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…

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…

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…

Tennessee first, then Indiana condemn BDS as anti-Semitic movement

For the first time in the U.S., a state legislature condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The Tennessee General Assembly approved the resolution overwhelmingly, declaring that BDS is “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state”. The resolution condemns similarly the BDS activities…

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: 

Anti-Zionism Week at UC Irvine

The Louis D. Brandeis Center joins the AMCHA Initiative and twenty other groups in writing a letter to UCI Chancellor and Vice Chancellor about the “Anti-Zionist Week 2015” at UC Irvine.

uci

May 1, 2015

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman
UCI Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Thomas Parham

Dear Chancellor Gillman and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Parham:

The 22 organizations below are extremely concerned that two UCI registered student organizations—the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine—have announced that on May 4-7, 2015, they will be hosting “Anti-Zionism Week 2015.”

This means a week of events, speakers, discussions, displays and possibly street theater that are meant to create animosity towards Israel and anyone who supports it.

Please be aware that many UCI students, faculty, and community members self-identify as Zionists.  An “Anti-Zionism Week” will be offensive, divisive, and hurtful to them, and could create a hostile campus environment.

If past years of anti-Zionism weeks offer any guidance, these events, individually and/or collectively, will in great likelihood include statements and create an atmosphere that is not only anti-Zionist but also anti-Semitic under the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. In particular, the State Department’s definition notes the ways that anti-Semitism manifests itself in regard to speech about the State of Israel:

  • Demonizing Israel: using symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis; comparing Israeli policies to that of the Nazis; blaming Israel for all political tensions.
  • Double Standards toward Israel: requiring of Israel behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation; focusing only on Israel for peace or human rights investigations.
  • Delegitimizing Israel: denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland; denying Israel the right to exist.

Recently, the student senates of UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara responded to the escalation of anti-Semitic activity on UC campuses by unanimously passing resolutions condemning anti-Semitism, citing this above definition. These resolutions resolved to use the State Department’s definition to help identify anti-Semitic activity.  In 2014, the student government at UC Irvine passed a resolution affirming its “strong opposition” to anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and discrimination. Link to that resolution: HERE.

LDB and Decalogue Join Forces to Train Illinois Law Students

This article about LDB’s National Law Student Leadership Conference was published in the Spring 2015 Edition of the “Decalogue Tablet,” a publication of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. The Decalogue Society is a Chicago-based organization founded in 1934 to promote justice in society and to advance and improve the law, administration of justice and legal…

Kantor Center Reports on Surging Global Anti-Semitism

kantor-center-logoThe 2014 Kantor Center annual report highlights a 38% worldwide increase in violent anti-Semitic incidents compared to 2013. The Kantor Center, based at Tel Aviv University, specializes in contemporary European Jewry and publishes an annual detailed report on anti-Semitism worldwide.

According to this data, 2014 is the second worst year for anti-Semitism in the last decade, with an increase of 554 reported violent anti-Semitic acts in 2013, to 766 in 2014.

Contrary to many anti-Semitism reports taking into account all forms of anti-Semitism, this report focuses solely on the violent acts, making the numbers even more frightening. Violent anti-Semitic incidents are characterized as, “with or without weapons and by arson, vandalism or direct threats against Jewish persons or institutions such as synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries and monuments as well as private property.” 

The below graph shows the worldwide evolution of violent anti-Semitic incidents since 1989. It shows a clear continuous upsurge of violence against Jews throughout the years, an increase of 882% in 25 years.

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Between 2013 and 2014 alone, there was an increase of 38%. Arson against Jews tripled, there was a 66% increase in Jews targeted in attacks (306 people in 2014), a 70% increase in synagogue attacks (114 attacks); and a 100% increase against Jewish property and institutions with weapons.

Worldwide, France has the highest number of violent anti-Semitic attacks for the third consecutive year, with 164 violent anti-Semitic attacks in 2014 as compared to 141 in 2013. The United Kingdom comes in second, with 141 violent anti-Semitic attacks in 2014 as compared to 95 in 2013, and the United States in third, with 80 violent anti-Semitics attacks in 2014 as compared to 55 in 2013.

Violent anti-Semitic attacks increased, and often more than doubled, in many countries throughout the world: Australia (30 vs. 11), Germany (76 vs. 36), Austria (9 vs. 4), Italy (23 vs. 12), Sweden (17 vs. 3), Belgium (30 vs. 11) and South Africa (14 vs. 1).