Archive for the ‘BDS’ category

BDS banned! – Hear them whine

January 11, 2018

BDS banned! – Hear them whine | Anne’s Opinions, 10th January 2018

Back in August I wrote about anti-Israel boycotters being banned, and the irony of their complaints at having a taste of their own medicine.

Last week the Israeli government expanded on their original decision by publishing a list of about 20 anti-Israel organizations whose members will be denied entry to Israel:

“We have switched from defense to offense,” said Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.

“The boycott organizations need to know that the State of Israel will act to stop them and prevent their representatives from entering the country to harm its citizens.”

The list features BDS groups who, according to the ministry, carry out campaigns of “falsehood and incitement” in an effort to undermine Israel’s legitimacy worldwide.

The blacklisted groups “consistently and continuously act against the State of Israel by pressuring groups, institutions and states to boycott Israel,” the ministry said.

Among the groups on the list are six US based organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, and 10 European organizations, including leading BDS groups in Italy, France, Norway and Sweden.

The ban is set to be enforced beginning in March and will be limited to people who hold senior positions or who are very active within the organizations.

“The formulation of this list is another step forward in our battle against the incitement and lies of the BDS organizations. No country would grant entrance to visitors who seek to harm it, especially ones whose goal is to terminate Israel as a Jewish state,” said Erdan.

The ministry added that it will be passing the names of the organizations over to the Interior Ministry and border patrol.

Interior Minister Arye Deri said, “As the minister in charge of the Israel Entry Law, I made it perfectly clear that I would use my authority to prevent individuals and representatives of groups, whose sole purpose is to harm Israel and its security, from entering its borders.”

“These people are trying to take advantage of the law and our hospitality in order to act against and defame Israel,” he added.

Erdan claims a certain degree of success in this new method for deterring BDS:

The ministry pointed out that this approach is successful in curtailing BDS efforts, highlighting the recent announcements by Denmark and Norway, who said they would toughen their stances against the funding of pro-Palestinian organizations.

The ministry also touted their efforts which they claim led 24 US states, as well as the federal government, to pass anti-BDS legislation.

The BDS-ers themselves dispute this of course:

The organizations on the list, however, seem undeterred by the latest tactic. Several organizations on the list issued statements on Sunday, claiming that Israel’s move only serves as proof that the BDS movement is spreading and having an impact.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, issued a statement and said the ban was “disconcerting but not surprising, given the further erosion of democratic norms and rising anxiety about the power of BDS as a tool to demand freedom.”

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign issued a statement via its Facebook page and said being on the list was a “badge of honor” and that it was “in good company.”

In fact Prof. Gerald Steinberg, director of NGO Monitor, warned that the ban, while a good idea in theory, might backfire by giving the haters free publicity:

Professor Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of the NGO Monitor watchdog group, told JNS that the government’s move signals that Israel “won’t turn a blind eye to those who work to delegitimize it — but the downside is that it also serves to raise the profiles of these groups.”

The list drew fire from “rights” groups – that is, rights for everyone except Jews. I can’t say I am surprised or even disappointed. They are acting precisely as I expected.

See these tweets for example:

The blogger Edgar Davidson has a nifty graphic illustrating the hypocrisy of the boycotted boycotters:

And here is the full list of the banned organizations – or at least the leaders of the following organizations:

United States:
• AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
• AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
• Code Pink
• JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
• NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
• USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights)

• AFPS (The Association France Palestine Solidarité)
• BDS France
• BDS Italy
• ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
• FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa)
• IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• Norgeׂׂ Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
• PGS Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden)
• PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• War on Want
• BDS Kampagne

Latin America
• BDS Chile

South Africa
• BDS South Africa

• BNC (BDS National Committee)

In my humble opinion the ban does not go far enough. There are many more such hateful organizations, plus the ban should include everyone who has been active in these groups, not just the leaders. Why should anyone working to undermine the State of Israel, and especially those trying to harm it, whether physically or politically, be permitted to enter and carry out their despicable work on our own turf? Let them try to do it by remote.

If you would like a further reminder of what BDS is all about see this post of mine about the malicious aims of BDS.

World Council of Churches Endorses Palestinian Protests Over Temple Mount Security Measures

July 24, 2017

World Council of Churches Endorses Palestinian Protests Over Temple Mount Security Measures, ALgemeinerBen Cohen, July 23, 2017

Fr. Robert Smith, Jerusalem representative of the World Council of Churches, addresses a BDS rally in South Africa. Photo: Screenshot.

The WCC is a central promoter of the Christian “Kairos Palestine” document, which characterizes terrorist acts of “armed resistance” as “Palestinian legal resistance,” denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, and compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime.


The World Council of Churches (WCC) has declared its support for the Palestinian campaign against Israeli control of Jerusalem’s holy sites, describing new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount as a “corrosive act in the midst of an already-fragile peace.”

“Keeping the historical status quo and supporting equal rights for Christians, Muslims and Jews at these holy sites is vitally important to maintaining peace and de-escalating violence,” said Fr. Ioan Sauca, acting general secretary of the WCC.

“Denying access to holy sites for thousands of people who have traveled far to pray is not only a violation of the rights of those individuals, but also a corrosive act in the midst of an already-fragile peace,” Fr. Sauca said.

One prominent Jewish human rights group ridiculed the WCC for protesting against Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the site, when such measures are common at religious sites around the world. In 2015, Saudi Arabia introduced a range of new restrictions, including electronic bracelets, for Muslims performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca after capturing a suicide bomber who planned to attack the Grand Mosque in Islam’s holiest city. Major Christian sites, most obviously at the Vatican in Rome, have also implemented enhanced measures amid a continuing wave of Islamist terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East.

“The installation of metal detectors is taken for granted at the Vatican, at government offices, at every airport around the globe,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein – Director of Interfaith Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC). “They were first made necessary when Palestinians internationalized terrorism decades ago.”

A statement from the SWC argued: “If the WCC’s call to maintain the ‘status quo’, i.e. free access without metal detectors, is heeded, it will be complicit in the shedding of blood in the future. If the WCC is truly interested in protecting the rights of all the prayers, they should denounce extremist protests and threats made against Istanbul’s leading synagogue, which has suffered two previous terrorist attacks.”

The WCC’s attitude to Israel has been consistently hostile for several decades. The organization has a deliberately vague policy towards the BDS campaign targeting Israel, saying it does not support a boycott, but endorsing at the same time “all non-violent efforts to end the occupation (including considering appropriate economic and other measures).”

The WCC is a central promoter of the Christian “Kairos Palestine” document, which characterizes terrorist acts of “armed resistance” as “Palestinian legal resistance,” denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, and compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime.

According to the Israeli research institute NGO Monitor, the WCC directly funds groups in its “Israel/Palestine” network that promote BDS and “lawfare” campaigns to convict Israeli political and military leaders for alleged “war crimes.”

BDS Suffers Another Defeat at University of California-Santa Barbara; Divestment Resolution Gets Zero Votes in Favor

May 12, 2017

BDS Suffers Another Defeat at University of California-Santa Barbara; Divestment Resolution Gets Zero Votes in Favor, AlgemeinerRachel Frommer, May 11, 2017

The University of California-Santa Barbara. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Zero votes were cast in favor of a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolution at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) early Thursday morning following a marathon debate between pro- and anti-Israel activists.

Over 100 students signed up to speak for and against the Students for Justice in Palestine-backed (SJP) resolution at a meeting of the student government (AS) that ran from 6:30 pm local time Wednesday until 4:00 am on Thursday, according to campus paper the Daily Nexus.

Ultimately, 16 student representatives voted against the resolution, which was titled “Divest From Companies that Profit From Human Rights Violations in Palestine/Israel.” There were seven abstentions.

During the open-forum debate, many Jewish students called the resolution antisemitic, with some describing the environment on campus as divided and contentious throughout the BDS campaign, which was launched on Yom HaShoah last month.

Nate Erez — president of UCSB’s chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a group that played a key role in the anti-BDS effort — said the motion was “no more than a clever disguise to achieve a much more sinister agenda. This is a direct attack on the one Jewish state in the world.”

However, anti-Israel speakers claimed that refusing to boycott companies supposedly profiting from “oppression” of Palestinians would amount to UCSB’s complicity in human rights abuses. Many supporters of the resolution insisted it was a means of remaining neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an argument made in favor of BDS at other campuses, as well.

After keeping a running commentary of AS proceedings throughout the nearly 9-hour meeting, UCSB Hillel executive director Evan Goodman celebrated the victory on Facebook, “Our students and community are amazing. Time to go home now before the sun comes up. #lailatovbokertov.”

Ilan Sinelnikov — founder of the grassroots SSI movement — also took to social media, writing, “UCSB SSI STRONG. BDS KILLED,” adding that from 2015 until today, a BDS resolution has not passed on any campus with an SSI chapter.

Throughout the night, viewers filled the comments section of a live stream of the AS meeting with messages of support for the Zionist students, including one user who commiserated with those “poor souls [who] have to stay up all night to debate supporting bigotry against Jews and a resolution that won’t do a single ounce of good for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

This was the fourth defeat of a boycott campaign at UCSB, which remains to date the only UC campus that has never passed a BDS motion in student government.

Last week, a pro-Israel peace mural at UCSB was twice vandalized by an unknown perpetrator with the phrase “Free Palestine.” (UCSB SJP maintained they were not involved in and condemned the incident.) This came after an “apartheid wall” erected by SJP on campus was exposed for featuring falsified quotes from Israeli leaders.

As of publication time, UCSB Divest had not commented on the result of Thursday’s vote.

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.

Sharia-Advocate Sarsour to Give Graduation Address at CUNY

April 23, 2017

Sharia-Advocate Sarsour to Give Graduation Address at CUNY, Clarion ProjectMeira Svirsky, April 23, 2017

(Caution: “Islamophobic” article. — DM)

Linda Sarsour speaks at a “Women for Syria” rally in NY. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Pro-sharia activist Linda Sarsour was chosen to give the commencement speech by a division of CUNY, (City University of New York).

CUNY is part of the public university system of New York City, and the largest urban university in the United States.

Sarsour was selected chosen to give the address to CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy at their June 1 ceremony. Sarsour was recently arrested in New York for blocking traffic along with other protesters outside the Trump International Hotel in New York City. She had been warned several times by police officers before being removed for disorderly conduct.

Sarsour was one of the main organizers of the Women’s March on Washington following U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Her “credentials” include:

sharia law is reasonable and once u read into the details itmakes a lot of sense. People just know the basics.”

Sharia law is misunderstood & has been pushed as some evil Muslim agenda.”

“If you are still paying interest than Sharia Law hasn’t taken over America. #justsaying.”

“You’ll know when you’re living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?”

  • Belittling the lack of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Sarsour tweeted:

“10 weeks of PAID maternity leave in Saudi Arabia. Yes PAID. And ur worrying about women driving. Puts us to shame.”

  • Belittling other activists who stand against sharia law. Sarsour tweeted: “Brigette Gabriel=Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.”
  • Activist in campaign to discredit Clarion Project’s film Honor Diaries, which showcases the struggle of nine women’s-rights activists, some Muslim some not, as they campaign against honor violence and female genital mutilation.
  • Supporter of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) anti-Israel movement

Obama sits while the UN moves toward a boycott of Israel

December 22, 2016

Obama sits while the UN moves toward a boycott of Israel, Washington Examiner, Anne Bayefsky, December 21, 2016

obamasitsonhandsWith Obama’s U.N. diplomats sitting on their hands while the funding scheme is being hotly debated, American taxpayers can expect to find themselves funding BDS in the very near future, with American businesses caught in the crosshairs. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

[Obama] prefers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with human rights authorities on the Human Rights Council like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China and Cuba. He is prepared to spend American taxpayer dollars to create a blacklist of companies doing business with the democratic state of Israel instead of the world’s most horrific regimes. A presidency spent courting moral relativism, forsaking U.S. allies, and indulging U.S. adversaries is about to reach its lowest point yet.


U.S. companies are in for a shock as President Obama takes aim once again at Israel in the final month of his presidency. In the coming days, he is expected to direct his team at the United Nations to vote for U.S. funding of “BDS,” the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign aimed at financially ruining Israel and smearing the companies with which it does business.

The vote concerns the U.N. budget that is currently being negotiated and scheduled to be finalized this week. One of the line items provides funding for the implementation of a Human Rights Council resolution adopted in March. The resolution calls for the creation of a blacklist of companies around the world doing any business, directly or indirectly, connected to Israeli settlements. In effect, it launches a U.N.-sponsored BDS movement. Since the General Assembly holds the purse strings for the Human Rights Council’s operations, the time has come to allocate the money to pay for it.

With Obama’s U.N. diplomats sitting on their hands while the funding scheme is being hotly debated, American taxpayers can expect to find themselves funding BDS in the very near future, with American businesses caught in the crosshairs.

Israeli settlements consist of Jews living peaceful, productive lives on disputed territory whose ownership, by existing agreement, is to be determined through negotiations. This Jewish presence on Arab-claimed territory is offensive to a deeply anti-Semitic enemy that seeks to guarantee that land swapped in an eventual deal to create a Palestinian state will be Jew-free.

In the context of a Palestinian policy of ethnic cleansing, these Jewish farms, enterprises and schools are an “obstacle to peace,” to use the preferred verbiage of the United Nations and the Obama administration. The fact that Jews have repeatedly been moved in advance of a negotiated end to hostilities by their own government for the sake of peace, only to have those hopes dashed time and again, is simply dismissed.

The real obstacle to ending the Arab-Israeli conflict should be obvious after seven decades of non-stop war and terror since the minute of Israel’s creation. Arab rejectionists, on both the battlefield and diplomatic turf, consider all of Israel to be occupied territory and an illegal settlement from 1948 on. Rolling back the clock to the 1967 war is one stop on the way.

Those facts, however, will not intrude on Obama’s BDS calculus. He is an avid supporter of the Human Rights Council, one of the most extreme anti-Israel bodies at the United Nations. Joining the council was one of his first foreign policy initiatives. After serving two consecutive three-year terms starting in 2009, the rules required a one-year hiatus. Hence, the U.S. has not been a council member in 2016.

But attempting to rule from the grave, a week before the U.S. elections, Obama sought and obtained another three-year term to commence Jan. 1, 2017. As a council fan, he has no intention of objecting to funding it.

On the contrary, U.N. budget documents published Dec. 13 indicate that “new requirements” to implement council resolutions and decisions taken over the past year almost double the original $23 million it was allowed to spend for this purpose in the 2016-2017 biennium. Evidently, council devotees took for granted an Obama administration carte blanche.

On Dec. 15, the General Assembly budget committee (the “Fifth Committee”) met to approve the funds for the Human Rights Council, including the funds to create the Council’s blacklist — aka BDS “database.” U.N. documentation indicates that the cost is $138,700 “to pay for one staff member to create the database over a period of 8 months and present a report” to the Human Rights Council in March 2017. In other words, authorization is being backdated to pay for an operation already underway.

To put this in perspective, the council resolution on “Realizing the equal enjoyment of the right to education by every girl” needs $82,800. “Effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of all human rights” needs $74,700. And a blacklist of companies with ties to Israel needs $138,700.

At the Dec. 15 meeting, the Israeli U.N. representative on the Fifth Committee pleaded with “member states to reject the funding request.” But Obama’s U.N. diplomat — who was present and spoke on an unrelated issue — said nothing. The Palestinian representative floated procedural objections, claiming it was a done deal. Precedent, though, is not on his side.

In 2007, when the U.N. allotted money to fund a second iteration of the racist “anti-racism” Durban conference, the Bush administration stood rock solid on a matter of principle. The U.S. called for the vote in the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee and unequivocally voted against. When it lost, it voted against the entire U.N. biennial budget.

Obama is not that man. He prefers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with human rights authorities on the Human Rights Council like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China and Cuba. He is prepared to spend American taxpayer dollars to create a blacklist of companies doing business with the democratic state of Israel instead of the world’s most horrific regimes. A presidency spent courting moral relativism, forsaking U.S. allies, and indulging U.S. adversaries is about to reach its lowest point yet.

UN Committee to Vote on Blacklist Against Israel-Linked Companies

December 10, 2016

UN Committee to Vote on Blacklist Against Israel-Linked Companies, The Jewish PressHana Levi Julian, December 10, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks at the Conference for Fighting Anti-Semitism, at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, on January 31, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ??? ???? ????? ????? ???? ??? ????????? ??????? ???? ????

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks at the Conference for Fighting Anti-Semitism, at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, on January 31, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90

A budget and administration committee within the United Nations is set to vote next week on a blacklist against firms with ties to Israel.

The UN “Fifth Committee” is scheduled to vote on funding for the blacklist, which names Israeli and international firms with offices located in post-1967 areas of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The black list was initiated this past March in a resolution approved in 32-0 vote (15 abstentions) by member states at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. According to a report published Friday in Haaretz, the resolution required UN ‘human rights officials’ to create a database of “all business enterprises” that have enabled or profited from the growth of Israeli settlements.

Proposed and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority and the Arab nations, it includes a condemnation of ‘settlements’ and a call for companies not to work with Israeli communities in post-1967 areas.

The blacklist, to be updated annually, is expected to become a useful tool for activists in the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, according to Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon.

Israel’s mission to the UN will publicly oppose the list, Danon said. The envoy added that he intends to organize a task force comprised of international pro-Israel organizations and other partners to fight the move.

“We will not be silent in the face of this shameful initiative,” said Danon. “The UN’s intent to mark Jewish businesses and international companies with ties to Israel, so that they can boycott them, reminds us of dark times in history.

“The Human Rights Council has already become notorious as an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel entity.

“But it’s unacceptable for the UN itself to continue to support this despicable decision,” Danon added.

Hijacking the news on campus

November 22, 2016

Hijacking the news on campus, Israel National News, Dr. Richard L. Cravatts, November 11, 2016

When Elmer Davis, director of FDR’s Office of War Information, observed that “. . . you cannot do much with people who are convinced that they are the sole authorized custodians of Truth and that whoever differs from them is ipso facto wrong” he may well have been speaking about those well-meaning, but misguided college students who rail against a world in which their dreams of social justice for the oppressed and weak are not being realized, despite their best efforts.

That same tendentious behavior now seems to have been exploited by editors of college newspapers who have purposely violated the central purpose of journalism and have allowed one ideology, not facts and alternate opinions, to hijack the editorial composition of their publications and purge their respective newspapers of any content—news or opinion—that contradicts a pro-Palestinian narrative and would provide a defense of Israel.

The latest example is a controversy involving The McGill Daily and its recent astonishing admission that it is the paper’s policy to not publish “pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive.”

“While we recognize that, for some, Zionism represents an important freedom project,” the editors wrote in a defense of their odious policy, “we also recognize that it functions as a settler-colonial ideology that perpetuates the displacement and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

After the paper had given its tacit support to a 2015 Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution, and had then run a satirical piece this September, “White Tears Increase on Campus,” which seemed to mock Jewish students complaining about the anti-Israel campus climate and asserted that they were in fact privileged by virtue of being “white,” a McGill student, Molly Harris, filed a complaint with the Students’ Society of McGill University’s (SSMU) equity committee. In that complaint, Harris contended that, based on the paper’s obvious anti-Israel bias, and “a set of virulently anti-Semitic tweets from a McGill Daily writer,” a “culture of anti-Semitism” defined the Daily—a belief seemingly confirmed by the fact that several of the paper’s editors themselves are BDS supporters and none of the staffers are Jewish.

In fact, on the basis of both the EUMC and U.S. State Department’s working definitions of anti-Semitism, the editors’ spurious contention that Zionism “functions as a settler-colonial ideology that perpetuates the displacement and the oppression of the Palestinian people” is, in itself, anti-Semitic, since, according to the EUMC, it denies “the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

Of course, in addition to the existence of an insidious anti-Semitism permeating the editorial environment of The Daily, there is also the core issue of what responsibility a newspaper has to not insert personal biases and ideology into its stories, and to provide space for alternate views on many issues—including the Israeli/Palestinian conflict—in the opinion sections of the paper.

At Connecticut College, Professor Andrew Pessin also found himself vilified on campus, not only by a cadre of ethnic hustlers and activists, but by fellow faculty and an administration that were slow to defend Pessin’s right to express himself—even when, as in this case, his ideas were certainly within the realm of reasonable conversation about a difficult topic: the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Central to the campaign of libels waged against Pessin was the part played by the College’s student newspaper, The College Voice.

In August of 2014, during Israel’s incursions into Gaza to suppress deadly rocket fire aimed at Jewish citizens, Pessin, a teacher of religion and philosophy, wrote on his Facebook page a description of how he perceived Hamas, the ruling political entity in Gaza: “One image which essentializes the current situation in Gaza might be this. You’ve got a rabid pit bull chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape.”

That image of a pit bull did not sit well with at least one Connecticut College student, Lamiya Khandaker, who, not coincidentally, had founded a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, the virulently anti-Israel, sometimes anti-Semitic student activist group operating on more than 115 campuses across America.

Khandaker complained publicly about Pessin’s old Facebook post, and he deleted the offending Facebook entry, and even proffered an apology. Pessin’s apology was insufficient for the ever-suffering moral narcissists on his campus. In fact, editors of The College Voice insisted that Pessin’s thoughts were “dehumanizing” to Palestinians and had “caused widespread alarm in the campus community.”

The paper’s editor, Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, initiated a campaign of lies against Dr. Pessin, contending that his post “caused widespread alarm in the campus community,” that the college community could and should “identify racism when we see it,” and that the very students viciously attacking Pessin for his thoughts were themselves “victims of racism.” In March 2015, the College Voice even ran three op-eds, beginning on the paper’s front page, that condemned Pessin and accused him of racism and comparing Palestinians to rabid dogs.

The Wesleyan University community also underwent collective apoplexy over a 2015 opinion submission in the school’s student newspaper, The Argus, which critically examined the Black Lives Matter movement. The thoughtful, relatively-benign op-ed, written by sophomore Bryan Stascavage, a 30-year-old Iraq veteran and self-described “moderate conservative,” questioned if the behavior of some BLM supporters “cheering after [a police] officer is killed, chanting that they want more pigs to fry like bacon” showed a moral and ideological flaw in the movement, leading him to wonder, “is the movement itself actually achieving anything positive? Does it have the potential for positive change?”

That opinion was apparently more than many of the sensitive fellow Wesleyan students could bear, and the newspaper’s staff was inundated with denunciations of the implicit racism of the offending op-ed and the “white privilege” demonstrated by its author, demands that apologies be issued by the paper’s editors, the widespread theft of The Argus around campus, and calls for sensitivity/social justice training for staffers.

The shell-shocked editors even published a front-page apology for having run the piece in the first place, cravenly caving to the sensibilities of the campus crybabies and saying they understood “the frustration, anger, pain, and fear that members of the student body felt in response to the op-ed ‘Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think.’” More tellingly, they wrote, “in light of the Black Lives Matter op-ed, students of color may not feel comfortable[emphasis added] or welcome writing for The Argus.

College students have now taken a new, misguided approach in their attempt to suppress speech whose content they do not approve of, as they seem to have done at Wesleyan. On college campuses, to paraphrase George Orwell, all views are equal, but some are more equal than others.

To illustrate how a double standard exists in the academy as it relates to academic free speech one only has to look at other opinion pieces that have appeared in the self-same Argus, such as a March 2015 column written by members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a corrosive, anti-Israel group, who published an op-ed with the mendacious title, “Israel’s Apartheid State.”

In the op-ed, written as the annual anti-Israel hate fest known as Israeli Apartheid Week was about to get underway at Wesleyan and campuses around the country, Israelis, and those Jewish students and other pro-Israel individuals on campus who support Israel, are described by the writers as racists, oppressors, ethnic cleansers, thieves and appropriators of Palestinian land, participants in “state terror,” colonial settlers, and aggressive militants who randomly and barbarically initiate “wars against Gaza” while slaughtering innocent Arabs in violation of international law, seemingly without motivation or justification.

While the Argus editors, in their extensive apology for the BLM op-ed, claimed that the writer had “twisted the truth” and misrepresented facts in making his argument, and that they felt editorial responsibility for not fact-checking the piece, in fact the op-ed did not wildly distort facts or misrepresent the recent history of the Black Lives Matter movement, at all.

But one could just as easily, and perhaps more relevantly, ask why the editors had not employed that same editorial scrutiny when they agreed to publish the libelous piece by the SJP members in March, an opinion piece whose main message was built upon an analysis that was fraught with untruths, distortions of history and fact, libelous assertions about political behavior and military operations, and a view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that disingenuously assigns all of the blame on Israel and ignores Arab rejectionism and truculence, not to mention terrorism, in the decades-long assault on the Jewish state.

Another equally disingenuous SJP October 2015 op-ed in The Argus, “Occupation Breeds Violence, Free Palestine,” written as Palestinian murderers were stabbing, shooting, and driving over Israeli citizens in a month-long wave of terror, remarkably assigned the blame for the carnage, not on the psychopaths who were perpetrating it, but on its victims, asserting that “SJP not only condemns terror, we go further by condemning the primary engine of the ‘recent surge in violence’: Israel’s illegal military occupation of the West Bank.”

So while campus free speech is enshrined as one of the university’s chief principles, the current Wesleyan Argus controversy, as well as the editorial biases exposed in McGill’s and Connecticut College’s student newspapers, shows us that it rarely occurs as free speech for everyone, only for a certain few who feel they are morally and rationally more fit to express themselves than their ideological opposites.

If we want speech to be truly free, to paraphrase Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., then editors have to embrace not only speech with which they agree, but also that speech with which they disagree, the speech that they hate.

White House Echo Chamber Architect to Keynote Pro-Iran Lobby Conference

August 25, 2016

White House Echo Chamber Architect to Keynote Pro-Iran Lobby Conference, Washington Free Beacon, August 25, 2016

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2016 file photo Deputy National Security Adviser For Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. The White House is working to contain the damage caused by a magazine profile of one of President Barack Obama's top aides. In a blog post published late Sunday, May 8, 2016, Rhodes said the public relations campaign he created to sell the Iran nuclear deal was intended only "to push out facts." Rhodes says outside groups that participated "believed in the merits of the deal." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Ben Rhodes (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The Sept. 25 event also is being co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic group that has been criticized for funding anti-Israel activities and organizations that support boycotts of the Jewish state. The fund bankrolls some of the leading backers of the global BDS movement against Israel, which has raised concerns among some that the administration is breaking its promises to oppose this movement.

The NIAC event is being viewed as another sign that the White House is seeking to boost these organizations in return for their efforts to push the nuclear deal and support the pro-Iran “echo chamber.”


The senior White House official who bragged about creating a pro-Iran “echo chamber” to mislead Americans about last summer’s nuclear agreement is scheduled to keynote a conference sponsored by an organization that has long been accused of acting as a pro-Tehran lobbying front.

Ben Rhodes, a top national security adviser to President Obama, is slated to be the keynote speaker at an upcoming gathering hosted by the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC, which played a key role in bolstering the nuclear agreement and has long operated under suspicion that it acts as Tehran’s lobbying shop.


Rhodes has been engulfed in a growing scandal following the revelation that he enlisted a roster of journalists and experts to spin the public in favor of the deal.

Outside organizations such as NIAC and the Ploughshares Fund, which is co-sponsoring the upcoming conference, were cited as key parts of the White House’s effort to mislead the public about the deal.

The Sept. 25 event also is being co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic group that has been criticized for funding anti-Israel activities and organizations that support boycotts of the Jewish state. The fund bankrolls some of the leading backers of the global BDS movement against Israel, which has raised concerns among some that the administration is breaking its promises to oppose this movement.

The NIAC event is being viewed as another sign that the White House is seeking to boost these organizations in return for their efforts to push the nuclear deal and support the pro-Iran “echo chamber.”

“Pro-Iran lobbies like NIAC were helpful to Ben Rhodes when he created his echo chamber to sell the Iran nuclear deal and the Iran money-for-hostages deal,” said one senior foreign policy consultant who has worked with Congress on the Iran deal. “It’s only fair that Rhodes would return the favor by keynoting NIAC’s conference. It’s not clear what he’ll talk about more: Iran developing its nuclear program, Iran expanding across the region, or Iran seizing more American hostages including those with close links to NIAC itself.”

The NIAC conference also will be attended by Rep. Jared Huffman (D., Calif.), an Iran deal backer, according to an invitation for the event circulated by NIAC.

NIAC makes note of Rhodes’ efforts to deepen diplomacy with the Islamic Republic in its invitation.

The event’s top billed sponsors include Ploughshares and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Ploughshares, a longtime funder of pro-Iran organizations and media outlets, has found itself on defense in recent months following disclosure of its role in Rhodes’ “echo chamber.”

Ploughshares funded writers and organizations in order to create a network of Iran deal “validators” who could influence public opinion at the White House’s behest.

Most recently, the Washington Free Beacon disclosed that a Washington Post contributor who touted the administration’s $400 million payment to Iran had been funded by Ploughshares. Neither the Post nor the writer disclosed this fact.

Ploughshares also moved money to National Public Radio to influence its coverage of the Iran deal.

The truth about humanitarian aid

August 7, 2016

The truth about humanitarian aid, Israel Hayom, Ariel Bolstein, August 7, 2016

The reports surrounding the arrest of Mohammad Halabi, director of the Gaza branch of the humanitarian organization World Vision, have sent shockwaves throughout the globe. This is a well-known, worldwide charity organization — one of the world’s largest in fact — that purports to help third world children.

As it turns out, when it comes to the Gaza Strip, the money donated by charitable individuals in Europe, Australia and the U.S. went mainly to help Hamas’ military wing. Among other things, the money was used toward purchasing weapons in Sinai, digging attack tunnels and paying the salaries of terrorists and their families.

The Hamas murderers did not stop there. They accepted thousands of food packages as well as other supplies intended for the poor. When devout Christian worshippers in churches across the U.S. donated a dollar or two to “those poor children,” the smiling faces on the receiving end were Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

More than half of the organization’s annual aid budget was funneled directly to Hamas. In total , the terror organization received between 40-50 million dollars and this may just be the tip of the iceberg, as there are other humanitarian groups that have poured tremendous amounts of money into these black holes referred to at times as “rehabilitation of Gaza” and “assistance to the Palestinians.”

For years, World Vision members, including senior officials, contributed to anti-Israel efforts. Time and again they have taken advantage of every possible forum to portray Israel as the culprit behind the suffering of Palestinian children. Never ones to be confused by the facts, they neglected to mention that they knew very well that Hamas was using the civilian population of Gaza as human shields, launching rockets at Israel from residential neighborhoods and storing weapons at schools.

Not a word of condemnation for Hamas was ever heard. But with respect to Israel, it has been a festival of lies and false accusations. In 2012, for example, the president of World Vision in the U.S. claimed that Israel had prohibited Christian from Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza from celebrating Easter in Jerusalem. The allegation was completely false (that year Israel granted more than 20,000 permits to travel to Jerusalem for Easter, far more than were requested). Still, the irreparable damage to Israel’s reputation in the eyes of the Christian world was done.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, World Vision has contributed extensively to other anti-Israel endeavors in the years since. For instance, the organization bankrolled a program called “Christ at the Checkpoint,” which aimed to portray Israel to American Christians as the embodiment of all evil. The program appealed to this audience’s most basic emotions: they were asked to imagine Jesus himself being harassed by Israeli soldiers at a border checkpoint. This was, in fact, anti-Semitism of the worst order, playing into the idea that the Jews abused the son of God and now they are abusing other poor souls.

In fact, a large portion of the funding that goes into the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement actually comes from innocent donors, who are certain their donations are going toward saving lives in developing countries somewhere in Asia or Africa.

Sadly, World Vision is not the only charity organization that has been dragged into the anti-Israel efforts. Other organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have also fallen into the same trap.

All this is happening in a world where there are tens of millions of people who really need charitable assistance, with tens of millions of people in the West who are willing to donate generously to help worthy causes, or so they believe. These kind, naïve donors, are being taken advantage of every day in the most awful of ways.