Tag Archives: anti-semitism

Nobody Can Take My Progressive Zionism Away From Me

CAMERA Fellow Fay Yanofsky.

When I studied the history of Jews and African-Americans in America, I saw many photos of our ancestors marching together for civil rights. It was evident that they were on the right side of history. Martin Luther King, courageous civil rights leader, spoke at synagogues, believed in the self-determination of the Jewish people, and marched alongside Jews at the peak of the Civil Rights Movement.

After recent events in Charlottesville, I felt a personal obligation as a member of the Jewish minority, which makes up .02% of the population worldwide, to march for racial justice and to stand against the white supremacy and discrimination that is engrained in society. My grandfather was one of the Nazis’s victims when white supremacists committed a gruesome genocide against the Jews. My grandmother was born and raised in a black and Jewish neighborhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

A Zioness Movement graphic.

When Nazis and Confederates recently chanted “Jews will not replace us”, this symbolized the evils of white supremacy trying to eradicate my grandfather’s personal identity, heritage, and values during the Holocaust, along with 12 million other victims. It was also a direct dismissal and attack on my grandmother’s neighborhood, kin, and childhood experiences. For these reasons, I attended the Post-Yom Kippur March for Racial Justice on October 1st, as well as Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson’s campaign “Stand Against Hate” which addressed the interconnectedness between racism against African Americans and anti-Semitism against Jews on October 19th.

Justice means standing with minorities struggling for equal opportunities to pursue happiness and to no longer be systematically and institutionally targeted for demise. Additionally, standing up for Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement for self-determination in Israel and preventing another anti-Semitic genocide. TaNahesi Coates’s Between the World and Me opened my eyes to the institutionalized racism against African-Americans in the United States and to the difficulty of growing up in a black body living in a white world.

In another of Coates’s books, The Case for Reparations, he referred to Israel as the model for reparations. As a Jew, I resonated even more with national black liberation movements because of the institutionalized and systemic anti-Semitism against Jews perpetrated throughout history.

My friend Natalie, who is a CAMERA Fellow herself at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and I marched with Zioness: a movement that stands for justice and fights against all forms of oppression. We stood against the marginalization, disempowerment, and demonization of Jews, people of color and other minorities. However, being both a progressive and an advocate of Zionism, the self-determination of the Jewish people, I felt my intersectional identities collide.

A male marshal wearing orange traffic control stripes came out from the tent to demand that my sign be removed. Shortly after that, a woman approached me with the marshal to demand that I put down my Zioness sign. My sign represented the movement against oppression as it had an intersection of an African-American woman wearing a Jewish Star. As a result, my hands clamped, chills rolled down my spine and my heart raced.

Other marchers try to cover up Zioness signs. [Photo: Zioness Movement Facebook page]

According to the marshals, there were too many Zioness signs in the same area and they did not want them appearing in photographs. However, as we collectively marched together against hate, there were many groups holding up other signs with messages such as “Black Lives Matter” and “Intersectional Feminism.” The act of holding Jews to a different standard than other minority groups is anti-Semitic. For me, the experience of being singled out reaffirmed the need for a strong Zionist movement. Jews should never be targeted again and subjected to anti-Semitic double standards.

However, I stood resisting racism with my fist in the air, my jacket representing the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, along with my Zioness sign protesting racial injustice
alongside my African American brothers and sisters. I did this because who were the March for
Racial Justice Organizers to question my identity? Who is anyone to question my identity? I
identify as progressive Zionist and nobody can take that away from me!

On October 19th, Reform Rabbi Michael Lerner spoke at Brooklyn College to Stand Against Hate with President Michelle Anderson. During the talk, Rabbi Lerner said that a flaw in liberalism is viewing people who hold different opinions from one’s own through an “Us vs. Them” lens. I still have hope that Zionism, kindness, and the truth will prevail.

Contributed by Brooklyn College CAMERA Fellow and Treasurer of CAMERA-supported group Bulldogs for Israel, Fay Yanofsky.

This article was originally published in Night Call News, Brooklyn College’s student paper.

Statement on Rutgers Professor Michael Chikindas’s Anti-Semitic Posts

CAMERA on Campus is horrified by Rutgers Department of Food Science Professor Michael Chikindas’s anti-Semitic Facebook posts, discovered this week. The university is “reviewing this matter to determine if actions taken in the context of his role as a faculty member at Rutgers may have violated that policy.” 
In response, International Campus Director for CAMERA Aviva Slomich released the following statement:
 
“Professor Chikindas’s posts depict scheming, controlling and evil Jews, evoking Der Stürmer-style antisemitic imagery which is shared widely by hate and extremist groups on social media.
 
We are working with our CAMERA Fellow and CAMERA-supported group Scarlet Knights for Israel at Rutgers to formulate an appropriate on-campus response.
 
CAMERA on Campus calls on the Rutgers administration to take the necessary actions to ensure that university policy is upheld.” 

Campus Coordinator Ben Suster met with CAMERA-supported group Scarlet Knights for Israel and CAMERA Fellow Miriam Waghalter to provide moral and practical support on the evening of Thursday, October 26th at Rutgers.

Screenshots obtained by pro-Israel blog Israellycool of the professor’s posts are seen below.

Facebook posts from Professor Chikindas’s profile.

Facebook posts from Professor Chikindas’s profile.

Facebook posts from Professor Chikindas’s profile.

Facebook posts from Professor Chikindas’s profile.

 
Hat tip – Israellycool

Statement on Anti-Semitic Cartoon in Berkeley Campus Paper

In a horrifying editorial cartoon published online and in print in The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s student-run campus paper, Alan Dershowitz, a Jewish American supporter of Israel, was vilified using classic anti-Semitic tropes and imagery. The cartoon was published in the paper just days after Alan Dershowitz spoke to an audience of students in the Boalt Auditorium on campus.

In response, Aviva Slomich, International Campus Director for CAMERA issued the following statement:

“The editorial cartoon published in The Daily Californian portrays Alan Dershowitz, a Jewish American, as a grotesque, conniving and sinister creature who crushes a person holding a Palestinian flag while hiding his complicity with the Israeli murder of an innocent man.  Such imagery evokes toxic narratives about Jewish malevolence and, by suggesting that non-Israeli Jews are morally responsible for the alleged actions of Israel, arguably falls within the Working Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the US State Department.

We call upon the The Daily Californian to retract the cartoon, immediately issue an apology, and re-evaluate their editorial and professional standards.”

A print version of the cartoon that appeared in The Daily Californian [Photo: Bears for Israel Facebook page].

Responding to the incident, Bears for Israel at UC Berkeley published the following statement on their Facebook page:

“This cartoon was published in the Daily Californian, a few days after Alan Dershowitz spoke to an audience of students in the Boalt Auditorium. It uses classic anti-Semitic tropes and imagery. This rhetoric and imagery is nowhere more common than in Nazi propaganda used by the Third Reich.

We are strong supporters of productive political discourse through campus media, but this is not productive. To a Jewish student on this campus, seeing this cartoon in the DailyCal is a reminder that we are not always welcome in the spaces we call home. It is terrifying that the cartoonist and the editors did not do their due diligence and research to know about the pervasive use of this rhetoric by the Nazi propaganda machine.

The editorial team should ask themselves why they felt it was acceptable to portray a Jewish person – who is not even Israeli – with an arachnoid body. This should have rung some alarm bells in someone’s mind, but it apparently did not. The fact that our campus newspaper printed this cartoon is deeply disturbing, traumatizing, and disrespectful to the Jewish students at this school.

We will be addressing this cartoon in a longer statement and taking steps to work with the administration and the Daily Cal to remedy this.”

CAMERA on Campus staff are working to assist the students on the ground at UC Berkeley.

Update: Co-Presidents and External Outreach Director of CAMERA-supported group Bears for Israel published this Op-Ed in The Daily Californian in response to the cartoon.

Contributed by Lia Lands.

Resurfaced Tweets Reveal Bigotry and Disturbing Levels of Anti-Semitism Too Close to Home

CAMERA Fellow Talia Raoufpur.

The United States is unrecognizable. America’s reality is now that of a nation afflicted with violent protests and rabid discrimination. Charlottesville, Virginia exposed itself as a cesspool for neo-Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan. Graphic images of white men and women carrying lit tiki torches and  swastika flags flooded across the internet along with videos in which these villains verbally express their hate. One of them is a new mother, claiming that the Jews “are a poison and need to be eradicated.”

The fight to combat hatred and bigotry towards the Jewish people is re-emerging across the country and across college campuses.

In 2017, Jewish people find themselves residing in a nation that once fought to eliminate the world of such poison just seven decades ago — yet the poison  lingers. The less than 100,000 remaining Holocaust survivors in America assumed the evil would not be offered the opportunity to re-emerge.

The Jewish community continues to be targeted — even at San Diego State.

All of the following tweets have since been deleted.

Halima Eid, a recent psychology graduate from SDSU, and former Associated Students representativeand Events Coordinator for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), was responsible for writing a series of now deleted anti-Semitic tweets — which have resurfaced.

In these tweets, Eid encouraged people to kill themselves, made homophobic remarks, denied the existence of the Holocaust, and supported Adolf Hitler — all while emphasizing her desire to murder those in support of the self-determination of the Jewish people.

Eid’s Twitter account has since been deleted.

The significance that lies within these statements is the platform they stood on — a public social media account. Social media has become the knife held in the hands of anti-Semites

 who use it to penetrate wounds into innocent Jews and Zionists.

Eid purposely took to Twitter to advocate for violence towards a marginalized group of people. Her statements, which now appear to be deleted, were kept online for years.

She even goes far enough to announce her support for Hamas, a widely recognized terror organization.

Eid’s written declarations were retweeted and favorited by users who condone her attitudes towards supporters of the Jewish state. Her tweets could be viewed as a call to action — a call to eradicate the world of those who support Israel.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of these posts is one in which she suggests Zionists to commit suicide.  Eid now has a degree in psychology.

On February 11, 2017, SJP posted on Facebook notifying its followers of a series of tweets posted by a member of their organization years prior to the start of their membership. The post claimed that “the tweets were made against the Jewish and LGBTQ community and were extremely bigoted, racist, and offensive in nature. Our organization stands unequivocally against anti-Semitism, homophobia, and all forms of bigotry and racism.” The member was said to have resigned from their position.

While it is not known that these tweets belonged to Eid’s account, the organization didn’t mention the violence promoted in the tweets towards Zionists.

As the organization’s events coordinator, Eid had influence in the organization.

That the organization ignored Eid’s tweets for so long comes as no surprise considering the organization’s history with anti-Semitic criticism of the Zionist cause.

Eid is no longer enrolled at the university having graduated in the spring. However, she is an alumna and part of an anti-Semitic history.

Although a resolution to combat anti-Semitism was passed by Associated Students in the spring, it does not excuse the university’s history of hatred and abuse towards Jewish students and is not to be forgotten. Anti-Semitism in any from is reprehensible. Anti-Semitism has neither evolved nor decreased and continues to play a role in the SDSU community.

While the United States must condemn all forms of bigotry,  the work must begin at the local level.

Halima Eid voted against the resolution to condemn anti-Semitism at San Diego State.

Halima Eid and Students for Justice in Palestine did not return Talia Raoufpur’s request for a comment.

 

 

This article was originally published in The Daily Aztec, San Diego State University’s campus paper.

Contributed by SDSU CAMERA Fellow Talia Raoufpur.

Venezuelan Jews Flee Crisis, Making Aliyah

Fleeing the crisis in Venezuela, 26 Jews immigrated to Israel this week, a continuation of a mass exodus of Jews from the South American country. Venezuela has been dominated by protests, some violent, against the current president Nicolas Maduro, and the former long-time leader of the country, Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013.

26 Jews from Venezuela arrive in Israel (@Behind_News)

Anti-Semitic language was often used by the former President to deflect from criticism of the country’s financial situation. This anti-Semitism convinced many Jews to flee the country but the recent crisis has continued the trend. The majority of Jews who flee Venezuela end up moving to either Israel or the American state of Florida. The current Jewish population of the South American country is now just 9,000, compared to 25,000 in 1999.

In more concerning rhetoric, in May, the current president Maduro, compared those who are protesting against his far-left government’s officials to the treatment of Jews under the Nazis. Maduro said, “We don’t carry the yellow Star of David, we carry red hearts that are filled with desire to fight for human dignity. And we are going to defeat them, these 21st century Nazis”.

Upon arriving in Israel, Venezuelan Jew Michal Levy told the Jerusalem Post, “The situation is very hard, it’s hard to get basic things like bread and flour”. Michal also stated that she had been scared to leave the house due to riots and kidnappings.

With the situation in Venezuela showing no signs of changing for the better, it would not be surprising to see more Jews leave the South American country in the future.

Contributed by Daniel Kosky, CAMERA Intern.

Jewish Family Kicked Out of Palestine Expo in London

The Palestine Expo was advertised as a cultural event and a family affair. So I went to the QEII Conference Centre to engage with the atmosphere with my wife and youngest son. I knew that the content of the speeches would be full of hate, so rather than listen to hours of anti-Israeli rhetoric, I wanted to enjoy the exhibits and activities. Most of all I looked forward to the food. Myself, my wife, and my eleven-year-old child were evicted half way through our lunch. What we suffered was unacceptable discrimination. Here is the report:

The Palestine Expo event

We had booked a family ticket over both days at the Palestine Expo. I took my youngest on the first day. The intent was to take the eldest on Sunday, because on Saturday she was at the London Pride event. The tickets were being advertised with a huge discount. I have already posted my thoughts on the programme for the event. I hadn’t commented or opposed the idea of a cultural festival. Once the programme was released I criticised the clear political element.

There are many cultural and historical elements that could have been included to engage with the Arab association with the land. A look at life during Ottoman times. The Islamic conquest and empire. The waves of Migrants over the past three hundred years, or the nomadic lifestyle of Bedouin. The Egyptian conquest of 1831-1833 is an interesting one. A battle over ‘Greater Syria’ between the Egyptians and the Ottomans that gave ‘Palestine’ the ‘zero acknowledgement’ that its non-existent 19th century status fully deserved. All these are fascinating historically accurate and culturally significant areas, that would never be represented at an event such as this. The only discussion on show was anti-Israel venom, the actual concept of  ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinians’ didn’t figure at all.  The Palestine at this event, was one created merely to de-legitimise Israel.

The circle of hate

I had my family with me, and to be honest, I had little intention of suffering the talks. I looked at the list of speakers and I have seen all these circus performers before. In fact, so confident am I of this now, I challenge Pappe or Peled or Barkan to allow me to write the speech for their next event. I am sure I will create ‘pitch perfect’ diatribe, fully in tune with the message they wish to deliver. Ben White would be more troublesome. Not that I couldn’t write it, but simply I wouldn’t want to make the effort of finding 200 irrelevant statistics, that he uses to deflect the attention of the audience with.

The groups behind the ‘expo’, those  ‘supporting’ the political side of this event are also all known to me. There is the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). A group that is riddled with those who believe Jews are evil, rule the world and didn’t actually suffer a Holocaust at all.  The Palestine Return Centre, that ran the event that saw Gerald Kaufman suggest ‘Jewish money‘ control’s the UK government.  Or the Queen Mary University, where I saw Jewish students with a question stand accused of being ‘paid’ and controlled by the Israeli embassy.

How about the P21 Gallery, a regular venue for anti-Israel activism, that saw Milo Peled blame Zionist Jews for deliberately creating Islamophobia and is used to having its room full of hard-core antisemites. The UCLU, that saw an intimidating attack on its own Jewish students last year.  How about Friends of Al Aqsa, that believes Jews should be subordinate. Have I mentioned SOAS yet? I have been living inside this venomous pit for a while now. I recognise the poison.

So I chose not to engage with this hatred. I wanted to enjoy the ‘cultural’ aspect. I spent years living and working with real Palestinians. Not the fake wannabee ‘solidarity type’, but those who live in Ramallah, Jericho and Gaza. Those Arabs and the Israelis are neighbours. I lived nineteen years in the Middle East. Why would I not want to go to this event. Why should I not feel at home?

I walked around the upper floors, and because of the time, I went upstairs to eat. This action was to see me thrown out.

Evicted

Anti-Israel activist Jackie Walker (David Collier)

The vast majority of the crowd seemed Muslim. I would guess the split was 80/20. Perhaps even higher. The pool of white British anti-Israel activists is limited, so at an event like this they get swamped. The dining area was full, and there was a logistical issue with the kitchen. It was taking a long time to bring food to some of the stalls.

I was spotted by members of a local anti-Israel group ‘London Palestine Action’. I saw an activist called ‘Andrew Nelis’ before he saw me. I then saw Jackie Walker enter the room and start talking to him. They began looking over in my direction. Then Tony Greenstein showed up. I am never confrontational, never impolite. I walked over to say yes ‘this is me’. If they sought engagement. I am always willing to talk. Greenstein didn’t seem to believe I was there for the food. So I went to sit back down.

Jackie Walker chose to come to the table I was sitting at. Greenstein followed. Walker then began to tell the other two attendees already present at the table (see image) how I call events like this ‘hate fests’.  I was polite, on topic and suggested we meet up for coffee if she wanted a proper discussion. I responded nicely to everything was said. I was there with my family and what I wanted to do was to relax.

I wasn’t going to be allowed to though. A few months ago Walker shared an image of me online, telling people to report me when spotted. Such is the life of being an independent member of the press that these people do not like. A few minutes passed and Andrew Nelis returned. Security was with him. I am asked to leave.  I ask on what grounds – none given. “I want to know” I respond. “write a letter” is what I am told.

This was clearly wrong. I am sitting eating lunch at a cultural event in a public building, I have several activists who claim to be upholders of ‘free speech’ come to the table and I am evicted. I looked straight at Jackie Walker who said clearly “I don’t agree with this”. I think for a split second she understood it looked bad. Then, as I turned away to leave I suddenly I heard her shout ‘How dare you’ at me ‘and ‘Liar’. I am not sure whether she spied a camera, but the comment was entirely out of context with what had occurred. Did she really want to create an image of me being evicted after having said something unacceptable? A viral video for her to use? Jackie, I know you will read this – so let us be clear – you did yourself no favours, but the offer for coffee is always open. I am always willing to point out where you have gone so badly wrong.

I left in accordance with the requests of the security team. I told them I was a member of the press, who was being evicted on discriminatory grounds. They apologised, but insisted on politely doing the job they had been instructed to do. I behaved as I always do. I have no idea why I was evicted and I have no intention of accepting this type of discriminatory behaviour.

The aftermath and celebration

What then, do self declared humanitarians do when someone is evicted on discriminatory grounds? They celebrate of course. This in a blog from Greenstein:

During lunch I and others spotted one David Collier, a Zionist snoop who makes a profession out of defaming activists and groups as ‘anti-Semitic’.  He came up when he spotted me all friendly.  I asked him how he was enjoying the ‘Jewish hate fest’ that he and his compatriots had called Palestine Expo 2017.  He denied this and resumed his lunch, however we called for the security to evict him when he did.  His wife was most put out at this attack on freedom of speech, which is rich coming from those whose whole life is spent trying to suppress Palestinian freedom of speech.  Given the anti-Zionists are never allowed in Zionist functions and when they are spotted are usually assaulted Mr Collier should be grateful  that we didn’t behave like his friends.

An admission I did nothing wrong. Apparently I should be thankful I was not assaulted.

This ‘real time’ post from activist Barry Ackerman:

This a thread after a comment from activist Elleane Green:

Elleanne admits to helping ‘report and identify me’. Nelis is clearly proud. Sandra Watfa is the face of InMinds and has previously used the hashtag ‘jewnitedstatesofamerica’. But on that thread is also a comment from a sitting member of the House of Lords, Jenny Tonge.  I witnessed and reported on the event that was to lead to Tonge’s resignation from the Lib-Dems, so it is possible Tonge does not think highly of me, but she is still a sitting member of the House of Lords.  She is congratulating a fascist style eviction of a person who has done no wrong. Truly disgraceful, from someone who should inherently seek to protect our freedoms, not cheer on those that seek to destroy them.

Not the only one

I later found out I was not the only Zionist Jew evicted. Someone named Jason was inside the event, had attended speeches and  had wandered around unhindered *until* he wore a Jewish head covering. Ten minutes later, he was evicted:

No excuse

There is absolutely no excuse for allowing this type of hatred to go ahead in Central London. A celebration of the marriage between Islamists who refuse to accept a self-defining Jewish presence, Marxists who are inevitably at war with the self-determination of Jews,  and hard-core antisemites, who just do not like Jews however they are defined.

Nor is there any way people should be evicted from these events on discriminatory grounds.

The videos of the event speeches are flowing freely on social media, thousands attended the event, and the hatred of Israel and Jews has just received a government assisted boost in the arm. We all know the hate is there. We all know there is a network of groups who have issues with Jews. What on earth was the reasoning behind allowing them to takeover a public building such as the QEII in London?

Our Jewish children are no longer welcome at the heart of the Democratic Estate in a building owned by Her Majesty’s Government. Why? Because the people inside do not want them there. No further excuse necessary. Just a month after Hezbollah flags were being waved in Oxford Street, Jew hate was allowed a weekend of celebration at the QEII. There is perhaps something symbolic in this, From Oxford Street to Parliament Square. The Jew hating flags have moved ever closer to the UK Parliament.

This article was contributed by David Collier and was originally published at david-collier.com.

Jewish Voice For Peace Defends Anti-Semitism

Jewish Voice For Peace, an organization which supports the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement (BDS),  has defended the removal of three Jewish women from the Chicago Dyke March, for wearing a Jewish LGBT flag. The flag, which is seen at many Pride events around the world, was described by one of the women removed as “a symbol of Jewish identity”.

Jewish pride flag, seen here at Tel Aviv Pride Parade (Becky Brothman)

JVP defended the decision to remove the Jewish women, claiming that by attending the march with a flag sporting the Star of David, was showing support for Zionism, “which was one of the ideologies that march organizers had disavowed”, and the appearance of it “triggered” attendees.

Firstly, to claim that a flag displaying the Star of David means you are supporting the actions of the Israeli government, and therefore warrants a participant to be kicked out the parade is ludicrous. The Star of David has been used as a symbol to represent the Jewish community for over 800 years, long before the State of Israel, and more recently, was used as a way of identifying Jews during the Holocaust, again, before the State of Israel. To use the presence of the Star of David as an excuse to kick out Jewish women, is simply anti-Semitic.

Secondly, when the three Jewish women arrived at the march, they were questioned by organizers about their support for Israel. This marks a continuation of a worrying trend where Jews are singled out and questioned on their support for Israel, first highlighted when American-Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu was told to issue a statement regarding his support for the plight of Palestinians in order to be allowed to perform at a music festival in Spain. This is anti-Semitism. Imagine if openly visible Muslims were questioned about their views on ISIS when attending the Parade? There would be outrage…

Dyke March in Chicago (Chicagoist)

JVP therefore has jumped to defend an incident of blatant anti-Semitism, showing exactly the type of organization they are. Though we shouldn’t be surprised, JVP this year invited Rasmea Odeh as their guest of honor at their National Membership Meeting.  Odeh is a convicted terrorist who murdered two Israeli college students in 1969 by planting a bomb in a supermarket in Jerusalem.

Jewish Voice For Peace claims to be an organization which is “dedicated to justice” and is in “opposition to all forms of bigotry, including antisemitism”. If that were the case, JVP would not be defending blatant anti-Semitism.

Contributed by Daniel Kosky, CAMERA Intern

Jewish Students Blocked on Twitter By Professor for Calling Out Her BDS Support

Last week, two Jewish students at the University of Western Ontario were blocked on Twitter for challenging a Huron professor expressing their support for BDS on Twitter. Huron professor Wendy Russell retweeted a post by the handle @BDSmovement calling Gaza an ‘open air prison’.

Huron Professor Wendy Russell endorses the BDS Movement

Jewish students then challenged her effective endorsement of BDS, expressing their concerns that BDS is at its core anti-Semitic. Rather than debate or discuss the issue at hand, the professor blocked the two Jewish students in less than two hours, without responding to the concerns raised.

Jewish students challenge the professor on her endorsement

Professor Russell reacts by blocking the Jewish students

CAMERA on Campus Statement:

It is painful for Jewish students who support Israel to see college professors endorsing the BDS campaign. Rather than engaging with the Jewish students who expressed concern over Dr. Russell’s decision to side with the hateful campaign, Dr. Russell chose to block these concerned Jewish students on Twitter, therefore shutting down any dialogue.

Universities are supposed to be a place where ideas are debated and challenged, yet shutting down debate and dialogue has been a repeated tactic of the BDS Movement and its supporters on campus.

We call on UWO to take action to ensure that the concerns raised by these students are taken seriously.

Contributed by CAMERA Intern Daniel Kosky, with files from UWO student Ryan Greenspoon.

It Is Time to Take Terror and Anti-Semitism Off Our Streets

After three major terror attacks in the UK in within four months, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that “Enough is enough” when it comes to terrorism, and pledged to not “allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed.” Yet less than a month after May’s fiery speech, despite pleas from Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a UK charity dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, a 3,000-people strong petition to the Mayor of London, and concerns raised by CST, a charity which protects UK Jews from anti-Semitism, the government allowed the Al-Quds Day March to go ahead.

Al-Quds Day is an Iranian inspired day of protest against Israel. Events are held in Iran, Yemen, Iraq and Syria but also in the west in places such as New York, Berlin and London. Every year, the events face accusations of tolerating anti-Semitic chanting, placards and support for terrorism, and this year was no different.

Placards showing support for terrorism at London Al-Quds Day march (CAA)

Hezbollah flags draped the backs of the marchers, as organizers handed them out, and placards with the words ‘We are Hezbollah’ were risen high in the air. Various anti-Semitic tropes and statements were shouted over the loud-speaker, including blaming Zionists for the fire in Grenfell Tower and ISIS. The event exemplified how anti-Zionism regularly morphs into anti-Semitism, with one event organizer shouting over the loud-speaker, “We are fed up of the Zionists, we are fed up of your rabbis, we are fed up of your synagogues.” This is racial hatred.

Hezbollah flag waved high in the air at London Al-Quds Day March (CAA)

In 2017, we should not allow incitement to racial hatred, illegal under British law, to go unpunished. Hundreds of police did nothing as Al-Quds Day marchers deliberately provoked hatred of a racial group, distributed racist material to the public, made inflammatory public speeches and incited inflammatory rumors about an ethnic group. All the above are illegal under British law and are offenses which justify arrest. Why, when racial hatred occurs against Jews, do police do so little?

Man fixes Hezbollah flag on boy (CAA)

Yet it wasn’t just racial hatred laws which were broken by parade goers. By publicly displaying the flag of Hezbollah, a recognized terrorist organization in the UK, Section 13 of the UK’s Terrorism Act was breached, as the law states ‘A person in a public place commits an offence if he wears an item of clothing, or wears, carries or displays an article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation’. Why, when a terrorist organization seeks the genocide of the Jewish people, do the authorities do so little to act and enforce the law? The justification seemingly used by the police for not making arrests, is that Hezbollah’s ‘political wing’, is not proscribed as a terror organization by the UK, creating somewhat of a loophole.

Man wearing anti-Semitic clothing equating Zionism and Nazism, violating UK definition of anti-Semitism (CAA)

Theresa May and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan have both spoken passionately about their anger on the state of terrorism in the UK.  Yet actions speak louder than words, and their failure to intervene and get the Al-Quds Day march in London banned is a punch in the face to the fight against terrorism, extremism and anti-Semitism.

As David Cameron, then UK Prime Minister said, “If you say ‘Violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter,’ you too are part of the problem.” He was right, and if Theresa May was genuine in her words that “Enough is enough” when it comes to terrorism, then the Al-Quds Day March in 2018 must not be allowed to go ahead.

Contributed by Daniel Kosky, CAMERA Intern

CSULB Jewish Students Targeted with Hateful BDS Resolution

Sometimes we have to report about the worst of anti-Israel activity. Here is a statement from Kelsey Kimmes, President of CAMERA-supported group 49ers for Israel, at California State University, Long Beach.

Kelsey Kimmes

“Today my campus disappointed me, it shamed me. Our student ASI voted to advance the most hateful, divisive, discriminatory, anti-Semitic piece of legislation that I have ever had the misfortune to see on this campus. I sat on the senate. During my tenure as a senator I fought endlessly to represent all of my constituents, not just a minority. I fought to make sure that everyone of my students rights were protected and validated. Today the senate decided that only Palestinian students on campus are entitled to human rights. Jewish students, Israeli students, and Middle-Eastern LGBTQ+ students, who all depend on Israel to walk free, were long story short, found not to be equally protected by our ASI.

Jewish students and their supporters gathered and spoke, passionately and from the soul, in the 45 and 30 second increments that they were allotted to speak, valiantly trying to explain their human worth. The student Senate was not swayed. When the resolution denigrating Israeli and Jewish students was forwarded, sobs echoed from the walls. This is the point when I have to point out that human rights matter. Everyone’s human rights matter. No one’s rights supersede anyone else’s. There was a bipartisan, non-divisive way that the Senate could have gone about this resolution today. The Palestinian students that comprise a large swath of the Senate had no intention of passing a resolution that didn’t target the Jewish students. They wasted no time in targeting them after the vote either.

Gathered outside, one Palestinian supporter told a Jewish girl with tears streaming down her face, that he didn’t talk to terrorists. Then some thirty of them gathered on the stairs and proceeded to chant, “Allah al-Akbar, Allah al-Akbar, Allah al-Akbar.” This resolution was not about human rights. This was part of long running concerted effort on university campuses to incite anti-Semitism and delegitimize the State of Israel. Never have I been so ashamed as a student at this school. Never have I, a Jewish student, ever felt so targeted. “

49ers for Israel with their peace bridge on campus following CSULB senate introducing a resolution to divest money from Israel, the Jewish Homeland. On the previous day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, a group of students erected a wall on campus calling for the destruction of Israel.

Kelsey also wrote this opinion piece prior to the BDS vote passing and subsequent discrimination on campus in the Cal State campus newspaper, the Daily 49er:

From a former senator to a current position holder

As a Cal State Long Beach senior, I’ve had time to reflect on the impact our university has had on us, and in turn, what kind of impact we’ve made on the university. I leave this place with incredible memories: the good, the bad, and the many lessons along the way.

I gained a wealth of knowledge here at CSULB, thanks to my acting and political science classes, learning and sharing experiences in Jewish life, and representing my fellow classmates on our student senate. Being a student senator was one of my most memorable experiences during my time here.

So while I have always felt proud of my time on student senate, last week, my fellow representatives let me down. They brought forth a proposal for our University to boycott, divest from, and sanction companies connected to Israel.

This all might sound strangely familiar to you. That’s because this controversial and divisive issue was already debated on our campus, during the spring of last year. Last spring, wiser heads prevailed and the resolution was amended to protect marginalized people, no matter their race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

So why, when this debate has already been had, are we discussing it again just a year later? Why does the resolution only target Israel when it purports to be about universal human rights? Why are there no mentions of the atrocities in Russia, Syria, Egypt, or Saudi Arabia? Why are there no demands to boycott, divest from, and sanction companies that prop up dictatorial regimes around the world?

If the sentiment of those bringing this motion forward was sincere, they’d have included in this debate the countless atrocities happening around the world. But they did not. And it reveals their true intentions: a veiled assault on the very right for Israel to exist wrapped up under the guise of universal human rights.

Furthermore, not only is this proposal a repeat of last year’s debate, it’s a waste of time and resources, which could be dedicated to things that directly impact student life on campus. Our student representatives could be working to address rising parking costs, tuition increases, the lack of healthy and affordable food options, our insufficient mental health services, and more. These are the issues that affect our student body, and these are the issues they should be focused on.

CSULB prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive community. This divestment resolution is counterproductive to fostering those values. BDS is extremely divisive, and it incites anti-Jewish sentiments, which we’ve already seen on our campus. This resolution marginalizes and targets Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel students, which is not something our campus should tolerate. I’m grateful President Conoley condemns this hostile resolution, which makes me, a Jewish, Pro-Israel student feel targeted.

I hope that my fellow students and representatives see that this proposal is nothing but an effort to delegitimize the State of Israel. These continued attempts to boycott Israel are divisive on campus and counterproductive to any lasting peace in the Middle East. It also incites anti-Jewish sentiments on campus. BDS has no place on our campus. I hope that everyone can see through this veiled attack against Israel and question why we’re rehashing the same debate we had one year ago.

BDS simply has no place on our campus. This resolution has sparked a divisive and hostile debate from social media all the way to the senate floor. While it is comforting to see President Conoley standing up for our community, I sincerely hope that our student representatives will do the same.”

This article was originally published in the Daily 49er, the campus newspaper of CSULB.

Contributed by Kelsey Kimmes, President of CAMERA-supported group 49ers for Israel at California State University, Long Beach