Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Ten UC chancellors signed a statement denouncing academic boycotts of Israel at the urging of the AMCHA Initiative.
The chancellors, including UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, were signatories to a statement that read, “We write to affirm our longstanding opposition to an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions and/or individual scholar.”
“Our commitment to continued engagement and partnership with Israeli, as well as Palestinian colleagues, colleges and universities is unwavering,” the statement read. “We believe a boycott of this sort poses a direct and serious threat to the academic freedom of our students and faculty, as well as the unfettered exchange of ideas and perspectives on our campuses, including debate and discourse on the Middle East.”
The statement was issued in response to a letter from the AMCHA Initiative, which had 101 signatories, calling for university presidents to sign a pledge against academic boycotts. The signatories wrote a thank-you note to the UC chancellors.
“Our 101 organizations applaud you for issuing a strong and unwavering statement condemning the implementation of an academic boycott of Israel on UC campuses, in response to our request,” the letter stated. “We especially appreciate your unequivocal declaration that an academic boycott of Israel ‘poses a direct and serious threat to the academic freedom of our students and faculty, as well the unfettered exchange of ideas and perspectives on our campuses, including debate and discourse regarding conflicts in the Middle East.’”
The letter continued, “Thank you again for your moral leadership, and for speaking up in defense of the academic rights of all students and faculty at the University of California.”
Max Samarov, executive director of research and campus strategy of StandWithUs, said in a statement sent to the Journal, “We applaud UC Chancellors for reaffirming their opposition to academic boycotts and their support for the free exchange of ideas.”
“Those who seek to cut Israeli academics off from the rest of the world or prevent students from studying in Israel are on the wrong side of history and engaging in bigotry,” Samarov said. “We urge all universities to increase academic exchanges and study abroad programs in Israel, in the face of this hateful campaign.”
Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in a phone interview that it was “an important statement.”
“In a sense, it’s a shame that it even has to be made, but the idea that places that are supposed to be caretakers for freedom of speech would be in the front lines of shutting down and shutting out academic airplay with the Israeli institutions of higher learning, it’s a shameful reality,” Cooper said.
Cooper added that the condemnation needs to become a UC policy that applies “to deans, to academic advisors, to professors.”
Judea Pearl, chancellor professor of computer science at UCLA, National Academy of Sciences member and Daniel Pearl Foundation president, said in a statement sent to the Journal that while the statement is a good “first step,” the chancellors should also “address the hostile climate that BDS activities are creating in the university, which adversely affect all pro-coexistence students and faculty.”
“At the very least, the chancellors should make it public and explicit that Israeli and Zionist students are welcome at the University of California,” Pearl said.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.