Articles

Pastors Josimar Salum and Robert Stearns holding the Israeli flag at a recent CAMERA event.

Meet the pastors behind Brazil’s new pro-Israel foreign policy

See the full article published by JNS, here


Like their American cousins, Brazil’s evangelicals have become a political force to be reckoned with.


(November 29, 2018 / JNS)

Brazil used to be known as an anti-Israel country. Dominated for years by the leftist Workers’ Party, its elite society was largely shaped by anti-Israel intellectuals, academics and political activists for Arab countries.

But behind the scenes, a grassroots revolution was taking place. Masses of people began flocking to the country’s evangelical and Pentecostal churches. There, they heard a different message about Israel than the story being told in the left-leaning Brazilian press and educational system.

And the new message resonated. Evangelicals in Brazil grew from 6.6 percent in 1980 to 22.2 percent in 2010, according to the 2010 census. Today, evangelicals constitute an estimated 27 percent of Brazil’s population. By comparison, American evangelicals make up about 25 percent of the religious landscape in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center.

Like their U.S. cousins, Brazil’s evangelicals have become a political force to be reckoned with. The evangelical caucus in Brazil’s congress is among the largest with nearly 200 members. Overwhelming evangelical support for Jair Bolsonaro is widely credited for his presidential victory last October.

Although often disparaged in the media, Bolsonaro received loyal support from evangelicals after he promised to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem.

One of those supporters, Dr. Josimar Salum, met with Bolsonaro multiple times, worked on his campaign and has been part of a group of pastors who urged Bolsonaro not to waver on Jerusalem.

“We had a meeting with Jair Bolsonaro in October 2017 in New England that included about 70 Brazilian pastors,” said Salum. “In the same time period that President [Donald] Trump was speaking about moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, we were able to make the case that Brazil needed to change its foreign policy towards Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.”

Asked to explain their goals, Salum said: “Brazilian Christian Zionism is a movement to bless Israel not only with words, but with concrete actions. It is no use merely to carry the flag of Israel, to sing songs and to speak good words about Israel. Christian Zionists must engage in the daily defense of Israel, be defenders of the Nation of Israel in their spheres of influence, and stand against anti-Semitism around them.”

Salum has been at the forefront of forging ties with influential pro-Israel groups such as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), one of the oldest educational pro-Israel organizations in the United States.

“CAMERA provides the education we need to understand the issues in relation to Israel, and the constant need to be vigilant concerning the antisemitism that Jews face everyday,” Salum said.

Last weekend Salum presented a conference in collaboration with CAMERA titled a “Night to Bless Israel,” which was hosted by the pro-Israel Brazilian pastor Elias Monteiro of International Community Church in Framingham, Mass.

The well-attended event brought together an array of organizations: the Brazilian Ministers Network, the Pastors and Leaders Fraternal Alliance, and the Brazilian Evangelical Pastors Association of the USA.

The keynote speaker was influential evangelical pastor Dr. Robert Stearns, who heads Eagles’ Wings, a global network of pro-Israel evangelicals.

According to Dr. Tricia Miller of CAMERA, the “Night to Bless Israel” was a historic and precedent-setting event that signals the new bonds between American and Brazilian evangelicals.

“It was the first time the Brazilian Christian community in the U.S. hosted such an event, which was designed to educate and mobilize Brazilian Christians for effective, informed support of Israel,” said Miller. “Plans are already in the works for educational seminars to be held in other Brazilian churches, followed by the second annual ‘Night to Bless Israel,’ to be held in the fall of 2019.”

Because the evangelical Zionist movement is relatively young in Brazil, the organizers of the event felt that more educational conferences are sorely needed.

“It is necessary for Brazilian evangelicals to learn about Israel so that their pro-Israel actions are conscious and not just sentimental,” said Salum. “Therefore, the ‘Night to Bless Israel’ has been established as a movement based on these four pillars: teaching, celebration, prayer and action.”

“We plan to encourage the movement with all we have,” said Miller. “In my eyes, Dr. Josimar Salum and the other leading pastors are genuine heroes. It is brave and principled men like Portuguese pastor John Amaral, and Brazilian pastors like Elias Monteiro, Marcos Aurelio Nogueira, Leidimar Lopes, Roberto Paiva and Flávio Souza who are making positive new changes not only in Brazil but throughout the world.”

“These Brazilian pastors represent a crucial counterweight to anti-Israel propaganda that manifests itself in some quarters of Brazil’s media and academic world, where BDS has gotten traction,” said Dexter Van Zile, a CAMERA analyst. “What groups like CAMERA offer is decades of professional research and knowledge that can help the pastors push back against the anti-Israel misinformation campaigns that flourish in their country. These pastors and their congregations are very proud of Brazil’s early support for Israel’s creation. They just need information.”

With ties being made between evangelicals in the United States, and with the help of educational organizations like CAMERA, the Brazilian pastors are not showing any signs of backing down. Shifting the largest country in South America in a pro-Israel direction is their unwavering goal.

Photo Credit:  AP

Hey Western world: Don’t get fooled again by Hamas

Jeff Robbins 

Friday, May 18, 2018 

Boston Herald

Photo Credit:  AP


On Wednesday an official of Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist enterprise, acknowledged that of the 62 people reported killed during this week’s assault on the fence separating Hamas-run Gaza from Israel, 50 were Hamas members. Three others were members of Islamic jihad.


This should have surprised no one. The weekly mass rushes on the Israeli border — fueled and accompanied by Hamas’ exhortations to breach the border fence, enter Israel and kill Israelis — has been a Hamas production, a new variant of a long-running play: If we can bring about Palestinian deaths, goes the Hamas playbook, most of the world will blame Israel. The more Palestinian deaths, the more Israel will be denounced. That is the idea, and it generally works.


Israel’s critics, of course, have been hard-pressed to suggest what, precisely, it is supposed to do to prevent weaponized hordes of people, vowing to breach its border and just yards from doing so, from crossing into it. Warnings to Gazans to stay away from the border fence have not worked, naturally, since the marches are commandeered by an enterprise which rules Gaza with an iron fist, which routinely rips off humanitarian aid intended for civilians for its own purposes and which is ideologically committed to Israel’s annihilation.


The line that Israel is responsible for Gaza’s dire conditions is balderdash. Conditions in Gaza were dire long before Israel had anything to do with it, and Israel has had no presence in Gaza for 13 years. It is Hamas itself that has consigned Gaza to horrific poverty, doing so with a ruthlessness that has left it without support anywhere in the Arab world.


It is true that Israel has had the temerity to try to prevent Hamas from acquiring the materials with which to add to the 15,000 or so rockets it has already fired at Israeli civilian centers. There is no government desirous of keeping its citizens from being blown to pieces that would do otherwise.


Columnist Bret Stephens has termed the idiocy of so many on the Left when it comes to Gaza more of the “morally blind, historically illiterate criticism to which Israelis are subjected every time they defend themselves against Palestinian attacks.”


He’s right. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have grown used to assuming that no matter how gruesome or corrupt their conduct, many in the West can be played for fools.


They are right as well.


See our Resources:  Articles page for more valuable information

Letter to President Oliver, Pitzer College

Date: November 30, 2018 at 2:06:21 PM EST

To: PitzerPresident@pitzer.edu, Melvin_Oliver@pitzer.edu

Cc: ttorlakson@cde.ca.gov, senator.allen@senate.ca.gov, assemblymember.medina@assembly.ca.gov, assemblymember.levine@assembly.ca.gov

Subject: A Note of Appreciation from our 75 Organizations


Dear President Oliver,


Our organizations heartily commend you for the speech you gave before the Pitzer College Council yesterday, in which you strongly condemned the Faculty vote to suspend your school’s study abroad program at the University of Haifa, saying that it showed “little or no consideration for our educational objectives and mission.” We also deeply appreciate your standing up for the academic rights of all Pitzer students, including those who want to travel to or study about Israel. As you rightly point out, sacrificing students’ educational opportunities on “the altar of political considerations” would be “anathema to Pitzer’s core values."


Thank you again for your strong leadership on this issue, and for speaking up in defense of the welfare of all Pitzer students.


Sincerely,


Academic Council for Israel

Accuracy in Academia

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

AMCHA Initiative

American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Truth Project

American Zionist Movement

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)

B'nai B'rith International

BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources

Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO)

Bobcats for Israel at Ohio University

Boston Israel Action Committee

Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law

California Association of Scholars

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Center for Righteousness and Integrity

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Dartmouth Students for Israel

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)

Hasbara Fellowships

Hoos for Israel (University of Virginia)

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel in NYC

Israel Matters

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

Israeli-American Civic Action Network

Israeli-American Civic Education Institute

Jewish War Veterans of the USA

Mercaz USA

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Council of Young Israel

NCSY

NH4Israel

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   

Rabbinical Alliance of America

Religious Zionists of America - Mizrachi

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Roc4Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center  

Slugs for Israel (University of California Santa Cruz)

StandWithUs

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at San Jose State University

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

Students Supporting Israel at University of Minnesota

Students Supporting Israel National

Swarthmore Students for Israel

The Israel Christian Nexus

The Israel Project

Tufts Friends of Israel

Young Jewish Conservatives

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA’s Fuel for Truth



Cc:  California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson       

Senator Benjamin Allen, Chair California Senate Standing Committee on Education

Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Higher Education Committee       

Assembly Member Mark Levine, Chair Jewish Legislative Caucus




On Nov 29, 2018, at 10:40 AM, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin <tammi@amchainitiative.org> wrote:


Dear President Oliver,


We are 75 civil rights, education, religious and student organizations appalled by the recent Pitzer Faculty vote to suspend the college’s study abroad program with the University of Haifa. 


The Pitzer Faculty’s attempt to implement an academic boycott of Israel that subverts the educational opportunities and academic freedom of their own students and colleagues, is reprehensible. Pitzer faculty members have abrogated their most basic professional responsibility – to promote the academic welfare of their students.  


It is important to understand that calling to shut down a study abroad program is expressly part of an the implementation of an academic boycott, and in full compliance with the 2014 guidelines of the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). While portrayed as an effort aimed at Israeli universities and scholars, in reality the implementation of an academic boycott will violate the rights of, and directly harm, students and faculty on U.S. campuses.  For example, PACBI clearly and explicitly calls on U.S. faculty to:


Work to close their own university’s study abroad programs in Israel; 

Impede a fellow faculty member’s collaborative research or teaching projects with Israeli universities and scholars;

Interfere with the equal non-discriminatory treatment of all applicants for admissions to graduate programs;

Try to cancel, disrupt and shut down events featuring Israeli leaders or scholars organized by their colleagues or students; and

Refuse to write letters of recommendation for their own U.S. students who want to pursue studies in Israel.


We understand the issue is currently going through an official university governance process. However, we call on you to act now by issuing a statement that condemns this Pitzer Faculty action and commits to ensuring that no Pitzer student will be impeded from studying about or in Israel.


Thank you in advance for your leadership and commitment to protecting the academic rights and opportunities of all students and faculty at your school, including those whose study or scholarship focuses on Israel.


Sincerely, 


Academic Council for Israel

Accuracy in Academia

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

AMCHA Initiative

American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Truth Project

American Zionist Movement

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)

B'nai B'rith International

BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources

Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO)

Bobcats for Israel at Ohio University

Boston Israel Action Committee

Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law

California Association of Scholars

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Center for Righteousness and Integrity

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Dartmouth Students for Israel

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)

Hasbara Fellowships

Hoos for Israel (University of Virginia)

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel in NYC

Israel Matters

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

Israeli-American Civic Action Network

Israeli-American Civic Education Institute

Jewish War Veterans of the USA

Mercaz USA

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Council of Young Israel

NCSY

NH4Israel

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   

Rabbinical Alliance of America

Religious Zionists of America - Mizrachi

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Roc4Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center  

Slugs for Israel (University of California Santa Cruz)

StandWithUs

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at San Jose State University

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

Students Supporting Israel at University of Minnesota

Students Supporting Israel National

Swarthmore Students for Israel

The Israel Christian Nexus

The Israel Project

Tufts Friends of Israel

Young Jewish Conservatives

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA’s Fuel for Truth



Cc:  California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson       

Senator Benjamin Allen, Chair California Senate Standing Committee on Education

Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Higher Education Committee       

Assembly Member Mark Levine, Chair Jewish Legislative Caucus

Call to Action Letters Supported by CJUI

Date: May 15, 2018 at 10:31:33 AM EDT
Subject: 61 Groups Call for Equal Protection for All Students at UC Irvine

Dear Chancellor Gillman,


We are 61 education and civil rights organizations who are writing to express our concern about yet another pre-meditated disruption of a pro-Israel event on your campus, and to offer a recommendation for addressing the problem in a way that we believe will benefit all students on your campus.

Over a week ago, an Israel-related event hosted by the College Republicans was disrupted by several anti-Israel protesters, including one with a bullhorn, who screamed anti-Zionist chants so loudly that the event had to be stopped for the duration of the chanting.  According to a recording of the event, although the Dean of Students and at least three police officers were present during the disruption, the screaming was allowed to continue for over three minutes, until protesters were finally escorted from the room.  As you know, this is the third year in a row that anti-Zionist protesters have attempted to aggressively disrupt and shut down a student-hosted Israel-related event on your campus and suppress other students’ free speech rights.

The anti-Zionist sentiment that lies at heart of this exclusionary behavior grows out of an ideology whose primary goal on campus is the suppression of any and all pro-Israel expression.  On many college campuses, anti-Zionist sentiment translates into actions that target Jewish and pro-Israel students for harm, including the shutting down or disrupting of pro-Israel events; the vilification and harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students in order to delegitimize their Zionist perspective or cause them to be too afraid or uncomfortable to express it; and the malevolent manipulation of student government procedure in order to eliminate pro-Israel voices.  Studies demonstrate that on campuses where anti-Zionist activity is found, Jewish and pro-Israel students are about three times more likely to be targeted for harm. At schools with active anti-Zionist student groups, these acts of aggression are seven to eight times more likely to occur.

We believe that now is the time for your administration to take steps to ensure that pro-Israel students and all UCI students are free to express their opinions, beliefs and identities and to fully participate in campus life.

We commend you for your excellent statement on “Rights of Free Speech and Academic Freedom” and the book you co-authored, Free Speech on Campus, which affirm the vital importance of freedom of expression and the University’s commitment to promoting and not stifling it. However, students’ freedom of expression cannot be guaranteed unless and until students are secure in the knowledge that they are equally protected from the peer-on-peer harassment that would deprive them of that freedom.  If students feel that school administrators address peer-on-peer harassment subjectively or with a double standard – responding promptly and vigorously when harassment is directed against some students but ignoring or downplaying similar behavior directed at others -- it creates a sense of inequity and increased vulnerability, which in turn can lead to further suppression of students’ willingness to freely express themselves.

We therefore urge you to issue a campus-wide statement assuring all students that they will be equally protected from peer-on-peer harassment that violates their rights to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life. To be effective, the statement should include a description of all University policies and state and federal laws that prohibit harassment and discrimination, along with a firm commitment to their equitable enforcement for all students, regardless identity, opinion or legally protected status. 

Thank you for considering our recommendation and for your leadership and defense of the freedoms and rights of all students at UCI.


Sincerely, 

The Undersigned 61 Organizations:

Academic Council for Israel

Accuracy in Academia

Aggies for Israel

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - Columbia University

Alums for Campus Fairness - New York University

Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore

Alums for Campus Fairness - Syracuse University

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

AMCHA Initiative

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Truth Project

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Christians United for Israel Action Fund

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Communities for Israel

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Hasbara Fellowships

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel Matters

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

Israel-American Coalition for Action

JAM - UCSB

Jerusalem U

Jewish Israel Cafe

Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Conference on Jewish Affairs

National Council of Young Israel

NCSY

NH4Israel

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center  

StandWithUs

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel National

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at UC Irvine

Students Supporting Israel at UC Santa Barbara

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

The Israel Christian Nexus

Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA’s Fuel for Truth


Cc:   UC President Janet Napolitano

UC Regents  

Michael R. Arias, UCI Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff

Dr. Thomas A. Parham, UCI Vice Chancellor Student Affairs

Edgar Dormitorio, UCI Chief of Staff Student Affairs

Dr. Douglas Haynes, UCI Vice Provost Academic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Rameen Talesh, UCI Dean of Students and Assistant Vice Chancellor Student Life and Leadership

Kirsten K. Quanbeck, UCI Associate Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Crystal Rae Lugo-Shearer, UCI Director Office of Student Conduct

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson     

Senator Benjamin Allen, Chair California Senate Standing Committee on Education

Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Higher Education Committee       

Assembly Member Shirley Weber, Chair Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate

Assembly Member Mark Levine, Chair Jewish Legislative Caucus 

Date: May 15, 2018 at 10:21:36 AM EDT
Subject: 62 Organizations Call for Steps to Address Exclusionary Behavior at Syracuse University

Dear Chancellor Syverud,


We are 62 education and civil rights organizations who are writing to express our serious concerns about recent campus activity that has created a hostile climate for Jewish and pro-Israel students at Syracuse University, and to offer recommendations that we believe will benefit all students on your campus.


As you are aware, last month more than 20 student protesters and outside agitators from the anti-Zionist groups such as Code Pink carried out the planned disruption of a speaking event with Ambassador Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, that was sponsored by several university departments and the local Hillel. The protestors shouted loudly for nearly 30 minutes just outside the event in order to drown out the speaker, and they held signs declaring Zionism to be “racism” and “White Supremacy” and promoting the boycott of Israel. Two activists who deceptively came into the event hall as audience members disrupted the talk twice with shouting and the unfurling of anti-Zionist banners. One faculty member who attended the event called the protest “an effort to shut down speech and commandeer the campus.”


The anti-Zionist sentiment that lies at the heart of this type of exclusionary behavior grows out of an ideology whose primary goal on campus is the suppression of any and all pro-Israel expression.  On many college campuses, anti-Zionist sentiment translates into actions that target Jewish and pro-Israel students for harm, including the shutting down or disrupting of Israel-related events; the vilification and harassment of Jewish students in order to delegitimize their Zionist perspective or cause them to be too afraid or uncomfortable to express it; and the malevolent manipulation of student government procedure in order to eliminate pro-Israel voices.  Studies demonstrate that on campuses where anti-Zionist activity is found, Jewish and pro-Israel students are about three times more likely to be targeted for harm. At schools with active anti-Zionist student groups, these acts of aggression are seven to eight times more likely to occur.


And this is exactly what we are seeing at Syracuse University.  Students who identify as Zionists by religious belief, ethnic identity, national origin or political persuasion report being shaken by recent events and afraid to express themselves and fully participate in campus life.


We therefore urge you to take the following steps to ensure that ALL students at Syracuse University-- including students who identify as Zionists -- are free to express their opinions, beliefs and identities and to fully participate in campus life, now and in the future:


  1. Review, update and diligently enforce campus policies and procedures to guarantee that all members of the campus community, irrespective of their opinions, beliefs or identity, are equitably and adequately protected from intolerant behavior that infringes on their freedom of expression and denies them equal rights. 
  2. Ensure that prompt and appropriate disciplinary measures are taken when any individual or group engages in behavior that suppresses the freedom of expression or civil rights of others.
  3. Develop protocols for vetting the establishment and yearly renewal of university-approved student  groups, to determine whether a specific campus group has engaged in the unlawful suppression of others’ freedom of speech or civil  rights.  Any whose members have repeatedly engaged in such behavior should be appropriately disciplined as per school procedures should the group fail to modify conduct that intentionally harms others on campus.  
  4. Develop educational and training programs that can: 
    • Help members of the campus community to recognize and avoid intolerant behavior that suppresses others’ freedom of expression or denies them equal rights, and to be aware of all campus policies and procedures regarding such behavior; and
    • Teach and encourage the expression of a wide range of views in a productive and respectful manner. 

  1. While the above recommendations describe long-term and on-going efforts, one important step that can be implemented immediately is to issue a campus-wide statement assuring all students that they will be equally protected from peer-on-peer harassment that violates their rights to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life. To be effective, the statement should include a description of all University policies and state and federal laws that prohibit harassment and discrimination, along with a firm commitment to their equitable enforcement for all students, regardless of identity, opinion or legally protected status. 

Thank you for your leadership and defense of the rights of all Syracuse University students. 


Sincerely, 

The Undersigned 62 Organizations:

Academic Council for Israel

Accuracy in Academia

Aggies for Israel

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - Columbia University

Alums for Campus Fairness - New York University

Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore

Alums for Campus Fairness - Syracuse University

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

AMCHA Initiative

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Truth Project

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Christians United for Israel Action Fund

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Communities for Israel

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Hasbara Fellowships

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel in NYC

Israel Matters

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

Israel-American Coalition for Action

JAM - UCSB

Jerusalem U

Jewish Israel Cafe

Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Conference on Jewish Affairs

National Council of Young Israel

NCSY

NH4Israel

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center  

StandWithUs

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel National

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at UC Irvine

Students Supporting Israel at UC Santa Barbara

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

The Israel Christian Nexus

Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA’s Fuel for Truth


Cc: Provost Michele Wheatly

      Dean of Students Robert Hradsky
       Dean of Hendricks Chapel The Rev. Brian E. Konkol
       Bernie Jacobson, Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion & Resolution Services

      Lisa Dolak, University Secretary, Office of the Board of Trustees 

Date: May 15, 2018 at 10:12:31 AM EDT
Subject: 63 Organizations Call for Steps to Address Exclusionary Behavior at NYU

Dear President Hamilton,


We are 63 education and civil rights organizations who are deeply concerned about the statement endorsed by 53 NYU organizations, which includes a call for “Boycotting NYU’s pro-Israel clubs, Realize Israel and TorchPAC, by not co-sponsoring events with them.”


While acknowledging these students’ right to express their opinion, we must point out that the demand to exclude these two clubs simply because the student organizations do not agree with their opinions is hateful and discriminatory. Furthermore, the implications of this statement for the safety and well-being of Jewish and pro-Israel students on your campus are highly troubling. More than 2,000 Jewish students and community members signed a petition expressing that, “The boycotting of peer organizations creates a polarizing atmosphere of hatred and animosity that violates our community standards and is dangerous for both our students and the University overall.” 


The anti-Zionist sentiment that lies at the heart of these student groups’ statement grows out of an ideology whose primary goal on campus is the suppression of any and all pro-Israel expression.  On many college campuses, anti-Zionist sentiment translates into actions that target Jewish and pro-Israel students for harm, including the shutting down or disrupting of pro-Israel events; the vilification and harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students in order to delegitimize their Zionist perspective or cause them to be too afraid or uncomfortable to express it; and the malevolent manipulation of student government procedure in order to eliminate pro-Israel voices.  Studies demonstrate that on campuses where anti-Zionist activity is found, Jewish and pro-Israel students are about three times more likely to be targeted for harm. At schools with active anti-Zionist student groups, these acts of aggression are seven to eight times more likely to occur.


And this is exactly what we are seeing at New York University with the deliberate taking away of the civil rights and full participation of campus life of students who identify as Zionist by religious belief, ethnic identity, national origin, or political persuasion. Following the student groups’ statement, the leader of an anti-Zionist campus group justified the planned disruption of a Realize Israel and TorchPAC event, which involved theft and destruction of the pro-Israel groups’ property and the burning of that property, as well as taking away the pro-Israel groups’ microphone, by explaining, “Our point is to make being Zionist uncomfortable on the NYU campus.” As is evidenced by the stated intent of the organizers, this behavior is not going to minimize by itself. On the contrary, without intervention by the university, we fear the situation may continue to escalate as it has in the past at other schools.


We therefore urge you to take the following steps to ensure that ALL students at New York University-- including students who identify as Zionists -- are free to express their opinions, beliefs and identities and to fully participate in campus life, now and in the future:


  1. Review, update and diligently enforce campus policies and procedures to guarantee that all members of the campus community, irrespective of their opinions, beliefs or identity, are equitably and adequately protected from intolerant behavior that infringes on their freedom of expression and denies them equal rights. 
  2. Ensure that prompt and appropriate disciplinary measures are taken when any individual or group engages in behavior that suppresses the freedom of expression or civil rights of others.
  3. Develop protocols for vetting the establishment and yearly renewal of university-approved student groups, to determine whether a specific campus group has engaged in the unlawful suppression of others’ freedom of speech or civil rights.  Any whose members have repeatedly engaged in such behavior should be appropriately disciplined as per school procedures should the group fail to modify conduct that intentionally harms others on campus.  
  4. Develop educational and training programs that can: 
    • Help members of the campus community to recognize and avoid intolerant behavior that suppresses others’ freedom of expression or denies them equal rights, and to be aware of all campus policies and procedures regarding such behavior; and
    • Teach and encourage the expression of a wide range of views in a productive and respectful manner. 

  1. While the above recommendations describe long-term and on-going efforts, one important step that can be implemented immediately is to issue a campus-wide statement assuring all students that they will be equally protected from peer-on-peer harassment that violates their rights to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life. To be effective, the statement should include a description of all University policies and state and federal laws that prohibit harassment and discrimination, along with a firm commitment to their equitable enforcement for all students, regardless of identity, opinion or legally protected status. 

In your recent commendable statement regarding the exclusionary behavior directed at pro-Israel students on your campus, you conclude that it’s important “for those of us at NYU to come together to find a way forward that rests on mutual respect, even in the face of tough disagreements.” We believe the recommendations outlined above do just that.


Thank you for your leadership and defense of the rights of all New York University students. 


Sincerely, 

The Undersigned 63 Organizations:

Academic Council for Israel

Accuracy in Academia

Aggies for Israel

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - Columbia University

Alums for Campus Fairness - New York University

Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore

Alums for Campus Fairness - Syracuse University

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

AMCHA Initiative

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Jewish International Relations Institute

American Truth Project

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Christians United for Israel Action Fund

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Communities for Israel

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Hasbara Fellowships

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel in NYC

Israel Matters

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

Israel-American Coalition for Action

JAM - UCSB

Jerusalem U

Jewish Israel Cafe

Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Conference on Jewish Affairs

National Council of Young Israel

NCSY

NH4Israel

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center  

StandWithUs

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel National

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at UC Irvine

Students Supporting Israel at UC Santa Barbara

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

The Israel Christian Nexus

Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA’s Fuel for Truth

Cc: Provost Katherine E. Fleming

      Senior Vice Provost for Global Programs and University Life Linda Mills

      Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Marc Wais

      Associate Vice Provost for Diversity Programs Patricia Carey

      Director Student Conduct and Community Standards Craig Jolley

      Chairman of the Board of Trustees William R. Berkley

Date: May 15, 2018 at 10:04:21 AM EDT
Subject: 65 Groups Call for Equal Protection for All Students at Columbia University

Dear President Bollinger,


We are 65 education and civil rights organizations who are writing to express our deep concern about the extraordinarily hostile climate for Jewish and pro-Israel students at Columbia University, and to offer a recommendation for addressing the problem in a way that we believe will benefit all students on your campus.


Over one month ago the CU chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) submitted an incident report to the University’s Student Governing Board (SGB). In their report, the SSI students provided considerable and compelling evidence that anti-Zionist student groups, particularly the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), have systematically harassed and silenced SSI members and other pro-Israel voices on campus, in apparent violation of university policy and New York state law.


We are impressed with the thoroughness of the SSI’s incident report and its focus on the unacceptable peer-on-peer harassment that impinges on the rights of Jewish and pro-Israel students to express themselves and fully participate in campus life.  We are disappointed that, to date, neither the SGB nor school administrators associated with that student board have addressed the report’s concerns at all.

 

It is important to point out that the anti-Zionist sentiment that lies at the heart of the harassment documented in the SSI complaint grows out of an ideology whose primary goal on campus is to suppress any and all pro-Israel views.  On many college campuses, anti-Zionist sentiment translates into actions that target Jewish and pro-Israel students for harm, including the shutting down or disrupting of pro-Israel events; the vilification and harassment of Jewish and pro-Israel students in order to delegitimize their Zionist perspective or cause them to be too afraid or uncomfortable to express it; and the malevolent manipulation of student government procedure in order to eliminate pro-Israel voices. 

 

Studies demonstrate that on campuses where there is anti-Zionist activity, such as the kind witnessed at Columbia and Barnard during the recent anti-Israel divestment campaigns, Jewish and pro-Israel students are about three times more likely to be targeted for harm. At schools with active anti-Zionist student groups, these acts of aggression are seven to eight times more likely to occur.


Now is the time for your administration to take steps to ensure that all Columbia students -- including those who identify as Zionists because of their religious belief, ethnic identity, national origin, or political persuasion -- are free to express their opinions, beliefs and identities and to fully participate in campus life.


We commend Columbia University for adopting an excellent statement affirming the vital importance of freedom of expression and the University’s commitment to promoting and not stifling it. However, students’ freedom of expression cannot be guaranteed unless and until students are secure in the knowledge that they are equally protected from the peer-on-peer harassment that would deprive them of that freedom.  If students feel that school administrators address peer-on-peer harassment subjectively or with a double standard – responding promptly and vigorously when harassment is directed against some students but ignoring or downplaying similar behavior directed at others -- it creates a sense of inequity and increased vulnerability, which in turn can lead to further suppression of students’ willingness to freely express themselves.


We therefore urge you to issue a campus-wide statement assuring all students that they will be equally protected from peer-on-peer harassment that violates their rights to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life. To be effective, the statement should include a description of all University policies and state and federal laws that prohibit harassment and discrimination, along with a firm commitment to their equitable enforcement for all students, regardless identity, opinion or legally protected status. 


Thank you for considering our recommendation and for your leadership and defense of the freedoms and rights of all students at Columbia University.


Sincerely, 

The Undersigned 65 Organizations:

Academic Council for Israel

Accuracy in Academia

Aggies for Israel

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi) - National

AEPi Columbia University

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - Columbia University

Alums for Campus Fairness - New York University

Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore

Alums for Campus Fairness - Syracuse University

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

AMCHA Initiative

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Jewish International Relations Institute

American Truth Project

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Chabad Graduate Initiative of Columbia University

Chabad Rohr House at Columbia University

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Christians United for Israel Action Fund

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Communities for Israel

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Hasbara Fellowships

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel-American Coalition for Action

Israel in NYC

Israel Matters

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

JAM - UCSB

Jerusalem U

Jewish Israel Cafe

Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Conference on Jewish Affairs

National Council of Young Israel

NH4Israel

NCSY

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center  

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel National

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

Students Supporting Israel at UC Irvine

Students Supporting Israel at UC Santa Barbara

The Israel Christian Nexus

Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA’s Fuel for Truth


Cc: Provost John Coatsworth

     Executive Vice President Suzanne Goldberg, Office of University Life

     Trustee Chair Jonathan D. Schiller 

BDS Vote - Cambridge, MA

  

CAMBRIDGE, MA CITY COUNCIL

 will decide whether to support the BDS campaign against Israel


The following Boston Herald article

 by Jeff Robbins

 provides some important information about the upcoming BDS vote:


Jeff Robbins Tuesday, April 17, 2018 


There was a time when demonstrating one's hypocrisy was considered a liability, or at least something worth avoiding. That time has passed, as the members of the Cambridge City Council seem poised to illustrate.

On April 23, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution calling for a boycott of Hewlett-Packard, offered by groups retaliating against the company for doing business in Israel. The resolution is orchestrated by the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, funded by and comprised of the usual types who, wishing ardently for Israel to disappear, use the language of human rights to attempt to delegitimize her. They do this, of course, at the behest of some of the worst human rights abusers in the world.

The expected vote is accompanied by no shortage of irony. While professing to be exemplars of open, transparent democracy, council members have conferred in secret with BDS groups to develop the anti-Israel resolution, refusing to make it public so that those who take issue with it - and the public at large - could have the time to respond. It is much better, they calculate, to keep it secret until just before the vote, minimizing the public's opportunity to scrutinize it, and to ask questions about how it came to be conceived, and by whom.

The City Council's imminent invocation of human rights against Israel is especially rich. Just seven months ago it declared an official relationship with Dongguan, China, a notorious center of labor rights violations in a country that is a human rights violator on a massive scale.

The hand that Israel has been dealt is encirclement by some of the most depraved enterprises on the planet, each committed to its annihilation, each willing to use the lethal means at its disposal to bring that annihilation about.

There's Hamas, just yards from Israeli civilians, which has already fired 15,000 rockets into Israel and which has built underground tunnels into Israel to facilitate the massacre of its people. There's Hezbollah to the north, whose 100,000 rockets are positioned on command to hit every Israeli neighborhood.

There's Syria's Bashar Assad, who has slaughtered several hundred thousand innocents and whose chemical weapons sit kilometers from where Israelis live. There's ISIS and al-Qaeda, operating just outside Israel's borders. And there's Iran, funding Hamas and Hezbollah, launching explosive-packed drones into Israeli airspace - and which is months away from deploying nuclear weapons when it sees fit, threatening to use them to remove Israel from the map.

The Cambridge City Council, bless its soul, has not seen fit to take up a resolution condemning any of them. No, it is the Jewish state alone that interests it, and not in a good way, for reasons best left to psychologists to analyze.

The threats that Israel has to try to cope with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, are dangerous ones. They are complex. They are serious. And they are difficult. Israel's neighborhood bears little resemblance to the comfortable communities of Chevy Chase, Md., or Manhattan's Upper West Side - or Harvard Square. One cannot help observing that the challenges facing Israeli families and the government elected to protect them exceed even those faced by Cambridge.

Not every Israeli 19- or 20-year-old serving in her country's armed forces in order to protect it is perfect. Not every decision made by Israel's government - the product of a robust and real democracy matched nowhere in the Middle East and few places anywhere else - is one that everyone agrees is the right one.

But surely the Cambridge City Council can - if it wants to - resist the over-the-top haters who constitute the BDS movement and who want to take the council for a ride. Or, its members can permit themselves to be snookered, and in the process dishonor both the council and the citizens it was elected to serve.

Jeff Robbins is a Boston attorney and former U.S. delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. 


Your support is very important

The Monday, April 23rd vote has been POSTPONED

at City Hall in Cambridge, MA


See our EVENTS page for more information

Events

 

Message from President Wong to SF State Community

Friday, February 23, 2018

Source:  http://news.sfsu.edu/announcements/message-president-wong-sf-state-community#.WrmrtrG1Nl4.mailto 


Dear SF State Community,

I met Thursday afternoon with members of the SF State Hillel student community and personally apologized for past comments and actions that were deeply hurtful to them and many other members of the Jewish community. During our meeting, I reaffirmed my support for our Jewish students, faculty and staff and pledged, as another step toward reconciliation, to follow up with a public written apology, which is included below:
 

Words are powerful.  The last couple of years have been difficult for our Jewish students, faculty, staff and community. As a University president, I’ve become especially sensitive to the content, context and responsibility of all my comments.  I take that responsibility seriously, as a grandfather, father, husband, teacher, leader and student.  I make every effort to own my own mind and own my own words.
 

Responsibility must be mirrored by accountability. I want to publicly acknowledge when that ownership of thought and language impinges on the University’s ability to live up to its ideals.  It is the responsibility of leadership to also acknowledge when those words are hurtful.
 

My comments about Zionists and whether or not they are welcomed at San Francisco State University caused a lot of anguish and deeply hurt feelings.  I am responsible for those words and, after study and reflection, I have come to understand how flawed my comments were.

Thus, I want to sincerely apologize for the hurt feelings and anguish my words have caused.  Let me be clear: Zionists are welcome on our campus.
 

I know this apology alone may not be enough.  But I am committed to a new course of dialogue and actions to ensure that my own awareness and learning will move this great university forward.  Admitting fault and desiring a path forward based upon mutual respect motivates me.  Making peace is hard work.  And hard work has long inspired me.  I hope you will join me.

Dr. Leslie E. Wong
President
San Francisco State University
February 2018


The preceding letter was in response to the following letter:


Date: March 20, 2018 at 12:39:37 PM EDT

Subject: 60 Organizations Urge Investigation of SFSU Academic Program

Dear Chancellor White and CSU Trustees,


We are 60 Jewish, Christian, education, and civil rights organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country. We are writing out of deep concern for the safety and well-being of Jewish students at San Francisco State University, following the posting of an incendiary message on the official Facebook page of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) program at the university’s College of Ethnic Studies.  Written by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, the founding director and sole faculty member associated with AMED, the message clearly targeted Jewish students at SFSU for vilification and discrimination, and could be read by many as a frightening incitement to violence.

As you undoubtedly know, for years Jewish students at SFSU -- particularly those who identify as Zionists by religious belief, ethnic identity, national origin and/or political persuasion -- have been subject to numerous acts of harassment, discrimination, intimidation and suppression of speech, primarily at the hands of members of the anti-Zionist group General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS). Just last month, over a dozen Jewish students affiliated with the SFSU Hillel, including the organization’s student president, wrote a letter to President Wong claiming that the university “has been complicit in allowing hate and discrimination against [the Jewish] community to go unaddressed.” 

In response to the concerns expressed by the Jewish students, President Wong sent an email to the campus community, in which he acknowledged, “The last couple of years have been difficult for our Jewish students.” He also apologized for his own “past comments and actions that were deeply hurtful” to Jewish students, including “comments about Zionists and whether or not they are welcomed at San Francisco State University,” and he wrote, “Let me be clear: Zionists are welcome on our campus.” 

Shortly after President Wong had issued his statement, Professor Abdulhadi posted a statement on her personal Facebook page that included the following:

 “I consider the statement below from President Wong, welcoming Zionists to campus, equating Jewishness with Zionism, and giving Hillel ownership of campus Jewishness to be a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, [and] Palestinians…”

Abdulahadi prefaced her statement with the words: “URGENT: We need your support. Please see statement by SFSU president welcoming Zionists to campus below and my reply. Please share widely!” and she signed the statement as “Director and Senior Scholar, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies.” 

By afternoon, Professor Abdulhadi’s posting was shared by the official Facebook page of AMED, where it is still visible.  That same day, it was also posted on the Facebook page of GUPS, a group for which Professor Abdulhadi serves as faculty advisor. Later in the afternoon, the message “Zionists are not welcome here” was chalked in huge letters on a campus walkway, with similar messages chalked and posted in numerous other places across campus.  In addition, in a posting on her personal Facebook page a few days later, Prof. Abdulhadi further clarified her position, stating, “Zionists are NOT welcomed on our campus.”

It is appalling and deeply disturbing that Professor Abdulhadi would, in her role as director of AMED, promote a statement that denigrates Jewish and non-Jewish students who identify as Zionists and state that they are unwelcome at the university. Even more disturbing is Abdulhadi’s highly inflammatory suggestion that the mere presence of students who identify as Zionists constitutes a “declaration of war” against Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians -- a statement which could be understood as incitement to violence and a direct threat to Jewish students at SFSU.

Most disturbing of all, however, is that AMED, an academic unit in the College of Ethnic Studies at SFSU, would re-post such a hateful message and give it both academic and institutional legitimacy.  We believe that AMED’s reposting of Professor Abdulhadi’s hateful message violates Jewish students’ inalienable rights to freedom of expression and full participation in campus life, rights that are guaranteed to each and every CSU student.

When an academic unit at a state university uses its official online presence to attack students on its campus for their religious beliefs, ethnic identity or political opinions, it is clearly out of control and must be stopped. We urge you to thoroughly investigate AMED and its administration, and to inform California taxpayers exactly how you intend to address this shameful violation of student rights and university standards.


Sincerely, 

The Undersigned 60 Organizations:

Academic Council for Israel

Accuracy in Academia

Aggies for Israel

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)

Alums for Campus Fairness - National

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis

Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA

Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside

AMCHA Initiative

American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Institute for Jewish Research

American Truth Project

Americans for Peace and Tolerance

Americans for a Safe Israel

BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources

Boston Israel Action Committee

Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore

Christians and Jews United for Israel

Christians United for Israel Action Fund

Club Z

Coalition for Jewish Values

Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Communities for Israel

Davis Faculty for Israel

Eagles Wings

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)

Fuel For Truth

Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel

Iranian American Jewish Federation

Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization

Israel Matters

Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)

JAM - UCSB

Jerusalem U

JewCSF

Jewish Israel Cafe

Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA)

Middle East Forum

Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)

National Conference on Jewish Affairs

National Council of Young Israel

NCSY

NH4Israel

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   

Rhode Island Coalition for Israel

Roc4Israel

Russian Jewish Community Foundation

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

Simon Wiesenthal Center  

StandWithUs

Stop BDS on Campus

Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism

Students Supporting Israel National

Students Supporting Israel at Columbia

Students Supporting Israel at UCLA

The Israel Christian Nexus

The Israel Group

Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.)

Zionist Organization of America


Cc:  President San Francisco State University Leslie Wong

       SFSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jennifer Summit

       Interim Dean SFSU College of Ethnic Studies, Amy Sueyoshi 

       California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson  

       Senator Benjamin Allen, Chair California Senate Standing Committee on Education

       Assembly Member Jose Medina, Chair California Assembly Higher Education Committee

       Assembly Member Shirley Weber, Chair Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate

       Assembly Member Mark Levine, Chair Jewish Legislative Caucus

CAMERA focuses on Newton schools' Arab-Israeli conflict curriculum

News article posted by 

newton.wickedlocal.com
By Andy Levin alevin@wickedlocal.com
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at 10:15 AM

 

It's an issue that seemingly won't go away.

Discord over the way Newton's high schools teach the Arab-Israeli conflict and Islam began six years ago, when a Newton South parent, Tony Pagliuso, was made aware of a statement in an article his daughter had been assigned in a social studies class. The article, from the "Arab World Studies Notebook," claimed that Israeli soldiers had raped and murdered hundreds of Palestinian women.

There have been other curriculum-related issues brought to the public's attention since that time: a redacted Hamas charter, inaccurate maps of the conflict, and a superficial treatment of jihad among them. Critics of NPS' history curriculum say there is a gross imbalance in the way the conflict is presented. Moreover, they claim to have been brushed off and stonewalled by school officials in their attempts to find out more information about exactly what materials are being used in the classroom.

Some materials, including the "Arab World Studies Notebook," were discontinued. But the organization Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), led by resident Charles Jacobs, and others have continued to put pressure on the school district over the past several years to release more information and make additional changes in the curriculum that would balance presentation of the conflict.

Eventually, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch funded an ambitious public records request and received more curriculum information from NPS. That information was made available to the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), a media-monitoring group founded in 1982 that opened a Boston branch (based in Newton) 30 years ago.

The result is a monograph, published earlier this year, "Indoctrinating Our Youth: How a U.S. Public School Curriculum Skews the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Islam." The publication expands upon the previous work done by APT and analyzes the curriculum controversy in a detailed narrative.

The CAMERA book traces what it describes as "an agenda-driven history curriculum" to an incident in which Noam Chomsky, a virulently anti-Israel MIT professor, was invited to speak at Newton South in 2007. A year later (as had been reported by APT) Paul Beran, then the director of the Outreach Center at Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, was invited by a Newton teacher to take part in a discussion about the Oslo Peace Process. At the time, Beran was a leader of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the Boston area.

In 2010, CAMERA notes, Beran led a seminar for about 80 Newton teachers, advising them on how to teach the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Andrea Levin, president and executive director for CAMERA in Newton, spoke with the TAB about "Indoctrinating Our Youth" and the ongoing controversy with the high school curriculum.

CAMERA is known as a media watchdog. Why did it become involved in a curriculum dispute?

We've been involved in curriculum matters in the past, so it was something of a natural addition. And we were approached by citizens in the city who were frustrated that they were at a standstill getting some resolution and satisfaction in terms of knowing what was [being taught] in the schools... They just wanted a complete picture and for us to do this deeper look and analysis. That's why we took it on. It was a big, year long project.

Tell us about the source material for the monograph?
Continue reading...


Check out our Article Library for more articles about Israel   

 

Robbins: Democrats’ vote against Ken Marcus worrisome

Jeff Robbins 

Friday, January 26, 2018 

Boston Herald Article

At last month’s Senate hearing on the nomination of civil rights lawyer Ken Marcus to be the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) praised Marcus for his advocacy on behalf of a Virginia Tech student threatened by a white supremacist working for the university.

Marcus and the Brandeis Center for Human Rights that he heads, Kaine said, “laudably, I think, helped the student out and weighed in with the administration of Virginia Tech and said, ‘You got to take this seriously; white supremacy is wrong; neo-Nazi ideas are wrong.’ ”

Having praised Marcus for doing the kind of work he has done for years, ­Kaine then proceeded to join all of the Democrats on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in opposing Marcus’ nomination, which only cleared the committee by a 12-11 vote because of Republicans’ unanimous support. For Democrats who find Donald Trump loathsome but worry that their party has lost its bearings, the Democrats’ vote against Marcus is more reason to worry.

Marcus’ “problem” is that he has devoted the last several years of his life to defending the rights of Jewish college kids who, caught in a vise between white supremacism on the far right and ugly, beyond-the-pale anti-Israelism on the far left, have been subjected to increasingly widespread, increasingly repugnant anti-Semitism on American campuses.

Jewish students face this challenge: Hostile conduct aimed at intimidating them — which would be readily understood to have the effect if not the purpose of delegitimizing students of color or women or members of the LGBT community — is regarded as acceptable in some quarters when directed at Jewish kids, particularly but not exclusively those who care about Israel.

The problem is both significant and growing. Robert Trestan, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League in New England, says simply: “Campuses have become the incubator for anti-Semitism.”

This conduct strikes Marcus as deeply wrong, and he has challenged the right of certain groups, pro-Palestinian groups prominently among them, to engage in it. These groups, in turn, want to operate free from any scrutiny, and they have made the predictable accusations against Marcus and mobilized others to oppose his nomination.

That’s their prerogative. The question Democrats will have to answer is whether it is right or wise to be roped or cowed into doing the bidding of bullies simply because their goal is to have their bullying left unchallenged.

Boston attorney Jeff Robbins was a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in the Clinton administration.

Articles

Lappin Foundation Awards CJUI President: Ray Hanna with the 2017 Friend of Israel Award

 

September 7, 2017

Jewish Journal

SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 – “Don’t break the chain” was the heartfelt message Lappin Foundation  President Robert I. Lappin conveyed to the cohort of teens who went to Israel with the foundation’s Youth to Israel Adventure this summer.On Sunday, August 27, more than 350 people attended the 2017 Y2I Welcome Home Event at Temple B’nai Abraham in Beverly, which included 109 Y2I teens, their families, a delegation of Israeli teens from the Young Ambassadors School of  Petah Tikva, and community members.The Lappin Foundation honored Jeffrey Robbins with the foundation’s 2017 Y2I Award for his outstanding leadership in the Jewish community.Robbins, a Boston attorney who specializes in complex civil litigation, including allegations of fraud, First Amendment issues, and claims of defamation, is a former United States delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and a past chair of the New England Board of the Anti-Defamation League. Lappin thanked Robbins for his talents and passion that he gives in service to the Jewish community, noting that he is truly an inspiration for all, especially Jewish youth.Ray Hanna, president of Christians & Jews United for Israel, was awarded the Foundation’s 2017 Friend of Israel Award. Lappin thanked Hanna for fighting anti-Semitism, the BDS movement, and the vitriolic narrative against Israel that is rising on university campuses all over the US.

“Thank you for standing with Israel and the Jewish people,” said Lappin. “When friends of Israel are in our midst, it is important to acknowledge and thank them, especially those individuals of other faiths who embrace and support Israel and the Jewish people.”Lappin presented awards to exceptional teens for their leadership and Israel advocacy efforts: Elana Zabar of Swampscott, the 2017 Exceptional Teen Israel Advocacy Award; and Ally Kramer of Beverly and Mason Quintero of Marblehead, the 2017 Exceptional Teen Leadership Award.“There was a lot to celebrate about 2017 Y2I,” said Lappin. It was the largest enrollment of rising juniors and seniors since Y2I’s first trip in 1971, and more than 50 percent of 2017 Y2I teens are from interfaith families.“I am deeply grateful for the community’s support of Y2I, which has grown to be our community’s most successful Jewish program for our teens,” added Lappin, adding that Y2I is the answer to Jewish continuity.In addition to pre-trip Israel educational programs for teens and parents and the two-week, fully subsidized teen trip to Israel, Y2I provides free, post-trip advanced Israel advocacy training for teens and a growing menu of social and volunteer opportunities.Plans are underway for Y2I 2018. Y2I is open to Jewish teens who are sophomores or juniors in high school as of September 1, and who live in or who are members of a temple in the Lappin Foundation’s service area.For more information about upcoming Y2I informational meetings, visit Y2I.org or contact Sharon Wyner at 978-565-4450 or email swyner@lappinfoundation.org. 

https://jewishjournal.org/2017/09/06/welcome-home-2017-y2i/

Robbins: Rights group goes astray on Hirsi Ali

 Jeff Robbins Tuesday, August 29, 2017

http://www.bostonherald.com/

What separates humans from other species, the late William F. Buckley Jr. admonished a sanctimonious college student in his office 40 years ago, “is the capacity to make distinctions.” With a White House as relentlessly repulsive as this one is and significant elements of American society willing to indulge conduct reminiscent of 1930’s fascists, it is perhaps a bad time to expect that people will make distinctions, and the capacity of some people to do so has eroded badly.

A case in point is the decision of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an admirable organization founded in 1971 to combat hatred, to list human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the world’s most courageous voices against hate, as a practitioner of it.

Hirsi Ali, whose journey from an Islamist upbringing and a forced marriage to international stature as a critic of human rights abuses by radical Islamic state and non-state actors led Time Magazine to call her one of the most influential individuals in the world. And yet she was branded by the Center last year as a prominent “anti-Muslim extremist.” This kind of Alice-in-Wonderland stuff by a respected civil rights group can only have been cheered by actual extremists, who are pleased to see Hirsi Ali defamed, and would be even more pleased to see her disappear.

Hirsi Ali has long been considered Public Enemy #1 by apologists for Islamic extremism. She has been a powerful defender of the rights of women and girls both in Islamic countries and in the West who are victimized by honor killings, genital mutilation, sexual coercion, child marriage and other forms of degradation.

Her foundation provides training to law enforcement, shelters, educators and social service providers who work to protect women and girls. It also lobbies for the strengthening of protections against practices which, as Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company, put it succinctly, “have no place in the 21st century.”

read on...


Talking Politics with the Israeli Settler Leader Turned Diplomat

By Nadine Epstein July 13, 2017, 

moment magazine

Dani Dayan has an unusual background for an Israeli diplomat. The Argentinian-born secular Israeli and successful tech entrepreneur was Israel’s chief advocate for the settlers from 2007 to 2013 as chairman of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Upon stepping down, he took the settler cause to the world stage as its foreign envoy. After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to appoint him ambassador to Brazil ran into resistance in Brasília, Dayan was assigned to be the consul general of Israel in New York City in 2016. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Dayan conducted by Moment editor-in-chief Nadine Epstein.

What do you tell people who say settlements are the obstacle to peace? read on...

Palestine is a Geographical Area, Not a Nationality

Eli E. Hertz

http://www.mythsandfacts.org

The Arabs invented a special national entity in the 1960s called the Palestinians, specifically for political gain. They brand Israelis as invaders and claim the geographic area called Palestine belongs exclusively to the Arabs.The word Palestine is not even Arabic. It is a word coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish revolts against Rome.In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine. During the next 2,000 years, Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people, distinct from other Arabs, appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule.Palestine was and is solely a geographic name. Therefore, it is not surprising that in modern times the name ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ was applied as an adjective to all inhabitants of the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Palestine Jews and Palestine Arabs alike. In fact, until the 1960s, most Arabs in Palestine preferred to identify themselves merely as part of the great Arab nation or citizens of “southern Syria.”  read on...

Prosor: Israeli Construction Not an Obstacle to Peace

Israel's UN ambassador responds to European nations' condemnation. "Settlements are not and never have been the main obstacle to peace."

Ron Prosor:  Reuters

Israel's building in its own capital is not an obstable to peace, but rather the Arabs' demands and incitement, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Ambassador Ron Prosor was responding to the condemnation by four European members of the Security Council of Israel's plans to build thousands of new housing units in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

"The planned construction is in neighborhoods that will be part of Jerusalem and Israeli sovereignty under any future agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,"  read on...

New Christian Zionist Film Celebrates Jewish Victory in 1967

By Tricia Miller June 2, 2017  7:30 am
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) has produced a powerful new film, titled “In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem,” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem under Israeli control. The docudrama shares the story of Israel’s extraordinary battle for survival in June of 1967, when four neighboring Arab nations mobilized for the purpose of wiping Israel off the map.


The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) partnered with CBN to promote the one night premier of the film in over 700 theaters in the United States on Tuesday, May 23, and again on June 1 and 6. In anticipation of the release of “In Our Hands,” CAMERA talked with Gordon Robertson, the CEO of CBN and the Executive Producer of the documentary, about the significance of the events portrayed in the movie.


“In Our Hands” is the most recent in a series of documentaries that CBN has produced about Israel. According to Robertson, it is the result of two years of research, including primary sources such as the diaries of soldiers involved in the battle for Jerusalem, and interviews with members of the 55th Paratrooper brigade, the first ones to enter the part of Jerusalem previously occupied by Jordan. The Israel Defense Forces helped CBN with the recreation of the battle scenes, all of which were shot at the actual locations where the battle for Jerusalem occurred.


As a result, the film gives the viewer an accurate historical picture of the events that occurred during the battle that reunited the city of Jerusalem. Robertson told CAMERA, “We wanted to make sure every line in this movie had an historical backdrop and was historically accurate.”

 read on...

 The Zionist Message Hidden within Antique Pictures of the Holy Land

A 110-year-old trove of pictures taken by the Christian photographers of the American Colony in Jerusalem provides dramatic proof of thriving Jewish communities in Palestine. Hundreds of pictures show the ancient Jewish community of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish pioneers and builders of new towns and settlements in the Galilee and along the Mediterranean coastline. The American Colony photographers recorded Jewish holy sites, holiday scenes and customs, and they had a special reason for focusing their lenses on Yemenite Jews.  read on...

Fact checking the settlement issue by Yoram Ettinger 

  1. Judea and Samaria (Jewish roots) or West Bank (Arab roots)? “Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Its Hebrew spelling combines one of God’s names: Jehova (יהוה) and one of God’s acronyms: ד'. Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was "Judea and Samaria" from Biblical times until April 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it "West Bank," as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the U.N.
  2. Are Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria an obstacle to peace?  read on…  

 

Israel Supporters: Stop Using these 13 Phrases! 

Mainstream Western media coverage of Israel seeks to delegitimize the Jewish State by using certain words and phrases. The good news is that these terms were not written in stone 3,300 years ago, but created post-1948 in an attempt to attack Israeli independence. We must stop repeating these 13 phrases that forfeit our historical right to the Land of Israel,  read on...

Fox & Friends Article - Newton Schools

Feature Article from Fox News


Aug. 13, 2018 - 4:05 - Public school teachers in Massachusetts pledged to reject the 'call for objectivity' in the classroom in a group email; a Newton North High School parent reacts on 'Fox & Friends.' 

Israel's 9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza commemorating the victims who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is made partially from steel taken from the wreckage of the Twin Towers and is the only memorial outside the U.S. that includes the names of all who perished in the attacks.


The 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza, completed in 2009 for $2 million, sits on five acres of hillside, 20 miles from the center of Jerusalem.