Official Blogs from the Anti-Defamation League » ADL Blogs
providing inside access to our work on topics ranging from anti-Semitism and extremism to anti-Israel activity and much more
February 27, 2015 2

College Campuses Continue To Face Divisive BDS Campaigns

Through­out the 2014–15 aca­d­e­mic year, a con­sor­tium of stu­dent groups have ini­ti­ated cam­paigns on cam­pus call­ing on their schools to divest from com­pa­nies that they believe either profit from or aid in the Israeli occupation.BDS-campus-anti-israel

The efforts are part of the larger Boy­cott, Divest­ment, and Sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment, a global effort to iso­late and pun­ish Israel because of its poli­cies toward the Pales­tini­ans. While sup­port­ers of the BDS move­ment claim to embrace the tac­tic as a non­vi­o­lent way to pres­sure Israel into nego­ti­a­tions, one of the prin­ci­pal com­po­nents of the cam­paign calls for a full and com­plete right of return for Pales­tini­ans which would result in a non-Jewish major­ity and erase the Jew­ish char­ac­ter of Israel. The BDS cam­paign is clearly a biased effort to demo­nize Israel and place the entire onus of the con­flict on the Jew­ish state.

While these ini­tia­tives have failed to have any prac­ti­cal out­comes in terms of uni­ver­sity invest­ment poli­cies, it can­not be ignored that some have had a divi­sive and cor­ro­sive effect on the cam­pus cli­mate. On some cam­puses, divest­ment ini­tia­tives have left Jew­ish and pro-Israel stu­dents feel­ing belea­guered and iso­lated. Other stu­dents report a tense atmos­phere on cam­puses where stu­dents and stu­dent lead­ers are pres­sured to “choose sides” on a con­flict they know lit­tle about.

So far this aca­d­e­mic year, nearly 300 anti-Israel events have been sched­uled, with about 40% of them focused on BDS cam­paigns. In addi­tion, BDS res­o­lu­tions have been voted in stu­dent gov­ern­ment on or ini­ti­ated by anti-Israel stu­dent groups on 11 campuses.

In the com­ing weeks, addi­tion BDS activ­ity will be coor­di­nated on cam­pus as part of the eleventh annual Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), which began on Feb­ru­ary 23 and is sched­uled to run through March. IAW Events have been sched­uled on at least 25 col­lege cam­puses in the U.S. thus far. Some cam­puses are sched­uled to host pre­sen­ta­tions on top­ics such as the false Gaza-Ferguson anal­ogy and oth­ers will set up mock “apartheid walls” on their cam­puses, and/or dis­trib­ute mock “evic­tion notices.”

Below is a list of cur­rent cam­pus BDS cam­paigns and res­o­lu­tions which have been voted on:

  • North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity – The North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity stu­dent gov­ern­ment passed a divest­ment res­o­lu­tion sub­mit­ted by the student-group NU Divest on Wednes­day, Feb­ru­ary 18, 2015. The vote was 24–22-3.
  • Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity – The Under­grad­u­ate Sen­ate of Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity passed a BDS res­o­lu­tion sub­mit­ted by the student-group Stan­ford out of Occu­pied Pales­tine on Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 17, 2015. The vote on the res­o­lu­tion was 10–4-1.
  • Uni­ver­sity of Toledo – The Uni­ver­sity of Toledo stu­dent gov­ern­ment ruled that a BDS res­o­lu­tion sub­mit­ted by the cam­pus Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine chap­ter was uncon­sti­tu­tional on Tues­day, Feb­ru­ary 17, 2015.
  • Uni­ver­sity of California-Davis – The UC Davis Stu­dent Sen­ate passed a divest­ment res­o­lu­tion that was sub­mit­ted by the cam­pus Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine chap­ter on Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 29, 2015. The vote on the res­o­lu­tion was 8–2-2, but it was chal­lenged and over­turned by the student-led Court of Asso­ci­ated Stu­dents, which is beyond the juris­dic­tion of the Stu­dent Senate.
  • United Auto Work­ers (UAW) 2865 – The Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Stu­dent Work­ers Union (UAW 2865) endorsed a divest­ment res­o­lu­tion on Thurs­day, Decem­ber 4, 2014 call­ing on the UC Board of Regents to divest from com­pa­nies that are allegedly prof­it­ing from or aid­ing in the Israeli occu­pa­tion. The res­o­lu­tion also called for an end of U.S. aid to Israel and for UAW Inter­na­tional to divest from the same cor­po­ra­tions. The vote was 1411–749.
  • Uni­ver­sity of California-Los Ange­les - On Tues­day, Novem­ber 18, 2014, the UCLA stu­dent gov­ern­ment endorsed a divest­ment res­o­lu­tion that was sub­mit­ted by the cam­pus Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine chap­ter. The vote on the res­o­lu­tion was 8–2-2.

Below is a list of BDS cam­paigns cur­rently tak­ing place:

  • Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan –  The student-group Stu­dents Allied for Free­dom and Equal­ity (SAFE) at the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan announced plans to ini­ti­ate a divest­ment cam­paign called “#UMDi­vest” on Feb­ru­ary 18, 2015. To go along with this, they are host­ing a BDS sym­po­sium to dis­cuss the cam­paign, read the res­o­lu­tion, and answer ques­tions from the audience.
  • Uni­ver­sity of Hous­ton – The Uni­ver­sity of Hous­ton Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine (SJP) chap­ter announced plans to ini­ti­ate a BDS cam­paign on Feb­ru­ary 12, 2015. The group spon­sored a pro-BDS demon­stra­tion on their cam­pus that day where the cam­paign was announced.
  • Ohio State Uni­ver­sity – A newly-founded group called Ohio State Uni­ver­sity Divest (OSU Divest) started a divest­ment cam­paign on Jan­u­ary 29, 2015. They announced their cam­paign through a press release and state that they were call­ing on the Uni­ver­sity to divest from com­pa­nies that allegedly harm and/or profit from harm­ing Palestinians.
  • San Diego State Uni­ver­sity – SDSU Stu­dents for Jus­tice in Pales­tine launched a divest­ment cam­paign and new group called San Diego State Uni­ver­sity Divest (SDSU Divest) on Jan­u­ary 25, 2015. To go along with the cam­paign, they have been cir­cu­lat­ing a peti­tion to cur­rent stu­dents, alumni, fac­ulty, staff, and com­mu­nity mem­bers that calls for divest­ment “from com­pa­nies that profit from vio­lence against the Palestinians.”
  • Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Florida – The Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Florida SJP chap­ter put up a pro-BDS bill­board near cam­pus to claim that 10,000 stu­dents were silenced because BDS was not enforced by the Uni­ver­sity Admin­is­tra­tion after the group allegedly col­lected 10,000 sig­na­tures call­ing on the uni­ver­sity to divest from cor­po­ra­tions that allegedly profit from the Israeli occupation.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February 27, 2015 2

ISIS Propaganda Videos Showcased on IS-Tube

IS-Tube

IS-Tube

Update — 2/27/15: ADL con­tacted Google about the web­site this morn­ing. It has since been removed. 

A web­site call­ing itself IS-Tube, pro­vid­ing access to an archive of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) pro­pa­ganda videos, is the lat­est exam­ple of ISIS’ sophis­ti­cated social media com­mu­ni­ca­tion and recruit­ment strate­gies, which have influ­enced a diverse group of peo­ple from around the world, includ­ing from the United States, through­out 2014.

The web­site fea­tures a large col­lec­tion of pro­pa­ganda videos cre­ated by offi­cial ISIS media out­lets, includ­ing ISIS’s feature-length film Flames of War, which presents an apoc­a­lyp­tic strug­gle between the ter­ror­ist group and the West, and the recent video show­ing the mur­der of Jor­dan­ian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, who was cap­tured by ISIS and burned to death.

Vis­i­tors to the site can search for the videos they want to find via a search bar, or via drop-down menus that cat­e­go­rize videos by nar­ra­tor - for exam­ple, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Bagh­dadi or spokesman Abu Muhamed al Adnani – or by media group, includ­ing ISIS’s Al Hayat, Al Iti­sam, Furqan Media and Ajnad Media. Videos can also be searched by coun­try of origin.

The coun­try of ori­gin search includes Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Alge­ria, the Afghanistan region, Saudi Ara­bia and the Sinai, demon­strat­ing ISIS’s expan­sive claims of influ­ence through­out the region.

IS-Tube, hosted on a Google-owned IP block and reg­is­tered to what appears to an address in Ams­ter­dam, is asso­ci­ated with a spe­cific Twit­ter han­dle,  which directed users to the web­page as part of a new hash­tag cam­paign launched on Feb­ru­ary 26. The cam­paign encour­ages sup­port­ers to send tweets with the hash­tag #Islam­ic­State­Me­dia or a cor­re­spond­ing Ara­bic hashtag.

A tweet advocating attacks in conjunction with the #IslamicStateMedia hashtag campaign

A tweet advo­cat­ing attacks in con­junc­tion with the #Islam­ic­State­Me­dia hash­tag campaign

Calls for attacks against West­ern coun­tries and for Mus­lims abroad to travel to join ISIS in the region have been promi­nent among the mes­sages being tweeted by ISIS sup­port­ers using #Islam­ic­State­Me­dia, as have tweets of ISIS mag­a­zines, videos and other pro­pa­ganda con­tent in addi­tion to IS-Tube. One ISIS sup­porter, for exam­ple, tweeted an image of Hyper Cacher, the kosher gro­cery store attacked in Paris in Jan­u­ary, with the words, “Jihad is the path for Par­adise. O’ lone wolf, another attack like Paris attack #IslamicStateMedia.”

ISIS has con­ducted sim­i­lar hash­tag cam­paigns in the past, which it uses both to mobi­lize sup­port­ers and to adver­tise spe­cific mes­sages. Fol­low­ing the attacks on the Char­lie Hebdo offices and a kosher super­mar­ket in France in Jan­u­ary, ISIS sup­port­ers used the hash­tag  #Fight­ForHim to cap­i­tal­ize on the press sur­round­ing the attacks and call for addi­tional vio­lence. In June and August 2014, ISIS ini­ti­ated hash­tag cam­paigns using the phrases #Calami­ty­Will­Be­fal­lUS and #AMes­sage­FromI­SIS­toUS that threat­ened the U.S. and its citizens.

The ADL’s Cyber-Safety Action Guide enables the com­mu­nity to reg­is­ter con­cerns with Inter­net ser­vice providers when they encounter ter­ror­ist con­tent online.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

February 26, 2015 3

Mein Kampf Back on German Bookshelves – The Right Way

For the first time since the end of World War II, Hitler’s man­i­festo, Mein Kampf, will be avail­able for sale in Ger­many. The 2,000-page edi­tion includes exten­sive foot­notes and his­toric anno­ta­tions deemed crit­i­cal by the Ger­man Gov­ern­ment to the book being viewed in its appro­pri­ate context.adolf-hitler-mein-kampf-book

In a Jan­u­ary 2014 Op-Ed in the New York Daily News, Anti-Defamation League National Direc­tor, Abra­ham H. Fox­man pre­sciently said,” As an impor­tant his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ment, “Mein Kampf” must remain avail­able to the pub­lic — but not with­out the essen­tial sup­ple­men­tary texts; the intro­duc­tions and adden­dums that put Hitler’s writ­ings into con­text and explain their rel­e­vance today.”

The Ger­man Government’s hand was forced on the issue when data came out that Mein Kampf was the top down­loaded polit­i­cal sci­ence book on Ama­zon in 2013.  It has been read­ily avail­able on many ser­vices out­side Ger­many, where access by Ger­man cit­i­zens can­not be pre­vented. Addi­tion­ally, the copy­right on Mein Kampf expires this Decem­ber which would make it freely avail­able all across the Internet.

Major online book retail­ers such as Ama­zon and Barnes & Noble have worked with ADL over the years to place edi­to­r­ial reviews on Mein Kampf and other anti-Semitic works such as The Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion and The Inter­na­tional Jew to ensure that cus­tomers fully under­stand the authors’ back­ground, intent, con­text and any issues sur­round­ing the pub­li­ca­tions.  Rec­og­niz­ing that Mein Kampf will be read­ily avail­able in Ger­many and can be an impor­tant edu­ca­tional tool, it is appro­pri­ate to acknowl­edge and sup­port the Ger­man Government’s insis­tence upon pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary context.

Tags: , , , , , ,