Earlier this month, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine announced a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The campaign aims to divest Cornell’s endowment from companies they allege are responsible for human rights violations against Palestinians. A wave of these campaigns has spread to campuses across the country, and they sow nothing but discord and fear in their wake. We, the undersigned members of the Cornell community, stand squarely against this campaign because it is antithetical to the values Cornellians hold dear.
BDS Prevents Thoughtful Dialogue on Campus
The goal of the BDS movement is to utilize economic pressure against Israel as a mechanism to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Supporters see Israel as the sole aggressor and obstacle toward a solution. Those who have dedicated time to studying the conflict understand that it is a complex and sensitive regional conflict in which there are many actors and perspectives. By assigning all blame to one party, BDS ignores the efforts Israel has made toward a peaceful solution including numerous offers to Palestinians to have their own state. These offers have been rejected by Arab leaders. This one-sided view shuts down any thoughtful dialogue on the role all sides must play to end this conflict.
BDS Creates Division on our Campus
During a 2014 BDS campaign, BDS activists at Cornell targeted their pro-Israel classmates for their identities and beliefs. BDS activists yelled, “fuck you Zionist scums” and “I will fucking slap you” at fellow students. This is not the type of conversation that is productive on our campus. And in 2017, Cornell SJP disrupted a campus celebration of Israel’s Independence Day with a “die-in,” accusing students of celebrating genocide. While they laid dead, pro-Israel students sang songs of peace around them. In this year’s campaign, we once again fear that thoughtful and respectful dialogue on this issue will be stifled by hateful rhetoric.
We are concerned that language being used in this campaign may devolve into the targeting of Jews and the Jewish community on this campus, as it has on others. Cornell SJP has likened Zionist ideology to white supremacy and Nazism. That is a dangerous fallacy, designed to isolate the Jewish community and link us to the same hateful movement that targets Jews in attacks like the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. This kind of rhetoric creates an environment in which Jewish students feel unsafe and unwelcome on campus.
BDS Cannot Achieve a Peaceful Resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
BDS is often described as a non-violent means to bring about peace in the Middle East. Yet, in their letter to President Pollack, Cornell SJP makes no mention of peace. This is because BDS promotes conflict by isolating one side and brewing anger and disruption among the parties. True peace can only be achieved when Israelis and Palestinians establish enough mutual respect to directly negotiate with one another. BDS hinders the possibility for peace by impeding the confidence-building process and encouraging both sides to harden their positions.
BDS is Part of the Larger Goal to Strip Jewish People of the Right to Self-determination
Back in November, a member of Cornell SJP verified the claim made in guest column arguing that “Cornell SJP effectively endorses the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State.” The demands of the current BDS campaign are designed to meet that directive.
We find this goal severely troubling. Though we may disagree with some Israeli governmental policy, the Jewish people’s right to have a state of their own in their historic homeland is not up for debate. Jews unquestionably have deep religious, historical and cultural connections to the land of Israel. As per the U.S. Department of State, attempts to “deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination” qualify as anti-Semitism. As Cornellians, we cannot and will not tolerate anti-Semitism in any form.
BDS limits thoughtful dialogue on complex issues, hinders prospects for peace, and sows division and tension on our campus. For these reasons, Cornell’s BDS resolution must be voted down. We call upon Cornell SJP to join us in positive dialogue on campus and endorse a two-state solution, so Israelis and Palestinians can live side-by-side in secure and peaceful coexistence.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.