palestinian rights,” Khalidi charged.

It is not coincidental, of course, that a group dedicated to undermining efforts to fight anti-Semitism would have been aware of the efforts of Mr. Marcus and his colleagues as they attempted to identify the causes and corrosive impact of campus anti-Semitic speech and behavior.

For at least the last decade the primary source of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic activism on campuses has been anti-Israel individuals and groups, including the Muslim Student Association and the radical Students for Justice in Palestine, among others. So, even as Ms. Khalidi would have one believe that Mr. Marcus launched a campaign to silence pro-Palestinian activists merely as a tactical ploy to insulate Israel from critique and condemnation, the anti-Israel activism which she so ardently defends has regularly spawned instances in which agitation against Israel has included speech and behavior which has been considered, and in fact often was, anti-Semitic.

Of great concern to those who have observed the invidious byproduct of this radicalism is the frequent appearance of anti-Israel sentiment that often rises to the level of anti-Semitism, when virulent criticism of Israel bleeds into a darker, more sinister level of hatred—enough to make Jewish students, whether or not they support or care about Israel at all, uncomfortable, unsafe, or hated on their own campuses.

That is precisely the type of “hostile environment,” created by generating hostility toward Jewish students over their perceived or actual support of Israel, that may violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the legal tools Mr. Marcus has used and may well continue to use in his new role to help insure that universities take steps to ameliorate situations in which such prejudice-laced campus climates are allowed to develop.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), another anti-Israel group that also, not insignificantly, supports the BDS movement, published an open letter denouncing the choice of Mr. Marcus for the OCR appointment, as well, repeating the spurious charge that the use of Title VI statutes, and such guidelines as the U.S. State Department Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, would have the perverse side effect of suppressing the free speech of “pro-Palestinian” activists.

And despite Palestine Legal’s fear that the conflation of “criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism    . . .  has really serious consequences for those who advocate for Palestinian human rights and are being condemned and censored and punished as a result of the enormous pressure being placed on universities by the likes of Marcus and dozens of other Israel advocacy groups,” the truth is that not human rights advocates behave in civil ways, and the fact that “pro-Palestinian” activists support a minority group does not justify their misbehavior and extremism, even for what they clearly believe to be a noble cause.

But pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus—the very activism Palestine Legal is so intent on preserving—has been shown to correlate directly to an uptick in anti-Semitic speech and behavior. For example, in two studies it conducted of anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses, the AMCHA Initiative, an organization that investigates and documents anti-Semitism at U.S. universities, found that “Schools with instances of student-produced anti-Zionist expression, including BDS promotion, are 7 times more likely to have incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm than schools with no evidence of students’ anti-Zionist expression and the more such anti-Zionist expression, the higher the likelihood of incidents involving anti-Jewish hostility.” This “anti-Zionist expression” and “BDS promotion are,” of course, the central aspects of Palestinian activism.

That is the issue here, and why it is necessary and important that, in the effort to promote the Palestinian cause, another group—Jewish students on American campuses—do not become victims themselves in a struggle for another group’s self-determination.

Richard L. Cravatts, PhD, President Emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and the author of Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews, is also a member of the board of directors of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law and the AMCHA Initiative.

California Imams Caught on Video Preaching Jew-Hatred, Violence

July 26, 2017

California Imams Caught on Video Preaching Jew-Hatred, Violence, Front Page MagazineAri Lieberman, July 26, 2017

Aside from the videos, there’s another more troubling aspect to this story, one centering on the gross disparate treatment the mainstream media provides to certain bias crimes. It appears that some hate crimes take precedence over others, depending on which ethnic group is attacked.

[A]nti-Semitic views have seeped into the left. Rancid individuals like Linda Sarsour are portrayed by media outlets like the New York Times as moderate civil rights activists when in fact, they are anything but. Sarsour, Shahin, Harmoush and many others within the Muslim community harbor deep-seated, xenophobic attitudes with particular vitriol reserved toward Jews. The fact that the mainstream media chooses to ignore this unwavering fact should be of concern to all Americans. 

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Two disturbing videos have surfaced involving California-based Muslim preachers in which both are heard spewing anti-Semitic vitriol as well as issuing implicit calls for violence against Jews. The videos, which are not dissimilar in content and shrill to those which have emerged from Gaza, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab Mideast, reveal the extent to which anti-Semitism is deeply embedded in large segments of the American Muslim community.

The first video features Egyptian-born preacher Ammar Shahin, who is the imam of the Islamic Center of Davis, northern California. The sermon was delivered on July 21. Shahin, who delivered the sermon in both English and Arabic, is heard invoking an anti-Semitic hadith in which Muslims will do battle with the Jews and the Jews will be forced to take shelter behind rocks and trees. Shahin then says that the trees and rocks will call out to the Muslims and say, “Oh Muslim…come, there is someone behind me – except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews.”

Shahin refers to Jews as “filth” and calls on Allah to, “annihilate them down to the very last one; do not spare any of them.” Not content with merely the annihilation of Jewry, Shahin chillingly beseeches Allah to, “make this happen by our hands.” Apparently, a depraved Shahin wants to feel the knife plunging into his victim and derives perverse satisfaction from that feeling.

When confronted with the video, Shahin, who likened Jews to “filth” and called for their “annihilation,” among other sordid gems, alleged that his words were “taken out of context.” It’s funny how Jew-haters always claim to be “taken out of context” once they’re caught. Louis Farrakhan, Linda Sarsour and Keith Ellison, have all resorted to this same tired excuse, once exposed.

The second video, which was also delivered on July 21, features Sheikh Mahmoud Harmoush. The Friday sermon was delivered to congregants at the Islamic Center of Riverside, California.

Harmoush is heard telling his congregants that the immigrant Jews took advantage of Muslim hospitality and conspired to steal the “beautiful land…with killing, crime and massacres.” More ominously, Harmoush invokes “Jihad” and urges his flock to “wake up; it is time to be a Muslim. Prayer is not the only thing.” He further urges them to “resist and fight back” claiming that in addition to “Palestine” the Jews are seeking to seize “most of the Middle East…even Mecca and Medina.” Harmoush completes his screed with the obligatory, “destroy the [Jews] and render them sunder.”

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Harmoush “holds educational and leadership positions at several institutions in Southern California, teaches Arabic at UCLA San Bernardino, and is a member of the leadership council of the Syrian American Council.”

In 2010, Harmoush was embroiled in legal battle involving the expansion of his mosque in Temecula, California. Residents opposed to the expansion cited traffic concerns but others pointed to fears of radicalism and terror. At the time, Harmoush was quoted by the New York Times stating that accusations of radicalism “really are not worth responding to.”

Clearly, those who opposed the 2010 mosque expansion project had their fears validated by MEMRI’s recent exposé. When interviewed by the New York Times, Harmoush placed his best, moderate foot forward but a radically different and more disquieting picture of Harmoush emerges when he issued an Islamic sermon to a Muslim audience behind closed doors. There, in the safety of secrecy, away from prying eyes and ears, his true feelings poured forth to an approving audience.

Aside from the videos, there’s another more troubling aspect to this story, one centering on the gross disparate treatment the mainstream media provides to certain bias crimes. It appears that some hate crimes take precedence over others, depending on which ethnic group is attacked.

In January and June of 2017 the Islamic Center of Davis was the target of bias crimes. In the first instance, a vandal broke some of the mosque’s windows and placed bacon strips on the mosque’s door handle. In the second instance, an individual dumped cut up pages of the Quran outside the center. Both of these outrages garnered national mainstream media attention and rightfully so. By contrast, the instant shocking revelations involving the anti-Semitic Islamic sermons have garnered scant mainstream media coverage. Thus far, only Jewish and conservative media outlets have given this important matter the coverage it rightly deserves.

The reasons for this are two-fold. First and foremost, both imams originate from Muslim countries – Egypt and Syria – and this type of negative exposure runs counter to the narrative the mainstream media wishes to present. But the sad fact remains that the Muslim community is rife with rabid anti-Semitism. This is hardly surprising given that there is a near 100 percent prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes in the Arab world.

Second, and perhaps more ominously, anti-Semitic views have seeped into the left. Rancid individuals like Linda Sarsour are portrayed by media outlets like the New York Times as moderate civil rights activists when in fact, they are anything but. Sarsour, Shahin, Harmoush and many others within the Muslim community harbor deep-seated, xenophobic attitudes with particular vitriol reserved toward Jews. The fact that the mainstream media chooses to ignore this unwavering fact should be of concern to all Americans.

Hatem Bazian: Terrorist Professor Hamas Promoter

July 13, 2017

Hatem Bazian: Terrorist Professor Hamas Promoter, Front Page Magazine, July 13, 2017

Is Hatem Bazian the most dangerous professor in the USA? Nablus-born Bazian, is notorious for calling for intifada [violent uprising] in the United States.

He is the founder of the radical organizations Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). He is a serial pusher of conspiracies, and has a “project” to re-write history. More worryingly, he is largely responsible for the wave of anti-Semitic incitement across North American campuses.

For more info about Bazian, go to this link at the indispensable Canary Mission website. The Canary Mission database was created to document people and groups that are promoting hatred of the U.S., Israel and the Jewish people, particularly on college campuses in North America. You can also learn more about BazianSJP and AMP at their comprehensive profile pages at the Freedom Center’s Discover the Networks resource site.

 

 

Antisemitism Updates

June 1, 2017

Antisemitism Updates | Anne’s Opinions, 1st June 2017

The celebrations and festivities are over (for now) and it’s back to normal programming. I’ve not been online much these past few weeks (family stuff) so it’s time to catch up on all the horrible stuff out there (not necessarily in chronological order).

The worst act of antisemitic violence in recent weeks was the vicious murder of Dr. Sara Halimi, an Orthodox Jewish woman, by a Muslim attacker in Paris. The attack has been compounded by the lackadaisical approach by the French police which has enraged the French Jewish community:

As further details emerge of the brutal murder of an Orthodox Jewish woman in a Paris suburb at the hands of a Muslim assailant last month, French Jews are increasingly worried and angered by what one prominent member of the community called an “organized silence” surrounding the case.

Dr. Sara Halimi Hy’d, murdered by a Muslim terrorist in Paris

Dr. Sarah Halimi — a 66-year-old pensioner living in the Paris suburb of Belleville — was murdered in the early hours of April 4 by Kada Traore, a 27-year-old immigrant from Mali. After breaking into the neighboring apartment of another Malian family at 4:25 a.m. — whose terrified inhabitants locked themselves away as they heard him recite verses from the Quran — Traore jumped over the balcony and forced his way into Halimi’s apartment. As he beat the elderly lady savagely, her screams prompted neighbors to call the police.

Three officers arrived at 4:45 a.m. But on hearing Traore yelling “Allahu Akhbar!” and “Shaitan!” (Arabic for ‘Satan’), they feared a terrorist attack was taking place, and called for backup. Anti-terror officers did not arrive until 5:00 a.m., by which time Halimi had been thrown by her attacker from the window of her third-floor apartment to the ground below. Traore, reported to be a drug dealer and addict with a criminal record, then returned to the apartment of the Malian family where he resumed his prayers, and was not taken into police custody until almost 6:00 a.m.

Shock over the barbaric nature of the murder has been compounded by the reluctance of both the media and French authorities to recognize it as an antisemitic hate crime — even after a silent march of remembrance on the Sunday after the murder was met by local youths chanting “Death to the Jews” and “We Own Kalashnikovs.”

In an open letter to new French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine — a French journalist and expert on antisemitism — charged that “in the advanced decadence that reigns today in the country of (antisemitic comedian) Dieudonné, for whom ‘the Jews are dogs’ (and people laugh hysterically), it seems that a run-over dog deserves more attention than a murdered Jewish woman.”

Laignel-Lavastine also quoted William Attal, Halimi’s brother, who stated, “I have waited seven weeks before I said anything. The absolute silence about my sister’s murder has become intolerable.”

Since the murder, official and media accounts of what transpired have played up claims that Traore was suffering from mental illness, while virtually ignoring the antisemitic element of the crime.

A common theory is that the recent French election encouraged — in the phrase of Michel Gurfinkiel, a leading French political analyst and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris — an “organized silence” around the Halimi murder.

“Such a story would benefit the Right and the National Front,” Gurfinkiel said. “Everyone is convinced this is why there has been such an organized silence around the story.”

But as more time passes in the wake of Halimi’s murder, the calls to recognize its antisemitic nature are growing. Interviewed by the Le Parisien newspaper last week, the lawyers for the Halimi family, Jean-Alex Buchinger and David Kaminsky, said in no uncertain terms that Sarah Halimi had been “targeted, tortured and killed by her assailant because she was Jewish.”

Halimi’s murder robbed the Jewish community in Paris of one of its most loved figures, known for her work as a doctor and as a kindergarten teacher. “She was very well known and respected, a great person,” Gurfinkiel said. “The tragedy is that she was living in that part of Paris where Jews are gradually leaving, since the security doesn’t exist anymore.”

It also brought forth reminders of the 2006 kidnapping and murder of a young French Jew, Ilan Halimi — no relation to Ruth Halimi — whose body was left for dead by a mostly-Muslim gang who seized him out of the belief that Jews were wealthy and willing to pay ransom money.

“The French police were of no help during the whole (Ilan Halimi) episode, rejecting any idea that antisemitism could have played a role in the affair and preferring to believe the absurd notion that this was the result of some war between rival gangs,” Laignel-Lavastine noted in her letter about Ruth Halimi to French Interior Minister Collomb. “Ten years later, we have reached the same point.”

This story is shocking on so many levels that it’s hard to take in: the viciousness of the attack, the helplessness of the police and the stonewalling by the judicial system are each condemnable in their own right. When taken together, it is an outrageous attack on Jewish human rights. If the French really do not want to see their Jewish community fleeing en masse, they are going the precisely wrong way about it.

May the memory of Dr. Sara Halimi be for a blessing and may her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Moving to the UK, in the wake of the horrific Manchester bombing, in which 22 young people leaving a pop concert were murdered by a British-Libyan jihadi, it did not take long for people to blame a Jewish conspiracy for the bombing:

Whilst politicians urged unity and “#WeStandTogether” trended on social media, people from around the world took to Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to claim that the suicide bombing was a plot by Jewish conspirators to fuel wars against oil-rich Muslim states, or some other variant of the depraved conspiracy myths that place Jews at the centre of the world’s every ill.

You can read multiple examples of this virulent antisemitism at the CAA’s post.

Still in the UK, in very unsurprising news, it has been revealed that in 2014, the execrable head of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn visited the grave one of the Munich Olympics terrorists in Tunisia:

Jewish community leaders in Great Britain expressed shock and outrage Monday after it was revealed over the weekend that UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had attended a ceremony honoring a Palestinian terrorist partly responsible for the 1972 Munich killing of Israeli Olympians.

Corbyn posing with Hezbollah flag

Corbyn, who is currently campaigning to become Britain’s next prime minister, reportedly traveled to Tunisia in October 2014 to visit the grave of Atef Bseiso, the former head of intelligence for the Palestine Liberation Organization and direct accomplice involved in the Munich terrorist attack.

Jewish leaders called the revelation, reported by the Sunday Times, “beyond the pale,” and demanded Corbyn make his views known about Palestinian acts of violence.

“In light of today’s news reports, it is high time that Jeremy Corbyn clarify his views regarding Palestinian terrorism,” said Simon Johnson, the CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Corbyn had described visiting Bseiso’s grave in a column he had written for the communist- founded Morning Star newspaper, recalling that “wreaths were laid… on the graves of [those] killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991,” while commenting that the day was “poignant.”

This was too much even for members of his own party:

Members of Corbyn’s own party also lashed out at the faction leader, with Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, stating: “It is almost unbelievable that any Labour MP would participate in a ceremony honoring a man involved in the vicious murder of innocent Israeli athletes. Unfortunately, this appears to be part of a very disturbing pattern of behavior, and we are seeking urgent clarification from the leader’s office on this matter.”

My question is why haven’t the Labour Party members thrown out their leader already?

In the international arena, the UN doesn’t give up on its demonization of Israel. Their latest outrageous act was for the World Health Organization (WHO) to ignore a positive report about Israel in order to condemn it once again at the behest of that oh-so-enlightened and civilized and human-rights supporting country – Syria! UN Watch reports:

GENEVA, May 26, 2017 – The U.N.’s World Health Organization “decided to hide a positive report on Israel from the public eye” under pressure from Syria’s Assad regime, according to Israel’s representative, Ambassador Aviva Raz-Shechter, as the world body’s annual assembly adopted a resolution co-sponsored by Syria yesterday that targeted Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

The resolution, which will cost $10 million to implement, renews the annual naming and shaming of Israel by renewing a special agenda item on the country at next year’s session, as well as mandating a report by WHO’s director-general, measures of scrutiny applied to no other country.

In an unusually refreshing turn of events, civilized Western countries sprang to Israel’s defence – only to be ignored:

Confirming Israel’s account, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and 10 other countries (see list below) took the floor to express regret that while Israel co-operated with a WHO mission to the Golan, “the report of that mission was not published, not even the parts which had already been completed.”

“This is clearly due to the Syrian behavior,” said the EU countries, “which we can only condemn in the strongest terms. This is particularly deplorable in view of the abysmal health situation in other parts of Syria. According to the UN, last year alone, more than 300 medical facilities in Syria were targeted.”

WHO hid the positive report “rather than standing up to the brutal Syrian regime,” tweeted Raz-Shechter. In its report, the WHO—falsely, it would appear from the EU statement—blamed its omissions on “time constraints” and “additional information needed.”

The vote to maintain the WHO spotlight on Israel for next year was 98 to 7, with 21 abstentions. (See full voting chart at bottom.)

The UK changed its vote from last year, switching from Yes to No, joining Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel and Togo in the opposition.

Those abstaining were Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, DR Congo, Dominican Republic, Gabon, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, East Timor, and Tuvalu.

“For the U.N. to allow Syria’s Assad regime to influence its focus on health conditions is absurd,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a monitoring group accredited with consultative status at the United Nations.

“It is the height of cynicism for Syria to introduce a resolution on the health of Druze residents of the Golan Heights, who in fact live very well under Israeli jurisdiction, even as Assad bombs his own hospitals, ambulances and medical workers. The U.N. should reject the hijacking of its world health agenda by Arab regimes and allied dictatorships like Cuba and Venezuela.”

“Notably, the UN assembly will not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor will it pass a resolution on any other country in the world.”

“Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item No. 19 against Israel, focuses on a specific country. And the only mention of Syria is not focused on Syria, but rather on Israel.”

“The U.N. discredits itself by enacting a resolution which effectively accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, when in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

It is staggering to think that anyone, even the UN, would bow to Assad’s Syria rather than listen to the EU and other Western countries. This leads me to wonder what hold has Assad got over the WHO? I think an international investigation should be started. It boggles the mind to think that Syria should take precedence over the West – even if Israel is part of that region.

Then again, is anyone really surprised? The UN has no use at all except to promote global warming through all the hot air it generates.

It therefore comes as no surprise at all that the Palestinians should consider the UN the right place to turn to in order to complain about the “Judaization of Jerusalem“. Please stop guffawing. Yes, I know that’s like complaining about the Catholicization of the Vatican or the Islamization of the Ka’aba, but you know the Palestinians – never accepting reality, even when it bites them on the nose.

Since we’re on the subject of compulsive, repetitive antisemitism, here is our old “favourite” the (British) Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) doubling down on their previous resolution in 2011 to reject the then-accepted international definition of Antisemitism, the EUMC working definition of antisemitism. That definition has now been updated into the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition – and the UCU, true to form, has once again rejected it. You see, they obviously know better than the Jews what antisemitism really is – and according to them it has nothing to do with them at all! After all, if they “only” hate Israel, they can’t possibly be antisemitic!

An academics’ union has passed a motion distancing itself from a controversial new definition of anti-Semitism at its annual congress.

University and Colleges Union (UCU), which has 110,000 members, rejected the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition, because it “conflates anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel”.

Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said the motion was “an attempt to discredit the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism” and while “deeply offensive,” he said it came as no surprise.

“UCU has a history of attempting to define anti-Semitism on behalf of the Jewish community as opposed to consulting with them,” he said.

“Thankfully UCU find themselves fighting a losing battle with the IHRA definition having been officially adopted by the Government as well as the Opposition, National Union of Students, the Greater London Assembly, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and numerous other local authorities.

Board of Deputies’ president Jonathan Arkush condemned the motion, calling it “retrograde and deeply disappointing, not least because of similar motions in the UCU in the past.”

“Despite past form, it beggars belief that anyone in the UCU would want to dictate to Jews what constitutes anti-Semitic abuse against them.”

“This resolution seeks to deny victims of anti-Semitic abuse the right to call it out for what it is – particularly when it is dressed up as extremist and dangerous demonisation of Israel or when Jews are harassed or intimidated because of their connections with Israel.”

These smug, self-righteous bigots wouldn’t dream of telling blacks what racism really is, or telling Muslims what Islamophobia is. The only acceptable racism in British academia today is antisemitic racism. And yes, I do include anti-Israel racism in that, for you cannot deny the Jews what is acceptable in any other race: the right to define for themselves what is hatred against themselves.

And to finish off this sad post, academia is no less biased on the other side of the pond, where City University of New York (CUNY) has invited the anti-Israel, pro-terror activist Linda Sarsour to speak at their graduation ceremony:

For its June 1st commencement, The CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy has invited Linda Sarsour. Sarsour’s record is replete with anti-American values, degradation of feminists and others who disagree with her, unbridled hatred of the State of Israel and those who support it, and the promotion of violence. This shocking choice of speaker, by a City University, should be changed.

Linda Sarsour, anti-Semite, anti-Israel, bigot

In the United States, violence and terror are not recognized as legitimate means to accomplish goals. Sarsour’s support of violence and terror include: praise of the intifada- the Palestinian terror war against Jews in Israel, through suicide bombings, car rammings, stabbings, bus bombs and other attacks,—as “invaluable on many fronts;” warm words of endorsement for convicted murderer Rasmea Odeh, who murdered two college students in a supermarket bombing in Israel (Odeh will be deported for concealing her terrorist crimes on her US immigration forms); and admiration of Palestinian youths throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers as “the definition of courage.” In our civilized society, these are the definitions of crimes. Sarsour supports barbaric methods that are incompatible with American law.

Regarding feminism, a woman’s right to bodily integrity is a fundamental right. Yet Sarsour denigrates feminists who speak out against the role Islam plays in tolerating the abuse of women, such as genital mutilation and honor killings. She urges, in a tweet, a “whippin” of Somali human rights activist Aydan Hirsi Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation, who speaks out against Islam’s acceptance of abuse of women. Sarsour tweets Ali doesn’t “deserve to be a woman.” Sarsour’s attempted delegitimization of women who speak out against abuse is incompatible with feminism.

Additionally, Sarsour defends Saudi Arabia’s oppressive treatment of women. In Saudi Aarbia, women cannot vote, study, work, marry, or open bank accounts without permission from male guardians. Women’s clothing is strictly regulated (they must be covered from head to toe, and only eyes and hands may show). Yet Sarsour tweets Saudi Arabia “puts us to shame” by providing “10 weeks of PAID maternity leave … and ur worried about women driving.” Sarsour’s defense of subjugation of Saudi women disqualifies her as a feminist.

Ironically, Sarsour excludes Jews and other Israel supporters from the feminist movement. This is anti-Semitic and spreads a lie about Israel’s treatment of women. There is absolutely no conflict between Zionism and feminism. In Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, all citizens have equal social and political rights, regardless of gender, religion or race. All citizens of Israel, be it Arab, Christian, or Jew, no matter what gender, have equal access to voting, transportation, hospitals, universities, swimming pools, public restrooms, etc. Israeli Arabs are Supreme Court Justices and have seats in the Knesset, and these positions can be held by men or women. Israeli Arab women have won or been runner-ups in The Voice (Israel), Master Chef, and Miss Israel. Moreover, sexism and discrimination perpetrated by Palestinian men against Palestinian women is pervasive, as described in a recent New York Times article, “In Gaza, Bicycles Are a Battleground for Women Who Dare to Ride,” February 22, 2016.

Sarsour’s unbridled hatred of Israel is prevalent. She advocates for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (“BDS”) movement against Israel, which seeks to cripple and delegitimize the State of Israel, while she ignores the world’s many countries with egregious human rights violations. Further, Sarsour tweets: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism;” and “(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is a waste of a human being.” When Sarsour was justifiably criticized for extolling throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, she tweeted, “The Zionist trolls are out to play. Bring it.”

CUNY in particular should be sensitive to anti-Semitism. Last year, Jewish students at CUNY suffered many anti-Semitic incidents. At a CUNY rally sponsored by Students for Justice for Palestine, protestors screamed at Jews to “go back home and get the (expletive) out of my country” and chanted “Jews out of CUNY” and “death to Jews.” Given these recent events, it is all the more appalling that a CUNY school would invite a divisive person with Sarsour’s record to deliver the commencement address.

Knowing all this, CUNY’s refuses to rescind Sarsour’s invitation. It would be atrocious for CUNY to host a commencement speaker with a history of bigotry towards the LGBTQIA community, African Americans, women, or Hispanics. CUNY should treat Sarsour’s hate-mongering towards Jews and Israel in the same manner.

If the above hasn’t sickened you enough, Michael Cohen of the Simon Wiesenthal Center adds more, calling Sarsour “an arsonist in our midst”:

Last September, I stood along with many of my colleagues at a New York City Council Public Hearing on that body’s resolution to officially condemn the BDS movement — a hearing at which all those in favor, including myself, were shouted down as “Jewish pigs” and “Zionist filth” from provocateurs strategically placed in the audience. It was Linda Sarsour who was at the forefront — manipulating the camera shots and sound bites. It was Linda Sarsour who sat for hours listening with great satisfaction to the libelous rants and screamed obscenities alleging that Israelis murder Palestinian babies. It was Sarsour who nodded approvingly and congratulated individuals who were kicked out of the hearing room for being out of order, for walking in front of individuals providing testimony in support of the resolution, and for shouting down our supporters with anti-Semitic slurs — all in the name of protecting free speech.


However, inviting an obvious antagonist of the world’s largest Jewish community outside of Israel, an individual who doesn’t shirk from using controversial tactics against Israel’s supporters, to speak at CUNY is a bewildering act by its leadership sure to inspire only more hate, harassment and confrontations perpetrated against the Jewish student body. CUNY’s invitation to such an individual, an invitation I remind you not requested by students but rather by the administration itself, will provide cover to those seeking to legitimize her message. Her commencement speech belies CUNY’s stated commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.

CUNY owes an explanation and a huge apology to its Jewish students and alumni – but I doubt any will be forthcoming. For shame!

Outrage After Dartmouth Appoints Israel Boycotter as Head of Faculty

May 8, 2017

Outrage After Dartmouth Appoints Israel Boycotter as Head of Faculty, Washington Free Beacon, May 8, 2017

Dartmouth Hall / Wikimedia Commons

The pro-Israel community at Dartmouth College is reeling following a decision by school leadership to appoint as their new head of faculty a leading supporter of the movement to boycott Israel and Jewish academics.

Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon is facing criticism following his recent decision to appoint Native American studies Professor Bruce Duthu—a leading supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment movement, or BDS—as Dartmouth’s dean of faculty.

Dartmouth, which declined Washington Free Beacon requests to comment on the matter, has come under criticism from the pro-Israel community, including within the school’s own staff, for elevating Duthu to a post of prominence. Duthu’s vocal support for boycotts of Israeli academics and efforts to lead the charge in the BDS movement is dangerous, these individuals argue, and anathema to academic freedom.

The appointment also has renewed fear within the campus pro-Israel community given Dartmouth’s anti-Semitic past, which included the active “Christianization of its students”

While pro-Israel faculty members spent weeks petitioning Dartmouth’s leadership about Duthu’s support for the BDS movement—which included co-authoring a leading BDS document backing the boycott of Israeli academic institutions—President Hanlon moved forward with the decision, prompting some to go public with their concerns.

Dartmouth economics professor Alan Gustman sent a faculty-wide email last week expressing his concern over Duthu’s anti-Israel activism and the college leadership’s apathetic response to these fears.

Dartmouth’s top faculty member should not be an individual who is opposed to working with Israeli academics based on their national origin, Gustman argues.

“In view of Dartmouth’s anti-Semitic history and Professor Duthu’s endorsement of the anti-Semitic BDS document, Dartmouth must not simply appoint Duthu to the position of Dean of the Faculty and ignore the implications of that appointment,” Gustman wrote. “Professor Duthu should either publicly disavow the full ramifications of the BDS positions he has publicly endorsed, or resign his position as Dean and return to his faculty position where expression of these views is sanctioned as academic freedom, but is not representative of Dartmouth College or its faculty.”

Duthu “cannot, without contradiction, 1) assure council signers of the NAISA document and holders of their position of his support for action to boycott Israeli academic institutions, and at the same time 2) administer his job as Dean of the Faculty, while assuring Dartmouth that he will not take such action,” Gustman wrote. “Given its history, Dartmouth cannot turn a blind eye to this contradiction. These issues must be directly and publicly addressed by the Dean, the President, and by the Board. Papering over hypocrisy and prejudice is no way to run an Ivy League College administration.”

When asked to comment on the issue, a Dartmouth spokesman told the Free Beacon, “Thank you for the opportunity, but we are going to decline.”

Dartmouth’s silence on the BDS controversy has raised charges of hypocrisy, given the college’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

Dartmouth President Hanlon and other top officials issued a public statement condemning Trump’s immigration policies, but continue to remain silent in the face of charges the school is promoting boycotts of Israel.

“Dartmouth’s commitment to the free and open exchange of ideas, global research, and education manifests itself in dozens of partnerships and in international study and exchange programs,” the anti-Trump statement read. “Our engagement with the full human diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences is critical—to both the strength of the Dartmouth community and the effectiveness of Dartmouth’s learning and leadership. We recognize, value, and celebrate the essential contributions of our international students and scholars.”

The controversy also has begun to resonate in Washington, D.C.

“Dartmouth has long been a hotbed of thinly-veiled anti-Semitic activism, which was excused by the faculty and the institution as criticism of Israel,” said one senior official at a national pro-Israel organization who requested anonymity when discussing strategy. “This disgrace is the logical result. A bureaucrat who is supposed to manage an institution dedicated to the open exchange of ideas but who says that those exchanges shouldn’t include Israeli Jews. Parents will ask themselves if those are the sorts of values they want their kids to learn.”

Josh Block, president and CEO of the Israel Project, told the Free Beacon that Dartmouth must show its commitment to academic freedom.

“This is about dialogue and academic freedom, and simply put, anyone who rules out engaging an entire country, let alone the world’s only Jewish state, is simply unfit to run an institution dedicated to liberal education and higher learning,” Block said.” And that is before we examine the despicable, anti-Semitic double standard being applied, in which the flaws of Israel’s democracy are held up for sanction while the professor and his fellow travelers embrace or ignore numerous regimes committing actual atrocities on historic scale.”

“It’s not just Dartmouth’s reputation that is being damaged, it is the university’s very credibility as an institution capable of discerning right from wrong,” Block added. “Post-modernism married with Moral Relativism is the disease of our time, and a toxic cocktail on display so far here.”

Stephen Smith, an executive director USC Shoah Foundation, which fights anti-Semitism, publicly condemned Dartmouth for elevating Duthu in a recent op-ed.

“Those who call for singling out Israel for the Divestment, Boycott, and Sanction will deny they are anti-Semitic, but the result is clear: when you exclude a colleague by association to their affiliation with an Israeli institution of higher education, you are not targeting the state, you are targeting the individual,” Smith wrote.