American Activists and Israeli Academics Support the Palestinian Struggle Against Israel


11.08.22

Editorial Note

The US Committee on Ethics by the House of Representatives recently published an Employee Post-Travel Disclosure Form by Ruben Goddard, the legislative Assistant of Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ). Goddard’s trip was sponsored by an American NGO, Rebuilding Alliance, to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories.

According to their website, “Rebuilding Alliance is dedicated to advancing equal rights for the Palestinian people through education, advocacy, and support that assures Palestinian families the right to a home, schooling, economic security, safety, and a promising future… Our Life-Affirming Vision: To realize a just and enduring peace in Palestine and Israel founded upon equal rights, equal security, and equal opportunity for all.”

But this is not true.

As seen from Goddard’s Employee Post-Travel Disclosure Form, Rebuilding Alliance aims to support the Palestinians’ struggle against Israel. In particular, in Area C. The Palestinians and Israel have signed an interim agreement whereby the Palestinian Arabs belong to the Palestinian Authority, yet they live in an area under Israeli control. Rebuilding Alliance provides material support to the Palestinians, so they can seize land and build without having legal permits. The delegation’s visit to Area C is described as “seeing this will allow House staff to consider how U.S. policy and aid can support the aspirations of Palestinian village who seek to stay on their land by preventing the demolition of Palestinian homes.”

The Disclosure Form states, “The separation wall has been called a security measure by some and a land grab by others. It has long been controversial due to its route- which cuts deep into Palestinian territory and separates Palestinian communities. One of the missions of this trip is to discuss barriers to peace and the separation wall has long been considered by the Palestinians to be an Israeli attempt to create more facts on the ground, and to include as much Palestinian land on the Israeli side as possible.”

The document did not mention that the security barrier was erected to prevent terrorists from crossing into Israel.

Goddard’s delegation went on a tour of the City of David, that “provides a lens into the foundations of the City of Jerusalem and how that archaeological foundation has been used to expand Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, as well as appropriating the field of archaeology to achieve those ends.”

In particular, the delegation is interested in house demolitions and evictions ordered by the Israeli Supreme Court. The delegation was provided with background information on the case of the Sumarin family who described “the challenges they have faced and are facing in their appeal of the eviction order.”

The delegation was told about demolitions of houses that had no building permits. “The Abu Khyara family had their home demolished in recent years. Our partner in the planning of this delegation, the Holy Land Trust, funded and assisted in the rebuilding of the family’s home. Why: One of the goals of this delegation is to discuss the remedies to some of the issues in the area, and how those remedies can lead to a longer lasting peace. Organizations that are rebuilding demolished homes are working towards that goal.”

Israeli academics are also involved with Rebuilding Alliance. The delegation has met with Dr. Laura Wharton, a political scientist from the Hebrew University, who is, according to the Disclosure Form, “an ally of the Palestinian communities in Jerusalem,” who “exemplifies what it means to ‘cross the aisle.'” As stated, Wharton has been one of the only advocates for “fair housing” on the Jerusalem City Council. “She discussed issues related to home demolition orders and planning policies in the area.” 

The delegation also meets the “Military Court Watch” (MCW), a Palestinian NGO, to “prepare them with context and background information to their visit to Ofer Prison. They were to explore how the “peaceful aspirations of all can be furthered when Palestinians and Israelis both enjoy equal rights.” it is important to “observe this separate, unequal form of juvenile justice.” The delegation observes court proceedings for cases of Palestinian child prisoners. MCW’s work is guided by the basic principle that “children detained by the Israeli military authorities are entitled to all the rights and protections guaranteed under international law. Further, and in accordance with the principle that no State is permitted to discriminate between those over whom it exercises penal jurisdiction, there is no legal justification for treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently under Israel’s military and civilian legal systems. In accordance with these principles, MCW advocates, and where appropriate, litigates, to ensure that all children that come in contact with the military legal system are treated fairly and in accordance with the law.” 

The delegation is not interested in preventing the abuse of Palestinian children by Palestinian adults who instruct them on stone-throwing so that the Israeli military would detain them. The delegation ignores that children should be protected at home by their families and not become child soldiers.

There are more Israeli academics involved with Rebuilding Alliance. One of them is Prof. David Shulman, an expert on Indian culture and literature. A long-time peace activist who co-founded the activist group Taayush, Shulman would want us to believe that he is evenhanded when discussing the absence of peace between the two communities. However, a closer look at his writings, such as on the website of Rebuilding Alliance, reveals a different picture. By his own admission, he seems to preferer the Palestinians over the Israelis and, as a result, has nothing to say about the persistence and violent refusal of the former to accept the Oslo peace agreement or any other reasonable solutions. As a matter of fact, one cannot find in his writings any reference to the fact that the PLO rejected the offer of Camp David II in 2000 and launched a bloody Intifada. Needless to say, the professor has never mentioned the role of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their sponsor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in destroying any subsequent opportunity for peace. 

 This type of one-sided presentation is known as de-contextualization, whereby the complex dynamics of a conflict are ignored. The technique is favored by Israeli peace activists who portray the Palestinians as passive victims of Israeli brutality. Of course, it makes a great story for visiting delegations whose members are probably unfamiliar with the history and reality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They go back home and help to gain material support for the Palestinian struggle against Israel. 

References:

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PRIMARY TRIP SPONSOR FORM
This form should be completed by private entities offering to provide travel or reimbursement for travel to House Members,
officers, or employees under House Rule 25, clause 5. A completed copy of the form (and any attachments) should be
provided to each invited House Member, officer, or employee, who will then forward it to the Committee together with a
Traveler Form at least 30 days before the start date of the trip. The trip sponsor should NOT submit the form directly to the
Committee. The Committee website (ethics.house.gov) provides detailed instructions for filling out the form.
NOTE: Willful or knowing misrepresentations on this form may be subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
Failure to comply with the Committee’s Travel Regulations may also lead to the denial of permission to sponsor future trips.
1. Sponsor who will be paying for the trip:
2. o I represent that the trip will not be financed, in whole or in part, by a registered federal lobbyist or foreign agent.
Signify that the statement is true by checking box.
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a. o The primary trip sponsor has not accepted from any other source, funds intended directly or indirectly to
finance any aspect of the trip: OR
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funds only from entities that will receive a tangible benefit in exchange for those funds: OR
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Version date 3/2021 by Committee on Ethics
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INSTRUCTIONS
Complete the Primary Trip Sponsor Form and submit the agenda, invitation list, any attachments, and any Additional Trip
Sponsor Forms directly to the Travelers.
Written approval from the Committee on Ethics is required before traveling on this trip. The Committee on Ethics will
notify the House invitees directly and will not notify the trip sponsors.
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Signatures must comply with section 104(bb) of the Travel Regulations.
For questions, please contact the Committee on Ethics at:
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Washington, D.C. 20515
ethicscommittee@mail.house.gov | 202-225-7103
More information and forms available at ethics.house.gov
______________________________________
1 Please be aware that the Committee’s review of the proposed trip does not extend to either the security
situation in the destination country or security related to foreign travel in general. We recommend you contact the
Office of House Security (OHS) for a safety and security briefing prior to your departure. OHS may be reached at
(202) 226-2044 or ohsstaff@mail.house.gov. House travelers should also register for the U.S. State Department’s
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at https://step.state.gov.
May 10, 2022
Mr. Ruben Goddard
Office of the Honorable Donald M. Payne, Jr.
106 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Goddard:
Pursuant to House Rule 25, clause 5(d)(2), the Committee on Ethics hereby approves
your proposed trip to Israel,1 scheduled for May 27 to June 4, 2022, sponsored by Rebuilding
Alliance.
You must complete an Employee Post-Travel Disclosure Form (which your employing
Member must also sign) and file it, together with a Sponsor Post-Travel Disclosure Form
completed by the trip sponsor, with the Clerk of the House within 15 days after your return from
travel. As part of that filing, you are also required to attach a copy of this letter and both the
Traveler and Primary Trip Sponsor Forms (including attachments) you previously submitted to
the Committee in seeking pre-approval for this trip. If you are required to file an annual
Financial Disclosure Statement, you must also report all travel expenses totaling more than $415
from a single source on the “Travel” schedule of your annual Financial Disclosure Statement
covering this calendar year. Finally, Travel Regulation § 404(d) also requires you to keep a copy
of all request forms and supporting information provided to the Committee for three subsequent
Congresses from the date of travel.
Because the trip may involve meetings with foreign government representatives, we note
that House employees may accept, under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (FGDA), gifts
“of minimal value [currently $415] tendered as a souvenir or mark of courtesy” by a foreign
government. Any tangible gifts valued in excess of minimal value received from a foreign
government must, within 60 days of acceptance, be disclosed on a Form for Disclosing Gifts
from Foreign Governments and either turned over to the Clerk of the House, or, with the written
approval of the Committee, retained for official use.
Theodore E. Deutch, Florida
Chairman
Jackie Walorski, Indiana
Ranking Member
Susan Wild, Pennsylvania
Dean Phillips, Minnesota
Veronica Escobar, Texas
Mondaire Jones, New York
Michael Guest, Mississippi
Dave Joyce, Ohio
John H. Rutherford, Florida
Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS
COMMITTEE ON ETHICS
Thomas A. Rust
Staff Director and Chief Counsel
David W. Arrojo
Counsel to the Chairman
Kelle A. Strickland
Counsel to the Ranking Member
1015 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515–6328
Telephone: (202) 225–7103
Facsimile: (202) 225–7392
If you have any further questions, please contact the Committee’s Office of Advice and
Education at extension 5-7103.
Sincerely,
Theodore E. Deutch Jackie Walorski
Chairman Ranking Member
TED/JW:adw
Rebuilding Alliance LLM StaffDel May 28-Jun 4 2022: Confirmed Travellers
Congressional
Office State or District Staff Position Staffer Reason for Invitation
1
2
Rep. Al Lawson D-FL-05
Foreign
Policy/Leg.
Director
Amber
Milenkevich
Amber has been to Israel before and would like to see the West Bank. Her
boss, Rep. Lawson, has an interest in the region, as stated by the staffer. As
a foreign policy staffer, this region is relevant to her official duties.
Rep. Donald
Payne D-NJ-10 Foreign Policy Ruben Goddard
As a foreign policy staffer, Ruben is looking for first hand knowledge in the
area. His boss has been very involved in issues related to Israel and the
West Bank, and the staffer would benefit from seeing conditions on the
ground.
3
Rep.
Gwen
Moore
D-WI-04
Foreign
Policy/ Senior
Legislative
Adviser Izmira Aitch
Izmira’s boss has been involved in these issues. Staffer herself has been
invited to and attended our briefings on Israel and the West Bank in the
past.
50 Woodside Plaza, Ste. 627, Redwood City CA 94061 Phone: (650) 440-9667 Email: Contact@RebuildingAlliance.org
www.RebuildingAlliance.org
Congressional StaffDel
Leadership Learning Mission to Jerusalem and the West Bank
With financial support provided by Rebuilding Alliance, an American 501(c)3 organization
May 28 – June 3, 2022
Detailed Agenda as Completed
MISSION GOALS: The overall goal of this Leadership Learning Mission is to explore how the peaceful
aspirations of all can be furthered when Palestinians and Israelis both enjoy the benefits of equal
rights, and how U.S. policy and aid can support those aspirations.
RELEVANCE TO OFFICIAL DUTIES: The Leadership Learning Mission offers senior Congressional
staff the opportunity to further their understanding of this region of the world and to better
understand the implications of American policies in the region, to better support constituents. This
fact-finding trip will:
● Provide participants with an understanding of the history of Jerusalem, the West Bank, and
Gaza leading to the current conditions;
● Consider the implications and impact of Israeli control of building and planning rights in East
Jerusalem and the West Bank and explore successful ways to prevent the demolition of
Palestinian homes, schools, water systems, and neighborhoods;
● Visit Palestinians and Israelis who work for peace and justice to understand the challenges
they are facing, learn about their efforts including joint efforts to address those challenges,
consider what Congress is uniquely able to do to support such efforts, and how this makes a
difference; and
● Show how US aid benefits the health and education of Palestinian children.
LOCATION: The purpose of travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank is to give senior Congressional staff
the opportunity to see the evolving facts on the ground, attend on-site meetings, and where possible,
to hear from Palestinians and Israelis working together to keep neighborhoods standing and
safeguard human rights.
Of Note: Holy Land Trust is the tour operator selected by Rebuilding Alliance to implement this
fact-finding mission.
Friday, May 27th: Travel
22:45 United Flight 72 Departing IAD at 10:45 PM, Nonstop Boeing 787 w Dinner
Nonstop Boeing 787 w Dinner Arriving at TLV 4:40 PM
Note: One staff member was delayed and and arrived a day later.
Saturday, May 28th: Arrival
15:00 16:40 Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv
16:40-17:30 Transportation by minibus to the St. George Hotel in East Jerusalem. The
St. George Hotel is conveniently located, recently renovated, and known for
great breakfasts.
Location: St. George Hotel
19:30-21:00 Welcome! Hotel dining room dinner with introductions.
Presenters: Donna Baranski-Walker, Exec. Dir. of Rebuilding Alliance and Matthew
Walsh, Assistant Leadership Learning Coordinator. A warm welcome,
discussion of safety guidelines of the trip.
Accommodations: Overnight at the St. George Hotel, Jerusalem
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 2
Start
Time
End
Time
Sunday May 29, 2022: Bethlehem.
Note: Many people anticipated that violence would erupt in Jerusalem due to the controversial flag march. Because the
U.S. Embassy issued a Security Alert preventing U.S. employees from entering the Old City on Sunday, May 29th,
Rebuilding Alliance changed our schedule to start our LLM 3.0 in Bethlehem instead of Jerusalem. We notified the House
Ethics Committee and the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Officer of this change, and asked if it would be possible for
us to stay overnight in Bethlehem if safe return to our Jerusalem hotel was not possible. We received the following reply,
“If there is an emergency situation and you need to change lodging, then that would likely be an exceptional circumstance
and would be allowable. It would just need to be reflected on the post-travel paperwork.”
At 6pm Sunday, when our driver, who lives in East Jerusalem, expressed concern about our return to Jerusalem, we
relocated to stay at the Manger Square Hotel in Bethlehem, just across from the Nativity Church and down the street
from the office of our tour agency, Holy Land Trust.
8:00 8:45 Breakfast
9:00 9:05 Meet in the Saint George Hotel lobby to depart to first destination
9:05 9:30 Transportation by mini bus to Bethlehem
1:15:00 9:30 10:45 Discussion with Holy Land Trust
What: Delegation begins the trip by learning about Rebuilding Alliance and our partner for this delegation, the
Holy Land Trust., as well as getting to know one another. We also were introduced to the historical, political,
and geographic issues in the area.
Why: This information provides context and setting for what we will be learning throughout the week.
Location: Holy Land Trust office, Old City Bethlehem
Tour Guide: Elias D’eis, Executive Director of HLT and facilitator, Said Zarzar
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
1:45:00 10:45 12:30 Tour of Rachel Tomb Area from Bethlehem side/ The Wall
What: A look at the wall and the area around Rachel’s Tomb (inaccessible from the Bethlehem side), a site
that is important for both Palestinians and Israelis but that is now almost entirely encircled by the wall- and
accessible only to Israelis. This visit includes a walk along the separation wall and an introduction to the
geo-politics of the Bethlehem area.
Why: The separation wall has been called a security measure by some and a land grab by others. It has long 

been controversial due to its route- which cuts deep into Palestinian territory and seprates Palestinian communities. 

One of the missions of this trip is to discuss barriers to peace and the separation wall has long been considered by 

the Palestinians to be an Israeli attempt to create more facts on the ground, and to include as much Palestinian land 

on the Israeli side as possible.
Presenter: Said Zarzar, HLT Tour Guide
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 3
Location: Bethlehem
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
12:30 13:15 Lunch at Memories of Bethlehem restaurant, Bethlehem
13:30 14:15 Shopping at Local Souvenir Shop: Mitri Souvenir Shop, Bethlehem
14:15 14:30 Transit to Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
1:15:00 14:45 16:00 Visit the Church of Nativity, Old City of Bethlehem, Star Street area
What: Walking tour of the Old City area of Bethlehem- to include Manger Square and the Church of the
Nativity. The Church of the Nativity is the oldest site continuously used as a place of worship in Christianity,
and the basilica, dating back to 325/26 is the oldest major church in the Holy Land.
Why: “This presentation is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional staff’s official duties
because it meets one major goal of this trip: to provide participants with an understanding of the history of the
region, which includes religious and historical.
Location: Manger Square, Bethlehem
Tour Guide: Sana Sansour
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
0:20:00 16:00 16:20 Drive to Al Walajeh Village
0:55:00 16:20 17:15 Meeting with Khader Al-Araj, head of Village Council, and Adv. Ibrahim Al-Araj, attorney
What: Al-Walajeh provides a unique introduction to the administrative and military “areas” of the West Bankportions
of the village are located in Areas B, and C. The village also is an example of the impact of vast
settlement blocs on Palestinian villages in the area. Home demolitions are considered to be disruptive to the
establishment of conditions that should lead to a future peace deal- and Al-Walajeh currently has large
numbers of homes facing demolition.
Why: This presentation is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional staff’s official duties
because it addresses many of the issues that are seen to impact peace in the region: settlement takeover of
Palestinian village lands, home demolitions, and discriminatory planning policies. Understanding these issues
and seeing a village that is being impacted by them will give staff insight into the challenges faced by
Palestinian communities on mulitple fronts.
Location: Al-Walajeh Village
Presenter: Khader Al-Araj; Ibrahim Al-Araj
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:45:00 17:15 18:00 Visit with Khaled Abu Khyara Family
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 4
What: The Abu Khyara family had their home demolished in recent years. Our partner in the planning of this
delegation, the Holy Land Trust, funded and assisted in the rebuilding of the family’s home.
Why: One of the goals of this delegation is to discuss the remedies to some of the issues in the area, and how
those remedies can lead to a longer lasting peace. Organizations that are rebuilding demolished homes are
working towards that goal.
Location: Al-Walajeh Village
Presenter: The Abu Khayra family
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
18:00 18:05 Ruben Goddard, Jr. arrived at Ben Gurion airport and joined our team
18:05 18:30 Transportation by mini bus to Manger Square Hotel, Bethlehem for check-in
0:30:00 18:45 20:00 Taxies to Dinner at Shepherd’s Tent Restaurant, Beit Sahour
6:45:00 20:00 Overnight at Manger Square Hotel, Bethlehem
Start
Time
End
Time Monday May 30, 2022: Jerusalem Area
8:00 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 10:30 Free time in Bethlehem
0:30:00 10:30 11:00 Transit by Minibus to Haas Promenade
What: The drive between Bethlehem and Jerusalem provides the opportunity to see the block of settlements
that separates the two areas, effectively cutting the Bethlehem area from Jerusalem- the city to which it has
been connected for several thousand years. In our case it also offered a sense of what closure is like because
the Bethlehem/Jerusalem checkpoint was entirely shut down. Our bus driver had to take an alternate route.
Why: Settlement construction has been described as one of the main impediments to peace and to realizing a
two state solution. Seeing the layout of settlements helps one understand how the future prospect of peace is
impacted by the Gilo Settlement bloc.
Where: Bethlehem-Jerusalem
Presenter: Itamar Shapirra, LLM Guide
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:30:00 11:00 11:30 Haas Promenade, view over Jerusalem
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 5
What: Overview of Jerusalem’s evolution as a center point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the 1948
Green Line, the 1967 conquests, East Jerusalem and West Bank annexations, Jewish
neighborhoods/settlements, Palestinian neighborhoods, and discussion of civil status in the city of Jerusalem.
Why: This presentation is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional Staff’s official duties
because it is providing the Staff with the base of information that they will need and draw upon throughout
the remainder of the trip.
Presenter: Itamar Shapirra, LLM tour leader
Location: Jerusalem’s Haas Promenade, Daniel Yanofsky Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:15:00 11:30 11:45 Transportation by bus to Damascus Gate for Old City Tour
1:15:00 11:45 13:00 Guided walking tour of Old City, Jerusalem
What: Entry via Damascus Gate. This will include an overlook of the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock and
Al Aqsa Mosque, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and other significant religious, historical, and cultural sites
and neigbhborhoods to help Congressional staffers and constituents begin to understand the varied aspirations
of Palestinians and Israelis and provide a better understanding of what the New York Times calls, “a distinctly
20th century story, with roots in colonialism, nationalism, and anti-Semitism.”
Why: A major objective is to provide the Congressional staff with an understanding of the history of the area
leading up to the current conditions. Any discussion of that history must include the historical sites in the Old
City of Jerusalem.
Tour Guide: Itamar Shapirra, LLM tour guide
Location: Old City of Jerusalem
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:20:00 13:00 13:20
Guided discussion as we passed the public area of the City of David (delegation will walk out the Dung Gate
of the Old City and walk over to the City of David which is just adjacent to the Sumarin Family’s home)
What: The City of David, one of the largest and richest settler groups in Jerusalem, is in the oldest part of
Jerusalem, predating the walled Old City, and was believed to be the area that the ancient Israelites first
inhabited.
Why: This is relevant to the mission and the staffer’s official duties because it provides a lens into the
foundations of the City of Jerusalem and how that archaeological foundation has been used to expand Israeli
settlements in East Jerusalem, as well as appropriating the field of archaeology to achieve those ends.
Tour Guide: Itamar Shapirra, LLM tour guide
Location: City of David, Jerusalem
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
Our guide will take us, walking, next door to the Sumarin Family’s home
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 6
Presenter: Itamar Shapirra, LLM tour leader
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:40:00 13:20 14:00
Participants will have a catered lunch in the family’s gated courtyard and meet with the family and many of
the Israeli Jewish groups that have been advocating to save their home.
0:30:00 14:00 14:30 Meeting with the Sumarin Family and Sumarin Coalition
What: Meeting will update the delegation and provide background on the case of the Sumarin family. They
will describe the challenges they have faced and are facing in their appeal of the eviction order.
Why: Silwan has served as a flashpoint in recent years. Understanding the various legal mechanisms and laws
that allow settler groups and NGOs is vital. Discussion also includes the issue of American NGOs that are
listed as charities funding some of these activities.
Presenters: Sumarin Family, Rabbi Arik Ascherman- Torat Tzedek, Rabbi Moshe Silver and Reza Green, Seek
Peace Jerusalem
Location: Silwan, Sumarin family home
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
1:00:00 14:30 15:30 Discussion with Sumarin Coalition Partners
What: Meeting will update the delegation and provide background on the case of the Sumarin family; will also
introduce staff to the coalition of groups that worked together to save the family home.
Why: The coalition exemplifies various groups coming together and working to save a home- starting small,
with one home, but that home being very important to that family. This will serve as an introduction to some
of the advocacy work RA has undertaken.
Presenters: Sumarin Family, Rabbi Arik Ascherman- Torat Tzedek, Rabbi Moshe Silver and Reza Green, Seek
Peace Jerusalem
Location: Silwan, Sumarin family home
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:15:00 15:30 15:45 Walk from the Sumarin home to the Bustan neighborhood of Silwan
1:00:00 16:00 17:00 Meeting Dr. Laura Wharton
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 7
What: Dr. Wharton has been one of the only advocates for fair housing on the Jerusalem City Council. She
discussed issues related to home demolition orders and planning policies in the area.
Why: One of the goals of the trip is to understand planning issues in Jerusalem and how the system does not
work for all of the people of Jerusalem. Dr. Wharton, an ally of the Palestinian communities in Jerusalem,
exemplafies what it means to “cross the aisle” and is a model of cooperation and of diverse communities
coming together in Jerusalem to find solutions that will lead to a prosperous and thriving Jerusalem for all.
Presenters: Dr. Laura Wharton
Location: Bustan neighborhood, Silwan
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
1:00:00 17:00 18:00 Discussion with Dr. Amani Odeh and Fakhri Abu Diab of Al Bustan neighborhood
What: Local leaders discuss the issues that are impacting their community, including home demolitions, lack of
planning and services, and one of the highest rates of child arrests in Jerusalem.
Why: This presentation is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional Staff’s official duties
because it provides insight into local issues from the perspective of female members of the community, as well
as other local leaders.
Presenter: Mr. Fahkri Abu Diab and Dr. Amani Odeh
Location: Al Bustan neighborhood, Silwan
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
18:00 18:15 Minibus to St. George Hotel
18:15 18:30 Free Time
0:45:00 18:30 19:15 Dinner at Saint George Hotel with Andrea DiDomenico of UNOCHA
0:15:00 19:15 19:30 Walking to U.N. Office near hotel
1:30:00 19:30 21:00 Discussion with Samer Abdel Jaber & Andrea DiDomenico
What: Discussion of the humanitarian need and relief required in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza,
and possible underlying reasons for this ongoing crisis.
Why: Discussing the impact of U.S. aid in the region is relevant to the mission of this trip. This discussion
revolved around funding to UNOCHA and the World Food Programme, and what funds are needed; discussing
the potential humanitarian and security concerns that are related to the lack of funding for these food and
social programs.
Presenters: Samer Abdel Jaber (WFP head and U.N. Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator), Andrea DiDomenico
(special assistant to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator)
Location: U.N. Office, East Jerusalem
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 8
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
21:00 21:15 Walking back to hotel; Overnight at St. George Hotel, East Jerusalem
9:45:00
Start
Time
End
Time Tuesday May 31, 2022: Ramallah, Al Aqaba, Al Maleh, Al Auja, Dead Sea, Jericho
8:00 9:00 Breakfast at Saint George Hotel
9:00 Meet in lobby to depart for day
1:00:00 9:00 10:00 Transportation by bus to Ramallah
What: Guide to discuss route between Jerusalem and Ramallah, including checkpoints/separation wall, and
introduce Ramallah as the current capital of the P.A.
Tour Guide: Itamar Shapirra, LLM tour guide
Location: Jerusalem-Ramallah
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
1:00:00 10:00 11:00 Meeting with P.A. Minister of Health, Dr. Mai Kaleh
What: Our delegation will meet with the Minister of Health to discuss current challenges facing the P.A. in the
health care sector, including Covid-19, malnutrition, PKU, etc.
Why:This presentation is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional staff’s official duties
because this visit meets one major goal of this trip: to provide participants with an understanding of how US
aid benefits the health and education of Palestinian children.
Presenter: Minister of Health Dr. Mai Kaleh
Location: Ministry of Health building in Ramallah
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
1:00:00 11:00 12:00 Transportation by bus to Firing Zone 900
What: Tour Guide to discuss the previous meeting with P.A. Health Ministry, as well as introduce the Jordan
Valley area we will be visiting.
Tour Guide: Itamar Shapirra, LLM tour guide
Location: Ramallah-Al Aqaba
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 9
0:45:00 12:00 12:45 Al Aqaba Village Meeting
What: This is the first Palestinian Village in Area C to issue its own building permits — and for the 12 years,
no demolition orders were issued agains the new homes — that changed in January, placing the whole village
at risk of demolition and expecially the homes under construction. The walking tour of Al Aqaba’s
kindergarten, tea factory, community park, goat cheese factory, and past the homes that were finished
without demolition orders. Rebuilding Alliance was instrumental in helping build the kindergarten and in
2011, we organized a design charrette to help villagers design and build their own homes. Rebuilding Alliance
worked with the Al Aqaba Housing Cooperative to launch the Rebuilding to Remain home construction
finance program, and we crowd-funded affordable loans for the construction of three homes. The people of
the village have continued to build in accordance with their village-issued building permits and a remarkable
town has taken shape.
Why: This tour is relevant to the House staff’s official duties because (1) it is important to see what a
Palestinian village looks like when the village is allowed to thrive, (2) seeing this will allow House staff to
consider how U.S. policy and aid can support the aspirations of Palestinian village who seek to stay on their
land by preventing the demolition of Palestinian homes, schools, and neighborhoods, and (3) to hear from this
important Palestinian leader who is working to safeguard human rights.
Note: Rebuilding Alliance continues to crowdfund and provide grants for the kindergarten in Al Aqaba as well
as to the Al Aqaba Housing Cooperative Association for their home construction finance program.
Tour Guide: Khaled Sawafta (Head of Village Council), Rawheye Alsbaih (Chair of the Rural Women’s
Association), Hisham Sbaih (Chair of the Al Aqaba Cooperative Assembly for Housing the Displaced & Head
of Agricultural Association)
Location: Al Aqaba
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:55:00 12:45 13:40 Walking Tour, visit Sahar & Ismael’s home, and possibly other homes too
13:40 14:15 Lunch at the Rural Women’s Association Dining Room
14:15 15:00 Minibus Departure
0:30:00 15:00 15:30 Meet with principal of Al-Maleh School
What: Al Maleh School is an important school to the local inhabitants- it allows children from nearby areas the
chance to have an education. Last year, the Israeli Army confiscated the portable classroom and shade
structures. Israeli settlers stole their water tanks. RA has partnered with Middle East Children’s Alliance to
bring this back
Why: Staff will learn about the the issues impacting education for Palestinian children, particularly in remote
and rural areas. They will also have the opportunity to be introduced to RA advocacy work to see the impact
that the occupation has on education.
Presenter: Principal Jafar Fuqha
Location: Al Maleh Elementary School
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 10
15:30 16:00 Transportation by bus to al-Auja
1:00:00 16:00 17:00 Meeting with Rabbi Arik Ascherman and Bedouin Shepherds in al-Auja
What: The Israeli settlement movement openly advocates for the creation of “agricultural settlements” to
plunder or destroy Palestinian crops, and disrupt traditional sheepherding to damage the food supply and
threaten the farmers and herders to make them up and leave. Palestinians in this rural area face land, crop,
and water theft and settler violence.
Why: This is related to the mission of the trip and the Congressional staff’s official duties because part of our
mission is to meet with people and groups working to bring peace and security for all.
Presenters: Rabbi Arik Ascherman, from Torat Tzedek, Bedouin shepherds
Location: Al-Auja countryside
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
17:00 17:30 Transportation by bus to Dead Sea
0:30:00 17:30 18:30 Discussion of the day’s activities, debrief
What: Debriefing of a long day of activities, and a visit to the Dead Sea
Why: Discussion time to process and reflect on the large amount of various activities and a time for questions
is essential.
Presenters: Donna Baranski-Walker (Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance), Elias (Executive Director, HLT),
Location: Dead Sea
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
18:30 19:00 Minibus to the Green Valley Restaurant, Jericho
19:00 20:30 Dinner at The Green Valley, a Jericho Restaurant
6:40:00 20:30 22:00 Minibus back to Saint George Hotel; Overnight at St. George Hotel
Start
Time
End
Time Wednesday June 1, 2022: Ofer Prison, then Tel Aviv
7:00 8:00 Breakfast
1:30:00 8:30 10:00 Presentation by Military Court Watch
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 11
What: Military Court Watch will introduce their work to the delegation, and prepare them with context and
background information to their visit to Ofer Prison.
Why: Because the key goal of this LLM is to explore how the peaceful aspirations of all can be furthered when
Palestinians and Israelis both enjoy equal rights, it is important for Congressional staff to observe this
separate, unequal form of juvenile justice.
Presenters: Gerard Horton and Salwa Duiabis, Military Court Watch
Location: Meeting room in the St. George Hotel, East Jerusalem
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:30:00 10:00 10:30 Transportation by bus to Ofer Military Prison
2:00:00 10:30 12:30 Observation of court proceedings
What: Observation of court proceedings for cases of Palestinian child prisoners. Military Court Watch
(MCW)’s work is guided by the basic principle that children detained by the Israeli military authorities are
entitled to all the rights and protections guaranteed under international law. Further, and in accordance with
the principle that no State is permitted to discriminate between those over whom it exercises penal
jurisdiction, there is no legal justification for treating Palestinian and Israeli children differently under Israel’s
military and civilian legal systems. In accordance with these principles, MCW advocates, and where
appropriate, litigates, to ensure that all children that come in contact with the military legal system are treated
fairly and in accordance with the law.
Why: Because the key goal of this LLM is to explore how the peaceful aspirations of all can be furthered when
Palestinians and Israelis both enjoy equal rights, it is important for Congressional staff to observe this
separate, unequal form of juvenile justice.
Tour Guides: Gerard Horton, Salwa Duaibis, Military Court Watch
Location: Ofer Military Court, just outside the Palestinian town of Beitunia
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
12:30 13:45 Lunch on the bus enroute to Tel Aviv
13:45 14:00 Security to enter US Embassy-Tel Aviv Annex
1:30:00 14:00 15:30
Brian M. Grimm, Political Counselor, | U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy Jerusalem – Embassy Branch
Office Tel Aviv
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 12
What: Meeting with Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv Branch
Why: Discussing the structure of the U.S. Embassy and State Dept. presence in the region and why there are
different entities to deal with the Israeli and Palestinian governments.We will have just come from visiting
Ofer Prison with Military Court Watch, amongst many other visits. The group will likely have an opportunity
to ask questions regarding official U.S. policies in the region.
Presenter: Brian M. Grimm, Political Counselor and Nicholas A. Engquist
Location: U.S. Embassy Branch Office, Tel Aviv
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
15:30 15:45 Transportation by minibus to office of Gisha
0:30:00 15:45 16:15 Meeting with representatives from the NGO Gisha
What: Gisha is an organization that works to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, mostly those
that live in Gaza.
Why: This is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional staff’s official duties because one of the
goals of our trip is to meet groups working towards peace. Meeting Israelis who work and advocate on behalf
of Palestinians is part of this. The siege on Gaza has had a major impact on peace and security in the entire
region.
Presenter: Rebecca Lederkramer
Location: Office of Gisha, Tel Aviv
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
16:15 16:30 Walking to the nearby law office of Adv. Michael Sfard
0:45:00 16:30 17:15 Meeting with Michael Sfard
What: Meeting with a prominent Israeli attorney that Rebuilding Alliance works with. One of the discussion
topics will center on Palestinian civil society and the recent designation of 6 key Palestinian CSOs as illegalthis
designation was made last October and still has not been seen as having any merit for most of the
international community. Solutions for how to continue to support Palestinian civil society will be discussed.
Both speakers will present an overview of history, policies, and what has led to the current crisis.
Why: This is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional staff’s official duties because one of the
goals of our trip is to meet groups working towards peace. Meeting Israelis who work and advocate on behalf
of Palestinians is part of this. For peace and stability to be achieved, Palestinian civil society must be supported
and strengthened.
Presenter: Adv. Michael Sfard Yesh Din
Location: Michael Sfard’s Law Office in Tel Aviv
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
17:15 17:30 Walking back to the Office of Gisha
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 13
0:45:00 17:30 18:15 Teleconference with Gazans
What: We will meet, via teleconference, with RA staff and partner organizations that are based in Gaza to
hear about their work and their lives, and the challenges faced with living under a prolonged siege.
Why: This is relevant to the mission and to the Congressional staff’s official duties because Gaza has been
under blockade for nearly 15 years now. This has brought humanitarian issues to the forefront- but also
security issues. Discussing life in Gaza will allow staffers to see what is happening there, and how it impacts
the prospect for peace and security for all in the region.
Presenter: Heba Khozondar and Nesbah, RA staff in Gaza
Location: Gisha Offices, Tel Aviv
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
18:15 19:15 Transportation by minibus to the Saint George Hotel
19:15 20:15 Late Dinner at the St George Hotel; Overnight at the St George Hotel, Jerusalem
7:30:00
Start
Time
End
Time Thursday June 2, 2022: J Hebron, then South Hebron Hills/Masafer Yatta
7:00 8:00 Early Breakfast
1:00:00 8:00 9:00 Transportation by bus to Hebron
2:00:00 9:00 11:00 Tour of Palestinian Access Side Hebron
What: The issue of Palestinian homes being taken over by Israeli settlers is prevalent in Hebron. An
understanding of the city will help the delegation learn what this means for Palestinian homeowners. The
delegation will also visit the Ibrahimi Mosque and other historical sites of importance.
Why: A major objective is to provide the Congressional Staff with an understanding of the history of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict leading to the current conditions and any discussion of that history must include
discussion of the historical sites and current conditions in Hebron.
Presenter: Tariq Tamimi, Founding Director, Hebron Chamber of Commerce and industry
Location: Old City, Hebron
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:45:00 11:00 11:45 Transit from Hebron to Susiya
0:45:00 11:45 12:30 Overview of the history of the Palestinian village of Susiya
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 14
What: Overview of the history of the Palestinian village of Susiya. In 2013, the Sub-Committee for Planning
and Licensing of the Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Council rejected the village’s proposed master
plan stating that the “women and children would be better off living somewhere else.” In 2015, Israel’s High
Court decided that the Palestinian Village of Susiya can be demolished before its case is even heard, and the
case is still pending. We’ll hear their story and learn of their aspirations to see the recognition of their master
plan and live and build their future on their land without fear of demolition.
Why: A key goal of this LLM is to consider the implications and impact of Israeli control of building and
planning rights in Jerusalem and the West Bank and explore ways to prevent the demolition of Palestinian
homes, schools, barns, and neighborhoods. Susiya is also an example of a place that is still standing today
because of Congressional intervention.
Presenters: Nasser Nawaja, spokesperson of the Susiya Village Council and B’Tselem Regional Staff, Fatma
Nawaja – head of Susiya Rural Women’s Association and Social Worker with Rebuilding Alliance
Location: Inside the tent home of the spokesperson for the Palestinian village of Susiya in the South Hebron
Hills
Assurance:The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
12:30 1:30 Lunch in Susya
1:30 1:45 Transit by tour bus to village of At-Tuwani
1:15:00 1:45 3:00 At-Tuwani meeting w/ Youth of Sumud
What: At-Tuwani is one of only six villages in Area C granted a master plan by the Israeli Army (2013). As
such, it should be safe from demolition — but five homes and a youth center are facing demolition orders.
Youth of Sumud, founded in 2017, is a Palestinian grassroots human rights org that advocates principles of
nonviolence in all community-building activities in the South Hebron Hills Region of the West Bank. The
Youth of Sumud Center is an activities center and a guest house for Americans, Canadians, and Israelis. It
serves as the main office of Youth of Sumud since settlers destroyed their building in nearby Sarura in June
2021.
Why: A core goal of the trip is to bring staffers to visit Palestinians and Israelis who work for peace and justice,
to understand the challenges they are facing, learn about their efforts including joint efforts to address those
challenges, and consider what Congress is uniquely able to do to support such efforts.
Location: Youth of Sumud Center, At-Tuwani
Presenters: Sami Hureini, Youth of Sumud, co-Founder.
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:30:00 15:00 15;30 Meet Nidal Younis, Masafer Yatta Village Council Head
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 15
What: At-Tuwani is also the gateway to the threatened Masafer Yatta region. Currently designated as Firing
Zone 918. Despite having inhabited the area for generations, 12 villages are facing eviction and demolition in
this area. These actions are widely perceived as a preliminary to Israeli seizure of the land. A pivotal court
ruling in May allows the military to forcibly evict the residents.
Why: A core goal of the trip is to consider the implications and impact of Israeli control of building and
planning rights in the West Bank and explore successful ways to prevent the demolition of Palestinian homes,
schools, water systems, and neighborhoods.
Presenter: Nidal Younis, Head of Masafer Yatta Villages Council
Location: At-Tuwani Youth of Sumud Center
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
15:30 16:15 Walk to the village of Rakeez (10 min); discussion.
What: Rakeez is one of the 12 Masafer Yatta villages whose case will soon be decided by Israel’s High Court.
Demolition of their homes has meant that many families returned to living in caves. A young man from this
village, Harun abu Aram, was shot by the Israeli military last year and remains paralyzed.
Why: This discussion and visit is relevant to the mission of the trip and the Congressional staff’s duties
because the forced relocation of the villages of Masafer Yatta is illegal under international law. The case is
gaining international attention with 2 Congressional letters having been sent to the U.S. Secretary of State
urging intervention.
Presenter: Nidal Younis, Head of Masafer Yatta Villages Council
Location: Village of Rakeez
Assurance:The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
1:45:00 16:15 18:00 Transit by tour bus past Mufaqarra, and Khirbet Al Dale to Um Al Kheir Village
What:The drive will provide a sense of the cost to these communities of the Firing Zone areas. The delegation
then travels to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm Al Kheir, immediately adjacent to the Israeli
settlement of Carmel.
Why: This is relevant to the mission of the trip and the staff’s official duties because it shows the challenges of
settler incursion into village lands and the impact of discriminatory planning regimens.
Presenter: Eid Suleiman, artist, activist, and staff of Rebuilding Alliance, a resident of Umm Al Kheir who
presented to Congress in 2017 and 2018
Location: Masafer Yatta
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
18:00 19:30 Transit back to hotel
19:30 20:30 Dinner at hotel
8:00:00 Overnight at the St George Hotel, Jerusalem
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 16
Start
Time
End
Time Friday June 3, 2022: US Embassy, Journalist Safety, Khan al Ahmar, Wahat al-Salam
6:30 7:00 Quick, early breakfast at the Hotel
7:00 7:15 Check out of hotel
7:15 8:00 Minibus to U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
8:00 8:15 Clear Security check at U.S. Embassy, Jerusalem
0:50:00 8:15 9:05 Meeting with Desiree Baron and Jill Hutchings, U.S. Embassy, Jerusalem
What: Meeting with PAU political affairs officers at the U.S. Embassy. This meeting will include a discussion
about the State Department’s role in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. Congressional staff and guests will
have the opportunity to ask questions about the “on the ground” operating environment.
Why: This ‘off the record’ disscussion is relevant to the House staff’s official duties because the U.S. Embassy
will present the official U.S. policy on the many topics of special interest to the delegation including
discussions we held earlier in the week: East Jerusalem and Palestinian Area C planning issues, human rights,
child detentions, Gaza aid, Israel and Palestinian safety and security, prospects for return of confiscated
portable school classrooms, and hope for peace agreements.
Presenter: Desiree Baron, Jill Hutchings
Location: U.S. Embassy annex, Jerusalem, 18 Agron Road
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
9:15 10:15 Coffee break at Mamilla Shopping Center
0:15:00 10:15 10:30 Minibus to meet with Shirin Abu Akhleh’s family, Beit Hanina
1:00:00 10:30 11:30 Meeting with the family of journalist Shirin Abu Akhleh, Beit Hanina
What: In recent weeks, the issue of journalist safety and threats to journalism in Israel and the West Bank have
come to the forefront of news, even in the United States, as Shireen was killed by an Israeli soldier and she is
an American citizen.
Why: According to Reporters Without Borders, 35 journalists have been killed in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories by the Israeli military since 2000. The U.S. State Dept. has visited the Abu Akleh family and
offered condolences. A Congressional letter to the State Dept. and the FBI calls for an American
investigation, since Israel announced they won’t investigate further. Meeting with the family will give the
delegation an opportunity to discuss what happened to Shireen, and also discuss the broader issue of
journalism under attack in the area.
Presenter: Anton Abu Akleh (Shireen’s uncle)
Location: Beit Hanina (East Jerusalem)
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 17
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity.
0:30:00 11:30 12:00 Minibus to Khan al Ahmar
1:00:00 12:00 13:00 Meeting Abu Khamees and residents of Khan al Ahmar
What: Khan Al Ahmar, a Bedouin community standing between Jerusalem and the E1 corridor/Maale Adumim
settlelemnt bloc, has long been threatened with forced displacement. This village, which predates the
settlements around it, is one of the last Palestinian villages standing in the way of connecting the massive
Maale Adumim settlement bloc to Jerusalem. Our meetings are with local leaders and residents to discuss the
history of the area, the current legal standing of the court case filed against the community pressing for
relocation, the recurring attacks by some of the settlers who live in the neighboring Kfar Adumim, and the
efforts by other Kfar Adumim settlers to keep them safe.
Why: E1 refers to the area between Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim- a massive bloc of settlements outside
Jerusalem and in the West Bank. The small Bedouin community of Khan Al Ahmar has been at the center of
court cases in Israel for years, with the State wanting the community evacuated, and moved elsewhere. They
say it is for the community’s own good, but the skeptics say it is to remove the final barrier to making Maale
Adumim part of the Greater Jerusalem area and Israel proper. This area has received much international
support from Europe and the U.S., that has helped keep it standing for now.
Presenter: Eid Abu Khamees Jahalin
Location: Khan Al Ahmar
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
13:00 14:00 Lunch in Khan al Ahmar
1:00:00 14:00 15:00 Meeting with Dr. Danny Turner of Kfar Adumim
What: Meeting with a local leader from the settlement nearby to Khan Al Ahmar, Kfar Adumim
Why: This is relevant to the mission of the trip because one of the things that our program is exploring is ways
that various groups, from both sides, are able to come together to work towards peace. Contrary to the
overriding narrative, there are some Israelis living in Israeli settlements who are working to help ensure that
their Palestinian neighbors are able to stay on their land. Khan Al Ahmar, long a community facing court cases
and potential displacement, is one such community. Some of the Israelis in Kfar Adumim speak out to keep
Khan Al Ahmar standing.
Presenter: Dr. Danny Turner
Location: Khan Al Ahmar
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
15:00 15:30
Minibus to Lifta Park next to Bayt Iqsa. Because the road to Bayt Iqsa was in disrepair, we transferred to
private SUV’s to make the drive.
1:30 15:00 16:30 Meeting with Mahmoud Salhiah
Rebuilding Alliance NoDel May 28-Jun 3 2022 Page 18
What: Mahmoud Salhiah and his wife Lital had their home in Sheikh Jarrah demolished in January. Rebuilding
Alliance brought their case before Congressional staff to explain what it was that happened and possible
remedies. The family now hopes to buy land in the town of Bayt Iqsa, overlooking historical Lifta and the
village of Ein Karem (where Mahmoud’s grandfather and his family lived before being expelled in 1948) and
build a new home and work the land.
Why: This is related to the mission of the trip because one the goals of the trip is to understand the impact of
home demolitions on Palestinian communities- and to discuss the broader implications of actions such as
home demolitions, and what impact they have on the possibility of peace and reconciliation.
Presenter: Mahmoud Salhiah and guide Itamar Shapirra
Location: a private home in Bayt Iqsa
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
16:30 17:00 Minibus to Wahat al- Salam/Neve Shalom
0:30 17:00 17:30 Meeting with Mayor Rita Boulos of Wahat al- Salam/Neve Shalom
17:30 19:15 Farewell Dinner at Wahat al-Salam Restaurant
What: Farewell Dinner and time for reflection in this intentionally mixed Jewish/Palestinianin Community.
Why: Wahat al-Salam – Neve Shalom (WAS- is a village
of Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel dedicated
to building justice, peace and equality in the country and the region. Situated equidistant from Jerusalem and
Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the community was established in 1970 by Fr. Bruno Hussar on land of the Latrun Monastery. It
is a model of equality, mutual
respect and partnership that challenges existing patterns of racism and
discrimination as well as the continued conflict. The community has established educational institutions based
on its ideals and conducts
activities focused on social and political change. Many of the village members work
in peace, justice and reconciliation projects. It has a population
of 70+ families and will grow to 150 families.
Location: Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom (a village in Israel)
Presenter: Donna Baranski-Walker (RA Executive Director), Elias D’eis (HLT Executive Director), Itamar
Shapirra (LLM Tour Guide)
Assurance: The entirety of allotted time will be covering officially-connected activity
6:35 19:15 19:45 Minibus Tel Aviv, delegation ends

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https://www.rebuildingalliance.org/new-blog/2022/1/28/umm-al-khair-hajj-suleimans-funeral-by-david-shulman-and-margaret-olin
Umm al-Khair, Hajj Suleiman’s Funeral by David Shulman and Margaret Olin

January 20, 2022

Hajj Suleiman Hadhalin

He was like one of those rocky hills in South Hebron, a living, breathing, feeling mass of sunlight, rain, wind, earth, and stone. Though he wasn’t all that tall, he always dwarfed everyone around him. The soldiers and the border police were afraid of him, because he told them the truth and gave no quarter.

He was unafraid. He hated violence. Israel hurt him into fiery protest—everywhere where wrong was being done, he was there, that is, everywhere in South Hebron. Countless times he faced the soldiers down and shamed them with his words. He was the father of our good friend, ‘Id. I’ve known him for close to twenty years. I thought he was indestructible. I was wrong. They got him. He died a particularly horrible death at the hands of his enemies. His name was Hajj Suleiman Hadhalin.

I last saw him about a month ago, at Tuba, where, as so often, the soldiers had arrested him. He had turned up to harangue them for what they were doing to the people of Tuba. They had him sitting, handcuffed, for some hours in an army jeep with a soldier. The soldier was sick and at one point passed out. Hajj Suleiman, true to character, managed somehow to catch the soldier’s head and hold it in his hands before it collided with the metal dashboard.

January 5, 2022. Hajj Suleiman came home to Umm al-Khair from a funeral. It was early afternoon. The driver of a police tow-truck, accompanied by another car with a policeman and a soldier, was busy confiscating unlicensed cars. I’d better say something about the unlicensed cars, mashtubot, as they’re called in Arabized Hebrew. There are lots of them in the South Hebron hills. That’s partly because the army won’t let Palestinians build roads, so they are left with the dirt paths filled with potholes and jagged rocks, and they have to use those roads to get water and other necessities. Any car wears out after a couple of years on those paths. For cars to be roadworthy, it helps to have roads.

Apart from that, Israel controls the importing of any vehicles from Israel into the West Bank. The supply is severely limited, and the price of second-hand vehicles is over ten times higher than their cost in Israel. Since Palestinian shepherds and farmers can’t afford to buy halfway-decent second-hand cars, they buy these barely viable wrecks, most of them brought into Palestine allegedly for repairs but then sold. There is no way they would be licensed. Then the police, and sometimes even the Palestinian Authority, come, as logic demands, to confiscate them. For the owners, the risk of driving an unlicensed car is no doubt less than the risk of death by thirst or starvation.

That afternoon the confiscation was proceeding apace, and the villagers came to watch, and some of them may have thrown some rocks, though Hajj Suleiman pleaded with them not to. Then he stood, as always, smack in front of the tow-truck and wouldn’t budge. And the driver, a settler from Kiryat Arba’, drove right over him and dragged him for some ten meters over the rocks. Later, the police released an obviously mendacious version of what happened, including a poignant, also ironic, final sentence affirming that “the police will continue to do whatever has to be done in order to ensure good governance (mshilut).” They said the driver of the tow-truck and the other two were afraid, which might be true. The camera in the tow-truck probably recorded those moments, but it’s not at all certain, or even likely, that anyone will ever get to watch that footage.

There wasn’t much left of Hajj Suleiman after being run over. He had a gaping hole in his skull, his spinal cord, his pelvis, and many of his inner organs were crushed, he was bleeding profusely, and of course he was unconscious. The driver and the other police car took off without even stopping to see what had happened to their victim, the person they had just mortally injured, or calling an ambulance—as anyone involved in an accident is required to do by Israeli law. They presumably didn’t think that an elderly Palestinian man fits the category of “person.”

The villagers got him to hospital, where he lingered, unconscious, for a few days, but in fact, as ‘Id says, he was no longer alive in any meaningful sense when he got there. The people of Umm al-Khair have been orphaned.

The South Hebron Hills were closed down today in his honor, and thousands came to accompany him to his grave in the village cemetery deep in the wadi, at the edge of the desert. Umm al-Khair has never seen such a crowd.

The slopes were alive with people, mostly men, a vast cascade pouring downhill to the grave site. No one, with the possible and intermittent exception of our activists, was wearing a mask. Some men had their faces covered with their white or checked keffiyeh.

The bier passed beside me, the body draped in a Palestinian flag. Women are not supposed to come to the cemetery, so Peg joined them at a high vantage point in the village …

where a ban on photographing the women’s faces, and reticence, prevented her from documenting the tears, prayers, the warm welcome from old and new friends, and the occasional outburst that greeted her.

I couldn’t walk all the way down because of a torn ligament, but I hobbled far enough to be able to hear the eulogy and the prayers. The words were moderate and restrained compared to other speeches I’ve heard. “The Palestinian people continuously faces the forces of oppression, zulum—settlements, army, police, all of them stealing more and more land. We face them here in Umm al-Khair and in Twaneh and in Susya and in Mufagara and in Yata and in al-Khalil and everywhere else. We refuse to give in. We persist, we will face them in the name of Hajj Suleiman, who died a martyr; for his sake, and for the nobility of his soul and his courage, we will go on, if necessary forever, or until justice is done. God will be with us.”

It was like listening to the desert singing, in wave after wave, a threnody for a rare being. A cold, sun-drenched day, the hills of Moav across the River glowing in every crack and crevice. I sat on a rock, trying to believe that Hajj Suleiman, one of the most alive human beings I’ve known, had somehow been compressed into that green-draped bier. I watched the men go down and, an hour later, climb back up. Many friends were there: ‘Ali ‘Awad from Tuba; Nasser from Susya; Ramzi, Harun’s father, from A-Rakiz. Enough tragedy and suffering to go around. Many I didn’t know greeted me with words of welcome. Everyone knows of Ta’ayush in the South Hebron hills.

I was thinking: there is no end to the utter foolishness of Israel; they think they can pen all these people in as if they were goats and leave them to die of sorrow and thirst, they think they can take all their land and kill some of them day by day, and get away with it, since no one even notices, and someday the Palestinians will give up; but the very idea is absurd. Someday there will be an end.

For what it’s worth, I mention this thought to Amiel as we sit outside the mourners’ tent after we have made the rounds inside, speaking the formulas of comfort. “May the days he—Hajj Suleiman—wasn’t able to live be accredited to your account.” And so on. And Amiel says, “So far that absurd idea is working quite well.”

Text © 2022 David Shulman

Ronit Lentin: Radical anti-Israel Israeli Academic

04.08.22

Editorial Note

Two months ago, Irish courts ordered Prof. Ronit Lentin, a radical Israeli academic living in Ireland, to apologize and compensate Yoseph Haddad, a pro-Israeli Arab activist, after she defamed him on social media. 

Lentin served as a professor of social sciences and the director of the Ethnic Studies program at Trinity College Dublin until her retirement in 2014. 

Haddad explained that “When I announced my visit to Ireland, my identity was denigrated and I was wrongly labelled a “ collaborator” by Ronit Lentin. As an Israeli Arab I am pleased to have now received Ms Lentin’s apology below for her defamatory tweets.”

Lentin wrote on social media that “‘Yoseph’ Haddad is a Palestinian collaborator with the racial colony. Having Hebrew-ised his first name, having volauntarily served in the IOF, he is employed full time as a propaganda officer, disregarding the ongoing colonisation of Palestine by the apartheid state. Shame.”

This is not the first time. Last year, Lentin was ordered by the Irish courts to apologize and compensate an Irish Jewish member of Parliament for defamation. Alan Shatter, who served as Ireland’s Justice Minister from 2011 to 2014, was the target of a barrage of her tweets which included two outrageous and defamatory claims about his character. 

Lentin has been a radical activist for a range of issues for decades. She advocates for open-door immigration to Ireland and opposes all deportations. She is also an activist for Palestinian liberation and the right to turn to “one democratic state in historic Palestine where Palestinians, Jews, and migrants live in full equality.”  

Her books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reflect the view that the Palestinians cannot do any wrong and the Israelis cannot do any right. Accordingly, the Palestinians are presented as lacking in agency, passive and mindless victims of alleged Israeli brutality. Thinking Palestine and Co-memory and MelancholiaIsraelis Memorializing the Palestinian Nakba are prime examples of this genre of writing. 

The underlying message is even more insidious. Lentin tries very hard to present the Holocaust as a physical and moral equivalence of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe. For instance, Thinking Palestine – based on a workshop of a group of Palestinian, Israeli, British, and Irish scholars “critically committed to supporting the Palestinian quest for self-determination”- offers a theorization of Palestine as a camp, ghetto and prison.” In a piece of psychobabble characteristic of this genre, Lentin claims that “the memory of the trauma of the Holocaust and of Israel’s war dead competes with the memory claims of the dispossessed Palestinians.”

Lentin is also a prolific blogger on her blog named Free Radikal. No doubt that her affiliation with the highly respectable Trinity College helps in her advocacy work. 

Her views were picked up in 2008 by Al Quds al Arabi, an Arabic newspaper published in Britain, which wrote that Lentin spoke at an event held by the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, at the invitation of the Palestinian Society. There Lentin explained that the direction of her book “indicates that Israel is a racist state, and that the large number of Israeli researchers and academics who conduct studies on the Palestinians do so from an orientalist perspective.” She was also quoted as saying that  there are “many years of Nakba denial, land appropriation, political discrimination against the Palestinians within Israel and the denial of rights to Palestinian refugees.”  And that “the State of Israel’s continued positioning itself in a state of emergency, makes it more and more vulnerable to violent attacks (called terrorism) by its Palestinian opponents and others.” 

Lentin is among the numerous academics who use their writings to push for favorite causes. Unfortunately, “advocacy scholarship” has become commonplace in many universities. 

Harvard University recently denied tenure to a scholar whose output was described as “advocacy writings.” The case triggered a huge public debate, with many accusing liberal arts departments of tolerating activist scholars who tarnish the university’s image as a venue for the dispassionate pursuit of truth. 

Although Lentin is retired, her high-octane activism reflects poorly on Trinity College. 

References

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FVZs4U_XwAAiCgc?format=jpg

יוסף חדאד – Yoseph Haddad

19 June

זכיתי בתביעה נגד פעילה אנטי ישראלית!

בפברואר האחרון הגעתי לאירלנד לסבב הסברה וגם נאמתי שם בפרלמנט. לפני ההגעה שלי הייתה מחאה גדולה שם וניסיון למנוע זאת. אחת מאלו שניסו לפעול נגדי היא רונית לנטין, ישראלית שחיה באירלנד ומגדירה עצמה כאנטי ציונית.

בשורה של ציוצים היא הכפישה אותי וסילפה את האמת נגדי ולמעשה הציגה אותי ואת כל הערבים שמזדהים עם המדינה ופועלים למענה כמשת”פים.

לאחר שניהלתי מולה הליך משפטי באירלנד היא נאלצה לפרסם מכתב התנצלות וגם להעביר 2,500 יורו לעמותה שלי.

אני מקווה שהיא תשמח לדעת שאת כל הכסף הזה שלה אנחנו מעבירים לטובת ערב מפנק ליחס”ר הבדואי, לוחמים ערבים שמשרתים את מדינת ישראל ומגנים על כל אזרחיה בגאווה.

נמשיך להילחם בגאווה למען האמת!

When I announced my visit to Ireland, my identity was denigrated and I was wrongly labelled a “collaborator” by Ronit Lentin. As an Israeli Arab I am pleased to have now received Ms Lentin’s apology below for her defamatory tweets.

Rhetoric such as hers is deeply damaging to those pursuing peace between Arabs & Jews. Her donation to Together Vouch for Each Other will be put to good use for the Israeli Arab soldiers of the IDF as they defend Israeli Arabs and Jews alike! 💪

יחס”ר 585 יחידת הסיור המדברי

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https://www.thejc.com/news/world/pro-palestine-israeli-academic-pays-damages-after-libelling-irish-ex-minister-alan-shatter-1.521854?reloadTime=1655721360887Pro-Palestine academic pays libel damages

Dr Ronit Lentin has apologised and withdrawn tweets containing ‘untruthful assertions’

BY JC REPORTER

OCTOBER 24, 2021 13:02

Alan Shatter

A pro-Palestine Israeli academic has been forced to issue an apology and pay damages after libelling a former Irish minister during a debate about Israel.

Alan Shatter, the former Dublin South TD, who is a lawyer and author, was taking part in a discussion on Irish broadcaster RTE about the controversy surrounding writer Sally Rooney’s refusal to print her latest book in Hebrew.

Listening to the show was Dr Ronit Lentin who launched a barrage of tweets against Mr Shatter, including two which made outrageous and libellous claims about his character.

Mr Shatter, who served as Ireland’s Justice Minister from 2011 to 2014, told the JC he often received abuse online for his defence of Israel but mostly from anonymous accounts.  

However he said Dr Lentin’s tweets were so “egregious” he had no option but to launch legal proceedings.

The JC has seen the tweets which were not antisemitic but made damaging claims about Mr Shatter’s character.    

The JC will not repeat the substance of the libel which left Dr Lentin having to make a public apology and pay thousands in damages to the charity which Mr Shatter is chairman of.

Mr Shatter said: “I am sadly well used to being abused on social media and I am well used to being targeted with antisemitic abuse on social media but most people do this from the heroic stance of being anonymous.

“Dr Lentin’s depictions of me were so despicable, so egregious that they need to be addressed.”

In a tweet on Thursday, Dr Ronit Lentin said she had deleted two tweets “containing untruthful assertions” about Mr Shatter.

She added: “I apologise for any hurt caused and damage done to his good name and reputation.”

At Dr Shatter’s request, Dr Lentin paid a sum of 2,000 euros in damages to Magen David Adom, Israel’s National Blood and Medical Emergency Service which works across the religious divide.

This is not the first time Ireland’s former Minister for Justice and the pro-Palestine Israeli academic have clashed.

Mr Shatter, a lawyer who was the last Jewish member of the Irish Government until his resignation in 2014, wrote a letter to the Irish Times to rebut a letter from the retired sociology professor Dr Lentin in which he accused her of “failing to take antisemitism seriously”.

Dr Lentin, a supporter of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jewish Voice for Just Peace Ireland, argued she did not believe that “elevating antisemitism above other forms of racism, particularly Islamophobia and anti-migrant racism, is helpful in tackling racism”.

She claimed the debate about antisemitism was “masquerading” as anti-racism and that it undermined “the understanding of racism as a colonial technology of power aimed at maintaining a white supremacy”.

In his response, Mr Shatter wrote that her view had “no relevance to my being spat at and also being called a dirty Jew on Dublin’s streets when a TD (the Irish equivalent of an MP), my being targeted with antisemitic abuse on social media which still occurs, the posting to my home when Minister for Justice of ashes, together with images of skeletal concentration camp survivors and Nazi symbols.”

And he slammed Dr Lentin’s “extreme” views which he said represented only an “infinitesimal number of members of the Jewish community”.

The apology follows a report published earlier this month into antisemitism by journalist David Collier which exposed the extent to which antisemitic views had become commonplace in mainstream politics and within academia.

Mr Shatter told the JC Mr Collier had “done an extraordinary job and produced an important piece of research” but it was being “largely ignored” by a media and political class that did not want to confront the antisemitism rife within Irish society.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week promised to speed up the introduction of the Online Safety Bill amid mounting concerns about the levels of abuse on major sites like Twitter.  Among the measures now being called for is identity verification for Twitter accounts so users can be better held to account for what they write.

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https://www.manchesterhive.com/view/9781847793225/9781847793225.xml

Co-memory and melancholia

Israelis memorialising the Palestinian Nakba

Author: Ronit Lentin

The 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel also resulted in the destruction of Palestinian society, when some 80 per cent of the Palestinians who lived in the major part of Palestine upon which Israel was established became refugees. Israelis call the 1948 war their ‘War of Independence’ and the Palestinians their ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe. After many years of Nakba denial, land appropriation, political discrimination against the Palestinians within Israel and the denial of rights to Palestinian refugees, in recent years the Nakba is beginning to penetrate Israeli public discourse. This book explores the construction of collective memory in Israeli society, where the memory of the trauma of the Holocaust and of Israel’s war dead competes with the memory claims of the dispossessed Palestinians. Taking an auto-ethnographic approach, it makes a contribution to social memory studies through a critical evaluation of the co-memoration of the Palestinian Nakba by Israeli Jews. Against a background of the Israeli resistance movement, the book’s central argument is that co-memorating the Nakba by Israeli Jews is motivated by an unresolved melancholia about the disappearance of Palestine and the dispossession of the Palestinians, a melancholia which shifts mourning from the lost object to the grieving subject. The book theorises Nakba co-memory as a politics of resistance, counterpoising co-memorative practices by internally displaced Israeli Palestinians with Israeli Jewish discourses of the Palestinian right of return, and questions whether return narratives by Israeli Jews are ultimately about Israeli Jewish self-healing.eISBN: 9781847793225DOI: https://doi.org/10.7765/9781847793225Online Publication Date: 19 Jul 2013

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رونيت لينتن: استمرار حالة الطوارئ في اسرائيل يعرضها للمزيد من الاعتداءات والحل يكمن في تخليها عن العنصرية ضد الفلسطينيين

4 – أكتوبر – 2008

محاضرة في جامعة ايرلندية تؤكد ان السلام الاسرائيلي مع الفلسطينيين هو في رأس القائمةلندن ـ ‘القدس العربي’ من سمير ناصيف:اكدت رونيت لينتن، المحاضرة في جامعة ترينيتي في دبلن (ايرلندا)، ومحققة كتاب بعنوان: ‘التفكير حول فلسطين’ صدر مؤخرا عن دار ‘زد’ في لندن وجمع آراء مفكرين من سائر انحاء العالم، موئدين لحقوق الفلسطينيين ان ‘استمرار دولة اسرائيل في وضع نفسها في حالة طوارئ، يجعلها اكثر فأكثر عرضة للتعرض للهجمات العنيفة (المسماة ارهابية) من قبل خصومها الفلسطينيين وغيرهم’.وكانت لينتن تتحدث في ‘كلية الدراسات الشرقية والافريقية’ في جامعة لندن، بدعوة من ‘الجمعية الفلسطينية’ في الكلية، وكان من المفترض ان يشارك في الندوة المفكر والاستاذ في جامعة اكستر البريطانية ايلان بابي، الذي اضطر للغياب لاسباب عائلية، علما انه كتب فصلا في الكتاب بعنوان ‘دولة اسرائيل المخابراتية: الدولة القمعية ليست دولة استثنائية’.واوضحت لينتن ان ‘توجه كتابها يشير الى ان اسرائيل دولة عنصرية، وان كثرة الباحثين والاكاديميين الاسرائيليين الذين يقومون بدراسات حول الفلسطينيين يفعلون ذلك من منطلق استشراقي حسب مفهوم المفكر الفلسطيني الراحل ادوارد سعيد ـ وانهم يركزون على كون الاسرائيليين هم الضحايا’.وتساءلت لينتن حول ‘علمية’ المفهوم الذي ‘يعتبر اليهود وكأنهم جنس بشري’ والذي ركز ثيودور هيرتزل، أب الصهيونية، نظرياته حوله، وتبعه في ذلك مفكرون آخرون بينهم عدد من مدعي التوجه الليبرالي اليهودي.وبما ان لينتن هي استاذة في العلوم الاجتماعية، ومديرة برنامج الدراسات الاثنية في كلية ترينيتي في دبلن فانها دحضت وتحدت ‘هذا المفهوم الخاطئ المؤدي الى توجه ايديولوجي عنصري يفرق ما بين البشر’. واتهمت لينتن مستخدمي هذا التوجه العنصري بأنهم يستعملونه ‘كأداة لفرض الايديولوجية القومية في اسرائيل على حساب الفلسطينيين العرب، الذين يعاملون وكأنهم مواطنون من الدرجة الثانية، وبشر لا تنطبق عليهم حقوق الانسان’.وتساءلت لينتن: ‘كيف يحق ليهود العالم العودة الى فلسطين ـ اسرائيل، ويحرم العرب الفلسطينيون من هذا الحق؟ واي ذريعة علمية او ايديولوجية تسمح بذلك؟’.واكدت بان’ الوجه الديمقراطي الذي تعرضه اسرائيل للعالم مخصص ليهود هذا البلد، وليس للسكان العرب الفلسطينيين فيه ايضا، وبالتالي فانه وجه ديمقراطي عنصري’.وسئلت لينتن لماذا يتم قتل او عزل القياديين السياسيين الاسرائيليين الذين يحاولون التوصل الى سلام مع الفلسطينيين، او مع جيرانهم العرب، بطريقة تحفظ الجانبين؟ ولماذا تظل الآراء المطروحة في هذه المجال محصورة في توجهات مثقفين اسرائيليين يساريين لا يملكون القرار السياسي؟ فهل في ذلك توجه لتبييض صفحة وساحة دولة عنصرية عبر مثقفيها، بدلا من اتخاذ الخطوات السياسية الفعالة لالغاء العنصرية كما تم في جنوب افريقيا في العقود الماضية؟ولعل السؤال طرح بشكل وكأنه دفاع عن رئيس الحكومة الاسرائيلي السابق اسحق رابين ورئيس الحكومة المستقيل ايهود اولمرت، فكان الرد عليه من المحاضرة سلبيا، اذ اعتبرت بأن اولمرت استحق اقالته، وان قيادات الاحزاب الاسرائيلية الحاكمة عموما لم ترغب بالقضاء على العنصرية في اسرائيل ولعلها على حق في موقفها.وسألتها البروفسورة ناديا العلي،(الاستاذة في الكلية)، التي ادارت الندوة، عن الدور المخابراتي للباحثين الاسرائيليين في دولة المخابرات الاسرائيلية حسب ما وصفه ايلان بابي؟ فقالت: ‘ان ايلان بابي على حق في ان الديمقراطية في اسرائيل مخصصة لليهود الاسرائيليين فقط ، وليس للسكان العرب، وبالتالي فانه من حق العرب الفلسطينيين المقاومة وان مقاومتهم شرعية’.واضافت: ‘انني شعرت بالتزامي مواقف العرب الفلسطينيين خصوصا بعد استماعي الى اخبار المآسي التي يتعرض اليها الفلسطينيون على الحواجز الاسرائيلية في اماكن سكنهم، وبشكل خاص النساء، حيث ماتت اعداد منهن على هذه الحواجز، وهن في طريقهن للمعالجة الطبية’. واضافت: ‘القضية انسانية قبل اي شيء آخر، ولعل النساء ابرز ضحاياها، ولا يحق لاسرائيل ان تستثني نفسها من شرائع حقوق الانسان في هذا المجال بحجة ان اليهود تعرضوا للتنكيل من قبل النازية’. واستطردت قائلة ‘اذا أردنا استثناء اي مجموعة من بعض ملتزمات حقوق الانسان، فان هذا الامر ينطبق على الفلسطينيين وليس على الاسرائيليين’.وفي ردها على اسئلة حول حل الدولتين او الدولة الواحدة، قالت لينتن: ‘يقولون ان السلام يجب ان يوقع مع العرب (مع الاردنيين او مع المصريين او غيرهم) انا لا اوافق على هذا التوجه، السلام الاسرائيلي يجب ان يتم مع الفلسطينيين مهما كان قالبه دولتين او دولة واحدة’.

New Book on Anti-Israel Advocacy in Canada

27.07.22

Editorial Note 

Several Canadian scholars co-authored a new book Advocating for Palestine in Canada Histories, Movements, Action. 

As has been the norm in pro-Palestinian academic circles, the book and its review are mostly focused on attacking Israel rather than discussing Palestinian issues. 

The review proclaims the book to be “a valuable and positive examination of the Palestinian solidarity movement located in Canada. It highlights… efforts to disguise Israeli transgressions against human rights and demonstrates that there is an ongoing and growing solidarity and understanding of Palestinian interests in a peaceful equitable solution to Israeli colonial-settlerism.”

In the book, “advocacy may result in personal attacks from pro-Zionist organizations working from the top down. In Canada that top-down starts with the government of Justin Trudeau, down through the media (much of which is owned by the Asper family who strongly supports Israeli objectives), continuing on down through a powerful variety of pro-Israeli NGOs to the identities of a white, Christian, conservative base within the populace.”

The first chapter, “The Elephant in the Room” discusses the colonialism, and racism the author encountered as “cobbled together through some combination of Zionist historical narrative and contemporary Israeli propaganda… This has helped Israel enjoy widespread and institutionalized impunity while committing violations of international law on an ongoing basis.” 

The chapter “Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness” discusses how the Jews in Canada maintain a position of eternal victim to an “ascent…into whiteness by permission… Pro-Palestianism is not tolerated by an institutional Jewish community which strives for acceptance in white settler societies like Canada which are incontrovertibly racist in both their colonial histories and contemporary exclusionist postures and structures.” 

The chapter “Singled Out” talks about the new antisemitism, that Israel “may not be unique after all but is like that experienced by other states” such as South Africa. 

The chapter “Israel Apartheid Week” (IAW) discusses the problems and successes of Israeli apartheid week and its associated boycott, divestment, and sanctions activism. the IAW examines similarities between settler colonialism in Palestine and “Turtle Island” (North America). As recognized elsewhere, “pro-Israeli attempts at censorship and oppression have only encouraged popular dissent and creative interventions in support of Palestine.” 

The chapter “Two Jews, Three Opinions” Cites recent Canadian polls, which “undermine the legitimacy of the Canadian government’s claims to be acting on behalf of Jews when it sides with Israel.” 

The chapter “Knowing and Not Knowing – Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine” examines Canadian history of racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide and its – mostly – similarities with Israel-Palestine. Violence and dispossession are still elements of current Canadian society against its indigenous people.

The chapter “Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias – An Insider’s Perspective” examines media and its alleged pro-Israel bias. Journalists are unwilling to do their “role in dissuading the public from working to hold Israel to account.” They should “give readers the tools to combat the pro-Israeli Bias.” 

The chapter “Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada” looks at the “intersectionality with other groups working against racism and other societal concerns.”    

The final chapter, “Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s”, compares “two universities and the different levels of activism through the author’s experiences. The activism derives from Arab student movements, anti-war interests (vis a vis the Gulf wars), the rise and fall of the Oslo process, and the renewed attacks on Gaza after the 2006 elections. The BDS movement is currently becoming more active as the “now dysfunctional PLO and discredited PA.” Focusing on international law through the BDS movement, the recognition very recently of the apartheid nature of Israel, and the discussions around the vague and poorly stated IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.” 

The book concludes that the Palestinian solidarity movement “is at its core an inclusionary movement closely linked to anti-apartheid, anti-colonial, and anti-racist values, resonating with people seeking social justice and basic human rights.”

Intersectionality, as IAM repeatedly pointed out, is a fashionable academic movement that postulates that all minorities should speak against the alleged misdeeds of the oppressors. Since the Palestinians are considered a “minority,” all other minorities should form a coalition to target Israel, their alleged oppressor.

Clearly, the book cares little about real Palestinian issues like the tyrannical rule of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the corruption and mismanagement of the PLO rule in the West Bank led by the octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas.  The incessant attacks on Israel do little to help the Palestinians who live under brutal or inept rules.

The book authors are shackled by the ideological dogmas of intersectionality and the social justice movement to acknowledge that the Abraham Accords have created momentum toward peace and prosperity in the Middle East. According to reports, the Palestinians were given a choice to join Israel and Arab countries such as UAE, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and others to create a more prosperous future. Hopefully, they will make this choice.

References

https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/advocating-for-palestine-in-canada

Advocating for Palestine in Canada

Histories, Movements, Action

Edited by Emily Regan WillsJeremy WildemanMichael Bueckert and Nadia Abu-Zahra  Foreword by Libby Davies  

PAPERBACK $26.00

EPUB $25.99

PDF $25.99

Are you a student?

Why is it so difficult to advocate for Palestine in Canada and what can we learn from the movement’s successes? This account of Palestine solidarity activism in Canada grapples with these questions through a wide-ranging exploration of the movement’s different actors, approaches and fields of engagement, along with its connections to different national and transnational struggles against racism, imperialism and colonialism. Led by a coalition of students, labour unions, church groups, left wing activists, progressive presses, human rights organizations, academic associations and Palestinian and Jewish community groups, Palestine solidarity activism is on the rise in Canada and Canadians are more aware of the issues than ever before. Palestine solidarity activists are also under siege as never before. The movement advocating for Palestinian rights is forced to contend with relentless political condemnation, media blackouts, administrative roadblocks, coordinated smear campaigns, individual threats, legal intimidation and institutional silencing. Through this book and the experiences of the contributing authors in it, many seasoned veterans of the movement, Advocating for Palestine in Canada offers an indispensable and often first-hand view into the complex social and historical forces at work in one of our era’s most urgent debates, and one which could determine the course of what it means to be Canadian going forward.

Download excerpt

REQUEST EXAM COPY

CONTENTS

  • Foreword (Libby Davies)
  • Introduction (Emily Regan Wills, Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert and Jeremy Wildeman)
  • Anti-Palestinian Racism: A Personal Account (Nyla Matuk)
  • Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s (Hassan Husseini)
  • Israeli Apartheid Week: Popular Dissent, Creative Intervention (Rana Nazzal)
  • Two Jews, Three Opinions: Jewish Canadians’ Diverse Views on Israel- Palestine (Diana Ralph)
  • Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias: An Insider’s Perspective (Davide Mastracci)
  • A SWOT Analysis for Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada (Thomas Woodley)
  • Knowing and Not Knowing: Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine (Michael Keefer)
  • Singled Out: South Africa, Israel and Accusations of Unfair Criticism (Michael Bueckert)
  • Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness: Untangling the Threads of a Lethal Complicity (Sheryl Nestel)
  • Conclusion (Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert, Jeremy Wildeman and Emily Wills)

AUTHORS

Emily Regan Wills

  • University of Ottawa
  • Emily Regan Wills is an associate professor of comparative politics at the University of Ottawa. She is the co-director of the Community Mobilization in Crisis project, which develops and implements innovative multilingual digital pedagogical tools for teaching community mobilization skills in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Jeremy Wildeman

  • University of Ottawa, HRREC
  • Jeremy Wildeman is a Fellow at the Human Rights Resource and Education Centre (HRREC), University of Ottawa. He is a scholar of international relations, Middle East politics, Canadian foreign policy, human security and development aid.

Michael Bueckert

  • Canadians for Justice
  • Michael Bueckert is Vice President at Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), a national advocacy organization based in Montreal. He has a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University; his dissertation explored the opposition to boycott movements.

Nadia Abu-Zahra

  • University of Ottawa and Carleton University
  • Nadia Abu-Zahra is an Associate Professor and Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and a member of the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, and Centre for International Policy Studies.

Libby Davies

  • Libby Davies has been a social activist for 45 plus years and began as a community organizer in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1972. She was elected to Vancouver City Council for 5 consecutive terms, 1982-1993. As the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East for six consecutive terms, 1997-2015, she became NDP House Leader, (2003-2011) and Deputy Leader (2007-2015). Libby continues to be an outspoken advocate for human rights, housing, peace, and social justice. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2016.
  • Libby was appointed to the board of governors of Vancouver Community College in 2018, and serves as Vice Chair. She is also a board member and Vice Chair, of the Portland Hotel Community Services Society (PHS).
  • She is the author of “Outside In: A Political Memoir” (May 2019, published by Between The Lines, Toronto) and is a frequent public speaker on progressive transformative change and its relationship to politics. Libby is currently writing a new book.
  • ==================
  • https://www.palestinechronicle.com/advocating-for-palestine-in-canada-histories-movements-actions-book-review/

Advocating for Palestine in Canada: Histories, Movements, Actions – Book Review

  • July 14, 2022 ArticlesCommentaryReviews
  • Advocating for Palestine in Canada – Histories, Movements, Actions. (Photo: Book cover)
  • By Jim Miles
  • (Advocating for Palestine in Canada – Histories, Movements, Actions. Ed.: Emily Wills, Jeremy Wildeman, Michael Beuckert, Nadia Abu-Zahra. Fernwood Publishing, Halifax/Winnipeg, 2022.)
  • Different groups advocate for Palestine from a variety of perspectives while developing several common themes. Advocating for Palestine contains nine presentations looking at Palestine from the viewpoint of students, Jewish activism, indigenous issues, being Palestinian-Arab in Canada, and Zionism and Euro-Jewish whiteness. Several themes are common to all the discussions.
  • The book starts with fear from a global perspective, recognizing that advocacy may result in personal attacks from pro-Zionist organizations working from the top down. In Canada that top-down starts with the government of Justin Trudeau, down through the media (much of which is owned by the Asper family who strongly supports Israeli objectives), continuing on down through a powerful variety of pro-Israeli NGOs to the identities of a white, Christian, conservative base within the populace.
  • This fear is connected to “a broader project of liberation from all forms of systemic injustice”, an “anti-racist movement” with “people of all backgrounds who are critical of the globalized Israeli military-industrial complex and its link to global militarism.” On the other side of fear is “in transforming fear into solidarity, in seeing ourselves as in relation to one another, we can build those futures [of a free Palestine and world] in the present.”
  • The first essay “The Elephant in the Room” discusses the unseen internalized colonialism that permeates Canadian society and the author’s recognition as to how it affects her encounters within different social situations. Most of the racism she encounters includes “highly educated scholars, professional writers, journalists, newspaper columnists, clergy and the like.”
  • This racism is “cobbled together through some combination of Zionist historical narrative and contemporary Israeli propaganda, in combination with the sheer laziness of media commentators who could not …decolonize their viewpoints….This has helped Israel enjoy widespread and institutionalized impunity while committing violations of international law on an ongoing basis.”
  • The essay “Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness” discusses how the Jew “must be understood as simultaneously under attack and as the beneficiaries of racial privilege.” Jews in Canada maintain a position of eternal victim to an “ascent…into whiteness by permission,” a combination of Holocaust memorials and contemporary positioning within the western world today. “Pro-Palestianism is not tolerated by an institutional Jewish community which strives for acceptance in white settler societies like Canada which are incontrovertibly racist in both their colonial histories and contemporary exclusionist postures and structures.”
  • The essay “Singled Out” talks about the new antisemitism, being essentially how Israel is singled out but with comparisons to South Africa showing that criticizing Israel “may not be unique after all but is like that experienced by other states.” The ‘new’ standard is composed of demonization (negative attacks), double standards (other countries do it to), and delegitimization (right to exist) as the new currents of antisemitism. However, activism does focus on a particular target and in this case on a state “which refuses to be held accountable.”
  • “Israel Apartheid Week” [IAW] discusses the problems and successes of Israeli apartheid week and its associated boycott, divestment, and sanctions activism. In Canada, the IAW examines similarities between settler colonialism in Palestine and “Turtle Island” (North America). As recognized elsewhere, “pro-Israeli attempts at censorship and oppression have only encouraged popular dissent and creative interventions in support of Palestine.”
  • The Jewish community’s values are examined in “Two Jews, Three Opinions”. Citing recent Canadian polls, it is found they “undermine the legitimacy of the Canadian government’s claims to be acting on behalf of Jews when it sides with Israel.” The author concludes “Neither public opinion nor a significant proportion of Jewish Canadians share our government’s uncritical support of Israel.”
  • Canada is an example of British colonial settlerism that compares readily to the colonial settlerism in Palestine. The essay “Knowing and Not Knowing – Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine” examines Canadian history of racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide and its – mostly – similarities with Israel-Palestine. Contemporary events still uphold our “enacted values” which are “for the most part those of the corporate and security-state interests that have guided public policy.” Violence and dispossession are still elements of current Canadian society against its indigenous people.
  • The media and its pro-Israel bias is critically examined in “Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias – An Insider’s Perspective.” CanWest Global Communications owns a disproportionate share of Canadian media and its original owner Israel Asper maintained a strong pro-Zionist bias (now within family control). The CBC, supposedly independent of government, carries the Trudeau government pretense of balance while extolling the virtues of Israel while ignoring Israel’s ongoing settler-colonialism in Palestine. The word Palestine is not allowed to be used by CBC broadcasters.
  • “The core journalistic function of informing the public,” the “unwillingness of journalists to address the power imbalances” and the resulting “role in dissuading the public from working to hold Israel to account” when exposed will hopefully “give readers the tools to combat the pro-Israeli Bias.”
  • The problems and successes of Canadian activism are presented in “Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada.” From the discussion of strengths and opportunities the “PSM must try to keep its focus on human rights and international law.” Part of that is the intersectionality with other groups working against racism and other societal concerns.
  • The final essay focuses on “Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s”, comparing two universities and the different levels of activism through the author’s experiences. The activism derives from Arab student movements, anti-war interests (vis a vis the Gulf wars), the rise and fall of the Oslo process, and the renewed attacks on Gaza after the 2006 elections. The BDS movement is currently becoming more active as the “now dysfunctional PLO and discredited PA” have been abandoned.
  • Political rhetoric/programs have transformed to one that is more directed at international law through the BDS movement, the recognition very recently of the apartheid nature of Israel, and the discussions around the vague and poorly stated IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.
  • In their conclusion the editors state, “the Palestinian solidarity movement as described in this book is at its core an inclusionary movement closely linked to anti-apartheid, anti-colonial, and anti-racist values, resonating with people seeking social justice and basic human rights.”
  • “Advocating for Palestine in Canada” is a valuable and positive examination of the Palestinian solidarity movement located in Canada. It highlights the government, corporate, and media efforts to disguise Israeli transgressions against human rights and demonstrates that there is an ongoing and growing solidarity and understanding of Palestinian interests in a peaceful equitable solution to Israeli colonial-settlerism.
  • – Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles. His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/advocating-for-palestine-in-canada

Advocating for Palestine in Canada

Histories, Movements, Action

Edited by Emily Regan WillsJeremy WildemanMichael Bueckert and Nadia Abu-Zahra  Foreword by Libby Davies  

PAPERBACK $26.00

EPUB $25.99

PDF $25.99

Are you a student?

Why is it so difficult to advocate for Palestine in Canada and what can we learn from the movement’s successes? This account of Palestine solidarity activism in Canada grapples with these questions through a wide-ranging exploration of the movement’s different actors, approaches and fields of engagement, along with its connections to different national and transnational struggles against racism, imperialism and colonialism. Led by a coalition of students, labour unions, church groups, left wing activists, progressive presses, human rights organizations, academic associations and Palestinian and Jewish community groups, Palestine solidarity activism is on the rise in Canada and Canadians are more aware of the issues than ever before. Palestine solidarity activists are also under siege as never before. The movement advocating for Palestinian rights is forced to contend with relentless political condemnation, media blackouts, administrative roadblocks, coordinated smear campaigns, individual threats, legal intimidation and institutional silencing. Through this book and the experiences of the contributing authors in it, many seasoned veterans of the movement, Advocating for Palestine in Canada offers an indispensable and often first-hand view into the complex social and historical forces at work in one of our era’s most urgent debates, and one which could determine the course of what it means to be Canadian going forward.

Download excerpt

REQUEST EXAM COPY

CONTENTS

  • Foreword (Libby Davies)
  • Introduction (Emily Regan Wills, Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert and Jeremy Wildeman)
  • Anti-Palestinian Racism: A Personal Account (Nyla Matuk)
  • Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s (Hassan Husseini)
  • Israeli Apartheid Week: Popular Dissent, Creative Intervention (Rana Nazzal)
  • Two Jews, Three Opinions: Jewish Canadians’ Diverse Views on Israel- Palestine (Diana Ralph)
  • Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias: An Insider’s Perspective (Davide Mastracci)
  • A SWOT Analysis for Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada (Thomas Woodley)
  • Knowing and Not Knowing: Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine (Michael Keefer)
  • Singled Out: South Africa, Israel and Accusations of Unfair Criticism (Michael Bueckert)
  • Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness: Untangling the Threads of a Lethal Complicity (Sheryl Nestel)
  • Conclusion (Nadia Abu-Zahra, Michael Bueckert, Jeremy Wildeman and Emily Wills)

AUTHORS

  • Emily Regan WillsUniversity of OttawaEmily Regan Wills is an associate professor of comparative politics at the University of Ottawa. She is the co-director of the Community Mobilization in Crisis project, which develops and implements innovative multilingual digital pedagogical tools for teaching community mobilization skills in the Middle East and elsewhere.
  • Jeremy WildemanUniversity of Ottawa, HRRECJeremy Wildeman is a Fellow at the Human Rights Resource and Education Centre (HRREC), University of Ottawa. He is a scholar of international relations, Middle East politics, Canadian foreign policy, human security and development aid.
  • Michael BueckertCanadians for JusticeMichael Bueckert is Vice President at Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), a national advocacy organization based in Montreal. He has a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University; his dissertation explored the opposition to boycott movements.
  • Nadia Abu-ZahraUniversity of Ottawa and Carleton UniversityNadia Abu-Zahra is an Associate Professor and Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and a member of the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, and Centre for International Policy Studies.
  • Libby DaviesLibby Davies has been a social activist for 45 plus years and began as a community organizer in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 1972. She was elected to Vancouver City Council for 5 consecutive terms, 1982-1993. As the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East for six consecutive terms, 1997-2015, she became NDP House Leader, (2003-2011) and Deputy Leader (2007-2015). Libby continues to be an outspoken advocate for human rights, housing, peace, and social justice. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2016.Libby was appointed to the board of governors of Vancouver Community College in 2018, and serves as Vice Chair. She is also a board member and Vice Chair, of the Portland Hotel Community Services Society (PHS).She is the author of “Outside In: A Political Memoir” (May 2019, published by Between The Lines, Toronto) and is a frequent public speaker on progressive transformative change and its relationship to politics. Libby is currently writing a new book.==================
    https://www.palestinechronicle.com/advocating-for-palestine-in-canada-histories-movements-actions-book-review/
    Advocating for Palestine in Canada: Histories, Movements, Actions – Book ReviewJuly 14, 2022ArticlesCommentaryReviewsAdvocating for Palestine in Canada – Histories, Movements, Actions. (Photo: Book cover)By Jim Miles(Advocating for Palestine in Canada – Histories, Movements, Actions.  Ed.: Emily Wills, Jeremy Wildeman, Michael Beuckert, Nadia Abu-Zahra.  Fernwood Publishing, Halifax/Winnipeg, 2022.)Different groups advocate for Palestine from a variety of perspectives while developing several common themes. Advocating for Palestine contains nine presentations looking at Palestine from the viewpoint of students, Jewish activism, indigenous issues, being Palestinian-Arab in Canada, and Zionism and Euro-Jewish whiteness. Several themes are common to all the discussions.The book starts with fear from a global perspective, recognizing that advocacy may result in personal attacks from pro-Zionist organizations working from the top down. In Canada that top-down starts with the government of Justin Trudeau, down through the media (much of which is owned by the Asper family who strongly supports Israeli objectives), continuing on down through a powerful variety of pro-Israeli NGOs to the identities of a white, Christian, conservative base within the populace.This fear is connected to “a broader project of liberation from all forms of systemic injustice”, an “anti-racist movement” with “people of all backgrounds who are critical of the globalized Israeli military-industrial complex and its link to global militarism.” On the other side of fear is “in transforming fear into solidarity, in seeing ourselves as in relation to one another, we can build those futures [of a free Palestine and world] in the present.”The first essay “The Elephant in the Room” discusses the unseen internalized colonialism that permeates Canadian society and the author’s recognition as to how it affects her encounters within different social situations. Most of the racism she encounters includes “highly educated scholars, professional writers, journalists, newspaper columnists, clergy and the like.”This racism is “cobbled together through some combination of Zionist historical narrative and contemporary Israeli propaganda, in combination with the sheer laziness of media commentators who could not …decolonize their viewpoints….This has helped Israel enjoy widespread and institutionalized impunity while committing violations of international law on an ongoing basis.”The essay “Zionist Loyalty and Euro-Jewish Whiteness” discusses how the Jew “must be understood as simultaneously under attack and as the beneficiaries of racial privilege.” Jews in Canada maintain a position of eternal victim to an “ascent…into whiteness by permission,” a combination of Holocaust memorials and contemporary positioning within the western world today. “Pro-Palestianism is not tolerated by an institutional Jewish community which strives for acceptance in white settler societies like Canada which are incontrovertibly racist in both their colonial histories and contemporary exclusionist postures and structures.”The essay “Singled Out” talks about the new antisemitism, being essentially how Israel is singled out but with comparisons to South Africa showing that criticizing Israel “may not be unique after all but is like that experienced by other states.” The ‘new’ standard is composed of demonization (negative attacks), double standards (other countries do it to), and delegitimization (right to exist) as the new currents of antisemitism. However, activism does focus on a particular target and in this case on a state “which refuses to be held accountable.”“Israel Apartheid Week” [IAW] discusses the problems and successes of Israeli apartheid week and its associated boycott, divestment, and sanctions activism. In Canada, the IAW examines similarities between settler colonialism in Palestine and “Turtle Island” (North America). As recognized elsewhere, “pro-Israeli attempts at censorship and oppression have only encouraged popular dissent and creative interventions in support of Palestine.”The Jewish community’s values are examined in “Two Jews, Three Opinions”. Citing recent Canadian polls, it is found they “undermine the legitimacy of the Canadian government’s claims to be acting on behalf of Jews when it sides with Israel.” The author concludes “Neither public opinion nor a significant proportion of Jewish Canadians share our government’s uncritical support of Israel.”Canada is an example of British colonial settlerism that compares readily to the colonial settlerism in Palestine. The essay “Knowing and Not Knowing – Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Israel and Palestine” examines Canadian history of racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide and its – mostly – similarities with Israel-Palestine. Contemporary events still uphold our “enacted values” which are “for the most part those of the corporate and security-state interests that have guided public policy.” Violence and dispossession are still elements of current Canadian society against its indigenous people.The media and its pro-Israel bias is critically examined in “Canadian Media and Pro-Israel Bias – An Insider’s Perspective.” CanWest Global Communications owns a disproportionate share of Canadian media and its original owner Israel Asper maintained a strong pro-Zionist bias (now within family control). The CBC, supposedly independent of government, carries the Trudeau government pretense of balance while extolling the virtues of Israel while ignoring Israel’s ongoing settler-colonialism in Palestine. The word Palestine is not allowed to be used by CBC broadcasters.“The core journalistic function of informing the public,” the “unwillingness of journalists to address the power imbalances” and the resulting “role in dissuading the public from working to hold Israel to account” when exposed will hopefully “give readers the tools to combat the pro-Israeli Bias.”The problems and successes of Canadian activism are presented in “Palestinian Solidarity Work in Canada.” From the discussion of strengths and opportunities the “PSM must try to keep its focus on human rights and international law.” Part of that is the intersectionality with other groups working against racism and other societal concerns.The final essay focuses on “Campus Palestine Activism in Ottawa from the 1970s to the 2010s”, comparing two universities and the different levels of activism through the author’s experiences. The activism derives from Arab student movements, anti-war interests (vis a vis the Gulf wars), the rise and fall of the Oslo process, and the renewed attacks on Gaza after the 2006 elections. The BDS movement is currently becoming more active as the “now dysfunctional PLO and discredited PA” have been abandoned.Political rhetoric/programs have transformed to one that is more directed at international law through the BDS movement, the recognition very recently of the apartheid nature of Israel, and the discussions around the vague and poorly stated IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.In their conclusion the editors state, “the Palestinian solidarity movement as described in this book is at its core an inclusionary movement closely linked to anti-apartheid, anti-colonial, and anti-racist values, resonating with people seeking social justice and basic human rights.”“Advocating for Palestine in Canada” is a valuable and positive examination of the Palestinian solidarity movement located in Canada. It highlights the government, corporate, and media efforts to disguise Israeli transgressions against human rights and demonstrates that there is an ongoing and growing solidarity and understanding of Palestinian interests in a peaceful equitable solution to Israeli colonial-settlerism.– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

Israeli Academics Urge Changing Procedures for Entry of Foreign Academics to Palestinian Universities

21.07.22

Editorial Note

The Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) published on February 20, 2022, new procedures for entry and stay of foreigners to the West Bank. The document appears in Hebrew and English.

 

The Hebrew document explains that in the 1990s, as part of the Interim Agreement between the Palestinians and Israel, the “responsibility was partially transferred to the Palestinian Authority to allow the entry of foreigners into the Judea and Samaria area. A visitor’s permit is issued by the PA, with the approval of the Israeli side. In those days, the Interim Agreement left powers in the hands of the Israeli side, stating that foreigners from countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel would also be able to enter Judea and Samaria through a valid entry visa to Israel. Relocating to Judea and Samaria with an Israeli visa is the responsibility of the IDF, which operates in coordination with the Population and Immigration Authority in the Ministry of the Interior.” 

The document also states, “The implementation of the procedure is subjected to the security situation and the policy of the Israeli government, which it examines and changes from time to time.”

 

The document discusses all types of entry requests for journalists, businesspersons, and students. It also discusses lecturers and researchers in higher education wishing to work in Palestinian universities.

For them, two types of visas are available:

 

The first is for “Lecturers and guest researchers” who come for “Conferences, seminars and semester courses.” The Academic requirement is at least a Master’s degree. The duration of the visa will be determined according to the duration of the academic activity and up to 5 months in the case of a semester course. At the end of the visa period, the foreigner leaves the area, and if he wishes to return, he will be able to submit a new application for this type of visa at least nine months after his departure date. In the case of a semester course, it is impossible to approve a period exceeding the length of one course in a calendar year.

 

The second type of visa is for “Outstanding lecturers and researchers in required subjects.” This criterion is designated for a limited number of 100 outstanding researchers. 

The application shall be approved if it has been proven to the satisfaction of COGAT that the “lecturer has a significant contribution to academic education, the region’s economy or the promotion of cooperation and regional peace.” The academic should hold at least a doctorate. The visa will be issued for one year and renewable for a period not exceeding 27 months. If the term of office of an outstanding lecturer or researcher exceeds 27 months, he will submit a new application after departure, provided that the total period of stay does not exceed five years. 

From the procedures, it is possible to understand that COGAT is concerned that foreign academics invited to Palestinian universities are mostly involved in political activism. It seems the procedures aim to prevent this.

 

However, many in Israel objected to the new procedures. Amira Hass, the pro-Palestinian Haaretz journalist, published a complaint against the new procedures in March, stating that “Israel will permit Palestinian institutions of higher education to employ lecturers from overseas only if they teach in fields that have been designated as essential by Israel, and only if the lecturers and researchers are accomplished and possess at least a doctorate, according to a new set of procedures by the Defense Ministry.” 

 

In June, a letter was addressed to Ghassan Alyan, the head of COGAT, from the Weizmann Institute, signed by Prof. Daniela Goldfarb, Chairman of the Scientific Council, and Prof. Maya Schuldiner, Deputy Chairman of the Scientific Council, on behalf of the Scientific Council of the Weizmann Institute of Science (which includes all the professors at the Institute). Soon after, the General Assembly of the Hebrew University also sent a similar letter. 

 

The two letters that are almost identical state as follows: 

“We believe that academic institutions have the right to determine which areas will be studied and researched and who are the lecturers who will do so within the framework of academic freedom. There is no room for the intervention of the military government in the fields of study and research and to decide on the academic skills of researchers. There is no security consideration that justifies such an intervention since, in any case, it is clear that all lecturers, researchers, and students need to obtain personal entry clearance from the security agencies.” The letter state that “The General Assembly of the Hebrew University discussed the matter at the University Senate meeting on June 22 and approved a request to change the procedure so that the military government does not interfere in the academic considerations of choosing research areas, the identity of lecturers and their number in various institutions, but only security considerations.”

 

In late June Israeli newspaper YNET also published an article warning that the regulations might cause a surge in BDS.

Likewise, Prof. Neve Gordon, a pro-Palestinian activist, published an article on Al-Jazeera last week, claiming that “Palestinian universities are under attack once again.” For him, the procedures “grant the Israeli Ministry of Defence and thus, the military, absolute power to determine how many and which foreign academics and students can visit.” Gordon complained that “a permit under this section will be approved if it is demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the authorized [military] official, that the lecturer contributes significantly to academic learning, to the area’s economy, or to advancing regional cooperation and peace.” 

 

Gordon stressed that “under the new ordinance, the Israeli authorities will not only determine who can or cannot teach in Palestinian universities but will also restrict the time foreign academics can reside in the West Bank to one semester, which ensures that foreign professors will no longer be able to become permanent members of the academic staff at any of West Bank’s institutions of higher education.” 

 

According to Gordon, during the Intifada of 1987, Israel, “Seeing the prominent role students and graduates took on during the first Intifada, Israel swiftly learned its lesson and began imposing severe restrictions on Palestinian universities. Birzeit University, for instance, was practically closed year-round from 1988 to 1992. All of the other universities also faced long-term closures.”

 

Gordon also referred to the letter of the Hebrew University General Assembly decrying that it “accepts the basic assumptions informing Israeli rule over Palestinians: the legitimacy of one ethnic group dominating another ethnic group, and the use of laws and official policies to sustain and enhance that domination.” For Gordon, Israeli academics are “probably more concerned about their own academic standing among their international peers. They are aware of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, and particularly the threat of an international boycott of Israeli academic institutions due to their complicity with Israeli apartheid. It is likely that in their eyes this letter distances Hebrew University from the government’s policies, and absolves them of any blame. Indeed, reading the letter carefully, Hebrew University’s complaint sounds more like an effort to protect its own reputation than support Palestinian universities. While criticizing a particular policy proposal, the university implies there is a possibility that academic freedom can exist under an apartheid regime. Thus, the letter does not challenge the structures of domination. Rather, it serves as a shield against those calling for an academic boycott on Israeli universities.”

Gordon ends by stating, “Today, Palestinian universities are facing yet another attack. As they work to try and preserve something that at least resembles academic life under a brutal apartheid regime, they deserve real solidarity – not attempts by privileged academic institutions to save their own reputations.” Gordon concluded. 

 

Coincidentally, Birzeit University appointed Professor Beshara Doumani as President, from the academic year of 2021/2022. Before moving to Birzeit University, Doumani has hosted a number of anti-Israel guest lecturers, including Gordon at Brown University.

 

Clearly, both Gordon and the Israeli academics of the Hebrew University and Weizmann Institute do not consider the security concerns. 

Worth noting that Hamas is trying to take over the West Bank. Arguably, it is only with the help of the Israeli security forces that this is not happening. For example, there have been recurrent violent incidents on campuses between rival Palestinian factions, according to journalist Khaled Abu Toameh. The violence at Birzeit University was the latest in a series of incidents that hit other leading academic institutions in the West Bank. Palestinian Authority security forces arrested several Birzeit University students on suspicion of involvement in the violence. A Palestinian academic described the tensions on campus as “dangerous and intolerable… We can’t allow our academic institutions to turn into battlefields for settling scores between rival factions and gangs… We call on the Palestinian Authority to assume its responsibilities and take tough measures to enforce law and order.” The tension at Birzeit University began in December 2021, when a fight erupted between students affiliated with Fatah and others belonging to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). 

 

Meanwhile, on June 29, 2022, COGAT announced an update regarding the Judea and Samaria area entry and stay of foreigners, that it has ordered to postpone the implementation date of the procedures until the 5th of September 2022.

 

Lawyers working for the NGO Hamoked petitioned the Supreme Court on this issue.

 

IAM will follow the events and shall report in due course.

 
References:
Update regarding the postponement of the Judea and Samaria area entry and stay of foreigners in for the procedure of date implementation
On the 29th of June 2022, COGAT has ordered to postpone the implementation date of the procedure for the entry and stay of foreigners in Judea and Samaria until the 5th of September 2022.
======================================
Google Translate
https://www.gov.il/BlobFolder/policy/judeaentry2022/he/may20.pdf

Permanent Commands
File
Procedures for entry and stay of foreigners to the Judea and Samaria area
Coordination of Government Operations in the Occupied Territories (MATPASH)
Operations Department.
Update date: 20.02.22
This order contains 62 pages.
 A. In the 1990s, as part of the Interim Agreement, the authority was partially transferred to the Palestinian Authority to allow the entry of foreigners into the Judea and Samaria area. Holding a visitor permit is issued by the PA, with the approval of the Israeli side.
B. At the time, the interim agreement left powers in the hands of the Israeli side, stating that foreigners from countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Israel will also be able to enter Judea and Samaria through a valid entry visa to Israel.
C. The issue of moving to Judea and Samaria through an Israeli visa is the responsibility of the IDF, which operates in coordination with the Population and Immigration Authority in the Ministry of the Interior.
H. The implementation of the procedure will be subject to the security situation and the policy of the Israeli government at that time, which is examined and changed from time to time.
3. Lecturers and researchers in the field of higher education:
A. The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the procedure for issuing visas to lecturers and researchers in the Palestinian Academy.
B. A visa under this section shall also be regarded as an employment permit.
C. Lecturers and guest researchers:
1) Objectives:  Conferences, seminars and semester courses in the area.
2) Academic requirement: The foreigner must have at least a master’s degree.
3) Duration of visa: will be determined according to the duration of the academic activity and up to a period of 5 months in the case of a semester course.
4) At the end of the visa period, the foreigner leaves the area, and if he wishes to return to the area, he will be able to submit a new application for this type of visa, at least 9 months after the date of his departure from the area. In the case of a semester course, it is not possible to approve a period exceeding the length of one course in a calendar school year.
D. Outstanding lecturers and researchers in required subjects:
1) Designated for a limited number of outstanding researchers in accordance with the quota to be determined by the competent body in the IDF and specified in Appendix A to this procedure.
2) An application for approval under this chapter shall be approved in the event that it has been proven to the satisfaction of the competent body in the MATPASH that the lecturer has a significant contribution to academic education, the region’s economy or the promotion of cooperation and regional peace.
3) Academic requirement: Holds at least a doctorate.
4) Duration of visa: The visa will be issued for a period of one year, and will be renewable for a period not exceeding 27 months. If the term of office of an outstanding lecturer or researcher exceeds 27 months, he will submit a new application after Departure abroad, provided that the total period of stay does not exceed five years in total.
5) At the end of the visa period, the lecturer leaves the area, and if he wishes to return to the area, he will be able to submit a new application for this type of visa for entry at least 9 months after the date of his departure from the area.
6) Entry of Accompanying Family Members: Entry will be made possible for the entry of spouses and children of an outstanding lecturer and researcher who has received a visa in accordance with this section, using an “Accompanying Family Members” visa in accordance with section 7 of this chapter.
E. Method:
1) All applications for a visa for lecturers and researchers in the field of higher education of all kinds shall be submitted to the Israeli representation in the foreign country of origin, together with an official invitation from the PA, at least 60 days before the requested entry date. Each application will be accompanied by the documents as detailed in the “Terms and Conditions” section below.
2) The authority of the competent body in the IDF to determine a quota for the entry of lecturers and researchers. The quotas will be published in Appendix A to this procedure.
3) To the extent that the application documents are found to be valid and satisfactory, the application will be approved subject to a vacant quota. If documents are missing for the application, a response will be returned according to which documents can be completed within 21 days.
F. Terms and requirements:
1) Minimum age for obtaining a visa – 25.
2) An application for a lecturer and guest researcher visa will include the following documents:
A (Application form for a visa, a statement regarding the reasons for applying for entry into the area and a resume and family and marital relationships questionnaire in the area. B (Documents and documentation regarding the education and training of the applicant, including official confirmation regarding the academic degree on behalf of the institution that granted the degree.
C. (Photocopy of the guest’s birth certificate. If a name change (private or family) has been made, a public certificate attesting to the name change must be presented. This must be stated and given its details. The (official invitation from the PA). And (official invitation from the academic institution that includes the requested dates of his visit, the nature of the academic activity and the employment contract.
D (up-to-date frontal photograph of the applicant’s face.
E. (Certificate of medical insurance for the period of the requested stay.
3) Outstanding lecturers and researchers will also attach the following documents:
A (signed and verified document on behalf of the Rector of the academic institution (or used in a similar position, even if described differently) that will include reference to the nature of the position requested, its contribution to academic education, the region’s economy or promoting cooperation and regional peace.
B. All the details about the family of the invitee in which he complied with section 7 of this chapter.
F. Outstanding Researcher / Lecturer Visa:
1) Applications for a visa extension will be submitted to the Ministry of Civil Affairs in the PA at least two months before the start of the following school year.
2) The application for a visa extension will be accompanied by proof of actual employment in the past school year (approval from the academic institution, including proof of payment of the salary in accordance with the contract). A health insurance certificate must also be attached For the period of stay requested.
3) The application will also include the details of the lecturer’s spouses and children.
=================================
On Sun, Jun 26, 2022 at 11:05 AM Alon Harel <Alon.Harel@mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
אני מעביר מכתב שאושר על ידי האסיפה הכללית של האוניברסיטה העברית בעניין הנהלים החדשים של מתאם הפעולות בשטחים. מכון ויצמן שלח מכתב דומה ואני מקווה שגם אוניברסיטאות אחרות תצטרפנה
image.png
ירושלים, 23 ביוני 2022

לכבוד האלוף רסאן עליאן, מתאם פעולות הממשלה בשטחים
מכותבים: מר בנימין גנץ, שר הביטחון
מר נפתלי בנט, ראש הממשלה
מר יאיר לפיד, ראש הממשלה החליפי ושר החוץ

אדוני הנכבד,
לאחרונה פורסם נוהל חדש של מתאם פעולות הממשלה בשטחים לכניסת זרים לשטחים, שאמור להיכנס
לתוקף בתחילת יולי. בפרט מפורטים בנוהל השיקולים לכניסת מרצים, חוקרים וסטודנטים למוסדות ההשכלה
הגבוהה הפלסטיניים. הנוהל קובע “מכסה” של 100 “מרצים וחוקרים מצטיינים במקצועות נדרשים” שיורשו
להיכנס, אך לא ברור מהם המקצועות הנדרשים האלה, ושיקול הדעת ניתן למינהל האזרחי. כמו כן הנוהל אינו
מאפשר קבלת קביעות משום שהוא מגביל את פרקי הזמן של השהיה בשטחים. הנוהל גם קובע מה הדרישות
האקדמיות ממרצים וחוקרים שיורשו להיכנס לתקופה העולה על סמסטר אחד, ונקבע שמרצים יקבלו אשרה
של מרצים מצטיינים רק אם “הוכח להנחת דעתו של הגורם המוסמך במתפ”ש כי למרצה תרומה משמעותית
להשכלה האקדמית, לכלכלת האזור, או לקידום שיתוף פעולה ושלום אזורי”. לבסוף, הנוהל גם מגביל גם את
מספר הסטודנטים הזרים וקובע מכסה של 150 סטודנטים.
אנו מברכים על כל נוהל שיסייע בקידום ההשכלה הגבוהה והמחקר במוסדות ההשכלה הגבוהה הפלסטיניים,
ובכניסת מרצים, חוקרים וסטודנטים אליהם. אולם, אנו סבורים שלמוסדות אקדמיים שמורה הזכות לקבוע
אלו תחומים יילמדו וייחקרו בהם, ומי המרצים שיעשו זאת, במסגרת החופש האקדמי. אין מקום להתערבות
של השלטון הצבאי בתחומי הלימוד והמחקר, ולקבל הכרעה לעניין כישורים אקדמיים של חוקרים. אין שום
שיקול בטחוני המצדיק התערבות כזו, מאחר שבכל מקרה ברור שכל המרצים, החוקרים והסטודנטים צריכים
לקבל אישור כניסה אישי מגורמי הביטחון.
האסיפה הכללית של האוניברסיטה העברית דנה בעניין במסגרת ישיבת סנאט האוניברסיטה ב- 22 ביוני,
ואישרה את הבקשה לשנות את הנוהל, כך שהשלטון הצבאי לא יתערב בשיקולים האקדמיים של בחירת
תחומי המחקר, זהות המרצים ומספרם במוסדות השונים, אלא ישקול שיקולים ביטחוניים בלבד.
האסיפה הכללית של האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים
================================================
image.png
כ”ד אייר תשפ” ב
25 במאי, 2022
לכבוד: האלוף רסאן עליאן, מתאם פעולות הממשלה בשטחים
אדוני הנכבד ,
לאחרונה פורסם נוהל חדש של מתאם פעולות הממשלה בשטחים לכניסת זרים לאזור יהודה ושומרון,
שאמור להיכנס לתוקף במאי. בפרט מפורטים בנוהל השיקולים לכניסת מרצים, חוקר ים וסטודנטים
למוסדות ההשכלה הגבוהה הפלסטיניים. הנוהל קובע מכסה של 100 מרצים ב”מקצועות נדרשים”
שיורשו להיכנס, אך לא ברור מהם המקצועות הנדרשים האלה. כמוכן הנוהל קובע מה הדרישות
האקדמיות ממרצים וחוקרים שיורשו להיכנס, ונקבע שמרצים יקבלו אשרה של מרצים מצטיינים רק א ם
יש להם “תרומה משמעותית להשכלה האקדמית, לכלכלת האזור, או לקידום שיתוף פעולה ושלום
אזורי “.
אנו מברכים על כל נוהל שיסייע בקידום ההשכלה הגבוהה והמחקר במוסדות ההשכלה הגבוהה
הפלסטיניים, ובכניסת מרצים, חוקרים וסטודנטים אליהם. אולם, אנו סבורים שלמוסדות אקדמיים שמורה
הזכות לקבוע אילו תחומים יילמדו וייחקרו בהם, ומי המרצים שיעשו זאת, במסגרת החופש האקדמי. אין
מקום להתערבות של השלטון הצבאי בתחומי הלימוד והמחקר, ובכישורים האקדמיים של החוקרים. אין
שום שיקול בטחוני המצדיק התערבות כזו, מאחר שבכל מקרה ברור שכל המרצים, החוקרים
והסטודנטים צריכים לקבל אישור כניסה אישי מגורמי הביטחון .
על כן, המועצה המדעית של מכון ויצמן למדע מבקשת לשנות את הנוהל, כך שהשלטון הצבאי לא יתערב
בשיקולים האקדמיים של בחירת תחומי המחקר, זהות המרצים ומספרם במוסדות השונים, אלא ישקול
שיקולים ביטחוניים בלבד באישורי הכניסה .
בכבוד רב ,
פרופ’ דניאלה גולדפרב פרופ’ מאיה שולדינר
יו”ר המועצה המדעית סגנית יו”ר המועצה המדעית
בשם המועצה המדעית של מכון ויצמן למדע (המכילה את כל הפרופסורים במכון)

העתק: מר בנימין גנץ, שר הביטחון
מר נפתלי בנט, ראש הממשלה
מר יאיר לפיד, ראש הממשלה החליפי ושר החוץ
=======================================================
חלקי הקובץ שרלוונטיים לאקדמיה
https://www.gov.il/BlobFolder/policy/judeaentry2022/he/may20.pdf

קובץ פקודות קבע
נוהל כניסה ושהייה של זרים
לאזור יהודה ושומרון
תיאום פעולות הממשלה בשטחים
מחלקת מבצעים.
תאריך עדכון: 20.02.22
הפקודה מכילה 62 עמודים.
 א. בשנות ה – 90′, במסגרת הסכם הביניים, הועברה חלקית לרשות הפלסטינית הסמכות להתיר כניסת זרים לאזור יהודה והשומרון (איו”ש). בהסכם הביניים נקבע כי, זר המבקש להיכנס לאיו”ש, יידרש
להחזיק ברישיון ביקור שיונפק על ידי הרש”פ, באישור הצד הישראלי .
ב. לצד זאת, הסכם הביניים הותיר סמכויות בידי הצד הישראלי, בקובעו כי זרים ממדינות המקיימות יחסים דיפלומטיים עם ישראל, יוכלו להיכנס לאיו”ש גם באמצעות אשרת כניסה תקפה לישראל.
ג. סוגיית המעבר לאיו”ש באמצעות אשרה ישראלית נמצאת תחת אחריות מתפ”ש, הפועל בתיאום עם רשות האוכלוסין וההגירה במשרד הפנים.
ח. יישום הנוהל יהיה בכפוף למצב הביטחוני ולמדיניות ממשלת ישראל הנהוגה באותה העת, והנבחנת ומשתנה מעת לעת.

3 . מרצים וחוקרים בתחום ההשכל ה הגבוהה :
א. מטרת פרק זה להסדיר את הליך הנפקת האשרות למרצים וחוקרים באקדמיה הפלסטינית.
ב. אשרה לפי סעיף זה, יראו בה גם כהיתר עיסוק.
ג. מרצים וחוקרים אורחים:
1 ) יעד: כנסים, השתלמויות וקורסים סימסטריאליים באזור .
2 ) דרישה אקדמית: על הזר להיות בעל תואר שני לפחות .
3 ) משך האשרה: יקבע בהתאם למשך הפעילות האקדמית ועד לתקופה של 5 חודשים במקרה של קורס סמסטריאלי.
4 ) בתום תקופת האשרה יצא הזר מהאזור, וככל שברצונו לשוב לאזור, יהיה באפשרותו להגיש בקשה חדשה לאשרה מסוג זה, בחלוף 9 חודשים לפחות ממועד יציאתו את האזור. במקרה של קורס סימסטריאלי, לא ניתן לאשר תקופה העולה על אורכו של קורס אחד בשנת לימודים קלנדרית.
ד. מרצים וחוקרים מצטיינים במקצועות נדרשים:
1 ) מיועד למספר מצומצם של חוקרים מצטיינים בהתאם למכסה שתיקבע ע”י הגורם המוסמך במתפ”ש ותפורט בנספח א’ לנוהל זה.
2 ) בקשה לאשרה לפי פרק זה תאושר במקרה כי הוכח להנחת דעתו של הגורם המוסמך במתפ” ש כי למרצה תרומה משמעותית להשכלה האקדמית, לכלכלת האזור או לקידום שיתוף פעולה ושלום אזורי .
3 ) דרישה אקדמית: בעל תואר דוקטור לפחות.
4 ) משך אשרה: האשרה תינתן לתקופה של שנה, ויהיה ניתן לחדשה לפרק זמן שלא יעלה על 27 חודשים. אם תקופת עבודתו של מרצה או חוקר מצטיין תעלה על 27 חודשים, יגיש בקשה חדשה לאחר
יציאה לחו”ל, ובלבד שסך כל תקופת השהות לא תעלה על חמש שנים במצטבר.
5 ) בתום תקופת האשרה יצא המרצה מהאזור, וככל שברצונו לשוב לאזור, יהיה באפשרותו להגיש בקשה חדשה לאשרה מסוג זה לצורך כניסה בחלוף 9 חודשים לפחות ממועד יציאתו את האזור.
6 ) כניסת בני משפחה נלווים: תינתן אפשרות לכניסת בני זוג וילדים של מרצה וחוקר מצטיין שקיבל אשרה בהתאם לסעיף זה, באמצעות אשרת “בני משפחה נלווים” בהתאם לסעיף 7 לפרק זה .
ה. השיטה :
1 ) כלל הבקשות לקבלת אשרת מרצים וחוקרים בתחום ההשכלה הגבוהה לסוגיהן תוגשנה לנציגות הישראלית במדינת המוצא של הזר, בצירוף מסמך הזמנה רשמי מטעם הרש״פ, לכל הפחות 60
ימים טרם מועד הכניסה המבוקש. לכל בקשה יצורפו המסמכים כמפורט בסעיף “תנאים ודרישות” להלן .
2 ) בסמכות הגורם המוסמך במתפ”ש לקבוע מכסה לכניסת מרצים וחוקרים. המכסות יפורסמו בנספח א ‘ לנוהל זה .
3 ) ככל שמסמכי הבקשה ימצאו תקינים ומספקים, תאושר הבקשה בכפוף למכסה פנויה. ככל שחסרים מסמכים לבקשה, יוחזר מענה לפיו ניתן לבצע השלמת מסמכים תוך 21 יום.
ו. תנאים ודרישות :
1 ) גיל מינימום לקבלת אשרה – 25 .
2 ) בקשה לאשרת מרצה וחוקר אורח תכלול את המסמכים הבאים:
א( טופס בקשה לאשרה, הצהרה לגבי טעמי הבקשה לכניסה לאזור ושאלון קורות חיים וקשרים משפחתיים וזוגיים באזור .
ב( מסמכים ותיעוד לגבי ההשכלה וההכשרה של המבקש, לרבות אישור רשמי על אודות התואר האקדמי מטעם המוסד שהעניק את התואר.
ג( צילום תעודת הלידה של המוזמן. אם בוצע שינוי שם (פרטי או משפחה) יש להציג תעודה ציבורית המעידה על שינוי השם.
ד( דרכון זר של המבקש התקף לתקופה העולה על 6 חודשים לפחות מעבר לתקופת השהות המבוקשת. אם קיים דרכון ממדינה נוספת, יש להצהיר על כך ולמסור את פרטיו.
ה( הזמנה רשמית מטעם הרש״פ .
ו( הזמנה רשמית של המוסד האקדמי הכולל את התאריכים המבוקשים לביקורו, מהות הפעילות האקדמית וחוזה העסקה .
ז( צילום חזיתי עדכני של פני המבקש .
ח( אישור על ביטוח רפואי לתקופת השהייה המבוקשת.
3 ) מרצים וחוקרים מצטיינים יצרפו בנוסף את המסמכים הבאים:
א( מסמך חתום ומאומת מטעם רקטור המוסד האקדמי (או המשמש בתפקיד דומה, גם אם תוארו שונה) שיכלול התייחסות למהות המשרה המבוקשת, תרומתה להשכלה האקדמית, לכלכלת האזור או לקידום שיתוף פעולה ושלום אזורי .
ב( כלל הפרטים אודות משפחת המוזמן בה תאם לסעיף 7 לפרק זה.
ז. הארכת אשרת חוקר/מרצה מצטיין:
1 ) בקשות להארכת אשרה יוגשו למשרד לעניינים אזרחיים ברש״פ חודשיים לפחות טרם תחילתה של שנת הלימודים העוקבת .
2 ) לבקשה להארכת אשרה יצורפו הוכחות על העסקה בפועל בשנת הלימודים החולפת (אישור מהמוסד האקדמי לרבות הוכחות על תשלום השכר בהתאם לחוזה). כן יש לצרף אישור ביטוח רפואי
לתקופת השהייה המבוקשת.
3 ) הבקשה תכלול גם את פרטיהם של בני הזוג והילדים של המרצה .
  ==========================================================
“מכסות ביקור” לאוניברסיטאות פלסטיניות? “לא לתת תחמושת ל-BDS”
 
נשיאי האוניברסיטאות ת”א והעברית ביקשו מגנץ לבטל נוהל חדש שלפיו הצבא יקבע מכסות לביקורים אקדמיים במוסדות פלסטיניים. “פגיעה לא נאותה בחופש האקדמי, זה יחזור אלינו כבומרנג”, הזהירו. ממשרד הביטחון לא נמסרה תגובה
תמר טרבלסי חדד
28.06.22 | 17:22
נשיאי אוניברסיטת תל אביב והאוניברסיטה העברית פנו לאחרונה לשר הביטחון בני גנץ והביעו את התנגדותם לנוהל שהפיץ מתאם פעולות הממשלה בשטחים באשר לביקורים במוסדות אקדמיים פלסטיניים בשטחי יהודה ושומרון. על פי הנוהל שאמור להיכנס לתוקפו בקרוב, הצבא יקבע בין היתר מכסות לביקורים אקדמיים של חוקרים מצטיינים – ורק למי שהצבא סבור שעשוי לתרום תרומה משמעותית להשכלה האקדמית.
במכתבם לגנץ, שהגיע לידי ynet, מציינים נשיא אוניברסיטת תל אביב פרופ’ אריאל פורת ונשיא האוניברסיטה העברית פרופ’ אשר כהן, כי הנוהל קובע תנאים לאירוח מרצים וחוקרים במוסדות אקדמיים בשטחים. בין היתר נקבע לדבריהם כי אשרה לביקורים אקדמיים של שנה תינתן רק “למספר מצומצם של חוקרים מצטיינים בהתאם למכסה”. האשרה תינתן רק למי שהוכח לגביו, להנחת דעתו של גורם צבאי, כי יתרום “תרומה משמעותית להשכלה האקדמית, לכלכלת האזור או לקידום שיתוף פעולה ושלום אזורי”. כמו כן נקבעה מכסה של עד 100 מרצים אורחים ו-150 סטודנטים זרים לשנה.
“אנחנו סבורים שהנוהל פוגע ללא הצדקה נאותה בחופש האקדמי”, הדגישו פרופ’ פורת ופרופ’ כהן. “הקביעה של מכסה של אורחים היא שרירותית, וכמוה ההסמכה של גורם צבאי לקבוע מהי מידת התרומה האקדמית הצפויה של חוקר אורח זה או אחר. המפקד הצבאי אמון על שמירת הביטחון וההגבלה היחידה שניתן להצדיק היא זו הקשורה לסיכון ביטחוני שנשקף מאדם מסוים. הגבלה שקשורה להערכת האיכות האקדמית של מועמדים ולמספרם מעצימה את הפגיעה בפעילות האקדמית בשטחים”.
פרופ’ פורת ופרופ’ כהן הזהירו במכתבם מההשלכות של המהלך, שעלול לחזק את תנועת החרם הבינלאומית נגד ישראל, ה-BDS. “פעולה כזו של מדינת ישראל כנגד מוסדות אקדמיים בשטחים עלולה לחזור אלינו כבומרנג: לא חסרים ארגונים וגופים שונים בעולם אשר רק מחכים להזדמנות לחזק את תנועת החרם על האקדמיה הישראלית. אל לנו לשמש כלי בידם ולספק להם ‘תחמושת’ נגדנו. לאור כל זאת אנו קוראים לביטולו של הנוהל והמרתו בהסדר שמבטא התחשבות ראויה בחשיבותם של החופש האקדמי ושל האפשרות לרכוש השכלה אקדמית בשטחי יהודה ושומרון”.
ממשרד הביטחון לא נמסרה תגובה.
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Palestinian universities are once again under attack

And as they fight for their survival under apartheid rule, they are receiving no real solidarity from their Israeli counterparts.

 

By Neve Gordon

Published On 15 Jul 2022

Palestinian universities are under attack once again.

Later this month, the Israeli authorities are expected to put into effect a 97-page ordinance, called Procedure for Entry and Residence for Foreigners in Judea and Samaria Area (PDF), which would grant the Israeli Ministry of Defence and thus, the military, absolute power to determine how many and which foreign academics and students can visit, study or work at all 15 Palestinian universities and colleges in the West Bank.

The “procedure” limits the number of staff allowed to work for any of these 15 universities and colleges to no more than 100 “distinguished lecturers and researchers,” noting that “applications for a permit under this section will be approved if it is demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the authorised [military] official, that the lecturer contributes significantly to academic learning, to the area’s economy, or to advancing regional cooperation and peace”.

Moreover, under the new ordinance, the Israeli authorities will not only determine who can or cannot teach in Palestinian universities but will also restrict the time foreign academics can reside in the West Bank to one semester, which ensures that foreign professors will no longer be able to become permanent members of the academic staff at any of West Bank’s institutions of higher education.

Finally, the procedure will only allow up to 150 foreign students to study in the West Bank at any given moment, while restricting their stay to one semester as well.

Universities as sites of resistance

Israel’s attempt to exert total control over Palestinian universities is, of course, nothing new. But its approach to Palestinian higher education was once significantly different.

Back in the early 1970s, when Israel’s occupation of the West Bank was in its early years, the Israeli authorities provided Palestinians with permits to establish universities in the occupied territories. Security officials were under the impression that the establishment of universities could help Israel normalise the occupation and thus foster Palestinian support for Israeli rule.

This policy backfired. The universities established under occupation rapidly became sites for political organising and mobilisation for Palestinian liberation.

Furthermore, within a relatively short period, these universities produced a fairly large Palestinian professional class. The labour market in the occupied territories did not have much to offer these young graduates – Israel was almost exclusively hiring unskilled manual labourers for its construction and agricultural industries, and military authorities were blocking almost all attempts by Palestinians to establish independent industries or develop the service sector.

Not surprisingly, the lack of jobs created bitterness among unemployed and underemployed graduates. Alongside thousands of university students – who were equally concerned about their future prospects – these graduates eventually served as a primary force in bringing about the first wave of mass resistance to Israeli rule: the Intifada of 1987.

Seeing the prominent role students and graduates took on during the first Intifada, Israel swiftly learned its lesson and began imposing severe restrictions on Palestinian universities. Birzeit University, for instance, was practically closed year round from 1988 to 1992. All of the other universities also faced long-term closures.

In the decades that followed, numerous procedures have been introduced to restrict Palestinian higher education. The primary aim of these policies, ranging from limiting the movement of lecturers and students to putting restrictions on subjects that can be taught, was to undermine Palestinian economic development and the circulation of knowledge that can be used to mobilise younger generations against colonial rule.

Protecting academic freedom

Given this half-century-long history of academic restrictions, obstructions and repression, it is difficult to find anything new in the restrictions to academic freedom that Israel is due to introduce in the West Bank later this month. The “procedure” is, after all, just one more draconian policy in a long line of draconian policies targeting Palestinian higher education. And yet, there has been an interesting development since the announcement of the procedure in February.

In addition to Palestinian universities themselves, international human rights organisations, and professional associations such as the Middle East Studies Association and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (in which I serve as chair of the Committee on Academic Freedom), an Israeli university publicly voiced concern in an official capacity over an Israeli policy that would undermine the academic freedom of Palestinians.

In an arguably unprecedented move, the General Assembly of the Hebrew University sent an official letter to the Israeli military commander of the West Bank, emphasising the problematic restrictions set out in the procedure.

At first glance, the penning of this letter appears to be a step in the right direction – until now, the only support Palestinian higher education institutions received from Israeli academia came from Israeli academics organising, protesting and at times, issuing open letters criticising the state’s attacks on Palestinian academic freedom in their personal capacity.

Nevertheless, a careful reading of the letter quickly shows that this is hardly the important gesture of solidarity it first appears to be.

The general assembly insists that the military should not intervene in decisions regarding a person’s academic qualifications, but still accepts that the occupying military has the right to determine whether a lecturer, researcher or student poses a security threat and deny them access to Palestinian universities.

“There are,” it argues, “no security considerations that justify this kind of intervention because it is clear that in any case all lecturers, researchers and students need to receive an individual entry permit from security officials.”

In other words, the Hebrew University accepts the basic assumptions informing Israeli rule over Palestinians: the legitimacy of one ethnic group dominating another ethnic group, and the use of laws and official policies to sustain and enhance that domination.

The letter is tepid, at best. But it does raise an important question: why, after nearly half a century did an Israeli university suddenly decide to voice concern about repressive policies directed at Palestinian universities?

Undoubtedly, some professors from Hebrew University are sincerely alarmed about the ongoing efforts to clamp down on Palestinian higher education. However, others are probably more concerned about their own academic standing among their international peers. They are aware of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, and particularly the threat of an international boycott of Israeli academic institutions due to their complicity with Israeli apartheid. It is likely that in their eyes this letter distances Hebrew University from the government’s policies, and absolves them of any blame.

Indeed, reading the letter carefully, Hebrew University’s complaint sounds more like an effort to protect its own reputation than support Palestinian universities. While criticising a particular policy proposal, the university implies there is a possibility that academic freedom can exist under an apartheid regime. Thus, the letter does not challenge the structures of domination. Rather, it serves as a shield against those calling for an academic boycott on Israeli universities.

Today, Palestinian universities are facing yet another attack. As they work to try and preserve something that at least resembles academic life under a brutal apartheid regime, they deserve real solidarity – not attempts by privileged academic institutions to save their own reputations.

******

Neve Gordon is a Marie Curie Fellow and Professor of International Law at Queen Mary University of London. He is also the author of Israel’s Occupation and co-author of The Human Right to Dominate.  

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Palestinians concerned about growing violence on campuses

There have been recurring violent incident on university campuses between rival Palestinian factions.

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH Published: DECEMBER 21, 2021 16:12
Updated: DECEMBER 21, 2021 16:40

The administration of Bir Zeit University near Ramallah has expressed deep concern over the recurrence of violent incidents on campus between students belonging to rival Palestinian factions.

The violence at Bir Zeit University, which describes itself as “the most prestigious Palestinian university,” is the latest in a series of incidents that hit other leading academic institutions in the West Bank in recent weeks.

Palestinian Authority security forces arrested several Bir Zeit University students on suspicion of involvement in the violence. A Palestinian academic described the tensions on campus as “dangerous and intolerable.”

“We can’t allow our academic institutions to turn into battlefields for settling scores between rival factions and gangs,” the academic told The Jerusalem Post. “We call on the Palestinian Authority to assume its responsibilities and take tough measures to enforce law and order.”

The latest tensions at Bir Zeit University began earlier this month when a fight erupted between students affiliated with Fatah and others belonging to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The Fatah supporters on campus were reportedly outraged by a statement, signed by Hamas and PFLP students, condemning security coordination between the PA and Israel.

The statement also condemned the PA security forces for raiding and searching the nearby dormitories.

The PA is dominated by the Fatah faction headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

According to sources on campus, Fatah supporters beat up a number of students affiliated with Hamas and PFLP because of the statement.

Earlier, another fight erupted on campus, this time between rival Fatah factions. The sources said that some of the Fatah-affiliated students were carrying guns, but did not use them.

Tensions on campus escalated last week when Hamas and PFLP held separate paramilitary parades to celebrate the anniversary of each group.

Hamas recently marked the 34th anniversary of its founding, while the PFLP celebrated its 54th anniversary.

The tensions reached their peak when hundreds of students participated in the Hamas parade on campus. The university administration had banned all student activities in closed areas because of concerns related to coronavirus.

According to the university administration, masked Hamas supporters nevertheless forced their way into the Martyr Kamal Nasser Hall on campus and beat a number of university security guards.

The hall is named after Kamal Nasser, a Palestinian Christian poet, author and political activist from the Gaza Strip who grew up in the town of Bir Zeit.

“Violations were committed against the university guards by masked men, and unauthorized tools and equipment were brought into the hall, which was generally closed to any activities due to public health considerations,” the administration said. “Unfortunately, instead of respecting the regulations and instructions, a number of masked men who were wearing the banner of the [Hamas-affiliated] Islamic Bloc broke the windows and doors, and forcibly entered the hall and gathered inside.”

THE ADMINISTRATION stressed that it was determined to make all possible efforts to address the phenomenon of violence on campus “due to its devastating effects on the university’s progress and its ability to achieve its goals.”

The incident came hours after IDF soldiers raided the campus and searched the faculties of Graduate Studies; Science; and Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions. The soldiers are also reported to have removed a large Palestinian flag from the center of campus.

It was not clear whether the IDF raid was linked to the Hamas and PFLP celebrations.

After the violence at the Martyr Kamal Nasser Hall, the university administration announced that it had temporarily suspended one of the students involved in the incident.

“The manifestations of violence, which have increased in the recent period, contradict the spirit of the university, which is keen on providing the widest space for freedom of opinion and expression and mutual respect,” the administration emphasized.

But just when the tensions appeared to wind down, another crisis erupted after Bir Zeit University vice president Ghassan al-Khatib reportedly likened the incident at the Martyr Kamal Nasser Hall to the IDF raid on campus.

Khatib said in an interview with the Palestinian Al-Quds Network that the current tension between student blocs “has to do with issues that are not related to the university, but rather to political or behavioral and external differences.”

In response, five student blocs called on Khatib to apologize for his alleged remarks.

The blocs also demanded that the administration rescind punitive and disciplinary measures against a number of students.

On Monday, hundreds of students staged a sit-in strike in front of the university administration  building to express their rejection of a decision to limit the activities of student blocs on campus.

The protesters gave the administration until Tuesday evening to backtrack on its measures, saying they will close down the administration offices when the deadline expires.

Walid al-Awad, a senior official with the Palestinian People’s Party (formerly the Palestinian Communist Party), said the crisis at Birzeit University “requires urgent national action at the highest levels.”

The crisis, he added, calls for urgent action, especially since most of the leaders of the Palestinian factions and important national institutions have graduated from Bir Zeit University.

Three other Palestinian universities also witnessed violent incidents in recent weeks, prompting their administrations to close them down temporarily.

Al-Quds University in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem, was shut after masked gunmen threatened students and faculty members because of a dispute over a parking lot.

Days later, Hebron University was shut following clashes on campus between rival clans in the city.

More recently, a student was fatally stabbed during a brawl at Arab American University in Jenin, the first private Palestinian university. The victim was identified as Mahran Khaliliyeh, a nursing student from a village near Jenin. PA security forces arrested 10 Fatah-affiliated students on suspicion of involvement in the murder.

Antisemitic Reaction to Inclusion of Ariel University in Committee of University Heads

 

14.07.22

Editorial Note

In May 2021, IAM reported on the “Committee of University Heads’ Complexities with Ariel University.” At the time, the Committee of University Heads (VERA) debated whether to admit Ariel University to its ranks. VERA is a voluntary group, yet it has made decisions with far-reaching implications for the higher education system in Israel. VERA has advised and liaised on university matters since the 1960s. The office of VERA deals with the administrative and logistical coordination, monitoring, and implementation, of the relations between VERA and the different regulatory bodies, such as the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education (VATAT-MALAG), Knesset committees, and government ministries, requests from student unions, the public, and others. 

Last month, after a long delay, VERA admitted Ariel University to its ranks. When in 2012, Ariel College received university status, VERA, apparently out of concern for becoming a target of BDS, refused to allow Ariel to join its rank. Publicly, VERA explained that recognizing Ariel College as a university would strain the budget, arguing there was no need for more universities. VERA’s opposition fitted well with the objection of left-leaning groups that argue that a university located in a West Bank settlement could damage the international standing of Israel. 

Radical leftists are still at it. Academia for Equality (A4E), a group of radical left-wing academics based at Tel Aviv University,postedan angry post on Facebook titled, “Dangerous Normalization of Occupation and Theft.” A4E wrote, “Like many in the academic world in Israel and worldwide, we were shocked to read about the decision to include Ariel ‘University’ as a full member of the Committee of University Heads. The very existence of this Institution, which stands on occupied territory and serves the population of the occupying state exclusively, is a war crime, an expression of a clear apartheid policy, and a heavy distortion of professional academic ethics. The legitimacy of such institutions degrades Israeli society and turns the entire Israeli academy into a legitimate target for a boycott. ‘Ariel University’ was founded with the political aim of supporting the settlements and a continuation of military occupation in the Palestinian Territories. Naturally, all scholars who oppose the establishment of settlements and the continuation of the occupation refrain from being faculty members and cooperating with it, and so do members of the international scientific community who share this principled opposition.”

But the worst reaction came from Adv. Michael Sfard, who used antisemitic verbiage to denounce VERA, Ariel University, and Jewish settlements.

“Rhinos On You Israel” by Michael Sfard was published a few days ago by Haaretz.  Sfard borrows from the play Rhinoceros by Eugène Ionesco, written in 1959, on humans who succumb to a mass metamorphosis. Sfard states as follows: 

“Smelling the stench that has hit Israel in recent days? No, it’s not the usual summer stench or a mountain of garbage not collected from the street corner. It’s much deeper—the stink of rhinos. A new (additional) herd has been roaming around Israel in recent days, trampling on carpets of solidarity and uprooting the shrubs of decency. Rhinos of academia and culture. They think they are beautiful deer, radiant with a refined aesthetic and inspiring to the world, but their actions indicate that they are rhinos devoted to the sewage. The news of the decision of the Committee of University Heads (“VERA”) to accept the demand of an institution called ‘Ariel University’ to be admitted to their committee passed almost unnoticed. After years of struggle by the Israeli universities against recognizing the Institution in the settlement of Ariel as an Israeli university (to tell the truth, this opposition stemmed only from the fear of reducing their slice in the budget cake, it is now clear). After several years of resistance not to admit the heads of the Institution of Samaria to VERA, the presidents of the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, Ben Gurion University, Weizmann Institute, the Technion, and the Open University (and of course, Bar Ilan University) not only reconciled with the Israeli Anschluss of the West Bank but contributed to strengthening it. They agreed to include in VERA an institution located on occupied and stolen land, which does not serve the non-Jewish residents of its surroundings (except, at best, as a labor provider for cleaners and gardeners). An institution part of a Settlement used to harm the liberties of the oppressed communities it surrounds. This way, VERA has turned its committee into a body that contributes to the project of deprivation and fixation of deprivation of fundamental rights from millions of people and is an active partner in deepening apartheid. From today, do not say the Heads of Universities of Israel, but the Heads of Universities of Greater and Jewish Land of Israel.”

He ends by saying, “The political dividends given by admitting Ariel to VERA, the silencing of critical voices in culture are all the asphalt used to pave a two-lane, modern and pleasant-looking road on the crime scene. And this way, Academics and Artists provide stamp approvals to the rotten occupation. May the people eat it for pleasure—woe to the smell. You stink, friends and the smell is hard to block. It sticks to you and will not erase. It will accompany you wherever you go. It is like the bloodstains on Lady Macbeth’s hands.”

Sfard, who litigates on behalf of Palestinians, is known for his theatrics. Still, his declaration is misleading in asserting that the Institution does not serve non-Jews. Sfard should be aware that thousands of Arabstudents have attended and graduated from Ariel University over time. Needless to say, Sfard had nothing to say about the Palestinian universities which do not enroll Jewish-Israeli students. More troubling is Sfard’s suggestion that VERA colludes with the Israeli “Anschluss,” a reference to the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. Israel has recently adopted the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism which states that comparing Israeli policies to Nazi tactics is antisemitic.   

On a different note, Sfard’s use of smelly, stinky elements is as puzzling as offensive.

Calling Israeli academics stinking and smelly just because you disagree with their actions is egregious. Would Haaretz ever publish an article in which the Palestinians are compared to smelly and dirty animals? Unfortunately, Haaretz is not the only perpetrator in a trend that calls Jews and Israelis highly odious names. Not coincidentally, the movement was pioneered by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the leading purveyor of antisemitism and antizionism, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In his Shiite theology, Ayatollah Khomeini and his successor as Supreme Leader have described Jews and Israelis as dogs, pigs, and unclean animals. While Jewish organizations worldwide have mounted a campaign to condemn the Islamists in Tehran, Haaretz and Sfard have indulged in antisemitic practices.

References:

After decade of refusal, Ariel University accepted into key education organization

Bennett welcomes move, says educational institute no longer a ‘stepchild’; other lawmakers see move as a refusal to bow to boycotts of the West Bank

By TOBIAS SIEGAL 20 June 2022, 3:38 pm

Ariel University in the West Bank on Sunday officially was granted a seat on the Committee of University Heads, ending a years-long fight for acceptance.

The decision to exclude the university until now meant that it wasn’t part of the national decision-making processes connected to higher education, and had difficulties related to shared research programs and other academic collaborations.

“After discussing a request on the issue and based on legal advice given to us, it was decided to include [Ariel University] in the forum,” a statement issued by the committee read.

Ariel University is set to join the eight other committee members, which are: the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University, the Weizmann Institute, the Technion, and the Open University (which holds observer status.)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who spearheaded the issue of establishing a medical school at Ariel University in 2018 while serving as education minister, welcomed the decision.

“Ariel University is no longer a ‘stepchild,’” Bennett said on Twitter. “It was officially accepted into the Committee of University Heads. Everyone knows how much I love Ariel University. At the time I fought and managed to approve the establishment of its medical school despite great opposition.”

Bennett had also initiated a failed attempt to accept Ariel University into the commission in 2018, and went as far as referring to the commission as a “cartel” at the time.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and Knesset Education Committee chair MK Sharren Haskel also welcomed the announcement.

Shasha-Biton touted the university’s “excellent researchers and impressive academic accomplishments.”

Haskel, meanwhile, framed the decision as an important move in the face of international boycotts. “It can’t be that we fight boycotts on the international arena only to find that within the State of Israel there is a declared boycott of Zionist institutions,” she said.

Joining the Committee of University Heads “is an important step for academia and another step toward the nation’s unity,” said Ariel University president Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld.

“The decision is another step toward recognizing the significant contribution of Ariel University to academia and science,” he added.

The Committee of University Heads, established in the 1960s, deals with issues of policy common to all universities in Israel, such as salaries for academic staff, tuition, research budgets, and policies for accepting students. It is currently chaired by Hebrew University president Asher Cohen.

While the committee is a voluntary body, it has a remit with far-reaching implications for higher education in Israel and for the education system as a whole. The committee has been known to comment on current events and offer recommendations on various education-related issues.

The committee had refused to accept Ariel University as a member ever since it received university status in 2012 — a move it was strongly opposed to as well.

At the time, the committee said recognizing the institution as a university would only strain academic budgets, arguing that Israel had no need for another university. The step was also opposed by left-wing groups that said granting university status to an academic institution in a West Bank settlement would damage Israel’s standing internationally.

The other universities in the group were also concerned that the inclusion of Ariel University could make them all a target for boycotts.

The suggested upgrade — which had political and security implications — was also opposed by the Council for Higher Education in Israel, but was eventually approved under mounting pressure from right-wing ministers and politicians.

In October 2020, the US under the Trump administration and Israel under then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed an agreement that removed all previous geographic-related restrictions from any future scientific cooperation, meaning more budgets and investments in academic institutions in the West Bank and primarily Ariel University.

Stuart Winer contributed to this report.

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אקדמיה לשיוויון 

07 July at 17:05 

נורמליזציה מסוכנת של הכיבוש והגזל

כמו רבים בעולם האקדמי בארץ ובעולם , הזדעזענו לקרוא על ההחלטה לצרף את ” אוניברסיטת ” אריאל כחברה מן המניין בוועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות . עצם קיומו של מוסד זה , העומד על שטח כבוש ומשרת באופן בלעדי את אוכלוסיית המדינה הכובשת , הוא פשע מלחמה , ביטוי למדיניות אפרטהייד ברורה ועיוות חמור של האתיקה האקדמית המקצועית . הלגיטימציה של מוסדות כאלו מדרדרת את החברה הישראלית והופכת את האקדמיה הישראלית כולה למטרה לגיטימית לחרם . ” אוניברסיטת אריאל ” הוקמה מתוך מטרה פוליטית מובהקת של תמיכה בהתנחלויות והמשך הכיבוש הצבאי בשטחים הפלסטיניים . באופן טבעי , כל החוקרים שמתנגדים להקמת התנחלויות ולהמשך הכיבוש נמנעים מלהיות חברי סגל במקום ולשתף אתו פעולה , וכך גם חברי וחברות הקהילה המדעית הבינלאומית השותפים להתנגדות העקרונית הזו . כפי שכתב הבוקר עו ” ד Michael Sfard: ” נירמול של מה שמוכרח להישאר כבלתי נורמלי הוא פשע בפני עצמו . הדבר מוביל לכך שאנשים שלא בוערות בהם גזענות , אלימות , או תשוקת גזל מגויסים , משוכנעים , או מוסללים לסייע ביצירת מציאות גזענית , אלימה ומנשלת . השלמה עם הבלתי נורמלי ו ” זרימה ” עמו עלולות לגרום בטווח הארוך נזק חמור יותר מאשר הפעולות המעוולות הישירות . במקרה הנוכחי , תרומת המנרמלים לפשע הכיבוש אינה קטנה מזאת של גוש אמונים , מועצת יש ” ע , הכהניסטים ונוער הגבעות ” אנו באקדמיה לשוויון נמשיך להתנגד לנורמליזציה של הכיבוש ולמדיניות הסיפוח , מתוך דאגה ותקווה לעתיד האקדמיה והחברה בישראל .

https://www.facebook.com/ groups/1981297092136926/posts/3229532967313326/

https://www.haaretz.co.il/ opinions/2022-07-06/ty-article-opinion/.premium/00000181-d3e7-dc24-a9e3-dfffdb2c0000

קרנפים עליך ישראל

מיכאל ספרד

מריחים את משב הסירחון שתקף את ישראל בימים האחרונים ? לא , זה לא הסירחון הרגיל של הקיץ או הר זבל שלא נאסף מקרן הרחוב . זה סירחון הרבה יותר עמוק . סירחון של קרנפים . עדר חדש ( נוסף ) שעט ברחבי ישראל בימים האחרונים , רומס מרבדי סולידאריות ועוקר מן השורש שיחי הגינות . קרנפי האקדמיה והתרבות . הם חושבים שהם עופר איילים יפיפה , קורן מאסתטיקה מעודנת ומעניק השראה לעולם , אבל מעשיהם מעידים עליהם שהם קרנפים שהתמסרו לשופכין . הידיעה על החלטת ראשי האוניברסיטאות להסכים לדרישת המוסד המתקרא ” אוניברסיטת אריאל ” לצרפה לפורום ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות (” ור ” ה “), עברה כמעט ללא ששמנו לב . אחרי שנים של מאבק של האוניברסיטאות הישראליות בהכרה שכפה הדרג הפוליטי במוסד שבהתנחלות אריאל כאוניברסיטה ישראלית ( כדאי לומר את האמת , התנגדות שנבעה , כך ברור עתה , רק מהחשש מהקטנת הפרוסה שלהן בעוגה התקציבית ), ואחרי התעקשות של מספר שנים שלא לצרף את ראשי המוסד מהשומרון לור ” ה , נשיאי העברית , תל אביב , חיפה , בן – גוריון , ויצמן , הטכניון והפתוחה ( וכמובן בר אילן ) לא רק השלימו עם האנשלוס הישראלי של הגדה , אלא תרמו לו והעצימו אותו . הם הסכימו לצרף לור ” ה מוסד הממוקם על אדמה כבושה וגזולה , שאינו משרת את תושבי סביבתו הלא יהודים ( למעט , במקרה הטוב , כספק עבודה למנקים וגננים ). מוסד שכחלק מההתנחלות שבעיבורה הוא יושב משמש עילה לפגיעה בחירויות של הקהילות המדוכאות שסביבה . בכך ראשי ור ” ה הפכו את הועד שלהם לגוף שתורם לפרוייקט הנישול והקיבוע של מניעת זכויות יסוד ממיליוני אנשים , ושותף אקטיבית להעמקת האפרטהייד . מהיום אל תגידו ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות של ישראל אלא ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות של ארץ ישראל השלמה והיהודית . כמה ימים לאחר מכן , קיים פורום היוצרים הדוקומנטרים – ארגון שבאמצעותו מקדמים יוצרים תיעודיים ישראלים את הענף בו הם עוסקים – אירוע שנועד להציג ליוצרים את קרנות הקולנוע האזוריות והקריטריונים לקבל מהם תמיכה . לאירוע הזמינו ראשי הפורום גם את הקרן המתקראת ” קרן קולנוע שומרון “, המעודדת יצירה קולנועית בגדה המערבית , להציג עצמה ליוצרים . ושוב מדובר בשיתוף פעולה עם גוף שהוא חלק ממנגנון האפרטהייד הישראלי בגדה . קרן קולנוע שומרון מעניקה סיוע ליצירה קולנועית לאזרחים ישראלים בלבד ( שזה לא היה נורא אילו היה מדובר בקרן שפועלת בישראל ) ובתנאים שמבטיחים שחלק גדול מההפקה מתבצע בהתנחלויות או ע ” י צוות שמתגורר בהן . לפיכך הקרן , אף שהיא חולשת על הגדה המערבית כולה , מדירה יוצרים שאינם יהודים של האזור , וגם יוצרת ישראלית טהורה לא תעמוד בתנאי הסף , אם סרטה מופק בכפר או בעיירה פלסטינית שאינם באיזור C או עושה שימוש בצוות פלסטיני ( באזור C חיים אחוזים בודדים מהציבור הפלסטיני , ובכל מקרה למתקשים , באתר הקרן יש רשימת ” ישובים ביהודה ושומרון “. זו רשימה שהיא התגשמות הפנטזיה הגזענית של העליונות היהודית – אין בה אף יישוב פלסטיני ). ולקרן הזו פורום היוצרים הדוקומנטריים מעניק במה ולגיטימציה . מזל שהיוצר לירן עצמור ( המפיק בין היתר של הסרטים התיעודיים ” שלטון החוק ” ו ” מראה “), צדיק בסדום , נכנס לאירוע המקוון וגינה קשות את הפורום על המעשה הבזוי . הוא הציל במעט את כבודה של קהילת היוצרים התיעודיים בישראל . וכאילו לא די בזה , ביום ראשון כיבדו ראשי תעשיית הטלוויזיה והקולנוע בישראל בנוכחותם את אירוע הפתיחה של ” פסטיבל הקולנוע שומרון “, ויוצרים מרכזיים הסכימו לקבל בו פרסים . אתם יכולים לדמיין במאית אמריקאית שתסכים לקבל פרס המוענק בפסטיבל קולנוע המיועד ליוצרים לבנים בלבד , אליו מוזמן קהל לבן בלבד , וכשהכל מתרחש באזור שבו השחורים נעדרי זכויות אזרח ? ובזמן שנשיאי האוניברסיטאות והרקטורים שלהם מתרגלים לחבריהם החדשים מאזור סלפית ומחזקים את כל החרמות המוטלים על האקדמיה הישראלית , ובעת שפורום היוצרים מעודד את חבריו להנות מכספים שניתנים למי שישתף פעולה עם פשעי הכיבוש ומסייע להבאשת ריחו של הקולנוע הישראלי בעולם , תיאטרון הפרינג ‘ בבאר שבע ביטל את ההצגה ” אינסטינקט בסיסי ” המבוסס על טקסטים של חיילות שהעידו בפני אנשי ” שוברים שתיקה “, והוצאת ספרים גנזה את ספרו של ניר אבישי , לשעבר דובר שוברים שתיקה , מחשש ” שהספר יפגע ברגשות של הלקוחות שלנו “. אכן , קרנפים עליך ישראל . נירמול של מה שחייב להשאר כבלתי – נורמלי הוא פשע בפני עצמו . הוא מוביל לכך שאנשים שלא בוערת בהם גזענות , אלימות או תשוקת גזל , מגוייסים , משוכנעים או מוסללים לסייע ביצירת מציאות גזענית אלימה ומנשלת . השלמה עם הבלתי נורמלי ו ” זרימה ” עימו עלולה לגרום בטווח הארוך נזק חמור מהפעולות המעוולות הישירות , ובמקרה הנוכחי תרומתם של המנרמלים לפשע הכיבוש לא קטנה מזו של גוש אמונים , מועצת יש ” ע , הכהניסטים ונוער הגבעות . הכספים שמעניקה קרן שומרון להפקות סרטים , הדיבידנדים הפוליטיים שמעניק צירוף אריאל לור ” ה , ההשתקה של קולות ביקורתיים בתרבות הם כולם האספלט המשמש לסלילת כביש דו מסלולי , חדיש ונעים למראה , על גבי זירת הפשע . וכך , אקדמאים ואנשי תרבות נותנים חותמות כשרות לפיגולי הכיבוש , שיאכל העם בתיאבון . אבל הריח , אבוי הריח . אתם מסריחים חברים , ואת הריח קשה לחסום . הוא נדבק אליכם ולא ימחה . הוא ילווה אתכם באשר תלכו . הוא כמו כתמי הדם שעל ידיה של ליידי מקבת.

Ofer Cassif’s Objection to the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism Adopted by Israel

07.07.22

Editorial Note

After a long delay, the Israeli Knesset adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.

As IAM reported, the Working Definition was initiated in 2005 and officially adopted by the IHRA planetary session in 2016.

The document states that “the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” is antisemitic but asserts that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” 

The definition explains that “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The document provides the following examples of contemporary antisemitism: 

– Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion. 

– Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions. 

– Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews. 

– Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).  

– Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. 

– Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. 

– Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. 

– Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. 

– Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. 

– Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. 

– Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Many countries and international organizations adopted or endorsed the Working Definition, as IAM reported. 

Several recent reports on the issue by IAM include “The Battle over the Meaning of anti-Semitism“; “New Definitions of Anti-Semitism Sprout like Mushrooms“; “Van Leer Jerusalem: The Institute of Enabling Antisemitism“; “Academics Urged Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance & Combating Antisemitism to Stop Instrumentalization of Antisemitism.” 

It was not surprising, therefore, that the radical pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel cohorts – adherents of the critical, neo-Marxist school of thought – rejected the Working Definition. As well-known, they comprise Israeli and Jewish academics, who are radical political activists disguised as academics. 

MK Dr. Ofer Cassif is a classic example of this trend. Cassif is a member of the Knesset on behalf of the Joint List, a political alliance of four of the Arab-majority political parties in Israel. Before his work in the Knesset, Cassif was a lecturer at the Political Science Department of the Hebrew University. His 2006 Ph.D. dissertation on Marxist examination at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, landed him the position at the Hebrew University. However, Cassif was considered controversial even by the Hebrew University, as IAM reported many times. 

When the Knesset proposed adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, Cassif objected. In his Knesset speech, Cassif stated, “this proposal is so disgusting and blood boiling, to add insult to injury, then the Honorable Chairman also says that it is not political. So first of all, it’s political, and I’ll also explain why it’s political and why this proposal is so despicable.”

Instead of explaining why it is “despicable,” Cassif moves on to say that “In March 2021, the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism was published, signed by about 350 Israeli and international scholars, historians, experts in Holocaust research and Jewish studies, Israeli and Palestinian studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, and more – 350 experts, professors, and scholars. In this paper, the same experts with diverse political views oppose the definition of work given by the International Alliance for the Remembrance of the Holocaust, IHRA, against antisemitism. The Jerusalem Declaration objects to the IHRA’s focus on criticism of the State of Israel instead of on the crime of antisemitism itself. Thus, 7 of the 11 examples of antisemitism cited by IHRA deal with Israel, but not with hatred of Israel. The proposal before us, like the definition and examples of the IHRA, is politically motivated and biased and, in fact, turns any criticism of the State of Israel and Zionism into antisemitism. This anti-democratic, rude approach infringes on freedom of expression and criticism and may even encourage real antisemitism. The purpose of the Jerusalem Declaration that I mentioned is to clarify, without political bias and prejudice, what antisemitism is and how it is expressed. This has a dual purpose: first, to fight fearlessly against antisemitism – but really fight it and only it. Second, to protect freedom of expression and allow for factual and legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism without being discredited for denial and falsehood. According to the Jerusalem Declaration, antisemitism is a form of racism, one of many, and means: discrimination, prejudice, hostility, or violence against Jews or Jewish institutions for being Jews. In this definition lies elements that necessarily characterize all racism.”

Cassif moves on to discuss what the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism defines as not in itself antisemitic: 

“A. Support for Palestinian demands, for example, for human rights; 

B. Criticizing or opposing Zionism and supporting full equality of rights for all residents between the river and the sea, in the form of two states, one state, or any other form; 

C. Criticism of Israel as a state, including its institutions and its basic principles; 

D. Comparing Israel to other cases, including colonialism or apartheid; 

E. Boycott and sanctions – in non-violent forms of political protest. 

All of these are not antisemitism. It’s a lie.” 

He ends his speech by stating, “We must severely fight antisemitism and all forms of racism.”

Of course, Cassif is wrong. As mentioned above, the IHRA definition clearly states that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” Cassif is also wrong because, since the establishment of the State of Israel, the old hatred against Jews morphed into hatred against Israeli-Jews. Equally important, no definition of antisemitism should include a passage concerning the Palestinians; Palestinian human rights should not come at the expense of Jewish human rights.

Israel should be congratulated for adopting the IHRA Definition. In this, Israel joins many countries and organizations that made the same decision. According to various monitoring organizations, antisemitic attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions have been at their peak. The IHRA definition is an important tool to fight the antisemitic scourge. 

References

https://m.knesset.gov.il/EN/News/PressReleases/Pages/press23622q.aspx

Knesset News

June 23, 2022Knesset approves proposal to adopt IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism

By a vote of 33 to 5, the Knesset plenum on Wednesday approved the proposal to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, for the purpose of identifying and preventing anti-Semitic incidents and displays of antisemitism. The proposal was submitted by MK Zvi Hauser (New Hope).

The IHRA’s definition describes various behaviors considered anti-Semitic, including the denial of the Holocaust. According to this definition, “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews that can manifest itself in hatred towards them. The rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism target Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, community institutions and places of worship.”

Following the vote, Speaker of the Knesset MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) said “The Knesset made history today, and is joining more than 1,000 parliaments, governments, local councils and organizations around the world that have adopted the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism. This is another step in the Knesset’s fight, as the legislature of the Jewish state, against antisemitism in all its ugly forms. It’s time that expressions of antisemitism, in the guise of criticism of the State Israel, be defined as such. It cannot be that a position expressing double standards against the State of Israel, or a position that revokes the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, will be legitimate positions in the international discourse.

“The decision we took today will encourage parliaments and government bodies around the world to also adopt this definition of antisemitism, and this will help our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world who, unfortunately, experience antisemitism first-hand on a daily basis.”

A proposal tabled by the Joint List parliamentary group to adopt the definition of antisemitism that was presented in the Plenum by MK Ofer Cassif (Joint List) was rejected.      

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https://fs.knesset.gov.il/24/Plenum/24_ptm_628196.doc

Google translate

Ofer Kasif (joint list): 

Mr. Speaker, Members of the Knesset, this proposal is so disgusting and blood boiling, and if sin should be added to a crime, then the Honorable Chairman also says that it is not political. So first of all, it’s political, and I’ll also explain why it’s political, and why this proposal is so despicable. 

In March 2021, the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism was published, signed by about 350 Israeli and international scholars, historians, experts in Holocaust research and Jewish studies, Israeli and Palestinian studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, and more – 350 experts, professors, and scholars. In this paper, the same experts with diverse political views oppose the definition of work given by the International Alliance for the Remembrance of the Holocaust, IHRA, against antisemitism. 

The Jerusalem Declaration objects to the IHRA’s focus on criticism of the State of Israel instead of on the crime of antisemitism itself. Thus, 7 of the 11 examples of antisemitism cited by IHRA deal with Israel, but not with hatred of Israel. The proposal before us, like the definition and examples of the IHRA, is politically motivated and biased, and in fact, turns any criticism of the State of Israel and Zionism into antisemitism. This is an anti-democratic, rude approach that infringes on freedom of expression and criticism and may even encourage real antisemitism. 

The purpose of the Jerusalem Declaration that I mentioned, then, is to clarify without political bias and prejudice, what antisemitism is and how it is expressed, this is with a dual purpose: first, to fight fearlessly against antisemitism – but really fight it and only it. Second, to protect freedom of expression and allow for factual and legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism without being discredited for denial and falsehood. According to the Jerusalem Declaration, antisemitism is a form of racism, one of many, and means: discrimination, prejudice, hostility, or violence against Jews or against Jewish institutions by virtue of being Jews. In this definition lies elements that necessarily characterize all racism, including, for example, essentialism – the inclusion of so-called innate traits, and negativity mainly toward an entire group. 

The statement also defines actions that are not in themselves antisemitic: 

A. Support for Palestinian demands, for example, for human rights; 

B. Criticizing or opposing Zionism and supporting full equality of rights for all residents between the river and the sea, in the form of two states, one state, or any other form; 

C. Criticism of Israel as a state, including its institutions and its basic principles; 

D. Comparing Israel to other cases, including colonialism or apartheid; 

E. Boycott and sanctions – in non-violent forms of political protest. All of these are not antisemitism. It’s a lie. 

We must fight antisemitism and all forms of racism, severely. 

Precisely for this purpose – and no less important, for the right to pass criticism – this specific definition must not be adopted.

עופר כסיף (הרשימה המשותפת):   

אדוני היושב-ראש, חברי הכנסת, ההצעה הזאת כל-כך נבזית ומרתיחה, ואם צריך להוסיף חטא על פשע, אז גם האדון כבוד היושב-ראש אומר שזה לא פוליטי. אז קודם כול, זה פוליטי, ואני אסביר גם מדוע זה פוליטי, ומדוע ההצעה הזאת כל-כך בזויה.

במרץ 2021 פורסמה הצהרת ירושלים על אנטישמיות, שעליה חתומים כ-350 חוקרים ישראלים ובין-לאומיים, היסטוריונים, מומחים בחקר השואה ובלימודי יהדות, לימודי ישראל ופלסטין, לימודי המזרח התיכון והאסלאם ועוד – 350 מומחים, פרופסורים וחוקרים. במסמך זה יוצאים אותם מומחים בעלי השקפות פוליטיות מגוונות נגד הגדרת העבודה שנתנה הברית הבין-לאומית לזיכרון השואה, IHRA, לאנטישמיות – נגד. הצהרת ירושלים מסתייגת מהתמקדותה של IHRA בביקורות על מדינת ישראל במקום בפשע האנטישמיות עצמו. כך 7 מתוך 11 הדוגמאות לאנטישמיות שמציינת IHRA עוסקות בישראל, אך לא בשנאת ישראל. 

ההצעה שלפנינו, כמו ההגדרה והדוגמאות של IHRA, מונעת ומוטה פוליטית, והופכת  למעשה כל ביקורת על מדינת ישראל ועל הציונות לאנטישמיות.

זוהי גישה אנטי-דמוקרטית, גסה  הפוגעת בחופש הביטוי והביקורת  ואף עלולה דווקא לעודד אנטישמיות אמיתית. הבושה היא שלך, חבר כנסת גינזבורג, על הבורות ועל השקרנות.  

מטרת הצהרת ירושלים שהזכרתי, אם כך, היא להבהיר ללא הטיה פוליטית ומשוא פנים, מהי אנטישמיות וכיצד היא באה לידי ביטוי, זאת במטרה כפולה: אחד, להיאבק ללא חת באנטישמיות – אבל באמת בה ורק בה. שתיים, להגן על חופש הביטוי ולאפשר ביקורת עניינית ולגיטימית על ישראל ועל הציונות מבלי להיות מוכפשים בכחש ובכזב.

לפי הצהרת ירושלים, אנטישמיות היא סוג של גזענות, אחד מני רבים, ומשמעה: אפליה, דעה קדומה, עוינות או אלימות נגד יהודים או נגד מוסדות יהודיים מעצם היותם יהודים. בהגדרה הזאת טמונים מרכיבים שבהכרח מאפיינים כל גזענות, בהם, למשל, מהותנות – הכללת תכונות מולדות, כביכול, ושליליות בעיקרן על קבוצה שלמה.

ההצהרה גם מגדירה פעולות שהן כשלעצמן אינן אנטישמיות: 

א. תמיכה בדרישות הפלסטינים, למשל, לזכויות אדם; 

ב. העברת ביקורת על הציונות או התנגדות לה ותמיכה בשוויון זכויות מלא לכל התושבים בין הנהר והים, בצורה של שתי מדינות, מדינה אחת או כל צורה אחרת; 

ג. ביקורת על ישראל כמדינה, לרבות על מוסדותיה ועל עקרונות היסוד שלה; 

ד. השוואה של ישראל למקרים אחרים, לרבות קולוניאליזם או אפרטהייד; 

ה. חרם וסנקציות – בצורות לא אלימות של מחאה פוליטית.  

כל אלה הם לא אנטישמיות. זה שקר.

אנחנו חייבים להילחם באנטישמיות ובכל סוגי הגזענות מלחמת חורמה. בדיוק לשם כך – ולא פחות חשוב, למען הזכות להעביר ביקורת – אסור לאמץ את ההגדרה הספציפית הזאת.

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Bucharest, 26 May 2016
In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: “With humanity still scarred by …antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils” the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism.
On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:
To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:
Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
 Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
 Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
 Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
 Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
2
 Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
 Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
 Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
 Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
 Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
 Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
 Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).
Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.
Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

New Jewish Studies Zionist Network is Taking a Stance

30.06.22

Editorial Note

On June 16, the IAM received an announcement from a group of scholars titled “The Jewish Studies Zionist Network.” 

The group comprises scholars and educators in the field of Jewish Studies who “affirm that Zionism is a legitimate movement for the national self-determination of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland.”

Members embrace a “commitment to the peace and welfare of all communities in Israel, the world’s sole Jewish State, we reject characterizations of Zionism and Israel that seek to discredit their legitimacy and that judge them according to standards not applied to any other nation. The uncritical use of concepts such as ‘European settler colonial project,’ ‘genocidal,’ ‘Jewish supremacist,’ or ‘apartheid,’ to describe Zionism and Israel is agenda-driven, manipulative, and therefore antithetical to promoting knowledge and scholarship in our communities.”

Their mission is: 

“1) To reaffirm as scholars and educators intimately familiar with the history of the Jewish people and Zionism, to our colleagues, our students, and the wider community the legitimacy of Zionism as the historical movement of Jewish self-determination and of the State of Israel as a Jewish State in the community of nations. 

2) To thwart efforts to demonize Zionism and Israel, via such charges as “apartheid,” “a racist endeavor,” “genocide,” and “Jewish supremacy,” which are driven by ideological rather than scholarly considerations. 

3) To foster scholarship in our respective disciplines that gives voice to multiple approaches and perspectives contributing to better intellectual and educational outcomes. 

4) To ensure that a safe space exists on college campuses for Jewish students and faculty to express their identities as Jewish Zionists in public, just as this safe space is provided to members of other minority communities.”

The announcement was also posted on the Facebook page of Bashaar Academia-IL, the Israeli network of scholars, and on H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online.

Interestingly, however, the mainstream media has ignored the new group. The only two outlets to report on the issue are Israel National News and JNS, which interviewed the founder, Jarrod Tanny, an associate professor of Jewish History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Tanny said, “As a professor of Jewish history I grew troubled at the extent to which anti-Zionism has become pervasive in academia. The animosity directed against ‘Zionists’ and Israel on college campuses, fueled by frequent condemnatory statements and petitions issued by scholarly associations and departments, BDS resolutions, and ‘Apartheid Week’ events, has led to an alarming uptick in antisemitism. Rather than speaking out against this, numerous Jewish studies scholars have publicly endorsed this trend, or at the very least have looked the other way… So we created the Jewish Studies Zionist Network to show the world that there are scholars and professors of Jewish and Israel studies who will no longer remain silent. We are speaking out, collectively, as experts in the history and culture of the Jewish people and Israel.”

Adam Fuller, a coordinating committee member, is an associate professor of Politics and International Relations at Youngstown State University. He noted, “It is our responsibility as educators to offer diverse perspectives to our students… But unfortunately, students are getting a very distorted picture of the Middle East conflict. They aren’t being exposed to Israel’s side of the story. And major academic organizations are going along with it, such as the Middle East Studies Association, which has now officially adopted BDS. It is unbelievable that the most prominent association of scholarship of the region is boycotting scholars and institutions from one of the countries that it is supposedly devoted to studying.”

Naya Lekht, an independent scholar, is also a member of the cordoning committee. Lekht said, “If once the epicenter of anti-Zionism was to be found in universities, today Jewish teens encounter anti-Israel bias in the classroom. How did this happen? It happened because for far too long anti-Zionism has remained unchecked in academia. This is why JSZN is such a vital initiative.” Other than its members’ unified belief that Zionism is a valid political movement and legitimate expression of Jewish peoplehood, the network is non-partisan and has a politically diverse array of signatories. 

The mission statement states, “We have no unified position on Israeli or Jewish politics generally, or on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict specifically, other than to uphold the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination and of Israelis to craft their own future.“ We believe that the double standard to which Israel is held in the academy has not only stifled scholarship but has created a climate of fear among faculty and students who wish to express their Jewish identity – a Zionist Jewish identity – in public.” 

Over 80 scholars have signed this announcement.

As IAM reported, for more than a decade now, the campuses have been a hotbed of anti-Zionist activity. The new group should provide a much-needed push back against the academic crusade to delegitimize the Jewish State.  

References:

https://jsznetwork.weebly.com/

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-YlnODOO_-YZC_XneRPnjGNOPnFQZzN7/view

The Jewish Studies Zionist Network
Mission Statement
The Jewish Studies Zionist Network is composed of scholars and educators in Jewish Studies who affirm that Zionism is a legitimate movement for the national self-determination of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland.

As experts in Jewish studies with a commitment to the peace and welfare of all communities in Israel, the world’s sole Jewish State, we reject characterizations of Zionism and Israel that seek to discredit their legitimacy and that judge them according to standards not applied to any other nation.

The uncritical use of concepts such as “European settler colonial project,” “genocidal,” “Jewish supremacist,” or “apartheid,” to describe Zionism and Israel is agenda-driven, manipulative, and therefore antithetical to promoting knowledge and scholarship in our communities.

Higher education plays a crucial role in shaping the minds and attitudes of younger generations.
It is therefore incumbent on higher education to deepen and enhance younger generations’ understanding of the history of Zionism and the Jewish State in ways that do justice to their nuance and complexity.

We have no unified position on Israeli or Jewish politics generally, or on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict specifically, other than to uphold the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination and of Israelis to craft their own future.

We welcome scholars of all religious, national, and ethnic backgrounds who seek to advance Jewish and Israel studies, and who accept the existence of the State of Israel as a legitimate expression of Jewish peoplehood.

Our mission is the following:
1) To reaffirm as scholars and educators intimately familiar with the history of the Jewish people and Zionism, to our colleagues, our students, and the wider community the legitimacy of Zionism as the historical movement of Jewish self-determination and of the State of Israel as a Jewish State in the community of nations.
2) To thwart efforts to demonize Zionism and Israel, via such charges as “apartheid,” “a racist endeavor,” “genocide,” and “Jewish supremacy,” which are driven by ideological rather than scholarly considerations.
3) To foster scholarship in our respective disciplines that gives voice to multiple approaches and perspectives contributing to better intellectual and educational outcomes.
4) To ensure that a safe space exists on college campuses for Jewish students and faculty to express their identities as Jewish Zionists in public, just as this safe space is provided to members of other minority communities.

Coordinating Committee*
Dr. Jarrod Tanny, Associate Professor and Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Dr. Adam L. Fuller, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations, Youngstown State University
Dr. Naya Lekht, Independent Scholar

Signatories*
Dr. Victoria Aarons, O.R. & Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor of Literature, Trinity University
Dr. Baruch Alster, Senior Lecturer, Givat Washington Academic College of Education, Israel
Michael Bazyler, JD, Professor of Law and The 1939 Society Scholar in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, Fowler School of Law, Chapman University
Dr. Raphael BenLevi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Haifa
Dr. Moshe Y. Bernstein, Independent Scholar
Dr. Corinne E. Blackmer, Professor of English and Judaic Studies, Southern CT State University
Dr. Gabriel Noah Brahm, Professor of English and World Literature, Northern Michigan University; Senior Research Fellow, Herzl Institute for the Study of Zionism, University of Haifa
Dr. Justin Cammy, Professor of Jewish Studies, World Literatures, and Middle East Studies, Smith College
Dr. Ellen Cannon, Professor of Political Science and Jewish Studies at Northeastern Illinois University
Dr. Zvi Y. Cohen, Independent Scholar and Educator at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community (High) School
Dr. Avram Davis, Independent Scholar
Dr. Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and Professor Emerita of Government, Smith College
Dr. Stanley Dubinsky, Professor of Linguistics, University of South Carolina
Dr. Miriam F. Elman, Associate Professor, Syracuse University
Dr. Ari Engelberg, Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem
Dr. Norman J.W. Goda, Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies, University of Florida
Stanley Goldman, JD, Professor of Law, Founder and Director of The Center for the Study of Law and Genocide, Loyola Marymount University
Dr. David Hazony, Independent Scholar
Dr. Yoram Hazony, President, The Herzl Institute, Jerusalem
Dr. David Hirsh, Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Motti Inbari, Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Dr. Oleg Ivanov, Independent Scholar
Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish, Oranim Academic College of Education, Kiryat Tivon
Dr. Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki, Independent Scholar
Dr. Nancy Koppelman, American Studies, The Evergreen State College
Dr. Phyllis Lassner, Professor Emerita Northwestern University
Dr. Holli Levitsky, Director of Jewish Studies, Professor of English, Loyola Marymount University
Dr. David A. Meola, Director of Jewish & Holocaust Studies, Meisler Assistant Professor of History & Jewish Studies, University of South Alabama
Dr. Natan Meir, Lorry I. Lokey Professor of Judaic Studies, Portland State University
Dr. Meir Muller, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina
Dr. Josef Olmert, Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina
Dr. Monica Osborne, Independent Scholar; Editor-at-Large, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles
Jon Papernick, MFA, Senior Writer-In-Residence, Emerson College
Dr. David Patterson, Hillel Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies, Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Andrew Pessin, Professor of Philosophy, Connecticut College
Dr. Joshua Schwartz, Emeritus Professor of Historical Geography of Ancient Israel, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel and, Chair, Board of Directors, Israel Antiquities Authority
Dr. Andrey Shlyakhter, Postdoctoral Fellow, Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University
Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich, Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies, Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union
Dr. Saba Soomekh, Independent Scholar
Dr. Nehemia Stern, Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ariel University of Samaria
Dr. Gil Troy, Professor, Distinguished Scholar of North American History at McGill University
Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf, Associate Professor, Talmud Department, Bar Ilan University

*Any referenced titles or affiliations are included for identification purposes only. Signing this statement reflects personal views; we are not speaking for or in the name of any university, department, or program.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADDING YOUR SIGNATURE:
If you would like to sign the mission statement, please email us at: jsznetwork@gmail.com Please write that you would like your signature added.
You must include, besides your name, your institutional affiliation. If you would like to include your title (associate professor, postdoctoral researcher, etc.) then that is fine as well. If you are presently unaffiliated with a university or a think tank or a Jewish publication of record, but otherwise meet the criteria for membership (hold a doctorate and do Jewish-related scholarly/educational work) then you may write “independent scholar.” I would recommend putting Dr. Before your name if applicable. See the above signatures.
And if you are affiliated with an institution, please email us from your institutional email address.

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/bashaaracil/posts/5102724913189818/

Joshua Schwartz

24 June at 12:24  · 

The Jewish Studies Zionist Network Mission Statement The Jewish Studies Zionist Network is composed of scholars and educators in Jewish Studies who affirm that Zionism is a legitimate movement for the national self-determination of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland. As experts in Jewish studies with a commitment to the peace and welfare of all communities in Israel, the world’s sole Jewish State, we reject characterizations of Zionism and Israel that seek to discredit their legitimacy and that judge them according to standards not applied to any other nation. The uncritical use of concepts such as “European settler colonial project,” “genocidal,” “Jewish supremacist,” or “apartheid,” to describe Zionism and Israel is agenda-driven, manipulative, and therefore antithetical to promoting knowledge and scholarship in our communities. Higher education plays a crucial role in shaping the minds and attitudes of younger generations. It is therefore incumbent on higher education to deepen and enhance younger generations’ understanding of the history of Zionism and the Jewish State in ways that do justice to their nuance and complexity. We have no unified position on Israeli or Jewish politics generally, or on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict specifically, other than to uphold the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination and of Israelis to craft their own future. We welcome scholars of all religious, national, and ethnic backgrounds who seek to advance Jewish and Israel studies, and who accept the existence of the State of Israel as a legitimate expression of Jewish peoplehood. Our mission is the following: 1) To reaffirm as scholars and educators intimately familiar with the history of the Jewish people and Zionism, to our colleagues, our students, and the wider community the legitimacy of Zionism as the historical movement of Jewish self-determination and of the State of Israel as a Jewish State in the community of nations. 2) To thwart efforts to demonize Zionism and Israel, via such charges as “apartheid,” “a racist endeavor,” “genocide,” and “Jewish supremacy,” which are driven by ideological rather than scholarly considerations. 3) To foster scholarship in our respective disciplines that gives voice to multiple approaches and perspectives contributing to better intellectual and educational outcomes. 4) To ensure that a safe space exists on college campuses for Jewish students and faculty to express their identities as Jewish Zionists in public, just as this safe space is provided to members of other minority communities

Coordinating Committee* Dr. Jarrod Tanny, Associate Professor and Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History, University of North Carolina Wilmington Dr. Adam L. Fuller, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations, Youngstown State University Dr. Naya Lekht, Independent Scholar

Signatories* Dr. Victoria Aarons, O.R. & Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor of Literature, Trinity University Dr. Baruch Alster, Senior Lecturer, Givat Washington Academic College of Education, Israel Michael Bazyler, JD, Professor of Law and The 1939 Society Scholar in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, Fowler School of Law, Chapman University Dr. Raphael BenLevi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Haifa Dr. Alan L. Berger, Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair in Holocaust Studies, Florida Atlantic University Dr. Moshe Y. Bernstein, Independent Scholar Dr. Corinne E. Blackmer, Professor of English and Judaic Studies, Southern CT State University Dr. Gabriel Noah Brahm, Professor of English and World Literature, Northern Michigan University; Senior Research Fellow, Herzl Institute for the Study of Zionism, University of Haifa Dr. Justin Cammy, Professor of Jewish Studies, World Literatures, and Middle East Studies, Smith College Dr. Ellen Cannon, Professor of Political Science and Jewish Studies at Northeastern Illinois University Dr. Zvi Y. Cohen, Independent Scholar and Educator at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community (High) School Dr. Avram Davis, Independent Scholar Dr. Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and Professor Emerita of Government, Smith College Dr. Stanley Dubinsky, Professor of Linguistics, University of South Carolina Dr. Miriam F. Elman, Associate Professor, Syracuse University Dr. Ari Engelberg, Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem Dr. Norman J.W. Goda, Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies, University of Florida Stanley Goldman, JD, Professor of Law, Founder and Director of The Center for the Study of Law and Genocide, Loyola Marymount University Dr. David Hazony, Independent Scholar Dr. Yoram Hazony, President, The Herzl Institute, Jerusalem Dr. Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished University Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park Dr. David Hirsh, Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London Dr. Motti Inbari, Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Dr. Oleg Ivanov, Independent Scholar Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish, Oranim Academic College of Education, Kiryat Tivon Dr. Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki, Independent Scholar Dr. Nancy Koppelman, American Studies, The Evergreen State College Dr. Phyllis Lassner, Professor Emerita Northwestern University Dr. Berel Dov Lerner, Associate Professor, Western Galilee College Dr. Holli Levitsky, Director of Jewish Studies, Professor of English, Loyola Marymount University Dr. Natan Meir, Lorry I. Lokey Professor of Judaic Studies, Portland State University Dr. David A. Meola, Director of Jewish & Holocaust Studies, Meisler Assistant Professor of History & Jewish Studies, University of South Alabama Dr. Meir Muller, Associate Professor, University of South Carolina Dr. Josef Olmert, Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina Dr. Monica Osborne, Independent Scholar; Editor-at-Large, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles Jon Papernick, MFA, Senior Writer-In-Residence, Emerson College Dr. David Patterson, Hillel Feinberg Distinguished Chair in Holocaust Studies, Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, University of Texas at Dallas Dr. Andrew Pessin, Professor of Philosophy, Connecticut College Dr. Joshua Schwartz, Emeritus Professor of Historical Geography of Ancient Israel, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel and, Chair, Board of Directors, Israel Antiquities Authority Dr. Andrey Shlyakhter, Postdoctoral Fellow, Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies, Tel Aviv University Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich, Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies, Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union Dr. Natan Slifkin, Director, the Biblical Museum of Natural History Dr. Cherryl Smith, Professor Emerita, California State University, Sacramento Dr. Saba Soomekh, Independent Scholar Dr. Nehemia Stern, Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ariel University of Samaria Dr. Gil Troy, Professor, Distinguished Scholar of North American History at McGill University Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf, Associate Professor, Talmud Department, Bar Ilan University *Any referenced titles or affiliations are included for identification purposes only. Signing this statement reflects personal views; we are not speaking for or in the name of any university, department, or program.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADDING YOUR SIGNATURE: If you would like to sign the mission statement, please email us at: jsznetwork@gmail.com Please write that you would like your signature added. You must include, besides your name, your institutional affiliation. If you would like to include your title (associate professor, postdoctoral researcher, etc.) then that is fine as well. If you are presently unaffiliated with a university or a think tank or a Jewish publication of record, but otherwise meet the criteria for membership (hold a doctorate and do Jewish-related scholarly/educational work) then you may write “independent scholar.” I would recommend putting Dr. Before your name if applicable.

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https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/355625

Jewish studies educators start new ‘Zionists’ Alliance’

Over 80 college educators and researchers have established a new alliance advocating balance and combatting bias in Israel education

Israel National News

27.06.2220:50

Over 80 college educators and researchers have established a new alliance advocating balance in Israel education. The Jewish Studies Zionist Network, as it is called, is specifically for individuals within Jewish Studies, Israel Studies, and adjacent fields who believe that academia has become unjustly hostile to Israel. Its mission statement reads, “As experts in Jewish studies with a commitment to the peace and welfare of all communities in Israel, the world’s sole Jewish State, we reject characterizations of Zionism and Israel that seek to discredit their legitimacy and that judge them according to standards not applied to any other nation.”

The network was founded by Jarrod Tanny, associate professor of Jewish History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Explaining why he started the movement, Tanny said, “As a professor of Jewish history I grew troubled at the extent to which anti-Zionism has become pervasive in academia. The animosity directed against ‘Zionists’ and Israel on college campuses, fueled by frequent condemnatory statements and petitions issued by scholarly associations and departments, BDS resolutions, and ‘Apartheid Week’ events, has led to an alarming uptick in antisemitism. Rather than speaking out against this, numerous Jewish studies scholars have publicly endorsed this trend, or at the very least have looked the other way.”

Also on the coordinating committee are Adam Fuller, associate professor of Politics and International Relations at Youngstown State University, and Naya Lekht, an independent scholar. Fuller said that the network is vital for promoting balance in higher education.

“It is our responsibility as educators to offer diverse perspectives to our students,” he said. “But unfortunately, students are getting a very distorted picture of the Middle East conflict. They aren’t being exposed to Israel’s side of the story. And major academic organizations are going along with it, such as the Middle East Studies Association, which has now officially adopted BDS. It is unbelievable that the most prominent association of scholarship of the region is boycotting scholars and institutions from one of the countries that it is supposedly devoted to studying.”

Lekht highlighted the impact academic anti-Zionism has had on Jewish youth even before they begin college. She said, “If once the epicenter of anti-Zionism was to be found in universities, today Jewish teens encounter anti-Israel bias in the classroom. How did this happen? It happened because for far too long anti-Zionism has remained unchecked in academia. This is why JSZN is such a vital initiative.”

Other than its members’ unified belief that Zionism is a valid political movement and legitimate expression of Jewish peoplehood, the network is non-partisan and has a politically diverse array of signatories. The mission statement states, “We have no unified position on Israeli or Jewish politics generally, or on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict specifically, other than to uphold the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination and of Israelis to craft their own future.

“We believe that the double standard to which Israel is held in the academy has not only stifled scholarship but has created a climate of fear among faculty and students who wish to express their Jewish identity – a Zionist Jewish identity – in public,” Tanny said. “So we created the Jewish Studies Zionist Network to show the world that there are scholars and professors of Jewish and Israel studies who will no longer remain silent. We are speaking out, collectively, as experts in the history and culture of the Jewish people and Israel.”

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https://www.jns.org/more-than-80-scholars-form-group-to-fight-anti-zionism-on-campus/

More than 80 scholars form group to fight anti-Zionism on campus

“We believe that the double standard to which Israel is held in the academy has not only stifled scholarship, but has created a climate of fear among faculty and students,” Jarrod Tanny, associate professor of Jewish history, said.

(June 29, 2022 / JNS) 

More than 80 scholars of Jewish and Israel studies have joined together to form an initiative to combat on-campus anti-Zionism: The Jewish Studies Zionist Network.

The organization is the brainchild of Jarrod Tanny, an associate professor of Jewish history at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

The scholars who signed up for the initiative include Israeli political philosopher and author of The Virtue of Nationalism Yoram Hazony of the Herzl Institute, the University of Florida Holocaust historian Norman J.W. Goda and Georgetown University Center for Jewish Civilization Director Bruce Hoffman.

“As experts in Jewish studies with a commitment to the peace and welfare of all communities in Israel, the world’s sole Jewish state, we reject characterizations of Zionism and Israel that seek to discredit their legitimacy and that judge them according to standards not applied to any other nation,” the scholars wrote in an open letter published on the project’s website.

Tanny said that he founded the network after being “troubled at the extent to which anti-Zionism has become pervasive in academia,” according to a news release.

“We believe that the double standard to which Israel is held in the academy has not only stifled scholarship, but has created a climate of fear among faculty and students who wish to express their Jewish identity—a Zionist Jewish identity—in public,” Tanny said, adding that the network would “show the world that there are scholars and professors of Jewish and Israel studies who will no longer remain silent.”

The organization has a four-part mission to achieve its goal, according to its website. The plan includes stressing to the academic community that Israel is a legitimate state and that Zionism is a national self-determination movement like any other.

To that end, the network seeks to combat academic portrayals of Israel and Zionism that rely on misinterpretations of social science concepts such as apartheid, genocide and racial supremacy.

“It is our responsibility as educators to offer diverse perspectives to our students,” said Youngstown State University Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations Adam Fuller, who is also a member of the group’s coordinating committee.

The organization also seeks to ensure that campuses remain a “safe space” for students and scholars who identify as Jews and Zionists, according to its website.

Boycott Attempt of BGU Honorary Doctorate to European Commissioner

 

 

23.06.22

Editorial Note

Last week, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, received an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Beer-Sheva.  

BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz told her, “We bestow the doctorate honoris causa upon individuals who exemplify the characteristics that we wish to hold up as inspiration to our students, and as role models for our own community of scientists, scholars and supporters… President von der Leyen, when I look at your myriad accomplishments, and your priorities, I am pleased to see some of the directions that we as a university have also committed to. Your “roadmap for a green transition” to battling climate change is perfectly aligned with our new Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change. For over 50 years we’ve been learning how to live in our desert, and now the world comes to learn from our experience,” he said.

“I feel honored and humbled by this recognition,” President von der Leyen began her speech, “The fact that the honorary doctorate comes from this prestigious institution, the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, has a very special meaning for me. This is not only because the list of your doctors honoris causa is truly impressive – from Simone Veil to Yitzhak Rabin. There is also a more personal reason for me. I am a European woman of German nationality. And no longer than 80 years ago, millions of Jewish people were murdered by Germans, in the greatest crime of all human history. We, in Germany, take historical and enduring responsibility for this inhuman disruption of civilization. It is an indelible stain on my country’s conscience, which we must never and will never forget. So, it feels like a miracle that a German like me is welcomed and honored here, in the State of Israel, as a friend among friends, only a few generations after the Shoah. But it is no miracle. My being here is the consequence of a choice made by the State of Israel, and by one man above all: The great David Ben-Gurion. It was he who took the first, historic step towards reconciliation with the Germans. He believed that the best way to honor the victims’ memory was to build a better future… Europe and Israel are bound to be friends and allies. Because the history of Europe is the history of the Jewish people… Today, almost 80 years after the Shoah, Jewish life in Europe is thriving again… And yet, European Jewish life is also embattled and endangered. Antisemitism has not disappeared. It still poisons our societies. And antisemitic attacks happen, today, in Europe. It is a new threat but it is the same old evil. Every new generation must take responsibility so that the past does not return. This is why, I have put the fight against antisemitism and fostering Jewish life in Europe at the core of the European Commission’s agenda. Our democracy flourishes if Jewish life in Europe flourishes, too. Throughout the centuries, the Jewish people have been ‘a light unto the nations’. And they shall be a light unto Europe for many centuries ahead.”

 

Not surprisingly, the Palestinian BDS movement did not sit idle. In response, Dr. Ramy Abdu, a Palestinian financial expert and the chairman of Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, a pro-Palestinian human rights group based in Geneva, sent a letter to the European Parliament demanding that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen withdraw her acceptance of an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University. The letter charged that von der Leyen’s “acceptance of the BGU doctorate signals condoning the role Israeli academic institutions play in the occupation of Palestine.”

 

Abdu also demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to von der Leyen’s acceptance of the doctorate. The Euro-Med Monitor questioned whether the EU Commission was “aware of the moral and political controversies surrounding the university.”

 

The letter addressed Marie Arena, the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Chair. It detailed alleged “BGU’s complicity in enhancing the Israeli army’s capabilities and increasing its recruits” of the army’s function as an “instrument of systematic oppression, and its violations against Palestinians.” This is a “whitewashing the role Israeli academic institutions play in supporting the occupation of Palestinians and collaborating with the Israeli army despite its track record of egregious human rights violations.” Euro-Med Monitor argued that “in collaborating with Israel’s army and providing support to its soldiers, BGU can be accused of aligning its policies and practices with the Israeli state’s restrictions on academic freedom and the right to protest and voice dissent,” Ramy Abdu wrote.

 

Interestingly, in September 2020, Benny Gantz, the Israeli Defense Minister, signed four seizure and restriction orders related to Hamas funds and property in Gaza and worldwide. It included an order restricting the transfer of property and funds to Ramy Abdu, who also serves as a member of the board of IPALESTINE, an organization operating in Britain that belongs to Hamas, which was designated as a terror organization in Israel. Also, According to another website, “The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch,” created to monitor the Global Muslim Brotherhood, Ramy Abdu was formerly the Regional Director of the Council of European Palestinian Relations, the pro-Hamas lobbying group for the European Union. Before that, Abdu was known as the spokesperson for the European Campaign To End The Siege On Gaza, a central player in the two Hamas-backed Gaza flotillas of 2010 and 2011. 


Hamas’s activities in Europe did not go unnoticed. In 2014, a report published by the Israel Security Agency (aka the Shabak) stated that “Hamas intends to create an alternative civilian infrastructure that will enable the replacement of the PA’s secular government with an Islamic government whose ideology will be similar to that of Hamas… The Dawa network – Hamas’ socio-economic infrastructure – is a central element in Hamas’ activity and a principal method employed to achieve its goals… Hamas’ goal is to expand and strengthen its status among the Palestinians, bring them closer to its ideology, including the notion of Jihad against Israel, and recruiting on its behalf supporters and partakers in terrorist activities.” According to the Shabak, some of the charities in Hamas’ global financial network are: Interpal – Palestinian Relief and Development Fund in Britain; The Al Aqsa Fund and its European branches; Le Comité de Benfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP) – France; Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) – USA (until the US announced it an unlawful foundation and stopped its activity); The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) – Saudi Arabia; Many other foundations in the Gulf Emirates. Specific Hamas societies in Europe include Sweden (Sanabil Al Aqsa), Denmark (The Al Aqsa Fund), Netherlands (The Al Aqsa Fund, Al Israa Foundation), Switzerland (ASP, SHS), Italy (ABSPP: Associazione Beneficia di Solidarieta col Popolo Palestinese), Austria (PHV: Palestinian Humanitarian Association, PVO), Belgium (The Al Aqsa Fund), the report stated.

 

Despite the frantic lobbying, von der Leyen received the honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva without interference. In her acceptance speech, she praised Israel as a democracy in an autocratic region and pointed out BGU’s important work in environmental research, notably greening the environment. Von der Leyen also focused on three challenges that Europe faces, “The first is the challenge stemming from autocracies, the second is climate change, and the third is democratic backsliding. The most direct challenge comes from authoritarian regimes outside our borders.” 

While the two challenges she mentioned focus on autocracies and democratic backsliding, in reality, the EU generously supports the undemocratic Palestinian regime. According to a media report, just a day before the honorary doctorate award, the European Commission voted to release some delayed $220 million funding to the Palestinian Authority. Sums which were held up in a fight over whether to condition the aid on reforms to PA textbooks. The decision to release the funding came as von der Leyen began her three-day visit to Israel and the West Bank. 

According to the media, the European Union is the PA’s largest donor. It helps to pay the salaries of the PA’s many civil servants, constituting a significant chunk of the West Bank economy. Between 2008 and 2020, Brussels sent around $2.5 billion in direct budget support to the PA. 

 

While ostensibly the honorary doctorate ceremony has a “happy ending,” the episode highlights how Islamist groups have penetrated academic, human rights, and political circles in Europe and beyond. As well known, Hamas and its junior partner, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, are terror groups with strong links to Iran. 

References

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen awarded Honorary Doctorate from BGU

Jun. 14, 2022

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen received an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, on the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva. 

“We bestow the doctorate honoris causa upon individuals who exemplify the characteristics that we wish to hold up as inspiration to our students, and as role models for our own community of scientists, scholars and supporters,” Ben-Gurion University of the Negev President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz told her. 

“President von der Leyen, when I look at your myriad accomplishments, and your priorities, I am pleased to see some of the directions that we as a university have also committed to. Your “roadmap for a green transition” to battling climate change is perfectly aligned with our new Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change. For over 50 years we’ve been learning how to live in our desert, and now the world comes to learn from our experience. 

“And your long-term commitment to women’s rights, gay marriage and an inclusive democratic society is built into the DNA of our university, which sees its mission as building a shared academic society that uses higher education as a tool for societal transformation,” he said during the ceremony. 

“I feel honoured and humbled by this recognition,” President von der Leyen began, “The fact that the honorary doctorate comes from this prestigious institution, the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, has a very special meaning for me. This is not only because the list of your doctors honoris causa is truly impressive – from Simone Veil to Yitzhak Rabin. There is also a more personal reason for me. I am a European woman of German nationality. And no longer than 80 years ago, millions of Jewish people were murdered by Germans, in the greatest crime of all human history. We, in Germany, take historical and enduring responsibility for this inhuman disruption of civilisation. It is an indelible stain on my country’s conscience, which we must never and will never forget. So, it feels like a miracle that a German like me is welcomed and honoured here, in the State of Israel, as a friend among friends, only a few generations after the Shoah. 

“But it is no miracle. My being here is the consequence of a choice made by the State of Israel, and by one man above all: The great David Ben-Gurion. It was he who took the first, historic step towards reconciliation with the Germans. He believed that the best way to honour the victims’ memory was to build a better future.” 

Turning to Jewish life and history in Europe, “The very reason why the European Union was founded lies in two simple words: Never again. As long as I can remember, I was convinced of two very simple facts. First, there is no Europe without European Jews. And second, Europe and Israel are bound to be friends and allies. Because the history of Europe is the history of the Jewish people. Europe is Simone Veil and Hannah Arendt. Europe is Mahler and Kafka, and Freud. Europe is the values of the Talmud, the Jewish sense of personal responsibility, of justice and solidarity. 

“Today, almost 80 years after the Shoah, Jewish life in Europe is thriving again. Countries like Portugal and Austria are rediscovering their Jewish heritage. I see it in Brussels, too. Just a few months ago, I had the honour to light the Chanukah Menorah in the heart of the European quarter. What an experience. And yet, European Jewish life is also embattled and endangered. Anti-Semitism has not disappeared. It still poisons our societies. And anti-Semitic attacks happen, today, in Europe. It is a new threat but it is the same old evil. Every new generation must take responsibility so that the past does not return. This is why, I have put the fight against anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life in Europe at the core of the European Commission’s agenda. Our democracy flourishes if Jewish life in Europe flourishes, too. Throughout the centuries, the Jewish people have been ‘a light unto the nations’. And they shall be a light unto Europe for many centuries ahead.” 

Shifting to the threat to democracies and Russian aggression, “Today more than ever before, democracies like Europe and Israel should come closer together. Not because our democracies are perfect. They are not. No democracy is. Democracies offer the environment in which diverse societies can thrive. And they are challenged like never before. And we can help each other overcome these challenges. Together, we can get one step closer to the ideals of our founding fathers and mothers. 

“Russia’s aggression of Ukraine is a war against democracy itself. It is a war against the idea that the people of Ukraine can take sovereign decisions about their own future. Year after year, Ukraine’s diverse and vibrant civil society has pushed for positive change and has strengthened the country’s democratic institutions. This is exactly what the Kremlin is fighting against. It could not be more symbolic that the first Russian bombs on Kyiv fell right by the gate of a Holocaust memorial and that the Russian propaganda is built on the abominable rhetoric of ‘denazification’ against a democratic Ukraine. We see with great worry the age-old threat of scapegoating the Jewish people in times of war. I know that Israel has helped Ukraine with tons of humanitarian aid and a field hospital, and you have welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to your land. 

“In a war against democracy, we all have a stake. And for us, Europeans, the stakes could not be higher. The Kremlin has used our dependency on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us. And since the beginning of the war, Russia has deliberately cut off its gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland, and Dutch and Danish companies, in retaliation for our support of Ukraine. But the Kremlin’s behaviour only strengthens our resolve to break free of our dependence on Russian fossil fuels.” 

President von der Leyen highlighted two future projects with Israel, “For instance, we are exploring ways to step up our energy cooperation with Israel. We have two major projects in preparation: The world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable, connecting Israel with Cyprus and Greece. This will eventually come from renewable sources. And a gas and clean hydrogen pipeline in the Eastern Mediterranean. This is an investment in both Europe’s and Israel’s energy security. And this infrastructure will also contribute to decarbonising our energy mix. It is a great example of democracies sticking together not only in times of conflict but mostly to fight this huge enemy, the climate crisis.” 

She stressed the climate crisis and the role Ben-Gurion University and Israel could play, “Climate change is indeed the second great challenge that our democracies must face. And no one understands this better than you, here in the Negev. David Ben-Gurion believed that here in the Negev, Israel’s creativity and its pioneering spirit would be tested. He always spoke about ‘the duty to make the desert bloom’. And that is exactly what you have done ever since. As we can see in your School of Sustainability and Climate Change. I marvel at how you are testing new building materials that can withstand the desert heat, nature-based solutions, and how you have managed to adapt food crops to the desert climate. With the looming food crisis, we know that these will be the solutions that will determine if countries have independent food production capabilities. You have, quite literally, made the desert bloom. Today, the solutions that you have been researching for decades can change the life of millions across the world.” 

President von der Leyen delivered a ringing endorsement of democracy, especially its ability to make corrections in its path, “We must strengthen our democratic way of life every single day. We must nurture our openness, and our diversity. We must defend the freedom of our media, the independence of our judges, the equality of all people before the law. Keeping democracy in good health is hard work. But it is worthwhile work. Imperfect though it may be, this is the best thing about democracy. Autocrats cannot admit mistakes. Democracies can always improve and correct. Because we, the people, can always make it better. Because we, the people, are the ultimate guardians of democracy,” she told the audience. 

Link to the full text of President von der Leyen’s speech 

 

The scroll President von der Leyen received reads: 

“In recognition of an exceptional stateswoman, President of the European Commission, guiding the European Union towards a promising future by promoting democracy, peace and unity among its members; in acknowledgement of her inspiring leadership, confidently steering the Union through upheavals and storms, including during the current war on the continent; with appreciation for the extraordinary skills she has applied in service of the public throughout multiple cabinet appointments in Germany, including as federal Minister of Defense, Minister of Family Affairs and Youth and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs; with sincere regard for her contributions to Germany’s security and social justice, and her efforts on behalf of its women, children and youths in particular; in gratitude to a true friend and ally, for her uncompromising efforts to eradicate antisemitism and ensure the wellbeing of Jews throughout Europe, as well as her commitment to enhancing the standing of the State of Israel and deepening its ties with the EU; and with great esteem for her dedication to environmental protection and economic growth, and for her dauntless perseverance in advancing equal rights and opportunities for all people and for future generations.”

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EU Commission President must return Ben-Gurion University honorary doctorateAR

20 Jun 2022

Geneva – In an urgent letter to the European Parliament on Friday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor demanded that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen withdraw her acceptance of an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Israel.

The Geneva-based human rights organization explained that von der Leyen’s acceptance of the BGU doctorate signals condoning the role Israeli academic institutions play in the ever-entrenched occupation of Palestine, as evidenced by BGU’s deep and multifaceted relations with the Israeli military and its discriminatory practices against pro-Palestinian activists.

The letter, addressed to Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Chair Marie Arena, details at length BGU’s complicity in enhancing the Israeli army’s capabilities and increasing its recruits—its condoning of the army’s function as an instrument of systematic oppression, and its violations against Palestinians.

The list of examples provided by Euro-Med Monitor includes the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) being one of BGU’s main donors; BGU being the first Israeli university to create a nearby “Advanced Technologies Park” for the benefit of the IDF; its constructing a new “IDF Technology Campus”; and its incentivising Israelis to join the military by providing them with technology-related education to enhance their quality of service in Israeli intelligence units.

    It is wholly unjustifiable to contribute to whitewashing the role Israeli academic institutions play in supporting the occupation of Palestinians and collaborating with the Israeli army despite its track record of egregious human rights violations   

Ramy Abdu, Chairman of Euro-Med Monitor

The letter argues that “BGU offers space, facilities, education, and research collaboration opportunities to IDF units implicated in violations against Palestinians”, including the signal intelligence Unit 8200, which maintains covert listening units in the Palestinian territories that gather people’s private information with the intent to abuse Palestinians.

Euro-Med Monitor has documented further examples of how BGU provides financial aid and scholarships to active duty and reserve soldiers, in order to encourage Israelis to join the army. During the 2008 war on Gaza—also known as Operation Cast Lead—in which Israel killed about 926 Palestinian civilians, BGU offered scholarships and extra tuition to students serving in active combat units. The university similarly offered a special grant for each day of service to students who went on reserve duty, in addition to other benefits.

“Such exclusive benefits for Israelis serving the army not only provide incentive for enlisting in the IDF, including units in the occupied territories, but also discriminate against Arab citizens of Israel who do not serve in the IDF”, the letter reads.

Moreover, Euro-Med Monitor argues that “in collaborating with Israel’s army and providing support to its soldiers, BGU can be accused of aligning its policies and practices with the Israeli state’s restrictions on academic freedom and the right to protest and voice dissent.”

The letter provides multiple examples of the university or its personnel cracking down on pro-Palestinian speech, including reprimanding students for protesting the Israeli state’s actions, as well as prohibiting or restricting certain pro-Palestinian activities. The letter also points out BGU’s collaborating with the Weitzmann Institute, Israel’s Public Affairs Department, and the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to counteract pro-Palestinian activities abroad, such as Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) in the UK and elsewhere.

“It is wholly unjustifiable to contribute to whitewashing the role Israeli academic institutions play in supporting the occupation of Palestinians and collaborating with the Israeli army despite its track record of egregious human rights violations”, said Euro-Med Monitor Chairman Ramy Abdu. “The EU Commission President’s acceptance of Ben-Gurion University’s honorary doctorate gives a stamp of approval to BGU’s complicity and support for the IDF”.

Euro-Med Monitor also demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to von der Leyen’s acceptance of the doctorate and whether the EU Commission is aware of the moral and political controversies surrounding the university.

Full letter

image.png
Subject: Protesting the EU Commission President’s acceptance of Ben Gurion
University’s honorary doctorate
EU Parliament,
Bâtiment Paul Henri Spaak
Rue Wiertz 60, 1047
Bruxelles, Belgium
email: maria.arena@europarl.europa.eu
H.E. MEP Maria Arena, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights
19 June 2022
Dear MEP Arena,
I am writing, on behalf of Euro-Med Monitor, regarding the EU Commission
President Ursula von der Leyen’s acceptance of an honorary doctorate from the Ben
Gurion University (BGU) in Israel last week. We fear that this could regrettably
signal condoning the role Israeli academic institutions, particularly BGU, play in the
ever-entrenched occupation of Palestinians. We believe that Ms. Von der Leyen
should return the honorary doctorate to BGU.
BGU and the Israeli military complex are deeply intertwined, where the former is
strongly complicit in enhancing the army’s capabilities and increasing its recruits
while condoning its systematic oppression and violations against Palestinians.
Aiding and Collaborating with Israel’s Army
In a clear example of collaborations and resource sharing between the University
and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), BGU has Israel’s first technology park situated
on a university campus. The park is divided into civilian and military sections, with
a portion set aside to house a government-developed training facility for the IDF.
The BGU technology park also houses Intelligence, Communications and Training
bases of the IDF and has served to initiate the transfer of major army bases from
the center of Israel into the Negev.
In 2019, Israel’s Defense Ministry and BGU inaugurated the first building of the IDF
Technology Campus in Be’er-Sheva, next to the BGU Advanced Technologies Park.
This is part of a project aimed at building a 150,000 square meters campus that
would serve the needs of thousands of soldiers from the most elite IDF units, which
according to IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Itzik Cohen, would have “the ability to reinforce
the military’s operational capabilities,” and “turn the Negev into Israel’s cyber
capital.”
The year before, Israel’s government allocated $15 million to Ben-Gurion University
to specifically accommodate and absorb thousands of active Israeli soldiers into
technology-related subjects, as the IDF continues to transfer it technology units to
the Negev region, where the university is located.
The IDF’s technology units include the Negev-based Unit 8200, which specializes
in collecting signal intelligence (SIGINT) and code decryption. Unit 8200 is known
for maintaining covert listening units in the Palestinian territories, which in 2014,
prompted 43 veterans of the unit to sign a protest letter decrying the 8200 unit’s
abusive gathering of Palestinians’ private information.
In that sense, not only is BGU offering space and facilities to IDF units implicated
in violations against Palestinians, but BGU is also working with the Israeli defense
establishment to incentivize Israeli students who undertake academic studies while
serving in IDF intelligence and computer corps to enroll in technology-related
subjects to enhance their qualities and expertise during their military service.
Providing Exclusive and Discriminatory Benefits to IDF Soldiers
Furthermore, BGU has traditionally aided and provided academic scholarships and
support Israeli army reservist students and active-duty soldiers. For instance,
during Israel’s 2008 war on Gaza, known as operation Cast Lead, in which Israel
killed about 926 Palestinian civilians, BGU offered scholarships and extra tuition to
students who served in active combat units. The University similarly offered a
special grant for each day of service to students who went on reserve duty, in
addition to other benefits.
BGU provides “Application Fees Refund” to students who possess a “Certificate of
Fighting” issued by the IDF. The university is one of higher education institutes
falling on the periphery of the Negev, Galilee, Judea and Samaria that provides the
first schooling year free to students who have completed military or national service
in the IDF. It also provides a specialized fast-tracked program to Israeli Airforce
Pilots to obtain bachelor’s degrees in one year.
Such exclusive benefits to Israelis serving the army not only provide incentive for
enlisting in the IDF, including in the occupied territories, but they also discriminate
against Arab citizens of Israel who do not serve in the IDF.
These issues have prompted the University of Johannesburg in 2011 to sever its
ties with BGU after a lengthy investigation has shown damning evidence of BGU’s
institutional complicity and active collaboration with the Israeli occupation, its
military and apartheid practices.
Silencing Legitimate Criticism of Israeli Actions and Policies
While collaborating with Israel’s army and providing support to its soldiers, BGU
has been accused of aligning its policies and practices with the Israeli state’s
restrictions on academic freedom and the right to protest and voice dissent.
For instance, in 2009, BGU Professor Neve Gordon, who then headed the politics
department, faced opposition from the University’s president, Professor Rivka
Carmi, for supporting the non-violent boycott of Israeli companies and institutions
which profit from or are complicit in the Israeli occupation. Professor Carmi argued
that Professor Gordon’s views threaten the existence of BGU as a “proudly Zionist
Institution” and compromise its sources of funding, and consequently worked on
passing a resolution through BGU’s senate that sets boundaries on lecturers’
freedom of expression. The said resolution states that “the university is entitled to
control the lecturers’ political or religious expressions, even though they are part
of their civilian liberties, so that teaching and research will not be used for the sake
of political or religious goals.” This sets a prohibition on lecturers that prevents
them from voicing their political opinions during classes, as well as using their
university titles when speaking publicly about politics or their personal opinions.
In late 2010, two BGU students were reprimanded by a disciplinary tribunal for
taking part in a protest over Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom flotilla that was
seeking to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. The BGU tribunal stated that it would
suspend the students if they repeated their actions. In December of the same year,
BGU prohibited students from the “Solidarity Against Fascism” student organization
from distributing flyers that criticized a series of proposed Israel laws while other
Israeli universities had permitted the flyers to be distributed. Furthermore, multiple
BGU students have complained about the university’s security guards
photographing and intrusively monitoring anti-occupation political activists.
Finally, BGU has been collaborating with the Weitzmann Institute and the Public
and Diaspora Affairs department in Israel to counteract the activities of Israeli
Apartheid Week (IAW) in Britain. For instance, in 2011 BGU was amongst
stakeholders that funded a student delegation to go together with local pro-Israeli
groups and Israeli representatives in Britain to counter the IAW week of activities.
In light of such concerning facts and many other examples of BGU’s complicity and
active collaboration with the Israeli military and occupation, we demand that the
European Parliament exerts pressure on Ms. von der Leyen to return the honorary
doctorate to BGU as a statement of support for Palestinian rights and opposition to
their oppression. We also demand that you question the commission over the
circumstances that led to Ms. von der Leyen’s acceptance of the doctorate in the
first place.
Please accept the assurances of our highest consideration.
Kindest regards,
Dr. Ramy Abdu
Euro-Med Monitor Chairman
Ramy@euromedmonitor.org
===================================

Speech by President von der Leyen at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

 14.06.2022  
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, Israel

 Press and information team of the Delegation to ISRAEL

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave a speech at Ben-Gurion University where she received an honorary doctorate.

Thank you very much, mazel tov,

President Chamovitz,

Professor Hames,

Professor Pardo,

Professor Mizrahi,

Excellencies,

Dear faculty,

Dear students,

Shalom,

I feel honoured and humbled by this recognition. The fact that the honorary doctorate comes from this prestigious institution, the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, has a very special meaning for me. This is not only because the list of your doctors honoris causa is truly impressive – from Simone Veil, as we have seen, to Yitzhak Rabin. There is also a more personal reason for me. I am a European woman of German nationality. And not longer than 80 years ago, millions of Jewish people were murdered by Germans, in the greatest crime of all human history. We, in Germany, take historical and enduring responsibility for this inhuman disruption of civilisation. It is an indelible stain on my country’s conscience, which we must never and will never forget. So it seems like a miracle that a German like me is welcomed and honoured here, in the State of Israel, as a friend among friends, only a few generations after the Shoah.

But it is no miracle. My being here is the consequence of a choice made by the State of Israel, and by one man above all: The great David Ben-Gurion. It was he who took the first, historic step towards reconciliation with the Germans. He believed that the best way to honour the victim’s memory was to build a better future. It is also to the credit of David Ben-Gurion that my country looked the victims of our crimes in the eyes for the first time. The young German democracy grew stronger because of its developing friendship with the new State of Israel. We faced our guilt and our responsibility. And all this while the European project was taking its first steps. The very reason why the European Union was founded lies in two simple words: Never again. A new generation of Germans was raised with that premise, including myself. I can say, without reservation, that I would not be here today if it was not for David Ben-Gurion.

As long as I can think, I was convinced of two very simple facts. First, there is no Europe without European Jews. And second, Europe and Israel are bound to be friends and allies. Because the history of Europe is the history of the Jewish people. Europe is Simone Veil and Hannah Arendt. Europe is Mahler and Kafka, and Freud. Europe is the values of the Talmud, the Jewish sense of personal responsibility, of justice and of solidarity.

Today, almost 80 years after the Shoah, Jewish life in Europe is thriving again. Countries like Portugal and Austria are rediscovering their Jewish heritage. I see it in Brussels, too. As the little film showed: Just a few months ago, I had the honour to light the Chanukah Menorah in the heart of the European quarter. What an experience. And yet, European Jewish life is also embattled and endangered. Anti-Semitism has not disappeared. It still poisons our societies. And anti-Semitic attacks happen today in Europe. It is a new threat, but it is the same old evil. Every new generation must take responsibility so that the past does not return. This is why I have put the fight against anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life in Europe at the core of the European Commission’s agenda. Our democracy flourishes if Jewish life in Europe flourishes, too. Throughout the centuries, the Jewish people have been ‘a light unto the nations’. And they shall be a light unto Europe for many centuries ahead.

We have more in common than the geography would suggest. Our shared culture and values have created a deep connection between Europe and Israel. And I am not just talking about Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest and the Champions League. The strongest bond we share is our belief in democracy and in democratic values. And here again, Ben-Gurion’s legacy is enduring. Ben-Gurion believed that Israel’s strength depends on its democratic institutions. And only in a democracy, would citizens feel compelled to take responsibility for their common home. He is so right. Thanks to this conviction, the State of Israel has flourished ever since. You have become a prosperous nation, even in the most challenging of circumstances and in a complicated region. You championed women’s rights in unlikely times, and Golda Meir’s leadership inspired women across the world. Me, as a young girl, too. Your freedom of thought has turned a small country of just a few million into a global trailblazer for science and innovation. And democracy has strengthened our special bond of friendship through the decades. Today, more than ever before, democracies like Europe and Israel should come closer together. Not because our democracies are perfect. They are not. No democracy is. Democracies offer the environment in which a diverse society can thrive. And they are challenged like never before. And we can help each other to overcome these challenges. So together, we can get one step closer to the ideals of our founding fathers and mothers.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I would like to focus briefly on three of these challenges. The first is the challenge stemming from autocracies, the second is climate change, and the third is democratic backsliding. The most direct of these challenges comes from authoritarian regimes outside our borders. And indeed, what we witness in these days, Russia’s aggression of Ukraine, is a war against democracy itself. It is a war against the idea that the people of Ukraine can take sovereign decisions about their own future. Year after year, Ukraine’s diverse and vibrant civil society has pushed for positive change and has strengthened the country’s democratic institutions. This is exactly what the Kremlin is fighting against. It could not be more symbolic that the first Russian bombs on Kyiv fell right by the gate of a Holocaust memorial and that the Russian propaganda is built on the abominable rhetoric of ‘denazification’ against a democratic Ukraine. We see with great worry the age-old threat of scapegoating the Jewish people in times of war. I know that Israel has helped Ukraine with tonnes of humanitarian aid and a field hospital, and you have welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees to your land.

In a war against democracy, we all have a stake. And for us, Europeans, the stakes could not be higher. The Kremlin has used our dependency on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us. And since the beginning of the war, Russia has deliberately cut off its gas supplies to Poland, to Bulgaria, to Finland, to Dutch companies, to Danish companies, in retaliation for our support to Ukraine. But the Kremlin’s behaviour only strengthened our resolve to break free of our dependency on Russian fossil fuels. For instance, we are now exploring ways to step up our energy cooperation with Israel. We have two major projects in preparation: The world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable, connecting Israel with Cyprus and Greece. This will over time be electrification from renewable energies. That is where the investment has to go into. You have an abundance of these natural resources to produce renewable energy. And the second is a gas and clean hydrogen pipeline in the Eastern Mediterranean. This is an investment in both Europe’s and Israel’s energy security. And this infrastructure will also contribute to decarbonising our energy mix. It is a great example of democracies sticking together not only in times of conflict but mostly to fight this huge enemy we have, and that is climate change. This is the big looming crisis in the background. And we have to take all our knowledge, all our engineering and entrepreneurial spirit that we have to innovate, to bring about the innovative technologies, to work to fight climate change, to make this world a better place, and to hand it over to our children with still a spring, a summer, a fall and a winter to experience.

Climate change is the great challenge that our democracies are fighting. And no one understands that better than you, here in the Negev. David Ben-Gurion believed that here in the Negev, Israel’s creativity and its pioneering spirit would be tested, as he said. He always spoke about ‘the duty to make the desert bloom’. And that is exactly what you have done ever since. And I have listened to what I was told about this university, as we can see in your School of Sustainability and Climate Change. I marvel at how you are testing new building materials that can withstand the desert heat – nature-based solutions – and how you have managed to adapt food crops to the desert climate. With the looming food crisis, we know that these will be the technologies that will make the difference whether we will master the food crisis and over time have independent production in the vulnerable countries, or not. You have with all that, quite literally, made the desert bloom. Today, the solutions that you have been researching for decades can change the life of millions across the world.

A few weeks ago, I was in Davos, where President Herzog spoke exactly about that. It was an important speech, which resonated well beyond our region. President Herzog called for a new alliance – and I quote – ‘to shape not only a new Middle East, but a renewable Middle East. A Middle East that thrives as a global hub of sustainable solutions in food, water and health, and as a source of solar energy to Europe, Asia and Africa.’ I could not agree more with his vision. For decades, Europe and Israel have cooperated closely on science and innovation. Just last December, Israel joined the EU’s massive research and innovation programme. It is called Horizon Europe and has a budget of almost EUR 100 billion. It is now time to put our cooperation at the service of the ones who need it most, and at the service of the fight against climate change.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The third and final challenge to democracy that I would like to address is perhaps the most subtle one. This challenge is within. It is the risk of backsliding that all our democracies face. Democracy is necessarily a work in progress. It must be exercised and renewed, each and every day. Each of our democracies is different and unique. But ultimately, democracy in all its forms comes down to the same thing. As Ben-Gurion always said: ‘The outstanding attribute of democracy is not government for the people. It is government by the people.’ Democracy gives people a voice. It gives them the power to change things with their vote. In democracies, we even fight for other people’s freedom to disagree with us. The freedom to speak your mind; the freedom to change your mind. The freedom to be yourself – so that if you are different from the majority, you are always equal before the law. And this is what binds democracies together. The recognition that we are all different, yet all equal.

Today, this is challenged in many ways. Societies are becoming more fragmented. Public debate has become more polarised, and it gets harder and harder to focus on the common good. From the attacks against the rule of law and free press, and free research in some parts of Europe, to minority rights and coexistence here in the region. Democracies must have room for everyone, including those who think differently, who believe differently, or who come from a different region.

Israel is a vibrant democracy, its resilience is admired worldwide. Israeli society is incredibly diverse. For example, I was impressed to learn that over 800 students from the Bedouin community are studying here at the Ben-Gurion University. Israel is a small slice of land where people of all faiths and born on all continents live together. Families who have lived here for generations, and families who have just arrived. Diversity can be an immense strength. Yet the path towards peaceful coexistence is long. And democracy is never accomplished once and for all. This is also true for the European Union. Like other democracies, Europe faces external threats ranging from disinformation to interference in our elections; as well as challenges from within our societies, ranging from nationalism to xenophobia, from revisionism to anti-Semitism. We must strengthen our democracies and democratic way of life every single day. We must nurture our openness, and our diversity. We must defend the freedom of our media, the independence of our judges, the equality of all people before the law. Keeping democracy in good health is hard work. But it is worthwhile work. Imperfect though it might be, this is the best thing about democracy. Autocrats cannot admit mistakes. Democracies can always improve and correct. Because we, the people, can always make it better. Because we, the people, are the ultimate guardians of democracy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On each one of the challenges that I have addressed today, I feel my generation’s responsibility to leave you a better world than the one we inherited. But it is you – the young generation that I see here in the room –, each and every one, who will write the next chapter. It is your energy, your empathy, it is your knowledge, your tolerance, it is your hard work, your love that will shape the world and the democracies of tomorrow. And that makes me confident. Because your generation is also the most educated, the most climate-conscious and the most open-minded the world has ever seen.

Ben-Gurion said in the early days of the State of Israel: ‘Independence does not mean only liberation from a foreign yoke. Independence has a positive meaning, and that is the most important. The positive content of independence means responsibility. It is independence of the heart. And it is independence of the will.’

Long live Europe.

Am Israel Chai.

====================================================


https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/david-cronin/will-dirty-eu-deal-israel-really-tackle-climate-change

Will dirty EU deal with Israel really tackle climate change? 

David Cronin 

15 June 2022

Honorary doctorates sometimes get handed to the least honorable people.

This week the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev gave such an award to Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s head. Based on her acceptance speech, the only degree which von der Leyen really deserved was an “MD” – a master’s in deception.

Von der Leyen had the audacity to present cooperation with Israel as a step towards “decarbonizing our energy mix.”

The “world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable, connecting Israel with Cyprus and Greece” will “over time” result in “electrification from renewable sources,” she claimed. Both the cable and a “gas and clean hydrogen pipeline” for the Eastern Mediterranean were, von der Leyen added, a “great example of democracies sticking together not only in times of conflict but mostly to fight this huge enemy that we have, and that is climate change.”

It would be foolish to trust von der Leyen’s assurances.

The companies taking part in the projects she praised include ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell. All of those firms profit from fossil fuels – the single largest cause of global warming.

Environmental destruction is indeed a huge enemy for humanity. But why would fossil fuel giants want to fight it?

Breaking free?

Von der Leyen portrayed energy cooperation with Israel as a way to “break free of our dependency on Russian fossil fuels.”

Not everyone is so enthusiastic. Victoria Nuland, a US State Department veteran, does not believe that the EastMed pipeline will allow Europe to find a replacement for Russian gas swiftly enough.

Nuland has long been determined to keep Brussels bureaucrats in their place.

Back in 2014, a recording was leaked of Nuland dictating whose opinion mattered about Ukraine. “Fuck the EU,” she said at that time.

Von der Leyen displays the kind of deference which Nuland demands. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the European Commission boss has stressed her “unity” with the US.

By groveling to Israel this week, von der Leyen will surely have pleased Joe Biden’s administration. Her comments involved the kind of duplicity that American politicians have got away with for way too long.

At Ben-Gurion University, she complained about “authoritarian regimes beyond our borders.” To avoid any doubt about which regime she was focusing on, von der Leyen then singled out Russia.

Selective

The EU and the US have a selective approach to authoritarian regimes. Authoritarian regimes which buy Western arms and humor Western businesses are regarded as valued partners.

As part of her trip, von der Leyen signed a trilateral agreement on energy cooperation between the EU, Egypt and Israel.

Under Abdulfattah al-Sisi, Egypt is the epitome of an authoritarian regime. Thousands are now in jail for expressing views with which al-Sisi and his handlers disagree.

Egypt plays an essential role in blockading Gaza, too, but that does not appear to have been on von der Leyen’s agenda.

Von der Leyen also paid a visit this week to Mohammed Shtayyeh from the Palestinian Authority, which detains and tortures Palestinians to keep Israel and the EU happy.

Shtayyeh patted von der Leyen on the back over Europe’s nominal commitment to the search for peace and justice.

That was a sick joke.

For the past year, the EU has withheld funding for Palestinian hospitals. There is nothing just about depriving cancer patients of treatment.

Although von der Leyen has trumpeted a decision allowing the funding to resume, she has never denounced – at least not publicly – the man who blocked the funding, Hungary’s EU commissioner Olivér Várhelyi. Her silence is inexcusable considering that she is Várhelyi’s boss and could exert considerable pressure on him if she so desired.

Cowardly

Palestinian rights barely got a mention from von der Leyen this week. The only notable exception was when she stated that the EU “strongly condemns” the killing of the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

As condemnations go, it was a cowardly one. Von der Leyen did not acknowledge that there was a clear culprit in this killing – the Israeli military.

Nor did von der Leyen say anything this week about the violence of the Israeli police during Abu Akleh’s funeral.

Von der Leyen has described aggression ordered by Vladimir Putin as “barbaric” and called Russia’s occupation of parts of Ukraine “terrifying.”

But she would never dare to use such strong words when alluding to Israel.

That said, every EU criticism of Israel rings hollow. The same police force which baton charged Abu Akleh’s pallbearers participates in EU-financed research activities.

In her Ben-Gurion University speech, von der Leyen praised Israel as a “global trailblazer for science and innovation.”

Eager to embrace the “global trailblazer,” the EU gives research grants to Israel’s weapons industry and even a firm established by a former head of Mossad, the spying and assassination agency.

Von der Leyen did not draw attention to the murky aspects of the EU-Israel partnership this week. Rather, she advocated that the partnership should be put to use in the fight against climate change.

Once again, von der Leyen omitted some important details.

The Israel Electric Corporation is a major participant in the energy projects that von der Leyen endorsed. The same company is actively involved in Israel’s theft and colonization of the West Bank.

If the projects are completed, energy generated in settlements which violate international law will be imported into Europe.

There is something obscene about suggesting that Israel is keen to solve the world’s environmental problems. That kind of obscenity is exactly what we should expect from someone who merits a master’s in deception.

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https://www.timesofisrael.com/eu-releases-aid-to-palestinians-held-up-over-textbook-reform/
EU releases aid to Palestinians held up over textbook reform

European Commission votes to send over $200 million to PA; unclear if funds sent on condition alleged incitement be removed from curricula

By AARON BOXERMAN

13 June 2022, 11:47 pm  

The European Commission voted on Monday night to release some long-delayed funding to the Palestinian Authority, after months in which hundreds of millions of euros were held up in a fight over whether to condition the aid on reforms to PA textbooks, three sources told The Times of Israel.

A vote was held in the European Commission to release aid for the year 2021, reportedly about $220 million in direct budget support to the PA. EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi had proposed conditioning some of the money on reforms to Palestinian textbooks to remove alleged incitement, sparking a months-long battle in Brussels as officials argued for and against.

Palestinian officials claimed the funding was ultimately released without any strings attached. But the vote’s results are not yet public, and the EU’s envoy to the Palestinians declined to comment.

The decision to release the funding comes as EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen begins a three-day visit to Israel and the West Bank. She is set to meet with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh Tuesday in Ramallah.

The European Union, the PA’s largest donor, helps to pay the salaries of the PA’s many civil servants, constituting a significant chunk of the West Bank economy. Between 2008 and 2020, Brussels sent around $2.5 billion in direct budget support to the PA.

But PA textbooks have long been a subject of controversy. Watchdogs have slammed the curricula for allegedly promoting violence and glorifying terrorism. The PA defends them as a faithful reflection of their national narrative.

In late 2021, senior EU Commission official Oliver Varhelyi – a conservative appointee close to Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban – proposed conditioning about $10 million of the EU’s aid to the PA on reforming the textbooks.

Ramallah has been plagued by repeated financial difficulties and dwindling international support, making the loss of EU funding a serious blow.

Both Palestinian and Israeli officials have warned that the PA could face fiscal collapse, in part due to the lack of aid.

Many PA civil servants had to get by on partial or delayed wages for months. Meanwhile, the PA has fallen ever further behind on payments to Israel for electricity and water, and has struggled to pay medical costs for Palestinians seeking treatment in Israeli hospitals.

European states have been debating Varhelyi’s proposal heatedly ever since, with strong feelings for and against it in Brussels. The delay compounded a two-year period in which the funds were already frozen for technical reasons.

“The broader question is: Should such substantive financial aid be linked to one element of the relationship between Europe and the Palestinians?” one European diplomat critical of the proposal said in a February interview.

By contrast, the IMPACT-se nonprofit, which regularly issues reports analyzing Palestinian curricula, hailed the proposal.

“There is now too much opposition from the European Parliament, the Commission, and the Council itself to transfer massive sums of money to the PA while it brazenly continues to produce antisemitic and violent textbooks,” IMPACT-se director Marcus Sheff said in March.

Palestinian Authority officials have repeatedly said that they will not accept conditioning the aid on changes to Palestinian textbooks. The PA has also consistently rejected the accusation that its textbooks promote violence and terrorism.

“We are made to explain and justify what appears in our educational materials, even though it explains our narrative and our national identity. Meanwhile, no one demands to review Israeli curricula and media, so the world can see the true incitement by Israeli institutions,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech to the United Nations last year.

===================================================
https://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/54/1247/467924/War-in-Ukraine/Economy/Facing-gas-;blackmail;-by-Russia,-EU-turns-to-Isra.aspx

Facing gas ‘blackmail’ by Russia, EU turns to Israel: AFP

AFP , Tuesday 14 Jun 2022

The European Union wants to strengthen its energy cooperation with Israel in light of Russia’s use of gas supplies to “blackmail” its members over the Ukraine conflict, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.

“The Kremlin has used our dependency on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us,” she said in a speech at the Ben Gurion University in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

“Since the beginning of the war, Russia has deliberately cut off its gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland, and Dutch and Danish companies, in retaliation for our support to Ukraine.”

But Moscow’s conduct “only strengthens our resolve to break free of our dependence on Russian fossil fuels,” she said, noting the EU was “exploring ways to step up our energy cooperation with Israel,” with work on an underwater power cable and a gas pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean.

Israel exports gas to Egypt, some of which is then liquefied and shipped to Europe. A significant increase in gas exports would require major long-term infrastructure investments.

In talks with Energy Minister Karine Elharrar on Monday, von der Leyen reiterated “the EU need for Israeli gas,” the minister’s spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said there had been talks since March on establishing the legal framework to enable more Israeli gas exports to Europe via Egypt.

Another option would be the EastMed project, a proposal for a seafloor pipeline linking Israel with Cyprus and Greece. But US President Joe Biden’s administration has questioned the viability of the project, given its huge cost and the time it would take to complete.

Another proposal is a pipeline connecting Israel to Turkey.

Israel’s ties with Ankara have thawed in recent months after more than a decade of frosty relations and analysts have said Turkey’s desire for joint energy projects has partly triggered its outreach to Israel.

That pipeline project would cost $1.5 billion and take two to three years to complete, according to estimates.

Israel is estimated to have gas reserves of at least one trillion cubic metres, with domestic use over the next three decades expected to total no more than 300 billion.

Von der Leyen was due to hold talks with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett later Tuesday, before travelling on to Egypt.

Ariella Azoulay Promoting the Boston Mapping Project

16.06.22
Editorial Note

Prof. Ariella Azoulay, a former Israeli academic at Brown University, has promoted the highly controversial Boston Mapping Project. Azoulay, a radical pro-Palestinian activist who even adopted the name Aisha, was offered a position at Brown, where she has engaged in countless anti-Israeli activities, including BDS.  

By far, the Boston Mapping Project has been egregious. According to media reports, the group alleges sinister connections between Jewish and pro-Israel groups across Massachusetts and the US government, politicians, the police, and the media and blames these groups for various nefarious activities. The group’s map draws links between the Jewish groups and the institutions they are supposed to influence.

BDS Boston, the local chapter of BDS is backing the project, which some progressive Democrats have also embraced in the region.  BDS Boston proclaimed: “From our friends at the Mapping Project! Their map and articles illustrate how local support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing, evictions, and privatization locally, and to US imperialist projects worldwide.” 

A perusal of the project reveals its anti-American and anti-Israel purposes. 

The Mapping Project claims it aims to expose “policing and systemic white supremacy here where we live, and to US imperialist projects in other countries.”

The Mapping Project explains it is a “multi-generational collective of activists and organizers on the land of the Massachusett, Pawtucket, Naumkeag, and other tribal nations (Boston, Cambridge, and surrounding areas) who wanted to develop a deeper understanding of local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine and harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing. Our work is grounded in the realization that oppressors share tactics and institutions – and that our liberation struggles are connected. We wanted to visualize these connections in order to see where our struggles intersect and to strategically grow our local organizing capacities.”

To achieve their goals, the group constructed an interactive map to illustrate the “connections between harms such as privatization and medical apartheid, which are often facilitated by universities and their corporate partners. Since local universities engage in these multiple forms of oppression and produce much of the ruling class, and because they are major land holders in our area.”

For them, “the university as a central nexus that ties together many of the harms traced on the map.”

The group adds, “The map is not a complete representation of local institutions responsible for the colonization of Palestine or other harms such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement.”

They provide several examples:

“Boston’s Colonial Universities Grab Land for Profit, War, and Medical Apartheid: Universities in Cambridge and Boston colonize land and put it to work for private profit, imperial war, and perpetuation of medical apartheid. These land grabs increase property values and rent, fueling the displacement and ethnic cleansing of local communities. Yet history shows that this colonial loop can be disrupted, and has been challenged at every stage by organized resistance of the people it seeks to push out.

Zionism, Policing and Empire: A Dispatch from the Mapping Project: Examines the networking of police agencies across Massachusetts as highly militarized forces that share resources and information to enforce the intersecting systems of white supremacy and capitalism, and reveals their connections to universities, weapons companies, and certain NGOs. It highlights the role of the Department of Homeland Security, with its use of “counterterrorism” as a catch-all for programs of surveillance and militarization, in organizing and funding these networks, often using Israel as a point of reference for ideology, policy, technology and organization.

Mapping US Imperialism: US imperialism is the greatest threat to life on the planet. This article explores the vast and complicated network of US imperialism, both hard and soft power, then turns its focus to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a local institution that demonstrates the level of ideological and material cooperation required for the machinery of US imperialism to function. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) brings together police executives from across the country for yearly meetings at Boston University, and also organizes meetings between US police executives with their counterparts in Israel and in other colonial and repressive regimes. This article looks at their 2018 handbook The Police Response to Mass Demonstrations as an example of a counterinsurgency doctrine aimed at isolating leaders and radicals, and reveals the role of the ACLU in helping police to develop policy.

Charity is Theft: The Gann Foundation and Boston’s Zionist NGO circuit: Charity is fundamentally misconstrued as a selfless and generous act. In reality, charitable donations are supporting the colonization of Palestine and violence worldwide. This article provides an introduction to united states tax law as it applies to charitable donations, highlighting legal tax evasion, the ways in which taxes nurture wealth building, and the transfer of wealth to the political darling projects of the rich.”

The group received a lot of criticism. Jake Auchincloss, representing a Boston area with a large Jewish population in Congress, denounced the Mapping Project in the strongest possible way: “It is tapping into millennia-old antisemitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections and political string-pulling … to name names and keep lists, which has a very sinister history in Judaism, in terms of how we are targeted, is very irresponsible.” 

Azoulay is one of the many radical Israeli academics who migrated to the West, where they lend legitimacy to anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic projects. As IAM repeatedly noted, they are in high demand in the Palestinian advocacy circles because they are Jewish and Israeli. Some critics call them “useful idiots,” a term allegedly coined by Lenin to describe people who “propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders.”  This is a misrepresentation of these cohorts. Azoulay and her ilks, such as Ilan Pappe, Eyal Weizman, and others, are sophisticated players in the soft war waged against Israel, which produced the bulk of the work claiming Israel is an apartheid state whose military engages in Nazi-like practices against the Palestinians.  

IAM would continue reporting on these issues.


Refereces
References:


From our friends at the Mapping Project! Their map and articles illustrate how local support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing, evictions, and privatization locally, and to US imperialist projects worldwide.
Check it out: 
mapliberation.org

The Mapping Project

Screenshot of the Mapping Project's map (geographical view).

What is the Mapping Project?

Welcome to the Mapping Project. We are a multi-generational collective of activists and organizers on the land of the Massachusett, Pawtucket, Naumkeag, and other tribal nations (Boston, Cambridge, and surrounding areas) who wanted to develop a deeper understanding of local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine and harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing. Our work is grounded in the realization that oppressors share tactics and institutions – and that our liberation struggles are connected. We wanted to visualize these connections in order to see where our struggles intersect and to strategically grow our local organizing capacities.

Our interactive map illustrates some ways in which institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy here where we live, and to US imperialist projects in other countries. Our map also shows the connections between harms such as privatization and medical apartheid, which are often facilitated by universities and their corporate partners. Since local universities engage in these multiple forms of oppression and produce much of the ruling class, and because they are major land holders in our area, we’ve emphasized the university as a central nexus that ties together many of the harms traced on the map. (For more on what we think the map reveals, see What We See page and read our articles.)

We acknowledge that our map is not a complete representation of local institutions responsible for the colonization of Palestine or other harms such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement. We also recognize that the struggles of local Indigenous nations against US colonization are underrepresented on our map. We would be grateful for suggestions and knowledge shared with us by those who engage with our map, and hope it can continue to grow and improve through your contributions.

This map is intended first and foremost to cultivate relationships between organizers across movements and deepen our political analyses as we build community power. Building community power, for us, has meant seeking the knowledge of those organizing in community with us and highlighting the radical analyses and resistance of earlier generations which have been suppressed.

Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them. Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.

View map

total of 482 entities, 1351 links

Articles

  • The Architecture of Banishment
  • Displacement (or “gentrification”) is often incorrectly conceptualized as an unintentional consequence of inevitable transformations which occur in urban areas over time. The Berklee College of Music’s “homeless spikes” are a stark reminder of the intentionality behind the efforts of local universities and tech, biotech, and pharmaceutical corporations to reshape the Boston area into a haven for majority white and professional populations, through the planned banishment of preexisting (Black and Brown, working-class) communities deemed undesirable.

  • Boston’s Colonial Universities Grab Land for Profit, War, and Medical Apartheid
  • Universities in Cambridge and Boston colonize land and put it to work for private profit, imperial war, and perpetuation of medical apartheid. These land grabs increase property values and rent, fueling the displacement and ethnic cleansing of local communities. Yet history shows that this colonial loop can be disrupted, and has been challenged at every stage by organized resistance of the people it seeks to push out.

  • Zionism, Policing and Empire: A Dispatch from the Mapping Project
  • Examines the networking of police agencies across Massachusetts as highly militarized forces that share resources and information to enforce the intersecting systems of white supremacy and capitalism, and reveals their connections to universities, weapons companies, and certain NGOs. It highlights the role of the Department of Homeland Security, with its use of “counterterrorism” as a catch-all for programs of surveillance and militarization, in organizing and funding these networks, often using Israel as a point of reference for ideology, policy, technology and organization.

  • Mapping US Imperialism
  • US imperialism is the greatest threat to life on the planet. This article explores the vast and complicated network of US imperialism, both hard and soft power, then turns its focus to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a local institution that demonstrates the level of ideological and material cooperation required for the machinery of US imperialism to function.

  • Massachusetts’ Imperialist Landscape
  • Visualizing Massachusetts’ imperialist landscape with a few maps.

  • The Police Executive Research Forum, the ACLU, and Counterinsurgency
  • The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) brings together police executives from across the country for yearly meetings at Boston University, and also organizes meetings between US police executives with their counterparts in Israel and in other colonial and repressive regimes. This article looks at their 2018 handbook The Police Response to Mass Demonstrations as an example of a counterinsurgency doctrine aimed at isolating leaders and radicals, and reveals the role of the ACLU in helping police to develop policy.

  • Charity is Theft: The Gann Foundation and Boston’s Zionist NGO circuit
  • Charity is fundamentally misconstrued as a selfless and generous act. In reality, charitable donations are supporting the colonization of Palestine and violence worldwide. This article provides an introduction to united states tax law as it applies to charitable donations, highlighting legal tax evasion, the ways in which taxes nurture wealth building, and the transfer of wealth to the political darling projects of the rich.

Most connected entities by type

Screenshot of the Mapping Project's map (graph view).Weapons/Robotics: Raytheon   Lockheed Martin   General Dynamics   Boeing   Lenco Armored Vehicles   Elbit Systems  

University: MIT   Harvard University   Harvard Kennedy School of Government   Tufts University   Boston University   The Broad Institute  

State/Local Government: State of Mass.   City of Cambridge   City of Boston   Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)   Newton Public Schools   Massachusetts Technology Collaborative  

Real Estate: BioMed Realty Trust, Inc.   DSF Group   Small Property Owners Association (SPOA)   Cruz Management Co   Harvard Real Estate Inc.   Maloney Properties  

Prison/Prison-Industrial Complex: MCI-Framingham Prison   Suffolk County Jail   Aramark   Middleton Jail and House of Correction  

Politician: Ed Markey   Elizabeth Warren   Charlie Baker  

Police: Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (CEMLEC)   Greater Boston Police Council   Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC)   Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)   Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (Metro LEC)   Department of Homeland Security  

NGO: Anti-Defamation League (ADL)   Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP)   Ruderman Family Foundation   Kraft Family Philanthropies   Seth Klarman, and the Klarman Family Foundation   Joseph and Rae Gann Charitable Foundation  

Military: U.S. Navy in Massachusetts   U.S. Air Force in Massachusetts   U.S. Army in Massachusetts   Kostas Research Institute at Northeastern University   U.S. Air Force: Hanscom Air Force Base   Fort Devens Army Base  

Media: JewishBoston   The Jewish Journal   Boston Globe  

Lifestyle: Puma   CYBEX INTERNATIONAL   Harpoon Brewery  

Labor: AFL-CIO (Massachusetts)   International Union of Police Associations   New England Regional Council of Carpenters   UNITE-HERE (Massachusetts)   International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)   The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)  

Israeli Government: Consulate General of Israel to New England  

Healthcare/Pharma: Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)   Pfizer   Millennium Pharmaceuticals/Takeda Oncology   Novartis   Tufts-New England Medical Center   Biogen  

Finance: Fidelity Charitable   Citigroup   Baupost Group   MassMutual   RTN Federal Credit Union   Fidelity  

Cultural: Boston Museum of Science   Jewish Arts Collaborative   Israel360   BOMBYX Center for Arts & Equity   Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston   Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)  

Consulting: McKinsey   Boston Consulting Group (BCG)   Gemini Industries   Odyssey Systems Consulting Group   Deloitte   Nixon Peabody LLP  

Construction/Engineering: CDM Smith   Kleinfelder Northeast   Excelitas Technologies   Elkus Manfredi Architects   HDR Architecture   Finegold Alexander & Associates  

Computing/Logistics: IBM   Amazon   Microsoft   Google   Hewlett Packard Enterprise   Apple  

Agribusiness: DuPont  

==============================================

The intersections between agents of oppression offer possibilities for connecting our struggles. They study us and are networked; we need to study them and form our own networks of resistance.

Zionism, Policing and Empire: A dispatch from the Mapping Project The intersections between agents of oppression offer possibilities for connecting our struggles. They study us and are networked; we need to study them and form our own networks of resistance.
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https://jewishinsider.com/2022/06/jake-auchincloss-mapping-project-bds-boston-israel/

Boston BDS map of Jewish groups has ‘potential to incite violence,’ Auchincloss says

A Boston BDS group released a chart alleging Jewish groups were connected to a network of government, media and police and linking them to a range of malign activities

By Marc Rod
 June 9, 2022

Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) said on Wednesday that a report released last week by a Boston-area Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement group plays on millennia-old antisemitic tropes and could inflame violence against the Jewish community.

The group, calling itself the “Mapping Project,” alleges sinister connections between Jewish and pro-Israel groups across Massachusetts and government, politicians, the police and the media, and blames these groups for a range of nefarious activities. The group plotted the locations of the organizations on an interactive state map — drawing lines between the Jewish groups and institutions the project claims they influence — and released the addresses and names of some of the groups’ staffers.

The project’s organizers accuse the groups — which include the local Jewish Community Relations Council and Synagogue Council, the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Community, a Jewish high school, local philanthropies, an arts group and J Street  — of ties to “harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing.”

“Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them,” the organizers wrote in an op-ed published on Mondoweiss. “Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.” Local Jewish leaders have said this amounts to a call to “dismantle” the entire Massachusetts Jewish community.

“This is just chilling to me. It is tapping into millennia-old antisemitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections and political string-pulling,” Auchincloss, who represents an area in the Boston suburbs with a large Jewish population, and is himself Jewish, told Jewish Insider. “To name names and keep lists, which has a very sinister history in Judaism, in terms of how we are targeted, is very irresponsible. [The group] needs to take this down and apologize.”

Auchincloss tied the release of this project to current debates in the House over gun violence, explaining that he believes history shows that previous efforts to “keep lists” of Jews “can incite violence” and “inflame the deranged among us to take the next step from contemplating to acting upon violence.”

The Mapping Project’s organizers did not respond to a request for comment.

“[The organizers] need to recognize actions that have the potential to incite violence, especially in a moment of heightened antisemitism and gun violence,” Auchincloss continued.

He said that the project carries echoes of “a very sinister vein of Western history” — efforts to identify and keep rosters of Jews, including, but not limited to, the Holocaust.

Auchincloss said he plans to raise the issue with colleagues and with groups in the area that have promoted the Mapping Project, and will urge his colleagues to do the same.

“I will give direct and stark feedback about how inappropriate and unacceptable this is,” he said.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), tweeted on Wednesday that “Targeting the Jewish community like this is wrong and it is dangerous. It is irresponsible. This project is an anti-Semitic enemies list with a map attached.”

The other members of Massachusetts’ congressional delegation — including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA), who are named in the Mapping Project — did not respond to requests for comment.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) has been endorsed by the advocacy group Peace Action, whose local chapter, Massachusetts Peace Action, has amplified the Mapping Project.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) also called out the project, saying that it “accuses Jewish and ‘Zionist’ institutions of various evils in American society,” adding, “Scapegoating is a common symptom of antisemitism, which at its core is a conspiracy theory.”

The project has caught the attention of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose spokesperson, Lior Haiat, tweeted earlier this week, “This whole project is reminiscent of a dangerous antisemitic pattern of activity known from antiquity through the horrors of the 20th century: a pattern which has led to violence against Jews and their institutions.”

Jeremy Burton, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston, told JI, “We see this as an explicit effort name and identify and put a target on physical Jewish spaces in Greater Boston, with the purpose, explicitly in their own words, of dismantling our Jewish community here in Boston,” which could “inspire others to dangerous action.”

Burton urged lawmakers with ties to groups like Massachusetts Peace Action that have amplified the project to enact “consequences in those relationships.”

==============================
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-israeli-officials-bds-mapping-project

US, Israeli officials call out Boston group over ‘mapping project’ linking Jewish groups to media, government

One Massachusetts congressman called it ‘an anti-Semitic enemies list’

By Ronn Blitzer | Fox News

Fox News
June 9

A Boston-area group that opposes Israel is facing accusations of antisemitic “scapegoating” and conspiracy theorizing after it promoted a project that alleged ties between Jewish groups, the media, and government institutions, while posting their addresses online.

BDS Boston, which supports the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, posted an endorsement of the Mapping Project, claiming that various organizations and institutions are “structurally tied” to police, American imperialism, evictions, and the oppression of Palestinians.

The project features a map with markers for 482 agencies, organizations, media outlets, and politicians, including local police departments, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, the Boston Globe, and groups such as the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston, Jewish Arts Collaborative, and the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts.

“Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them,” the project’s website says. “Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.”

Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., a Jewish member of Congress who represents a district with a large Jewish population, was appalled by the project.

“This is just chilling to me. It is tapping into millennia-old antisemitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections and political string-pulling,” he told the Jewish Insider website. “To name names and keep lists, which has a very sinister history in Judaism, in terms of how we are targeted, is very irresponsible. [The group] needs to take this down and apologize.”

NEWTON – AUGUST 23: Jake Auchincloss, a Democrat vying for the fourth Congressional Democratic nomination in the primary race, poses for a portrait in Newton, MA on Aug. 23, 2020. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., tweeted that the project is “wrong” and “dangerous,” calling it “an anti-Semitic enemies list with a map attached.”

Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., rebuked the project for accusing Jews “of various evils in American society,” noting that “[s]capegoating is a common symptom of Antisemitism, which at its core is a conspiracy theory.”

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also weighed in upon learning of the mapping project. A spokesperson for the ministry said in a Twitter threat that Israel “strongly condemns” it.

“This whole project is reminiscent of a dangerous antisemitic pattern of activity known from antiquity through the horrors of the 20th century: a pattern which has led to violence against Jews and their institutions,” ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat tweeted.

Academic Boycotts: The Technion

Editorial Note

08.06.22

Last month, the Israeli media reported that the Israeli Foreign Ministry prevented a boycott of researchers from the Technion at an international conference on civil engineering in Jordan earlier in May. The conference was organized by the International Association of Civil Engineers in collaboration with Al-Zaytoonah University in Jordan, the host of the conference.

Three researchers from the Technion were invited to present their research. However, nine days before the opening, the head of the Israeli delegation, Professor Rafael Sacks, received a message from the Association informing him that the Jordanians did not want the Israelis to come. The Technion contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which updated the Israeli consulate in Chicago, where the International Association of Civil Engineering is based. After talks with some of the Association members, it became clear that the local sponsors of the conference threatened Al Zaytoonah University to discontinue their support should the Israelis participate. As a result, the US State Department, the Israeli Consulate in Chicago, the Technion, and the Association of Heads of Israeli Universities (VERA) worked together to solve the issue. The American chapter of the Association decided to deny the right of al-Zaytoonah University to host the conference, which was transferred to the Intercontinental Hotel in Amman. Indeed, some sponsors canceled their contribution, prompting the American Association branch of the International Civil Engineers to pitch in with the finances.

Unfortunately, last year, there were several other attempts to boycott the Technion.

In Canada, Richard T. W. Arthur, emeritus professor at McMaster University who specializes in History and Philosophy of Science, announced on his website in June 2021 that he: “regretfully informed Ohad Nachtomy that I am WITHDRAWING from giving the keynote address at the conference on Science and Philosophy in the Early Modern Period at the Technion (Israel Institute for Technology) in Haifa on July 26-28. It has recently been brought to my attention that the Technion has been proactive in helping the state of Israel to develop the military technology used to repress the Palestinians in the recent attacks on Gaza (including destruction of a hospital and universities), and to bulldoze their homes in the occupied territories, through its close cooperation with Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Systems. I have therefore withdrawn my participation from this conference.”

In Australia, the local BDS group urged the University of Technology Sydney to stop the partnership with the Technion, particularly the webinar “Exploring the Dark Web – Cybercrime and Cyber Security in the Digital Age” in May 2021. BDS Australia claimed that the “Technion has played an active developmental role in Israel’s military-security-surveillance complex… Technion’s involvement in the violation of Palestinian rights,” among other claims.

The following day, the Vice President of UTS responded as follows:

“Thank you for your email regarding the upcoming webinar event with the Technion Institute of Technology (Australia) and your request that UTS cancel all ties with Technion. UTS has a commitment to academic freedom and international knowledge exchange, and as a public university we base our partnerships on advice from the Australian Commonwealth Government. We acknowledge the enormous human impact the recent conflict is having and as a university committed to social justice our sympathies are very much with all of those affected. The UN Security Council has not, to date, made any sanctions against Israel regarding the conflict and we are not aware of any international law violations. At this point in time UTS is not aware of any new information that leads us to conclude that Technion is not an appropriate partner and that the event should be cancelled. With kind regards, Celia Hurley.”

It is worth noting that the Palestinian BDS groups have never condemned grave violations in Palestinian universities by their leadership. For that matter, the poor human rights record of the PA in the West Bank, let alone the brutal dictatorship of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, has not been discussed. Equally important, they also never condemn the violent attacks against Israeli civilians. Such hypocrisy strips all vestiges of legitimacy from the BDS groups.

References

https://www.ynet.co.il/news/article/sybfgxuwq

משרד החוץ מנע חרם על חוקרים מהטכניון בכנס בינלאומי בירדן

ימים ספורים לפני כנס להנדסה אזרחית התבקשו החוקרים להישאר בישראל מחשש לביטחונם. במשרד החוץ פעלו מול האגודה שארגנה את הכנס וגילו כי האיום אינו ביטחוני – אלא הגיע מנותני חסות שאיימו למשוך את תרומתם. לאחר מסע לחצים והשתתפות אמריקנית במימון – ישראל השתתפה בכנס

איתמר אייכנר|אתמול | 21:20

משרד החוץ מנע חרם על חוקרים ישראלים מהטכניון בכנס בינלאומי להנדסה אזרחית שהתקיים בשבוע שעבר ברבת עמון, שארגן האיגוד העולמי להנדסה אזרחית בשיתוף אוניברסיטת אל-זייתונא בירדן שאירחה את הכנס.
לכנס הוזמנו שלושה חוקרים מהטכניון על-מנת להציג את ממצאי המחקרים שלהם, ותשעה ימים לפני פתיחתו קיבל ראש המשלחת הישראלית, פרופסור רפאל זקס, הודעה מהאיגוד העולמי שמארגן את הכנס שמודיע שהירדנים מבקשים שהישראלים לא יגיעו. הסיבה: חוסר יכולת לערוב לביטחונם בשל אירועי הר הבית, ומחשש להפגנות והתפרעויות של אנשי סגל באוניברסיטה.
הטכניון פנה למשרד החוץ ועדכן אותם בפנייה מצד מארגן הכנס. החטיבה לדה-לגיטמציה במשרד החוץ, גוף שהיה עד לאחרונה במשרד לנושאים אסטרטגיים שבוטל ומוזג למשרד החוץ, הפעיל את הקונסוליה הישראלית בשיקגו, שהאיגוד הבינלאומי להנדסה אזרחית נמצא בתחום שיפוטה. לאחר שיחות עם אנשי האיגוד התברר למשרד החוץ שהסיפור כלל אינו נוגע לחשש לביטחונם של הישראלים, אלא שמדובר באירוע חרם לכל דבר. הספונסרים המקומיים של הכנס איימו על האוניברסיטה הירדנית שאם המשתתפים הישראלים ישתתפו בכנס – הם ימשכו את תמיכתם.
משרד החוץ והקונסוליה בשיקגו, בשיתוף הטכניון ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות, הפעילו לחצים על האיגוד הבינלאומי ודרשו ממנו שלא יתפשר עד שתאושר השתתפותם הפיזית של החוקרים הישראלים. בשלב מסוים הציעו באיגוד, בתור פשרה, שהחוקרים הישראלים ישתתפו דרך הזום – אך ישראל התנגדה בתוקף.
לאחר מסע לחצים האיגוד האמריקני קיבל החלטה משמעותית ושלל את זכותה של אוניברסיטת אל-זייתונא לארח את הכנס – שהועבר למלון אינטרקונטיננטל בעמאן. האיום של הספונסרים מומש וחלקם אכן ביטלו את חסותם לכנס. כתוצאה מכך, האיגוד האמריקני מימן את ההוצאות שאבדו לאחר ביטול החסות.

לבסוף הגיעו החוקרים הישראלים לרבת עמון, בהם גם שני דוקטורנטים בעלי אזרחות קולומביאנית וירדנית, והשתתפו בכנס. במשרד החוץ ציינו כי אירועי חרם מתרחשים כל העת והחטיבה לדה-לגיטימציה נאבק על בסיס יומיומי ביוזמות דומות. עוד ציינו כי לאחר מיזוגה של החטיבה למשרד החוץ השתפר מאוד התיאום עם נציגויות ישראל וזאת מאחר שבתקופת המשרד לנושאים אסטרטגיים הייתה יריבות מובנית בין המשרדים.
סגן שר החוץ עידן רול אמר כי “נחשפנו במשרד החוץ בזמן אמת לניסיונות מצד גורמים אנטי ישראלים לעשות שימוש לרעה בהסלמה הביטחונית בהר הבית לאחרונה, כדי לקדם חרם אקדמי מסווה על חוקרים מהטכניון”.
רול הוסיף כי “טיפלנו באירוע הזה מיד בכל הכלים שיש לנו, בגלוי ובערוצים חשאיים, ומנענו את החרם. חוקרי הטכניון, הטובים בתחומם בעולם, השתתפו בכנס ואף בלטו בו. לא נאפשר חרמות מכל סוג נגד ישראל, בין אם מדובר בחרם גלוי, או חמור מכך, חרם מוסווה”.  

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https://bdsaustralia.net.au/uts-must-end-partnerships-with-technion-university/

UTS must end partnerships with Technion University

Action AlertTechnion

Professor Atilla Brungs
Vice Chancellor
University of Technology Sydney

Celia Hurely
Vice President (Advancement)
University of Technology Sydney                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                          25 May 2021

RE:  UTS partnership with Technion University

We write to express our concern at the University of Technology’s partnership with the Israeli Technion University. We are appalled at your decision to yet again,[1] partner with Technion Institute of Technology, to host the webinar “Exploring the Dark Web – Cybercrime and Cyber Security in the Digital Age” on the 27 May. Technion directly contributes to what has been described as Israel’s military-security-surveillance complex, which includes systematic digital and cyber oppression.[2]

It is May 2021 and yet again Palestinians in Gaza have faced the full onslaught of Israeli military and chemical devastation. Across the rest of historic Palestine, protestors face live & rubber tipped bullets, tear gas, stun grenades, skunk water spray tanks, home raids, arrests, beatings, fortified checkpoints, extreme systems of surveillance, religious based extremist militias and neighbourhood gangs.

Technion has played an active developmental role in Israel’s military-security-surveillance complex. An example is the remote-controlled Caterpillar DR: a gigantic, armoured bulldozer used to demolish Palestinian homes.[3] Technion also operates in a symbiotic relation with Israeli weapons manufacturers, such as Elbit and Rafael, accepting their grants, while dedicating research & education to developing tools of colonial warfare, such as drone systems used for surveillance, intimidation, and murder of Palestinians (and Lebanese). These technologies are sold to many governments who also use them in the oppression of their people. See below for more information about Technion’s involvement in the violation of Palestinian rights.

All around the world, including here, boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns have successfully exposed the collaboration and crimes of Elbit and Rafael, and Technion has also been the subject of similar protest campaigns[4].

After completing webinar registration for this forthcoming event, participants receive an email containing statements from the heads of Technion and Technion Australia, claiming a commitment to diversity while “Israel is under attack.” Palestinians are never named but referred to as “those nearby” or “Arabs:” divided into categories of religion, consistent with the sectarian and apartheid policies of the state. In practice, Technion provides special educational benefits for students who serve in the Israeli army, which overwhelmingly privileges Jewish students.

These types of partnerships, even if they build careers, budgets, and scientific discoveries, are in fact a danger to the very heart of what education should be and violate UTS’s professed commitment to social justice. They transform the university into an ally of power and hegemony,[5] where the colonised and poor serve as “laboratory” for immoral profit making.

Along with the various other links that UTS maintains with Technion, these partnerships implicate UTS in violations of international law, including the apartheid practices of military occupation, annexation of land and resources, and theft of homes across Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem.

We stand with Palestinians in their historic and dignified uprising. As they forge histories, educators must cease to make alliances with those who oppress them.

We demand, unequivocally, that UTS cancel its involvement in the webinar and cease to partner, promote, or contribute to any institution or event involved in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law, and crimes against the Palestinian people.

BDS Australia

Further Information about Technion

Association of Academics for the Respect of International Law in Palestine. (September 2014). Petition to oppose the agreement between the École Polytechnique and the Technion. Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Extracts:

…For a number of years, the Technion has practiced discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of Israel while, at the same time, supporting the Israeli Army (1); it has enrolled its know-how in the service of the Israeli military-industrial complex (2). In doing so, it has become an important part of the Israeli system of occupation of the Palestinian territories and of its long train of illegal acts there (disproportionate use of force, colonization, expropriations, destruction of houses, expulsions, arbitrary arrests, assassinations, etc.)

1. The Technion, like a number of Israeli universities, maintains a discriminatory policy with respect to Palestinian students citizens of Israel. These constitute nearly 20% of the student-age population in Israel but only 5% of those pursuing a Masters and 3% of those studying for a Ph.D. At the same time, the Technion is the Israeli university which has the highest proportion of students and professors coming from the military, former military and reservists. Those students who are serving in the military or in the reserves benefit from advantages aimed at facilitating their academic career; the Technion even proposes special training in mechanics for officers in the Israeli army.

The freedom of expression and to demonstrate of Palestinian students citizens of Israel is limited: those who demonstrate peacefully their disapproval of Israeli policies on campus are sometimes arrested. They are not authorized to form student associations or to organize events on campus which criticize Israeli policy towards Palestinians. On the other hand, associations favourable to Zionism and demonstrations in favour of the Israeli army are authorized on campus.

2. The Technion maintains solid research relations with companies in the Israeli military-industrial sector. For decades it has contributed towards the development of technologies used in the armament and systems of armament used against the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. In recent years, the Technion’s students and researchers have participated in work on the creation of an armoured, remote-controlled bulldozer (IDF Caterpillar D9) which has been used to destroy the homes of the Palestinian civil population (25,000 houses destroyed since 1967). They have also participated in the development of drones, conceived, and used for military purposes in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

Technion has close links with the computer science and telecommunications corporations: Verint, NICE Systems, Amdocs, Check Point and Comverse, which furnish the Israeli army with surveillance and monitoring programs aimed at the Palestinian population; but also programs used to assist airplanes and drones in the course of military operations.

Finally, Technion works in close collaboration with two of the largest Israeli arms manufacturers, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elbit Systems.

In 2001 the Technion announced the creation of an MBA program, conceived specifically for managers of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, further reinforcing the already-existing links between the university and the arms company. Starting in 2006, joint research has been carried out in developing missiles. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems thus benefits from the research carried out by students and scientists at the Technion. The company makes not only missiles but also the electronics for Israeli armored units. The armament and systems of armament produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems are employed in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Similarly, in 2008, Elbit Systems created within the Technion a joint research center for electron optics. Elbit Systems recruits an important part of its managers and engineers from the Technion. Its CEO has even declared that the relationship that exists between his company and the Technion played an essential role in guaranteeing the success of Elbit Systems in the competitive and globalized world of armament manufacturers.

Elbit Systems produces not only drones but also a whole series of arms and munitions (for artillery, armored units and aircraft) used by the Israeli army in its military operations in Gaza and the West bank, during which numerous unpunished war crimes have been committed. Moreover, Elbit Systems provides and maintains surveillance and spying material for the Israeli army along the Wall of Separation and around a number of Israeli colonies in the West bank and East Jerusalem. In 2004, the International Court of Justice declared the Wall, like the colonies, contrary to international law; as in apartheid, they give rise to discriminatory measures against Palestinians. A certain number of European pension funds and banks have withdrawn their participation in Elbit Systems because of its implication in violations of international law.

3. Through its close and long-standing links to the Israeli military-industrial complex, the Technion has contributed to the elaboration and implementation of armament and systems of armament. Now all this has been and is still being used by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip, subject to a blockade that is illegal under international law and to intense bombings and incursions of the Israeli army, such as:

  • Operation Cast Lead (December 2008 and January 2009) which provoked the death of 1,350 Palestinians of which nearly two-thirds were civilians—men, women and children;
  • Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) which provoked the death of 160 Palestinians of which at least 70 were civilians—men, women and children;
  • Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014) which provoked the death of 2,150 Palestinians of which nearly two-thirds were civilians—men, women and children.

These armaments and armament systems have been and still are being implemented by the Israeli army in the West Bank—subject to an active policy of colonization, illegal under international law, just as are the numerous repressive measures taken against the Palestinian population—not to mention their use during the murderous 2006 war in South Lebanon of unhappy memory with its bombings of the village of Cana which caused the death of 28 civilians, including women and children.

Now international law considers that the supplying of arms and material to the perpetrator of a war crime amounts to aiding and abetting the criminal act and thus incurring criminal responsibility of the supplier as an accomplice (Art. 25, §3 and §30 of the Statutes of the International Criminal Court: Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone, Judgements of 16 March 2006, §40, and of 26 April 2012, §149).

It follows that a strong presumption of complicity in war crimes falls on Israeli arms corporations but equally on Israeli universities and laboratories such as the Technion. This presumption may indeed concern French professors, researchers and students having participated in scientific programs which facilitate the development or the use of armaments and armament systems used by the Israeli army and, of course, those who have supervised or financed their research. Such a presumption would be liable to give rise to criminal complaints in France and to the opening of a preliminary inquiry or a judicial investigation. The presence of students of École Polytechnique or of French researchers at the Technion poses a criminal risk for them.

Further Reading about Technion

IDF surveillance project

Cyber Security Research Center – “in collaboration with the national cyber bureau in the prime-minister’s office. ” (pg34)

Joint IDF program in mechanical engineering

Aerospace engineeringjoint program and training with IAF and arms producers

Industrial engineering, joint IDF program

Course on how to market Israeli arms producers

Materials science, joint IDF program

Partnerships with IAI, Rafael, Elbit

Elbit scholarships (pg45)


[1]  https://austechnion.com/event/covid-19-impact-on-business-how-do-we-reinvent-ourselves/ and https://www.tau.ac.il/news/webinarAIhttps://id.tau.ac.il/news/webinarAI

[2] Dawes, S. (2015). The digital occupation of Gaza: An interview with Helga Tawil-Souri. Networking Knowledge 8(2). http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar_url?url=https://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/download/374/204&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uCuqYODSC9iR6rQPnuCzWA&scisig=AAGBfm2ZYauKwjG5TAWRh8yK1KyQE7l7lQ&nossl=1&oi=scholarr

[3] White, B (13 September 2012 ).Why a boycott of Israeli academics is fully justified. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/sep/12/boycott-israeli-academics-justified

[4] https://stoptechnionitalia.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/170-academics-at-italian-universities-call-for-boycott-of-israeli-institutions/

[5] Vlazna, V (2 May 2012). Israeli Hawkademia in Australian universities. Palestine Chroniclehttps://www.palestinechronicle.com/israeli-hawkademia-in-australian-universities/

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https://bdsaustralia.net.au/uts-does-not-see-israels-human-rights-violations-as-an-issue

UTS does not see Israel’s human rights violations as an issue

Action AlertTechnion

May 26, 2021

BDS Australia wrote to the UTS Vice Chancellor,Professor Attila Brungs and the Vice President (Advancement), Celia Hurley about the UTS series of webinars hosted by the Israeli Technion university and other partnerships UTS has with this institution – see details here. We received a response which indicates that UTS does not take these issues seriously and does not intend to address them.

This is the response from Celia Hurley to our letter which was shared as an online petition to her and the Vice Chancellor as well.

“Thank you for your email regarding the upcoming webinar event with the Technion Institute of Technology (Australia) and your request that UTS cancel all ties with Technion.
UTS has a commitment to academic freedom and international knowledge exchange, and as a public university we base our partnerships on advice from the Australian Commonwealth Government.
We acknowledge the enormous human impact the recent conflict is having and as a university committed to social justice our sympathies are very much with all of those affected.
The UN Security Council has not, to date, made any sanctions against Israel regarding the conflict and we are not aware of any international law violations. At this point in time UTS is not aware of any new information that leads us to conclude that Technion is not an appropriate partner and that the event should be cancelled.
With kind regards,
Celia Hurley”

BDS Australia does not accept this response from the University of Technology Sydney – this is our reply:

We note your response to our call that UTS cancels its involvement in the forthcoming Technion sponsored webinar and to cease all partnerships with any institutions that contribute to the oppression of Palestinians and violations of international law.

We do not accept the arguments you have provided for not withdrawing from your association with the Israeli Technion University.  You note that UTS is committed to social justice however your actions in partnering with this university raise serious concerns about whether UTS can legitimately make this claim.

It is extraordinary that you refer to the UN Security Council and the lack of sanctions against Israel regarding this conflict especially given that every academic employed by UTS with the vaguest understanding of this issue, would be able to refer you to the ongoing veto that the United States has used and again most recently in relation to Israel’s ongoing grave violations of international law. The United States this month repeatedly blocked the adoption of a joint UN Security Council statement calling for a halt to the current hostilities despite the fact that all other 14 members of the Security Council were in favour of issuing this statement. In addition, since 1947, Israel has been the subject of almost 300 UN General Assembly resolutions – the most censured state in the history of the UN.

Regarding violations of international law, we draw your attention to this recent submission by the Australian Centre for International Justice and the Palestine Human Rights Organisations Council, which details Israel’s breaches of international law and also to the Human Rights Watch report on the Israeli crimes of apartheid and persecution. Israel’s violations of international law are well documented and have been on the public record for many years.  Again, any academic at UTS with basic knowledge could provide them for you and any other decision maker who is ignorant of these facts.

You state that you base your partnerships on advice from the Commonwealth Government which we presume means that unless a country is sanctioned by Australia, UTS will not consider ongoing violations of international law,  human rights and UN Resolutions alone, as a reason to cease partnerships. We would like to point out that as a high contracting party to the Geneva Conventions, Australia has accepted the full scope of obligations under these Conventions which oblige it to respect and apply them in ‘good faith’.

The fact that the Australian Commonwealth Government is in breach of its duty under these Conventions, does not relieve UTS of the responsibility to thoroughly investigate its partnerships with institutions and bodies implicated in grave breaches of international law through their support for states like Israel.

The Israeli government’s actions to deny and hinder the right of Palestinians to an education are well documented. This Norwegian Refugee Council report shows that there were an average of 10 attacks per month on West Bank kindergarten and school students, staff and facilities between 2018-2020. Unicef documented that in 2016 alone, 256 education-related violations were documented in the West Bank, affecting nearly 30,000 students. This World Council of Churches / Unicef report offers detailed analysis and documentation of the way the Israeli Occupation and illegal settlement enterprise has impacted many thousands of Palestinian children’s education.

The UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Save the Children reported on May 19th that 50 schools in Gaza were damaged by Israeli airstrikes over the past week, impacting some 41,897 children. Three schools were reportedly damaged in Israel by rockets from Gaza.

Technion’s collaboration with the Israeli government and with Israeli weapons manufacturers
is well documented. Elbit Systems have partnered with Technion in numerous ways including a joint vision systems research agreement, through which Elbit offered grants to selected Technion undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in the electrical engineering department. Elbit uses vision systems in its helmet-mounted displays for pilots in combat aircraft. Many employees of Elbit Systems are Technion graduates, including the current CEO.

The euphemisms used in your response, such as “the enormous human impact” and “sympathies are very much with all of those affected” are familiar tropes used by the corporate media and other unofficial spokespeople for the Israeli state. They imply that this is an equal ‘conflict’, which is grotesque when one considers the asymmetry, the enormity of Palestinian suffering and the fact that Israel is an occupying power with the fourth largest army in the world.

We look forward to UTS actions which demonstrate that this institution takes its commitment to social justice and human rights seriously.

We will continue to advocate for UTS to cease all partnerships and affiliations with Technion and any other company or institution which supports Israel’s violations of the human rights of Palestinians and their right to justice under international law.
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Sign the petition to UTS Vice Chancellor, Professor Attila Sprungs and Vice President (Engagement) Celia Hurley HERE.