Wednesday, December 18, 2013

From Ian:

Israelophobia
"Israelophobia," on the other hand, is steeped in centuries of anti-Semitic stereotypes, but it has now taken on an intense life of its own, often rich in contemporary fabrications -- for example, that historically Jews have never lived in Jerusalem; that IDF soldiers harvest the organs of Palestinians; that the "wall of separation," built to keep out terrorists, is a form of apartheid -- and through these falsehoods gushes forth a hatred for Jews. Israelophobia is a block of hatred crystallized around a piece of land, around an idea. Anti-Zionism today, from Malmö to Qom, arises and multiplies entirely from prejudice against Israel: many of its most vicious critics have never even set foot in the state.
Barry Rubin Lying About Israel
About 10-20 slanders (at least) are issued against Israel each day. They are frequently complete fabrications and from academia, media, or accusations mostly made up out of whole cloth. Lying is either simply reported irresponsibly or with participation in the "big lie." Institutions and personal careers are benefitted by such moves.
Last month, a former Canadian ambassador–who seems to have been earning a living completely on the misrepresentation of Israel–made a horrifying announcement. He announced that an Israeli Jewish civil rights lawyer had been attacked by settlers in the West Bank. But actually, the lawyer has said that this isn't true. In fact, he had rocks thrown at him by Palestinians. (h/t NormanF)
Why are European powers (and Oxfam) funding a radical Israeli group?
As is the case in all democracies, the IDF is an organ of the state, not a political decision-maker. If the goal of Breaking the Silence was simply to clean up the Israeli military, it wouldn’t be such a problem. Instead, the aim is to “end the occupation”, and on this basis it secured its funding.
It appeared, therefore, that these former soldiers, some of whom draw salaries from Breaking the Silence, were motivated by financial and political concerns to further a pro-Palestinian agenda. They weren’t merely telling the truth about their experiences. They were under pressure to perform.
Indeed, I later discovered that there have been many allegations in the past that members of the organisation either fabricated or exaggerated their testimonies. (h/t Predictor92)
StandWithUs Counters Anti-Israel Posters
“The anti-Israel ads distort facts. They presume there once was an Arab country called “Palestine,” when in fact no such country ever existed. Conversely, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land of Israel for three millennia, and the League of Nations recognized the Jews' historical connection to the land, which is why it carved out the Palestine Mandate as the Jewish homeland,” explained Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs.
SWU has created four different pro-Israel ads. One ad establishes the Jewish presence in the Middle East for three millennia; two describe Israel's many contributions to the world; and one directs viewers to a website with the “Top 10 Things the Palestinian Leadership Does Not Want You To Know.”
Former Senate Intelligence Staffer Urges Jonathan Pollard’s Release, Offers Expert Testimony
Boston University international relations professor Angelo Codevilla, who was a senior staffer on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee at the time of the arrest of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in 1985, wrote a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama calling for Pollard’s release and offering to give expert testimony on Pollard’s behalf.
In his letter, Codevilla noted that Pollard is the only person in U.S. history “sentenced to life imprisonment for passing information to an ally, without intent to harm America,” a crime that normally only “carries a sentence of 2-4 years.”
Jeffrey Goldberg: Some Lessons in Effective Scapegoating
Still, this vote by the ASA marks something of a turning point -- this is the second time this year that a U.S. academic organization has called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. I assume the ASA won’t be the last group to do so. And I believe that we will one day see groups such as the ASA call for the boycott of American institutions and individuals who support Israel. Such a campaign would represent a logical extension of the boycott ratified this weekend. Yes, a boycott of businesses owned by pro-Israel American Jews would have a special odor about it, but really, doesn’t the ASA boycott have something of the same smell?
How ASA Became RASA (Racist American Studies Association)
So let us make sure that the same ugliness the RASA leadership’s actions have caused do not get swept under the carpet when they show up all smiles to the next academic group insisting that everyone follow their example. For RASA must now become the poster child for how an academic organization destroys itself when it decides to place their own hypocritical, fanatical partisanship above the needs of everyone else.
With Israel boycott in the bag, American Studies Association trains sights on the U.S. (satire)
So to make things right , says Dr. Marez, the ASA National Council has indentified and purged those responsible – including at least one relative of a high ranking ASA official — for committing what is being called “an error of half-hearted measures.” The scholars group is promulgating a follow-up Resolution in Support of an Academic Boycott of the United States, which among other things calls for universities around the world to cut all ties with institutions of higher education in the U.S., withdraw sabbatical hospitality for U.S. professors, and prohibit international students from studying in the United States. The resolution further calls upon the ASA to change its name and academic discipline to something slightly less triumphalist and historically insensitive.
When asked what the group might call itself Professor Marez replied “Something that doesn’t have American in it, to be sure. Or, come to think of it, Studies either. Something more in harmony with our organization’s demonstrated moral consistency and intellectual rigor.”
How can these U.S. universities justify membership in American Studies Association after Israel boycott?
Many of these universities, or their affiliated printers, also provide financial support for ASA through advertising and exhibiting at Annual Meetings.
ASA has made its decision. These institutions should decide whether they will become accomplices.
Penn State Harrisburg to drop American Studies Assoc membership after Israel boycott
Penn State Harrisburg will be dropping its institutional membership.
That message was conveyed to me by Dr. Simon J. Bronner, who Chairs the American Studies Department, which has the only Ph.D program in American Studies in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Bronner is a prominent member of the ASA, in 2011 becoming Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of American Studies, a publication sponsored by the ASA.
The ASA’s assault on academic freedom
When ASA members left the overtly pro-boycott environment of the conference – where academics lobbied in favor of the resolution throughout the weekend while distributing lollipops – those in favor of the resolution lost supporters. They wound up with approximately 820 votes in favor of the resolution, as compared to the more than 850 people they claimed signed it at the event. In contrast, without any form of institutional support, without a Caucus to promote academic freedom, without a table to distribute oppositional viewpoints at the conference, and with the National Council’s refusal to distribute or post on its website alternative perspectives, approximately 420 people either voted against the resolution or voted to abstain. This is hardly an overwhelming victory for BDS. Instead, it indicates the takeover of an established professional association by leaders committed to ideology over the type of intellectual exchange and complexity that were at the heart of the ASA’s original aims.
Ambassador Dermer: Academic boycott of Israel 'a travesty'
“The singling out of the Jewish state for boycott is no different than the many attempts throughout history to single out Jews and hold them to a different standard,” Dermer wrote on his Facebook page.
“There is a name for that phenomenon.
Perhaps one of the distinguished professors of the ASA could teach his boycotting colleagues what it is.”
Honest Reporting: HR Letter Published in The Guardian
Mandela preached reconciliation for South Africans while the Palestinian leadership preaches incitement and hatred towards Israel. Calling Israel an “apartheid state” is an insult to the millions of black South Africans who suffered under that system. South Africa can be grateful that a man of Mandela’s stature came to lead its people to a better future. Sadly there has never been a “Palestinian Mandela.” Having produced morally reprehensible leaders of the calibre of Yasser Arafat and Hamas, no wonder the Palestinians find themselves in their current predicament.
New CST report on antisemitic discourse in Britain slams the Guardian
In fact, CST devoted an entire section of their 21 page report to the Guardian, noting that “in 2011, the Guardian faced more accusations of antisemitism than any other mainstream UK newspaper.” Specifically, CST focused on an article by Chris McGreal characterizing US government support for Israel as “slavish” and a widely condemned ‘chosen people‘ slur by columnist Deborah Orr.
BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ featured in CST report on antisemitic discourse
The Community Security Trust (CST) recently published a report titled ‘Antisemitic Discourse in Britain in 2012′. On page 20 of that report, under the chapter heading “Jewish conspiracy and the ‘lobby’”, the CST cites an edition of the BBC programme ‘Hardtalk’ from May 2012 as an example of the propagation of the age-old concept of the supposed power of an American ‘Jewish lobby’.
ADL’s Foxman on Farrakhan’s Defense of Kanye West: His Anti-Semitism Gets Worse With Age
In an interview about his commercially messianic ”Yeezus” album, Kanye West said “black people don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people,” to which Foxman and the ADL responded that those types of comments were exactly what fuels anti-Semitic tropes.
In his weekly sermon, published online on Monday, Farrakhan first defended West, then railed against the ADL leader.
In response, Foxman told The Algemeiner, “Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism gets worse with age. It just continues and continues and gets uglier and more arrogant.”
‘Anti-Fascist’ Hacker Exposes Supporters of French Anti-Semite Comedian Dieudonné
An anonymous “anti-Fascist and pro-Israel” hacker has exposed the email addresses and identities of thousands of online supporters of the French comedian Dieudonné, known for his film, ‘The Anti-Semite,’ which was banned from the Cannes Film Festival last year, according to an online report and interview with the hacker by France’s Metro News on Tuesday.
Dieudonné’s Nazi-style “Quenelle” salute was condemned last week by the World Zionist Organization at a conference in New York, where photographs from around the world showed the symbol being shown in front of Jews and Jewish sites, confirming its anti-Semitic nature, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot reported.
Anti-Israel Hate Speech and Slander at the University of Michigan ‎‎‎
On December 10, thousands of University of Michigan students in various dorms across campus woke up to a mock eviction notice from the University of Michigan Housing Department.
It said:
“If you do not vacate the premises by 13 DECEMBER 6 PM, we reserve the right to demolish your premises without delay. We cannot be held responsible for property or persons remaining inside. Charges for demolition will be applied to your student account.”
One Year After Newtown, Magen David Adom Lauds New White House Initiative
Currently, U.S. first responders are not allowed into incident sites until it can be verified that any perpetrators don’t pose more danger. MDA, on the other hand, sends medical personnel wearing protective gear to treat victims before the area has been secured. The Obama administration announced on the one-year anniversary of the massacre in Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School that it is now advocating a similar approach.
“In bombings, shootings, and other mass-casualty incidents, you have injured civilians who are at risk of bleeding to death if they don’t get immediate medical treatment,”
Eli Bin, MDA’s director-general, said in a statement. “Time is crucial and makes a dramatic difference in survival rates.”
How Jewish immigrants stirred up fashion Down Under
Rags-to-riches stories in the schmatte trade aren’t new. But the 100 narratives, including that of Bloch, presented in the Sydney Jewish Museum’s exhibit “Dressing Sydney: The Jewish Fashion Story” (through December 31, 2013) offer some new wrinkles in addition to the typical refrains. Some of those unique aspects to Sydney’s Jewish fashion story relate to Sydney’s climate and landscape.
Israeli data pioneers named as finalists for CeBIT 2014
Two Israeli companies — SangamTech and SQream Technologies – have been selected among the 50 big data startups to vie for the CODE_n14 contest set to take place at CeBIT in March 2014.
SangamTech’s social data-sharing platform lets users share data from real-time reports and forecasts that helps with improving energy management.
SQream Technologies boasts a revolutionary technology that enables processing and analyzing of Big Data significantly faster than leading DBMSs and analytics solutions on the market today.


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