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We at EMET are profoundly saddened and chilled to the core at the deadly massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh and we offer prayers of solidarity, strength, and support to the Squirrel Hill community, to all of those who suffered the loss of family members and friends, and pray for the recovery of all those injured.

Throughout the Diaspora, our synagogues serve as our links to our collective history, our identities, and our faith. They serve as our sanctuaries, our places to go in times of personal joy, crisis or sorrow. They are our original “safe spaces.”

All of this was shattered on Saturday morning when Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in a leafy suburb of Pittsburgh, shouting, “All Jews must die,” mowing down 11 people at worship.  This attack was not only an attack on the Jewish people, but it was also an attack on the very values that make the United States the exemplary nation that it is. It is an attack on one of the core, founding principles of the United States, religious freedom.

We are painfully aware that on the extremes of both sides in this country, our people are not wanted. Anti-Semitism is a rather virulent virus, which has found a welcome home in both the extreme right and the extreme left. There are people who lurk in the margins of our society, in the shadows of the internet, who spew their hateful creed.

In its most common form today, anti-Semitism in America is found on our college campuses, where Israel is held to a standard that no other country could possibly be asked to live up to, particularly when faced with the same difficult conditions that Israel must live under.  Swastikas and apartheid walls have sprung up on virtually every campus from Columbia to UCLA and hundreds of points in between. It has become far too acceptable for university administrators to give a “pass” to hateful symbols and slogans aimed at intimidating and chilling Jewish students, under the cover of free speech, something which they would never allow when aimed at any other minority group.

At anti-Israeli rallies throughout our college campuses, students are often heard shouting such expressions as  “Zionist pigs,” “Hitler was right,” and even “Jews to the ovens.” The very symbol of the swastika, which has proliferated throughout our college campuses, represents the goal of the extermination of Jews.

This creates an environment that is hostile to Jewish students, and teaches non-Jews that a certain form of hatred in our country, anti-Semitism, is acceptable “free speech.”

What gives us some solace in this sorrowful time is that opposed to Europe of just one generation ago, and the world of radical Islam, including Hamas-controlled Gaza, where the massacre of Jews is exhorted, glorified and incentivized on a daily basis, the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre was condemned by the vast majority of Americans, from the President on down.

The vast majority of people in this country are people of good will, but our history has taught us that we must remain forever vigilant of those who lurk in the margins of our society, and of the growing problem of anti-Semitism on our college campuses, which has taken the 21st-century form, of anti-Zionism.

Let us hope that we can make something positive out of the recent horrific events in Pittsburgh and work together as a community to prevent the proliferation of this latest form of anti-Semitism that our students must confront on our college campuses.

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth

Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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Texas Senator Ted Cruz has introduced legislation that would impose sanctions on individual members of Hamas or Hezbollah who direct civilians to shield military targets. Unable to defeat the IDF outright, Hamas and Hezbollah cynically locate rocket launchers and weapons caches in homes, schools, clinics, and mosques, knowing that Israel will be held responsible for the resulting collateral damage.

In the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah kept many of its rockets in underground bunkers in uninhabited areas nicknamed “nature preserves.” However, over the last decade, Hezbollah has shifted its strategy and located its arsenals in towns and villages throughout Southern Lebanon. The use of human shields will be even more central to Hezbollah’s military strategy in its next war with Israel.

Hamas has not only used civilian infrastructure from which to fire rockets at Israel, during the 2014 conflict Operation Protective Edge, but Hamas leaders also exhorted Gazan civilians to ignore the IDF’s warnings to evacuate the combat zone. So solid was Hamas’s confidence that it would pay no price and bear no responsibility for collateral damage, that they had civilians stand on the rooftops of buildings that housed rockets or were located near rocket launchers.

The bipartisan STOP Using Human Shields Act is a necessary step to hold the leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas accountable for the double war crime of targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind their own.

Call Your Senators TODAY to Ask Them to Vote For the STOP Using Human Shields Act!

You can find your Senators’ Numbers Here: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

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October 5th, 2018

September 13th marked a quarter of a century since the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House Lawn. When the accords were signed, Israel agreed to the “land for peace” formulation, wherein the Israelis were to give up something very real and tangible – strategic territory – in exchange for empty words and promises.

The “land for peace” paradigm has sorely failed. Israel’s efforts towards peace since Olso, including the Hebron Agreement, the Wye River Accords, Taba, the Camp David Summit, and the painful, unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, were only met with increased terrorism. The Palestinian Authority (PA) regularly incites its people to violence, glorifies “martyrs,” and financially rewards Palestinian terrorists and their families. The PA still continues to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and encourages its people to kill Jews.

After 25 years, it is finally time to re-examine the premises of Oslo and the “land for peace” formula, as well as explore alternative solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with guest speakers Dr. Daniel Pipes and Professor Efraim Inbar.

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Press Release: EMET Praises Department of Education for Taking Steps to Curb Political Biases on College Campuses

 

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Sarah Stern, Founder & President of EMET,

Interviewed on KLZ 560AM by “Americhicks” 9/21/18

Topics Included: 
Palestinian Terror Attacks; Qatari & Saudi Funding of US Schools; & Anti-Semitism on Campuses

Listen here:

Originally published: http://americhicks.com

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Press Release: EMET Praises the Department of Education for Using State Department Definition of anti-Semitism

(Washington, DC, September 17, 2018) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised Kenneth L. Marcus, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education (DOE), for employing the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism in a case against Rutgers University, involving discrimination against Jewish students.

The case, originally filed in 2011 and appealed in 2014, alleged that a Jewish student was harassed and physically threatened by the Outreach Coordinator of the University’s Center for Middle East Studies.  Additionally, a campus student group discriminated against pro-Israel and Jewish students by selectively charging them an admission fee to an event. At the time, DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) determined there was insufficient evidence of discrimination on the basis of “national origin” under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and closed the case.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.  However, OCR has previously indicated in a 2010 Dear Colleague letter that “discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics may not be denied protection under Title VI on the ground that they also share a common faith.  These principles apply not just to Jewish students, but also to students from any discrete religious group that shares, or is perceived to share, ancestry or ethnic characteristics (e.g., Muslims or Sikhs).”  Essentially, according to the letter, OCR has the responsibility to investigate cases of anti-Semitism under Title VI of the Civil Rights. The letter did not, however, provide a definition or examples of what constitutes as anti-Semitism.

Mr. Marcus reopened the Rutgers case, and determined that OCR New York  will investigate the case based upon the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which is also used by the State Department.  “In determining whether students face discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived Jewish ancestry, we rely where appropriate upon widely established definitions of anti-Semitism.  The IHRA working definition is widely used by governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, and is used by OCR as well,” Mr. Marcus wrote in a letter dated August 27, 2018.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism used by the U.S. State Department includes examples of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regards to the State of Israel, including examples relating to: demonizing Israel, applying a double standard on Israel, and delegitimizing Israel.  Employing the definition thus broadens the DOE’s criteria to identify, investigate, and punish all forms of anti-Semitism, including extreme anti-Zionism and anti-Israel harassment.

Anti-Semitic attacks on our nation’s college campuses have been on the rise. A July 2016 report by the AMCHA Initiative found that “There were nearly 100 more antisemitic incidents in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same time period in 2015,” when examining more than 100 college and university campuses with the largest Jewish student populations.  A 2017 AMCHA report found that anti-Semitic incidents that were related to Israel were more likely to contribute to a “hostile environment” for Jewish students, than incidents of standard anti-Semitism.

EMET has been on Capitol Hill meeting with congressional offices for years to educate them about the rise of anti-Semitism on campuses, and to encourage them to ask the DOE to adopt the State department definition of anti-Semitism, to determine if incidents of harassment or discrimination potentially in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act were motivated by anti-Semitism.

Sarah Stern, founder and president of EMET said, “I applaud Kenneth Marcus and the Trump Administration for adopting the State Department definition of anti-Semitism to effectively combat the growing rise of anti-Semitism on our nation’s college campuses.  For far too long, our Jewish students have been bullied, harassed and threatened simply for showing their support for the Jewish State of Israel.  Finally, the Department of Education has recognized these attacks are often motivated by anti-Semitism.  The Department of Education’s application of State’s definition of anti-Semitism will help to ensure that our students can safely and proudly continue to support Israel on campuses.”

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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September 12, 2018 On the seventeenth anniversary of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the United States and the Western world face the same threat by genocidal Islamic terrorists that were responsible for the death of 3,000 Americans on U.S. soil.

Since 9/11, al-Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups have struck the U.S. multiple times, in Boston, MA, San Bernardino, CA, and in Orlando, FL, among other places. Some of the terrorists involved in these attacks first became radicalized through the efforts of the Islamist group called the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The MB, which originated in Egypt, seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic Caliphate, and advocates for violent terrorism. It has spread its tentacles throughout the world, including to the U.S., where it has a number of front groups including CAIR, ISNA, MAS, and MPAC among others. These groups pose as moderate Muslim civil rights groups and often interact with federal, state, and local governments, spreading disinformation and propaganda to the authorities. Yet many leaders and members of these MB groups have ties to U.S.-designated terrorist organizations and perpetuate their radical ideologies here in the U.S.

How can the U.S. stop the spread of radical Islamic ideology that inspires homegrown terrorists? Can Western Muslim leaders counter radicalization within their communities? And what steps should the United States take to safeguard our homeland and prevent future attacks on U.S. soil? To discuss these questions and more, EMET held a phone seminar with Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and Kyle Shideler.

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(Washington, DC, September 12, 2018) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised President Trump, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and the rest of the Trump administration, for their order to close the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington DC.  The administration cited the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel, and their attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court, as the reasons for closing the PLO office.

Since 1994, the year after the Oslo Accords, the PLO has maintained an office in Washington DC.  This office was meant to assist with the implementation of the Oslo Accords and to help facilitate a lasting Middle East peace.

However, the PLO, and the Palestinian Authority it created, have been in violation of many of the terms of the Oslo Accords since they were signed 25 years ago.  Among those violations are: 1) the PLO/PA’s violation of their obligation to refrain from incitement to violence; 2) the PLO/PA’s failure to change the PLO Covenant to remove the clauses in the Palestinian National Covenant which called for the destruction of Israel; 3) the PLO/PA’s refusal to stop supporting terrorism; and 4) the PLO/PA’s circumvention of a negotiated settlement with Israel by seeking unilateral statehood at the United Nations and from other countries.

In her written statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said“We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017.  However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.  To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise.  As such, and reflecting Congressional concerns, the Administration has decided that the PLO office in Washington will close at this point.  This decision is also consistent with Administration and Congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court.”

“President Trump has yet again given, not only to the Jewish people, but also to the State of Israel, the United States and the international community, a gift by closing the PLO office in Washington,” said Sarah Stern, founder and president of EMET.

She continued, “Today marks 25 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords when the parties were supposed to have developed a sense of mutual trust in order to go to final status agreements.  For 25 years, we have watched as the PLO/PA continued its relentless campaign to demonize Jews using every means possible, to teach that one day all of Israel will eventually become Palestine, and to extoll the virtues of jihad and martyrdom.  Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the PLO/PA has nurtured an entire generation that is steeped in a philosophy of enormous antipathy towards Jews, unrivaled in history since that of Nazi Germany, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 deaths of Israeli civilians, and 70 Americans.  Up till now, the U.S. has turned a blind eye to these and other flagrant violations of the Oslo Accords, consequently reinforcing their malevolent behavior. Meanwhile, the PLO/PA keeps promising over and over again the same pledges that they had made 25 years ago on the White House lawn.  President Trump, by shuttering the PLO/PA office, is finally signaling that the jig is up.”

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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