Saturday, April 16, 2016

Palestinians: We Will Not Accept a Jewish Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The obsession with settlements is certain to divert attention from core issues, such as Palestinian recognition of a Jewish Israel. Many Palestinians continue to regard Israel as one big settlement that needs to be removed from the Middle East.

  • Even those who say they have accepted the two-state solution are not prepared to recognize any Jewish link to or history in the land.
  • In the view of Al-Husseini, Palestinians refuse to acknowledge a Jewish state because they believe this would grant legitimacy to "Jews' rights to the land of Palestine" and undermine the Palestinian demand for the "right of return" for millions of refugees into Israel.
  • Israeli Arab leaders are betraying their constituencies by privileging the perceived interests of Palestinian Arabs, while Palestinian Arab leaders are betraying their constituencies by denying any link between Jews and the land. This stance makes peace a non-starter.

Israel as a Jewish state remains anathema to the Palestinian community. This is a top-down attitude, communicated on a constant basis by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is based on the argument that such a move would mean giving up the "right of return" for millions of "refugees" into Israel. This refusal is also based on the continued denial of any historic Jewish connection to the land.

In recent weeks, the PA president has once again reiterated his strong opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

The Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is one of the main obstacles to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Settlement construction complaints are nothing more than a Palestinian Authority smokescreen.

There is much talk these days about the Palestinian Authority's intention to ask the United Nations Security Council to issue a resolution condemning Israel for construction in the settlements. It is not yet clear whether the PA will carry out its threat. What is clear, however, is that this obsession with the settlements is certain to divert attention from core issues, such as Palestinian recognition of a Jewish Israel. Many Palestinians continue to regard Israel as one big settlement that needs to be removed from the Middle East.

Why, in fact, do the Palestinians refuse to accept Israel as a Jewish state?

Abbas has consistently failed to state his reasons for his total rejection of Israel as a Jewish state. In January 2014, the PA president declared:
"The Palestinians won't recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel and won't accept it. The Israelis say that if we don't recognize the Jewishness of Israel there would be no solution. And we say that we won't recognize or accept the Jewishness of Israel and we have many reasons for this rejection."
On another occasion that same year, Abbas stated: "No one can force us to recognize Israel as Jewish state. If they [Israel] want, they can go to the UN and ask to change their name to whatever they want -- even if they want to be called The Jewish Zionist State." Again, Abbas failed to explain the vehement Palestinian opposition to this demand.

(Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

The Palestinian Authority's chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has shed some light on the matter. "We have already recognized Israel's existence on the 1948 borders of Occupied Palestine," Erekat explained. He added that he made it clear to former Israeli Foreign Minister Tipi Livni during a meeting in Munich that the Palestinians "won't change their history and religion and culture by recognizing Israel as a Jewish state."

While Palestinian leaders have been rather reluctant to elaborate on the reasons behind their rejectionism, other Palestinians have been more generous about the issue.

One of these is Palestinian political scientist Dr. Saniyeh Al-Husseini, who recently published an article titled, "Why Palestinians Refuse to Accept the Jewishness of the State of Israel." The article was reprinted by the Palestinian Authority's official news agency, WAFA -- a definite sign that the Palestinian leadership endorses her views.

In her article, Al-Husseini points out that the U.S. supports the Israeli condition, which she described as a "crippling demand."

The article warns that "accepting the Jewishness of Israel means relinquishing all the Palestinian rights to the Palestinian lands, including the lands that were occupied in 1967." According to Al-Husseini, there are two main reasons that Palestinians are opposed to this demand. The first has to do with the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees to their former villages and homes inside Israel; the second is related to the status of Israel's Arab citizens.

Referring to the first of these, Al-Husseini writes:
"Palestinian acceptance of the Israeli narrative would deny any Palestinian right on the land of Palestine and give justification to Israel's wars against the Palestinians. Palestinian recognition of the Jewishness of Israel means accepting the Israeli narrative regarding the Jews' right to the land of Palestine and exempts Israel from bearing responsibility for the moral and legal consequences of all its crimes against the Palestinians."
In the view of Al-Husseini, then, Palestinians refuse to acknowledge a Jewish state because they believe that this would grant legitimacy to "Jews' rights to the land of Palestine" and undermine the Palestinian demand for the "right of return" for millions of refugees into Israel.

Let us take a moment to clarify this: the Palestinian Authority wants a Palestinian state next to Israel while at the same time flooding Israel with millions of refugees. That, of course, is something to which no Israeli government could ever agree. Even more crucial is the Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish right to the land. Such denial is a longstanding pillar of the official Palestinian narrative. Even those who say they have accepted the two-state solution are not prepared to recognize any Jewish link to or history in the land.

The second reason, that which concerns the Arab citizens of Israel, is similarly telling. According to Al-Husseini, Israel's ultimate goal, as "betrayed" by this demand, is to rid itself of its Arab citizens.

There is indeed a betrayal going on, but it is not being perpetrated by Israel. First, by reprinting Al-Husseini's article, the PA has "betrayed" the fact that it has appointed itself custodian of the Arab citizens of Israel.

As Israel is a democracy -- unlike the dictatorial Palestinian regimes -- Israel's Arab citizens have their own leaders and representatives in Israel's Knesset. The last thing they need is for the Palestinian Authority or Hamas or any other Palestinian faction to meddle in their internal affairs.

But the betrayal continues. The Arab citizens of Israel are represented by leaders, including some Knesset members, who are so preoccupied with the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that they have forgotten who their real constituents are.

Just consider MK Zouheir Bahloul, who spends valuable time re-defining the word "terrorist." Bahloul, a member of the Labor Party, seems to be enjoying the public outcry he created recently when he declared that a Palestinian who tried to stab IDF soldiers in Hebron last month is not a terrorist.

It is as if Bahloul and the other Arab Knesset members have solved all the problems of the Arab community inside Israel and all that is left is to make sure that no one calls a Palestinian stabber a terrorist. Needless to say, this issue does not top the agenda of the Arab citizens of Israel.

The betrayal thus runs wide and deep. Israeli Arab leaders are betraying their constituencies by privileging the perceived interests of Palestinian Arabs, while Palestinian Arab leaders are betraying their constituencies by continuing to deny any link between Jews and the land. This is a stance that makes peace a non-starter in the Middle East. When the international community is presented with settlement complaints and the like, it might wish to ponder these small but critical points.
  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

UNESCO adopts resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount - Tovah Lazaroff

by Tovah Lazaroff

Resolution refers to Temple Mount area solely as Al-Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, except for two references to the Western Wall Plaza that were put in parenthesis.

temple mount jerusalem
Jerusalem's Old City and the Temple Mount. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris on Friday adopted a resolution whose language ignored Jewish ties to the holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The broad ranging resolution condemned Israeli actions in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. But the resolution focused in large part on Israeli actions with regard to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall Plaza.

All three major monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christian and Islam — consider the Temple Mount to be a holy site.

But the UNESCO resolution referred to the Temple Mount area solely as the Al-Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, except for two references to the Western Wall Plaza that were put in parenthesis.

The text also referred to the plaza area by the Western Wall as the Al-Buraq Plaza.

Last October, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization backed away from reclassifying the Western Wall as solely a Muslim holy site. This spring it simply used language that almost solely referred to it as such.

April’s resolution did reaffirm, however, that the Mughrabi Ascent that starts at the Western Wall plaza is an integral and inseparable part of Al-Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

The resolution called for on Israel to restore the situation on the Temple Mount to what it had been prior to September 2000, when the Second Intifada broke out. At that time, according to the resolution, the Jordan Wakf full control of the Al-Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif to include work on maintenance and restoration as well as regulating access.

The site is under the full authority, but not full control, of the Islamic Wakf.

UNESCO called on Israel not to restrict Muslim worshipers from accessing the Al-Aksa Mosque site and condemned the violence that occurred there in the fall, but solely focused on Israeli actions in those incidents and not on the violence of the Muslim rioters at the site.

It condemned Israeli plans to build a prayer space for Women of the Wall by Robinson’s Arch, although it did not mention the group by name.

The resolution also charged that Israel had planed “Jewish fake graves” in other Muslim cemeteries located on Wakf property east and south of the Al-Aksa mosque.

The 58-member board approved the resolution 19 with 33 votes in favor, six against and 17 abstention. Two countries, Ghana and Turkmenistan were absent all together.

Those countries who opposed it outright were: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

France, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Russia and Slovenia were among those countries who supported the resolution.

A second resolution that more globally condemned Israeli actions, passed with 45 votes in favor, 1 vote against and 11 abstentions.

The Foreign Ministry had not response to the vote. B’nai Brith International President Gary P. Salesman said that, “With this resolution, UNESCO has seemingly lowered itself to the depths of bizarre conspiracy theories.

“These one-sided resolutions are being used to further the Palestinian narrative, which only prolongs the conflict and which, once again, speaks to the continuing bias of the U.N. and its agencies,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.

Tovah Lazaroff


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Targeting Jews in the Ivory Sewer - Kenneth Levin

by Kenneth Levin

A safe space for Jew-hatred.

Reports of anti-Semitic acts on American campuses suggest that the nation’s universities and colleges are likely today the chief institutional repository of anti-Semitism in the United States.
As one recent study notes: “A survey of U.S. Jewish college students by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law revealed that 54% of surveyed students reported experiencing or witnessing instances of anti-Semitism on campus during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year. Another survey by Brandeis University in the spring of 2015 found that three-quarters of North American Jewish college student respondents had been exposed to anti-Semitic rhetoric...”
The same study also notes that, in addition to encountering anti-Semitic rhetoric, Jewish students have been the targets of “physical assault, harassment, destruction of property, discrimination and suppression of speech.” The Brandeis University survey found that “one-third of students... reported having been harassed because they were Jewish.”
The study citing these data was conducted by the AMCHA Initiative, and AMCHA Initiative’s own findings appear in the organization’s “Report on Anti-Semitic Activity in 2015 at U.S. Colleges and Universities With the Largest Jewish Undergraduate Populations.” The AMCHA Initiative report looks more particularly at the strong correlation between the presence of anti-Israel groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) on campuses, as well as anti-Israel activity such as that of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and campus anti-Semitism.
The correlation is hardly surprising, since much of SJP’s activities on campus - including the agenda of SJP guest speakers at events underwritten by colleges and universities - consists of demonizing Israel, denying Jewish history and Jews’ right to national self-determination, and advocating for anti-Israel entities such as HAMAS, which explicitly calls not only for the annihilation of Israel but for the murder of all Jews. The BDS movement likewise seeks to delegitimize and undermine Israel’s existence and grossly distorts the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and leading BDS supporters have acknowledged that the movement’s ultimate goal is the dissolution of the Jewish state.
Nor is that goal particularly hidden, nor for that matter in need of being hidden, in much of American academia. Indeed, in March, 2012, Harvard University hosted a “One State Conference” at the Kennedy School where speaker after speaker called for dismantling Israel and attacked those promoting its continued existence. According to the Harvard Crimson, the conference was organized by campus groups Justice for Palestine, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Palestine Caucus, the Arab Caucus, the Progressive Caucus and the Alliance for Justice in the Middle East.
Why are colleges and universities tolerating an epidemic of anti-Semitic acts on their campuses, and the activities of groups that directly or indirectly promote such acts? At a time when there is so much campus sensitivity about so-called micro-aggressions and the need to render campuses safe spaces for those students who feel victimized, when even seemingly innocuous statements or actions by fellow students or faculty members can lead to punitive measures against them should someone respond by feeling aggrieved, why are the macro-aggressions against Jews on campus allowed to continue with little consequence for the perpetrators?
In fact anti-Jewish aggression is more than tolerated. Faculty members commonly use the classroom to join in the demonization of Israel and its supporters, and do so as well in visiting lectures on other campuses and in other venues.  Just as the AMCHA Initiative study found a correlation between the level of BDS activity on a campus and the level of campus anti-Semitism, so too did the study find “a strong correlation between the presence and number of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and occurrence of overall anti-Semitism, as well as strong associations with each kind of anti-Semitic activity independently.” The BDS movement’s goal - however often disingenuously cloaked in claims of high-minded and benign intent - is Israel’s dissolution. The movement’s delegitimization of Jewish national self-determination and its demonization of those who support Israel is conveyed by its faculty proponents no less than by its student devotees, and so it should again come as no surprise that the former stoke campus hostility towards Jews just as the latter do.
But it is not simply individual faculty members that target Israel. Entire departments, particularly in the social sciences and humanities, do so, both via sponsoring anti-Israel activities on campus and by advocating support of BDS by their national associations.  
Nearly a dozen academic associations have endorsed the academic boycotting of Israel. Resolutions to this effect were passed, for example, by the American Studies Association and the National Women’s Studies Association. One major academic group, the American Anthropological Association, will be voting on a boycott resolution this month, and another, the Middle East Studies Association, voted to have its membership consider such a resolution.
The record of Middle East studies departments is particularly noteworthy. Not only do the Hamas rulers of Gaza promote genocidal Jew-hatred  but so too does the other Palestinian government, the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas, in its mosques, media and schools. In addition, similar genocidal rhetoric is a fixture of media, mosques and schools throughout most of the Arab world and, largely through Arab financing and disseminating, has become a constant theme in the wider Muslim world and within Muslim communities elsewhere. One might think that the phenomenon of contemporary genocidal anti-Semitism in the Arab and broader Muslim world would be deemed worthy of some attention in Middle East studies departments; but one would be wrong. It is the exception among such departments to address the issue and, for example, an undergraduate in most universities which offer Middle East studies degrees can earn such a degree without the matter ever having been addressed in any of his or her classes.
The prevailing attitude in such departments is indicated by the fact that in the December, 2014, annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) - in the wake of the Gaza fighting the previous summer and its unleashing of even greater than usual convulsions of anti-Jewish rhetoric in the Arab and broader Muslim world - of the 275 sessions listed in the meeting agenda, none addressed the issue of Jew-hatred.
MESA did offer a "special pre-program session" that indirectly touched on the matter of anti-Semitism in the Middle East. During the Gaza war - a conflict triggered by Hamas’s unleashing rocket bombardments of Israeli villages, towns and cities - one Middle East scholar, Steven Salaita, sent out numerous anti-Israel tweets, including one in which he declared that "Zionists" had "transform[ed] ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable..."
The University of Illinois subsequently withdrew the offer of an academic position to Salaita. In response to criticism of its decision, the university’s chancellor issued a statement which included:
"What we cannot and will not tolerate at the University of Illinois are personal and disrespectful words or actions that demean and abuse either viewpoints themselves or those who express them. We have a particular duty to our students to ensure that they live in a community of scholarship that challenges their assumptions about the world but that also respects their rights as individuals."
But the prevailing opinion at MESA was different. That "special pre-program session" at MESA’s 2014 meeting was entitled: "The Salaita Case and New Assaults on Academic Freedom."
Too many American colleges and universities have embraced the bias of MESA rather than the principled stand of the University of Illinois’s chancellor. In much of contemporary American academia, as in Orwell’s Animal Farm, everyone is equal but some are more equal than others. Every student is entitled to safe spaces and protection against faculty micro-aggressions, but faculty attacks on Jews and Jewish students, especially attacks on Jews who support the existence and well-being of the Jewish state, are not intolerable acts of aggression but rather protected expressions of academic freedom.
And that academic freedom, when it comes to claims against Israel and its supporters, apparently extends to any defamation, distortion of reality and demonization, however bigoted or absurd.
Vassar, which has earned a reputation in a very crowded field of being among the leading campuses in the promotion of anti-Israel sentiment leavened with anti-Semitic tropes, hosted on February 3 an Israel-bashing lecture by Jasbir Puar, a Rutgers associate professor of women’s and gender studies. According to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece entitled “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar” (Mark G. Yudof and Ken Walzer, February 17), Puar, who urged that her comments not be recorded, claimed, among other defamations, that Israel  “‘mined for organs for scientific research’ from dead Palestinians - updating the medieval blood libel against Jews - and accused Israelis of attempting to give Palestinians the ‘bare minimum for survival’ as part of a medical ‘experiment.’”
Puar’s lecture was reported to have been sponsored by a number of Vassar departments, with American Studies being the lead sponsor, joined by Africana Studies, English, International Studies, Jewish Studies, Political Science, Religion and Women’s Studies.
(That a Jewish Studies department would join in promoting a lecture trafficking in anti-Israel canards and anti-Jewish memes is not particularly shocking. Throughout the history of anti-Semitism, in the context of both the Diaspora and Israel, eruptions of bigoted attacks on elements of the Jewish community - in this case the Jewish state and its supporters - have invariably been accompanied by some groups of Jews seeking to ingratiate themselves with the bigots and distance themselves from those Jews being targeted. In addition, the Jews who do so almost invariably seek to characterize their stance not as an effort to appease the haters but rather as the embrace of some higher moral, ethical calling. This pattern accounts for much of what is seen of Jewish faculty and students joining the BDS crowd, or forming anti-Israel groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace.)
In response to criticism of Puar’s speech from some quarters, a number of academics came to her defense (among them the aforementioned Steven Salaita, championed by the Middle East Studies association) and signed an open letter to Vassar’s president complaining, among other things, about what the signers characterize as - the reader may well have guessed - the “suppression of speech or academic freedom” supposedly reflected in the comments of Puar’s critics.
The Vassar/Puar lecture story is relatively unique for the attention it got - becoming the subject of a Wall Street Journal op-ed - not for its content. In fact, similar lectures and activities defaming Israel and drawing on hoary anti-Jewish tropes are a constant fixture in the landscape of contemporary American academia.
Two weeks after Puar’s lecture, Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist, founder and former director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group and a former investigator for the Israeli group B’Tselem, spoke at Vassar. Eid is a vehement critic of BDS. He told a Vassar interviewer, “BDS can do huge damage to the Palestinian economy... I can see nothing good about this movement.” He also argued that most of the fault for the difficulties faced by Palestinians lay with Palestinian leaders. “Right now, I see only corruption upon corruption among our leaders.. They have built not one university, not one clinic.”
It is worth noting that no academic department or recognized student organization would sponsor Eid’s appearance, presumably because he offered something other than the preferred Israel- and Jew-bashing arguments. His talk required direct sponsorship by the college itself.

(Shortly after his appearance at Vassar, Eid was shouted down and had at least one death threat hurled at him when he attempted to present a lecture at the University of Chicago. Freedom of speech is clearly only for the select. Or perhaps those shouting him down and threatening him are to be excused because they perceived themselves as victims of a micro-aggression.)
The targeting of Jews on American campuses, as well as the defaming and targeting of the Jewish state, can be construed as in large part an element of the wider blight in contemporary American academia. Particularly in the social sciences and humanities, the objective of faculties is all too often no longer imparting to students a capacity for critical thinking - for examining competing interpretations of factual data and learning to weigh them with some objectivity - but rather indoctrinating students in “correct” thinking. Just as in contemporary journalism, disinterested, fact-based reporting has been largely replaced by advocacy journalism, so, too, advocacy teaching has come to dominate large swathes of the social sciences and humanities.
Concepts of “fact,” “factual accuracy” and “truth” are themselves denigrated and dismissed, replaced by an alternative reality of “narratives.” (It is only in such an alternative reality that, for example, the primitive falsehoods purveyed by someone like Puar can be regarded as scholarship.) And, in Napoleon Pig fashion, all narratives are equal but some are more equal than others.
It is not simply that fashionable narratives are promoted in the classroom. Students’ grades are often dependent on their satisfactorily imbibing and regurgitating the favored narratives, and those who fail to do so are punished for their recalcitrance. Faculty appointments often also depend on applicants’ fealty to the prevailing fashion. Those faculty - perhaps enjoying some protection by virtue of tenure - who are associated with disapproved narratives, or, heaven forfend, dare to defend such, are often hounded for their beliefs, while others are literally barred from campuses for harboring, and threatening to share, opinions inconsistent with campus groupthink.  Sometimes the barring of holders of “incorrect” views is driven by students, but almost invariably it and similar travesties entail the connivance if not instigation of faculty and, in all cases, the acquiescence of administrators.
The concept of “safe space” in colleges and universities is, of course, hypocritical in more than one respect. It is a safety offered only to some. And it is invoked to “protect” students not only from insensitivity and hostility but from exposure to views that challenge their own prejudices, views that do not conform to those prejudices. In both respects it is a tool not of civility but of bias and censorship.
Jews, or at least segments of the Jewish community, will almost always be targeted in such environments.
Jews have by various measures been successful, especially in free societies, to an extent that is disproportionate to their small numbers. So, too, the Jewish state has been a success in myriad respects, a success again disproportionate to its size. Its survival under conditions of ceaseless, murderous hostility from most, often all, of those around it, is itself a notable success, and it has managed to achieve much more than simply survive.  When the actual history, the facts, the truth behind what successes Jews and the Jewish state have enjoyed, are learned, that knowledge very often tends to defang any predilection to hostility and rather - as, for example, in the perspectives of many struggling post-colonial states, particularly in Africa but also elsewhere, vis-a-vis Israel - engenders a respect and an interest in learning from the Jewish example.
But when the history, and facts, are censored, or denigrated as a mere narrative, and a narrative not palatable to prevailing tastes, then the censors and denigrators open the way for any Jewish success, not least the success of the Jewish state, to be interpreted as unfair, as intolerably disproportionate, as inexplicable except by the impementing of nefarious means. And the defamers and haters and their fellow travelers - whether driven by a bigotry exclusively targeting Jews or by bigotry imbedded in some wider agenda, like that of currently popular, intolerant, “progressive” far Left ideology or of supremacist Islamist religious ideology -  have free rein to proselytize successfully in the marketplace of “narratives” that is contemporary academia.
And the anti-Jewish assault is tolerated by administrators not least because the Jewish victims, unlike those doing the targeting, are not inclined to make death threats against the other side, or seek to disrupt campus life or issue non-negotiable demands or occupy campus buildings.
How then are those appalled by the widespread targeting of Jews and the Jewish state on American campuses to fight back against the assault and bigotry and lies? To be sure, there are on numerous campuses strong, committed, well-informed pro-Israel students who dare to challenge hostile forces both among fellow students and faculty, and their efforts very commonly bear fruit. But the burden of turning back the assault should not and cannot rest solely on them.
1) At some colleges and universities, concerned alumni have begun to cut off support, making clear their reasons for doing so and their insistence that only ending the campus assault, and addressing the sick perversions of “education” that feed it, will lead them to reconsider their stance.
2) Some groups have taken early steps towards compiling a resource for Jewish parents that evaluates American colleges and universities in terms of how hostile their campuses are to Jewish students; a resource that parents can use as they weigh with their children where they would like to spend their college years. Such a resource would, among other positives, further convey to administrators that the indulgence of anti-Jewish forces on campus will not continue to be as cost-free as it has hitherto been.  
3) Many colleges and universities are, of course, state-run institutions, and virtually all, including private colleges and universities, are dependent to some degree on state support. Those concerned about campus anti-Semitism have started in recent years to enlist state legislatures to help address the issue. The regents of the University of California, who oversee ten universities in the state, voted in March to condemn anti-Semitism on campus, including “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism.” While the latter statement fell short of adoption of the U.S. State Department declaration that categorically defines anti-Zionism, the denial to Jews of the right of national self-determination, as anti-Semitic, the regents’ move was a step forward. It was a step likely taken in large part because both houses of the California state legislature had voted in favor of the regents responding aggressively against anti-Semitism, including anti-Semitism in the guise of anti-Zionism, on University of California campuses.
In New York, the state legislature voted to decrease significantly funding to the City University of New York, and members of the legislature linked its doing so to the epidemic of anti-Semitic incidents, some related to Israel, some not, on CUNY campuses. (Complaints to CUNY’s chancellor cited incidents at Brooklyn College, John Jay College, the College of Staten Island, and Hunter College - where Jewish students were reportedly exposed, for example, to shouts of “Jews out of CUNY” and called “racist sons of bitches.”)
4) There have been several recent instances of Jewish faculty suing their institutions for alleged faculty and administrator involvement in supporting, and directly participating in, anti-Semitism on their respective campuses. This is clearly another potential avenue for trying to bring greater public attention to, and address, the cultivating of Jew-hatred across so much of American academia.
5) Parents and students ought to be able to seek redress, including legal redress, when students are the targets of anti-Semitism and administrations are remiss in addressing their victimization and taking punitive measures against the assailants. It is a virtual certainty, supported by myriad examples, that administrators would respond with much more energy and determination were it any other minority group subjected to such assault.
In addition, shoddy products, products that fail to live up to standards claimed by manufacturers or required by law, can, of course, be the target of legal action aimed at the recovery of costs spent on them as well as damages related to negative consequences suffered as a result of their use. The contribution of faculty to the assault on Jews on American campuses entails not simply the support given by some faculty to the exterminationist agenda of SJP and the BDS movement but also involves faulty, tendentious teaching. Teachers are entitled to their opinions - although foisting those opinions on students and grading according to students’ embrace of them is, again, indoctrination, not education - but teachers are not entitled to creating their own facts.
Despite the craze around “narratives,” and the denigrating of references to facts, the latter do exist. Even the social sciences claim to aspire to minimal standards of scholarship. A course that is advertised as offering “the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict,” or of “the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” and instead presents falsehoods as facts or only presents one perspective on the subject, and that one a perspective least supported by the historical record, is foisting on students a shoddy product. In some colleges and universities, not only individual courses but the curricula of entire departments are shoddy products. Students who have innocently sought an education in such courses or departments, an education that they anticipate will conform to reasonable academic standards, and instead are given a skewed and bigoted substitute, ought to be able to seek damages. Syllabi, recorded lectures, examinations can be compelling evidence of how much their college or university has failed them.    
The current low state of American academics, again particularly in much of the social sciences and humanities, and the ethical failings of campus administrators, the conditions that have rendered campuses a safe space for anti-Semitism, have evolved over decades, and the pattern will not be reversed and the rot dissipated in short order. But it is the obligation of parents and others not to be daunted by the challenge but rather to take whatever measures they can to reverse the noxious patterns that have turned so much of academia into an ivory sewer.

Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of "The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege."


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

You can't replace the public - Dror Eydar

by Dror Eydar

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

Israeli youth, along with the general public, are turning toward the right because they understand reality for what it is, and not as the other side presents it • The Left is bypassing Israeli democracy and taking its campaign to the international arena.

Israeli youngsters prepare for combat military service (Illustrative photo)
Photo credit: AFP

Dror Eydar


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Europe: Suicide by Jihad - Guy Millière

by Guy Millière

In the last two decades, Belgium has become the hub of jihad in Europe. The district of Molenbeek in Brussels is now a foreign Islamist territory in the heart of Belgium. It is not, however, a lawless zone: sharia law has effectively replaced Belgian law.

  • One of the organizers of the Paris bombings, Salah Abdeslam, was able to live peacefully in Molenbeek for four months until police decided to arrest him. Belgian police knew exactly where he was, but did nothing until French authorities asked them to. After his arrest, he was treated as a petty criminal. Police did not ask him anything about the jihadist networks with which he worked. Officers who interrogated him were ordered to be gentle. The people who hid him were not indicted.
  • Europe's leaders disseminated the idea that the West was guilty of oppressing Muslims. They therefore sowed the seeds of anti-Western resentment among Muslims in Europe.
  • Hoping to please followers of radical Islam and show them Europe could understand their "grievances," they placed pressure on Israel. When Europeans were attacked, they did not understand why. They had done their best to please the Muslims. They had not even harassed the jihadists.

The March 22 jihadist attacks in Brussels were predictable. What is surprising is that they did not take place sooner. What is also surprising is that more people were not killed. It seems that the authors of the attacks had larger projects in mind; they wanted to attack a nuclear power plant. Others may succeed in doing just that.

In the last two decades, Belgium has become the hub of jihad in Europe. The district of Molenbeek in Brussels is now a foreign Islamist territory in the heart of Belgium. It is not, however, a lawless zone: sharia law has effectively replaced Belgian law. Almost all the women wear veils or burqas; those who do not take risks. Drug trafficking and radical mosques are everyplace. The police stay outside and intervene only in cases of extreme emergency, using military-like commando operations. Other areas of Belgium, such as Shaerbeek and Anderlecht have the same status as Molenbeek.

The Belgian authorities have allowed the situation to deteriorate. The situation in the country now is virtually equivalent to a surrender.

They seemed to hope that willful blindness and accepting the unacceptable would permit the country to be spared. It did not.

The attack on Belgium's Jewish Museum on May 24, 2014 should have served as a warning. It did not. That "only" Jews were the target led the Belgian government to underestimate the threat. The jihadi who wanted to kill passengers on train from Amsterdam to Paris, on August 21, 2015, prepared his attack in Brussels. That three American heroes neutralized him before he could start shooting again led the Belgian government to think the danger was not large.

The jihadis who struck Paris on November 13, 2015 had also organized their attacks from Molenbeek, but the blood was not spilled in Belgium. Belgian authorities perhaps assumed that Belgium would be spared. They spoke of "imminent danger" for a day or so, but never increased security.

One of the organizers of the Paris bombings, Salah Abdeslam, Europe's most wanted terrorist criminal, was able to live peacefully in Molenbeek for four months until police decided to arrest him. Belgian police knew exactly where he was, but did nothing until French authorities asked them to. After his arrest, he was treated as a petty criminal, not a jihadi terrorist. Police did not ask him anything concerning the jihadist networks with which he worked. Because he was hurt during police operations, officers who interrogated him were ordered to be gentle. The people who agreed to hide him for so long were not considered suspects and were not indicted.

The Brussels jihadist attacks took place two days later.

Despite the worst attacks on Belgium soil since World War II, Belgian authorities do not seem ready to change their behavior.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud (left), one of the planners of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, was -- like many terrorists in Europe -- from Molenbeek, Belgium. Philippe Moureaux (right) was mayor of Molenbeek for 20 years, thanks to his alliance with radical Islamists.

After the attacks, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel denounced "violent and cowardly acts" and stressed his "determination," without saying what he intended to do. He did not speak of the necessity of changing the Belgian laws to make them more effective. He did not mention any enemy. He never used words such as "jihad" or "radical Islam."

He behaved and talked as most of his European counterparts did. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls used more courageous words and said many times he is fighting "radical jihad" and "Islamism." The French parliament passed laws allowing what is still impossible in Belgium: police searches at night. But France stands alone, and effectively the situation in France is no better than in Belgium. Islamist enclaves exists in many suburbs. Whole cities are controlled by thugs and radical imams: cities such as Roubaix, Trappes, Aubervilliers and Sevran in the northeast of Paris.

Islamist enclaves also exist in other European countries: Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

European leaders have been making choices. After World War II, they decided Europe would be a region of the world where war would be banished and all problems solved through diplomacy and appeasement. They gradually abandoned financing defense and security activities. Instead, they built welfare states. They thought that taking care of people from cradle to grave would suppress anger and conflicts. They denied the existence of totalitarian dangers and the necessity of showing strength. To this day, their statements indicate that European leaders think both the Berlin Wall and the Soviet empire fell thanks to the benevolence of Mikhail Gorbachev, not thanks to the determination of Ronald Reagan. To this day, they seem to think that Islam is essentially a religion of peace and that the jihadis belong to a tiny, marginal sect.

Decades ago, Europe's leaders adopted a general policy of "openness" to the Islamic world in general, and the Arab world in particular. They decided to welcome migrants from the Muslim world by hundreds of thousands but without asking them to integrate. They made cultural relativism and multiculturalism their guiding principles. They acted as if Islam could mingle in the Western world harmoniously and without difficulty. Europe's leaders disseminated the idea that the West was guilty of oppressing Muslims and had to pay for its sins. They therefore sowed the seeds of anti-Western resentment among Muslims in Europe.

When in the Muslim world jihadis started to kill, Europe's leaders wanted to believe that the attacks would take place in the Muslim world only. They thought that by not interfering with what European jihadis were planning, they would not risk jihadi attacks on European soil.

When Jews were attacked, Europe's leaders decided that the problem was not jihad, but Israel. They stressed the need not to "export Middle East conflict in Europe." Hoping to please followers of radical Islam and show them Europe could understand their "grievances," they placed increasing pressure on Israel. They also increased their financial and political support for the "Palestinian cause."

When Europeans were attacked, they did not understand why. They had done their best to please the Muslims. They had not even harassed the jihadists. They still do not know how to react.

Many of them now say privately what they will never say in public: it is probably too late.

There are six to eight million Muslims in France, and more than thirty million in Western Europe. Hundreds of jihadis are trained and ready to act -- anytime, anyplace. European intelligence services know that they want to make "dirty bombs." Surveys show that tens of thousands of Muslims living in Europe approve of jihadi attacks in Europe. Millions of Muslims living in Europe keep silent, behave as if they see nothing and hear nothing, and protest only when they think they have to defend Islam.

European political leaders know that every decision they make may provoke reactions among the Muslims living in Europe. Muslim votes matter. Riots occur easily. In France, Belgium, other European countries, Islamists are present in the army and police forces. In the meantime, Islamist organizations recruit and Islamic lobbies gain ground.

European governments are now hostages. The European media are also hostages.

In most European countries, "Islamophobia" is considered a crime -- and any criticism of Islam may be considered "Islamophobic." People trying to warn Europe, such as the Dutch MP Geert Wilders, despite an apparently biased judge and forged documents against him, are now on trial.

Books on radical Islam are still published but surrounded by silence. Books praising the glory of Islam are in every bookstore. When Bat Ye'or's Eurabia was published in Europe, she was denounced and received hundreds of death threats. Bruce Bawer's While Europe Slept, published in the U.S., was not even available in Europe. Ten years later, the situation is worse.

Political movements expressing anger and concerns are rising. All are demonized by political power holders and the media. They have almost no chance of gaining more influence.

Populations are gnawed by fear, frustration and impotence. They are looking for answers, but cannot find them. A few hours after the attacks on Brussels, a man on Belgian television said that Europe is on the verge of suicide.

Europe looks like a dying civilization. European governments created a situation that can only lead to more attacks, more massacres, and maybe unspeakable disasters. Europe's leaders continue to react with speeches and a few police operations.

If some European governments decided to restore their abolished borders, it could take years, and most European leaders would probably disagree with such a policy. Meanwhile, millions more "migrants" will enter Europe, and among them many more jihadis. In spite of the mayhem created in Germany by "migrants" who arrived in 2015, Angela Merkel said she would not change her decisions. No Western European government dared to disagree with her, except Viktor Orbán in Hungary, a lone voice of dissent.

In Brussels, as in Paris earlier, people gathered where the attacks took place. They brought candles and flowers to mourn the victims. They sang sentimental songs. They cried. There were no shouts of revolt against jihad. Members of the Belgian government called on the Belgian people to avoid reactions of violence, and declared that Muslims are the main victims of terrorism.

In Europe's near future, more people will bring candles, flowers and songs to mourn victims. Another two or three jihadists will be arrested. But nothing will be done.
Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Obama’s Political Legacy - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

And how it has manifested in the 2016 presidential election.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

The US presidential race is President Barack Obama’s political legacy. Depending on who succeeds him, that legacy will either fade or become the new normal.

To understand what he has wrought, a good place to start is with the man running to Obama’s left: Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The socialist from Vermont knows how to play to the crowd. Sanders knows that the people captivated by his tales of avaricious bankers aren’t too keen on Jews either.

And as a Jew, he’s cool with that.

Sanders’s courtship of Jew-haters in [sic] a staple of his campaign. The depth of his efforts was made clear at the end of a campaign event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem last Saturday when an audience member got up and began spewing anti-Jewish slanders.

Sanders doesn’t have a problem telling bigots off. He did just that at another event when a questioner asked a question he deemed anti-Muslim. Sanders is an unstinting champion of gay rights and black rights. So if he wanted to tell off a Jew-hater, he could have done so easily.

In the event, the questioner rose and said, “As you know, the Zionist Jews – and I don’t mean to offend anybody – they run the Federal Reserve, they run Wall Street, they run every campaign.”

Weathering a chorus of boos from his fellow audience members, the questioner then asked Sanders, “What is your affiliation to your Jewish community?” Sanders could have told the questioner to take a long walk off a short pier. He could have told him he’d rather win without the support of bigots.

He could have used it as a teaching moment and told his audience that millions of Jews have been murdered because of the lies the questioner just repeated.

Instead, he called him “Brother” and told he needed to hide his hatred better.

“No, no, no, that’s not what you’re asking,” Sanders insisted.

In other words, talking about Jewish bankers is not the way to go.

Sanders said he is proud to be Jewish, got the applause, and then changed the subject from the socially acceptable Jewish bankers to the socially unacceptable Jewish Israelis.

Although the questioner was talking about Jews in America, Sanders said, apropos of nothing, “Talking about the Middle East and Israel, I am a strong defender of Israel, but I also believe that we have got to pay attention to the needs of the Palestinian people.”

If that wasn’t enough, Sanders’s staff reportedly approached the man and told him to meet with Sanders’s communication director after the event concluded. In other words, not only did he not stand up to the anti-Semite, Sanders went out of his way to make the Jew-hating bigot feel loved and respected.

Sanders’s embrace of an out and out anti-Jewish bigot was not surprising. A consistent goal of Sanders’s campaign has been to court leftist anti-Semites.

Last month, Sanders was the only presidential candidate to reject AIPAC’s invitation to speak at its annual convention.

Last week, he told the New York Daily News that the IDF killed 10,000 innocent Palestinians in Gaza during Protective Edge in 2014, (the actual number was fewer than a thousand, and Hamas claims it was around 1,500).

When his slanders caused an outcry, Sanders shrugged his shoulders, winked and then pretended to correct himself while spewing still more inflated statistics. In so doing, he continued his public fight with Israel and the Jews in America who support it.

Then there are his Jewish campaign officials.

They hate Israel.

Sanders’s director of Jewish outreach is Simone Zimmerman. Zimmerman is a prominent anti-Israel, pro-BDS activist. Among her greatest achievements, last year she published an expletive- filled post on her Facebook page describing how much she hates Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

And Zimmerman is not alone. Daniel Sieradski, who manages the Facebook page “Jews for Bernie,” is an anti-Israel activist.

By hiring anti-Israel Jews to serve in key Jewish positions in his campaign, Sanders signals to the anti-Semites that they have a friend in him. He and his Jewish campaign officials are not the bad “Zionist Jews.”

Sanders and his Jewish professionals are the good anti-Zionist Jews whom anti-Semitic leftists can embrace and so prove they aren’t bigots despite the fact that they think a Jewish conspiracy controls the galaxy.

Sanders isn’t empowering anti-Semites because he necessarily hates Jews himself. He may actually like Jews.

He is doing this because he is a populist demagogue.

Sanders isn’t in the race to solve his supporters’ problems. He is in the race to tell them whom to blame, whom to hate. He caters to their hatreds.

Sanders is the legacy Obama has given the Democratic Party.

Eight years ago, to get elected to the presidency, Obama had to pretend to be a moderate. He dismissed the importance of his longstanding ties to terrorists like William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. He pretended away the significance of his intimate relationship with his Jew-hating preacher Jeremiah Wright and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Obama insisted that he was a unifier, not a divider, and a star struck media supported his propaganda.

Obama abandoned his promise of moderation immediately upon entering office. Over the past seven years, he has turned Americans against one another. Racial tensions are higher than they have been since the 1970s. Conservatives and liberals share less and less. Moderates have all but disappeared.

Indeed, one of Obama’s main accomplishments within the Democratic Party is the destruction of the moderate Democratic camp.

When he entered office, there were 54 moderate Democrats in Congress. Today only 14 remain.

Sanders, whose campaign slogan is “revolution,” is proof that Obama has transformed the Democratic Party. Without Obama, Sanders would have remained a quack from Vermont.

The Republicans have also been profoundly affected by Obama. Indeed, today the party is at war with itself.

The first product of this war is Sanders’s Republican counterpart, fellow populist Donald Trump.

Like Sanders, Trump has based his campaign not on offering solutions to America’s problems, but on telling his supporters who is to blame for their misery. Whereas Sanders blames the bankers, and wink, wink, nod, nod “the Zionist Jews,” Trump blames the Mexicans and the Chinese.

To the rapturous applause of frustrated and angry supporters who believe the political class couldn’t care less about them, Trump says that the Chinese and the Mexicans are the reason the US economy is sluggish. So Trump will stick it to them.

And the reason the Chinese and Mexicans are running circles around America, he says, is because the political bosses let them. Trump will stick it to them too.

If Trump and Sanders are two sides of the same populist, bigotry-enabling coin, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton are two sides of an opposing coin. Like Sanders and Trump, Clinton and Kasich offer little in the way of policies – although to her shame, Clinton has embraced Sanders’s radical economic and social positions in the hopes of luring away economically illiterate millennial voters.

Kasich, for his part, runs as the anti-Trump. Trump is a demagogue who channels hate. Kasich is a demagogue who sooths voters by presenting himself as a gentle, slightly dotty uncle.

Clinton’s and Kasich’s campaigns are predicated not on their ability to galvanize voters but on their capacity to secure the support of their respective parties’ establishments. Clinton, to all intent and purposes is the Democratic establishment.

So she is also the front-runner in the race.

Kasich has no path to victory in the primaries. He remains in the race because he believes that an establishment desperate to retain control of the party will anoint him the nominee.

His expectation is not unreasonable. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has indicated that the nominee will be one of the three candidates running – meaning that Kasich is very much a contender despite the fact that he remains in fourth place in a three-man race.

This then brings us to the last candidate running – Sen. Ted Cruz. According to CBS News and The Washington Post, Cruz stands an excellent chance of blocking Trump from securing the nomination on the first ballot of a contested convention and then winning the nomination on a second ballot.

Cruz’s knowledge of the political process is not surprising. He is the product of the Tea Party.

The much maligned Tea Party has been demonized as anti-intellectual and demagogic.

But the Tea Party movement, which arose as a protest movement against both Obama’s policies and the Republican leadership that failed to block them, was the most intellectual, substantive protest movement in a generation.

With their focus on substance, Tea Party organizers made the conscious decision not to accept a leader and run the risk of descending into demagoguery. They preferred instead to keep their focus on substantive policy initiatives and positions.

By focusing its critiques on both Obama’s policies and on the Republican leadership’s failure to block them, the Tea Party became the bane of both.

As a product of the Tea Party movement, since entering the Senate in 2013, Cruz has maintained a laser like focus on the rules of process in order to block implementation of Obama’s policies, which he opposes. At the same time, he has continuously championed the alternative policies that are aligned with this ideological agenda.

Cruz’s commitment to blocking Obama on the one hand, and forcing his party to adopt policies voters support rather than seek compromise with the radicalized Democrats on the other, has made him the bane of his Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

In the early months of the campaign, Cruz, used the establishment’s rejection of both himself and Trump as a basis for cooperation with the Republican front-runner. Cruz invited Trump to headline a rally he organized on the steps of the Capitol in opposition to Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran.

The demonstration was held in opposition not only to Obama’s deal but to the Republican leadership’s mishandling of the deal’s approval process.

Had Republican leaders been more dedicated to their principles they could have defined the Iran deal as a treaty and shot it down in the Senate.

By opting not to do so, they made implementation of the deal inevitable.

Over time, the Cruz-Trump partnership became untenable. As a Tea Party politician, Cruz is not only anti-establishment, he is anti-populist.

Cruz isn’t interested in finding scapegoats to blame for America’s problems. He’s interested in solving them.

Hated by the establishment, hated by the Left, Cruz is Obama’s nemesis. If he is elected, he will implement policies that unravel Obama’s legacy.

If America opts for a demagogue, it will remain on its current trajectory.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.