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Review Category : Anti-Semitism

Defending Israel in the Era of “Apartheid Walls”

When my father was a little boy growing up in Poland, there were signs that read, “Jews: Get out of Europe. Go back to Palestine.” On today’s college campuses there are shouts of “Jews: Out of Palestine. Go back to Europe.”

These past two weeks have been difficult ones for American Jewish college students. It  has been Israel Apartheid Week, and across many American college campuses, most of our Jewish students are confronted with “mock die ins”, with student actors dressed as menacing Israel soldiers “brutalizing” other student actors dressed as hapless, “innocent” Palestinian civilians, and  “apartheid walls”.  Jewish students at Emory University have had “mock eviction notices” placed in residence halls, that say “Palestinian homes are destroyed as part of the state’s ongoing attempt to ethnically cleanse the region of its Arab inhabitants”. At Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine created a poster of an IDF soldier with horns. At Harvard University, one of the speakers for Israel Apartheid Week, Omar Barghouti, supports the “euthanasia of Zionism.”

Many Jewish students do not have the knowledge to be able to respond to these horrific distortions. The few who have both the knowledge and the backbone to fight back, do. However, most put their heads down in shame. It is no wonder that Natan Sharansky has called American Jewish college students, “The new Jews of silence”.

The problem is that many university professors have used their desks for one-sided political propaganda rather than giving them a solid education about the region. A tenured professor at Columbia, Hamid Dabishi, for example has tweeted that “Every dirty, treacherous, ugly and pernicious act happening in the world just wait a few days and the ugly name Israel will pup.” (sic). Marc Lamont Hill, a tenured professor at Temple University in Philadelphia called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”  Unfortunately, these statements are no longer the outliers, but have become very much the norm in many classrooms that study the Middle East.

I long to equip our students with some basic facts, if I could only teach them for one semester. I would teach them about how the Palestinian Liberation Organization, whose membership is the same as the Palestinian Authority,(PA) was established in 1964, 3 full years before the 1967 War, and before there was any “occupation” to resist. I would teach them about the Oslo Accords, and how Yitzchak Rabin had reluctantly agreed to negotiate with Yassir Arafat on the one condition that he give up terrorism. I would tell them that after the Accords were signed there was a sharp rise in Israeli civilian victims of Palestinian terrorism, which is now over 1,000 fatalities.

I would tell them how Israel withdrew from all the major Palestinian population centers, putting 90% of the Palestinian population under the PA’s control. I would tell them about the enormous offer Prime Minister Ehud Barak had made to Chairman Arafat in July of 2000, which would eventually have given the Palestinians 91% of the West Bank, Gaza and shared sovereignty of Jerusalem, yet Arafat walked away from the offer and launched an intifada. I would tell them that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, an even more generous offer in November 2008, including making all of Jerusalem an internationally controlled city. And yet again, this Palestinian interlocutor walked away from the negotiating table, launching a renewed intifada.

I would tell them about the Gaza withdrawal in 2005, and how the Israelis trained their soldiers not to feel pain as they uprooted Jewish residents from their homes. And about how Israelis had left the greenhouses to give the nascent Palestinian state some sort of economic infrastructure, and the synagogues to be turned into mosques. And how these greenhouses and synagogues, along with every remnant of a Jewish life had been destroyed in a frenzied atmosphere of chaos and hatred. I would tell them how now Gaza has become a simmering sea of hatred which is unleashed every Friday when mobs try to penetrate the fence and kill as many Israeli civilians as possible. 

I would tell them about the innocent looking balloon bouquets and kites, meant to attract young Israeli children, launched with incendiary devices attached to them, that have destroyed thousands of acres of Israeli agricultural land near Gaza and have created an ecological disaster. I would tell them that over 1,000 missiles have been launched from Gaza, giving neighboring Israeli men women and children just 15 seconds to run for shelter.

Before anyone casts blame on the democratically elected government of Israel, I would ask them to walk a mile in their shoes. 

I know they will not, however. Because anti-Zionism is just the 21stcentury form of ant-Semitism. And as Jean Paul Sartre had said, “The anti-Semite has chosen hate because hate is a faith.” Anti-Semitism is hatred, and hatred is an emotion, and one, unfortunately cannot reason with an emotion.

A version of this recently appeared in the Washington Jewish Week.

Photo: Uriel Heilman

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Phone Seminar: “The Thin Line Between Legitimate Criticism of Israel and Anti-Semitism”

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Anti-Semitism on our nation’s college campuses, in the international arena, and even within the halls of the US Congress is on the rise. While criticism of Israeli policies is completely legitimate, it is important to note when such criticism crosses the line and becomes anti-Semitic. The 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: the demonization of Israel, applying a double standard on Israel, and the delegitimization of Israel.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which demonizes and delegitimizes Israel, and opposes Israel’s right to exist, is essentially an anti-Semitic movement that masks itself under the guise of anti-Zionism. BDS activity on college campuses, including anti-Israel divestment resolutions, and painting Israel as a “Nazi-like” State, is also contributing to the rise of anti-Semitic activity on campuses, reports show. The radical student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which has more than 100 chapters across the U.S., is the most active voice in support of the BDS movement on campuses. SJP regularly introduces resolutions within student governments that call for a divestment from companies that “profit from” the “apartheid” State of Israel. In 2016, Congressional Testimony detailed SJP’s and the BDS movement’s ties to the terrorist organization Hamas.

What tools can be employed to identify when criticism of Israel has crossed the line into anti-Semitism? What can Universities and student groups do to combat the radical SJP movement and BDS activity? And what should the US Congress do to combat the BDS movement? Listen in as Dan Diker from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, explores these questions, and discusses his new policy book, “Students for Justice in Palestine Unmasked.”

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Articles Citing EMET’s Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the Removal of Rep. Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee

As many of you might be aware, EMET authored a letter signed by a dozen pro-Israel and/or Jewish groups, to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairman Eliot Engel requesting that Representative Ilhan Omar, (Democrat, Minnesota), be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, because of her continuous anti-Semitic statements and tweets, and because she had very recently spoken at a function for Islamic Relief, an organization with known terrorist ties, so much so that the respected financial institutions of Credit Suisse, UBS and HSBC have all felt it necessary to sever all ties with the group. In 2014, the government of Israel banned Islamic Relief because of its known ties to Hamas, and in that same year  United Arab Emirates severed all ties to the group and labelled it a terrorist organization because of its known ties to Hamas.

We feel that our national security interests and those of our fellow democratic ally in the Middle East will be severely compromised by having Rep. Omar sit on this all important and sensitive committee, where she will have access to classified information.

The letter was delivered to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s  and Chairman Eliot Engel’s offices on Monday, March 4th, and by Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump was tweeting about it. His exact words were: “Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel. Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!”

By Tuesday morning, EMET’s Founder and President was called to Fox and Friends to discuss the letter. Here is her interview.

We have generated a tremendous amount of media attention because of this. Below are some of the stories:

Pro-Israel groups seek Rep. Omar’s removal from Foreign Affairs Committee-One America News

Rep. Omar and anti-Semitism in Congress-One America News

Rep. Ilhan Omar anti-Semitic remarks spark controversy-One America News

Leading Jewish groups demand anti-Semitic Omar be removed from Foreign Affairs Committee-Washington Free Beacon

12 pro-Israel groups call on Pelosi, Engel to remove Omar from House CommitteeJewish News Syndicate

Jewish groups: anti-Semitism resolution ‘means nothing’ unless Ilhan Omar removed from committee-Washington Times

House Dems will take floor action to confront Omar’s latest Israel comments-Politico

Pelosi under pressure from Republicans, Jewish groups to drop Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs-Washington Times

Trump: Ilhan Omar comments are a ‘dark day for Israel’-Times of Israel

House Dems to vote on resolution in response to Omar’s anti-Semitic comments-Washington Free Beacon

Center joins major Jewish organizations in demanding Rep. Ilhan Omar be removed from House Foreign Affairs Committee-Center for Security Policy

Pelosi gets pushed to drop Omar from committee-WorldNetDaily

Ilhan Omar: Foreign affairs chairman says congresswoman should remain on committee amid Republican effort to remove her over Israel comments-Independent

11 pro-Israel groups call on Pelosi, Engel to remove Omar from House Committee-Cleveland Jewish News

Engel says he won’t remove Minnesota Rep. Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee-Jewish Press

Among the ‘Jewish groups’ Trump cites, one with neo-Nazi ties-Roll Call

Roll Call smears Jewish groups that called for Omar’s removal from House Committee-Washington Free Beacon

Trump cited a letter against Ilhan Omar signed by far-right, anti-Muslim groups-The Intercept

Cal Thomas: the Democrats’ Jewish problem-Post Bulletin

Democrats divided ahead of expected House resolution condemning anti-Semitism-Jewish News Syndicate

One nation under Allah? Lieberman warns fellow Democrats they are on slippery slope-World Tribune

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Roll Call Smears Jewish Groups That Called for Omar’s Removal From House Committee

Roll Call Smears Jewish Groups That Called for Omar’s Removal From House Committee

By: Adam Kredo
The Washington Free Beacon
March 6, 2019

Roll Call is facing backlash after one of its reporters attempted to discredit a recent effort by a group of leading Jewish and pro-Israel organizations to see Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee following a series of anti-Semitic statements that drew widespread condemnation.

To read the full article, click here: https://freebeacon.com/issues/roll-call-smears-jewish-groups-that-called-for-omars-removal-from-house-committee/ 

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EMET’s Statement on The Roll Call Smear Campaign

EMET’s Statement on the Roll Call Smear Campaign

Rather than go high, Roll Call decided to go low. When reporting about the letter we authored to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairman Eliot Engel discussing Representative Ilhan Omar’s highly anti-Semitic comments, tweets and associations with a group tied to known terrorists, they made vicious, ad hominem attacks at some of our esteemed colleagues who are among the 12 signatories of the letter.

We find it revealing that Roll Call never reported on the substance of our letter, which is that Rep. Omar exposed her real sentiments when she delivered a fundraising speech two weeks ago before Islamic Relief USA, a “charity” that has been designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and Israel. International banks Credit Suisse, UBS and HSBC have refused to do any banking with Islamic Relief because of fears of ties to terrorist financing.

Instead of focusing on the substance of Rep. Omar’s poor decision to speak before the group, whose leadership also has openly called for the murder of Jews, Roll Call’s first article on the subject is a smear against two of the 12 signatories of this letter.

We have known both the founders of the Center for Security Policy, Frank Gaffney, and ACT for America, Brigitte Gabriel, for years. They are led by distinguished individuals who have fought against hate in all its forms, including anti-Semitism. We personally know they are compassionate, loving individuals. That is why it was important to have them join our group letter.

It is ironic that rather than respond to a real  and obvious hatred, the anti-Semitism and Judeophobia that Ilhan Omar so obviously has, the author of this article tried to manufacture some fictitious bias of two such incredibly wonderful human beings.

The Roll Call article is not good journalism. If it were, they would have reported on the substance of the letter.  It is a poor attempt to smear good people as a substitute to discussing the substance at hand: Rep. Omar’s vile anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish people and her decision to align herself with groups which openly have ties to terrorism.

That is where the debate is.

If you would like to read their article, please look here: https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/trump-anti-muslim-groups-letter/

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EMET’s Statement on the Sense of Congress Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism

EMET’s Statement on the Sense of Congress Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism

The Sense of Congress Resolution condemning anti-Semitism is a hollow exercise and is far from sufficient. It is wholly insufficient because Representative Omar has demonstrated over and over again that she is comfortable issuing vile anti-Semitic attacks on a Jewish minority who once thought America was a safe place to live.

The time is gone for “feel good” resolutions that vaguely oppose anti-Semitism.  Who would oppose a resolution criticizing anti-Semitism or any other sort of racism?

House Democrats should do the right thing. They should censure Rep. Omar and immediately remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee where she sits. This would send an unmistakable message that Democratic leaders and its rank will not tolerate anti-Semitism in the House of Representatives and that Rep. Omar must be held accountable.

Speaker Pelosi, Holocaust survivors are still alive in the United States who remember the horror of that ugly time. Their children also lived their parent’s agony and persecution as they grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust.

They and all Jews who felt they were safe in America are now nervous again.  They are hearing the repetition of the worst anti-Semitic stereotypes from another loud political leader.

They are simply astonished that today there is an anti-Semite prospering in the halls of Congress who operates freely without any sanction.  And they are worried as they see others outside the Congress cheer on Rep. Omar for her despicable attacks on Jewish Americans.

Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic majority owe it to the Jewish community to take concrete action. We are depending on your good sense and your intolerance for the scourge of anti-Semitism to do the right thing.

Ms. Omar was appropriately rebuked by Speaker Pelosi on February 11 which prompted her to send out a perfunctory apology.  However, within weeks, she again invoked another ugly classic anti-Semitic canard, invoking the widely discredited position that Jewish Members of Congress demonstrate “dual loyalty” between the United States and Israel.

What is even more troubling is the fact that on February 23, Ms. Omar addressed a fundraising event for Islamic Relief USA.  Islamic Relief is a “charity” with documented operational ties to terrorist organizations. Years ago, UAE and Israel designated Islamic Relief as a terrorist organization.

Ms. Omar’s support for terrorists is nothing new.  In 2016, while a state representative from Minnesota, she wrote a letter to a judge asking for leniency for nine Minnesota men who made plans to join ISIS, including the purchase of fake passports to travel to Syria. This is ISIS, who considers the United States the ultimate enemy. This is ISIS, which engaged in the most barbaric acts of brutality, such as burning people alive in cages, chopping off their heads, and killing thousands of Christians, Yazidis and even other Muslims, not as extreme as themselves.

A person with these sorts of inclinations should never be allowed to sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This is a Committee where Ms. Omar will have access to highly classified and sensitive documents.

By allowing her to remain on this Committee, our national security interests and those of our one democratic ally in the region, Israel, might well be severely compromised.

Rep. Omar should be promptly censured and immediately removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Anything short of that simply rings hollow.

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Pelosi under pressure from Republicans, Jewish groups to drop Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs

Pelosi under pressure from Republicans, Jewish groups to drop Ilhan Omar from House Foreign Affairs

Minnesota Democrat involved in another anti-Semitism flap

– The Washington Times – Monday, March 4, 2019

Republicans and Jewish groups ramped up their calls Monday for Democrats to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in response to the latest anti-Semitism uproar involving the first-term congresswoman.

Read the full article at: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/4/pelosi-under-pressure-republicans-jewish-groups-dr/

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