Jews, Israel, and the War of a Million Cuts

Review: Manfred Gerstenfeld, The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews [New York: RVP Publishers Inc., 2015], [501 pgs.], $27.37.   In The War of a Million Cuts, Manfred Gerstenfeld describes the growth of anti-Semitism in the world and how it is often hidden behind anti-Israel comments.…

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University of Toronto Rejects BDS

This past year has been a busy one in the educational, political, and legal BDS realms. Just this past week, the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Student Union (UTSU) voted, as first reported by Shalom Life, to reject creating and funding a side committee to explore the possibilities to develop the anti-Semitic…

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Take This Poll on SCR-35 and State Department Definition

UCLA’s student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, is running a poll on the SCR-35 resolution and the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. The SCR-35 resolution was passed earlier this month by the California State Assembly urging the University of California (UC) to condemn anti-Semitism. UC President Janet Napolitano also encouraged the condemning of anti-Semitism and supported…

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California State Assembly Passes Important Resolution

The state of California has taken another important step forward in combating anti-Semitism. On Monday, July 13, the California State General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging the University of California to condemn anti-Semitism.  The resolution, originally put forward by State Senator Jeff Stone (R- CA), passed the Higher Education Committee of the California State…

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State Anti-Boycott Laws and Free Speech, by Eugene Kontorovich

In recent months, Illinois and South Carolina have passed anti-BDS measures that protects taxpayers from indirectly supporting discriminatory boycotts against Israel. Northwestern Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich in an article in Tablet Magazine puts to rest concerns that measures to withhold public funds from companies that boycott Israel violate the First Amendment. As Professor Kontorovich notes, the First Amendment allows states to…

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Fall Internship Announcement

The Brandeis Center is pleased to announce that it is now reviewing internship applications for the upcoming fall semester. This summer, LDB welcomed in five interns: two Law Clerks and three Communications and Development interns.  The Center is looking for a group of new students to continue in the fight against anti-Semitism. While the Brandeis Center…

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Episcopal Church Votes Down BDS

Following a series of political victories against BDS, the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops, at the church’s General Convention in Salt Lake City, UT refused to divest from companies that do business with Israel in the West Bank, rejecting the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

A committee of leaders from the Church proposed the resolution back in April, noting that without a path to peace, “Maintaining the status quo is no longer viable in the absence of the peace process.

This committee is determined to use the Episcopal Church, which has around 1.8 million members around the United States, as a way to delegitimize Israel, saying, “civilian deaths and maimings keep accumulating, while the occupation, which is its own form of violence, becomes more entrenched each day.”

They argue Christians have a moral obligation to create peace by ending the alleged Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

In a statement, the Church said,

“The House of Bishops sent a strong and clear message that divestment from companies and corporations engaged in certain business related to the State of Israel is not in the best interests of the Episcopal Church, its partners in the Holy Land, interreligious relations and the lives of Palestinians on the ground.”

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Anti-BDS Resolution Receives Bi-Partisan Congressional Support

Last week, the House of Representatives introduced a bi-partisan resolution condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions or professors. Resolution 318, introduced by Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), carries support from both sides of the aisle with two Republicans, and three Democrats.

The resolution recognizes that boycotting Israel, as the resolution states, “hinders the possibility of achieving a fair and just solution and a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

This push at the federal level to knock out the Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions(BDS) Movement against Israel follows several successful state level efforts.

Last month, the Illinois State Senate, incorporating the State Department’s Definition of Anti-Semitism, passed an anti-BDS bill that is slated to pass the House.

Next, the Tennessee State Assembly overwhelmingly approved an anti-BDS resolution, stating that BDS is “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish State.”

The Indiana General Assembly followed suit two days later, unanimously condemning BDS, stating BDS promotes “a climate of hatred, intimidation, intolerance and violence against Jews.”

Just this month, the New York State Assembly rejected BDS through a resolution that opposes attempts to delegitimize and apply double standards to, the Jewish State.

 

The full text of the bill can be read below.

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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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