Summer Research Workshop Discussions

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the D.C. Holocaust is offering a panel discussion and workshop discussion. At a time where we are seeing, as the joint Brandeis Center-Trinity College report specifies, a resurgence of anti-Semitic activity, it is important that we take time to learn about the history of…

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NY State Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Resolution

Earlier this month, the New York State Assembly passed a resolution rejecting the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-Brooklyn) along with 74 other members co-sponsored the bill, which “[supports] efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and the right of Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination.“ Additionally, this resolution reaffirms New…

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Attorneys: Sign Petition to UC Regents on State Department’s Definition

An important decision is coming up at the end of July that could be a major step forward in fighting anti-Semitism on college campuses. The

University of California school system’s Board of Regents is set to vote at its next meeting, July 22-23, on whether it should adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.

This comes after the President of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, came out in support of the definition and urged the Regents to accept it as well. A number of undergraduate student bodies within the UC school system, including University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) have adopted resolutions condemning anti-Semitism and including the definition.

Finally, a petition (see below) is being put forward by attorneys to urge the UC Board of Regents to adopt the definition and to push back against protests that it would infringe upon First Amendment rights.  We urge all attorneys to read and sign the petition here.


 

Dear Member of the Board of Regents:

We are attorneys from around the country – private practitioners, public sector attorneys, and university faculty – who are deeply concerned about rising anti-Semitism, including on American college campuses.  Unfortunately, the University of California (UC) has not been immune to the problem and, indeed, has played host to some of the worst anti-Semitic incidents.  Over the last few years, Jewish UC students have reported being physically assaulted, threatened, and discriminated against.  Jewish property has been defaced and destroyed.  And Jewish student events have been disrupted and shut down.

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Controversial Course at University of Missouri Cancelled

On Wednesday, June 10, the University of Missouri announced that it was canceling a controversial class planned for Fall 2015. The class was widely contested by pro-Israel organizations and students. George P. Smith, a biology professor at University of Missouri and extreme anti-Zionist was preparing to teach a course entitled “Perspectives on Zionism,” an ironic…

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Brandeis Center Receives Four Members

Once again, the Brandeis Center is pleased to welcome three new members to the team and welcome back an intern from last summer. The new members are law clerks Corey Celt and Jacky Beda and communications intern Ilan Kaplan. Our returning communications intern is Steven Isaacson.   Jacky Beda is currently a rising 2L at…

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From Murder to Museums: Recent Cases and Ethical Considerations in Nazi Looted Art

New York lawyers may be interested in this upcoming Continuing Legal Education opportunity provided by the New York County Lawyers’ Association:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 6:00 PM – 7:40 PM

Member Price: $50
Non-Member Attorney Price: $75
Intended Audience:

Non-attorneys (No CLE) may attend FREE. RSVP to eberezinsky@nycla.org

Location: 2nd Floor Auditorium

Course ID: C061615

Credits: 2 NJ Credits: 1 Ethics; 1 General
2 NY Credits: 1 Ethics; 1 PP; Transitional and Non-transitional

Course Description:

While much attention has been given to the resolution of the case surrounding the Woman in Gold portrait, learn the facts and ethical considerations behind the current pending controversies regarding artworks looted by Nazi Germany, including Camille Pissarro’s “Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep,” currently residing at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman, Oklahoma and Egon Schiele’s “Girl With Black Hair,” currently at Oberlin College.

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New Congressional Legislation Aimed at Countering BDS

The vote on the Trade Promotion Authority bill (“TPA”) is still up in the air. Having already passed through the Senate, the House will vote on the bill in the coming weeks. Hill Republicans and President Obama support the “fast track” legislation, which would help finalize a major Pacific trade accord with the Pacific rim. Democrats are torn between supporting the President’s quest for a historic Pacific Rim trade deal and their allegiance to traditional party backers like labor unions, who oppose the bill.

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Canada’s Important Resolution on Anti-Semitism

Canada has just passed a resolution that defines and prioritizes combating anti-Semitism. In an article for the Jerusalem Post, Irwin Cotler, former justice minister and current MP of the Canadian parliament, discussed the importance of such a resolution. Last February, Cotler and Jason Kenney, the minister of multiculturalism, presented the resolution to Canada’s House of…

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Zivotofsky: A Victory for the Executive Branch

In 2002, Congress passed Section 214(d) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which permitted American Citizens born in Jerusalem to identify on their passport that they were born in Israel. Since the passing of the statute, the State Department has refused to enforce the law, and lists only “Jerusalem” on its passports. In a 6-3…

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LDB Makes Higher Education Act Case to Congressional Staffers

On Wednesday, Brandeis Center President Kenneth L. Marcus and Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) President Sarah Stern educated congressional staff and others on the history, current status, and problems of Title VI of the Higher Education Opportunities Act. This year, the failed government program, which funds many controversial Middle East Studies outreach programs, is…

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Divestment Resolution Passed at UC Davis

After a long semester of anti-Semitism on North American college campuses, the Student Senate at UC Davis has voted overwhelmingly to pass an Israel divestment resolution, by a final vote of 10-0, with two abstentions. This is not the first resolution that the students of UC Davis have passed, however. Earlier in the semester, on…

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BDS Defeated at Washington Supreme Court

In a major setback to the BDS campaign, the Washington State Supreme court reversed a lower court’s ruling yesterday and struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP statute as unconstitutional. The Olympia Food Co-op, based in Olympia, Washington, provides “wholesome foods and other goods and services . . . through a locally oriented, collectively managed, not-for-profit cooperative…

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Napolitano Supports State Department Definition of Anti-Semitism

In response to growing worries about Anti-Semitic behaviors, especially in the University of California school system, over 500 of the school’s alums sent a letter to UC President Janet Napolitano telling their alma mater that it is imperative the system implement means to restrict and inhibit acts of Anti-Semitism against students. President Napolitano agrees. According…

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Illinois State Legislature approves an Anti-BDS bill

For several months now, the U.S. government has been conducting a substantial amount of necessary work on fighting anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. At the end of March, Congress created a Bipartisan Task Force to Combat Anti-Semitism, based on the Department of State’s definition of anti-Semitism. The State Department’s definition, which currently is used only for international…

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UC Regents to Meet at UCSF, Chance to Fight Back

The UC Regents will meet at UCSF-Mission Bay this coming May 20th and 21st, where there will be time for public comments sessions, at 3pm and 8:30pm respectively. At a time where the campus climate, specifically at UC schools, is not a conducive one to success for Jewish students, this meeting presents a constructive opportunity…

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At Bowdoin College, BDS Defeated

Earlier this month, in glorious fashion, students at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine voted to defeat the notorious BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement against Israel. According to a piece in Legal Insurrection by Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson, the referendum, which called for the economic, cultural, and academic boycotts of Israel, was rejected…

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LDB and Others Write Napolitano about Anti-Israeli class at UC Riverside

The Louis D. Brandeis Center joins the AMCHA initiative and 25 other groups in writing a letter to University of California President Napolitano and Provost Dorr about an anti-Israeli class taught at UC Riverside by a SJP member

Dear President Napolitano and Provost Dorr,

The_University_of_California_1868_Merced.svgLast Fall, after several of our organizations wrote to you expressing our concern about instructors on UC campuses who promote anti-Israel propaganda and boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaigns in their classrooms, you sent us assurances that the Regents Policy on Course Content, which prohibits misuse of the classroom for political indoctrination, applies to both graduate student instructors and faculty, and you called on UC Chancellors to enforce this important policy.

However, we are gravely concerned about a course being given at UC Riverside this academic quarter, which we believe is being used for political indoctrination rather than education.  Even more troubling is that when our organizations and members of the public have expressed their legitimate concerns to UCR administrators, they have been unwilling to acknowledge these clear violations of UC policy, let alone address them.
 

The one-credit course, entitled “Palestine & Israel: Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid,” is being taught at UCR by Tina Matar, an undergraduate student who is the head of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).  Matar was an author and proponent of the extremely contentious anti-Israel divestment resolution passed by the UCR student senate last April, as well as the leader of a very recent SJP campaign to have an Israeli product, Sabra humus, removed from campus cafeterias. Matar’s class syllabus, reproduced below, strongly suggests that her affiliation with the anti-Zionist SJP group formed the ideological basis for her course curriculum, which was developed under the mentorship of the SJP’s faculty advisor, UCR English Professor David Lloyd, who is also a BDS leader and founder of the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

In addition, a preliminary analysis of Matar’s syllabus by Verity Educate  a non-partisan, non-profit organization that provides scholarly analysis of the factual accuracy and objectivity of educational material, demonstrated that “the core academic and educational values of knowledge acquisition and critical thinking have been hijacked by a particular strain of political action, and specifically by a particular politically oriented activist organization.”  Verity Educate’s analysis includes the following: 

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