Thursday, September 08, 2011

"More on Campus Anti-Semitism"

Arlene Kushner

My post yesterday elicited quite a response, and I'm glad for this.

This situation on US campuses, which in many places is horrendous, must be considered simply unacceptable by all of us. This means keeping on top of what's going on and becoming activist in the interest of changing the situation. This is one of those times, folks, when numbers matter and it is possible to make a difference.


Reader Doris M. has called my attention to the work of Dee Sterling, and I share here Sterling's website, (ha-emet = the truth). Please take a look at it. It focuses in some good measure on the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), which I mentioned in passing yesterday. OTI sponsors trips by Jewish American students to Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, where they are exposed to a seriously biased perspective with regard to Israel. A prime funder of this initiative is the Jewish Federation of Orange County (CA). Other supporters include Hillel and the University of CA. This site offers ways to combat this support of OTI.

Dee is to be congratulated for her efforts, which seem to me just that: sterling.


Jerry Gordon, senior editor of New English Review, has today written a piece, "Grassroots revolt against Jewish federations' support of Israel's enemies," which has been called to my attention by Adam T.

Gordon touches on two related topics, among others, that I have already written about. He says that:

"In Orange County, local activists have mined state public records and, in the process, unearthed details of how the local Federation funded more than $60,000 in grants to U.C.-Irvine for student trips to meet with Hamas representatives on the West Bank." That's OTI he's talking about, and some of this information is on the Ha-Emet site. The more we know, the uglier it gets.


But before even getting to this, he talks about ADL and Abe Foxman. That's the guy who said there's no anti-Semitism on campuses. When I reported on this, I commented that given Foxman's recent history, his position was not surprising. Gordon takes a look at that recent history.

On August 10, Foxman placed a piece on the ADL website called "Shut Down the Sharia Myth Makers." In it, he says that:

"The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years...

"We stand at a crossroads in American society. We have the option of heading down a path toward a greater tolerance of anti-Muslim xenophobia and fear of the 'stranger in our midst,' or we can rededicate ourselves to the ideal of an America that is open and welcoming to immigrants as well as minority groups who have been here for decades. Let us hope that the better nature of America will enable us to proceed down the second path and reject those who seek to divide us for political gain, or those who wish to stereotype and scapegoat an entire people because of their religious faith."

Oi vey.

Reports Gordon:

Within a few weeks, the Foxman op-ed...had been, in lockstep fashion, printed in more than two dozen Jewish weeklies subsidized by Jewish Federation charity organizations ranging from North Jersey’s Jewish Standard to Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent to Wisconsin’s Jewish Chronicle to Los Angeles’s Jewish Journal.

See Gordon's full piece:

As far as Foxman is concerned, how about this: He should be fired and his very considerable salary utilized for pro-Israel efforts on UC campuses. (My suggestion only, but not a bad one, I think.)


Lastly for today, Shurat Ha-Din, the Israel Law Center, sent out this morning letters to university presidents in the US warning them that they have legal obligations to prevent anti-Semitism on their campuses, and to prevent university funds from being diverted to unlawful activities directed against the State of Israel. The bottom line is that the universities "may be liable for massive damages."

This campaign is being carried out because of "an alarming number of incidents of harassment and hate crimes against Jewish and Israeli students on US college campuses."

The letter alludes to a recent Supreme Court ruling in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project that holds that it is illegal to provide any support to a terrorist organization -- even if that support appears to be relatively benign. Last year, for example, says Shurat Ha-Din, at Rutgers University, Students United for Middle East Justice applied for allocations from a student-run committee for an event in support of an organization that was trying to buy a ship to run Israel's Gaza blockade. Seems the group is monitoring campus activities carefully.


Read about Shurat Ha-Din's efforts here:

See the full warning letter here:

And the list of schools the letter was sent to here:

Shurat Ha-Din, you may remember, successfully used a legal approach to take the wind out of the sails of the second flotilla.

Law Center director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Kenneth Leitner, director of American Affairs, are top-notch and tireless attorneys doing an incredible job.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

No comments: