Archive for the ‘Antisemitism in America’ category

Israel Tries Its Hand at a Travel Ban

January 12, 2018

Israel Tries Its Hand at a Travel Ban, American Thinker,  Michael Curtis, January 12, 2018

Israel is proposing to prevent foreign supporters of BDS from entering Israel, although ministers have the right to deny individuals entry on a case-by-case basis, as in the case of Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of BDS, who is married to an Israeli citizen of Palestinian origin.  On January 7, 2018, Israel announced it plans to establish a task force to identify the hundreds of activists already in Israel and deport or deny entry to individuals who support BDS.

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Commenting on President Woodrow Wilson’s “long overdue ” decision to enter World War I, Winston Churchill wrote that if the president had acted earlier, it would have meant abridgment of the slaughter, sparing of the agony, and prevention of ruin and catastrophe.  Even if the parallel is not exact, Israeli authorities are acting to prevent further harm to their country by imposing a travel ban blocking members of organizations supporting BDS, the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, from entering the country.

Mark Twain in his book Innocents Abroad wrote that travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.  Unfortunately, as Israel has found, hostile activists can also encourage those qualities.

The travel ban implements the intention of the law passed in March 2017 that bars entry into the country by groups that actively promote anti-Israeli boycotts.  The ban is virtual recognition of the adage, “Oh, I have taken too little care of this.”  Israel has now taken the offense against those who are not simply rational critics of Israeli policies and actions, but either implicitly or explicitly refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the State of Israel or seek its elimination.

By banning any foreign activist who has knowingly signed a public call to boycott Israel or pledged to take part in a boycott, Israel is preventing harm to its citizens.

On January 7, 2018, Israel issued a ban on 20 worldwide organizations, including 11 European and six U.S. groups, that are involved and active in BDS activities.  They include the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); Code Pink; the U.S.-based Jewish Voice for Peace; the U.K.-based Palestinian Solidarity Campaign; of which Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is a patron; the British group War on Want; and BDS organizations in France, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands.

It is worth looking, if only as illustration of hypocrisy, at War on Want, an organization founded in 1951 in London as an antipoverty charity.  It supported liberation movements in Africa.  For a time, the anti-Israeli George Galloway was its general secretary; during that time, there were accounting irregularities, and reports were “materially misstated.”  In 2006, War on Want launched its Palestinian Rights movement and advocated BDS, calling for an embargo on arms to Israel.

One controversial incident resulting from this policy of banning occurred in 2016, when Isabel Phiri, a Malawian citizen living in Switzerland, the assistant general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva and former professor of African theology in South Africa, was refused a visa by Israel.  Israeli authorities maintained that she has been involved in BDS, and it was the first time a foreign national was refused for that reason.  Though the WCC has not formally called for an outright boycott against Israel, it believes that the “Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is a tragedy for the Palestinian occupied.”

Let us be straightforward on this controversial issue.  The argument against the travel ban is that it violates freedom of expression, and of course, to some extent, this is true in a democratic country such as Israel.  The problem with this is that not only does the freedom to call for a boycott exist everywhere, but much of the expression on Israel is based on falsehood and misrepresentations and the Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood.

Taking two examples illustrates the point.  The AFSC that won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 announced extravagantly on January 8, 2018 that “for 51 years Israel has denied Palestinians in the occupied territories their fundamental human rights in defiance of international law. ”  Then there is the absurdly disproportionate announcement issued on February 13, 2015 by over 100 British artists, including some well known personalities such as film directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, explaining their cultural boycott of Israel as based on the fact that “Palestinians have enjoyed no respite from Israel’s unrelenting attack on their land, their livelihood, their right to political existence.”

The BDS campaign calls for economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against the State of Israel and Israeli citizens.  But its real intention is not to advocate measures to alleviate the condition of Palestinians, but to implement the Palestinian campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, founded mainly by Omar Barghouti, to refuse to recognize Israel as a legitimate state.

What is important is that boycott activity is counterproductive, against peace.  It results in increasing hatred, and as Israeli president Reuven Rivlin has remarked, it symbolizes all that stands in the way of dialogue, debate, and progress.  It is against cooperation toward a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A reminder of the past may be helpful in understanding the Israel travel ban.  On November 9-10, 1938, Kristallnacht occurred in German cities, with a pogrom against Jews, involving murders; beatings; and destruction of Jewish property and businesses as well as synagogues.  At the core and the call to German citizens was a boycott of Jews in all forms.

Obviously, actions such as calling for Israel to be excluded from international oganizations such as the world soccer governing body FIFA and the insistent commands by rock star Roger Waters to fellow performers not to perform in Tel Aviv are not on a par with the Nazi Holocaust, but it would be foolish to ignore the implications of BDS.  Implicitly if not explicitly, it promotes anti-Semitism as well as tolerating terrorist activity against Israel.

It does this by not criticizing the funds that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.), through its Martyrs’ Fund, gives to terrorists in Israeli prisons or to the families of those terrorists killed by Israel.  It is encouraging that the U.S. Senate by the Taylor Force bill is considering the issue in an appropriate way.  Named after the American citizen, a former U.S. army officer and a Vanderbilt University student, murdered in March 2016 by a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank, the Taylor Force Act, introduced in 2016, aims to stop all U.S. economic aid to the P.A. as long as it continues to pay those salaries to terrorists and families.

Israel is proposing to prevent foreign supporters of BDS from entering Israel, although ministers have the right to deny individuals entry on a case-by-case basis, as in the case of Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of BDS, who is married to an Israeli citizen of Palestinian origin.  On January 7, 2018, Israel announced it plans to establish a task force to identify the hundreds of activists already in Israel and deport or deny entry to individuals who support BDS.

The Israeli travel ban might be considered in the context of the continuing war on Jews.  It is three years since Hypercacher, the Jewish Paris supermarket, was attacked by terrorists.  Four were killed.  Coinciding with the Israeli travel ban, on January 9, 2018, an arson attack burned down a French kosher grocery store in Creteil, a suburb of Paris, and the store was completely gutted by fire.  Six days earlier, two stores in the area were targeted with paintings of swastikas.

Hatred and anti-Semitism: this is the real essence of the boycott of Israel and Jews.

Judge Reinstates Hamas/AMP Lawsuit

January 8, 2018

Judge Reinstates Hamas/AMP Lawsuit, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abha Shankar, January 8, 2018

At a conference last week hosted by the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Abuirshaid tried to erase Jews’ historical claim to Israel. He claimed the “Zionist Project” is a “form of apartheid” that seeks to “Judaize” Palestine. “In creating false Zionist historical and religious narratives, it’s a deliberate attempt to deny the indigenous people of Palestine, us, from their rights and their own land. And Jerusalem is the bedrock to forge and falsify the history of Palestine and Judaizing it,” he said.

That’s the kind of message that would have fit right in with any of the Palestine Committee groups. When the suit was originally filed last May, the Boims’ attorneys issued a statement explaining that Abuirshaid and the other defendants “directed and controlled the organizations in 1996 … that are legally obliged to pay the judgment won by the Boims.

“These defendants cannot escape their legal liability and accountability for murder by merely changing the names of their organization.

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A Chicago federal judge on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit alleging that a virulently anti-Israel group and several of its activists are “alter egos and/or successors” of a defunct U.S. based Hamas-support network previously found liable for the murder of an American teen in a 1996 terror attack.

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) routinely sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers, and openly approves “resistance” against the “Zionist state.” One AMP official acknowledged the goal is to “to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel.”

AMP is also one of the principal advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state. Its BDS campaigns include: Ramadan Date BoycottSodaStreamStop the JNFStolen Homes/Airbnb, and Stop G4S. Because they include groups dedicated to Israel’s elimination and single out Israel for criticism while they ignore other nations with severe human rights abuses, BDS campaigns are considered inherently anti-Semitic.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman not only vacated her earlier dismissal of the case, she also authorized limited discovery in the case. “[T]his Court placed too much weight to defendants’ declarations without providing plaintiffs with the opportunity to conduct limited jurisdictional discovery on the existence of an alter ego relationship. Accordingly, this Court will vacate its previous order dismissing the case … and permit plaintiffs to conduct discovery solely to address jurisdiction.”

This is a major victory for the family of 17-year-old David Boim. He was shot dead in Israel in May 1996 by Hamas terrorists. In a historic judgment, Boim’s parents Stanley and Joyce Boim won $156 million in damages against the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and other members of the U.S. Hamas support network called the “Palestine Committee.” The Committee was created by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance Hamas’ agenda politically and financially in the United States.

The IAP was the first to publish the genocidal, anti-Semitic Hamas charter in English. Its fundraisers benefited the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which – along with five former officials – was convicted in 2008 of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas. IAP fundraisers featured overt praise for Hamas, and skits in which Palestinians murdered Israelis.

A 1996 Dallas Morning News story captured the scene at one IAP rally:

Inside a Kansas City auditorium in 1989, a masked man stepped to a lectern and described in Arabic the “oceans of blood” spilled in Hamas’ armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.

He thanked two nonprofit organizations for being early allies: the Islamic Association for Palestine, sponsor of the conference, and the Occupied Land Fund [an early name for HLF].

An internal 1992 IAP document, “Islamic Action Plan for Palestine,” makes at least four specific references to Hamas, including its leadership role in the Palestinian intifada through “a lot of sacrifices from martyrs, detainees, wounded, injured, fugitives and deportees…”

IAP was among the first organizations the Muslim Brotherhood created in North America to specifically focus on the Palestinian cause, even preceding the Palestine Committee, the document said. Among the Palestine Committee’s tasks, “Asking the countries to increase the financial and the moral support for Hamas.”

At the time of the Boim judgment in 2004, IAP and other defendants claimed they were no longer in business and had no money to pay the damages. But that was a ruse, the Boims’ attorneys say, alleging that the defendants formed new organizations like the American Muslims for Palestine to escape their legal responsibility to pay damages. Successor groups, or alter egos, of organizations previously found liable for providing material support to Hamas need to pay the remaining judgment, the new litigation argues.

In 2015, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) first identified at least five AMP officials and speakers who worked in the Hamas-supporting “Palestine Committee.”

An April 2014 AMP-sponsored conference in Chicago, for example, featured former IAP Chairman Sabri Samirah.

“We are ready to sacrifice all we have for Palestine. Long Live Palestine,” Samirah said. “We have a mission here [in the U.S.] also to support the struggle of our people back there in order to achieve a free land in the Muslim world, without dictators and without corruption.”

The Boims’ attorneys say that AMP’s current leadership and donors are “significantly identical” to their Palestine Committee branches, including the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), and the American Muslim Society (AMS) which served as another name for the IAP.

Rafeeq Jaber, a defendant in the new lawsuit, is a former IAP president and is now AMP’s registered agent in Chicago. AMP President Abdelbasset Hamayel was IAP’s secretary general. AMP’s conferences and other events are identical in their pro-Hamas message to conferences held earlier by IAP, including overlapping speakers’ lists.

AMP board member Osama Abuirshaid, a target of the current lawsuit, has close affiliations to both the IAP and the Northern Virginia think tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), a Palestine Committee branch that was headed by senior Hamas member Mousa Abu Marzook.

Abuirshaid served as editor of IAP’s Arabic periodical, Al-Zaytounah, a mouthpiece for pro-Hamas propaganda. The magazine also published advertisements by terrorist-tied charities, including HLF, the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), and the Benevolence International Foundation (BIF).

UASR published an academic journal that prosecutors in the HLF case say was “involved in passing Hamas communiques to the United States-based Muslim Brotherhood community and relaying messages from that community back to Hamas.”

Abuirshaid has openly expressed support for Hamas. He criticized Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a 2015 tweet for designating Hamas as a terrorist organization. Calling Egypt’s capital “Cairo Aviv,” Abuirshaid dismissed the move: “Look who’s talking!? A terrorist murder regime.”

In a 2014 article written in Arabic, he praised the “Palestinian resistance” against the “Zionist aggression” in Hamas-controlled Gaza: “The facts of the current Zionist aggression have clearly shown that the Palestinian resistance is no longer in the position of receiving slaps without the response of some of them, and even many of them responding. It also showed the creativity of the resisting Palestinian mind, consistent with the severity of its being unyielding with long-range rockets, high-explosive missiles and bombs, and unmanned aerial vehicles, most of which are domestically manufactured, being designed to attack the enemy at the doorstep of its military bases by sea, landing behind its lines through tunnels, etc. It is a slap that Israel receives from the Resistance every day, and it finds no response except through the cowardly weapon of targeting civilians with artillery, air and sea missiles to raise the human and economic costs of the Palestinians.”

Abuirshaid has also praised Hamas war tactics: “There is a difference between Hamas, whose youth renewed their adherence to their starting point determined on liberalization, and Fatah, which has grown old after deviating from the creed of liberation and resistance upon which it was established.”

“There is a difference between those who resist and those who compromise; between those who constitute an army for liberation, and those who ready battalions of lackeys; a difference between those who rise up for the blood of martyrs, and those who spill it in the wine glasses of Israel,” he added.

At a conference last week hosted by the Muslim American Society (MAS) and theIslamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Abuirshaid tried to erase Jews’ historical claim to Israel. He claimed the “Zionist Project” is a “form of apartheid” that seeks to “Judaize” Palestine. “In creating false Zionist historical and religious narratives, it’s a deliberate attempt to deny the indigenous people of Palestine, us, from their rights and their own land. And Jerusalem is the bedrock to forge and falsify the history of Palestine and Judaizing it,” he said.

That’s the kind of message that would have fit right in with any of the Palestine Committee groups. When the suit was originally filed last May, the Boims’ attorneys issued a statement explaining that Abuirshaid and the other defendants “directed and controlled the organizations in 1996 … that are legally obliged to pay the judgment won by the Boims.

“These defendants cannot escape their legal liability and accountability for murder by merely changing the names of their organizations,” they said.

U.S.-Based Israel Bashers’ Fury and Disapproval Over Trump’s Jerusalem Recognition

December 7, 2017

U.S.-Based Israel Bashers’ Fury and Disapproval Over Trump’s Jerusalem Recognition, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Ariel Behar, December 7, 2017

“This may surprise you, but the embassy move does not challenge Palestinian/Arab/Muslim claims to the city,” wrote Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “What is happening right now is reflective of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict historically: Palestine advocates fighting against Israel rather than for the Palestinian cause.”

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Anti-Zionist groups were quick to pounce Wednesday following President Trump’s proclamation acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In a statement, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a virulently anti-Israel organization, “unequivocally condemn[ed] President Trump’s announcement that he will begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as part of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that would make the U.S. the only country in the world to do so.”

In contrast, Russia recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in April, and after Trump’s speech Wednesday, the Czech Republic also said it would recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

But for those who reject Israel’s very existence, Wednesday was a difficult day.

#Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel no matter how many times Trump says it,” wrote political activist Linda Sarsour, who has argued Zionists can’t be feminists and that “nothing is creepier than Zionism. “He doesn’t speak for me.”

Good thing she cleared that up.

Trump’s proclamation “effectively hands Israel a blank political check for its illegal annexation of Jerusalem and legitimizes Israel’s ongoing displacement and disenfranchisement of the city’s Palestinian residents,” said the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), an organization leading the push for an economic boycott of Israel.

This statement, along with Sarsour’s, ignores the reality that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since 1949. It is home to its parliament, the Knesset, as well as the prime minister’s residence. The statements also deliberately ignore Trump’s specific caveat that the United States is “not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved.”

The relocation of the American embassy affects peace talks only if the Palestinians choose to make that so.

Still, American Muslims for Palestine’s (AMP) national policy director Osama Abuirshaid joined a protest outside the White House to express outrage and say that Trump should be held responsible for any resulting violence. “Now our demand is very clear that this administration should inject some common sense, should inject some logic and withdraw this announcement,” he said.

At a news conference Tuesday, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Executive Director Nihad Awad argued that the decision to move the embassy was due to the disproportionate influence of the “pro-Israel lobby” in Congress.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and committing to move the U.S. embassy there is “a reckless move that has put the interest of a foreign power and its domestic lobby above the interests of the United States,” he said. Awad, who publicly expressed support for Hamas in 1994 and was linked to a Muslim Brotherhood-run Hamas-support network, all but called Congress corrupt for the original, bipartisan legislation that makes the move possible.

“It is really the interest of those politicians who voted, and they voted. And they voted against the interest of their own country because of the money, the pressure and the favors that they get from the pro-Israel lobby,” Awad said.

He repeated that message Wednesday standing with Abuirshaid outside the White House.

The Senate voted 90-0 in June to reaffirm “the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.”

As many people have commented this week, no peace proposal has ever contemplated Israel relinquishing Jerusalem as its capital. While some argue the U.S. embassy move should wait for a peace agreement, that strategy has shown no results and ignores the realities of the Israeli government.

“This may surprise you, but the embassy move does not challenge Palestinian/Arab/Muslim claims to the city,” wrote Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “What is happening right now is reflective of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict historically: Palestine advocates fighting against Israel rather than for the Palestinian cause.”

As President Trump said in his speech, “Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach.”

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.

The Anti-Semitic Jewish Media

August 16, 2017

The Anti-Semitic Jewish Media, Gatestone Institute, Bruce Bawer, August 16, 2017

Almost everyone in a position to do something is a coward. Politicians continue to recite the mantra that “Muslims are today’s Jews,” even though in Europe today Muslims are far more often the tormentors than the tormented, and Jews lead the list of victims of public abuse.

Needless to say, the immigrants Trump wants to keep out of the U.S. are precisely the type who, in Europe, are currently Jew-bashing people like Stephen Miller — and Rob Eshman. But Eshman doesn’t want to think about this ticklish fact, which challenges his own simplistic, self-righteous pontifications.

Linda Sarsour is the very personification of stealth Islamization and an obvious anti-Semite. But as Davidson himself noted, she’s acquired plenty of Jewish allies and defenders, “including Jeremy Ben-Ami, Mark Hetfield, Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Brad Lander.”

For years now, Jews across western Europe have been the targets of harassment by Muslims. Police officers stand guard outside of synagogues. Recently, when I stayed in the Jewish Quarter in Rome, I couldn’t help notice the presence of multiple police kiosks, each manned by an armed cop. Many Jews in European cities have long since ceased wearing yarmulkes or Stars of David. Jewish kids are instructed by their parents to avoid identifying themselves as Jews at school lest they be beaten up by their little Muslim friends.

Meanwhile, almost everyone in a position to do something is a coward. Politicians continue to recite the mantra that “Muslims are today’s Jews,” even though in Europe today Muslims are far more often the tormentors than the tormented, and Jews lead the list of victims of public abuse. Police prefer not to prosecute Muslim perpetrators for fear of being called “Islamophobes.” Teachers don’t want to deal with Muslim bullies in their classes for the same reason.

Yet you would hardly know this to read much of America’s Jewish media. On August 2, the Jewish Journal ran a piece slamming Trump adviser Stephen Miller for dismissing (quite properly) the suggestion by CNN’s Jim Acosta that the new immigration bill favoring English-speakers violated the “spirit” of Emma Lazarus’s Statue of Liberty poem, “The New Colossus,” and emphasizing, as if it had anything to do with the issue, that Miller himself is the great-grandson of Jewish immigrants. This was not the first time the Jewish Journal had gone after Miller for being a Jew who supports immigration reform. In March, another piece in that publication, headlined (I kid you not) “From Hebrew School to Halls of Power,” noted that Miller was “a principal author of Trump’s draconian immigration measures, including the executive order the president signed in late January targeting immigrants from Muslim-majority countries,” even though “[t]hese politics are generally reviled in the liberal circles of his Jewish upbringing.”

The big hit-job, however, came a year ago, when the editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, Rob Eshman, sneered at Miller for the way in which he “froth[ed] the mob” at Trump rallies over immigration. Eshman professed shock at the news that Miller is Jewish. How, he asked, could “this young anti-immigrant leader” be “the descendent of immigrants”? Eshman looked into Miller’s family tree, and discovered that his maternal great-grandfather, seeking to escape persecution by Cossacks, fled Antopol (in present-day Belarus) and settled in Pennsylvania, where he founded a thriving business. And yet, thundered Eshman, Miller dares to serve as “Trump’s anti-immigrant avatar.” Imagine: “The great-grandson of a desperate refugee can grow up to shill for the demagogue bent on keeping desperate refugees like his great-grandfather out.”

Stephen Miller, Senior Advisor to the President for Policy, talks to reporters about President Donald Trump’s support for creating a “merit-based immigration system”, August 2, 2017. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Needless to say, the immigrants Trump wants to keep out of the U.S. are precisely the type who, in Europe, are currently Jew-bashing people like Stephen Miller — and Rob Eshman. But Eshman doesn’t want to think about this ticklish fact, which challenges his own simplistic, self-righteous pontifications. No, better to demonize Miller as “an American Jew [who has] turn[ed] on immigrants,” who has “tak[en] the side of people who… would have met your own great-grandparents at the docks with stones and spitballs,” and who is “stoking anti-immigrant fear and hate, by calling for a ban on an entire religion.”

As it happens, Trump has never sought to enact a ban on an entire religion, although the present situation in Europe certainly makes a good argument for such a ban (with ample room for sensible exceptions, of course).

On August 3, over at the Forward, formerly the Jewish Daily Forward, one Steven Davidson actually served up one of the most idiotic articles of the year, entitled “19 People Jews Should Worry About More Than Linda Sarsour.” Sarsour, of course, is the devout, hijab-wearing, sharia-loving, Israel-boycotting Muslim who, since her high-profile appearance at the Women’s March on the day after Trump’s inauguration, has become a hero of feminism and of the left generally. Linda Sarsour is the very personification of stealth Islamization and an obvious anti-Semite. But as Davidson himself noted, she’s acquired plenty of Jewish allies and defenders, “including Jeremy Ben-Ami, Mark Hetfield, Rabbi Jill Jacobs and Brad Lander.”

As for Davidson, while finding some of her language “coarse and insensitive,” he insists that criticism of her has “no basis in reality.” In his piece, he encouraged readers to move from Sarsour and focus their concerns instead on 19 other people, including Louis Farrakhan, David Duke, the Ayatollah Khamenei, and the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m capable of hating all these other people while still having enough hate left for Linda Sarsour. (I’m also capable of noticing that nobody in the American mainstream is celebrating most of these other creeps, while Sarsour, under a Hillary Clinton administration, would probably have been in line for a Presidential Medal of Freedom.)

Also on the list, however, are White House counter-terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka, whom Davidson smears as “a member of a far-right group founded by Nazis”; Trump strategist Steve Bannon, formerly of Breitbart, which “spew[s] xenophobic hate”; Milo Yiannopoulos, who although half-Jewish “disseminat[es] Jewish conspiratorial tropes”; and President Trump himself, whose crimes against the Jewish people, according to Davidson, include “[r]efus[al] to mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day.” Never mind that he has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren; we are supposed to believe that it is Trump, not Sarsour, who threatens Jews. Perhaps Davidson should have a little chat with some of the growing number of European Jews who are heading straight to Trump’s America to escape Sarsour’s coreligionists who, in countries run by politicians of whom Davidson doubtless approves, are being allowed to turn Europe once again into a place from which Jews feel compelled to flee.

Anti-Israel Curricula Used in World History Courses Across the Country

August 12, 2017

Anti-Israel Curricula Used in World History Courses Across the Country, Washington Free Beacon, August 12, 2017

Getty Images

A monograph published late last month of anti-Israel curriculum used in Newton, Mass., public high schools has led to revelations of similar materials in circulation at other school districts in the country, the report’s researcher told the Washington Free Beacon on Thursday.

Steven Stotsky of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) said that since the release of his findings in “Indoctrinating Our Youth: How a U.S. Public School Curriculum Skews the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Islam,” he has received phone calls alerting him to disquieting curricula being used in Michigan and California.

“We turned over a rock and discovered a significant problem,” said Stotsky, about his deep dive into textbooks, articles, timelines, and maps used from at least 2011 to 2015—some possibly still in use—for World History course sections on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Islam in Newton’s two public high schools, which are among the most prestigious in the country.

The materials included the Arab World Studies Notebook, a textbook the American Jewish Committee has previously condemned as filled with “factually inaccuracies,” “overt bias,” and “unabashed propagandizing”; a timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that almost entirely omitted instances of Palestinian terrorism; and a misrepresentative translation of the Hamas charter.

Stotsky said procedures must be established for vetting all materials brought into the classroom.

“Teachers are pulling things off the Internet, and a lot of it is fine, but a lot of it not. They can’t just be giving this stuff to students,” said Stotsky.

He questioned the decision to teach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a history class at all.

“History is complicated enough when you are studying issues that are 100, 200 years old,” he said. “You further complicate things when you add current events, and the Israeli-Palestinian issue is still politically and ideologically active.”

Stotsky’s report was the first comprehensive study of these materials, which were only obtained after a years-long battle with Newton administrators by an ad-hoc group of parents and concerned citizens.

Questions about the Newton curriculum were first raised in 2011, but the school district delayed turning over the documents until the summer of 2016. They only complied with those demands after Judicial Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in October 2014, and even then dragged their feet for another two-and-a-half years.

“The obstruction, the failure to respond to citizens’ concerned, the lack of transparency was shocking,” said Stotsky. “The fact that it had to go all the way to a FOIA request is outrageous.”

An easy fix to the transparency issue, said Stotsky, would be simply throwing all curricula up on the Internet as a matter of policy.

Inaccurate, misleading, and radical Israel education is an ongoing problem at area schools, Stotsky said, pointing to a May 2017 “Middle East History Day” program at Newton North High School, at which he described a speaker as giving an “anti-Israel rant” to 150 students.

According to Stotsky, all the members of the Newton School Committee were sent copies of the CAMERA monograph weeks ago, and were asked to respond. Stotsky has been met with silence.

Ruth Goldman, the chair of the Newton School Committee—one of whose roles she said is “transparent communication with parents”—said all of the committee members received the CAMERA monograph and that a few had skimmed through it.

“You have to understand, we receive a lot of materials, and we can’t look through everything. We proactively seek out things that are agenda items for the committee. We don’t take up every thing that comes across our email,” said Goldman.

Goldman also said she couldn’t speak to the details of the case because “all that happened before my time on the committee.” She has served as the committee chair since 2013, a year before the FOIA was first submitted.

“It really had all been taken care of by the time I got here. It’s an old subject at this point,” Goldman said. “We communicate regularly with parents. We have a transparent process at the school committee.”

She wouldn’t speak to specific school curriculum, but said the district adheres to state guidelines and that “history is a tricky subject” taught in a “narrative and critical framework.”

Other school committee members told the Washington Free Beacon that they had not received the monograph and were not familiar with the case.

The mayor of Newton, who also sits on the school committee, was “too busy” to comment.

The superintendent did not respond to the Free Beacon‘s inquiry.

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.