Tag Archives: campus awareness

Public Speech Without Accountability at Vassar

Jasbir Puar, an associate professor at Rutgers University, recently appeared at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. During her Feb. 3 talk, she made a number of outlandish accusations that were recounted by Professor William A. Jacobson at his website, Legal Insurrection. Jacobson reported that “Puar’s appearance amounted to an anti-Israel propaganda event at which Israel was portrayed in a manner reminiscent of ancient blood libels. A major theme of the talk was that Israel treats Palestinians as part of a type of scientific experiment developed to ‘stunt’ Palestinian bodies.”

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Vassar, which has become a hotbed of anti-Zionist intimidation, charges a pretty hefty sum for a year’s tuition and room and board.(Screenshot from the school’s website.)

 

For example, Puar suggested that Israel has refused to release the bodies of young Palestinians who were killed in the aftermath of numerous attacks over the past few months because the Jewish state has harvested organs from the corpses.

In fact, Israel has delayed the return of the bodies of Palestinian attackers to prevent their use as propaganda props by the Palestinian Authority and terror organizations in the West Bank. Palestinian leaders use the funerals of the attackers to incite more violence against Israelis. The Associated Press reported on January 5, 2016 that “At the outset of the violence, Israel’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan, recommended holding on to the bodies of Palestinian assailants, claiming the funerals turn into ‘an exhibition of support for terror and incitement to murder.’”

According to Jacobson, the conclusion of her speech went as follows:

Technologies of measure, algorithmic computing, architecture and infrastructure — prehensive gendering operates at the sub, para and intimate levels as body parts and the kinds of changes that come with epigenetic deterioration take hold. In the context, then, of Palestine, hacking is not a computational metaphor, rather a distinct practice of reshaping the forms of human bodies and parts informed by computational platforms.

Underneath all this gobbledygook is the assertion that Israel is hacking and reshaping the bodies of Palestinians in an effort to oppress them, and ultimately perpetrate a genocide against them. (Predictably enough, during the Q and A, Puar did level the accusation of genocide at the Israeli government.)

Professor Jacobson reports that

In this supposedly academic appearance, there was no attempt to balance the presentation by discussing the goals and tactics of groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. There was no context to the 2014 Gaza War, such as Hamas’ relentless firing of long-range rockets at Israeli cities, and Israel’s acceptance after one week of fighting of an Egyptian cease fire proposal, which Hamas rejected. Instead, this was a propaganda event. None of the Vassar professors challenged the presentation at all.

The organizers of the event asserted that they did not want the event tape recorded, because to do so without the speaker’s permission is “unseemly and violates the modest contract of trust essential to the exchange of ideas.”

Hogwash. The event was a publicly announced and publicized presentation offered by a scholar who was speaking about a very controversial subject. Neither she nor the organizers wanted her talk recorded for a very simply reason. Without a recording of the event, it would be harder to hold the speaker, and the people who invited her to Vassar, accountable.

It would also be harder for parents and potential applicants to see just how crazy things have gotten at Vassar, which charges its students as much as $63,000 a year in tuition and room and board to attend. To be sure, some students are given fee waivers according to need, but many (if not most) students will have to take out student loans, which will take decades to pay back, to cover the cost of their education (or indoctrination) at Vassar, which according to Professor Jacobson, has a serious problem with anti-Israelism on its campus.

In a previous post, Professor Jacobson recounted how the school has allowed for the creation of a climate of fear at Vassar.

For an in-depth view of the problems at Vassar documented at Legal Insurrection, click here.

Originally written by Christian Media Analyst for CAMERA, Dexter Van Zile.

Anti-Semitism at a Brooklyn College

On Wednesday, December 23, 2015, a 24 year old Jewish student was assaulted at a Brooklyn College, Medgar Evers. The student was wearing a yarmulke, spat at, and then called a “dirty Jew,” so it’s safe to say this was a clear act of Anti-Semitism.

According to the police report, the suspect bumped into the victim and then began to harass him. The Jewish student proceeded to hit him with his umbrella to distance himself, but the man began punching him in the chest and face. The 24 year old was injured, but is in stable condition and the police are currently looking for the suspect throughout the Greater New York area.

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College President Dr. Rudolph Crew issued a statement saying the college has “zero tolerance for this type of behavior and we will do everything in our power to ensure the assailant is found and held fully accountable for these hateful actions.”

Nonetheless, statements such as these by the president are not enough. Every student must feel comfortable on their college campuses. Thus, a major shift in how anti-Semitism is discussed and approached needs to take place. This is not the first time students here have been bombarded with anti-Semitic remarks. Simply responding to such attacks will not stop them from happening.

Rather, a preventative measure that can be instituted to ensure these hate crimes cease to occur is through education and for Jews to have an open sense of pride for their heritage. Perhaps more students and even parents can join in protesting against these attacks. Another way to gain momentum is by make sure the media is covering these stories. People outside the Jewish world need to be aware of what is taking place as well. The time has come for Jewish students to raise their voices and stand up against such violence.

Shabbat With Sgt. Benjamin Anthony

On November 20th, 2015 Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO), SUNY Binghamton’s Emet for Israel supported group, hosted Sgt. Benjamin Anthony for Shabbat dinner together with Chabad. This was not the first time that Anthony had been invited to speak by BUZO and CAMERA at Binghamton, but it was still an honor to have him present his experiences in such an engaging manner. In the past, Anthony’s words left students feeling inspired so it was only a matter of time before he came back to Binghamton to share with a new group of undergraduates.

Sgt. Benjamin Anthony is originally from the UK, but is now a reservist for the Israel Defense Forces and the founder of Our Soldiers Speak. Anthony captured the attention of all 400 students in the room as he shared his personal journey. He spoke about the dangers of growing up in the UK as a Jew, and a brutal anti-Semitic attack that he and his brothers endured on their way home from school.

Shortly after this traumatizing occurrence, he decided to move to Israel. He made it a point to make the move when he was young and while embracing his Judaism, rather than later on when it may have been in spite of his Jewishness. Sgt. Benjamin Anthony also discussed his experiences in the army and the importance of defending the Jewish state, both on the front lines and from abroad.

Often, Americans supporters of Israel feel discouraged on college campuses, but Anthony reiterated the importance such advocacy. His strong attitude toward defending Israel gave many students the confidence to go forward in their pro-Israel efforts.

Pictures from BUZO's ZED talks, a TED Talk-style discussion about Israel.

Pictures from BUZO’s ZED Talks, a TED Talk-style discussion about Israel.

Anthony went on to point out that fellow Binghamton students may turn out to be future politicians or individuals forced to make critical decisions regarding Israel. The work that BUZO does to support Israel and demonstrate the country’s importance to the US will impact these potential leaders, and leave a lasting impression. Therefore, it is crucial that Israel advocates continue educating their peers with truth, history, and an unbiased facts when it comes to the Jewish state.

The Board of BUZO wearing their Israeli made t-shirts thanks to CAMERA funding and the NU Campaign.

The Board of BUZO wearing their Israeli made t-shirts thanks to CAMERA funding and the NU Campaign.

Raise Your Voice

On November 20th, 2015, Students United, the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Emet for Israel supported group, hosted an event called “Raise Your Voice,” which turned out to be a huge success.

This CAMERA funded CUFI initiative was geared toward the Christian community on campus, and the goal was to raise awareness about the Christian persecution taking place in the Middle East. Students United also sought to present the positive role Israel has been playing in response to this series of recent attacks. The event showed how it is the only country in the region where Christians are free to practice their religion.

Initially, there were a number of setbacks in terms of planning the event, but there was a major turn around when the group successfully booked a speaker from Voice of the Martyrs, Carolyn Luce, and found a local musician to play as well.

The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting persecuted Christian families around the world. It was eye opening for students to hear Luce speak about the violence taking place against Christians, as well as to hear her perspective on Israel’s assistance. The audience interacted with Luce once she concluded her speech. She was able to address the current threats that Christians are facing throughout the Middle East, and answer all of the questions that were posed.

Prior to the event, students were not necessarily aware of the efforts Israel makes to ensure that tolerance of other faiths is maintained. As democratic nation, it is vital to uphold these freedoms for every individual. Students left the event feeling proud to be supporters of Israel because the facts brought up throughout the speech showed that the Jewish state defends the religious rights of everyone, not only Jews.

The attendees absolutely loved the event. It was a comfortable environment for them to cry over the suffering of these Christians, but to also make new friends and connect with people on a deeper level. Everyone learned something new and gained a greater awareness of current events.

Students United has already followed up with the speaker and the members in the audience through Facebook and email. The group is looking forward to building a stronger connection to these Christian clubs and inviting their members to future events.

Semester in Review: YOFI’s Successful Pro-Israel Events

The pro-Israel group at Baruch College, YOFI, has hosted numerous successful events this semester. To kick off the semester, YOFI hosted an informative event titled “International Branding: A Case Study on Israel.” The event taught students about the concept of branding and how they can apply that to current events in Israel. YOFI cosponsored the event with numerous pro-Israel groups on campus, helping students to understand how media and advertisements affect how they feel and perceive. EMET member Yuval Solomon stated that people came up to him and specifically said that although they had seen the news about Israel, that they never realized how difficult it was to combat the negativity Israel faces. Over 30 students were in attendance for this enlightening event!

1620362_1515193025395375_5095589539922553256_nIn addition to their great starter event, in early November YOFI hosted Kasim Hafeez for a candid conversation where he took students through his journey from a militant Islamist to an ardent supporter of universal freedoms. The event was co-sponsored by Hillel at Baruch, StandwithUs, Hasbara Fellowships, UJA Federation of NY, and the Jewish Agency, bringing a large and diverse crowd.

YOFI had a great fall semester! We look forward to hearing about the next pro-Israel events that the group will be hosting this spring!

 

Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO) Hosts Gil Cohen-Magen

Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO), the pro-Israel student group at Binghamton University, united with multiple student groups– including the Arts Club– to host Gil Cohen-Magen, an Israeli photojournalist who has documented key occurrences in Israel. Cohen-Magen discussed the difficulties of living in Israel during a war. Since the event was co-sponsored with multiple different campus organizations, it attracted a diverse audience which provided for vibrant discussion.

During the presentation, Cohen-Magen shared moving and impactful photos that he took of a military funeral in Israel and explained the way photos are chosen and published by publications and the bias that can potentially be involved.Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 7.34.16 PM

CCAP representative, Haley Silverstein, explained that “it was very exciting to have Gil come to campus…it was great to have a perspective from someone who was on the front lines because real evidence is the best form of Israel advocacy we could have wished for.”

Later in the semester, BUZO organized a stand-up comedy show titled “Because the Middle East is Funny” in an effort to create a light-hearted cultural event that would attract people from all walks of life.The event was a great success and provided the audience with a truly enjoyable experience!

We look forward to hearing about BUZO’s next successful pro-Israel event on campus!

Eagles For Israel Hosts Anat Berko

Eagles For Israel, the Emet for Israel student group at Boston College, organized a successful event where Anat Berko, author of The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers, was invited to speak about her personal conversations withScreen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.48.08 PM women and children who have attempted to become suicide bombers.

Berko was able to connect with a diverse audience of about 40 students by discussing the sociological and psychological issues associated with terrorism. CCAP representative, Sonia Iosim, stated that “Dr. Berko gave a very interesting presentation on the psychological and cultural influences on women and children who become suicide Anat Berko Collage 4Dbombers. There was a great turnout and I think that everyone who attended was able to learn something new and shocking about the inner workings of terrorism.”

The student group managed to establish connections with other groups on campus as well as provide an evening of insightful conversation for all those who attended.

Later in the semester, the student group organized a Krav Maga event to teach students the Israeli martial art and attract a broad audience. Great job, Eagles For Israel!

Clark University Hosts “Less Hamas More Humus: Featuring Noam Bedein and the Reality of Israelis Living Under Rocket Fire in Sderot”

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 5.29.46 PMAt the beginning of October, Clarkies Helping and Advocating for Israel (CHAI), the pro-Israel group at Clark University, hosted Noam Bedein for their Less Hamas More Hummus event. Bedein is the founder and director of the Sderot Media Center, a media advocacy center which portrays the human face of Sderot and Southern Israel under siege, to the international media and public. He came to Clark University to discuss the reality of Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 6.38.59 PMIsraelis consistently living under rocket fire and how this contributed to the continued stress and trauma of Israeli society. He also discussed what life is like for children in kindergartens that are systematically targeted and the hope that these children continue to cling on to.

CAMERA Fellow and member of CHAI, Seth Greenwald, stated that “we wanted to show people a narrative that is too often ignored, the reality of Israelis underfire. If it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead, so Sderot is often ignored due to the lack of casualties.”

An incredibly diverse audience consisting of over 40 people and many international students attended this event. Greenwald admitted that “It [the event] exceeded my expectations. The audience that we had was not only larger than at all previous events, but it was significantly more diverse. Also all participants seemed to have a genuine interest and respect for both Noam’s story and the people of Sderot.”

CAMERA Fellow Allison Moldoff Brings Kay Wilson To Campus

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.11.04 PMCAMERA Fellow at Simmons College, Allison Moldoff, hosted Kay Wilson, a British-born Israeli tour guide, jazz musician and cartoonist, at Northeastern University. Wilson is the survivor of a brutal terror attack that occurred while she was guiding in December 2010. Since the attack, she has become an amazing motivational speaker. At the co-sponsored event with Stand With Us, Wilson spoke to over 25 students at Northeastern University about issues of human rights and justice for victims of terrorism as well as the importance of being advocates for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
Moldoff stated that she wanted “students to feel empowered to stand up for Israel. Often times, due to a lot of anti-Semitism on campus, students are afraid to speak up. But, after hearing Kay’s story, I hoped students would realize how important it was to be advocates for themselves and for Israel.”
Kay’s presentation sparked an incredibly impactful and engaging discussion between her and the students. One student said that Kay’s story was so meaningful that she no longer wanted to be a bystander when it came to Israel and she now understood how important it is to stand of for Israel.
This event was a great kickoff event for Moldoff and we look forward to hearing about the next pro-Israel event she hosts on campus!

 

Bulls for Israel Bring New Students In

Bulls for Israel, our Emet for Israel (formerly CCAP) group at the U10807042_741820409227311_1626151971_nniversity of South Florida, hosted a successful event entitled Understanding Israel this past fall semester, with the hopes of educating students about Israel’s culture and the impact it has on the world. The event consisted of three “stations” between which students rotated. The stations each had different themes, which included Jerusalem, Israeli culture (Bedouin, Tzfat), and Israel’s advancement in medicine, agriculture, and technology.

Emet (CCAP) Representative Julianna Konsulian said that multiple professors invited their students, so the majority of people who attended were new to the pro-Israel groups’ events. Konsulian also stated that, “the day after the event, a professor forwarded us an email from a Muslim student saying how much they enjoyed our event and that they learned a lot about Israel’s culture.”

10807006_741820345893984_91342130_nOver 60 students attended this event, and the majority of them were not very familiar with Bulls for Israel. Understanding Israel was so successful that multiple students in attendance expressed interest in joining Bulls for Israel.

Konsulian couldn’t be happier with the event. “We had a fantastic reaction from the audience, as students sent their professors positive emails after the event. There was a general agreement that the event was educational and enjoyable too.”

Great job to Bulls for Israel for hosting this incredible program!