Protesters disrupt an event held by Students Supporting Israel at the University of California, Los Angeles, May 17, 2018. Photo: Screenshot.
Thirty-one student groups have called on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to nix an upcoming national conference by Students for Justice in Palestine — described as a “hate group” with a “history of violence on California campuses.”
The Israel-focused clubs described SJP — a leading proponent of anti-Zionist activism on North American university campuses — as a “violent organization … which fuels campus anti-Semitism and which seeks the elimination of the world’s only Jewish-majority country.”
They pointed to the disruption of an indigenous peoples event held by Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at UCLA this past May, when members of SJP and members of the off-campus Revolutionary Communist Party tore down Armenian and Israeli flags, threw SSI materials onto the ground, and used bullhorns to chant slogans calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state in place of Israel.
Two months later, a member of SJP at Stanford University threatened to “physically fight zionists on campus” — a threat he amended hours later by replacing “physically” with “intellectually.” The student later 10 to anyone who was “triggered” by his language and stepped down from his job as a resident assistant.
“According to FBI statistics, Jews are the primary target of religious hate crimes in the United States,” the student groups wrote. They also cited research by the AMCHA Initiative — a nonprofit that aims to combat antisemitism on college campuses — which found that campuses that have active anti-Israel groups like SJP are more likely to have antisemitic incidents than campuses that don’t.
“The two phenomena are connected,” the students argued. “SJP is therefore a threat to the physical safety of the Jewish community,” and violates UCLA’s Principles of Community, which rejects harmful conduct including discrimination on the basis of personal characteristics such as ethnicity, religious beliefs, political preference, and national origin, they continued.
The students pointed to antisemitic statements shared by Robert Bowers, who killed 11 Jewish worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month, before urging UCLA to “take the anti-Semitic rhetoric of SJP members seriously.”
“Robert Bowers wrote on social media that ‘Jews are the children of Satan,’” they wrote. “Samer Alhato, one of the many anti-Semites set to speak or attend the conference tweeted, ‘Anyone been to Jerusalem? I hated seeing a bunch of Jews there but other than that it’s a beautiful city.’”
A representative for UCLA did not immediately answer requests for comment, but the school told NBC News earlier this week that they will not cancel the conference, which is set to take place from November 16-18.
“As you may have heard, some members of the Jewish community have been sharply critical of upcoming conference, demanding that UCLA move to cancel it,” spokesperson Tod Tamberg said in a statement. “As a public university, UCLA is legally bound to comply with the First Amendment, which protects everyone’s right to express their views, even those that are offensive and hateful or that the university opposes.”
The school had last month threatened to potentially cancel the conference if SJP did not remove the UCLA name “and/or artistic renditions” of the school’s mascot, the Bruin Bear, from the conference logo. The request stemmed from concerns that SJP sought to imply an association with UCLA, and that the bear — depicted flying a Palestinian kite — may be interpreted “as an intention to endorse violence against Israel,” as kites, balloons, and other devices have been used in Palestinian arson-attacks on Israeli communities in recent months, the school explained.
SJP eventually agreed to remove the UCLA name from the logo, but said the school’s “racist and gross mischaracterization of our design ignores the fact that kite-flying is a common pastime in Gaza, and has long been a symbol of freedom for Palestinians.”
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to endorse a resolution calling on UCLA to cancel the SJP conference over concerns that it would “promote anti-Semitism.”
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
Sep 30, 2019 0Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign secretary, has recently commissioned a report on the persecution of Christians, most acutely occurring in the Muslim World, and especially in the Arab/Muslim...
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“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.