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Review Category : BDS

The Importance of Germany’s Anti-BDS Resolution

Last week, Germany’s Bundestag – or legislature – passeda non-binding resolution condemning the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as anti-Semitic. While the resolution may not have the force of law, it is an important recognition that BDS has little to do with Palestinian rights, and everything to do with isolating Israel, and, more generally, Jews. 

Poignantly, the motion described the BDS campaign as “reminiscent of the most terrible chapter in Germany history” recalling the Nazi slogan, “Don’t buy from Jews.”

The singular focus of the BDS campaign on Israel betrays its intent. As legal scholar, Eugene Kontorovich hasobserved, of the numerous ongoing territorial disputes in the world, only the one between Israel and the Palestinians is deemed serious enough to spark calls for a boycott.

The BDS campaign is not only anti-Semitic in its intent, it is also anti-Semitic in its effect. For example a 2015 Amcha Initiative studyshowed that there exists a “strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and antisemitism.”

What Germany has learned through its painful history, and what America has yet to learn, is that words matter,

In recent years there have been numerous examples of how anti-Israel activism morphs into anti-Semitic actions. Many students across the country report feeling intimidated, bullied and threatened because of their Jewish identity or pro-Israel feelings.

A recently settledsuit against San Francisco State University (SFSU) was precipitatedby the exclusion of the school’s Hillel chapter from a “Know Your Rights” fair. According to one of the organizers, Professor Rahab Abdulhadi of the General Union of Palestine Studies of SFSU,  explained that Hillel -was disinvited from the event because Hillel was deemed to be “a privileged white group.” (This is exceedingly ironic, because in the 1930-s there were quotas against the admitting “ Jews and other inferior races” into the United States.)

In April, Rebecca Thau, a student at Harvard and president of the Hillel’s Undergraduate Steering Committee – releaseda statement saying that the campus’s Israel Apartheid Week was “vilifying students for their commitments and even their heritages, turning students away from — rather than toward — one another, and preventing meaningful conversation.”

Jewish students at Emory University in Atlanta were targetedwith “eviction notices,” posted on their dorm rooms as a means of protesting Israeli policy by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). SJP is one of the most prominent campus groups promoting BDS.

Golda Daphna, a student a Columbia University wrotethat the marginalization of Jews on campus through events like Israel Apartheid Week have the effect of making her and others conclude that they “do not feel at home in America because of our anti-Semitic college experience.”

Many university administrators claim that they do not know where free speech ends, and harassment, intimidations and threatening language begins. Our constitutionally inscribed first amendment rights are extremely precious to us all.  However, educational settings have a very fine line to walk.  While ensuring freedom of speech, they also have an obligation to protect students from psychological and emotional harassment so that the environment is conducive to learning.  

There are many protections for many minority groups within the educational setting. However, the one group that has been more singled out for abuse than any other, (according to national data), Jews, and most particularly Jewish students, have absolutely no legal protections.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that university administrators say they have no definition of anti-Semitism, so they cannot recognize it when they see it.  In order to answer this need  Sen. Tim Scott (R – S.C.) introduced the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2019in March. 

The goal of the bill is to extend  the same Title VI protections  to Jewish students as most other  minority groups have on college campuses.  The definition that the bill provides is the very same definition that our State Department uses when instruction our diplomats as to how to recognize and call out anti-Semitism.

The bill uses the  definitionpublished in 2016 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as the relevant one for the legislation. Imortant to note is that within this definition is “denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming the the state of Israel is a racist endeavor. “

Given the growing problem of anti-Semitism on campus, it’s time for the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead and introduce a companion measure to the Senate bill. Such legislation would protect Jewish students who are threatened by BDS-inspired intimidation and discrimination on U.S. college campuses.

If the House can follow the Senate’s lead and get this legislation passed, it would be because it took a lesson from Germany on how to define and fight anti-Semitism.

It is about time we follow Germany’s lead on this long overdue legislation, before we are forced to learn their lessons of history.

Photo: AFP

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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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12 pro-Israel groups call on Pelosi, Engel to remove Omar from House Committee

12 pro-Israel groups call on Pelosi, Engel to remove Omar from House Committee

They also sounded the alarm ahead of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s scheduled appearance at Islamic Relief USA, “whose parent organization and chapters have documented ties to terrorist organizations.”

By: JNS.org
March 4, 2019

Twelve pro-Israel groups delivered a letter on Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), urging for the removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the committee amid the Minnesota congresswoman’s latest anti-Semitic remarks.  “Speaker Pelosi, you demonstrated wisdom and leadership in rebuking Rep. Omar on February 11 following her use of anti-Semitic stereotypes, and Chairman Engel, your reaction to the classic anti-Semitic trope of the charge of ‘dual loyalty’ about American Jews, that Rep. Omar uttered this weekend at a Washington establishment, was highly appropriate, and we applaud you both for that,” they said.

Read the complete article here: https://www.jns.org/11-pro-israel-groups-call-on-pelosi-engel-to-remove-omar-from-house-committee/?

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Press Release: EMET Calls on Senate to Pass Pro-Israel Legislation That Was Postponed on a Technicality, Last Night

EMET Calls on Senate to Pass Pro-Israel Legislation That Was Postponed on a Technicality, Last Night
(Washington, DC, January 9, 2019) – Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) called on the US Senate to pass S. 1, the “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act.” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced S. 1 on January 7 along with Senators James Risch (R-ID), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The bill stalled in the Senate on Tuesday when a motion to invoke cloture and vote on final passage failed to gain the required 3/5 majority.  Fifty-six senators from both parties voted in favor of the motion, while 44 Senators voted against it.

S. 1 is a collection of Middle East-related bipartisan bills that had been introduced during the previous Congress, but were never voted on before the end of term. This includes the Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, and the Combating BDS Act.

The latter section of the bill proved to be the most controversial. The Combating BDS Act would prevent the federal government from preempting state and local government-passed laws that prohibit contracting with individuals or businesses that boycott Israel and Israeli-owed businesses. Opponents of the Act falsely claimed that it infringes upon free speech, even though the text of the bill itself plainly states “Nothing in this title shall be construed to infringe upon any right protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated, “It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity.”  The ACLU also came out against the bill as an infringement on the First Amendment.

Sarah Stern, the founder and president of EMET pushed back, arguing “At a time when anti-Israel hate groups are using economic warfare against the sole Jewish State, it is critical that the US Senate stand with Israel by passing S.1.  Combatting the anti-Semitic BDS movement should not be a controversial issue. This bill does not prevent individuals from participating in their first amendment rights, but simply allows states and local governments to divest from entities that are engaged in discriminatory practices against the State of Israel.”

Many states already enforce anti-discrimination rules when determining eligibility for government contracts, or prohibit boycotts based on race and national origin. The New York Human Rights Law is an example of the latter. There are currently 26 states that have passed anti-BDS laws, often by large bipartisan majorities in the state legislatures.

Some of the senators who voted against the motion to invoke cloture cited the partial shutdown of the government. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) tweeted “We can’t simply proceed with business as usual. Reopening the govt must be our first priority.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the bill’s sponsor, accused Democrats of wanting to avoid a tough vote on Israel when an increasingly large segment of the Democratic party supports the BDS movement. “The shutdown is not the reason Senate Democrats don’t want to move to the Middle East Security Bill,” Rubio tweeted. “A significant [number] of Senate Democrats now support #BDS & Dem leaders want to avoid a floor vote that reveals that.”

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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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Linda Sarsour Doesn’t Speak for Me

Saturday, October 27th, 2018 is a day that will forever be etched in tragedy. For the Jewish people. For Pittsburgh. For America. 11 lives were taken in an act of violence and hate. These 11 people were partaking in a baby naming ceremony in the Tree of Life Synagogue during the Sabbath, until a man who “just wanted to kill Jews” entered the synagogue and opened fire on the congregation, taking 11 innocent souls, forever inflicting pain and suffering on a community.

In the days following the shooting, I constantly read my newsfeed, seeing what others had to say and how they were handling their grief. There were those who took to love: photos of Jews and non-Jews alike gathered at vigils, mourning the victims. There were those who took to anger: opinionated posts of those who felt the need to politicize the massacre, and commentators arguing over its cause.

My stomach dropped for the second time since I first heard about the shooting. Choosing love every single time? We don’t have to agree on the same issues? This is coming from the same woman who is quoted minimizing anti-Semitism, saying it’s not systemic, even though anti-Semitism made up 54% of religious hate crimes in 2016.

Sarsour is also the same woman who is a close friend and supporter of Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, a well-known anti-Semite, who recently made the anti-Semitic comparison of Jews to termites. She failed to condemn Farrakhan’s words. These words don’t sound like unrelenting love to me.

In regards to Sarsour’s preaching about how we don’t have to agree on the same political issues, one can’t help but label her as an indisputable hypocrite.  In 2017, Sarsour claimed that Zionists cannot be feminists as part of her platform on which the Women’s March is based. Sarsour’s words alienate those who support Israel from wanting to partake in a protest that deals with a completely different political issue, causing some Zionist feminists to feel forced to “sacrifice” their Zionism for the sake of feminism.  What ever happened to unity, Linda?

I could continue describing more examples of the way Sarsour and her followers seem to forget her anti-Semitic past. I could mention how, at the Jewish Voice for Peace conference in Chicago in 2017, Sarsour felt “honored” to be speaking with Rasmea Odeh, a convict in Israel who murdered two Jewish students at Hebrew University in a 1969 terror attack.

I could also recall the time Sarsour called Zionism, the belief that Jews have the right to self-determination and should live in their ancestral homeland, “creepy.” Because when there is a rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic attacks in the United States (not to mention Europe), it’s “creepy” to want to live safely in the only Jewish nation in the world.

I could go on, but I won’t. Because this a time when Jews and non-Jews must cast our differences aside and come together in genuine mourning and prayer and healing. Sarsour may use words of “unrelenting love” now when it’s most convenient for her and her following, but to a pro-Israel Jew, that only adds more salt to the wound when our community is already hurting. Linda Sarsour doesn’t speak for me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Miranda Lapides is the Deputy Director of Communications at the Endowment for Middle East Truth, an unabashedly pro-Israel and pro-America think tank and policy institute in Washington, DC.
Originally published at: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/linda-sarsour-doesnt-speak-for-me/
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EMET Praises DoE for Working to Curb Political Biases on College Campuses

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

 

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“Appropriating Apartheid: The Palestinian Leadership’s Ideological War Against the Jewish State“

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Following President Trump’s historic announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas waged a political and ideological war against the State of Israel. During a speech in Egypt, Abbas claimed that the Palestinians were the “original Canaanites” and lived in Jerusalem before the Jews. Abbas also called Trump’s statement “sinful” and “ill-fated,” and Fatah called for a “day of rage,” with approximately 800 Palestinians rioting as a result.

Abbas’ vilifying words and the Palestinians violent riots are only some of the political tactics the PA uses to undermine the State of Israel; another main tactic is the advancement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). The BDS movement seeks to delegitimize, demonize, and ultimately destroy the State of Israel by using political and economic warfare, and false accusations. The BDS movement uses gross lies to demonize the Jewish State of Israel – such as by falsely comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa – to win activists on its side. Yet the movement is inherently anti-peace, while opposed to any type of negotiations with Israel or Israelis, even if it is for the benefit of the Palestinians, and often uses-anti-Semitic tactics to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s existence as a sovereign state. The global BDS movement also gains support from various parts of the international community, including some European countries and the United Nations. To what extent is the PA’s use of political warfare a threat to the State of Israel? Who are the main drivers and supporters of the BDS movement? And what steps should Israel take to combat these threats? Please join us as we hear from Dan Diker as he explores these questions and more.

About Dan Diker

Dan Diker is a Fellow and Senior Project Director at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs where he heads the Program to Counter Political Warfare and BDS. In 2011, Dan co-founded the Global Coalition for Israel (GC4I) together with Brig Gen (res) Yossi Kuperwasser, former Director General, and Ministry of Strategic Affairs. Has authored several books on BDS and the anti-normalization movements including: BDS Unmasked, (2016), Defeating Denormalization, (2017), and Students for Justice in Palestine, Unmasked, (2017) Dan is also a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism, IDC Herzliya, where he hosts Counter Terrorism Today on IDC International Radio. Dan appears as a Middle East and BDS commentator on news networks such as Al Jazeera, BBC, Fox, China CCTV, CBN , ILTV, and Russia Today. Dan Diker previously served as Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress, the global diplomatic organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries. Dan received a BA Cum Laude from Harvard University and studied toward his MBA at the Harvard Graduate School of Business before earning an MA in Government and Counter Terrorism Policy, Summa Cum Laude, from the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. He is married with 5 children and immigrated to Israel in 1990. He can be followed on Twitter @dandiker84.

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Action Alert: Call Your Elected Officials and Ask Them to Support the Nomination of David Friedman and to Express Dismay Over UNSC Resolution 2334

Please Call Your Senators and Congressman and Ask Them to Support the Nomination of David Friedman as America’s Ambassador to Israel and to Express Your Profound Disappointment Over UNSC Resolution 2334

For  far too long, the State Department and our Ambassadors to Israel, while pretending to be “honest brokers” have had a decidedly anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias, totally ignoring the one condition that has ever been placed on the Palestinians: to stop the incitement to violence and murder.  This has culminated in a culture that deifies the “shahid,” the martyr, the suicide bomber and knife stabber, and demonizes the Israeli and the Jew.  It has also culminated in the decidedly anti-Israel resolution in the United Nations Security Council, Resolution 2334, which condemns Israel for “illegally” building in land which Israel was forced to occupy in its defensive war of 1967, including East Jerusalem, where the holiest site in Judaism, our Western Wall, sits. This resolution will only serve to reinforce the violence that is already rampant within the Palestinian Authority (PA), and indicates to PA that they can literally get away with murder. This sort of unilateral action at the U.N. and Palestinian reliance on the international community has enabled the Palestinians to bypass direct, face-to face negotiations with the Israelis, whom, at the end of the day, the Palestinians have to live with. This is something that President Obama himself has stated in February of 2011, when he had then vetoed a similar Security Council resolution.  Rather than doing the difficult work of building trust with the Israelis, the Palestinians have chosen to litigate against the Israelis in the court of international public opinion, and have resorted to a bloody campaign of violence, and then expect statehood to be handed to them, gratis.

For the last several years, American ambassadors to Israel have exemplified this profound bias against Israel, and it has not gotten us any closer to the goal of peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. It is therefore refreshing that President-Elect Donald Trump has selected an Ambassador to Israel, Mr. David Friedman, who does not share the same biases that are so rampant within the State Department. At a time when the entire world is being plagued by the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism, it is important that we finally have an ambassador to Israel that understands the moral distinction between building an apartment in a suburb of Jerusalem and the wanton murder of innocent civilians.

Please Call Your Elected Officials Immediately and Express Your Support for the Nomination of David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel and Your Profound Disappointment Over the Obama administration’s Enabling the Passage of Resolution 2334, by Not Vetoing this Pernicious and Openly One Sided Resolution.
You Can Find Your Senators’ Numbers Here:http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
You Can Find Your Representative’s Number Here:http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep
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