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Brutal Anti-Semitism Claimed in NY School District
Brutal Anti-Semitism Claimed in NY School District — the Fact That Local KKK Leader Used to Live in Town Doesn’t Help
Swastikas seemed to cover the school landscape like so many autumn leaves.
The Jewish students said the hate symbols were drawn on walls, desks, lockers, textbooks, computer screens, and a playground slide, the New York Times reported.
The Nazi emblem allegedly was even drawn on a female student’s face.
(Image source: WCBS-TV)
(Image source: WCBS-TV)
Someone defaced a picture of President Obama on the wall of an 8th-grade social studies class by plastering a swastika on his forehead…but even after the teacher was informed, the picture remained up for another month, students told the Times.
Some Jewish students in the Pine Bush Central School District in New York State say they hear anti-Semitic epithets and jokes about the Holocaust, get coins thrown at them, and are ordered to grab money thrown into garbage cans — not to mention the physical beatings, the Times reported.
The school bus rides in the town that used to be home to a Ku Klux Klan chapter president are no better, as students say they hear chants of “white power” and see Nazi salutes, the Times added.
So the five students and their families sued. And now New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has jumped into the fray, directing state police and the Division of Human Rights to investigate, CNN reported.
“The reports of rampant anti-Semitic harassment and physical assaults at Pine Bush schools, if true, are deeply disturbing,” Cuomo said in a statement to the state education commissioner.
“Here in New York State, we have zero tolerance for bigotry or hate based on anyone’s religious or ethnic origin.”
But Pine Bush superintendent Joan Carbone told WCBS-TV that bullying and religious discrimination isn’t tolerated and that any hate graffiti is taken down immediately. In fact, WCBS reported that she welcomes the lawsuit to prove that the district is innocent.
In addition, WCBS interviewed some Jewish teachers, as well as Jewish residents who put their children through the school district, and said they haven’t experienced the reported anti-semitism.
The students’ lawyer Ilann M. Maazel tells of “out of control anti-Semitism in the school district. The school failed at every level. This is one of the worst bullying cases I’ve seen.”
Here’s a report WCBS from :
Abetting the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and the New York Times
Abetting the Holocaust:
Arthur Hays Sulzberger and the New York Times
Abetting the coming Holocaust: the Times merely repeats itself.
by David Horowitz
As the New York Times enables the anti-Jewish axis created by Islamic Nazis in the Middle East who are preparing a new Holocaust of the Jews, it is important to remember that this is nothing new and has happened before. Take ten minutes to view this talk, posted below, by Anna Blech: ”Downplaying the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and the New York Times.”
Anna Blech won first prize at the New York City History Day competition for her research paper, “Downplaying the Holocaust: Arthur Hays Sulzberger and The New York Times.” For this paper, she also was awarded The Eleanor Light Prize from the Hunter College High School Social Studies Department and membership in the Society of Student Historians. Anna’s paper on anti-slavery sentiment in pre-Civil War children’s literature was published in The Concord Review. Anna was a finalist at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where she won third place in microbiology for her project, “Reinventing Antibiotics.” She has received national and regional Scholastic Writing awards, mostly for her one-act musical comedies, and she is an active member of the Hunter theater community.
Last edited by Paparock; 12-09-2013 at 07:25 PM..
The Liberal Supporters of Max Blumenthal and the Campaign to Delegitimize Israel
The Liberal Supporters of Max Blumenthal and the Campaign to Delegitimize Israel
Shame on James Fallows and Peter Bergen.
by Ron Radosh
Reprinted from PJMedia.com.
Last week, I wrote about the New America Foundation’s sponsorship of Max Blumenthal’s vicious screed against Israel. Now that the event is over, James Fallows has taken to the web pages of The Atlantic to praise the reprehensible bigot and ignoramus Blumenthal, whose book he describes as “ a particular kind of exposé-minded, documentary-broadside journalism whose place we generally recognize and respect.” Fallows also adds that “items like this one in Commentary had said that New America should not provide a platform for what it claimed was destroy-Israel hate speech. Some members of the board got personal email pitches to the same effect.”
The column in Commentary by Jonathan S. Tobin appeared after mine on these pages, and Tobin credits my column in alerting him to Blumenthal’s appearance. As for the personal e-mails, I addressed one of them to a Board member whom I am in touch with, as did other individuals whom I told about the scheduled event. One person I know wrote to Ann-Marie Slaughter, who did not respond to the e-mail he sent.
Now, Fallows charges us with censorship, and with trying to stand against free speech. Tobin accurately calls Blumenthal’s book one with a “complete lack of intellectual merit or integrity.” So when Fallows says everyone respects and recognizes his courageous journalism, he is speaking only for himself.
Sadly, his blog indicates that the campaign for delegitimizing of Israel is succeeding among liberal sectors of our intellectual class, who are now welcoming as good journalism the worst kind of gutter tripe, that even The Nation magazine’s Eric Alterman has shown is so poor that in a blog he wrote that it could have been published by “The Friends of Hamas Book Club,” if such a group existed. Evidently Mr. Alterman, himself a man of the far Left, does not realize how far in the cesspool his liberal and leftist colleagues have fallen.
As for censorship, and calls that the NAF Board should have considered not sponsoring a talk about his book, this is hardly an assault on free speech. There are scores of serious critical books about Israel that are worth having a dialogue with authors about. This is not one of them. That a book exists- and there are hundreds they could have chosen from- does not mean that such a book should receive the imprimatur of the New America Foundation.
By Fallows’ own admission, what Blumenthal does is find anti-democratic extremists in Israel. He then paints a picture showing his readers that their existence reveals the true Israel—a bigoted, anti-democratic state content to oppress all whom stand in the way of keeping it a Jewish state. With his one-sided attack, Blumenthal hopes to sway the American public against the United States keeping Israel as an ally.
Blumenthal has a right to his views. He found a publisher, and they are giving him quite a tour and send-off. To urge a distinguished liberal think-tank to reconsider being one of the venues for his views is hardly a clarion call to suppress speech. It is simply an attempt to suggest to the Board and leaders of NAF to question whether they really believe liberalism in America means supporting a speaker whose book has been praised by none other than David Duke.
Let us then ask, since David Duke is one of Mr. Blumenthal’s fans, and is happy that what he has been saying for years is now being said by Max Blumenthal, whether if the same book had come out by Duke, whether or not the NAF Board would ask him to speak, and whether Peter Bergen would be the willing chair of the event? Would James Fallows take to the pages of The Atlantic to praise Duke’s courage and integrity, and condemn anyone who suggested that the NAF not use its facilities and its reputation as an endorsement of David Duke’s book? I think we all know the answer. And since there is little difference in what Duke says about Israel than Max Blumenthal says, it is perfectly reasonable to try and let the Board of NAF know why so many of us are disheartened at their decision to hold this talk, and to add to the growing animus against Israel by our intellectual liberal class.
Already, sensible liberals show that they understand how dangerous it is for them to be taking this path. Alan Dershowitz told Breitbart News that “Max Blumenthal is well outside the acceptable range of rhetoric about Israel. His constant comparisons between Nazi Germany and the Jewish state establish him as an extremist bigot whose greatest appeal is to anti-Semites and others who apply a double standard to the Jewish state.”
Dershowitz has it right. No “decent person,” he continued to say, “should ever support the views expressed by Max Blumenthal.”
Dershowitz’s comments came after it was revealed in Buzzfeed by reporter Rosie Gray that Max Blumenthal’s father, journalist Sidney Blumenthal, is going to bat for his son’s book in a big way. The problem is that Sidney Blumenthal may still be on the Clinton’s payroll, and is listed in The Atlantic as an advisor to the Clinton Foundation. Dershowitz is obviously concerned that should Hillary Clinton decide to run, her association with Sidney Blumenthal could hurt her campaign, unless she dissociates herself with his defense of Max’s book.
I have a simple response to James Fallows and Peter Bergen. Shame on both of you, for trying to make Max Blumenthal into a respectful journalist. By doing so, you harm your own integrity and reputation. As for myself, I would rather be called a censor and an opponent of free speech by James Fallows than be seen as lending credibility to a cheap extremist like Max Blumenthal.
FDR's Jewish Problem
How did a president beloved by Jews come to be regarded as an anti-Semite who refused to save them from the Nazis?
By Laurence Zuckerman
July 17, 2013
This article appeared in the August 5-12, 2013 edition of The Nation.
FDR, pictured with his treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau, inscribed this photo, “from one of two of a kind.” Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, Hyde Park, New York
A few years ago, I attended a discussion at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan about Franklin Roosevelt and the Holocaust. The featured speakers, historians Deborah Lipstadt and Richard Breitman, gave sensitive and nuanced accounts of the period that were steeped in their own research and a deep knowledge of a time that has become one of the most closely examined ever. They discussed Roosevelt’s strengths and weaknesses as he confronted demands that he rescue Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany while preparing America for war in the face of fierce isolationism, nativism and anti-Semitism at home.
About the Author
Laurence Zuckerman, a former New York Times reporter, is an adjunct professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of...
Also by the Author
FDR and the Holocaust
After an hour, the session was opened to questions. An elderly woman stood up and identified herself as a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who had been a prisoner at Auschwitz. She recalled seeing Allied planes in the sky over the camp (“little silver birds, maybe thousands of them”). But the bombs never fell.
Lipstadt and Breitman had explained earlier that the planes were not able to reach Auschwitz until late in the war and that, in any case, bombing the camp would probably not have stopped the killing. But that did not satisfy the woman.
“If they would have bombed the crematoria, they could have at least stopped them from murdering the Jews,” she said, her voice rising in indignation. “That’s why I blame the Allies for it, including the United States. My parents died there—my whole family died over there, OK? And I was 16, so it’s not like you said that Roosevelt couldn’t do nothing.”
The audience of several hundred, which had been largely subdued during the talk, suddenly erupted in applause and shouts of encouragement.
It’s a scene that I have seen play out with minor variations many times over the last decade at similar public events about the Holocaust. No matter the evidence to the contrary, it has become received wisdom among many American Jews that Roosevelt deliberately and coldly abandoned Europe’s Jews in their hour of need.
This marks a dramatic reversal in the image of a president who won more than 80 percent of the Jewish vote in all four of his successful campaigns, who surrounded himself with Jewish advisers and was portrayed by Hitler’s propagandists as Jewish (and not in a good way).
Roosevelt brought thousands of Jewish professionals into government, prevented Hitler from overrunning Britain and Palestine (thus saving their large Jewish populations), chose to fight Germany first after the United States was attacked by Japan, and paved the way for New York’s first Jewish governor and senator.
Presidential scholars have consistently ranked Roosevelt as the best chief executive in the nation’s history for his handling of the Great Depression and World War II. But even among liberal Jews who still hold him in high regard for those achievements, his reputation has been tarnished as he has been viewed increasingly through the prism of the Holocaust. What started out in the late 1960s as legitimate historical revisionism—looking critically at what the Roosevelt administration and American Jewry did during the Holocaust—has morphed into caricature, with FDR often depicted as an unfeeling anti-Semite.
This historical debate has a significant contemporary subtext, one that helps explain the intensity of the passions it still arouses. That subtext is today’s debate among American Jews about Israel. In recent years, the distorted view of FDR has been promoted by a small group of Israel supporters who cherry-pick the historical record to portray his handling of the Holocaust in the most negative light possible. These scholar-activists deploy similar sleight of hand to paint a picture of most American Jews as having been disengaged and apathetic about the fate of their European counterparts at the hands of the Nazis, and to cast as heroes a small group of right-wing Zionists who mounted an aggressive public relations campaign to pressure Roosevelt to act. In this narrative, the complexities of history are erased and the passage of time is unimportant. The not-so-subtle message: like the Jews of Europe in 1939, Israel is under an existential threat and cannot count on anyone for help—even the United States, even liberals, even Jews in the United States, most of whom are insufficiently committed to Zionism. Betrayal happened before, and no matter how friendly a president or a country may appear to be, it can happen again.
The most recent flare-up in the debate over FDR and the Holocaust, which has been smoldering since the 1960s, surrounded the publication in March of FDR and the Jews, a new book by Breitman and co-author Allan J. Lichtman. Both are historians at American University, and Breitman is also the editor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the leading academic journal in the field. Their study shows that when it comes to assessing Roosevelt’s role during the Holocaust, it is easy to find evidence to support the case that he made the best of a bad hand and just as easy to cite examples of his apathy.
Over the course of his twelve years in office, Roosevelt swayed back and forth as the country veered from Depression-era isolationism to reluctant British ally to a nation at war. During that time, many in Congress and the powerful labor movement (including Jewish labor leaders) opposed immigration at a moment of record high unemployment. Though the State Department made it difficult for Jews to obtain visas, about 132,000, or nearly a quarter of all German Jews, found refuge in the United States—far more than were taken in by any other country. That same State Department also suppressed news of the Holocaust and frustrated rescue efforts, but it was ultimately overruled by FDR himself. Breitman and Lichtman write that Roosevelt “had to make difficult and painful trade-offs, and he adapted over time to shifting circumstances.” They conclude that he can reasonably be credited with saving hundreds of thousands of Jews.
If Roosevelt’s scholarly critics acknowledge this achievement, they do so only grudgingly, and they argue he could have and should have done more. But so-called righteous gentiles—non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, such as Oskar Schindler, whose famous “list” contained the names of 1,098 people—are not normally criticized for how many more Jews they could have saved. Instead, they are celebrated for those they did save in the face of the cruel and relentless determination of the Nazis to murder Jews. The question is why FDR’s list is now more often noted for the names it left out than for those it included.
* * *The flip side of the new anti-Roosevelt orthodoxy is the apotheosis of the Bergson Group, the aforementioned band of right-wing Zionists who worked to raise public awareness of the Nazi extermination campaign. Named after their leader, Peter Bergson, these activists have been transformed from a historical footnote into the stars of a counterfactual history in which the Jews of Europe might have been saved if only the Jewish establishment and the Roosevelt administration had listened to them.
The Bergson Group has been the subject of several approving documentaries and books and even an admiring 2007 play by former New York Times reporter Bernard Weinraub titled The Accomplices, in which Bergson is portrayed as a prophet and Roosevelt appears as a conniving, two-faced anti-Semite.
By far Bergson’s greatest modern champion is Rafael Medoff, a prolific historian, activist and ardent Zionist who has dedicated decades to the cause of pushing the Bergson story into the spotlight. Medoff is the founding director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which is named after the author of The Abandonment of the Jews, a 1984 book about America and the Holocaust that became a surprise bestseller.
In a blizzard of op-ed articles in The Jerusalem Post, the Forward and other publications, along with books, conferences and letters to the editor, Medoff has been at once a relentless critic of Roosevelt and a tireless promoter of the Bergson story. Through his efforts, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington added a mention of Bergson to its permanent exhibit in 2008, and Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial, held its first symposium about the group in 2011. In February of this year, Medoff published a blistering attack called FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith, which appeared a month before Breitman and Lichtman’s more balanced assessment.
For Medoff, the causes of promoting Bergson, supporting Israel and attacking Roosevelt are inextricably linked. Many of his columns draw on events during the 1930s and ’40s to illustrate why Israel should be supported today. For example, in a 2011 piece that appeared in several Jewish publications titled “Why Recognizing the Bergson Group Matters,” he wrote: “Jewish political activists in Washington can learn a great deal from the activities of the Bergson Group, which was arguably the first ‘Jewish lobby’ in the nation’s capital.” (Incidentally, during the congressional hearings before his confirmation as defense secretary, Chuck Hagel was accused of anti-Semitism by right-wing supporters of Israel for having used the very same phrase.)
In reality, Bergson is a minor figure in the history of the Holocaust. The accomplishments claimed by his champions are disputed by reputable historians, and the lessons of his actions are unclear. Born Hillel Kook, Bergson came to New York from Palestine in 1940 at the age of 25 as the representative of right-wing Revisionist Zionism, the bitter rival of the more mainstream leftist Labor Zionism and the antecedent to Israel’s ruling Likud party of today. After news of the Holocaust was officially made public in November 1942, Bergson and his colleagues took out full-page ads in The New York Times assailing Roosevelt and demanding that he do more to save the Jews. They put on a pageant featuring Hollywood stars called “We Will Never Die.” And they organized a 1943 march on the White House by 400 Orthodox rabbis.
Bergson clashed with mainstream American Jewish leaders, most notably Rabbi Stephen Wise, a dedicated liberal social activist and pillar of American Jewry, whose many posts included leader of the US Zionist movement. Wise was close to FDR and regarded Bergson’s attacks on the president as politically reckless. Like many American Jews at the time, Wise saw Roosevelt as an ally—an implacable foe of Hitler and a bulwark against American anti-Semitism, which was not insignificant in the 1930s and ’40s. Republican alternatives to FDR were not anywhere near as attractive. Wise was also active behind the scenes, lobbying the president to allow more refugees into the United States and to pressure the British to allow more into Palestine. (Wise’s disagreement with Bergson was magnified by the fact that they represented competing Zionist factions, a bitter rivalry that has for decades fueled attacks on mainstream Zionism both in Israel and the United States for its handling of the Holocaust.)
To Medoff and other Bergson champions, the group’s story provides a powerful counterfactual narrative. Had American Jewish leaders, including Roosevelt’s closest Jewish advisers, united with Bergson, they argue, Roosevelt would have been forced to mount a more serious rescue campaign earlier and tens of thousands more Jews would have been saved.
(It’s a claim that they believe has direct relevance today. When Rabbi Haskel Lookstein visited the White House last June as part of a delegation of Modern Orthodox Jewish leaders, he handed a copy of his book Were We Our Brothers’ Keepers?, a critique of American Jewry’s response to the Holocaust, to Jack Lew, President Obama’s then chief of staff. Inside Lookstein inscribed the book to Lew, who is Jewish, “June 5, 2012; 45 years to the day when the Six Day War began. To Jack Lew: May you, unlike American Jewish leaders during the Holocaust, speak truth to power when the opportunity presents itself.”)
The Bergson Group did show that American Jews had less to fear from going public with their demands than they thought. It successfully put together a coalition of non-Jewish senators and congressmen that pressured Roosevelt to act. But the Bergson Group was never directly responsible for rescuing a single Jew from Europe.
Yet thanks to the efforts of Medoff and others, journalists now routinely exaggerate Bergson’s accomplishments, placing him at the center of the rescue efforts, while diminishing the good works of the wider American Jewish community. In an interview last year with Pierre Sauvage, the director of the most recent hagiographic Bergson documentary, Not Idly By, David Samuels, writing in Tablet magazine, described the Bergson Group as having “mounted the most sustained and effective effort to save the Jews of Europe in the face of widespread communal apathy, and against the fierce opposition of the leadership of the American Jewish community.”
This is simply untrue. Historians agree that the most sustained and effective rescue effort to save Europe’s Jews was mounted by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which was an instrument of American Jewish communal concern, not apathy. (Disclosure: my grandfather was a leader of the Joint from 1940 until his death in 1965.)
According to its supporters, the Bergson Group’s greatest accomplishment was contributing to the constellation of events that led to the creation of the War Refugee Board in January 1944. The WRB was an interdepartmental government agency devoted solely to rescue that was created by an executive order from the president. It came into existence near the end of the Holocaust, but it cut through some of the red tape that had hampered previous rescue efforts to save as many as 200,000 lives.
Breitman and Lichtman give the Bergson Group little credit for the creation of the WRB, a position also held by the late Holocaust historian Lucy Dawidowicz and others. But even if you believe the accounts of their greatest champions, the Bergsonites at most succeeded in softening up Roosevelt so that when Henry Morgenthau Jr., the president’s good friend and treasury secretary, confronted him with evidence that the State Department was blocking rescue efforts, the president immediately signed off on the idea of the WRB and issued an executive order creating it.
In other words, the Bergson Group’s biggest feat is something that President Roosevelt created. He should have done it earlier and it could have been more effective, but doesn’t he deserve some of the credit for the 200,000 Jewish lives the WRB saved? Not in Medoff’s opinion. In the May 30 Washington Jewish Week, he wrote a column refuting this very idea headlined Jews were saved—but not by FDR.
One of the supposed lessons of the Bergson story claimed by Medoff and others is that “unity” among American Jews during the 1930s and ’40s would have saved more Jewish lives. The implication is that today’s American Jews should not allow themselves to be divided on Israel. But Medoff’s framing ignores the legitimate disagreements at the time about the best way to combat the Nazi persecution of Jews, just as it ignores today’s disagreements among American Jews regarding the policies of the Israeli government. Actions such as a boycott of German goods and a proposal to ransom German Jews during the 1930s had their costs and benefits; well-meaning people were on both sides. Which policy should Jews have unified behind? And which policies should Jews unify behind today? Most American Jews support a two-state solution. Are right-wing supporters of Israel prepared to support a settlement freeze and a withdrawal from the West Bank for the sake of American Jewish unity?
Breitman and Lichtman make a persuasive case that Wise and Bergson unwittingly pursued a strategy that pressed FDR from inside and outside, and which accomplished more than unifying behind a single approach would have done. Perhaps that is true. We’ll never know.
And that is the point. By obscuring the context, the benefit of hindsight can actually make history harder to understand. During the 1930s, when immigration restrictions prevented more German refugees from entering the United States, Roosevelt couldn’t have known that the Nazis were later going to murder millions of Jews. But knowing what happened later, it is easy to portray him as callous. When he did learn about the murders of millions of Jews, he had no understanding of “the Holocaust,” which came later and is now so embedded in our consciousness that it is hard to imagine what it was like to live without such knowledge.
The stakes of this historical debate are high, because the myths that have been propagated about the actions of the United States during the Holocaust are being put to specific political uses today. In a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited the failure of the Roosevelt administration to bomb Auschwitz to support the case for an attack on Iran.
“They say that a military confrontation with Iran would undermine the efforts already under way, that it would be ineffective, and that it would provoke even more vindictive action by Iran,” Netanyahu said. “I’ve heard these arguments before. In fact, I’ve read them before.” He then quoted from an exchange of letters in which the US War Department said that bombing Auschwitz “would be of such doubtful efficacy that it would not warrant the use of our resources.”
Leaving aside the fact that historians question whether a bombing would in fact have made a significant difference, the parallels here are so thin—one would be a pre-emptive strike in a time of peace, the other an attempt to disrupt a war crime in progress—that Netanyahu had to acknowledge in the next breath that “2012 is not 1944.” But by raising 1944 in the manner he did, the Israeli prime minister effectively equated the Jews of contemporary Israel with the victims of the Holocaust and telegraphed what many Israelis and American Jews have come to believe: that Israel faces annihilation, and that the last time millions of Jews were similarly threatened, America and its Jewish community let them down.
Israel is now sixty-five years old and a nuclear-armed regional superpower. It has many problems of its own making. Along the way, the United States has been a loyal ally. Telling a story that casts Israel’s Jews as perennial victims, and that purports to show that Jews must always go it alone, not only misrepresents the past; it also clouds our understanding of the present.
Last edited by Paparock; 12-09-2013 at 07:46 PM..
The Alarming Rise of Campus Anti-Semitism
The Alarming Rise of Campus Anti-Semitism
Palestinian student Mohammad Hammad’s call for beheading Jews is only the tip of the iceberg.
by Joseph Klein
Anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses is growing at an alarming rate. It has escalated to the point that Jewish students on campuses have been physically attacked or threatened for peacefully demonstrating their support of Israel. Events demonizing Jews and even glorifying the murderers of Jews, in the guise of anti-Israel rhetoric, are tolerated by campus administrators despite the hostile environment such events create for Jewish students who are open about their beliefs in support of the Jewish state.
Title VI of the Civil Rights act of 1964 prohibits various forms of discrimination at federally funded programs, including higher educational institutions, but the Obama administration’s Department of Education has so far refused to enforce it against federally funded universities and colleges that have allowed anti-Semitic harassment of Jewish students to go on with relative impunity. For example, in a letter rejecting a complaint that had accused a California state university of allowing a hostile environment for Jewish students to exist on campus, the education department’s Office for Civil Rights wrote: “In the university environment, exposure to such robust and discordant expressions, even when personally offensive and hurtful, is a circumstance that a reasonable student in higher education may experience. In this context, the events that the complainants described do not constitute actionable harassment.”
The same administration that decries even the slightest hint of so-called Islamophobia has treated hate speech and threats against Jewish students, which create a hostile environment for them, as the legitimate exercise of free speech. This double standard is only encouraging more hate and threats directed at Jewish students.
A study of Religious Tolerance on Campus published by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research in December of 2011, entitled “ALONE ON THE QUAD: Understanding Jewish Student Isolation on Campus,” surveyed over 1,400 students in the United States. The Institute, which claims its survey to be one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, found that “Over 40% of students confirm Anti-Semitism on their campus.”
“Ample anecdotal evidence suggests that, over the last decade, Jewish college students have faced rising levels of anti-Semitism on campuses across the United States,” the Institute’s report concluded. “[Anti-Israel] divestment campaigns, protests, rallies, guerrilla theater and inflammatory speakers have featured anti-Jewish rhetoric. With insufficient response from administrators, these events have developed into hostile environments, where Jewish students and others have been maligned and threatened.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents for 2012 showed an increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campus – nearly triple the number of reported incidents in 2012 versus 2011. “Some of those incidents included the use of anti-Semitic imagery under the guise of anti-Israel activism, with conspiracy theories about Jewish political and economic control being voiced on campus,” the ADL report said.
To put a human face on these findings, consider the physical injury suffered by a UC Berkeley student, Jessica Felber. Ms. Felber was assaulted at a 2010 Apartheid Week event during which Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Muslim Student Association (MSA) established a mock checkpoint that included fake barbed wire and AK-47 firearms. At the time, Ms. Felber was holding a sign that said “Israel Wants Peace.” She claimed that a leader of SJP deliberately rammed a shopping cart into her back, causing injury that was serious enough to require medical attention.
This was not an isolated incident at Berkley. It fits into a pattern of intimidation where members of SJP set up these mock checkpoints and demanded that students passing by announce their religious affiliation, with Jews picked out for intimidation. Jewish student events have been disrupted and speakers heckled with chants such as “Seig Heil.”
Other California state universities have also witnessed a pattern of anti-Semitic behavior that creates a hostile environment for Jewish students and visitors on campus. Recently, the president of San Francisco State’s General Union of Palestine Students, Mohammad G. Hammad, posted a picture of himself with a knife, writing: “I seriously cannot get over how much I love this blade. It is the sharpest thing I own and cuts through everything like butter and just holding it makes me want to stab an Israeli soldier.” Following up on his general expression of violent intent, this Pro-Palestinian student leader reacted to a 20 year old female Israeli soldier’s shooting of an Arab who had what appeared to be a gun pointed at her fellow soldier’s head, by writing on social media: “Anyone who thinks there can be peace with animals like this is absolutely delusional, and the only ‘peace’ I’m interested in is the head of this f____g scum on a plate, as well as the heads of all others like her, and all others who support the IDF.”
A Jewish student at San Francisco State University could understandably be afraid of speaking out in support of Israel and its defense force if the price of such support is a threatened beheading, especially when the university’s administration does little to discourage such threats for fear of supposedly impinging on the exercise of free speech. As an article in the Jewish Press put it: “Can the SFSU environment be considered a safe one with a student leader – let’s say that again, a student leader! – who has already posed making threats while caressing a knife, and is now calling for the beheading of IDF soldiers and anyone who supports them?”
Anti-Semitism isn’t a new phenomenon on the San Francisco State University campus. As far back as 2002, following a rally by Jewish students who naively hoped to engage pro-Palestinian students in a dialogue for peace, the pro-Palestinian students surrounded the 30 remaining Jewish students, shouting death threats. They were reported to have said: “Get out or we will kill you,” “Hitler did not finish the job” and “Die racist pigs!” So much for peaceful dialogue.
At the University of California, Davis, a rally in November 2012 entitled “March in Solidarity with Gaza” led to a student occupation of a building where the protesters hung a larger banner that read “DAVIS+GAZA ARE ONE FIST” from the building’s entryway. A Jewish student and supporter of Israel trying to enter the building at the beginning of the “occupation” was physically blocked from entering because he was a “Zionist.”
At the University of California, Irvine, a Jewish student was told to “Go back to Russia where you came from” and called a “F___ing Jew.”
The Muslim Student Union (MSU) has displayed posters on campus that equate the Star of David with the Nazi swastika. The MSU also regularly invites hatemongers to speak, whose hate speeches border on incitement to violence.
One repeat anti-Semitic invitee, Amir Abdul Malik Ali, gave a speech at a 2006 MSU event, where he told a crowd of roughly 200 cheering students: “They [Jews] know that their days are numbered.”
In another speech at UC Irvine in 2010 he referred to Jews as “the new Nazis” and “the party of Satan.”
While promoting their own hate speech, which they insist is fully protected under the First Amendment, the Muslim Student Union organized demonstrations disrupting a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren on the UC Irvine campus. The disruptions got so out of hand that security intervened and escorted Ambassador Oren out of the room for his own safety. At least in that case, an Orange County, California jury found ten Muslim students guilty of criminal misdemeanor charges, although they got light sentences of probation, community service, and fines. UC Irvine administrators also suspended the MSU for a short time, but that did not deter more confrontational behavior from the MSU when their suspension ended.
Except in rare cases such as the incident involving the disruption of Ambassador Oren’s speech, the courts have not taken harassment complaints from Jewish students and faculty seriously. Indeed, a United States federal district court judge in northern California nominated by President Obama concluded that evidence of hate-filled demonstrations at a number of California state universities involving physical intimidation of Jewish students was not strong enough to overcome First Amendment protection of such activities as free speech.
The anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses, of course, are not confined to California. They have occurred coast-to-coast.
For example, in a January 2012 incident in Seattle, Washington, the ADL reported, “a male student returned to his dorm room to find a swastika and the word ‘jew’ written on his door.”
In March 2012, a female student in Boca Raton, Florida stood up in a biology class and ranted against Jews whom she accused of thinking they own the country: “I will f—ing kill you at the Holocaust events all over the world.”
Yeshiva University in New York, the ADL reported, received threatening voicemails in July 2012 such as “Execute all persons, Jewish persons,” and “warning all Jews, the nuclear Holocaust is coming.”
At Columbia University, Jewish students taking courses in its Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures program are insulted by their professors and intimidated not to question the strident anti-Israel indoctrination these professors are dispensing in their classrooms.
Although “Jews” and “Zionists” are used as interchangeable epithets, some hatemongers try to hide behind a supposed distinction. Jews are fine, they say, as long as the Jews keep their support of the Jewish state of Israel completely to themselves.
How does one distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and the camouflaged form of anti-Semitism that uses the Jewish state and its supporters as surrogate targets? Natan Sharansky, one of the founders of the Refusenik movement in Moscow who later emigrated to Israel and served in various governmental and non-governmental leadership positions, proposed what he called the 3D test to evaluate rhetoric that purports to be legitimate criticism of Israel. The line between legitimate criticism and anti-Semitism manifesting itself with regard to the Jewish state of Israel is crossed, Sharansky said, when the rhetoric or conduct contains one or more of the following “3D” components:
1. Demonization – “For example, the comparisons of Israelis to Nazis and of the Palestinian refugee camps to Auschwitz…”
2. Double Standards – “It is anti-Semitism, for instance, when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while tried and true abusers like China, Iran, Cuba, and Syria are ignored.”
3. Delegitimization – “While criticism of an Israeli policy may not be anti-Semitic, the denial of Israel’s right to exist is always anti-Semitic. If other peoples have a right to live securely in their homelands, then the Jewish people have a right to live securely in their homeland.”
The 3D’s, coupled with physical intimidation, make up the toxic mix that confront Jewish students on too many U.S. campuses today. University presidents must take personal charge of campus-wide campaigns to push back. In addition to promptly disciplining those who engage in harassment of Jewish students, university administrators from the top down should work hard to foster “an environment of civility,” according to Kenneth L. Marcus, President and General Counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law and former Staff Director at the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Administrators should not take the politically safe route, he advises. Speaking out publicly against campus anti-Semitism is more effective “than taking a quieter approach” that sweeps the problem under the rug. They should explain, Marcus recommends, how anti-Semitic incidents on campus “resemble other ugly incidents which the administration has addressed with equal seriousness” and explain “the future and ongoing policies and practices which will prevent recurrences.”
Finally, when President Obama addressed the Muslim world in his June 2009 Cairo speech he promised: “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” Sadly, he does not consider it his responsibility to fight against negative stereotypes, let alone harassment, of Jews on campus or anywhere else.
‘Orwellian Anti-Semitism’: American Professors’ Group Under Fire for Israel Boycott V
American Professors’ Group Under Fire for Israel Boycott Vote
The American Studies Association is under fire for voting by a 2-to-1 margin to join an academic boycott of Israel as a way to protest Israel’s policy toward Palestinians.
The vote has drawn outrage from Israel supporters who note that Israel is the only country the professors’ association has ever decided to single out with a boycott, and has prompted at least one legal scholar to try to challenge the group’s non-profit tax status.
“This vote to boycott Israel, one of the most democratic and academically free nations on the globe, shows the Orwellian anti-Semitism and moral bankruptcy of the American Studies Association,” Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, told Reuters. “The Middle East is literally filled with dead from governments’ reaction to the convulsions of the ‘Arab Spring,’ but the American Studies Association singles out the Jewish state, the one Middle Eastern country that shares American values, for opprobrium?”
The academic group drew further criticism when its president Curtis Marez, in trying to defend the boycott decision, did not dispute that many other nations have worse human rights records than Israel, even its own Middle East neighbors.
“One has to start somewhere,” Marez told The New York Times.
Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine called this reasoning “a minor classic in the annals of terrible justifications.”
“No, one does not have to start somewhere,” Chait wrote. “If you are going to start somewhere, wouldn’t it make sense to start at the top of the list of worst human-rights offenders, rather than at the middle?”
The American Association of University Professors has gone on the record calling all academic boycotts “prima facie violations of academic freedom.”
However, the AAUP, which represents 47,000 members from the nation’s campuses, devoted almost the entire issue of its most recent online journal, the 2013 Journal of Academic Freedom, to the subject of boycotting Israeli universities and professors.
“Is it a coincidence that these academics are singling out the world’s only Jewish-majority country for boycott? Only to those who know nothing of the history of anti-Semitic scapegoating,” columnist Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in Bloomberg. Goldberg also called Marez a “something of a dolt.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas just last week voiced opposition to an overall boycott of Israel. (He does support a boycott of products made in Jewish settlements in the West Bank). “The ASA is more Palestinian, in other words, than the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” Goldberg noted.
Tablet Magazine created a chart it titled the “ASA Guide to World Peace” which noted the multitude of human rights violations carried out by China, Iran, Zimbabwe and Russia, none of which have entered the American Studies Association’s cross-hairs.
Cornell University law professor William Jacobson who runs the blog Legal Insurrection said he will challenge the academic group’s tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service and has already hired a lawyer to begin investigating.
“I have retained one of the leading practitioners in the field of charitable organizations, Alan P. Dye, Esq., to file a challenge to ASA’s 501(c)(3) status …” Jacobson wrote Sunday. “We expect to file the challenge prior to year end, if not sooner.”
“ASA’s anti-Israel academic boycott resolution calls ASA’s 501(c)(3) status into question for many reasons, including but not limited to the act of engaging in an academic boycott not satisfying the requirements of 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that an organization must be ‘organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, … or educational purposes …’” Jacobson said.
“An academic boycott, which clearly is a substantial activity of the ASA and will be for the coming years, does not satisfy this test,” he wrote, adding that he also believes the decision “discriminates on the basis of national original and religion.”
The ASA represents academics engaged in the study of American history and culture. According to Reuters, the association has 5,000 members. Despite the controversial nature of the issue, only 1,242 members cast ballots in the online vote. Of those, 66 percent voted in favor of the boycott resolution while 30.5 percent rejected it.
The resolution voted on Sunday night urges American universities to not collaborate with Israeli academic institutions.
Reuters reported that “it carries broad exemptions for individual Israeli scholars working with American counterparts.”
The American Studies Association’s Badge of Shame
The American Studies Association’s Badge of Shame
A sad reflection on mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in academia.
by Joseph Puder
The American Studies Association (ASA) voted this week for an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The action taken by the ASA is nothing less than a badge of shame. The ostensible reason given was “solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge the freedom for all, including Palestinians.”
The truth is, however, that the ASA has never targeted any other country for a boycott. Israel, a democracy that protects the civil liberties and religious freedoms of its minorities, while protecting its citizens from constant Palestinian terrorism, is the ASA’s sole target. While measures such as checkpoints are used by Israel to protect its citizens from Palestinian suicide bombers, one can hardly regard them as a form of injustice. Palestinian students might arrive late to class on occasion but the measures do not impede their studies or academic freedom.
The ASA is alleged to have 5,000 members, and the association has described itself as the “nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.” In the vote to endorse the boycott, 1,252 members voted. Of those, 66% voted for the boycott, 30.5% voted against. Following the vote, the ASA announced, “We believe that the ASA endorsement of the boycott is warranted, given U.S. military and other support for Israel. Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are party to state policies that violate human rights; and the support of such a resolution by many of the ASA…”
Abe Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director responded to the ASA boycott with the following statement: “This shameful, morally bankrupt and intellectually dishonest attack on academic freedom by the American Studies Association should be soundly condemned by all who are committed to the ideal that open exchange of ideas is the most effective way to achieve change. Targeting Israeli institutions solely because they are in Israel – the only democratic country in the Middle East where scholarship and debate are encouraged and flourish – is based on myopic and fundamentally distorted perspective of Israel and the conflict, and it is manifestly unjust.”
The arbitrary focus on Israel by the ASA, while ignoring the Muslim world where women and religious minority rights are routinely violated, reveals a clear prejudice on the part of the ASA. The ASA’s own words suggest an ideological bias in declaring, “Given U.S. military and other support for Israel,” as if the U.S. does not give military and financial aid to other countries, including the Palestinian Authority. U.S. aid to the Palestinians hasn’t curtailed its encouragement of hatred and intolerance towards Jews and Israel throughout its educational system. Palestinian campuses are hotbeds of anti-Zionism, and the professors and administrators have openly and consistently spawned terrorism against the Jewish State. And, while Israeli-Jews are unwelcome on Arab or Palestinian-Arab campuses, Arabs in Israel enjoy academic freedom – including the right to wage raucous demonstrations against the Jewish state. ASA members should ask the simple question pertaining to freedom and human rights: Could a Jewish-Israeli student survive on a Palestinian campus? The obvious answer is no. He or she would likely be killed.
Another reason given for the ASA boycott against Israeli academic institutions is allegedly “Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions.” This shameful excuse by the ASA is indicative of malice, if not ignorance. The ASA should know that the UN has been stacked against Israel almost from the beginning. The combination of the Muslim and Soviet blocs could have passed a resolution in the General Assembly that the “earth is flat” and it would have won by an overwhelming majority. Today, while the Soviet bloc is gone, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is still the largest and most influential voting bloc in the UN. Insofar as international law is concerned, UN Security Council Resolution 242 speaks of Israel exchanging “territory,” not all the territories in the West Bank or Judea and Samaria it liberated from Jordan in 1967. Jordan occupied these territories during the 1948 War of Independence and its annexation attempts were never recognized by the international community. Egypt and Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel and the former received the entire Sinai Peninsula in return. Jordan, too, settled its claims with Israel.
In 1988, King Hussein of Jordan, transferred responsibility for the future of the West Bank to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), who chose the armed struggle and terror against Israel rather than peace negotiations. The Oslo Accords signed in September, 1993, were violated in September, 2000, when Yasser Arafat launched the Second Intifada rather than agreeing to an “end the conflict with Israel” at Camp David, held under the auspices of President Clinton. Israel has not violated international law. It is the Palestinian refusal to compromise that has kept “the pot boiling.”
It is apparent that the ASA is only willing to use the boycott weapon against the Jewish State. When Jewish and pro-Israel students’ human rights were violated on Canadian campuses in 2010, there was no call by the ASA for a boycott of those academic institutions. Writing for Canada Free Press, Richard Cravatts, Ph.D., stressed that “ A recent incident that took place at the beginning of February, York University in particular, has now revealed a troubling pattern of tolerating physical and emotional assaults by pro-Palestinian radicals against Jewish students and others who dare to demonstrate any support for Israel or question the tactics of Islamists in their efforts to destroy the Jewish state.”
Professor Cravatts added, “Violence, and threats of violence, against Jewish students during conversations about Israel have occurred at other Canadian universities, as well. At the University of Toronto’s insidious 2009 Israeli Apartheid Week, for instance, the annual event had so devolved into a racist, rabid rally that proceedings were closed to cameras and reporters, and individuals who actually attempted to participate in a dialogue about the issues being raised by the noxious event in the first place were confronted with physical intimidation and threats, encountering the dark side of pro-Palestinianism.”
At the University of California campuses, verbal and physical attacks against Jewish and pro-Israel students have become commonplace. Pro-Israel speakers are usually harassed and sometimes attacked. That is certainly a violation of human rights and academic freedom. Has the ASA boycotted the University of California system for violating the human rights of pro-Israel students?
The New York Times quoted Curtis Marez, President of ASA as saying that the “ASA has never before called for an academic boycott of any nation’s universities.” Marez conceded that many nations including Israel’s neighbors are generally judged to have human rights records that are worse than Israel’s. But, Marez concluded, “One has to start somewhere.” Larry Summers, former President of Harvard University, and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, appearing last week on PBS with Charlie Rose, ridiculed the notion of the boycott against Israel and called for a counter boycott of the ASA and its events.
To select Israel as deserving of a boycott when genocide and oppression are being perpetrated by the Iranian and Syrian regimes, to mention but two examples of global evil, is an outrage. Given Israel’s circumstances as an island of progress, democracy, and human rights in a sea of repressive dictatorships and rogue nations, one can only call it anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism. This action by the American Studies Association confers upon it nothing less than a badge of shame.
American Studies and Israel-Hatred
American Studies and Israel-Hatred
Why the toxic environment of “American Studies” makes the ASA’s boycott no surprise.
by Bruce Bawer
The American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the ASA or with American Studies itself.
American Studies dates back to such consequential scholars as Vernon Louis Parrington, Perry Miller, and F. O. Matthiessen, who wrote monumental books in which they took note of recurring myths, images, and themes in the works of American imaginative artists and thus helped generations of students to understand what made, for example, American painting or literature distinctly American. There was always something of a “progressive” tilt to the discipline (not a few of its early practitioners were outright Communists), but for the most part American Studies was rooted in a genuine appreciation for America and its culture. American Studies programs in universities around the world helped many foreigners to recognize that America’s cultural achievements went far beyond the productions of Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley, and perhaps today’s most accomplished and versatile living writer about American culture, Tom Wolfe, was a protégé of an American Studies professor who, working “[m]ore in the tradition of anthropology than literary scholarship,” according to Wikipedia, taught Wolfe to “look at the whole of a culture.” When you peruse Wolfe’s oeuvre – from his chronicles of the 1960s counterculture in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Pump House Gang to Radical Chic, from his takedowns of modern art and architecture in The Painted Word and From Bauhaus to Our House to The Right Stuff (to say nothing of his sprawling tapestries of American life in the novels Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full) – it’s hard to sum up his body of work except by using a term like American Studies.
Today, alas, American Studies has devolved into yet another of those academic “studies” – Cultural Studies, Queer Studies, and so on – that exist for no other purpose than to brainwash naïve, ill-educated students into embracing far-left ideology and hating their country. Accordingly, the emphasis isn’t on America’s accomplishments but its purported offenses. For these folks, the West is synonymous with colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism – all of which they view as thoroughly abhorrent phenomena – and America is the very Ground Zero of evil, the heart of the West’s darkness. (Meanwhile other civilizations are viewed as the West’s innately benign, guiltless victims, whose offenses are justified as understandable consequences of, or legitimate reactions to, Western exploitation and oppression.)
The introduction to the program of last year’s ASA conference, held in San Juan, made it clear to potential attendees what they were in for:
The very location of this year’s conference is a powerful call for reflection—reflection on indigeneity and dispossession; reflection on the course of U.S. empire; reflection on rich histories of resistance; reflection on American Studies as a set of interpretive and pedagogical practices in that zone where Indigenous Studies, Atlantic World, Caribbean Studies, Diaspora Studies, and Pacific Rim all come together. Claimed by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493, these Taino lands were the site of colonization, slavery, and near extinction before becoming collateral damage to U.S. imperial designs in 1898….And so on. (Yeah, that’s why they chose to hold their conference in San Juan in late November, when the average high temp is 86º F. – because it offers a great opportunity to contemplate poverty and imperialism.) If the American Studies classroom is a site of professional proselytizing, the annual ASA conference, as the program makes blindingly clear, isn’t about exchanging ideas (these profs have nothing fresh to say to one another) but about foregathering, much like the College of Cardinals, to recite together the canonical prayers and creeds, all of which recycle, in a mindless mush, the same handful of terms. A sampling of session titles: “Imperial Epistemes,” “Comparative Colonialisms,” “Aesthetic Capitalism and the Waning of American Empire,” “Pedagogies of Empire,” “Technologies of Empire and Resistance,” and “The Trauma of Empire, Race, and Resistance.” (In addition, the conference also included such diversions as an “Environmental Justice Tour” and an “Anti-Imperialist Film Festival.”)
The latest news is that Harvard, Yale, and several other colleges have condemned the ASA’s boycott of Israel. One wonders, however, how the American Studies faculties at these colleges come down on the issue. Look at the website of Yale’s American Studies program and you’ll find a picture of – guess what? The Statue of Liberty? Abraham Lincoln? The Declaration of Independence? No. What you’ll find is a 1939 Dorothea Lange photo of several poor black men on the front porch of a shack (which, as we can tell from the ads for Chesterfields, Old Gold, Camel, and Coca-Cola, is a general store). Lange’s photos of Depression hardship are an important part of the American documentary record, but American Studies today places such images front and center, in the service of presenting America – the richest country in human history – as a poverty-ridden capitalist inferno. Randomly pick a few names out of Yale’s American Studies roster and look them up, and you’ll soon get a pretty good idea of where these folks are coming from. Michael Denning, for example, started his career as a member of something called the Marxist Literary Group; a recent essay by him in the New Left Review began with the statement: “Under capitalism, the only thing worse than being exploited is not being exploited.” Then there’s Inderpal Grewal, who, as it happens, gave a presentation I attended in Berkeley three years ago. Faulting the Bush administration for “utiliz[ing] feminist discourses [i.e. criticizing Islamic patriarchy] to justify the war on terror,” she charged that GIs who thought they were helping oppressed women by fighting the Taliban were, in fact, depriving those women of “dignity” and “agency.” Young Americans; Grewal suggested, should volunteer in their own communities; she didn’t say outright that they should ignore the oppression of women under Islam, but that was the point. That’s American Studies in a nutshell.
All of which brings us to Israel. If Muslims, in the eyes of the American Studies orthodoxy, are the blameless Other into whose lives we Westernerns should never condescend to intrude, Jews, even those who have lived all their lives in Israel, are still “us” – and thus share in our Western iniquity. Like us, they’re capitalists, whose wealth, relative to their neighbors in Syria, Egypt, Gaza, etc., only confirms their turpitude. And like us – in fact, even more than us – they’re imperialists, who colonized a land not their own and turned it into an illegitimate outpost of the West. When American Studies scholars look at Israel, they don’t see it as a tiny embattled country, as the only democracy in the Middle East, or as one of the world’s most innovative, dynamic economies; they see occupation, aggression, exploitation – a country living off the suffering and victimhood of innocent Arabs. For a representative example of American Studies’ approach to Israel, check out an article in the current issue of Social Text, which describes a class offered a couple of years ago by the American Studies and Anthropology departments at the University of New Mexico. The course title fully communicates its slant: “Technologies of Settler-Colonialism in Israel-Palestine.”
Who are these people who voted for the ASA boycott? An article in Slate quotes three of them. One is Bill Mullen of Purdue – who, in a recent piece for the Socialist Worker, celebrated Purdue students who chanted at a protest rally: “Hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy’s got to go.” Another is David Lloyd, a professor at UC Riverside who’s contributed pro-boycott pieces to Electronic Intifida, the online home of sundry Jew-haters and terrorist sympathizers. A third is Eric Cheyfitz, a professor of American Studies at Cornell, who, explaining his vote for the boycott, exposes the hole in its twisted logic:
I am a Jew with a daughter and three grandchildren who are citizens of Israel. I am a scholar of American Indian and Indigenous studies, who has in published word and action opposed settler colonialism wherever it exists, including of course the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It is worth noting in this respect that just as the myth of American exceptionalism seeks to erase the genocide and ongoing settler colonialism of Indigenous peoples here in the United States so the myth of Israeli exceptionalism seeks to erase Israeli colonialism in Palestine and claim original rights to Palestinian lands.As Chayfitz’s apologia inadvertently underscores, the question he and his comrades in arms aren’t willing to face up to is this: if you’re going to boycott Israeli universities as a way of pressuring Israel to give up “colonialism,” why not boycott American universities until America gives itself back to the Indians? Why target a mere outpost of the evil West and not the West’s red hot center? This question is especially interesting when one considers that the European “imperialists” who made possible the founding of Purdue, Cornell, and other such institutions had no historical claim whatsoever to the North American continent, whereas the Jewish “imperialists” who founded Israel were, as it happens, the heirs of people who had lived in that very place thousands of years ago. And the only answer to the question, of course, is that if the buffoons for the ASA acted consciously upon what they claim to be their own principles, they’d be obliged to boycott their own employers, and quit their own jobs. But that ain’t happening, because the ASA’s action has nothing to do with principle or conscience, and everything to do with a cynical, self-serving devotion to a reality-challenged ideological party line – that, and raw bigotry.
NBA Player Apologizes After Making a Salute Associated With Anti-Semitism
NBA Player Apologizes After Being Photographed Making a Salute Associated With Anti-Semitism
NBA star Tony Parker has apologized for being photographed making a gesture associated in France with anti-Semites and Nazi sympathizers, saying he did not know “that it could be in any way offensive or harmful” and promised never to repeat it again.
As TheBlaze reported earlier Monday, the San Antonio Spurs player, who is French, was criticized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group, for making the gesture known as the quenelle, or “reverse Nazi salute.”
(Related: French Soccer Player Gives Nazi-Like Salute After Goal. Part of His Defense? Obama Did It, Too.)
Parker has been photographed making the quenelle, as seen in this photo posted on Slate’s French site. Parker posed alongside Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the controversial French comedian credited with inventing the gesture:
Parker (R) posed alongside Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the controversial French comedian credited with inventing the gesture (Photo: Slate.fr)
“While this gesture has been part of French culture for many years, it was not until recently that I learned of the very negative concerns associated with it,” Parker said in a statement Monday.
“When l was photographed making that gesture three years ago, I thought it was part of a comedy act and did not know that it could be in any way offensive or harmful. Since I have been made aware of the seriousness of this gesture, I will certainly never repeat the gesture and sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding or harm relating to my actions,” he said. “Hopefully this incident will serve to educate others that we need to be more aware that things that may seem innocuous can actually have a history of hate and hurt.”
The quenelle has become notorious in recent months after a spike in Europeans posing while making the gesture at inappropriate locations including the Auschwitz concentration camp and the site of a Palestinian terrorist attack and then posting the photos on social media.
French soccer player Nicolas Anelka was criticized for making the gesture after scoring a goal at a match over the weekend and may now face disciplinary action from British soccer officials.
Nicolas Anelka performs the quenelle gesture after scoring a goal on Saturday (Image source: YouTube via Times of Israel)
In an effort to defend his actions, Anelka tweeted a photo of President Barack Obama and singers Jay-Z and Beyonce making what appeared to be the same arm gesture but what was instead a group pantomime of brushing imaginary dirt off their shoulders as a tribute to Jay-Z’s song “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.”
French Soccer Player Gives Nazi-Like Salute After Goal. Part of His Defense? Obama Did It, Too.
(See the Pictures)
Dec. 30, 2013
The growing use of a Nazi-like salute has prompted outrage from European leaders and Jewish groups, with the controversy now drawing in a French soccer player, an NBA star and even, unwittingly, President Barack Obama.
French soccer player Nicolas Anelka is under fire for using a Nazi-like gesture to celebrate scoring a goal at a match over the weekend.
The gesture, as described by the British newspaper the Guardian, combines “a downward Nazi salute with an obscene gesture meaning ‘up yours.’” Known as the “quenelle,” it is widely viewed in France as anti-Semitic and sympathetic with Nazism.
The Times of Israel has also described the quenelle – like the Heil Hitler salute – as “a variant of the Roman salute.” Here’s what it looked like when Anelka performed it at the soccer match:
Nicolas Anelka performs the quenelle gesture after scoring a goal on Saturday (Image source: YouTube via Times of Israel)
Anelka took to Twitter repeatedly over the weekend to defend his move, insisting that he is neither a racist nor an anti-Semite and that other prominent personalities have also made the arm gesture.
In an effort to diminish the significance of his actions, he tweeted a photo of Obama and singers Jay-Z and Beyonce making what appears to be the same arm gesture:
The French soccer player tweeted this 2012 photo of President Barack Obama, Jay-Z and Beyonce, suggesting they were making the same arm gesture as his.
But Anelka’s evidence has a major problem: Obama’s gesture is related to a popular move associated with a hip-hop song, and the anti-Semitic salute is largely unknown in the U.S.
Jewish news site the Algemeiner directed readers to a story in the Atlanta Blackstar published last year about the September 2012 fundraiser at which the photo of the president was taken. It describes the president’s move as “brushing imaginary dirt off their shoulder” in “an obvious reference to the Jay-Z hit song” entitled “Dirt off Your Shoulder.”
Efraim Zuroff, Israel office director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group, called Anelka’s drawing Obama, Beyonce and Jay Z into the controversy “a feeble attempt at escaping criticism and quite a weak alibi.”
In a telephone interview with TheBlaze on Monday, Zuroff said of Anelka: “It’s clear why he did what he did. There’s no place for gestures like that that are anti-Semitic on the playing field.”
Meanwhile, NBA star Tony Parker (who is French) of the San Antonio Spurs is also being lambasted by the Wiesenthal Center for performing the quenelle gesture.
Parker has been photographed a number of times apparently performing the quenelle. Here he is with Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the French comedian credited with inventing the gesture:
Tony Parker (R) and comedian Dieudonne, the inventor of the salute and widely viewed in France as anti-Semitic, posing together backstage (Photo: Slate.fr via Algemeiner)
The Times of Israel linked to this video posted to YouTube in September apparently showing the basketball player making the same salute:
“Dieudonne, a professed anti-Semite, Hamas supporter and Holocaust denier, was convicted last month for the seventh time of incitement against Jews and slapped with a $36,000 fine,” the Times of Israel reported.
“Tony Parker is a big boy and should explain to the public what he had in mind. He should be aware of the fact that it has become an anti-Semitic gesture and sends a very negative message and has no place in sports,” Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told TheBlaze.
Parker’s ex-wife Eva Longoria co-chaired Obama’s re-election campaign and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She was one of Obama’s largest fundraising “bundlers” and has been involved in the administration’s immigration policy, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Anelka, who plays soccer in the English Premier League, now faces possible disciplinary action from British soccer officials for performing the offensive salute during the game which could result in a ban of up to five games.
Neither the White House nor the San Antonio Spurs immediately responded to requests for comment from TheBlaze, nor to weekend inquiries from Algemeiner.
Anelka, a convert to Islam, insisted that there was no bigotry behind his arm gesture, tweeting “I’m neither anti-Semitic nor racist.” He also asked people “not to be duped by the media.”
He claimed the arm move is meant to be anti-establishment, not anti-Semitic.
“This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonne,” Anelka tweeted.
Like the soccer player, Dieudonne also denies the gesture is anti-Semitic and insists it is “anti-establishment.”
France’s former sports minister Chantal Jouanno disagrees.
“The quenelle is a Nazi gesture that is clearly anti-Semitic and known to be such…There’s no point in arguing about the interpretation,” Jouanno said.
The gesture has become a hit with European anti-Semites wishing to stay under the radar of France’s strict anti-hate laws.
Comedian Dieudonne has inspired many Europeans who have been posting photos of themselves online posing while making the Nazi-like salute including at the most inappropriate locations such as at the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Anne Frank House, the Western Wall, Berlin’s Holocaust memorial and outside a French Jewish school where an Islamic extremist once murdered a rabbi and three children.
The quenelle gesture at Auschwitz (Image source: YouTube via Times of Israel)
The Anti-Defamation League found these photos of those posing as they perform the offensive gesture in sensitive spaces:
Alain Sorel, an anti-Semitic French filmmaker and writer, posed doing a quenelle at the Berlin Holocaust memorial (Photo courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League)
This unidentified man used the gesture at Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, France where a Muslim terrorist killed a rabbi and three children (Photo courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League)
Roger Cukierman who heads the umbrella organization of French Jews, CRIF, called the gesture “the Nazi salute in reverse.”
“Very clearly, Mr Dieudonne is developing a nearly professional anti-Semitism under the cover of telling jokes,” Cukierman said.
Displaying Nazi symbols if meant to offend is illegal in France; however, some believe because the quenelle is vague, it may not be prosecutable.
“The quenelle is too vague to be treated like a Nazi salute,” Anne-Sophie Laguens of the Paris bar association wrote in Le Nouvel Observateur weekly in September.
Before the gesture gained notoriety, the word quenelle was understood in French to mean a kind of dumpling.
Dieudonne has also coined the term “shoananas,” a mashup of the words for Holocaust (shoah) and pineapple in French (ananas), which has been described as the comedian’s way of denying the Holocaust in a humorous manner without violating French laws against Holocaust denial.
President Francois Hollande has said his government “will fight against the sarcasm of those who purport to be humorists but are actually professional anti-Semites.”
The Guardian reported that French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said he plans to find a legal way to ban Dieudonne’s shows “on the grounds that they were a threat to public order.”
Le Parisien on Saturday quoted Valls saying that the last straw was Dieudonne’s attack on Jewish journalists. In a recent show, the comedian said of the journalist Patrick Cohen, “when I hear Patrick Cohen speaking, I say to myself, you see, the gas chambers … too bad [they no longer exist].”
Anelka’s coach, Keith Downing, is defending the soccer player, calling accusations that Anelka used a racist move on Saturday “absolute rubbish.”
“He is totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation that has been thrown around, he is totally surprised by it,” Downing said, according to the UK’s Daily Star.
The Israel Boycott, Anti-Judaism, and the Giant Shrug
The Israel Boycott, Anti-Judaism, and the Giant Shrug
What the American Studies Association’s hatred of Israel is really about.
by Jackson Doughart
The academics of the 5,000-member American Studies Association (ASA) are boycotting Israeli universities and scholars. The 30,000-member Modern Language Association may soon follow suit. In their communiqué, they write that this decision “represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge that freedom for all, including Palestinians.”
Reading the material put forth by the ASA, one could be led to believe that the organization’s leadership is motivated by a considered act of conscience, akin to those who have called for sanctions and boycotts for humanitarian reasons in the past. This is wrong: the ASA’s leaders, and the members who have supported this decision by more than a two-to-one ratio, are led by their egos, not their consciences. What they’ve displayed is an extraordinary example of inflated self-importance, believing their journals and conferences in cultural studies to be far more vital than they actually are. They are also exhibiting a classic failing of the egoist: denial of one’s true motivations, often in contradiction with one’s own claims to high-mindedness and objectivity. Think of the man of means who gives ostentatiously to charity, while actually being motivated by tax-relief; or think of the hero of Camus’s novel The Fall, who helps a blind man across the street and then takes a bow for all to see.
What the members of the ASA deny, against reason, is that their moral crusade is informed by an irrational obsession with Israel and Israel alone, and that this obsession cannot be separated from the fact that Israel’s raison d’être is Zionism — the nationalism of Jews. In other words, they are ultimately denying that their indignation is fueled by their attitude toward Jews and Judaism.
But can’t one criticize Israel without being an anti-Semite, you ask? Well yes, one surely can. But not without distancing oneself from the entire world view of the ASA-crowd. This campaign is aimed at Israel, not the Israeli inhabitants of the West Bank, and for a clear reason: the ideology behind the anti-Israel Left is not anything like the fruit of an organic humanitarianism. Rather, there is a larger belief here: namely, that the existence of a nation-state that self-identifies with Judaism is inherently objectionable.
Even Apartheid South Africa, the regime with which Israel is so often and erroneously compared, was not delegitimized in this way. No one was saying that South Africa shouldn’t be a country, but people are saying (either directly or by implication) that Israel should not be one. And in a certain way, the distinction is even more gratuitous: South Africa isn’t a nation, it’s just a bunch of lines on a map (just look at its name — it would be like calling France “Northwest Europe”); Israel, on the other hand, is a nation as well as a state.
Invariably, the anti-Israel Left claims to support the right of Jews to live in Palestine, but wants a single state with an Arab-Muslim majority in control, animated by such niceties as democratic elections, freedom of religion, and the “right of return” for all Arabs whose ancestors formerly inhabited the land that is today’s Israel. They ignore two inconvenient facts: first, the Arab world has no history of democracy or religious freedom, meaning that a single-state solution would either produce a military dictatorship or an Islamic theocracy, not a liberal-democratic state; second, the Jewish population of the Middle East is now concentrated in Israel, when it was previously spread throughout the lands of the former Ottoman Empire, precisely because it was forced to flee all regional countries. (In case you think that this was a mere diplomatic protest against the creation of Israel, note that anti-Jewish pogroms by Muslims, such as those in Baghdad in June of 1941 and in Tripoli in November of 1945, predate Israeli statehood.)
The desire to replace Israel with a single civic state, as the ASA exhibits with its boycott, necessarily entails support for either the subjugation of Middle Eastern Jews as second-class citizens (as they were under the Ottomans) or their extirpation from the region (as they were under autocratic Arab-nationalist regimes). To believe otherwise is to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the states and peoples who neighbour Israel. Anything short of a secure Jewish state with a majority-Jewish population would create a plight for Middle-Eastern Jews that would make the present circumstances of Palestinian Arabs look paradisiacal. ASA-types with any shred of knowledge and intellectual honesty must know this, which is precisely why their position is so suspicious.
* * *I’ve long tried to understand the contemporary Left’s obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and its tunnel-visioned view of the matter, which categorizes all Israeli actions as evil and all Arab ones as an admirable fight against oppression. One should aim to find an explanation that does not rest on a fundamental hostility toward Jews; after all, the unfounded and premature attribution of bigotry to one’s political opponents is normally the sign of a weak argument.
The best such explanation that I can come up with rests on the radical Left’s predilection for anti-Americanism, which resembles far more a political position than a form of bigotry. The problem, in their eyes, is not Israel per se but the fact that it is an ally of the Great Satan. There is some empirical support for this: even figures such as Noam Chomsky were not hostile to Israel in its early existence. The country was, as one recalls, founded primarily on the principles of democratic socialism and owed to Jewish Leftists for its establishment. Chomsky even lived in Israel on a kibbutz for a time. It was only when Israel aligned itself with the United States that it became complicit, in their view, with American imperialism, and hence dismissible on principle. The Left’s anti-Israelism could thus be chalked up to the decayed ideology of anti-colonialism, which has for decades been focuses squarely on American foreign policy.
The problem with this analysis is that it still does not account for the singular focus on Israel. (It would also redoubt a further irony upon the ASA: if the U.S. is the real evil, then the academics should surely be boycotting themselves.) America has many allies, many of them despicable in point of respect for human rights. Yet there have been no calls for boycotts against Saudi Arabia or Pakistan from those who want to punish Israel. There is another problem: the present iteration of the New Left, especially on campus and as represented by such organizations as the ASA, is only tangentially motivated by anti-colonialism in the way that it was during the Cold War. Today’s Left is descended from Marcusian cultural Bolshevism whose primary enemy is the social teachings of Christianity, which it views as oppressive and in need of complete repudiation.
What frustrates today’s Leftists about Israel is that it stands athwart their narrative. The Jewish citizens who comprise Israel’s population are either themselves, or are recently descended from, people who have experienced oppression of an extraordinary magnitude, either in Europe, the former Soviet Union, or the Middle East. Yet they have established their state and achieved considerable progress in terms of living standards and political circumstances through precisely the societal model of the West: free enterprise, representative democracy, respect for religion in public life, a responsible ethic of nationalism, and a duty-centric form of citizenship that encourages (and in the case of obligatory military service, mandates) that individuals put the nation before themselves.
According to the New Left, oppressed people are supposed to reject these things in favour of a Leviathan state that will neatly knock aside tradition and its demands for sacrifice in favour of unrestrained promotion of individual wants, allowing for an identity utopia that is free of all vestiges of the past. Its beef with the Jews of the Middle East is that, despite their oppression, they don’t do such things. And in comparison with its neighbouring Arab states, which suffer under the tyrannies of inflated grievance and conspiracy theorism, Israel thrives as a result.
One would be tempted to stop here and say that the Left’s problem with Middle Eastern Jews and their state is simply ideological, and hence not bigoted, were it not for a greater point: the praiseworthy and measurably-successful qualities of Israeli society outlined above are not incidental to the country; rather, they are intrinsic to its character as a Jewish state. (One may object to this statement for the examples of free enterprise and representative government. Indeed, Jews never governed themselves during the development of these ideas, so it is dubious to say that they are “intrinsic” thereto. However, they were readily adopted as founding principles of the State of Israel, established as a Jewish state, suggesting that at the very least Israel’s founders saw no contradiction between them and their religion.) There is good reason for the term “Judeo-Christian”: despite many religious and theological distinctions, Jews and Christians are both part of an overlapping cultural tradition. And it is this tradition, and its demands upon the people who live under its influence, that the contemporary Left loathes and wishes to destroy.
So the anti-Israelism of the New Left is indeed a manifestation of animus toward Jews, but it is a result of opposition to what Middle Eastern Jews do and believe, rather than what they are. One might say that it is anti-Judaism and anti-Jewish-culture instead of anti-Semitism; the latter, as we know, was a term invented to describe hatred of Jews as a “race” as opposed to practitioners of a religious creed. The distinctions here are murky, of course, but I think that this shows how the fixation upon Israel can be anti-Jewish without involving accusations of specifically-racial bigotry. The anti-Jewish sentiment of today’s cultural Left is less emblematic of the anti-Semitism of the 20th-century than it is of the anti-Judaism from the twenty centuries before that.
But as exemplified by the pogroms of Christian Europe and Orthodox tsarist Russia, anti-Judaism is no joke, and its promoters of today are equally deserving of contempt. They speak the language of oppression and emancipation, but the subjects to which they refer are hardly proper for these terms. What they see in Israel is another iteration of the “ideology” to be replaced by egalitarianism, which in the Middle East could only be achieved by having Jews stop practising the very things that underwrite their survival, and constitute their being Jews.
* * *The most worrying element of this episode, however, is the giant shrug with which the ASA boycott has been met. The wider public knows that it could do as well without Israel as it currently does with it, and it could certainly do without its attachments to the Jewish State. That’s far from anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism, for such a position does not intimate a desire for an end to Israel, but one understands why many Americans are growing ambivalent. For all the talk about triumphalist Islamic totalitarianism and its focus on the United States, it is fairly clear that, in strictly realist terms, America’s relationship with Israel constitutes a liability. Yes, the Left’s search for “root causes” and “grievances” is disingenuous, but one doesn’t have to be of that faction to see that America could well throw its Jewish friends in the Middle East to the wolves, and perhaps save itself from the wrath of a jihadist or two.
Thankfully, many people stop short of following this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion. There is a strong case, on the grounds of morality and inter-cultural affinity, for America to support Israel nevertheless. At present, the ambivalence is stronger in the realm of domestic affairs than it is in the realm of foreign policy, where the imperative of American defense of Israel remains strongly supported. It is disappointing that in the former category, however, there is not more solidarity, as would be demonstrated by a significant public outrage against the ASA decision — the kind that would make these academics fear for their very careers.
Radicals will be radicals, and no protest will change that, I can hear you saying. Well, this is true but only to a point. If the mainstream of the population were to display only a fraction of the latter’s passion, the whole business would be over. Radicals will be radicals, but only if their self-interest allows for it, especially in the academy. If a few of these professors were to be refused tenure on the expressed ground of their anti-Jewish activities, and if the demands of donors and alumni associations could shut down a few of these cultural studies programs, the tone would change very quickly.
(Before protesting on the ground of academic freedom, remember that what these people are doing is not remotely describable as academic inquiry. This is activism emerging from the most sordid varieties of group think and political correctness, dressed up unconvincingly as an endeavour of collective professional action.)
Furthermore, the anti-Israel Left is gaining ideological ground, mostly in the wake of the mainstream’s ambivalence. Yes, some college presidents have spoken about their opposition to the boycott, and some colleges have withdrawn from the ASA. Some have even scrupled to admonish the malice against Israel that is evidenced by the singular focus of the boycott. But the key is to look at the narrow range of arguments that are permitted on the anti-boycott side.
For example, all of the articles of protest that I’ve read thus far have made the academic freedom of Israeli scholars the central argument. Now, academic freedom is a serious thing, especially for those who engage in real scholarship, and one is right to point out that it has eroded significantly in recent decades. But to say that the problem here is one of academic freedom is a major understatement. The real problem here is the unwarranted singling out of a country and its citizens (and especially its intellectuals) for intimidation and punishment, on the ground that the country identifies itself as — and has a majority population that is — Jewish, to the end of facilitating the political circumstances that would actualize said country’s destruction.
Secondly, all of the protests articles that I’ve seen more or less acknowledge that the ASA is right in its official reasoning for the boycott: namely, that Israeli control of parts of the West Bank is inherently wrong and must end immediately. The people who take such a view but oppose the boycott are of course entitled to their opinion, but there is questionable wisdom in framing the anti-boycott argument in this way. Saying that the ASA is right on the occupation but wrong on the method of ending it, even if its insight were true, undermines the case against the ASA.
The occupation is not, as the Left believes, maintained due to sheer anti-Arab malice by Israeli Jews; it is maintained because the political leadership in Israel believes it to be necessary for the country’s security. When the leadership believes that this is no longer the case, it will disengage as it did with Gaza in 2005. People within and without of Israel can debate the West Bank policy, at least as long as they are allowed to do so. But the spirit of the ASA boycott militates against the very idea of an argument. So far as the anti-Israel Left is concerned, there is no point in including anyone who disagrees — better to just assume that the other side is evil and rob it of any opportunity to make its case. This is especially true for Israeli academics who defend the present policy; under a boycott, the effort to exclude their contribution would be greater still.
The problem with the ASA’s boycott is not its means, but rather its ends. On this point there is no room for an even-handed middle ground. Those who depart from the anti-Israel world view must voice their dissent now; if they don’t, the boycotts will keep rolling in.
Last edited by Paparock; 01-08-2014 at 12:32 AM..
Canada Court: 'Let's Burn the Jew' Not Racist
Canada Court: 'Let's Burn the Jew' Not Racist
Judge rules high school student who lit Jewish girl's hair on fire saying 'let's burn the Jew' did not commit hate crime.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
In Canada, a Winnipeg provincial court judge recently ruled that a 2011 altercation at a local high school, in which a student lit a 15-year-old Jewish student's hair on fire with a lighter while saying "let's burn the Jew," was not a hate crime.
The judge claimed despite the facts of the case that the offender, who pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon, did not mean to burn the girl's hair or target her because she was Jewish.
In a statement the girl said the incident "changed her world upside down," mentioning that she had been in therapy to deal with her fear and anger.
The decision has ignited outrage, both from Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) and B'nai Brith Canada.
"To ignore the racial overtones - the perpetrator's direct reference to the Holocaust and the burning of six million Jews in the concentration camps - is almost incomprehensible," argued FSWC President and CEO, Avi Benlolo.
"This ruling does a terrible disservice to the concept of justice and sends a message of utter disregard to the Jews of Winnipeg and Canada," added Benlolo. "I cannot imagine the same decision would have been rendered had the perpetrator targeted any other minority group in a similar way."
B'nai Brith Canada called on the Canadian Attorney General to review its guidelines for imposing enhanced sentences in hate crimes.
"It is a disappointing decision that makes no sense in the face of the facts and the troubling situation that apparently prevailed in the school,” commented Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. “The finding is disappointing in the sense that it muddies the waters of hate crime legislation while giving a most unfortunate license to those that hate and bully -- particularly in the school system."
Dimant argued that the ruling reveals a misperception as to the nature of hate crimes, giving a free pass to impulsive hate.
"The notion of hate motivated crimes in the Criminal Code is not limited to those crimes which are planned in advance," noted Dimant. "There is nothing in the Code to suggest such a limitation. The prosecutor and court seem to think that a dish is only hatred if it is served cold. Yet hatred is a dish which can be and is most often served hot."
The case comes as anti-Semitism appears to be on the rise worldwide, particularly in Europe. French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, widely condemned for his anti-Semitic comments, is under calls to ban his performances.
Last edited by Paparock; 01-08-2014 at 12:47 AM..
Kindle Führer: “Mein Kampf” Tops Amazon Charts
Kindle Führer: “Mein Kampf” Tops Amazon Charts
E-book versions of Hitler's opus are rising in the rankings on Amazon and iTunes. What gives?
You won’t see Adolf Hitler peering back at you from the featured display tables at Barnes & Noble any time soon. But browse the most popular e-book stores these days and Der Führer’s mug is seemingly unavoidable. For a year now, his magnum manifesto has loomed large over current bestsellers on iTunes, where at the time of this writing two different digital versions of Mein Kampf rank 12th and 15th on the Politics & Current Events chart alongside books by modern conservative powerhouses like Sarah Palin, Charles Krauthammer and Glenn Beck.
In fact, all seven of Beck’s books trail Herr Hitler’s nearly century-old tell-all, which consistently holds its own against new e-blockbusters like Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, This Town byMark Leibovich, and Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise.
Mein Kampf hasn’t made The New York Times nonfiction chart since its U.S. release in 1939, the same year Germany invaded Poland, and its print sales have fallen steadily ever since. But with a flood of new e-book editions, Hitler’s notorious memoirjust clocked a banner digital year. One 2012 English-languageversionis currently the number one Propaganda & Political Psychology book on Amazon. Another digital selection is a player in the Globalization category.
Or to put it another way: On Amazon, there are more than 100 versions of Mein Kampf for sale in every conceivable print and audio format, from antique hardbacks to brand-new paperbacks. Of those 100 iterations, just six are e-books—yet all six of them rank among the 10 best-selling versions overall. And those are just the ones people are paying for.
REICH 3.0: At press time, two separate versions of "Mein Kampf" ranked 12th and 15th in the Politics & Current Events chart on iTunes.
So what exactly is going on here? Are people reading Hitler on their smartphones and Kindles? Is this what happens when Mein Kampf becomes available in the privacy of our own iPads? Could it be a cultural curiosity much like what’s happened with sleazy romance novels, which surveys show are increasingly consumed in more clandestine e-form?
The first Kindle edition of Mein Kampf surfaced in late 2008, selling for $1.60. Shortly after that, another version popped up for $1.58 and rocketed up Amazon’s Legal Thrillers chart, then suddenly vanished in March 2009, along with a slightly pricier rival version, after a blogger at CNET acknowledged its burgeoning success. At the time, Amazon did not respond to CNET, which found it “unclear who uploaded the Kindle Edition of Mein Kampf.” Nevertheless, the e-book behemoth removed the virtual versions while continuing to offer a range of cloth and paperback printings, the overwhelming majority of which sold poorly if at all.
Houghton Mifflin, which holds the copyright of an English translation favored by scores of academics, hasn’t published a softcover of Mein Kampf since 1998, and U.S. sales declined in the mid-1990s, when retailers moved an estimated 15,000 annual print copies. But as tablets gained popularity in the late-2000s, the e-book’s presence grew and then soared. Besides the iTunes and Kindle-compatible versions, hundreds of txt and pdf files are available for download from thousands of online sources. More than a dozen free English-language versions of Mein Kampf have been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times from the nonprofit Internet Archive alone.
KINDLENACHT: One of several Amazon charts dominated by Hitler
Despite the vast availability of no-cost copies, paid editions of Mein Kampf have crept up on hot lists since companies like Barnes & Noble and most recently Apple launched aggressive e-reader campaigns. One of the purged electronic editions from 2008 has since returned to Kindle and regularly registers on the Communism & Socialism charts. Another pick, “The Official 1939 Version,” was listed by the U.K.-based Coda Books in September 2011 and is currently the 17th bestseller in Nationalism in any format. And an “unexpurgated” edition of Mein Kampf that showed up on Amazon two years ago continues to hold in the Philosophers rankings.
Hitler’s big comeback, though, came in 2013, when a 99 cent Kindle version released in January started charting among World War II books and Historical Biographies & Memoirs. Its publisher, a California company called Elite Minds Inc., uses the dollar e-book to promote more expensive original translations of Mein Kampf they retail in print and audio packages. In an email to Vocativ, Elite Minds President Michael Ford says, “Sales are great,” but notes that he faces “a moral dilemma in promotion” in that he fears advocating “something that could be misused.” He says, “I have not heavily promoted the book and decided, for the most part, to let it spread among those who have a true historical and academic interest naturally.”
While the Amazon and iTunes algorithms are proprietary secrets—and the best-selling e-publishers of Hitler’s work declined to share figures with Vocativ—current rankings suggest Mein Kampf could be following a similar trend to that of smut and romance novels. People might not have wanted to buy Mein Kampf at Borders or have it delivered to their home or displayed on their living room bookshelf, let alone get spotted reading it on a subway, but judging by hundreds of customer comments online, readers like that digital copies can be quietly perused then dropped into a folder or deleted. “I think I waited 45 years to read Hitler’s words,” writes one reviewer. Another sums it up thusly: “Curiosity killed me to get this book.”
Similar comments have been made about the erotic smash hit 50 Shades of Grey, which in June 2012 became the first book to move 1 million units on Kindle. According to the Romance Writers of America, “Romance buyers are buying e-books to a greater extent when compared with other major fiction subgenres,” with e-book sales in the genre doubling annually. An October 2013 Book Industry Study Group report titled “Consumer Attitudes Toward Book Reading” yielded comparable results, finding that “more than 50 percent [of subjects] surveyed say they prefer romance and erotic fiction in digital,” while “less than 10 percent preferred print.”
There are other rational explanations for Hitler’s success in the digital realm, like the fact that tablets are much less cumbersome than, say, the hulking 694-page Houghton Mifflin hardcover. But Mein Kampf’s electronic popularity is more likely a result of the 50 Shades phenomenon coupled with latent curiosity that’s easily sated with a click. In a 2010 talk at Harvard, Rice University sociologist Elizabeth Long noted that stigmatized genres like “mystery, science fiction and especially pornography” have forever been “sentenced to back corners, stuffed away out of sight,” and predicted that taboo titles would migrate off physical bookshelves and into the cloud. Compared to Mein Kampf, books about chains and leather seem pretty soft core.
This first-edition copy of "Mein Kampf," signed by Adolf Hitler, fetched approximately $48,000 at auction in 2005. It was likely removed from one of Hitler's offices at the end of World War II. (EPA)
Translating in English to “My Battle,” Mein Kampf initially debuted to lackluster public interest. Hoping book profits could help cover mounting legal fees, Hitler began writing his memoir in prison in 1923, shortly after his then fledgling Nazi battalion was captured while trying to seize power in Munich. Annual sales of the first volume, a 400-plus-page screed printed in 1925, failed to exceed 10,000 copies. A 1927 volume with a key addition outlining Hitler’s nascent extinction agenda sold 55,000 copies in 1930, and sales jumped exponentially after Hitler became chancellor in 1933. In a surefire marketing strategy, throughout the remainder of the decade the Third Reich bought and distributed 6 million copies of Mein Kampf to German citizens, including complimentary hardcovers for couples on their wedding day. By the time of his suicide in 1945, Hitler’s book had earned him the modern equivalent of $152 million.EXPLAINER: The 'Mein Kampf' Copyright
A translation of Mein Kampf by Nazi sympathizer James Murphy was published in 1939 in the U.K., quickly becoming “the big sensation.” But it was soon swept up in a legal battle with two rival versions. Houghton Mifflin, which secured the U.S. copyright to Mein Kampf in 1939, published its own deluxe translation curated by 10 distinguished “editorial sponsors,” but the publishing giant wound up in court fighting yet another competing edition by Stackpole & Sons, a Pennsylvania imprint that claimed the work was in the public domain and not protected by copyright. The ensuing decision in the 1939 case, Houghton Mifflin Co. v. Stackpole Sons, Inc., set a precedent for Hitler and all other people of questionable statehood, whom the court ruled are “entitled to the benefits of American copyright laws.”
Even before Hitler offed himself in 1945, Houghton Mifflin was persuaded to direct profits from the book to Jewish refugees. From that point on, it became unofficial protocol to redistribute money made from Mein Kampf, and in 1979, the U.S. War Claims Fund paid out $139,000 in confiscated Hitler royalties to American ex-POWs. As noted, reparations and donations continued into the 2000s. After that, in addition to there being less confiscated Hitler royalties to go around, some charities began roundly rejecting proceeds from the book. Still, here and in various places abroad, booksellers—sometimes skirting the law and sometimes adhering to copyright (as with U.S. sellers of public domain versions like the 1939 Murphy edition, or their own proprietary translations)—have largely stayed under the radar. One possible exception is Amazon, which retails more than 100 versions and makes between 35 to 70 percent royalties on each copy.
Several generations later, Mein Kampf remains a seismic and unnerving force. Nowhere has itcaused more contention than in Germany, which banned new production of the book upon inheriting copyright ownership in 1945 and maintains national exclusivity until 2015. Lawmakers there had pledged to release an annotated version of Mein Kampf to coincide with the expiration of their rights. Last month, however, officials iced the plan out of concern that any acknowledgment of Hitler could project the wrong message, particularly at a time when German leaders are struggling to suppress an electorally active neo-Nazi faction from infecting the republic.
“At the very least, this episode illustrates the ongoing absurdity of the situation around the publication of Hitler’s book in Germany,” noted The Guardian’s Berlin correspondent. The government, he wrote, “can do nothing about the thousands of scans uploaded outside Germany that remain just a keystroke away for those within the country.”
The first edition with signed photograph. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) AFP/Getty Images
Trying to curb Hitler’s sales has proven a futile exercise worldwide. Since showing up in Asia15 years ago, Mein Kampf has sold in excess of 100,000 copies in India. In 2005, the debut of the first-ever Turkish translation sold 100,000 copies in the first two months. And now, with the e-book revolution in full swing, readers are downloading Hitler everywhere. But who exactly is pocketing the profits?
In the past, sales have understandably drawn scrutiny from Holocaust survivor advocates and Jewish groups.Random House, which holds the U.K. copyright on the most popular English translation, has donated in excess of $1 million to the Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project. In 2000, members of the World Jewish Congress convinced Houghton Mifflin to share the wealth. Thirteen years later, the WJC has adjusted its strategy to the changing times. Rather than petitioning for philanthropic reparations, the international organization is now asking the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, to stop selling Mein Kampf and other hate books altogether.
“Amazon is a powerful and iconic company,” says WJC CEO Robert Singer, who emphasizes theirs is not a call to ban the book, but rather a “corporate responsibility campaign.”
“Amazon chooses not to sell many titles, such as pornography and books promoting incest, because some find that material offensive,” says Singer. “We’re just asking the company to stop profiting from the sale of other offensive materials.”
The WJC hasn’t heard back from Amazon. A spokesperson for the company responded to initial inquiries from Vocativ, but ceased communicating after we specifically mentioned Mein Kampf. So too did Montecristo Publishing, an obscure Brazilian outfit that specializes in re-packaging public domain manuscripts, whose 99-cent version of the book currently ranks 15th in the iTunes Politics & Current Events category, where it’s gaining on Palin and has already edged out Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich. Like Amazon, Montecristo stopped emailing Vocativ after we asked how many copies they’ve sold and if they share profits with charities.
Michael Ford, president of the other major e-publisher of Mein Kampf on iTunes, Elite Minds, explains that he prefers “to use the earnings to develop other products that help people” and has “an issue with giving profits to one group or another.”
“This is a historical book,” says Ford. “To claim that some particular group, museum or activist cause should be entitled to money from it just because of its place in history is illogical to me.”
Mein Kampf becomes Amazon Bestseller
Mein Kampf becomes Amazon Bestseller
Manifesto on the 'Jewish peril' and the Nazi ideology has become 'a bona fide online sensation.'
By Gil Ronen
Mufti Amin al Husseini und Adolf Hitler
Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1987-004-09A / Heinrich Hoffmann / CC-BY-SA
Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf has becoming an exceedingly successful international e-book bestseller – a sign that anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide.
Originally published in 1925, the 387-page anti-Semitic manifesto on the “Jewish peril” and the Nazi ideology has become “a bona fide online sensation,” writes Fox News, topping Amazon’s Propaganda & Political Psychology section as of Thursday for just 99 cents.
Chris Faraone of Vocativ.com wrote Wednesday that for about a year now, Hitler's book has been on the list of best-sellers on iTunes, where and that currently two different digital versions of the book rank 12th and 15th on the Politics & Current Events chart.
On Amazon, reported Faraone, “there are more than 100 versions of Mein Kampf for sale in every conceivable print and audio format, from antique hardbacks to brand-new paperbacks. Of those 100 iterations, just six are e-books—yet all six of them rank among the 10 best-selling versions overall. And those are just the ones people are paying for.”
In January 2013, a 99 cent Kindle version began to do well among World War II books and Historical Biographies & Memoirs. Its publisher, a California company called Elite Minds Inc.,told Vocativ, “Sales are great,” but noted that he faces “a moral dilemma in promotion” in that he fears advocating “something that could be misused.”
Vocativ speculated that Mein Kampf's popularity on the Internet is connected to the anonymous nature of e-purchases, and to curiosity. “I think I waited 45 years to read Hitler’s words,” writes one reviewer. Another sums it up thusly: “Curiosity killed me to get this book.”
Germany inherited the copyright ownership to the book in 1945 and will maintain national exclusivity until 2015. Lawmakers there have pledged to release an annotated version of Mein Kampf to coincide with the expiration of their rights.
Since showing up in Asia 15 years ago, Mein Kampf has sold in excess of 100,000 copies in India. In 2005, the debut of the first-ever Turkish translation sold 100,000 copies in the first two months.
Deutsche Welle spoke to Gerhard Weinberg, 86, a professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina, who published Hitler's second book in 1961. He thinks there is a combination of factors that contribute to the sudden popularity of Hitler's book on the Internet.
"For one it is simply curiosity. For contemporaries, Hitler is a figure from the past about whom they've heard a great deal. And now suddenly on their computers they can either for little money or no money at all read his most important major book," Weinberg told DW in an interview.
"A second factor I would suggest is that some people may think that he was right about many things and this is a way to find out what exactly he thought without making yourself open to perhaps embarrassment by others who don't share your positive view of Hitler," he said.
But Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, thinks online sellers should only sell annotated versions of the book. "We know that the facts of life are that you cannot censor any idea from the Internet, it's simply impossible," Cooper told FoxNews.com. "But an annotated version is important for someone who doesn't know the context of the time and so that they're not reading pure genocidal hate."
"It adds fuel to the fire of hatred. It's shorthand for Jew hatred, and that makes it an automatic seller."
Cooper, along with historical consultant Harold Brackman, said the posthumous e-book's surge is not entirely unexpected.
“It exploits pent-up demand in Germany, where print versions have been verboten, but cyberspace again makes a joke of the Maginot Line of censorship laws,” Cooper and Brackman wrote on JewishJournal.com.
The glorification of Hitler, Cooper claims, is being seen among Muslims and Arabs in the Netherlands, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Japan, India and South Korea.
In response to the surge in digital downloads of the book, as well as the expiration of its Bavarian copyright next year, the Anti-Defamation League is offering an introduction to the English translation written by Holocaust survivor and ADL National Director Abraham Foxman.
“We believe it is important for Mein Kampf to continue to be published as it does have value to historians and students of World War II and Holocaust history,” Foxman said in a statement. “There is always the concern, however, that some people who are already infected with anti-Semitism will misuse the book in an attempt to glorify Hitler or reinforce their own warped views about Jews. We think the only constructive way for the book to be published is with an introduction that explains the historical context and the impact of the thinking behind Hitler’s words, which led right up to the murderous, racist Nazi regime.”
Mysterious Anti-Semitic Fliers Emerge in Oakland
Mysterious Anti-Semitic Fliers Emerge in Oakland
Click to view video> http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/video?id=9401368
Anti-Semitic fliers showing a swastika drawn on a Jewish councilwoman’s forehead were found plastered in Oakland, Calif., over the weekend.
Posted throughout the Montclair district, an area represented by Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, the fliers read “Stop Schaaf. Stop the DAC.” A black and white image of the politician with the symbol on her head accompanied the text.
According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, DAC is an acronym for “domain awareness center,” a controversial government surveillance initiative planned by Oakland officials.
“As a person of Jewish heritage I found this particularly hurtful. As an Oaklander I found it shameful,” Schaaf told the Contra Costa Times. “I have throughout the project expressed serious concern. So I am surprised that I have been targeted with this particular issue.”
Schaaf, who is set to run for mayor in November, has been critical of the project, though she ultimately voted in favor of its approval.
The domain awareness center — an effort to possibly link cameras from around the city to collect data using license plate readers, social media feeds and other tools — is set to be operational in July 2014. The stated goal is to provide an around-the-clock mechanism for monitoring and responding to emergencies in Oakland, according to the Oakland North news project at the University of California, Berkeley.
Proponents say the center will help authorities solve crimes and keep citizens safe, but opponents cite privacy concerns.
KGO-TV reported that police are looking into the fliers to assess whether they should be considered hate speech.
Last edited by Paparock; 01-22-2014 at 02:31 AM..
Big Development Regarding Jewish Families’ Lawsuit Against N.Y. School District Over
Big Development Regarding Jewish Families’ Lawsuit Against N.Y. School District Over Brutal Claims of Anti-Semitism
The efforts of three Jewish families embroiled in a lawsuit against Pine Bush Central School District in Pine Bush, N.Y., over claims of anti-Semitism have been bolstered by the U.S. attorney’s office, which filed a memorandum in federal court supporting their complaint.
The families have been trying to prove that school officials did little to stop repeated anti-Semitic attacks against their children. While the district has denied those claims, the U.S. attorney’s office for the southern district of New York concluded that the evidence in the case could lead a jury to back the families’ claims, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
Click here to view video>http://landing.newsinc.com/shared/vi...e&VID=25340577
In a “statement of interest,” the government declared that evidence in the case “is sufficient for a jury to find that the district failed to respond to pervasive anti-Semitic harassment in its school,” according to The New York Times.
The document, filed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, concluded that Pine Bush Central School District possibly ignored signs that more intensive action was needed to halt anti-Semitic harassment at the hands of the kids’ peers.
Additionally, faculty and the school board were purportedly not made aware of how dire the issue had become — and each school in the district reportedly wasn’t adequately informed, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Those allegations are important because the families involved claim that the district ignored rabid harassment and anti-Semitic antics at the hands of their children’s peers. School officials have said that action was taken and that anti-Jewish sentiment isn’t widespread in its schools.
Click here to view video> http://landing.newsinc.com/shared/vi...e&VID=25343603
A letter sent to teachers, staff and administrators earlier this month by board of education president Lloyd Greer addressed the impact the controversy has had on the community.
“We, the Board of Education, understand that over the past couple of months there has been a lot of undue stress put on the entire district … and the community. It has been very tough for all of us to sit back and listen as the media negatively portrayed the entire district,” a portion of the leader read. “This negative media and political attention, however, does not reflect that Pine Bush Schools is a strong community with great people doing great things for kids.”
The families, however, are looking to prove that school officials didn’t do their due diligence and that there is in fact an unfriendly environment.
“This school district should take a hard look in the mirror, face the problem, and fix it once and for all,” Ilann Maazel, an attorney representing the families, told the Times.
Bharara’s office had already joined other state and federal efforts to launch a civil rights investigation. While the district has sought a summary judgement, the U.S. attorney’s office recommended it be denied.
At TheBlaze previously reported, the purported acts taken against these students included both harassment and physical violence.
One female student allegedly had a Nazi symbol drawn on her face by peers; other students said symbols of hate were placed on desks, textbooks, computer screens and even on a slide at the playground. There were also reportedly physical beatings that resulted.
Read more about the case here.
(H/T: Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
Musician Writes to Scarlett Johansson to Scold Her for Siding with Israeli Company
Famous Musician Writes to ‘Undeniably Cute’ Scarlett Johansson to Scold Her for Siding with Israeli Company
Former Pink Floyd front man and bassist Roger Waters, a prominent anti-Israel activist, took to Facebook over the weekend to criticize Scarlett Johansson – with whom he admitted he “was somewhat smitten” – for her choice to represent an Israeli company over the international aid group Oxfam.
Roger Waters, center, founding member of Pink Floyd, meets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sits waiting for the start of a meeting on Palestine, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 in New York. (AP)
Scarlett Johansson announced her resignation last week from her role as Oxfam ambassador after the aid organization suggested that it was reconsidering her position due to her signing on as a spokeswoman for SodaStream, an Israeli company that has a factory in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
Johansson’s spokesman said the 29-year-old actress had “a fundamental difference of opinion” with Oxfam as a result of the group’s opposition to all trade from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
SodaStream which makes do-it-yourself carbonated drink kits and has a factory in Ma’ale Adumim, a Jewish community a 15-minute drive from Jerusalem, has been a target for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS) and groups like CODEPINK, even though the company employs 900 Palestinians who are widely reported to receive respectable pay and benefits.
Waters who promotes boycotting Israel said he had written to both Johansson and musician Neil Young, who recently announced a concert in Israel, but had not heard back from either.
In his Facebook post, Waters described a meeting with Johansson.
“Scarlett? Ah, Scarlett,” Waters wrote. “I met Scarlett a year or so ago, I think it was at a Cream reunion concert at MSG. She was then, as I recall, fiercely anti Neocon, passionately disgusted by Blackwater (Dick Cheney’s private army in Iraq), you could have been forgiven for thinking that here was a young woman of strength and integrity who believed in truth, human rights, and the law and love. I confess I was somewhat smitten. There’s no fool like an old fool.”
“A few years down the line, Scarlett’s choice of Soda Stream over Oxfam is such an act of intellectual, political, and civil about face, that we, all those of us who care about the downtrodden, the oppressed, the occupied, the second class, will find it hard to rationalize,” Waters wrote.
He later posed a series of rhetorical questions in an effort to convince Johansson of what he believes to be institutional mistreatment of Palestinians.
He wrote, “in ‘Democratic’ Israel there are fifty laws that discriminate against non Jewish citizens.”
“I am not going to attempt to list, either those laws(they are on the statute book in the Knesset for all to research) or all the other grave human rights abuses of Israeli domestic and foreign policy. I would run out of space,” Waters wrote. “But, to return to my friend Scarlett Johanson. Scarlett, I have read your reposts and excuses, in them you claim that the Palestinian workers in the factory have equal pay, benefits and ‘Equal rights’. Really? Equal Rights? Do they?”
“Scarlett, you are undeniably cute,” Waters wrote. (Photo: SodaStream’s uncut Super Bowl ad via YouTube)
“Scarlett, you are undeniably cute, but if you think Soda Stream is building bridges towards peace you are also undeniably not paying attention,” Waters added.
Johansson has said she supports SodaStream, because it encourages economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.
“SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day,” Johansson said on January 24.
Waters faced accusations of anti-Semitism last summer after using a controversial prop on his concert tour, that is, a giant pig emblazoned with a Star of David. Waters hit back at his critics, insisting the symbol was meant to target the State of Israel, not the Jewish faith.
Johansson is set to star in a SodaStream commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl; however, USA Today reported that Fox told SodaStream it would only air the ad if four key words were cut, ”Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”
SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told USA Today that he would comply with the demand, but said of Fox, “They’re afraid of Coke and Pepsi.”
The network request was reportedly due to both Coca-Cola and Pepsi’s purchase of Super Bowl ads, with Pepsi sponsoring the halftime show.
SodaStream posted an uncut version of the ad on YouTube, which has had more than 8.7 million views and counting. Watch the uncut SodaStream ad:
(H/T: Times of Israel)
click here to view 16 page document on Oxfam's Terrorist Links>http://standforpeace.org.uk/wp-conte...m-Partners.pdf
Last edited by Paparock; 02-02-2014 at 10:36 PM..
Canada: Telling Jews 'Get Out Or You're Dead' Isn't A Hate Crime
Canada: Telling Jews 'Get Out Or You're Dead' Isn't A Hate Crime
Ontario Attorney General rules that man calling for Jews in Jerusalem to 'get out or be shot' at large rally didn't commit hate crime.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
Elias Hazineh at Al-Quds Day
In Canada, the Ontario Attorney General (AG) has decided that an anti-Israel activist who called for all Jews living in Israel, and particularly in Jerusalem, to either "get out or be shot" while at a large anti-Israel rally in Toronto did not commit a hate crime.
Last August, Elias Hazineh, the former President of Toronto's "Palestine House", spoke at the annual Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto. Speaking before hundreds of people, Hazineh threatened Jews living in Israel: "We say get out or you are dead. We give them two minutes and then we start shooting and that’s the only way they'll understand!"
Hazineh also quoted from the Koran: "and prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war." The verse details the military preparations for jihad holy war against the "infidels", i.e. non-Muslims.
But advocating violent ethnic-cleansing and encouraging the murder of Jews did not constitute racism or a hate crime according to the AG.
Video from the event shows some of Hazineh's speech to the crowd:
Al-Quds Day has been marked annually around the world since 1979, when it was established by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini to express support for “the liberation of Jerusalem" by Muslim forces and to call for the destruction of the State of Israel.
The rally in question saw around 300 extremists - including Shia Islamists and the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect - wave Iranian and Hezbollah flags during the march.
Frank Dimant, B'nai Brith Canada CEO, responded to the decision not to pursue hate crime charges, saying "it seems that we have sadly grown accustomed to hearing hateful rhetoric spewed at these pro-Iranian-regime, anti-Israel events. As we have noted, Al-Quds Day, a now annual event, is a route by which Canadians are being exposed to the radical and hateful ideologies of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and the banned terrorist group Hezbollah."
“Having met previously with the Federal Minister of Justice to discuss cross-Canada guidelines for the laying of hate crime charges, we now look forward to meeting with the Ontario AG to gain some insight into their decision-making process on this matter and discuss current provincial guidelines," added Dimant.
The decision calls to mind a Winnipeg provincial court judge, who in early January ruled that a 2011 altercation at a local high school, in which a student lit a 15-year-old Jewish student's hair on fire with a lighter while saying "let's burn the Jew," was not a hate crime.
But the ramifications of growing extremism and support for terrorism in Canada are difficult to ignore. Last Monday the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) presented a report to the parliament in Ottowa detailing the security threat posed by Canadians traveling to Syria and other Arab countries to join Al Qaeda-linked groups, and later returning to commit terror attacks.
Just last December hundreds ofanti-Israel activists protested outside the Metro Toronto Convention Center, where the Jewish National Fund (JNF) was holding its annual fundraising gala Negev dinner.
Last edited by Paparock; 02-04-2014 at 11:20 PM..
UT-Knoxville’s Newest Student Anti-Israel Hate Group
UT-Knoxville’s Newest Student Anti-Israel Hate Group
In case you feared there wasn’t enough Jew-hate on campus.
by David James
“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvard University 1968.
In 2013, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced its status as an official student organization at UT-Knoxville. With about 100 chapters at last count, SJP organizes extreme hate-filled anti-Israel activity on college campuses around the country, including:
If this is what SJP is reported to do, is this what UT-Knoxville can expect?
UT-Knoxville SJP’s Faculty Sponsor is Dr. Brian K. Barber, a 1996-97 grant recipient from the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine (CPAP), renamed the Palestine Center, which is the educational arm of the Jerusalem Fund.
The chairman of the Jerusalem Fund is Samar Ali’s father, Subhi Ali. The Jerusalem Fund’s Executive Director openly advocates BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against the State of Israel. (See, “Samar Ali: Her Father’s Organization Wants to Destroy Israel.”)
Like Jerusalem Fund founder Hisham Sharabi and community organizations that support “radical Palestinian terror groups,” SJP gives voice to student members who refuse to condemn terrorism.
SJP was founded in 2001 by co-founders Hatem Bazian, the Islamist, and Snehal Shingavi, the socialist — a “leftist-Islamist” alliance (also referred to as a “red-green” alliance). This joinder has allowed the SJP to appeal to a broader coalition, which includes left-wing activists and religio-cultural political groups like the Muslim Students Association.
Hatem Bazian Brought His Middle East Hate to School
Sami al-Arian was the head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the U.S. In 2006 when he was sentenced to 57 months in prison in connection with PIJ activities, the judge described him as a “master manipulator.” This past December, he was on Capitol Hill advocating for the restoration of Morsi’s ousted Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Al-Arian also founded WISE (World and Islam Studies Enterprise). Hisham Sharabi, founder of the Jerusalem Fund, was a WISE Board member. Subhi Ali, Samar’s father, served alongside Sharabi until taking over as Chairman of the Jerusalem Fund. WISE was named in a federal indictment as part of a “criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, extortion, money laundering, fraud and issue of visas, and operated worldwide,” including in Florida.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), describes AMP as “anti-Semitism under the guise of educating Americans about the just cause of Palestine and the rights of self-determination.”
AMP’s first conference in 2006 featured several former IAP leaders including Rafiq Jaber, Kifa Mustapha (imam at the radicalized Bridgeview mosque and unindicted Holy Land Foundation co-conspirator), Nihad Awad (Executive Director of CAIR and also an unindicted co-conspirator), and Osama Abu Irshaid (former head of the Holy Land Foundation, IAP board member and now AMP board member).
At a George Washington University SJP event, Osama Abu Irshaid told his audience that he considers firing rockets from Gaza into Israel “legitimate resistance.”
AMP’s continuing allegiance to terrorist organizations like Hamas has continued throughout their annual conferences. The opening speech at the 2010 conference featured Holy Land Foundation (HLF) prosecution unindicted co-conspirator, Jamal Said, another imam at the radicalized Bridgeview mosque. The HLF prosecution was the largest terrorism financing prosecution in the U.S. involving the HLF charity being used to funnel money to Hamas.
To get a sense of what AMP is really about, look at who it has speak at its events: Nihad Awad has stated publicly that “I am in support of the Hamas movement” and Rafiq Jaber (another founding member of CAIR), who was quoted as “describ[ing] Jews to the audience as ‘the worst kind of people,’ who came to Jerusalem ‘with false pretenses.’”
Hamed Ghazali, chairman of the MAS Council of Islamic Schools, was also a speaker at the AMP conference. He was quoted as saying that, “Allah gave us the Jews” as the primary historical and religious example of those who “take the wrong path.” He is named in the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum and was hired by the Islamic Pleasant View School in Memphis, TN as the Islamic Studies consultant.
AMP also works with the high school Muslim Student Associations. AMP’s 2012 “Palestine Activism” conference was co-hosted with a California high school MSA and featured Israel demonizer and former Jerusalem Fund fellow, Ali Abunimah. AMP also held a high school training session, including media activism, at the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park, Illinois.
AMP’s National Campus Coordinator, Taher Herzallah teaches students how to be radical activists. He was one of the students arrested for heckling and disrupting Israeli Ambassador Oren’s speech at the University of California, Irvine.
Muslim Students Association and SJP
One researcher/writer describes the MSA and SJP as “genetically connected groups,” listing the many ways these two groups resemble each other and work together. He cites to the civil rights lawsuit filed against the U of California, Berkley after a Jewish student was attacked by an SJP agitator:
“[T]he two groups [MSA and SJP] not only co-sponsor events and cooperate on strategic projects, but they even share the same office and campus facilities. The more publicly activist SJP may be understood as the militant arm of the outwardly benevolent MSA. Members of the former are often members of the latter.”A good example is the UC Berkley Islamist Sadia Saifuddin, who was nominated to serve as the 2014 -15 student regent on the board that sets policy for the entire University of California system. She is a member of both the MSA and SJP and co-sponsored a BDS resolution in the Berkeley student Senate calling on the entire University of California system to divest companies that do business with Israel.
These student groups well understand that the overarching goal and intent of BDS is to ultimately destroy and eliminate the State of Israel. A 2012 Northeastern University SJP rally included chanting “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea” which means there would be no Israel between the Jordan River and Mediterranean—and no Jews.
Alternatively, they will settle for a second Holocaust. During a 2010 Israeli Apartheid Week at UC San Diego, speaker David Horowitz asked if an MSA member would condemn Hamas and Hizbollah. When the young woman tried to dodge the question, he rephrased: “I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or Against it?” Her answer: “For it.”
SJP’s Faculty Advisor’s Connections
UT-Knoxville SJP’s Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Brian K. Barber, also heads the UTK Center for the Study of Youth in Political Conflict (the Center). The Center’s mission is to help adolescents find out the source of the political conflict they experience and endorse or refute it.
Dr. Barber has been traveling to Palestine for over 20 years; perhaps that is how he connected with his Center’s Board member, Ms. Cairo Arafat. She was born in the U.S. but has resettled in the West Bank. She actively participates in the BDS movement there. She complains about security checkpoints and the security fence, without of course mentioning the Palestinian suicide bombers who blow themselves up in civilian settings like the Sbarro pizza restaurant and the terrorists who are subsequently glorified by their media.
“Zionists are the new Nazis! Zionists are the new Nazis!” was the hate-filled chanting of Arafat’s BDS protest group. Arafat says that she believes BDS will force Israel “to see [Palestinians] as equal partners, not as in a captive market or a group of people that they can exploit.”
BDS protestors persist in attacking Israeli businesses, such as SodaStream, that employ hundreds of Palestinian workers who are paid the same as Israeli employees, have all religious needs accommodated, and are working in an environment of respect where genuine relationships are reported to be taking hold.
The Interfaith Boycott Coalition includes “Jewish Voice for Peace, the Presbyterian Church USA’s Israel-Palestine Mission Network, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine-Israel Network, United Church of Christ Palestine-Israel Network and Response, the United Methodist Kairos Response” along with Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamists.
AMP is also a member. Zaid Shakir and CAIR Director Zahra Billoo (a friend and colleague of Remziya Suleyman, who tweets support for Hamas), are supporters. All have ties to Tennessee.
Other Anti-Israel BDS Efforts in Tennessee
Endtheoccupation.org lists the following Tennessee member groups: Progressive Student Alliance at UT-Knoxville, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center in Memphis and the Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of UCC in Pleasant Hill.
This coalition’s focus on delegitimizing the State of Israel, is also designed to convince black Americans that they have more to gain by aligning with the Palestinian “cause.” This premise is more than disingenuous given that the Arabic word “abeed” (sometimes spelled “and”), meaning “slave,” is used by Muslims to refer to black people, an issue that CAIR Director Dawud Walid complains about often.
Stunning Revelation That Tennesseans Should Heed
Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh had this to say after visiting several U.S. university campuses:
What Can UT-Knoxville Expect From Its SJP Chapter?
Perhaps there could be a surprise visit from Jerusalem Fund Chairman, Subhi Ali, since Waverly, TN is only a four-hour drive away. Former college Middle Eastern Student Association activist, daughter Samar Ali, could be a featured speaker and talk about why she chose a career with a Middle East focus including “Sharia compliant transactions” and her work on behalf of the Jerusalem Fund. With JF’s support for BDS, they would be a natural fit for an SJP meeting.
The Islamic Center of Nashville, (owned by Muslim Brotherhood front group ISNA), might be inspired to restart its pro-Palestinian anti-Israel demonstrations. Better yet, Knoxville Muslim youth minister AbdelRahman Murphy, who works with both students at the Knoxville Islamic school Anoor Academy and the Muslim Students Association at UTK, can help spread the BDS message throughout the Knoxville Muslim student community. Not only would this be consistent with what students are being taught about Jews at the Anoor Academy, but also with his colleague and BDS promoter, Suhaib Webb, with whom he presents programs to the MSA.
There are any number of challenges facing the UT-Knoxville campus regarding anticipated anti-Israel hate activity.
Between SJP’s faculty advisor Dr. Brian Barber’s focused interest and support for all things Palestinian, his own early connection to the Jerusalem Fund, his board member Cairo Arafat’s commitment to BDS, the MSA’s history with SJP and the UT-K MSA’s choice of speakers, and SJP’s raison d’être, we can reasonably assume that UT-Knoxville will soon see this radical anti-Israel hate activity on its campus.
Former CIA Head: Pollard Incarceration Is Anti-Semitism
Former CIA Head: Pollard Incarceration Is Anti-Semitism
James Woolsey says 'pretend Pollard is Greek American and free him,' says US doesn't need to spy on Israel.
By Ari Yashar
Former CIA Director James Woolsey reiterated his call for the release of Jonathan Pollard, now in his 29th year behind American bars over charges of spying for Israel. His calls follow those by many senior security officials asking for Pollard's release.
Speaking to Arutz 10, Woolsey argued "after a quarter century the time has come to free him. That doesn't mean that what he did wasn't serious, I've seen the materials in 1993 and he disclosed very confidential content. But I tell people 'imagine he's a Greek American and free him.'"
In 2012, Woolsey wrote a sharp letter to the Wall Street Journal, in which he brought examples of various spies released after 10 years, calling on the US to "pretend Pollard isn't Jewish and release him." He noted that "one especially damaging Greek-American spy, Steven Lalas, received a 14-year sentence."
The argument that Pollard's ongoing incarceration is a result of American anti-Semitism was made by Tablet magazine and by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in January.
Construction and Building Minister Uri Ariel responded to Woolsey's comments, calling them a "stinging indictment" of the American government, which has "left Pollard to rot in jail from anti-Semitism and nothing else. I call on US Secretary of State John Kerry and US President Barack Obama to prove that isn't true, to act humanely and free Pollard immediately."
MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) similarly responded to Woolsey's comments, saying "the US itself can't logically explain not releasing Pollard from jail after 29 years. True friendship is expressed by little kindnesses...and mutual understanding. If Israel is asked and able to make such large concessions for its enemies, how much more so should it be expected between friends."
"If the US is indeed our greatest friend, it needs to free Jonathan Pollard immediately," added Shaked.
Woolsey, who was head of the CIA under President Bill Clinton's administration, stressed that the US doesn't need to spy on Israel.
"America has understandings with the Canadians, Australians, and the British not to spy on each other. We also have an excellent relationship with Germany and Israel, and I think we don't need to spy on them," noted the former CIA chief.
The headquarters for Pollard's release responded to the statements as well, saying "we very much hope that (Obama) will decide to put an end to the tragedy and the saga and to free Jonathan."