Very recently, the Brandeis Center introduced a new and exciting law school initiative in which law schools across the nations can create law school student chapters to fight campus anti-Semitism. We recently welcomed the University of California, Los Angeles law school chapter. Soon, the President and general counsel of LDB, Kenneth L. Marcus will address the chapter about the topics of “Law, Civil Rights and Campus Anti-Semitism.” The event will take place on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 12:15 pm.
The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law is excited to announce the creation of a new short film called The Louis D. Brandeis Center: For Human Rights Under Law. Produced and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Gloria Greenfield, and edited by two-time Emmy Award winner Raoul Rosenberg, the film highlights the mission of the Louis D. Brandeis Center. The Louis D. Brandeis Center: For Human Rights Under Law starts out with an introduction by Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, author of Academics against Israel and the Jews, who discusses how the anti-Semitic discourse is still alive in America. He explains that this is a serious problem disguised as ‘hotbeds’ of anti-Israeli sentiments. This is echoed by Dr. Walter Reich, a professor of International Affairs, Ethics and Human Behavior at the George Washington University.
In this film, Kenneth L. Marcus , president and general counsel of the Brandeis Center, discusses the start of the Brandeis Center. In the early 2000’s, he saw a spike in anti-Semitism—the LDB Center was a response to this, so that the anti-Semitism sentiment of the early 21st century would be seen as an anomaly rather than as a trend. Events and anti- Israeli protests are highlighted at various universities, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara. For two out of these three schools, alumni talk about the ways in which they experienced anti-Semitism on campus—ranging from verbal to physical harassment.
The Louis D. Brandeis Center: For Human Rights Under Law also highlights some of the perspectives of Alyza D. Lewin, president of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, who explain the importance of allowing students to fight against the anti- Semitic statements. She explains that there is a void in the education for teaching students about their rights, which is being addressed by the Brandeis Center. She further explains that it is important for students to identify discrimination and go to the courts as necessary, because court rulings are often the only things that oppressors willing to listen to. Eugene Kontorovich, professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law echoes this by showing that the law is crucial in the fight for civil rights for many groups, whether that includes Jewish rights or the rights of any other minority group. The efforts are endorsed by Brooke Goldstein, director of the Lawfare project and L. Rachel Lerman, a partner at Akin Group.
Juxtapose two stories:
• At the University of the West Indies, in Cave Hill, Barbados, African drumming, a history lecture, and a song with the chorus, “We cry for the ancestors!” were featured at a ceremony unveiling a monument inscribed with 295 names of slaves who once lived on the plantation where the university now stands.
• Elizabeth City State University, a 2,300 student historically black college in North Carolina, is thinking about cutting seven undergraduate majors, including history, because these majors are “low productive.”
The first story comes from a New York Times op ed discussing efforts by Caribbean nations to unite around a common agenda demanding reparations for the slave trade and slavery. The question the second story, from Inside Higher Education, raises is: in the future will there still be debates anywhere about reparations for slavery and the slave trade—or for the Shoah—or for other past crimes if history ceases to be taught or taught seriously? Over half of U.S. high school students can’t locate Vietnam on a map—and aren’t sure in which century the American Civil War was fought. What can we expect in the future if historical illiteracy becomes, not merely an adolescent ‘fact of life,” but educationally normative?
The 1960s pop song—“Don’t Know Much About History”—may become an understatement.
In a recent article written for The Tablet, Kenneth R. Timmerman said that when he traveled to Gaza, Amman, and Damascus in 1994, he kept asking Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders whether they thought the Jews had a plan to dominate the world. Timmerman recounted the enthusiastic answer one Hamas leader: “Yes, indeed. I have a copy right here.” The man then pulled down from a shelf his copy of an Arabic version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Says Timmerman: “It was a response I heard again and again.”
Why did that happen? How did a horrible anti-Semitic tract spread though the Muslim world? Once again, this was not a natural development; anti-Semitic hatred was cultivated by the Soviet government’s disinformation experts.
In 1948, when the state of Israel was re-established, Stalin hoped to fill it with Russian Jewish agents. His plan was to use them to transform Israel into a springboard from which he would launch Soviet expansion into the Middle East. In 1948, however, Golda Meir visited Moscow, and she was enthusiastically greeted by huge groups of Russian Jews. Soon, many of these Jews were promoting the idea of a mass emigration to Israel.
False accusations against Jews can lead to horrific ends, but so can false charges of anti-Semitism. The problem is that charges of anti-Semitism are almost always met with denial, and it can be difficult to separate legitimate from illegitimate claims. That makes it particularly important to expose false charges when they are uncovered. The importance is magnified when the false charges were made as part of a government plan to advance a political agenda.
Many people think of Nazi Germany as the cradle of government created anti-Semitism, but long before anyone had heard of the Nazi Holocaust, the Russian concept of pogrom was well known. The 1939 edition of an authoritative Russian dictionary defined pogrom as: “the government-organized mass slaughter of some element of the population as a group, such as the Jewish pogroms in tsarist Russia.”
Israel Lives in a Dangerous Neighborhood, Struggles Against Terrorism and is Engaged in a Battle for Justice at the United Nations
Over the past sixty five years, Israel has faced and continues to face momentous challenges including wars, skirmishes, rocket attacks, terrorist murderous suicide bombings and assaults on her citizens, challenges to her legal status, boycotts, threats, accusations and demonization.
In the summer of 2000, Chairman Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization met at Camp David with President Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The Prime Minister offered to the Palestinians an agreement that included the establishment of the Palestinian state based on territorial borders that essentially constituted approximately 96% of the land located west of the Jordan River, known as the West Bank and included the Gaza strip on the Mediterranean.
Much to the chagrin of President Clinton and disappointment of PM Barak, Chairman Arafat did not accept the proposal and left the President and the Prime Minister essentially standing alone at Camp David.
Shortly thereafter, in late September 2000, the Palestinian uprising known as the Second Intifada commenced, bringing with it murderous suicide bombings and other attacks inside Israel, targeting busses, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, University cafeterias and attacking people in their homes and in the streets.
In response, in order to protect her people, the Israeli government commenced construction of a terrorism prevention security fence, parts of which include concrete barriers akin to what we know as Jersey walls on our expressways, although portions are quite high and obtrusive in order to provide safety to vehicles and persons below.
This terrorism prevention security fence is called by some a “wall”; and was the centerpiece of a request of the UN General Assembly referring to the International Court of Justice a legal question worded as follows:
What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?
The Islamic Republic of Iran, a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1984, remains the world’s “most active state sponsor of terrorism” according to the U.S. Department of State’s most recent Country Reports on Terrorism. Yet the world continues to turn a blind eye to Iran’s sponsorship of terror, ignoring the suffering of terror victims and the instability sown by terrorist groups acting at the behest of the Islamic Republic of Iran and continuing both threats and attacks throughout the world .
While the United States, Europe and the United Nations have imposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world has not stopped Iran’s continued development of its nuclear enrichment program. Sanctions, strong and clear, approved by the United States Congress and the White House, have not done the job. During his tenure as Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flaunted the international community’s repeated deadlines and there is no indication that Iran’s new President or its Ayatollah leadership will stop their drive to achieve nuclear capability. How can the world accept the prospect of a nuclear Iran, with its inherent real-time dangers, including its threats against Israel and the United States, particularly when viewed through the lens of Iran’s continued sponsorship of terrorist attacks? Indeed, separate from and in addition to the justified and crucially important ongoing focus on Iran’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat, the time is ripe for the US and the world to take concerted steps to stop Iranian-sponsored terrorism.
The Syrian Arab Republic has been listed on the US Department of State List of State Sponsors of Terror since 1979 and continues today as one of the world’s worst sponsors of terror, funding and providing safe haven for Hezbollah, HAMAS and other terrorist organizations.
Support takes the form of money, passage through and across roads and airports, safe houses and providing safe haven for the training of terrorist organizations and their operatives.
Syria’s relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran has had Syria serving as a conduit for Iranian terrorist sponsorship, as well as the feeding of materials, men, munitions, training and activities in both Syria and Lebanon. Particular focus has been in Lebanon’s Bakaa valley where Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations have trained and operated for decades. Syria hosted the infamous Abu Nidal and his terrorist organization in Damascus and its military-style training camps which operated under Syria’s intelligence and from which the Abu Nidal Organization launched attacks on sites in Europe. Included in these terror assaults were the Rome and Vienna Airport Attacks in 1985 and the EgyptAir Flight 648 Hijacking, also in 1985.