PJTN IN THE NEWS: Florida, Virginia pass latest U.S. state-level measures against BDS movement

fl ani-bds

The Florida Senate and the Virginia General Assembly this week passed resolutions condemning and taking action against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, joining a growing trend of U.S. states disavowing BDS.

The Florida Senate adjusted an earlier Florida House version of the state’s measure, adding a call for the withdrawal of a United States Customs and Border Protection policy, “West Bank Country of Origin Marking Requirements,” which currently prevents West Bank products from being labeled as “Made in Israel.”

On Wednesday, the Virginia House passed a resolution condemning the BDS movement and opposing “all attempts to economically and politically isolate Israel within the international arena, including promotion of economic, cultural, and academic boycotts, and all efforts to assault the legitimacy of the State of Israel as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people.”

Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), a Christian Zionist organization, said it engaged in “months of campaigning efforts” for the Florida resolution. PJTN has been pushing for similar anti-BDS measures around the country.

“We will not stop until every single U.S. state comes out publicly condemning the anti-Semitic BDS movement,” said Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder and president of PJTN. “In Nazi Germany, Hitler and his minions painted the Star of David on Jewish businesses. Today, world leaders are targeting the Jewish state. We call upon Christians, Jews, and people of conscience across America to join us in pushing for similar resolutions in their home states.”

Original Article: JNS.ORG

Saudi prince: We support Israel in Palestinian war

kuwait israel

Calls for new strategy to combat Iran’s increasing influence.

Kuwait City — According to Kuwaiti Al Qabas daily, the flamboyant Saudi Prince and entrepreneur, al-Waleed bin Talal posited that his country must reconsider its regional commitments and devise a new strategy to combat Iran’s increasing influence in Gulf States by forging a Defense pact with Tel Aviv to deter any possible Iranian moves in the light of unfolding developments in the Syria and Moscow’s military intervention.

“The whole Middle-East dispute is tantamount to matter of life and death for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from my vantage point ,and I know that Iranians seek to unseat the Saudi regime by playing the Palestinian card , hence to foil their plots Saudi Arabia and Israel must bolster their relations and form a united front to stymie Tehran’s ambitious agenda,” Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) quoted Prince al-Waleed as saying on Tuesday , adding, Riyadh and Tel Aviv must achieve a modus vivendi , for Saudi policy in regard to Arab-Israeli crisis is no longer tenable.

Iran seeks to buttress its presence in the Mediterranean by supporting Assad regime in Syria, added Prince al-Waleed, but to the chagrin of Riyadh and its sister Gulf sheikhdoms , Putin’s Russia has become a real co-belligerent force in Syrian 4-year-old civil war by attacking CIA-trained Islamist rebels. Here surfaces the paramount importance of Saudi-Israeli nexus to frustrate Russia-Iran-Hezbollah axis.

“I will side with the Jewish nation and its democratic aspirations in case of outbreak of a Palestinian Intifada( uprising) and i shall exert all my influence to break any ominous Arab initiatives set to condemn Tel Aviv , because I deem the Arab-Israeli entente and future friendship necessary to impede the Iranian dangerous encroachment,”
Al Qabas cited the Saudi media tycoon as he is in a regional tour, visiting the other Gulf Arab littoral states–Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman–to muster support for Saudi-backed Islamist rebels in Syria.

No longer able to justify its illegal military presence in Bahrain – a tiny Arabian Gulf Kingdom, occupied by Saudi forces to stifle the 2011 pro-deaconry movement–, some high-profile Saudi officials, namely Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, voiced their willingness to annex Bahrain. These flagrant statements drew wide condemnation from nearly every quarter of the Arab world.

“…you know the union with Bahrain doesn’t explicitly mean to annex our dear neighbors, but in fact we are wary about the future of Bahrain, its people security and well-being. Bahrain is the home to U.S. fifth fleet which its presence is of vital interest for Saudi Arabia, thus we can not permit Iran to wreak havoc in our back yard,” said the Saudi Prince, vindicating his previous brash comments regarding the annexation of Bahrain.

Original Article: AWDNewas

Hamas: Infiltrations into Israeli settlements to manifest the next phase of the ‘intifada’

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“In the next days, the West Bank’s settlers will witness additional surprises from Hamas,” the Palestinian terror group declared Thursday.

Hamas has declared that the recent terror attacks committed by Palestinians in Israeli settlements in the West Bank show that “the next phase of the ‘Jerusalem intifada’ will cause great fear among settlers, who will no longer enjoy security.”

In a press statement released on Thursday, Hamas Spokesman Husam Badran praised the two stabbing attacks and the shooting attack that took place Wednesday in Nablus that resulted in the injuring of three IDF soldiers.

Badran said that the recurrent infiltrations by Palestinians into Israeli settlements, and the stabbing and shooting attacks they carry out inside, signal that the next phase of the intifada will sow fear among settlement residents.

He added that Palestinians know that the settlements are Israel’s weak point, which means that “they would carry out new forms of courageous attacks by infiltrating these settlements.”

“In the next days, the West Bank’s settlers will witness additional surprises from Hamas,” Badran further stated.

In recent weeks, various attacks within West Bank settlements have been carried out by predominately lone wolf assailants.

On Wednesday, two teenage Palestinian assailants attempted to barge into the home of a resident in the West Bank settlement of Eli and carry out an attack.

In mid-January, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed Israeli citizen Dafna Meir, 38, to death in front of her teenage daughter inside their home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel.

It marked the first time Palestinian terrorists had executed a fatal attack inside a settlement since March 2011 when five members of the Fogel family were stabbed to death in their home in Itamar.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

European Affairs: BDS spreading like wildfire in Europe?

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A lack of US-style resistance to the growing BDS movement in Europe has ignited a worrisome trend across the continent. It is now up to pro-Israel groups to extinguish the flames.

To fathom the potency (or lack thereof) of the BDS movement targeting Israel, the diverging and converging paths of its activity in the US and EU can be quite telling.

First, the divergences: Buoyed by the infamous 2001 UN Durban “anti-racism” conference in South Africa, ferociously anti-Israel mini-movements became the norm in Western Europe. Nearly 15 years after the conference, large sectors of European Muslims and hard-leftists, bolstered by an indifferent mainstream society, have turned BDS into an assault on Israel’s legitimacy.

The economic damage done to Israel by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is rather insignificant thus far. Rather, BDS is about lethal force. In short, the extremist core of the movement seeks to dismantle Israel. The British poet W.H. Auden understood where movements animated by a fundamentally irrational ideology lead: “When words lose their meaning, physical force takes over.”
As the late Dr. Robert Wistrich, the former head of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University, explained to this writer, there are still “countervailing forces” in the US to blunt efforts, especially on the grassroots level, to turn Israel into an abnormal state.

But the lack of civil society resistance to the ad nauseam attacks on Israel within Western European countries is disquieting. The challenge for anti-BDS activists will be to sway the vast number of undecided, largely apolitical constituencies in Europe.

As the Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor has documented, European governments have pumped tens of millions of euros into NGOs that support various forms of BDS. The mushrooming industry of BDS-animated NGOs in Europe is not matched in the United States.

A growing rift between American and European labor movements as regards their attitudes toward Israel has unfolded over the last decade. One extreme example was the left-wing Italian Flaica-Uniti-Cub trade union calling for a boycott of Jewish-owned stores in Rome because of Israel’s 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead to stop Hamas rocket fire into its territory. While major trade unions in the United Kingdom and Ireland have waged a BDS campaign against Israel, more than 30 unions in the United States (including those representing teachers, the United Auto Workers, the AFL-CIO, the Change to Win coalition of American labor unions, and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists) joined a Jewish Labor Committee campaign in 2007 to oppose boycotts of the Jewish state. The UAW overruled in December a resolution by its local union of California teaching assistants to boycott Israel.

All of this helps to explain that organized labor in the US remains largely free of anti-Jewish boycott measures. To be fair, The Jerusalem Post learned this week that the German teacher’s union GEW pulled the plug on a BDS talk with a Palestinian official in Hamburg. German unions, in sharp contrast to their counterparts in other parts of the EU, have not capitulated to BDS activity.
The lessons of the Holocaust appear to be alive and kicking within Germany’s labor movement. The legendary former head of the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB), Michael Sommer, played a key role in laying the anti- BDS foundation. Speaking at a joint Histadrut and DGB event in Berlin in 2009, he voiced his opposition to boycotts against Israel.

The 800-pound gorilla in the room that separates Europe from the US is the Holocaust.

The Shoah still informs large segments of Europe’s psychology – and frequently in a pathological way. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s play The Garbage, the City and Death, written in 1975, neatly captures an aspect of Europe’s preoccupation with Jews: “And it’s the Jew’s fault, because he makes us feel guilty because he exists. If he’d stayed where he came from, or if they’d gassed him, I would sleep better,” said one of the characters.

The transformation from “It’s the Jew’s fault” to “It’s Israel’s fault” is part and parcel of the BDS movement in European discourse.

To discern the role of this form of guilt-defensiveness anti-Semitism depends on the context and motivations of the BDS advocates.

The EU directive to label Israeli products from the settlements was initiated by an Austrian, Christian Berger, the EU’s policy official for the Middle East and North Africa, and secured the support of the overwhelming majority of foreign ministers. The EU labeling policy is not part of BDS, at least according to the EU, which formally opposes boycotts targeting Israel.

Some origins of the policy can be traced to legislative initiatives in Germany.

By way of background, in 2012, the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany submitted legislation in the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to demarcate Israeli products. In the following year, the powerful German Green Party introduced a legislative initiative, which was eerily similar to the neo-Nazis, in the Bundestag to label Israeli products.

Thus political parties helped to lay a legislative foundation for targeting Israeli merchandise with product labels.

The neo-Nazis in Germany advocate a full boycott of Israel. As a result, the labeling system could be viewed as a deceptive nascent phase in a slippery slope campaign to impose a full BDS program on Israel.

There have been no comparable pro-BDS congressional, state government, or local council measures in the US. In fact, the converse is true.

LET’S TURN to where the US and Europe converge on BDS. The US Congress and a ballooning number of state governments (e.g., Illinois, South Carolina, Florida) have passed anti-BDS resolutions and legislation. Some of the measures have real teeth and would involve punitive measures targeting EU governments for boycotting Israel.

The UK’s Cabinet Office minister, Matthew Hancock, announced a measure to block militant anti-Israel city councils from launching BDS activity. Last month, the Spanish municipality of Aviles expunged a BDS motion. After the pro-Israel group ACOM initiated legal action against the city based on an anti-discrimination law, the municipality walked back its BDS motion.

The social democratic mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, declared in November his opposition to providing municipal space to BDS activities. The directive, however, remains a paper tiger because the city’s cultural minister, Hans-Georg Küppers, continues to permit BDS activities in municipal-funded facilities.

In Vienna, the office of the social democratic mayor, Michael Häupl, told the Post last week that he wants the city-subsidized Amerlinghaus cultural center to cancel BDS events scheduled for March. The Austrian parliament promptly terminated a podium discussion with BDS activist Hedy Epstein and a conspiracy theorist, Heather Wokusch, who suggested that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks. Austria, like Germany, has no legislation barring BDS.

By contrast, the French government has a robust anti-discrimination law that covers full-blown boycotts targeting Israel. The French, however, are in a kind of split-personality mood. President François Hollande’s government energetically supports labeling of Israeli products and other unilateral penalties against Israel. Put simply, the French posture could help accelerate the slippery slope of anti-Israel activity into more BDS actions.

BDS can spread in Europe like wildfire. Consequently, one barely puts a BDS defeat in the rearview mirror before a new BDS action appears on the scene. Legislative and political measures will certainly help stem the flow of BDS. In the final analysis, however, if pro-Israel groups and local Jewish communities can bring about a radical attitudinal change within large swathes of the indifferent masses to stop the BDS program in Europe, there might be a sea change in public opinion.

If the unrealized potential of broad-based European pro-Israel views could be set in motion, it would create an additional convergence with American society.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Shurat HaDin Pursuing Class-Action ‘War Crimes’ Suit at International Criminal Court Against Palestinian Broadcasting Chiefs (VIDEO)

class action icc

An Israel-based international lawfare group is preparing a class-action suit against the heads of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation for spurring viewers to commit terrorist attacks against Jews, The Algemeiner has learned.

Shurat HaDin-The Israel Law Center intends to submit a complaint against Riyad al-Hassan and Ahmed Assaf for war crimes at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, after collecting thousands of signatures from plaintiffs, according to a video on its website and Facebook page.

Shurat HaDin told Army Radio on Wednesday that there is a precedent for such a suit, citing the lengthy prison sentences received by the heads of Rwanda’s TV and radio authority for war crimes, following incitement to murder during the civil war in that country.

In its campaign to garner plaintiffs for the suit (which prosecutors can decide to pursue and indict the PBC directors), Shurat HaDin produced a video clip showing famous US TV personalities – such as Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres – with their voices dubbed over, ostensibly calling on viewers to kill Muslims. The clip then proceeds to present popular American cartoon characters saying the same thing, then moves on to show actual broadcasts from PA-controlled TV.

It concludes with the narrator saying: “Of course, American TV would never really call for the murder of Muslims. But Palestinian TV incites for the murder of innocent Jews every single day.”

This is not the first time The Algemeiner has reported on Shurat HaDin targeting incitement. In October, the organization – founded and run by attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner – collected signatures for a class-action suit against Facebook, accusing it of not doing enough to counter Arabic-language pages containing antisemitic images and calls to commit violence against Israelis and Jews.

In January, it conducted an experiment that involved creating an antisemitic Facebook page and an anti-Palestinian one, and waiting to see which, if either, was removed. While the latter was instantly deemed in violation of Facebook’s “community standards,” it took six full days and numerous complaints by users, for the former to be taken down.

Later that same month, Shurat HaDin launched another campaign, to raise money for billboards to be placed in the area of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s house in Palo Alto, California – urging the social media giant, “Don’t Kill Us.”

Original Article: Algemeiner

PA Outraged That Iran Is Paying Families of Terrorists: That’s Our Job!

pa pay terror

Last week, Iran promised to pay $7,000 cash to families of every terrorist killed by Israel and $30,000 more if Israel demolishes their homes, effectively creating a life insurance policy for terrorists. (After all, Iran has lots of discretionary funds lately.)

The PLO is outraged!

They don’t have a problem with the morality of paying to support terror, though. They are upset because Iran refuses to send them the money to distribute, and instead wants to pay the terror families directly:

The Palestinian Authority criticized Iran on Saturday for comments made by its parliament international advisor, who said Iran would send funds to Palestinians families through its own channels rather than through the PA.

Earlier on Saturday, Hussein Sheikh al-Islam was quoted by website al-Resalah as saying that “experience has proven that the [Palestinian] Authority is not reliable, so Tehran will send the money in its own way.”

“Unfortunately, donations that were sent to the Authority did not reach the right people,” al-Islam said.

Palestinian Presidency Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said it would have been better for Iran to officially transfer the funds to the PA’s organizations, instead of sending them through “twisted ways and illegitimate means.”

The criticism is mounting.

As Iran has started setting up a mechanism to have families apply for funding via a website, more Fatah officials are expressing their anger at not getting a cut.

The Secretary-General of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front and member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Ahmad Majdalani, said,”We welcome the support of Arab, Islamic and friendly foreign countries to help Palestinians in general, and the families of martyrs, prisoners and the wounded in particular, but it must pass through the formal means and legitimacy,” stressing that the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of Palestinians and therefore all money should funnel through them. He called the Iranian plan “an affront to the dignity of the Palestinian nation and our martyrs.”

Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Front and a member of the Executive Committee of the PLO, Abu Yousef, said that the PLO would “refuse to subdue the blood of martyrs and the suffering of the prisoners and the wounded to the visions and goals of other political interests.”

He said there are lots of existing committees, official bodies, and associations that specialize in distribution of cash to the families of the “martyrs” — and that funds should be funneled through these channels.

Executive Committee of the PLO member Mahmoud Ismail said Iran’s quest to provide funds for the families of the “martyrs” and the prisoners through unofficial routes is proof that they do not want to support the Palestinian people.

Secretary-General of the Palestinian Arab Front Jamil Shehadeh said “Iranian officials statements [about the lack of transparency under the PA] is an affront to the PA and the PLO.”

Talal Abu Zarifa of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said the proposal was an insult to the martyrs of Palestine, and the national struggle.

This is a bigger story than just a dispute between Iran and the PLO.

On the one hand, we have Iran, which wants to reward terrorists. And on the other hand, we have the “moderate” and internationally approved Palestinian Authority that also wants to reward terrorists — and to skim some of the “martyr” funds for themselves.

And both sides get billions of dollars from the moral Western world so they can fight over who can bankroll terror more.

You know, the billions of dollars that are supposed to influence them away from supporting terror.

Perhaps it is time to rethink the policy of sending lots of money to those who proudly fight over paying terrorists?

Original Article: Algemeiner

Israel Urges Russia to Keep Iran Out of Golan Heights

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Israel urged Russia on Tuesday to prevent an Iranian presence on its northern border with Syria, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.

According to the report, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Heifetz, met with Valentina Matviyenko, chair of the Federation Council — the upper house of the Russian parliament — to express concern about Iran’s growing stronghold in Syria.

Nrg said that Russian news agency Interfax reported that Heifetz told Matviyenko, “We certainly understand the steps Russia has been taking in Syria, but we would like to avoid a situation in which Iran is present on the Golan Heights. We are interested in preventing the possibility of Iran committing hostile acts against Israel from Syrian territory. We also would not like Russian weapons to reach Iran via Syria. Nor should arms be allowed to flow into Lebanon.”

Matviyenko confirmed to Interfax that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is set to visit Moscow in the near future, saying, “I am hopeful this visit will indeed take place.” She added that during her last trip to Israel, she also invited Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to visit Russia, where he would be treated to tours in places outside of Moscow, as well as in the capital.

This report comes on the heels of a US-Russia-brokered ceasefire in Syria, which went into effect on February 27. The Russian government declared Monday night that it has been refraining from shelling sites held by “moderate rebels,” claiming that during the preceding 24 hours, there were 15 breaches of the ceasefire. Meanwhile, ISIS has not agreed to honor the truce, according to nrg. In addition, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon accused Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces of using chemical weapons against civilians, even during the ceasefire, the Jerusalem Post reported, a claim Syria denied.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization

Hez terror

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization on Wednesday, opening up the possibility of further sanctions against the group.

ANKARA – Iran accused Gulf Arab neighbors on Thursday of jeopardizing Lebanon’s stability by blacklisting the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, state television said, a move likely to stoke tensions in the regional power rivalry between Tehran and Riyadh.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization on Wednesday, opening up the possibility of further sanctions against the group that wields influence in Lebanon and fights in Syria.

Leading Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim Iran compete for influence across the region and back different factions in sectarian-riven Lebanon and in Syria’s civil war.

“Lebanon’s Hezbollah is the vanguard of resistance against the Zionist regime (Israel) and Iran is proud of the group, which is also the champion of the fight against terrorism in the Middle East,” Iranian state TV quoted deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian as saying.

“Calling Hezbollah a terrorist group … will harm the unity and security of Lebanon.”

Hezbollah’s leader said on Tuesday Lebanon had been pushed into a new phase of political conflict by Saudi Arabia but was not on the brink of civil war and its government of national unity, of which Hezbollah is a part, should survive.

In 2013, the Sunni-dominated GCC – representing Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar – imposed sanctions on Shi’ite Hezbollah after it entered Syria’s war in support of President Bashar Assad.

The GCC did not specify on Wednesday what action might be taken against Hezbollah. But last week Saudi Arabia, the biggest power in the GCC, said it had blacklisted four companies and three Lebanese men for having links to the group.

Relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia have been plunged into crisis since Riyadh halted $3 billion in aid to the Lebanese army – a response to the Beirut government’s failure to condemn attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.

In January, Riyadh led several Arab countries in cutting diplomatic ties with Tehran after demonstrators burned its embassy and a consulate in protest against the execution of a prominent, dissident Shi’ite cleric by Riyadh.

 

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

EU approves $274 million aid package for PA

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Most of the aid will be channeled directly to the PA, and the rest will go to UNRWA.

The European Commission on Tuesday approved €252.5 million ($274 million) of aid for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian refugees, in the EU’s first assistance package of 2016, reported Bethlehem-based news service Ma’an.

The package includes €170.5 million ($185M) that are to be channeled directly to the PA – especially to its health and education services – while the remaining €82 million ($89M) are earmarked for UNRWA.

“The European Union renews its concrete commitment to the Palestinians,” Federica Mogherini, vice-president of the European Commission said in a statement.

“Through this package, the EU supports the daily lives of Palestinians in the fields of education and health, protecting the poorest families and also providing the Palestinian refugees across the country with access to essential services.”

However, while Mogherini said the assistance would allow for “tangible steps on the ground that can improve the lives of Palestinian people,” she also called for the PA’s institutions to “become more transparent, more accountable and more democratic. ”

Johannes Hahn, the EU’s Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: “The EU remains firm in its commitment to Palestinians and actively supports a two-state solution.

“Our assistance to ensure the functioning of the Palestinian Authority and to support vulnerable Palestinian groups, including Palestinian refugees, is a concrete example of this commitment.”

Original Article: Israel National News

Actor Rob Lowe Accuses California Official of Slurring Jews

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Actor Rob Lowe alleged that an elected member of a California state board made a slur against Jews during a private meeting over a tax issue.

Lowe made the allegation last week over comments made last year by Board of Equalization member Jerome Horton following the board’s decision to lower the income tax Lowe owed on a $25 million home sale in 2005, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday. The board backed Lowe, 3-2, with Horton voting in the minority.

In a Feb. 24 email to Board of Equalization members obtained by the Sacramento Bee, the actor alleged that Horton had asked him and his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, if she “jewed down” contractors who built their house. Berkoff is Jewish.

“Appalled, we asked him to explain his comment,” Lowe said, according to the email. “He doubled down, saying ‘C’mon. You know what I’m saying. Did you Jew them down? You must have.’”

The allegations were first reported earlier Monday by Bloomberg BNA.

“Theirs is a misrepresentation of the facts, I am a lifetime supporter of Israel and related issues, this is only about my vote against them,” Horton said in an email to the Bee on Monday night.

Lowe also wrote that he would inform the Anti-Defamation League of Horton’s alleged comments while “weighing other options to combat this virulent and unapologetic anti-Semitism in the people of California’s Board of Equalization.”

Lowe’s attorney also sent a letter to a board official warning that the Lowes might sue Horton for his comments, as well as disparaging remarks he made in a news release following the vote. The release criticized the board for making a “gift of public funds to one of our most affluent citizens.”

Original Article: JSpaceNews

Jewish Donors: Stop Funding Anti-Semitism – Divest From Universities

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Paul Bronfman is a hero to the Jewish people. He gave York University an ultimatum: Take down the anti-semitic mural within 24 hours or else I withdraw all support. As the chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios, he had been supplying thousands of dollars of film equipment, technical services, and know-how to York University’s Cinema and Media Arts Program. They refused to take down the mural. And he followed through with his threat. He pulled money, production equipment, seminars, open houses with students, learning labs and training programs – everything!

Mr. Bronfman’s action has attracted a lot of media coverage because it is big news. As a result, anti-semites everywhere have been crawling out of their holes. A hundred faculty members at York University have exposed themselves as Israel haters when they signed an open letter defending the now infamous anti-semitic mural and critizing Paul Bronfman for pulling funding over it. Even Rogers Waters of Pink Floyd fame, today mainly known for Jew hatred, has chimed in with his useless opinion. It doesn’t happen every day that a Jewish donor steps up to the plate. In fact, it has as far as I can recall, never happened…until now.

Despite the fact that universities across North America have become sewers of anti-semitism, rife with anti-semitic professors, anti-Israel demonstrations, and verbal and physical assault of Jewish students, Jewish donors have generally chosen the path of denial and continue their love affair with their chosen universities. Personally, I lose sleep when I know fellow Jews are harassed or attacked. But maybe that’s just me and my like-minded friends and cohorts. Apparently Jewish donors have no problem dishing out hundreds of millions of dollars to educational establishments that allows its Jewish students to be treated like garbage. They pretend that all is well and continue pouring big money into their alma matters – because after all, that campus building is simply not going to name itself.

It is astonishing that Jewish University donors not only keep silent in the face of unprecedented Jew hate on campus but also continue to endow it with their philanthropic gifts.

Again take York University, one of the most notorious universities, where there exists a whole culture of Israel hatred that permeates the campus. If a student dare attempt to stand up for Israel or Zionism, point out radical anti-Israel perpetrators, or report incidents of anti-semitism, they get shut down, silenced, targeted, threatened, intimidated, and harassed from the student body and administration alike. It was in 2005 when movements like Israel Apartheid Week and BDS against Israel lit the anti-Jew fire, and the public starting hearing about one hate-filled incident after another. At what could be considered the height of Jew-hate tensions at York University between 2005 and 2010, which included the hosting of Hamas-loving speakers, mini-riots against Jews, swarming of pro-Israel tabled events, storming events of pro-Israel speakers, physical violence, barricading of Jews, and shouting profanities and anti-semitic slurs (“Die Jew, get the hell off campus” and “Zionist pigs”), a well-known Jewish donor who was also a member of the school’s board of directors, apparently thought nothing of it when he/she made a substantial donation for a particular center on campus. If you want to put your money into a secular university rather than, say…Israel, or a Jewish institution, you may have a skewed sense of priorities, but that is your business.

When you fund a place that at that very moment is making our kids’ lives hellish and leave them to fend for themselves – that is shameful.

And ‘official’ Jewish organizations in the community or on campus, often connected to those same Jewish donors, have only made matters worse by playing down incidents, turning a blind eye, to even being complicit with the university and unabashedly supporting their stance. Shockingly it was the Director of Israel Affairs of an on-campus Jewish organization that gave the green light for the infamous Israel Apartheid week to be born at the University of Toronto in 2005. It has since spread to 87 cities worldwide and is an annual Jew-hate fest on university campuses across the globe. Our Jewish children have been sacrificed for the preposterous pretense of ‘dialogue’ and disgracefully abandoned to bear the onslaught of the resulting Jew hate alone.
The same problems or worse exists for Jewish students all across North American college campuses. And yet Jews are still among the biggest donors of those North American college campuses. Our kids are being physically assaulted, verbally abused, spat at, called terrorists, baby killers, Nazis, racists, have been told to “get rounded up” and to ‘go burn in an oven”. Nevertheless, staggering amounts of Jewish money continues to be pumped into these academic institutions as they simultaneously explode with anti-Jew and anti-Israel hatred. What does it take to wake the Jewish university donor?

Perhaps a visit to web sites such as Jew Hatred on Campus and AMCHA Initiative that documents testimonies of anti-semitism on US campuses would make them think twice.

In 2015, there were 300 reported incidents that took place at 109 schools in 28 states. Here are but a few examples:

• An orthodox Jewish student was punched in the face at Medgar Evers College and told to “Leave the school, you Jew.”
• Anti-semitic words like “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was found etched on UC Berkeley school property.
• University of Chicago students posted “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.”
• A Jewish star was found with a cross through it and the words “Hitler was right”, and “With Jews you lose” scrawled on Townson University campus.
• A mezuzah was vandalized and multiple swastikas drawn on Northeastern University property.
• A swastika was drawn outside Hillel Director Rabbi Ely Allen’s office at Farleigh Dickinson University.
• York University’s administration threatened to sue a Rabbi and demanded his apology for suggesting to protest against George Galloway who was invited to speak on campus for an anti-semitic pro-Hamas event.
• A Jewish fraternity at UC Davis was defaced with “grout out the Jews” etched into Hillel House, and swastikas and profanities were found carved on cars with slashed tires.
• A convicted terrorist, Rasmeah Odeh, was the keynote speaker at San Diego State University to promote the anti-semitic BDS movement.
• A Jewish student at the University of Oregon was victimized by anti-semitic slurs and threatened to be assaulted with a firearm.

It is absolutely mind-boggling that Jewish donors continue to fund schools where these types of incidents are taking place.

And then there’s Columbia University, which has a reputation for employing some of the most virulently anti-semitic professors, including Rashid Khalidi who was a spokesman for the PLO when he lived in Beirut in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He and other like-minded professors have harassed Jewish students on multiple occasions and have made numerous bigoted statements about Jews.

Many disgraceful anti-Israel speakers and events have been brought to the campus, including, who can forget, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who had vowed ‘to wipe Israel off the map’.

Unbelievably, none of this has stopped Jewish donors from pouring money into Columbia U. In 2006, a prominent New York Jewish couple donated $250 million, the largest gift ever to an American university for a single facility. In 2011 another Jewish donor gifted the place with $200 million. Another $100 million in 2013 came from, you guessed it, another Jewish couple. And the list goes on.

Just last year, Jewish billionaire John Paulson gifted Harvard University with a record breaking $400 million. Harvard is no different than the others with matters regarding Israel. In 2012, it hosted the anti-semitic One-State Conference, which was dedicated to discussing the dismantling of the Jewish state. Speakers included Israel bashing and Hamas supporting academics, terror apologists, and a former advisor to the PLO who was also, big surprise….a Hamas supporter.

Why shouldn’t universities continue their anti-semitic business as usual, when there are no consequences from its biggest Jewish supporters? Why should universities acknowledge how horrifically anti-semitic their campuses have become when Jewish supporters have ignored all of it and continue to give? This intolerably absurd situation cannot be allowed to continue. It is high time that Jewish donors divest from their universities. It is high time for Jewish donors to be held accountable if they don’t. Will they take a cue from Paul Bronfman and follow suit? One should certainly hope so. I, for one, am waiting for many more heroes to emerge. Everyone is watching and waiting. It’s time for Jewish donors to let go of their beloved universities. Their universities do not love them or any of us back. It’s time for Jewish donors to take a stand…if not for themselves, at least they should do it for the sake of our Jewish kids, and their own.

Original Article: World Torah News

BDS Suffers an Important Defeat in Europe

Europe anti bds

In recent days, positive developments have occurred which prove — once again — that far from being the isolated nation that Israel’s detractors seek to portray, Israel thrives and enjoys good diplomatic relations, even with those who seek to stake the odds against it.

“Israel and the European Union have agreed to put relations between us back on track,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a briefing of ministers on Sunday. “In the conversation I had over the weekend with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, I heard from her that the EU is opposed to any boycott of Israel, and about their action regarding product labeling, she defined it as nonbinding and said that it does not reflect their position regarding the final borders of the State of Israel, which can be determined — this is what she said — only in direct negotiations between the sides.”

This is something of a diplomatic victory, since the EU originally stated that these guidelines had to be followed by all EU member states. And although this development does not in any way signify that the issue of EU labeling is history — far from it — it means that it is now up to each EU country to determine whether they wish to label Israeli goods from Judea and Samaria or not.

“Of course, this is not to say that there will not be friction,” Netanyahu said. “There are things that we do not agree on. Neither is this to say that there will not be friction with specific countries within the EU, just as there are countries, more than a few, that also support our position. But the fact that the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy has come out strongly against BDS and against economic sanctions against Israel, is, of course, a step in the right direction.”

In other developments, new British government directives are aiming to prevent public bodies, universities and student unions from boycotting Israeli products. As reported by Israel Hayom on Monday, the new bill seeks to prevent any public body from imposing a boycott on a World Trade Organization member, which Israel has been since 1995. The regulation will essentially outlaw boycotting Israeli products — a threat often made against goods produced in Judea and Samaria — and allow the British government to take legal action against organizations that impose such boycotts. Under the plan, all publicly funded institutions would be barred from excluding goods produced by their idea of “unethical companies,” such as companies involved in arms trading, fossil fuels, tobacco products, or companies based in Judea and Samaria.

This is a very interesting development, because the UK already labels products from Judea and Samaria. In 2009, the British Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued a new, voluntary guidance, which said that labels should give “more precise information” about the origin of Israeli goods, like “Israeli settlement produce” or “Palestinian produce.” Until then, food from Judea and Samaria had been simply labeled “Produce of the West Bank.” At the time, the British Foreign Office denied this was a boycott, stating that “this is emphatically not about calling for a boycott of Israel. We believe that would do nothing to advance the peace process. We oppose any such boycott of Israel. We believe consumers should be able to choose for themselves what produce they buy.”

Well, with the new bill, British policy seems to have become less categorical, perhaps through the realization that Britain needs Israel (trade between the two countries reached nearly $7 billion in 2014) and perhaps also throught the very late realization that British policies — or lack thereof — have stoked anti-Semitism in Britain, which has become a European center for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. British universities are hotbeds of anti-Semitism and recently The Algemeiner reported that the co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club, Alex Chalmers, had announced he was resigning over both rampant anti-Semitism and the group’s endorsement of Israel Apartheid Week on campus.

“Whether it be members of the Executive throwing around the term ‘Zio’ (a term for Jews usually confined to websites run by the Ku Klux Klan) with casual abandon, senior members of the club expressing their ‘solidarity’ with Hamas and explicitly defending their tactics of indiscriminately murdering civilians, or a former co-chair claiming that ‘most accusations of anti-Semitism are just the Zionists crying wolf,’ a large proportion of both OULC and the student Left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews,” he wrote. The 12th annual Israel Apartheid Week is scheduled to kick off across UK campuses on Feb. 22.

Original Article: Algemeiner