Israel Musings January 5, 2015: American Historical Association (AHA) rejects anti-Israel resolutions at meeting

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

American Historical Association (AHA) rejects anti-Israel resolutions at meeting

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Historians gathering at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting in New York City voted on Sunday evening, Jan. 4, 2015 against adding to their agenda a vote on two anti-Israel resolutions with an overwhelming vote of 144…READ MORE

Israel Musings November 27, 2014: Concordia voting on BDS contradicts Canada’s staunch support for Israel

ISRAEL MUSINGS

ISRAEL MUSINGS: OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Concordia voting on BDS contradicts Canada’s staunch support for Israel

Source: Times of Israel, 11-27-14
Concordia University’s student union in Montreal, Canada is deciding between Nov. 25 to 27, 2014 whether they will officially support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel…….READ MORE: Bonnie K. Goodman | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/bonnie-k-goodman/#ixzz3OUDz11ut

Israel Brief December 16, 2013: American Studies Association votes for boycott of Israeli universities

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ISRAEL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

American Studies Association votes for boycott of Israeli universities

Source: JTA, 12-16-13

The membership of the American Studies Association endorsed its national council’s call for a boycott of Israeli universities….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News June 6, 2012: Jewish leaders denounced the Free University of Brussels Recognition of BDS Movement as Legitimate Student Forum

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

Jews Lash Out Against Recognition of BDS as Student Forum

Jewish leaders denounced the Free University of Brussels for recognizing BDS as a legitimate student forum.
Israeli tomatoes

Israeli tomatoes
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The president of the Committee of the Coordination of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB) denounced the Free University of Brussels (ULB) for recognizing the Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions movement against Israel as a legitimate student forum.

While the proposal was submitted about a year ago, it was recently included in the agenda of a Board meeting held on 21st May 2012. A debate was held with the majority of Board member voting in favor of recognizing BDS as a ULB student framework.

“I don’t understand the attitude of the administrative council,” Maurice Sosnowski, head of the CCOJB, told the Belgian daily La Libre, according to The European Jewish Press.

“This decision calls ULB’s credibility into question, as it is the sole European institution to have admitted a BDS presence in its walls,” he said. “Not even Great Britain and Ireland have taken such negative steps. I would add that it’s not really an organization, but a local branch of an international movement. Its creation was not at all accidental and was purely politically driven. We are far from having open debates (there) and rather in an isolated position.”

Sosnowski condemned the university saying, “Two years ago, BDS requested a stand at a welcome reception for students, but the Vice-Chancellor refused them at the time.” He added that, “in Belgium there is no longer an anti-boycott law, as opposed to in France where even (far-left wing anti-Israel politician) Martine Aubry has taken a firm stand against the boycott”.

“Few people at ULB seem to know that 39 Nobel Prize winners of different origins have spoken out against the BDS movement,” he continued. “The idea of an academic boycott is the worst thing to present itself in a university that wishes to have world-wide appeal. It is even worse considering that (Flemish Prime Minister) Kris Peeters is leading the Vice-Chancellors of Flemish universities in a trip to Israel to prepare for increased bilateral relations (with Israeli institutions). It’s not really the time for ULB to distance itself from its Israel counterparts”.

Israel Brief October 30, 2011: Kent State University president slams anti-Israel professor

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Kent State University president slams anti-Israel professor

Source: JTA, 10-30-11

The president of Kent State University decried the behavior of a professor who shouted “death to Israel” during a lecture given by a former Israeli diplomat.

Ishmael Khaldi, the former deputy consul general at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, was confronted by Kent State University history professor Julio Pino during a question-and-answer session following Khaldi’s speech at a campus event last week. Khaldi was speaking about his life as a Bedouin in Israel who rose through the ranks of the Foreign Ministry, as well as Middle East issues.

Pino, a convert to Islam and a tenured professor, asked Khaldi how the Israeli government could justify providing aid to countries like Turkey — to which Israel recently sent earthquake aid — with “blood money” from the deaths of Palestinian children. After briefly arguing with Khaldi, Pino left the auditorium shouting “Death to Israel.” An audience member responded by shouting “Shame on you” after him.

KSU President Lester Lefton said in a letter published on the university’s website that Pino’s behavior was “reprehensible, and an embarrassment to our university.”

Lefton wrote that he believed it as Pino’s right to pose a provocative question to Khaldi, but that while it was also Pino’s right to shout invective against Israel, “it is my obligation, as the president of this university, to say that I find his words deplorable, and his behavior deeply troubling.”

“We value critical thinking at this university, and encourage students to engage with ideas that they find difficult or make them uncomfortable. We hope that our faculty will always model how best to combine passion for one’s position with respect for those with whom we disagree. Calling for the destruction of the state from which our guest comes (as do some of our students, faculty and community members) is a grotesque failure to model these values,” Lefton’s statement said.

“We welcome President Lefton’s clear condemnation of Professor Julio Pino’s deplorable conduct,” said Nina Sundell, the Anti-Defamation League’s Ohio regional director. “Statements such as ‘Death to Israel’ extend beyond legitimate political discourse. When the statement is shouted by a university professor at a university student organization event on campus, it is even more harmful.”

Pino has courted controversy for years, writing an opinion column in 2002 in which he praised a suicide bomber. In 2007 he faced allegations that he was behind the website Global War, which bills itself as “a jihadist news service.” At the time, Pino refused to comment on the allegations, describing it as a freedom of speech issue. However, his department chair said that Pino had told him that he contributed articles to the site.

Israel Brief September 20, 2011: Columbia University Never Invited Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Dinner

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Columbia U Never Invited Ahmadinejad to Dinner

Source: JTA, Virtual Jerusalem, 9-20-11

Columbia University clarified that a Fox News report suggesting that Columbia’s president was involved in an event next week for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was false.

An Israeli group, the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center in Tel Aviv, had sent a letter to Columbia President Lee Bollinger condemning his alleged involvement with the event, saying the university could be liable to legal repercussions. JTA reported the sending of that letter.

The erroneous Fox News report was based on a story in the Columbia student newspaper that reported that members of Columbia’s International Relations Council and Association were invited via e-mail to a private meal Sept. 21 with Ahmadinejad. Some 15 students will attend the dinner, which is still tentative, according to the Columbia Spectator. The dinner is not a Columbia event.

Ahmadinejad is coming to New York to participate in the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly next week. His controversial address at Columbia in 2007 embroiled the campus in a debate over freedom of speech and academic freedom.

When Bollinger hosted Ahmadinejad at the university in 2007, he drew much criticism, even after he introduced the Iranian leader with a scathing rebuke of Iran’s human rights record.

Via jta.org

Israel Brief September 15, 2011: Hillel & JAFI Introducing Advocacy Program ‘Talk Israel’ to US College Campuses

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

‘Talk Israel’ tents coming to U.S. college campuses

Source: JTA, 9-15-11

The Jewish Agency for Israel and Hillel are erecting white tents on 20 campuses throughout North America to serve as forums to discuss Israel and the Middle East.

The “Talk Israel” program will take place Sept. 20 and 21 at universities including the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, George Washington and the University of Maryland.

The tents will serve as campus venues for students to engage in respectful dialogue and raise questions and issues relating to the peace process and the Palestinian Authority’s statehood initiative at the United Nations.

“This is our answer to the war against Israel’s legitimacy that is being waged around the world; to bring Jewish students to Israel and to foster in them a sense of belonging, identity and pride,” Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said in a statement.

Full Text September 13, 2011: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs Statement on Cameron Johnson’s Anti-Semitic Remark at York University Lecture

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ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Statement on the Recent Controversy at York University

Source: Newswire, 9-13-11

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs was recently made aware of a lecture given by Professor Cameron Johnston yesterday at York University, which reportedly included an anti-Semitic remark.

In response, Sheldon Goodman, the GTA Co-Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs issued the following statement:

“Upon hearing of this incident, we immediately contacted York University as well as Professor Johnston directly. While York is currently looking into the matter, it appears that a very unfortunate misunderstanding has taken place. We believe Professor Johnston’s use of an abhorrent statement was intended to demonstrate that some opinions are simply not legitimate. This point was, without ill intentions, taken out of context and circulated in the Jewish community.

“Professor Johnston, himself a member of the Jewish community, may regret his wording but should not see his reputation tarnished. This event is an appropriate reminder that great caution must be exercised before concluding a statement or action is anti-Semitic.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is now the spokesperson for all issues concerning the organized Canadian Jewish community, including those formerly handled by the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canada-Israel Committee, and the Quebec-Israel Committee.

Statement from Professor Cameron Johnston
September 13, 2011

In lecture, I discussed that the course focuses on the texts and not “opinions”.  In fact, I stated that for this course opinions are not relevant and I questioned the common idea that everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I pointed out that everyone is not entitled to their opinion by giving the example of someone having an anti-semitic opinion which is clearly not acceptable. This was an example of the fact that opinions can be dangerous and that none of us really do believe that all opinions are acceptable.

For the record, I am also Jewish which undoubtedly influenced my choice of this example of a reprehensible opinion.

Regards,
Cameron Johnston

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