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.
A 2008 protest by ver.di Jugend in Karlsruhe, Germany. Photo: Wikipedia commons.
A German youth organization affiliated with the country’s second largest trade union has disavowed the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, as well as an anti-Zionist group that endorses a “one state” solution.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, ver.di Jugend announced that it passed a motion at its annual conference to reject BDS and FOR-Palestine, a group that advocates for a Palestinian-majority state in lieu of Israel and strongly opposes Zionism — the movement that supports the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination.
And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. Isaiah 2:3 (The Israel Bible™)
One year following the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, leaders from the White House Faith Initiative, along with Evangelical and Latin American leaders, gathered in Israel’s Knesset to promote dialogue and foster relations between Christians and Jews, as well as the United States, Latin America and Israel.
“I will bless those who bless you And curse him that curses you; And all the families of the earth Shall bless themselves by you.” Genesis 12:3 (The Israel Bible™)
An ICEJ delegation visited Israeli communities along the Gaza border and viewed a new specially designed ATV security vehicle donated through the ICEJ to a local moshav. Credit: ICEJ.
After Israel absorbed as many as 700 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the weekend, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) sent a delegation to the western Negev region on Monday to assess the updated security needs of local Israeli communities and how best to help them prepare for any future escalations.
A replica of the golden menorah in front of Titus’ Arch in Rome. (Courtesy)
“He said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a menorah all of gold, with a bowl above it. The lamps on it are seven in number, and the lamps above it have seven pipes;” Zechariah 4:2 (The Israel Bible™)
A small group of Christians’ remarkable act of faith has ambitious aspirations: to fix the theft of the golden menorah from the Temple by Titus in 70 CE. In addition, they are seeking to return some of the Divine love that has sustained Germany despite the horrific crimes perpetrated on the Jews in the Holocaust.
U.S. Jews are more likely than Christians to say that U.S. President Donald Trump favors Israelis more than the Palestinians, according to a Pew Research poll released on Monday.
Some 42 percent of American Jews say Trump is favoring Israelis more than the Palestinians, while 47 percent of them say he has been striking the right balance between the two.
Apr 30, 2019 0Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was accused of launching a long-range rocket from northern Gaza at Israel on Monday evening, in an attempt at provoking a heavy response from the Israel Defense...
Only three-quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them, we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures.
I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.
One of the most influential newspapers in the world, the Jewish-owned New York Times decided to present the Jews with a gift in honor of the last day of Passover – a major Jewish holiday – an antisemitic caricature. The controversial cartoon shows US President Donald Trump as a blind man with a skullcap on his head, being led by a dog that looks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And to make sure the reader knows it is indeed the Israeli premier, the dog has a Star of David dangling from its collar.
Last week, Jared Kushner, one of the administration’s point men on the Middle East, dispensed with the term “two-state solution” in its impending peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians. “The two-state solution has failed,” he said.
The “two-state solution” does not appear in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which called only for “interim self-government” for the Palestinians. The goal was a negotiated final status agreement, in which independence was not specified.
Religious fervor always picks up before the Jewish holidays. Not surprisingly, Israeli undercover police arrested Jewish activists from the Hozrim L’Har (Returning to the Mount) organization early Friday afternoon, just before the onset of the Passover holiday, after an apparent attempt to bring a young goat on to the Temple Mount for a self-proclaimed sacrificial rite. Indeed, this drama plays itself out every year, but according to Jerusalem police, this year a record of at least twelve members of the organization were arrested throughout the course of the day on counts of disturbing the peace.
Every year when Passover eve arrives, I do my best not to think about that night; to allow the joy of cherished rituals meant to renew our family’s tribal history and faith envelop us in its warm glow as whoever among the kids and grandkids it’s our turn to host partake of the matzoh, bitter herbs, and wine. Often – actually most often – I succeed.