Victory Against U.K. Campus Anti-Semitism

Defining anti-Semitism has again proven its importance – this time, in the UK. Last week, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the UK’s leading universities regulator, ruled in favor of a disabled Jewish student’s complaint of campus anti-Semitism. The decision cited the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism (“Working…

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Pennsylvania Senate Passes Anti-BDS Bill

2016 has state legislatures taking a firm stand against the Boycotts, Disinvestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This summer alone, the Brandeis Center reported that California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York all enacted various laws establishing themselves against this invidious form of discrimination. Now, less than a month after California Governor Jerry Brown signed…

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ISGAP’s Fall International Antisemitism Seminar Series

LDB is pleased to share ISGAP’s (Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy) 2016 International Seminar Series, entitled “Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective.” Please find the Fall schedule below. ISGAP’s seminars are open to students, faculty and the general public. For more information, contact Ira Guberman at 212-230-1840 or info@isgap.org Columbia University Location: William and…

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Wrong-Headed Initiative

Dr. Diane B. Kunz, Esq. Wrong-Headed Initiative Equal treatment before United States law and government. That is a foundational American principle. Its aspirational neutrality, usually achieved, is one reason why people from so many nations with different ethnicities and differing religious beliefs have thrived in this country. Now J Street would challenge this basic principle…

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California Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill

This weekend brings more good news from the Sunshine State. A month ago, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 2844 – an anti-BDS bill –  requiring public entities and state agencies to certify that they have not created policies that discriminate against any sovereign nation by violating state civil rights under the Unruh Civil Rights…

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U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum supports IHRA definitions on anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial

This past week the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C united with scores of institutions and nations in taking up the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definitions of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.   The announcement of support came after a High Level Forum on Global Antisemitism hosted by the United Nations. The…

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The Brandeis Center Responds to Departure of UCLA Graduate Student Leader

Earlier this week, UCLA law student and former Graduate Student Association (GSA) President Milan Chatterjee announced his intention to leave UCLA and finish his studies at New York University School of Law. This announcement came after Chatterjee had been subjected to nearly 10 months of harassment by anti-Israel activists in the Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement at UCLA. This morning, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law expressed concern about the deleterious signal that this message will send not only to both sides in pending campus controversies regarding Israel and BDS but also to all conscientious students who are considering taking an active role in student government and civic engagement.

LDB President & General Counsel Kenneth L. Marcus explained, “It is disgraceful that anti-Israel extremists have managed to drive out this courageous and conscientious student leader for failing to capitulate to the demands of the BDS movement. The Milan Chatterjee affair reflects the insidiousness of the anti-Israel movement’s new strategy, which is to suppress pro-Israel advocacy and intimidate not only Jewish pro-Israel students but anyone who remains neutral. We cannot allow anti-Israel extremists to harass, silence, suppress, and banish those who refuse to support the anti-Semitic BDS movement.”

This disturbing turn of events reportedly traces its origins to the decision by Chatterjee and his GSA Cabinet to take a neutral stand on the anti-Semitic BDS movement. They reasoned that the GSA represents the entire graduate student body, rather than any one particular faction. Given their observation that the BDS movement, as described by Chatterjee, was “rampant” at UCLA and “created a great deal of division” on campus, Chatterjee allocated funds for a November 2015 ‘Diversity Caucus,’ with the stipulation that the caucus remain neutral on BDS. This choice to unite the student body rather than to foster division was met by an outpouring of virulent harassment towards Mr. Chatterjee both online and in person.

Following months of inflammatory rhetoric, Mr. Chatterjee’s accusers pressed the GSA to impeach then-GSA President Chatterjee, and presented a 32-page document containing what the Brandeis Center described as “bogus charges of overwhelmingly repetitive personal statements offered as “evidence” of these claims.” The LDB law student chapter at UCLA wrote a letter of strong support for President Chatterjee, denouncing his unjustified impeachment campaign. “Ousting a student government official from office for his good faith pursuit of his responsibilities” LDB law students explained, “discourages student participation and sends a chilling message to the student body.” Owing to the efforts of LDB law students and the Center, as well as an outpouring of support from other organizations and individuals, these impeachment efforts were foiled. However, Chatterjee received an official “censor” for his stand.

Chatterjee’s troubles did not end with the uncalled for censure.  Chatterjee faced an investigation by the UCLA administration, for which he had to acquire pro bono legal counsel. In July, the Brandeis Center released a statement of support for Chatterjee after the UCLA Discrimination Prevention Office (DPO) issued a report which alleged that his refusal to fund either side of the BDS debate was a violation of university policy. Chatterjee has recognized the Brandeis Center for its support of him throughout this turmoil.

As Kenneth L. Marcus reiterated today, “Good, conscientious students are being driven away from student government and replaced by extremists of the sort who victimized Mr. Chatterjee. This is a very dark day for the University of California, and a bad day for America. UCLA remains a great university, but it is diminished by Mr. Chatterjee’s departure.”

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German Students Take a Stand Against BDS

This historic resolution came into effect following a speech by Professor Lori Allen, of the University of London. Promoting her book, ‘The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine,’ as Benjamin  Weinthal of Jpost reports , pronounced support for a boycott of Israel and minimized the impact of terrorism on…

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Canadian Jewish Student Group Files Discrimination Complaint

On August 3, Hasbara Fellowships Canada, a pro-Israel campus activism organization and the country’s largest grassroots campus advocacy organization, announced that a complaint had been filed with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal against both the Student Association and the Faculty Association of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College. Hasbara filed…

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Karega Not Teaching at Oberlin this Fall

Today, Oberlin College announced that professor Joy Karega will not be teaching this Fall, a much-delayed decision following the revelation of a series of her highly anti-Semitic Facebook posts this past March. Karega’s posts (*which have since been deleted) included a series of conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic content, including blaming “Israel and Zionist Jews” for the…

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New Anti-Semitism Journal Seeks Papers

The Journal of Contemporary European Antisemitism (JCEA) recently announced that it is seeking original research articles for its first issue. JCEA is the first journal of its kind, covering all forms of anti-Semitism found in today’s Europe. It will be published bi-annually, beginning spring 2017.

academic studies press logo

LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus serves on the editorial board of the journal among a group of international and highly distinguished scholars. LDB greatly looks forward to the first issue of JCEA.

JCEA is inviting scholars from all relevant disciplines across the social sciences and humanities to send their original research articles. Overseen by an international team of editors and editor-in-chief Clemens Heni (Director of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism), the journal hopes to become a forum where scholars from diverse political and intellectual backgrounds can analyze, debate, and formulate effective responses to the ever-evolving and insidious threat of Jew-hatred in Europe.

JCEA defines the anti-Semitism of today in three different forms: 1) traditional anti-Semitism, including anti-Judaism, blood libels, and conspiracy myths, among other tropes; 2) Holocaust denial or distortion, which has a particular meaning in Eastern Europe; and 3) hatred of Israel or anti-Zionist anti-Semitism. The journal also emphasizes the European context and the contemporary nature of possible submissions, meaning that topics should be at least related to the time after 1945, but it is much better to be to the 21st century.

JCEA generally aims to publish articles of 5000-7000 words of text, including notes, and reviews not exceeding 1200 words. Articles will be peer-reviewed anonymously, so submissions should not include any identifying information.

Earlier this summer, another new journal issued a similar call for papers. The Canadian Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism (CISA) and Indiana University Press announced that they are releasing a new scholarly periodical Antisemitism Studies in April 2017. JCEA and Antisemitism Studies will join the existing Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism (JSA), of which LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus is also an editorial board member.

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Campus anti-Semitism Surges in 2016

2016 is unfolding as another unsettling year for Jewish students across U.S. college campuses. According to a report released this week by the AMCHA Initiative, anti-Semitic activities have surged over the past six months. The AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to the investigation, documentation and contestation of anti-Semitism, investigated 113 schools with the largest Jewish populations across the United States. Defining anti-Semitic instances by three criteria: (1) anti-Semitic expression – which following State Department sanctioned guidelines includes anti-Zionist expression, (2) Targeting of Jewish students, and (3) BDS activity. The findings were definitive:

There were a recorded 287 anti-Semitic incidents at 64 of these institutions – an alarming 57% of the total colleges surveyed.

This number is up by 45% from the 198 occurrences documented by the AMCHA in 2015. The AMCHA research also found that suppression of the speech of Jewish students approximately doubled from 2015 to 2016, whilst calls denying Israel’s right to exist nearly tripled.

Moreover, the study provided “ample empirical evidence showing that the presence of anti-Zionist student groups, faculty boycotters and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activity are each strong predictors of anti-Jewish hostility.”[1]

According to these findings anti-Semitic instances was twice as likely to transpire on campuses where BDS was present, six times more likely to occur on campuses with one or more faculty boycotters, and eight times more likely to happen on campuses with at least one active anti-Zionist student group such as SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine).

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UN Watch Fellowship Opportunity for College Grads

Our friends at UN Watch are searching for motivated recent college graduates for a terrific year-long, paid fellowship opportunity in Geneva. Interested candidates must posses superb English writing skills. Fellow responsibilities will include drafting reports, speeches, op-eds, and press releases, monitor and report on meetings at the UN, perform research, and manage social media. To learn…

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