“And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)
BDS Solidarity Rally October 2015 (Photo: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement Facebook Page) By: Sean Savage
The Indiana House of Representatives this week passed new legislation that targets businesses or other entities that engage in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, marking the latest victory in the fight against BDS on the U.S. state level.
House Bill 1378, which was introduced by Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and was passed unanimously by the legislature on Jan. 25, requires “the public retirement system to divest from businesses that engage in action or inaction to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.” The bill’s next stop is a vote in the Indiana Senate, followed by the governor’s desk.
“Speaker Bosma’s leadership role in support of Israel places Indiana at the forefront of states taking a strong position in favor of the United States’ closest ally,” Elliot Bartky, president of the Jewish Affairs Committee of Indiana (JAACI), which was at the forefront of lobbying efforts for the new measure as well as different anti-BDS state legislation last year, told JNS.org.
The latest legislation is the third pro-Israel measure sponsored by Bosma since 2011. Last year, Bosma introduced a resolution that condemned the BDS movement; the move was inspired by an earlier anti-BDS resolution that was passed by Tennessee’s state legislature.
Bosma’s 2015 resolution, which eventually was approved by the Indiana Senate and signed by Governor Mike Pence, expressed “opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement, adding that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.”
Following in the footsteps of Tennessee and Indiana, three other states—New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida—last year passed similar legislation condemning BDS, while Illinois went even further by passing a bill that prohibits state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the BDS movement. Early this year, a California state legislator introduced a bill to ensure that California doesn’t contract with businesses that engage in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender, or nationality.
The Florida Senate, meanwhile, recently passed a resolution that requires a state board to identify all publicly funded companies that are boycotting Israel or are engaged in a boycott of Israel.
JAACI’s Bartky noted the importance of the Indiana bill at a time when anti-Jewish behavior is rising locally, nationally, and internationally.
“In Indiana, there is a growing movement on university and college campuses to demonize Jews and Israel,” Bartky told JNS.org.
According to Bartky, public funds have been used to sponsor anti-Jewish and anti-Israel programs on local Indiana campuses, such as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Bartky’s group tried to get the university’s administration to distance itself from an anti-Israel speaker, Rima Najjar Merriman, who presented at IUPUI in a talk dubbed “Why Boycotting Israeli Universities is the Right Thing To Do,” but the administration did not follow through.
At the same time, pro-Israel speakers were verbally attacked on the campus. Allon Friedman, vice president of JAACI and a faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine on the IUPUI campus, was called a “Jewish Zionist” on Merriman’s Facebook page and was told by the university administration that free speech rules allowed anti-Semitic speech on campus.
Friedman told JNS.org that he hopes the anti-BDS bill will be followed by more moves to put an end to anti-Semitic incitement at Indiana schools and elsewhere.
“We thank Speaker Bosma for his leadership and hope that the fight against anti-Semitism in Indiana will inspire others to commit to fighting the spread of anti-Semitism at home and abroad,” Friedman said.
Read more at http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/60179/state-indiana-latest-fight-anti-israel-bds-movement-jerusalem/#BxUCcmhIpX7AmVz5.99
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.