Caroline Glick rips the New York Jewish Federation and Brandeis University for their respective roles in the news this week. Caroline argues that the two incidents - Federation’s insistence on allowing BDS groups to march in the Salute to Israel parade, and Brandeis’ decision to cancel an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali - are symptomatic of American Jews having forgotten the main lesson of Passover: what freedom means.More and more, every day we see American Jews embracing intellectual bondage. We see American Jewish leaders embracing the intolerant, who seek to constrain freedom, and shunning those who fight for freedom and the rights of Jews and other threatened peoples and groups.To a large degree, this rejection of the lessons of the Exodus among the American Jewish community reflects the growing intolerance and tyranny of the political Left, to which most American Jews pledge their allegiance.With increasing frequency, leftist groups and leaders in the US are openly acting to deny freedom of expression to their political and ideological foes, and to destroy the lives of people who oppose their dogma.…In Israel, the public understands that boycotts are about mainstreaming hatred and bigotry just as much as they are about economic strangulation. That is why in 2011 the Knesset passed the anti-boycott law which allows all Israeli entities to sue groups calling for boycotts against them for civil damages, and bars such groups from participating in state tenders.But in the American Jewish community, these groups are defended and legitimized.Disgusted at their community leadership’s double standard of tolerance and support for foes of Israel and intolerance for supporters of Israel, a consortium of organizations and synagogues organized a protest against the inclusion of anti-Israel organizations in the Israel Day Parade.After weeks of protests in the press and on social media sites, on Tuesday some 200 people demonstrated outside the UJA-Federation building in New York and demanded that the boycott supporters and abettors be shunned.It was an important act of defiance.The group includes such stalwart organizations as Americans for a Safe Israel, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, JCC Watch, the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, and the National Council of Young Israel.These groups have joined together in the past to protest against UJA-Federation funding of institutions such as the 92nd Street Y and the New York JCC, which have provided platforms for Jew-haters and BDS supporters.Their protest was vital. It would be a tragedy if the thuggish behavior of the Jewish community leaders went unopposed. But it is hard to see how the protesters can change the situation.
The rot runs deep.Consider Brandeis University’s craven and intolerant administration.Brandeis was founded as a traditionally Jewish university in 1948, the year that Israel was established.But whereas Israel has remained faithful to its sovereign duty to cultivate and defend Jewish freedom and engender a liberal democracy, over the years, Brandeis has largely abandoned its mission of standing up to intolerance, and protecting Jewish rights and those of other threatened groups.
Case in point is its obscene treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
The anti-Israel movement is built upon a fragile foundation of lies, omissions and hypocrisy. Shake it just a bit, it comes crumbling down. Wait for the dust to clear- you’ll be surprised at what’s revealed.
Recently Max Samarov revealed that a professional agitator, Dalit Baum was the author of the Loyola divestment referendum. Rather than being a student led, student organized and student written initiative, it was the work of a paid operative.
Dalit Baum is currently working for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Previously, she was the director of “Economic Activism for Palestine” working for Medea Benjamin’s Global Exchange. There is no indication Dalit used her position to give micro loans to Palestinians to build businesses and grow their economy. In Progressive-speak, “economic activism” means just one thing- BDS.
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of Global Exchange. Wearing her Code Pink hat, she was front and center at the occupy movement, bemoaning the influence of the 1%. Yet both her and her colleague Jodie Evans are 1 percenters, who toy with their activists like true puppetmasters. Read how they set up and then abandoned their activists here
In spite of her populist rhetoric, Medea Benjamin controls the assets of a foundation worth 12 million dollars.
The Cornell professor was referring to the way in which the Divestment Resolution was brought to the Cornell Student Assembly for a vote.
As he detailed in a post two days ago, the students, led by the nefarious campus group Students for Justice in Palestine, in a surprise move, inserted the Resolution onto the calendar just two days before,so that it came up for a vote Thursday, April 10, at 4:30 p.m.
Because the Passover holiday begins on Monday, most Jewish students ordinarily would leave for home during the day on Thursday. If the initial Resolution passed, it would mean that the substantive vote would take place the following Thursday, smack in the middle of the Passover holiday.
That cheap and dirty strategic trick, as Jacobson noted in his blog post describing it, was “reminiscent of the exploitation of the Yom Kippur Jewish holiday in 1973 to launch an attack on Israel.”
And just as effective. They lost. By a lot.
"Get Your Camera Outta My Face!": At Cornell University, a resounding defeat for the Israel-haters
On Thursday (last evening, US-time) a BDS resolution laid before the Student Assembly was resoundingly defeated at Cornell University (by 15 votes to 8 with one abstention).
Needless to say, the BDSers were displeased with the result, and some of them behaved with less than good grace, as seen here.
For more information see Professor William Jacobson’s Legal Insurrection site here
Here we have another example of the emotional fragility of the BDS holes. When they don’t get their way, these terror-supporting, Jew-haters have nothing left but infantile outbursts. They are discovering that even when they try to sneak these divestment votes into student government agendas at the last minute around Passover and Yom Kippur, people are catching on to their dishonest tactics. The pro-Israel side has learned to fight back. All the BDS holes have are their hatred, lies, and tantrums.
BDS is 21st century form of 20th century Anti-Semitism
The anti-Israel movement on campus would like you to think that divestment is a form of pure, grassroots student activism. But recent developments at Loyola University of Chicago have shown that divestment promoters are deceiving the public regarding the true nature of their campaigns.
On Tuesday, April 1st, Students for Justice in Palestine presented the Loyola student government with an anti-Israel divestment resolution. But what they neglected to mention was that they didn’t write the legislation themselves. It turned out that the real author was Dalit Baum, a major leader in the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Baum is not a student or faculty member of Loyola or any North American university. She is a paid operative working to co-opt student governments into following the BDS Movement’s malicious, anti-Israel agenda. And if she is writing resolutions for one school, it is likely that she is writing them for others as well.
Many in the pro-Israel community suspected that professional BDS activists were behind anti-Israel campaigns on college campuses. Divestment initiatives are often orchestrated at a level that most students would not be able to achieve on their own. And now we have definitive proof that this is not purely grassroots, student-led activism, but rather an industry in which paid operatives play a crucial role. It should be noted that Dalit Baum, the operative in question, actively promotes the “right of return,” which, in the words of President Barack Obama, would, “extinguish Israel as a Jewish state”. This is something that all campus organizations absolutely must be made aware of before they make a decision on whether or not to support anti-Israel divestment campaigns.
It is important to understand the larger context here: BDS is a movement built on deception. It demands the elimination of Israel, but sells itself as a progressive, social justice cause. It manipulates the public into thinking that boycotting the safety measures that keep innocent Israelis alive every day is “human rights activism”. It appropriates and abuses the voices of progressive icons like MLK and Nelson Mandela to gain legitimacy, even though both strongly opposed the toxic brand of anti-Zionism that BDS represents. BDS activists tell members of student governments that divestment does not target Israel or Israelis, even though their official handbook calls divestment a, “stepping stone towards a broad, comprehensive boycott of Israel.” So when they insist that campus divestment campaigns are entirely student-led, it’s just one drop in an ocean of BDS deceptions.
BDS can continue trying to mislead the public about its methods and true intentions, but people are waking up. Campus divestment activists have been forced to distance their campaigns from BDS because student governments do not want to associate themselves with such a malicious movement. Even notorious anti-Israel academics like Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky have publicly condemned BDS for its rank hypocrisy.
BDS is able to recruit well-meaning people only through deception and emotional manipulation. The lies about campus divestment being purely grassroots are just one example of this. But sunlight is the best disinfectant. By exposing BDS for what it truly is, we can stand up for the truth and stop this movement from poisoning any more of our campuses and communities.
Following the incident, the pro-Israel community tried to engage in productive dialogue, reflecting on our thoughts, feelings, and utter confusion about how our U of M community was unnecessarily divided. We wrote articles and corrected misinformation in student publications and on Facebook and Twitter. We voiced concerns to our elected student government representatives and campus administrators. But the tenor of posts on social media and campus listservs became harsher still, filled with hate speech and biased information.
Hoping that winter vacation would wipe the slate clean, we were eager to begin the next semester and continue our programming and partnerships on campus. We wanted to help maintain a campus where intellectual openness, dialogue and respect is valued and upheld.
Once again, this did not happen. In fact, things have only gotten worse.
On March 18, SAFE brought a resolution before the CSG demanding that the university divest from Caterpillar, General Electric, Heidelberg Cement, United Technologies, and “all other companies that explicitly profit from and facilitate the Israeli occupation and siege of Palestinian land in violation of international law and human rights.” The resolution was part of a campaign that quickly spread across campus. This was similar to a proposed resolution that was introduced in 2005, and was defeated by a 11-25 vote.
Unlike the previous semester, the pro-Israel community was ready and prepared. We wrote speeches that represented our opinion that “BDS” — the effort by those who have failed in the past to destroy Israel through conventional military means, and later terrorism, to do so through delegitimization and economic strangulation — is outside the scope of student government, an ineffective means to achieve a resolution to the conflict, polarizes the campus community, and constitutes a one-sided tactic that presents one narrative while excluding others.
The meeting that night was chaotic, uncomfortable, and intimidating. There were frequent outbursts from the crowd that interrupted the official proceedings, and BDS advocates made snide allusions to the Birthright program and various Israeli “war crimes.” After hearing pro and con speeches, CSG members voted to postpone considering the resolution indefinitely. As one representative said, “This is Central Student Government. Not the United Nations.” Just after that vote, the crowd began chanting “Divest” loud enough and long enough that the meeting had to be adjourned before official business was completed.
The resolution’s supporters did not let up their disruptive behavior. The following night, SAFE and other anti-Israel activists staged a sit-in, occupying the CSG chambers and vowing to remain indefinitely unless CSG acceded to their demands. These included a revote on the issue, a mandatory “teach-in” to learn about divestment, an apology from CSG, an unlimited amount of student speaking time, and a requirement that CSG make all of its meetings open. Strangely, the latter two demands are already CSG policy.
In what shocked students, but failed to sufficiently alarm University administrators, the campus environment became as chaotic as the sit-in itself, and far more frightening. Students who opposed the boycott efforts were targeted—subject to derogatory tweets, targeted with slanderous names, and abused for how they express their personal and even religious beliefs.
It was not just individual students who were the victims of violent threats and intimidation by pro-Palestinian forces. Student Government representatives were similarly targeted and, most tellingly, called “kike” and a “dirty Jew.” Both CSG representatives and ordinary students were afraid to attend their classes because they felt unsafe.
The University administration responded via a campus-wide email:
A core value of the University of Michigan is respect for diverse ideas and viewpoints. Today we reiterate that core value expressed in the university’s policy on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression. This value is never more important than when addressing issues raised by students. It is important to understand how students on all sides of an issue think and are affected while remaining mindful of our campus ethos of civility and respect.
Leaders of the pro-Israel community devised a multi-faceted approach. Our first step was to educate our community on what had occurred and provide a safe place to congregate at the campus Hillel. As a diverse yet extremely cohesive community, we drafted letters of support and thanks to our elected representatives, voiced our concerns to the dean of students and the administration, and discussed ways to avoid fighting fire with fire. Above all, however, we wanted to move beyond this hateful episode.
Poster Boy For The Not So Friendly BDS Movement.
In The Washington Free Beacon, Adam Kredo writes that BDS Leader Posts ‘Overtly Threatening’ Photo to Facebook:The latest image raising concern among civil rights leaders comes from a Facebook posting by Michigan student Yazan Kherallah, a leading voice in the campus’s Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a virulently anti-Israel movement that championed the divestment measure.
Kherallah posted photo to his Facebook account of him wearing a traditional Arab headscarf and jamming a knife into a pineapple.
Kredo quotes Civil rights leader Kenneth Marcus, who described Kherallah’s photograph as “overtly threatening” and as contributing to the atmosphere of fear within the University of Michigan’s pro-Israel community:"In the context of the current controversy, the University of Michigan really needs to know what this student is trying to communicate,” said Marcus, a former staff director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.“The knife is held in an overtly threatening way [and] coupled with a keffiyeh, it appears to be a gesture of warning or a threat towards Zionists.”
Now let’s see if the University of Michigan will do anything about this
I noted on Friday how the BDS crowd, led by the “Jewish Voice for Peace” and the parents of Rachel Corrie, had lied when they claimed that TIAA-CREF had divested from Caterpillar because of their attempts to boycott Israel.
Caterpillar has been a major target of the BDS crows for years because Israel has used their equipment to demolish illegal Palestinian Arab homes, and Rachel Corrie was supposedly crushed to death under a CAT bulldozer as she attempted to defend a house that was on top of a weapons smuggling tunnel. (In reality, she wasn’t killed by the bulldozer, but that is their narrative.)
While the BDS crowd was crowing over their fake victory about Caterpillar and TIAA-CREF, however, there was a ceremony in Ramallah as the official Caterpillar dealer in Ramallah transferred several tractors to the Palestinian Authority!
It even made the news in the territories:
The company that sold the equipment is proud of its Palestinian and Caterpillar roots:
Palestinian Tractor is a truly Palestinian enterprise and is set to play a leading role in the country’s economic and industrial development, as well as training and development to its Palestinian staff.
Palestinian Tractor and Equipment Co. Ltd. was established in 1995 as a sister company to Jordan Tractor and Equipment Co. and as an affiliate Company to M.E. JALLAD the dealer of Caterpillar Inc. in Lebanon and Syria since 1929. It is a part of Caterpillar dealers network established all over the world.
As a Caterpillar dealer, PT&E are able to bring to the country not only the finest quality products but also the expertise and the know how of a world leader in the productive use and management of machines that serve various segments of the market.
… As a Caterpillar dealer it is our aim to bring to the customer a quality product which is reliable and is best suited to his job requirements.
Yes, while BDS tries to demonize Caterpillar in the West, the PA is happily using Caterpillar equipment with no objections from the moralists of BDS.
Do the Corries or the rest of the BDS crowd have a problem with their beloved Palestinian Arabs buying equipment that they claim crushed the life out of her body? No, of course not! It doesn’t support their anti-Israel narrative, so they ignore it.
They support protests against Caterpillar in the US but won’t say a word about Caterpillar sales to Arab countries. Because they are hypocrites, who only care about demonizing Israel and not at all about Caterpillar.
#UMDivest just failed by a vote of 25-9-2. Truth and justice won tonight. Congrats to all U Mich students who stood up against this bigotry.
University of Michigan anti-Israel divestment resolution fails resoundingly, 25 against, only 9 in support.
Adam Kredo reports that a University of Michigan official has dismissed death threats by BDS supporters against pro-Israel students as ‘activism.’
“The University of Michigan has allowed known pro-Hamas activists to openly organize riots on their campus and create an environment in which pro-Israel students had their lives threatened,” said one high-level official with a prominent pro-Israel organization.
“Now, after months of watching outside groups coordinate hateful stunts, university administrators are allowing students to be bullied into taking an anti-Israel vote with a gun pointed to their heads,” added the source. “They’ll have to answer for this, certainly politically and probably legally.”
The BDS brouhaha first began earlier this month when the school’s student government overwhelmingly suspended consideration of a divestment resolution. That prompted the pro-Palestinian group Students Allied for Freedom and Equality to hold protests on campus and inside student government chambers.
On Wednesday evening of last week during one of these sit-ins, a student opposed to the BDS resolution had “threats of violence” shouted at him by two “Arabic males,” according to a police report filed that evening.
University officials in recent days have helped broker a deal that led to an apology from the student government’s president for tabling the divestment initiative. The university has helped ensure that the initiative comes to a vote in the coming days.
University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald—who first said that he did not understand a reporter’s questions—declined multiple requests to comment on the death threats and violent rhetoric from activists, saying that the school encourages “students to report them to police.”
Fitzgerald—who adopted an incredulous tone when faced with questions—additionally refused to connect a Free Beacon reporter with the university’s provost or other high-level officials, saying that the issue does not rise to the level of their involvement.
“This is activism of students with their student government,” he said. The BDS activists “do not believe their voices were heard.”
They don’t believe their voices were heard? Their voices were heard and recognized for the load of manure that they are. What the BDS holes really mean is that the U of M dhimmis didn’t behave as dhimmis are commanded to behave. Dissenting opinions are forbidden.
Cops called in after Palestinian activists threaten BDS opponents
Pro-Palestinian activists on the University of Michigan campus have had the cops called on them for threatening pro-Israel students and staging a sit-in over the student government’s refusal to back an anti-Israel initiative to divest from the Jewish state.
University of Michigan police were contacted Wednesday evening after two pro-Palestinian activists allegedly threatened a student who refused to support their boycott initiative.
The threatening rhetoric used by these pro-Palestinian activists is part of wider campaign by the University of Michigan’s pro-Palestine group Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), which is part of the virulently anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement (BDS).
The pro-Palestinian faction’s violent rhetoric has sparked an atmosphere of fear among pro-Israel students and led at least one to ask that the police launch an investigation into these threats.
SAFE, which describes itself as “a Palestinian solidarity group at the University of Michigan,” has been staging sit-ins at the university’s student government chambers and elsewhere, according to insiders and the group’s Facebook page.
On Wednesday of this week, SAFE apparently staged one of its sit-ins in the university’s student government chambers. That is when SAFE activists started shouting threats at those who do not support BDS, according to a police report and University of Michigan Police official.
“A student reported that around 6:30 p.m., two males yelled threats at him while they were in the Central Student Government chambers,” states a “threat of violence” police report from that evening.
“They are described as Arabic males, approximately 20 years old and wearing white scarves. One reportedly had light brown skin, black hair, and a trimmed beard. The other was described as shorter than the other subject and thinner hair.”
An official with the university police told the Washington Free Beacon that the past week has been rife with tension following “an effort by a pro-Palestinian group” to promote divestment from Israel.