UKLI Israel Lawyers’ Trip

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We are forwarding a message received from the UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) which may be of interest:
UKLFI and the UK Zionist Federation are organising a special legal tour in Israel from 12-16 February. They have an impressive program (or “programme” as they say over there), including visits to the Knesset, the Supreme Court, Ofer Military Court and Tel Aviv Commercial Court; addresses by the President and by leading Israeli lawyers and activists; examination on the ground of the issues relating to East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements; private guided tours of museums and sites; and more. They are still accepting applications for additional participants.  They emphasize that one need not be an attorney to join this tour.
They will be staying at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The cost is £925.00 per person sharing a room, inclusive of half board, but excluding flights. The single room option is £1,220. For a cheaper hotel option please contact the people listed below. They say that the tour will be suitable for participants who keep kosher and Shabbat.

Islamist Nihilism

Kenan Malik in the NYT, January 3, 2015, at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/opinion/sunday/kenan-malik-the-nihilist-rage-of-radical-islam.html?ref=opinion: “In the past, racists often viewed modernity as the property of the West and regarded the non-Western world as incapable of modernizing. Today, it is radicals who often regard modernity as a Western product, and reject both it and the West as tainted goods. “The…

Human Rights and Inhuman Interrogation Methods

I consider torture—including waterboarding—not only morally but aesthetically revolting. But unlike Jews who miraculously always find their liberal preferences enshrined in biblical and rabbinic precedent, I find nothing in those traditions that directly bears on the question of torture except the Talmudic dictum, “ain adam mesim atsmo,” against self-incrimination. I’ve been more influenced by great…

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Some sixty years ago, a group of American intellectuals—many of them Jewish academics including Daniel Bell, Seymour Martin Lipset, and Richard Hofstadter—authored “The Radical Right,” bringing social science theory to bear on the attempt to understand and counter McCarthyism. Back then, academe—especially Jewish academe—felt threatened by irrational forces, not within the university, but buffeting it…

The LDB urges Congress to end or mend Middle East Studies Funding

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The Brandeis Center recently issued a public policy White Paper on “The Morass of Middle East Studies: Title VI of the Higher Education Act and Federally Funded Area Studies” to address shortcomings in Title VI of the Higher Education Act.  The LDB is particularly concerned about biased, politicized, anti-Israel and anti-American programming at Title VI Centers that violate both the letter and spirit of 2008 congressional reforms.  Many Title VI recipients were ideologically polarized institutions notorious for one-sided approaches hostile to the United States, the West, and Israel.  Some programs were reportedly so hostile towards Israel that they would not even remotely entertain views that contradicted their unrelentingly anti-Israel perspective.

The White Paper is comprehensive in content, which includes a brief history of Title VI from its Cold War origins through post 9/11 reform efforts, the current status of Middle East Studies programs, analysis of failures, and recommendations for more effective Title VI funding. In an analysis of Middle East Studies programs, the Center found that:

  • “No proper complaint-resolution procedure exists to ensure compliance with the HEOA’s key Diverse Perspectives requirement” – highlighting Congress’ Failure to Provide an Enforcement Mechanism.
  • The Department of Education has not indicated what is required by the Diverse Perspectives requirement or how it can best be implemented.
  • “The Department [of Education] does not ensure compliance with this requirement through well-established processes that it uses to monitor grantees actions under other programs.”

The Department’s failure to clarify the Diverse Perspectives requirement has meant that universities applying for Title VI funding do not know what must be done to achieve “diverse perspectives,” and government officials do not know what to look for in reviewing applications.  To address this, the White Paper offers recommendations to Congress, the Department of Education, and the universities, on how best to reform Title VI funding.

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE MISUSE OF FEDERAL FUNDS UNDER TITLE VI

Today a coalition of national organizations, including the Louis D. Brandeis Center, issued the following statement concerning the issue of biased and highly politicized Middle East Studies programs funded under HEA Title VI.  The statement addresses the history, current problems, and proposed solutions ameliorate the bias programs of Title VI recipients. We, the undersigned, are…

Prof. Dawinder S. Sidhu Joins LDB Academic Advisory Board

The Brandeis Center is pleased to announce another important addition to its advisory committee.  Professor Dawinder ‘Dave’ S. Sidhu, a distinguished scholar of constitutional law and civil rights, is the newest addition to LDB’s Academic Advisory Board.   Professsor Sidhu, who teaches law at the University of New Mexico, is known for his work in constitutional law, criminal law, national security, and civil rights. 

LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus commented, “We are very grateful for Professor Sidhu’s expertise and are looking forward to working with him. Prof. Sidhu is a constitutional law scholar of great distinction, who has produced important scholarship during his appointments at New Mexico, Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, and elsewhere.  He has published important articles exploring legal aspects of religious freedom and racial discrimination and co-authored an important article on the post-9/11 Sikh experience.  He also brings important policy expertise developed during his earlier tenure at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.”

Sidhu joins many distinguished scholars of the Brandeis Center’s Academic Advisory Board: Hon. Irwin Cotler (Honorary Chair), David E. Bernstein, Catherine Chatterley, Richard Cravatts, Karen Eltis, Lesley Klaff, David Menashri, Dina Porat, Walter Reich, Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Charles A. Small, Gregory H. Stanton, Ruth R. Wisse, and Aryeh K. Weinberg.

Sidhu’s background is impressive:  He has taught at the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Baltimore School of Law, and has held research posts at the University of Oxford Faculty of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and Harvard University’s Pluralism Project. He has served as a fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, staff attorney at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and a law clerk to U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell. Sidhu has participated, on a volunteer basis, in several constitutional and civil rights cases before the Supreme Court and federal courts of appeal. His scholarship has been cited by practitioners in briefs before the Supreme Court of the United States (at the certiorari and merits stages), federal circuit courts, and state intermediate and high courts. In addition, his writings have appeared in various academic journals, including the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law and the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, popular publications, including the New York Times and Washington Post, and blogs, including SCOTUSblog and Lawfare.

What a Year for the Launch of Our Law School Chapters

UCLA LawThe Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law launched law student chapters that will fill an important gap in American legal education, offer the opportunities that members seek, and provide a resource to other members of the university community.   Many law students are eager to combine their legal training with their interest in Jewish civil rights issues, including fighting the contemporary resurgence of global and campus anti-Semitism.  Some students are interested in educational programming, while others want to develop their research and advocacy skills.  Some undergraduate students feel embattled by political controversies at their institutions, such as movements to boycott the State of Israel, and would like support from law students who are trained in applicable legal areas.  Few law schools offer meaningful activities for students who share our mission.  To be sure, some schools have active Jewish law students’ associations that provide important social, cultural and perhaps religious activities, but they seldom provide much substantive legal programming.