Jewish Organizations Stand Up for Jewish Students’ Rights on Campus

A group of Jewish organizations have joined together and drafted a letter for college administrators, describing the climate of intimidation and fear on U.S. college campuses that Jewish students are experiencing as a result of the uptick in anti-Semitic incidents.

"Students for Justice in Palestine" presenting fake evicition notices to Jewish students. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

“Students for Justice in Palestine” presenting fake eviction notices to Jewish students. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

Many college presidents are too cowed to assert the university’s right to expect a certain decorum on campus. Institutions that were created to promote respectful dialogue, and the exchange of different ideas, have been highjacked by organizations determined to intimidate and shout down anyone who does not toe their philosophical line.

I am appalled when I see people who have been invited to lecture being rudely interrupted and shouted down by members of the audience. As a parent, I am not prepared to relinquish my children’s constitutional rights when they cross the college threshold. Some Jewish students have encountered threatening behavior and harassment because they are Jewish and/or pro-Israel. I am not alone.

The letter instructs college administrators how to provide Jewish students with a safe, non-hostile college experience. You can do your part to let the college presidents know how you feel and what you want them to do about rising antisemitism on our campuses: Sign the letter and send it to the president of the college of your choice.

RNC Tries to Make Us Forget Anti-Semitic Partners


The air of “1984” hangs over the whole trip: History has been erased; the trip was never planned; Fischer was never a spokesman; Priebus and the RNC “always” had other plans.

The Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus, with a group of RNC board members, was scheduled Saturday to begin a tour of Israel, sponsored by the right-wing Christian network, the American Family Association, and led by Association spokesman, David Lane. Time Magazine wrote about this trip as early as December 8, 2014.

However, the association of AFA with the RNC did not receive mainstream public attention until questioned by Rachel Maddow and the Huffington Post. The AFA tour guide, David Lane, is on tape declaring that he would not vote for Mitt Romney (because of his Mormonism) in 2012. Fischer is on record, broadcasting repeatedly that Jews (specifically, and immigrants of other religions by implication) do not have the right to free practice of religion: that they are expected to “adopt our religious values and our traditions — that would mean Christianity” in order to emigrate to our shores.

There is no record, as of Groundhog Day, that Priebus and his entourage have actually left on this trip. The RNC website has been cleansed of any reference to this trip. The AFA website has no reference to Reince Priebus today earlier than 8/1/2014.

The air of “1984” hangs over the whole trip: History has been erased; the trip was never planned; Fischer was never a spokesman; Priebus and the RNC “always” had other plans. As Orwell put it in the book, “We have always been at war with Eastasia.”

Perhaps this is a case of Republicans adopting the hated European “right to forget,” which gives citizens of the European Union the right to cleanse offensive and false internet portrayals and search linkages.

In a related article, Charles Krauthammer would like us to believe that anti-Semitism is a genetic disorder in Europeans, and of no account to the European nationalist anti-immigrant movements.

It is, of course, some concern that some Europeans consider Jews permanent immigrants, incapable of becoming fully integrated Europeans — just as Fischer and Lane believe that even Christians who are not of their dominionist beliefs are not fully American citizens.

We hope that these are not normative American/European beliefs, and work to assure that liberal points of view are available to the public (decreasingly so, at least in Philadelphia’s opinion pages of record).

While we certainly strive to tolerate our opponents’ attempts to write their religious beliefs into the law of the land, we should voice our indignant objections when our citizenship is questioned, and when our good wishes for the state of Israel are exploited by those who demand that we ignore their intolerance of our presence as their neighbors.

Perhaps, Priebus, Krauthammer and the RNC could visit Disneyland and pick up measles in their unvaccinated, unvarnished state of nature.

The French Jewish Community’s Future

French-American Jew Helen Loeb was invited to speak at Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El in Wynnewood, Penn. on the terrorist attacks last week in Paris and the state of the France’s Jewish community.

Last year almost 1% of French Jews immigrated to Israel. How many will make aliyah next year?

Last year almost 1% of French Jews immigrated to Israel. How many will make aliyah next year?

Many have come to me in the past few days to express their sympathy and ask about the well-being of my family. Many have also come to me to inquire and reflect about the future of the French Jewish community. So where do I start?

I am appalled by the current developments in France, of course, but also in Brussels and other places in Europe.

I grew up in Toulouse, infamous for the murder of one rabbi and 3 children just about two years ago. The Ozar Hatorah school is just 2 miles from where I grew up, where my mother and sister still live. Used to be known for its aeronautical industry and opera singing, Toulouse has become a symbol of antisemitism and homegrown terrorism.

[Read more…]

Anti-Semites Rape Woman, Rob Couple in France

Three armed men reportedly shouted anti-Semitic insults when they raped a Jewish woman, ransacked her and her husband’s house in the eastern Paris suburb of Creteil, and withdrew money from the couple’s bank accounts.


Creteil, France.

The attackers reportedly demanded to know where the couple hid the money that they supposedly had, because they were Jewish. Police arrested two suspects and charged a third in this case.

B’nai B’rith International said that anti-Semitic attacks have been on the rise in Europe, and especially in France. The organization said its members are “horrified over the suspected anti-Semitic attack” and commend the police “for acting swiftly”:

This attack points to, once again, the need for European governmental and law enforcement officials to engage in proactive efforts to counter what has become an alarming spike in wanton attacks on Jews. We hope that those guilty of this heinous crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Holocaust Is Not a Matter of Opinion

Jews being selected for labor or death in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

— by Yaron Sideman, Consul General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region

Last Monday I participated in the dedication of the Holocaust and Liberators Memorial on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. I participated in this emotional ceremony along with Ohio Governor John Kasich, who spearheaded the project and shepherded it until its completion this week.

The Holocaust is not a matter of opinion. It is an undisputable historical fact. Holocaust denial is, therefore, a despicable practice rooted in one of the most ancient and ugly form of hatred — anti-Semitism. The fact that Holocaust deniers these days are not always overt neo-Nazis parading around with swastikas, but rather so-called academics operating within established university settings, only makes it all the more troubling.

More after the jump.
I recently read about an adjunct professor at Temple University in Philadelphia who has questioned the number of Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust.

So-called professors who deny the Holocaust are nothing more than wolves in sheep clothing. Their motivations are anything but academic. On the contrary, they are anti-academic in that they seek to deliberately obstruct and distort objective, historic truths. They are driven by hatred and prejudice. They should be called out for what they are and condemned.  

S.C. Governor Selects Hate Group Member as Campaign Co-Chair‏

Garcia-Quintana (left) and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (right)

— by Aaron Keyak

The new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, indicating that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has chosen a member of the Council of Conservative Citizens to serve as a campaign co-chair, is deeply disturbing for all Americans. But as an American Jew, this is particularly unsettling given the CCC’s links to anti-Semitism. It is unacceptable for any politician to accept support from someone affiliated with an SPLC-designated white nationalist hate group, let alone select one as a co-chair of her re-election campaign’s grassroots steering committee. Haley must drop the support or have her campaign defined by her co-chair’s hateful affiliation.

More after the jump.
SPLC reported:

In anticipation of her 2014 re-election campaign, the Tea Party darling has put together a 164-member steering committee comprising folks from all 46 of her state’s counties. And on that list is one “Republican leader” and Tea Party activist named Roan Garcia-Quintana of Greenville.

The name won’t ring many bells outside of the South Carolina political world. But he’s better known in white nationalist, anti-immigrant and neo-Confederate circles.

Garcia-Quintana is a lifetime member and current board member of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which is listed as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The CCC is the linear descendant of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South, and has evolved into a crudely racist organization. Its website, for example, has published pictures comparing pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape and referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity.”

Garcia-Quintana is also a rabid nativist, even though he’s a naturalized citizen who was born in Havana. He’s executive director of the anti-immigrant group Americans Have Had Enough, based in Mauldin, S.C., where he lives. At the 2008 CCC conference held in Sheffield, Ala., Garcia-Quintana referred to Latino immigration as an “illegal alien invasion.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League both published background information on the Council of Conservative Citizens detailing the organization’s long anti-Semitic history.

Kerry Appoints Ira Forman as Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism

Secretary of State John Kerry announced yesterday that Ira Forman will serve as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Forman, a graduate of both Harvard and Stanford Universities, previously served as Director of Congressional Relations for the Office of Personnel Management during the Clinton administration. He led the National Jewish Democratic Council for fifteen years. Secretary Kerry made the announcement as he released the 2012 International Religious Freedom Report.

Response after the jump from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
The Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 created the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Special Envoy Forman’s first act will be to join a group of imams for visiting the site of the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. He will then proceed to the International Conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs enthusiastically welcomed the selection of Forman. JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutov said:

For decades, I have admired my friend and colleague, Ira Forman, as a devoted father and husband, model in his community, and voice for positive change in the world. I am proud of our government’s unprecedented commitment to make fighting anti-Semitism a national priority, thanks in large part to the extraordinary leadership in recent years of the immediate past Special Envoy Hannah Rosenthal, my beloved predecessor at the JCPA. In selecting someone with the experience and wisdom of Ira, Secretary Kerry and President Obama have made sure this important work will continue. We also are appreciative of the excellent work in this arena carried out by Ambassador Michael Kozak, who has served as the Interim Special Envoy.

JCPA Chair Larry Gold added:

Ira is a deeply respected figure who has long been a powerful advocate for Jewish community interests here at home. With this new position as Anti-Semitism Envoy, he will take that respect and his passion abroad to help identify anti-Semitism where it persists and bring the influence of the US State Department to bear in attacking this pernicious phenomenon.

State Republican Leaders Use Anti-Semitic And Mysogynic Slurs

Oklahoma Republican Leader Mispeaks Anti-Semitic Slur

On Wednesday, Oklahoma State House Majority Leader Dennis Johnson used the phrase “try to Jew me down” on the House floor. He offered an apology afterward that reportedly included the line “Jews run good small businesses, too.” The Tulsa World reported:

In debating in favor of a bill that would repeal a 70-year-old ban on “loss-leader” selling, Johnson, a small business owner, said service and not price were the key to success.

He then acknowledged that some customers “try to Jew me down.”

Johnson, R-Duncan — who, with Rep. Fred Jordan, R-Jenks, is the third-ranking member of the majority leadership — immediately apologized, adding that “Jews run good small businesses, too.”

“Jew down” is a slang term for haggling and is generally considered derogatory.

New Hampshire Republican Uses “Vagina” As Synonym For “Woman”

According to the Concord Monitor:

Rep. Peter Hansen, an Amherst Republican serving his second term, wrote in an April 1 email to the all-House email list that “children and vagina’s” were missing from a fellow representative’s anecdotes during the debate over whether to repeal New Hampshire’s 2011 “stand your ground” law.

The email was posted Monday on a liberal blog, and Hansen’s remark was condemned yesterday by NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire.

“We are shocked and disgusted by this derogatory comment,” said Policy and Community Relations Director Sara Persechino in a news release. “Rep. Peter Hansen was elected to represent the citizens of his district and this state; referring to women as ‘vaginas’ is not in line with New Hampshire’s value of equality for all.”

Hansen said yesterday his comment was being taken out of context.

It boggles the mind to imagine that there is any conceivable “context” in which it would be vaguely appropriate to refer to a woman as a “vagina”. Perhaps the “honorable penis” from Amherst, New Hampshire should apologize to his colleagues, his constituents and all Americans who were shocked by his mysogyny.

Meanwhile in Michigan, Democratic legislators are forbidden to use the word “vagina” to refer to actual vaginae. Details after the jump.
Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown gets censured after talking about Kosher dishes and her vagina

Last year Michigan was considering a Republican supported bill requiring an invasive transvaginal ultrasound be placed in a woman so that she could see her fetus before an abortion could be legally obtained.

State Representative Lisa Brown (D-Commerce Township & West Bloomfield Township) spoke passionately against the bill and was censured by the Speaker for using the word “vagina.” She and Rep. Barb Byrum (D_Onondaga), who proposed a bill banning vasectomies, were both barred from speaking for the remainder of the session.

I’m Jewish. I keep kosher in my home. I have two sets of dishes. One for meat and one for dairy, and another two sets of dishes on top of that for Passover. Judaism believes that therapeutic abortions, namely abortions performed in order to preserve the life of the mother are not only permissable but mandatory. The stage of pregnancy does not matter. Wherever there is a question of the life of the mother or that of the unborn child, Jewish law rules in favor of preserving the life of the mother. The status of the fetus as human life does not equal that of the mother. I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’

If you’re regulating vaginas, I don’t know how we’re supposed to not talk about them.

According to the New York Daily News:

Brown defended her right to say “vagina” at a press conference Thursday, arguing that it’s the “anatomically, medically correct term.

“If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?” Brown asked. “What language should I use?”

White House Condemns Turkish PM’s Anti-Israel Statements

— by David Streeter

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor condemned Turkish Prime Minsiter Tayyip Erdogan’s hateful remarks about Zionism:

We reject Prime Minister Erdogan’s characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity, which is offensive and wrong. We encourage people of all faiths, cultures, and ideas to denounce hateful actions and to overcome the differences of our times.

Also, Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to “bring Erdogan to task” for his comments during their bilateral meeting. As Secretary Kerry flew to Ankara, a Senior State Department Aide criticized the remarks:

This was particularly offensive, frankly, to call Zionism a crime against humanity […] It does have a corrosive effect (on relations). I am sure the secretary will be very clear about how dismayed we were to hear it.

B’nai B’rith International’s statement on the subject after the jump.
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement on the subject:

At a United Nations “Alliance of Civilizations” summit, convened to focus on global tolerance, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan engaged in a deplorable act by calling Zionism “a crime against humanity.”

B’nai B’rith International strongly condemns Erdoğan’s effort to revive inflammatory language equating Zionism with racism. This insidious canard was introduced at the United Nations in 1975 and rightly revoked in 1991. Erdoğan has reintroduced this odious charge to the U.N. environment.

Zionism is the embodiment of the millennia-old Jewish longing for self-determination and a return to the Jewish homeland.

Erdoğan made his pronouncement before an audience of senior-international leaders in Vienna, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

This is not the first time Erdoğan has made inciteful remarks about Israel or Jews. In November, he called Israel a “terrorist state,” during the Hamas-instigated fighting in Gaza.

B’nai B’rith calls on Erdoğan to apologize for his remarks and urges the United Nations to condemn these sentiments.

Article By UN-Supported Palestinian Outlet Calls Jews “Evil”

— by Bnai Brith International

B’nai B’rith International condemns an outrageous anti-Semitic article written by Sawsan Najib Abd Al-Halim and posted on the Ma’an News Agency’s website, a Palestinian news outlet. In the article, the author calls the Jewish people “outcasts in every corner of the Earth,” “evil,” “scheming” and the “root of conflict in the world,” which Allah has “decreed humiliation and degradation upon them until Judgment Day.” The article was translated from Arabic and exposed by Palestinian Media Watch.

What makes this article even more alarming is the fact that Ma’an News Agency is funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Ma’an also receives funding from the European Commission, the Danish and Dutch governments and UKaid, the development fund of the United Kingdom.

More after the jump.

Apart from the gross nature of these comments, we are most worried about the funding sources of this so-called news agency which publishes blatantly anti-Semitic content, B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. Agencies of the United Nations and governments of Europe, which denounce hate speech on their own continent, are acting hypocritically by funding Ma’an.

The article — titled “Israel is Trembling!” — has since been removed from the website for “hateful content” that does not “represent the opinion of Ma’an or its editorial policies,” according to a statement from the news agency’s administration.

This isn’t the first time Ma’an has published something outrageous and hateful directed toward the Jewish people, B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. The international community must immediately demand accountability from recipients of funding. The U.N. agencies and governments who fund this operation must cut off financial resources to those who traffic in hate. That’s the best way to get their attention and those others who would contemplate publishing anti-Semitic articles.