Contact Brandeis Center Lawyers About Campus Anti-Semitism

Students and professors: If you are aware of anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli incidents on your college or university campus, please contact lawyers at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.   The Brandeis Center is an independent, nonprofit civil rights organization that combats campus anti-Semitism through legal advocacy, research and education.  Through our legal initiative,…

Petition Against Anti-Israel Bullying and Bigotry on Campus

A group called “Students Against Bigotry” is circulating this petition against “anti-Israel bullying and bigotry on campus.”  The campaign for a boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel often degenerates into hatred and smears.  We oppose harassment, bigotry and bullying against any group. The petition may be found here, and its text is shown below.

STUDENTS AND ALUMNI OF NORTH AMERICAN COLLEGES 

CALL FOR AN END TO ANTI-ISRAEL BULLYING AND BIGOTRY ON CAMPUSES—

AND CALL FOR HONEST, CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE AND ACTIONS

We represent the silent majority of students who are fed up with the anti-Israel activity on increasing numbers of North American campuses.

We are tired of being subjected to anti-Israel slogans, events, and street theater.

We are tired of boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns against Israel (BDS), especially the divestment resolutions that are stealthily introduced to our student governments.

We are tired of the bullying of those who dare challenge these hostile tactics and messages.

We are tired of the bitter divisiveness the anti-Israel campaign foments on campuses.

Nora Gold Addresses Anti-Semitism for ISGAP at McGill University

Author Nora Gold will speak tomorrow at McGill University on “‘I Don’t Know Why They Hate Us – I Don’t Think We Did Anything Bad To Hurt Them’: Jewish Girls (Aged 10-12) Reflect on Their Experiences of Antisemitism.”  The talk is part of the the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy’s lecture series, which is conducted at several universities, including Harvard, Stanford, McGill and Fordham.  Nora Gold is the creator of the online literary journal JewishFiction.net and the author of novels and an award-winning collection of short fiction.

Presidents, Prejudice, and Public Policy

Roosevelt and TrumanLike much else about the 1960s, the mantra that “all politics is personal” was rather naïve compared to earlier, more pointed formulations. According to Harold D. Lasswell, who authored Psychopathology and Politics (1930) during the first wave of Freudian debunking, all politics is the displacement of private motives unto public issues, rationalized in terms of the greater good. Herman Melville—a first-hand student of the rise of “Jacksonian democracy”—put it succinctly in Moby Dick: “all mortal greatness is but disease.”

Not surprisingly, it was soon after the making and unmaking of Richard Nixon, that James D. Barber’s The Presidential Character (1977) launched a new wave of psychoanalyzing presidents. The problem with many of these studies is that they may be strong on psychology, but are weak on politics—specifically, the nexus between “presidential character” and public policy decisions. Another problem: historians have proved as prone to projecting their own agendas as politicians. It is true that liberal historians, disillusioned with LBJ, have not been reluctant to dissect his character, and that—given that they really had no other choice—they relatively soon fessed up about JFK’s peccadillos.

However, the iconic FDR and—to a lesser degree, Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman—have long received kid gloves treatment.

Global Anti-Semitism Surged 30 Percent in 2012

Anti-Semitism researchers at Tel Aviv University have announced that anti-Semitic incidents surged by 30 percent last year.  Tel Aviv’s Kantor Center, headed by LDB Advisor Dina Porat, issues the authoritative annual report on global anti-Semitism.  This year’s report highlights a significant global surge, including last year’s Toulouse school massacre, and expresses concern about anti-Semitism in extreme right-wing political parties…

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Conduct Anti-BDS Petition Drive

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East SPME is circulating a faculty Petition to Condemn Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Against Israel.  The timing is important, as the BDS movement has recently scored a rare string of victories in North America.  Student governments have lately passed anti-Israel BDS resolutions at the University of California campuses at San Diego, Irvine and Riverside.  Meanwhile, Canada’s largest student government, which is at York University, last week endorsed the anti-Israel boycott.  Efforts to counteract the BDS movement have also had some traction, as pro-Israel groups have succeeded in convincing UC Riverside’s student government to reverse itself and revoke its divestment resolution.  In this volatile environment, SPME has intervened with an international faculty petition drive that attacks the BDS movement, rather than merely defending Israel against false charges.  In its message to “All Faculty” (below), SPME charges that the BDS movement BDS “uses false premises that mischaracterize Israel  in order to justify calling for sanctions against it.”  Specifically, SPME argues that BDS’ real purpose is to eliminate the State of Israel and undermine Jewish ethnic identity, while its affects are to bolster anti-Semitism and undermine peace:

Historian Catherine Chatterley to Address Struggles Over Holocaust Memory

Historian Catherine Chatterley, a member of the Louis D. Brandeis Center’s Academic Advisory Board, will deliver a lecture on April 11 on “Canada’s Struggle with Holocaust Memorialization:
The War Museum Controversy, Ethnic Identity Politics, &
the Canadian Museum for Human Rights” at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research in Montreal.  It is sadly true that the preservation of Holocaust memory has become an intensely polarizing political issue in some academic and political circles, not only in the Middle East and Europe but also in North America.  Dr. Chatterley, the Founding Director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitismis an astute social critic as well as an accomplished scholar, so this event promises to be worth attending.

Iran’s Incitement to Genocide Against Israel

Columnist Michael Gerson has an interesting Washington Post opinion piece arguing that Iran may be culpable for incitement to genocide against Israel under international criminal law.  This is not a new argument.  We have made the same argument here and here  and elaborated on some of the technical issues here.  Mitt Romney famously endorsed the argument during the last presidential campaign.  What is new is the context in which it appears.  Previously, arguments about Iranian genocidal incitement have focused on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  As Iran prepares for a presidential transition, however, it is important to stress, as Gerson does, that Iranian genocidal incitement has been pervasive throughout its regime.  Indeed, this incitement has been a constant in recent Iranian history under multiple presidential administrations.  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, may also be culpable.  Regardless of the fluctuations in Iranian politics, the prospect of anti-Israel genocide remains a serious issue for American foreign policy.  Gerson is right to remind us of its urgency.

Decision Postponed in Al Dura Case

Historian Richard Landes (Boston University) announces on his Augean Stables web site that the French court has delayed its decision on the Enderlin-Karsenty trial until May 22. This case concerns the extraordinary al Dura hoax, which has been used to foment anti-Semitic antagonism throughout the world.  Philippe Karsenty, a party to the case, offers the message below with some links that provide helpful background on the case.

Louis D. Brandeis Center Appoints Senior Civil Rights Legal Fellow

Today, the Brandeis Center is announcing the appointment of our first Senior Civil Rights Legal Fellow, Joshua Sol Brewster, Esq.  Mr. Brewster is a highly experienced civil rights attorney, who recently completed ten years of service at the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, where he worked his way up to Deputy Director and Chief Staff Counsel.

This is a terrific addition for the Center, and we are very pleased to have Mr. Brewster on our side as we continue to fight campus anti-Semitism as part of our broader mission to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promote justice for all.

The new appointment continues the Center’s steady growth, especially in the area of legal advocacy. Less than a month ago, we announced the appointment of Danit Sibovits as our first Staff Attorney and Litigation Counsel. Our announcement of Mr. Brewster’s appointment follows the jump.