Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Anti-Israel activity on Campus correlates with antisemitism there

From the Canadian Jewish News, 15 March 2016, by Paul Miller:

A new survey ...offers data backing up the argument that anti-Israel activity—by entities including student groups, academics, and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement advocates—contributes directly to incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Read: Full Report    Executive Summary

The study, conducted by the anti-Semitism watchdog group AMCHA Initiative, investigated anti-Semitic activity on more than 100 public and private colleges and universities over the duration of one year. Previous surveys commonly assessed levels of campus anti-Semitism by measuring student attitudes and subjective reports. According to AMCHA, this study assessed anti-Semitic activity by focusing on confirmed incidents compiled from media reports and eyewitness accounts. The campuses selected to be surveyed have the largest Jewish undergraduate populations in the country.

According to the study’s executive summary, three different kinds of activity were analyzed: “anti-Semitic expression,” meaning incidents with language or imagery that used one or more of eight tropes included in the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism; “targeting of Jewish students,” meaning incidents involving behaviour that targeted Jewish students for particular harm including physical assault, harassment, destruction of property, discrimination, and suppression of speech; and “BDS activity,” meaning the promotion or endorsement of an anti-Israel boycott, divestment, or sanctions effort. Campus BDS campaigns routinely employ rhetoric and imagery intended to demonize and delegitimize Israel, expression that is consistent with the State Department definition of anti-Semitism.

Among the schools examined in the study, 70 per cent hosted events deemed anti-Semitic, and more than 300 incidents of anti-Semitism took place in 2015 on the surveyed campuses. Perhaps most revealing is that 99 per cent of campuses that have at least one anti-Israel student group saw at least one anti-Semitic incident, compared to 16 per cent of campuses with no dedicated anti-Israel groups. Fifty-seven of colleges and universities with at least one anti-Israel student group had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for physical harm.

“No student should ever be targeted for harm because of his or her perceived religious or ethnic identity, and yet, at far too many schools, Jewish students are routinely threatened because of their identity,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA’s director.

“These findings provide, for the first time, objective confirmation of student reports of widespread anti-Semitism, as well as evidence that the primary agents of anti-Semitic activity are anti-Zionist students and faculty boycotters and BDS is the strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus.”

Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., was found to have the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in the study, with 16 in 2015. A slew of California schools followed, as University of California (UC), Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UCLA rounded out the five schools with the most anti-Semitic incidents. San Diego State University, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford University, Northeastern University, and the University of Michigan completed the top 10.

Schools such as Vassar College, Oberlin College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago have recently made headlines due to alleged anti-Semitic activity. Vassar and Oberlin have found the spotlight due to anti-Semitic behaviour of speakers and professors, respectively. All three schools were in the AMCHA study’s top 18 schools in terms of reported incidents of bigotry toward Jews.

The study also revealed that 81 per cent of colleges with one or more BDS advocates among the faculty had at least one incident of anti-Semitic activity, while 17 per cent of schools with no faculty boycotters of Israel had incidents of anti-Jewish activity.

AMCHA’s survey concludes that the strongest indicator of campus anti-Semitism stems from campuses with anti-Israel advocacy groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and faculty members that endorse boycotting the Jewish state.

The lies of Breaking the Silence

From Israel Hayom, 20 March 2016, by Dr Haim Shine:

Many Israelis were shocked to learn of the efforts made by left-wing group Breaking the Silence to gather classified military information, as reported by Channel 2 last week based on hidden-camera footage filmed by activists of the right-wing organization Ad Kan. The attempts by Breaking the Silence to collect intelligence about operational activities by the Israel Defense Forces are extremely serious.
I assume that as part of the investigation, a decisive attempt will be made to discover exactly to whom and for what purpose group members transferred this information. It is insignificant who is responsible for this investigative report, nor the objectives of its agents. The only thing that matters is the content seen and heard on the footage.

After the subversive activity of Breaking the Silence and other leftist groups has been exposed, very few in Israel still believe that sheer ideology and concern for the morality of the IDF and society have been the main driving force behind these organizations' activities.

He who wishes to mend the alleged immorality of Israeli society must first deal with it in Israel, and not run to other countries and join forces with cynical and hypocritical anti-Israel supporters. Selling anti-Israeli merchandise to anti-Semites in Europe is easy and boycott-free.
Even those driven by ideology should engage in honest introspection. It is regrettable that Breaking the Silence and others blatantly ignore the reality of our lives in this country to become the loyal servants of foreign countries and the dubious interests of Israel's enemies. As our sages taught, "He who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate."

Israeli soldiers and police stand guard day and night to defend this country in the face of a murderous enemy, savages without any moral inhibitions, a violent Palestinian society that sends teenage boys and girls with knives drawn to murder Jews, knowing they will pay with their lives for their acts of terror.

It takes a great deal of malice, cynicism, hypocrisy, and perhaps exaggerated naivete, to cooperate with our country's enemies. This forces the IDF to confront internal threats, as well. It has been many years since we have witnessed so much self-hatred.

Too bad that former IDF senior commanders and politicians have been willing to back Breaking the Silence and other self-righteous groups. How much more indifference are we to endure by the Left's top leaders, who completely ignore Israel's duty to defend its citizens before it attends to the rights of vile murderers. 

The Israeli Left is dying, and while taking its last breaths it is shouting words such as "democracy" and "freedom of speech," which it feels are only valid where its rights are concerned. Other Israelis who do not share the same opinions are not deserving of the same rights, and certainly not freedom of speech. 

The organization embodies the true sense of the Yiddish phrase "the robbed Cossack" (a situation in which the one who perpetrates injustice claims to be the victim of wrongdoing). The Israeli public understands the issues of freedom as well as the country's fragile existence and has been moving away from the Left. The public understands that it is a democracy's right to defend itself. 

The Israeli Left and Breaking the Silence seek to convince the citizens of Israel that desperation drives the Palestinian killing sprees. This is a shameless lie. The fuel that ignites the Arab violence is the hope that, by way of terror, they can harm the Jews' tenacity to hold on to their homeland.

Unfortunately, leftist organizations, directly and indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, have been sowing hope in the hearts of the Palestinians, and as long as Palestinian hope exists, terror will not cease and peace will not be achieved. 

My suggestion for the leftist groups is to convince the Palestinians that there is no hope and they can never extinguish the fire of the Jewish eternal existence. By doing so, these leftist groups will finally achieve the goals they have been striving for. The Israeli people are peace-loving and moral. They do not need Breaking the Silence to teach them the meaning of morality.

The Moral Bankruptcy of the Progressive-Left

The progressive movement's main claim to political legitimacy is a moral claim. The movement claims to stand for social justice and equality of rights throughout the world. Any legitimacy the left has as a political movement is grounded in the notion of universal human rights. But if the left has quietly abandoned that ideal, which it has, then it loses both moral and political legitimacy. After all, if the left does not stand for universal human rights, then just what in this world does it stand for?

The sad truth is that the left has abandoned its core reason to be. By holding different people, and different countries, to different moral standards it has effectively abandoned its alleged core values. One cannot claim to stand for social justice, after all, if you only care about social justice for some people, but not others. If you constantly speak out against supposed Israeli human rights abuses but remain silent about the truly horrific situations in Darfur or Congo or Syria... circumstances that make the Arab-Israel conflict look like a picnic on a summer Sunday afternoon... then you cannot claim to stand for universal human rights and, therefore, any claims you may have for moral or political leadership, as a member of the left, are entirely unfounded.

This is the situation that we find ourselves in, currently, and it probably represents at least part of the reason why many Jews are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the Democratic Party and the progressive movement. Most diaspora Jewish supporters of Israel are people who at one time, if not currently, considered themselves on the progressive-left. Certainly, I did. As someone who grew up in the political aftermath of the counterculture and the New Left, I was impressed with the ideals of those movements. I was impressed with the counterculture for its apparent spontaneity, its anti-authoritarian values, and its sense of community. I was impressed with the New Left for standing against jingoism, for its anti-war agenda, and for its championing of the human rights of women and Gay people and other minorities.

Today, looking back on the movement that was for decades my political home, what I see are the ruins of what was and the rank hypocrisy of what is. The left has essentially broken itself on Israel's back and they don't even know it, yet. The reason for this is that if, as a movement, the progressive-left intends to constantly fire-off Katyushas of Hatred and Qassams of Malice toward Tel Aviv, while snuggying up to Iran, then they lose all moral legitimacy. This is particularly true given the fact that the left could hardly care less about the 5.5 million dead in the Congo, about Tibetans living under Chinese occupation, about rape as a tactic of war in Darfur, about the hanging of Gay people from cranes in Tehran, or about an Arab and Muslim world rife with anti-Semitism, homophobia, and gender apartheid.

In this way the left, which claims to be both moral and anti-racist proves itself to be, in fact, neither.

On the progressive-left, Israel is the Jew among nations. Just as prior to establishment of the state of Israel Europeans tended to ascribe a host of negative characteristics to the Jewish people, so today they ascribe those same specific characteristics to the Jewish state and they do so... gallingly enough, hypocritically enough... under the banner of social justice. For 2,000 years we lived in diaspora, that is, we lived or died according to the pleasure of non-Jews. For 1,300 years we lived as second and third-class non-citizens under the imperialist boot of Muslim rule, i.e., as dhimmis

 And today, directly after the historical moment in which we re-took our freedom, progressives tell us that the institution within which we manifest that freedom, the state of Israel, is a racist, colonialist, imperialist, apartheid country which, if it should not be dismantled as the national homeland for the Jewish people, must jump through whatever hoops they lay down. If Israel fails to jump through each and every one of those hoops then clearly they do not want peace and thus deserve whatever they get.

Well, some of us have definitely had enough of this nonsense.

The Palestinians refuse to negotiate a peaceful conclusion of hostilities and the progressive-left blames Israel. The Gazans shot thousands of rockets into southern Israel for years, but the progressives only spoke up when Israel sought to defend its citizenry from those rockets. Did the progressive movement have anything to say about the Fogel family murders? No, it did not. Does the progressive movement have anything to say about Hamas's genocidal charter or the larger Jihadi movement out of which Hamas sprang?

No. It does not.

The left can barely even bring itself to tsk, tsk ISIS.

In fact, as Egypt transitioned from a military dictatorship, under Hosni Mubarak, to an Islamist dictatorship under the Muslim Brotherhood this result was, in part, through the efforts of the current president of the United States. But, then, the left has always had a weakness for the very worst actors in world history. Just as leftists often supported the Soviet Union for decades, despite the tens of millions of innocent dead due to that regime, so it now (usually tacitly, but sometimes directly) supports Political Islam.

For me, personally, the real wake-up call came during the Mavi Marmara incident in May of 2010. There were two groups of people aboard that vessel. There were the violent Jihadis seeking martyrdom... which progressives referred to as "peace activists." And the second group? Well, they definitely weren't Tea Party people. They were, in fact, progressive-left activists from around the world. Progressive-left activists literally, physically, morally, and financially supporting Jihadis in an effort to kill Jews, while telling the world that their mission was humanitarian.
The irony and cruel hypocrisy could not be more rich.

So, just why would you expect Jewish people to remain a part of such a political movement? The progressive-left may have been our home for a very long time, but clearly their values have shifted away from anything that could possibly be acceptable to the great majority of western Jews. Most of those Jews don't really get it, yet, but people are awakening. There are reasons why more and more of us are leaving the Democratic party and the progressive movement.

Because the progressive-left accepts, if not encourages, generalized malice toward the Jewish state it thereby shows the rest of us the door.

I say we walk through it.

The Israeli Left is a Potemkin Village

Recent charges that the NGO Breaking the Silence has engaged in espionage in addition to its ‘normal’ activity of collecting and disseminating unverifiable information to embarrass the IDF have stirred a hornet’s nest on the Left.
Someone hearing about the affair from outside of Israel probably gets the impression that the nation is bitterly divided. It is not. Israelis overwhelmingly oppose the activities of BTS and other left-wing organizations.
...The recent Pew survey of political and religious attitudes in Israel found that only 8% of Israeli Jews self-identify as part of the Left; the rest place themselves in the center (55%) or on the right (37%).
...Nevertheless, this 8% has remarkable power inside Israel, as well as the ability to project its voice to the world. The Left absolutely dominates the creative and performing arts here. Exhibitions feature their work, prizes and grants are given to them by committees made up of their ideological twins. Their films and books picture Israel to the world. Try making a right-wing film in Israel! The universities, at least in the humanities and social sciences, are solidly packed with leftist instructors. These academics serve as visiting professors at universities in the US and Europe on a regular basis.
...Finally, there are the numerous leftist NGOs like
  • Breaking The Silence,
  • B’Tselem, and
  • publications like +972 Magazine,
which in engage in anti-Israel propaganda within Israel and abroad, legal activities against the state and the IDF, and which cooperate with anti-Israel politicians and UN officials. While they are staffed by Israelis and registered as Israeli organizations, they get the greatest part of their funding from foreign sources, especially the European Union and individual European governments.
All of these, in addition to their ability to throw obstacles in the path of the government in Israel, have a huge information footprint outside of Israel. So it is no wonder that people think that many Israelis are on the Left.
They are not. The Left in Israel is dying, strangled by the reality of the Second and Third Intifadas, the hostility of Hamas, and the knowledge that no concession to the Arabs can end the threat from Iran, Hezbollah and Da’esh. The kibbutzim, formerly leftist strongholds, have become mere neighborhoods. The Army, formerly led by left-wing (but still Zionist) kibbutzniks now has more and more young officers who wear knitted kipot. They will move up the ladder to the top spots.
The Left is increasingly composed of aging ideologues and bitter anti-state extremists. It is on life support with money flowing from Europe. If that stopped – and attempts are being made to at least control it – Israel would look quite different from outside.
A correspondent recently wrote to me saying that he was worried by the lack of a will to fight and pointed to the “rot of left-liberalism” weakening Israel and the West and even “moral decay” in Israel. He pointed to the remark by Ehud Olmert that “Israel is tired of fighting…” that I quoted in a recent post about Israel’s response to the Iranian threat.
I would like to assure him that at least in the case of Israel, he should not be too quick to think that the culture as a whole is decadent, just because the ‘rotten’ Left has such a loud voice. Unlike Europe and the US, the real Israel is getting stronger, psychologically as well as militarily.
The Israeli Left is a Potemkin village, a Hollywood set. There is no substance, only surface. Don’t let its big mouth fool you.

Ted Cruz at AIPAC

“I will not be neutral. America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel...”

“On my first day in office, I will rip the catastrophic nuclear deal with Iran to shreds... If I am president, on the first day we will reimpose sanctions on Iran.”

“Hear my words, Ayatollah Khamenei: If I'm president and Iran launches a missile, we will shoot that missile down.”...

“Americans will say never again means never again.”

On his first day in office, he declared, he will work to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.

“I recognize that over the years many candidates – Republican and Democrat – said the same thing. Here's the difference: I will do it...” ...

“All of us here understand that Israel is not the barrier to peace. It is the Palestinian Authority and its so-called 'unity government' with Hamas. If the Palestinians try to push through a UN resolution that unilaterally declares Palestinian statehood, I will fly to New York to personally veto it myself.”

There is one other nation besides America that serves as a “beacon of light and of hope” to the world, and that is Israel, said Cruz.

“All of us understand that peace is achievable only through strength. Weakness is provocative,” he continued, comparing the Iran nuclear deal to Munich in 1938 and saying the deal would provide “a homicidal maniac” with tools to kill millions of people.

Cruz concluded his speech with “Am Yisrael Chai” (the people of Israel live) to the sound of raucous applause.

Hear the full speech: