2013 February » ADL Blogs
February 27, 2013 1

University Sponsorship Of Anti-Israel Programs On The Rise

Update 3/14/13:  Two more uni­ver­si­ties in Michi­gan plan to host anti-Israel pro­grams in the next few days. Naim Ateek, the founder and direc­tor of the Sabeel Ecu­meni­cal Lib­er­a­tion The­ol­ogy Cen­ter in Jerusalem, is sched­uled to speak at West­ern Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity and Grand Val­ley State Uni­ver­sity.

In recent years, the num­ber of highly politi­cized anti-Israel pro­grams that have been spon­sored by uni­ver­sity depart­ments has increased quite dra­mat­i­cally. To date, 22 anti-Israel events have been spon­sored by uni­ver­si­ties and/or aca­d­e­mic depart­ments across the U.S. dur­ing the cur­rent school year. In the 2011-12 school year, the total was 10; and in the school year before that, it was just five.

The university-sponsored event that has received the most atten­tion was the Boycott Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) event at Brook­lyn Col­lege three weeks ago. But other events that are almost as con­tro­ver­sial have got­ten much less atten­tion. Miko Peled – an Israeli who advo­cates for BDS cam­paigns against Israel, calls for a one-state solu­tion and holds Israel cul­pa­ble for Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ism – has been spon­sored by aca­d­e­mic depart­ments at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and Haver­ford Col­lege in Penn­syl­va­nia in recent months. Peled, a draw as an anti-Israel speaker because of his nation­al­ity, has also been invited to speak at Cen­tral Con­necti­cut State Uni­ver­sity in two weeks.  His pre­sen­ta­tion there is being spon­sored by the Inter­na­tional & Area Stud­ies Com­mit­tee and Peace Stud­ies, two inter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­grams at the university.

In his recently pub­lished book, The General’s Son: Jour­nal of an Israeli in Pales­tine, Peled calls Gaza an “enor­mous con­cen­tra­tion camp,” an inac­cu­rate and offen­sive effort to cheapen the mem­ory of the Holocaust.

While not all anti-Israel speak­ers that have been spon­sored by aca­d­e­mic depart­ments hold views as hos­tile as Peled’s, many use the oppor­tu­nity to call for out-and-out anti-Israel advo­cacy like BDS, which ren­ders the sup­port they receive from aca­d­e­mic depart­ments even more rep­re­hen­si­ble. Some of these events have drawn con­tro­versy in the past, includ­ing the “one-state solu­tion” con­fer­ence at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity last year (which was spon­sored by the Weath­er­head Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Affairs and the Office of the Provost) and a March 2011 con­fer­ence at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Hast­ings Col­lege of the Law called “Lit­i­gat­ing Pales­tine: Can Courts Secure Pales­tin­ian Rights.” Although the title of the con­fer­ence sounded benign, the con­fer­ence was actu­ally meant to be a strat­egy ses­sion about ways to bring Israel to the Inter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC), issue arrest war­rants for Israeli diplo­mats trav­el­ing abroad, and engage in inter­na­tional BDS campaigns.

The approx­i­mately two dozen university-sponsored anti-Israel events this school year have also included per­for­mances by Remi Kanazi, an anti-Israel poet who is a leader of the BDS move­ment; a panel dis­cus­sion fea­tur­ing only anti-Israel speak­ers talk­ing about how the “Jewish-American rela­tion­ship with Israel” is at a “cross­roads;” and a screen­ing of a new film called “Roadmap to Apartheid,” which analo­gizes Pales­tin­ian refugees to Jews in the War­saw Ghetto and par­tially con­dones ter­ror­ism as a “symp­tom” of the conflict.

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February 27, 2013 0

Khaiber” Writer: Now Is The Time to Expose The Jews

An inter­view with Yusri Al-Jindy, the writer of “Khaiber,” an upcom­ing tele­vi­sion series com­mem­o­rat­ing the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia, reveals both the anti-Semitic and polit­i­cal agenda behind the production.

In an inter­view with Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egypt-based daily news­pa­per, on Jan­u­ary 16, Al-Jindy said, “The goal of the series is to expose the naked truth about the Jews and stress that they can­not be trusted.”

Com­ment­ing on the recent changes in the region, Al-Jindy described the impor­tance of rec­og­niz­ing the par­al­lels between “the era of the Khaiber bat­tle” and “con­tem­po­rary times.”

Al-Jindy also seemed to sug­gest that the series will have a global effect. “I think it is time to expose them [the Jews] even in Amer­ica itself. I am con­fi­dent that the United States will real­ize that it paid a high price for sup­port­ing them.”

Pre­dict­ing that he will be accused of anti-Semitism after the series airs, Al-Jindy added, “The charge of anti-Semitism is an out­dated trend, and in fact it is a lie that Jews use against any­one who tries to expose their naked truth and their conspiracies.”

They have already accused me of anti-Semitism when I pre­sented The Wan­der­ing Jew,” Al-Jindy added. “There­fore, I don’t care for the accu­sa­tion.” Al-Jindy’s play, The Wan­der­ing Jew about the 1967 war, was banned in Egypt in the 1980s. 

Var­i­ous Arab media has reported the names of Syr­ian and Egypt­ian actors selected to for the series, which is set to start film­ing next month. Media reports also indi­cate that the show will be mar­keted to Turkey, Spain, France, Malaysia and var­i­ous Arab countries.

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February 26, 2013 0

Al Shabaab Highlights Global Role in New Video

Al Shabaab, the Soma­lia branch of Al Qaeda, released a new English-language and English-subtitled video yes­ter­day directed at West­ern audiences. 

The video, “Mujahideen Moments,” high­lights the role of for­eign fight­ers in the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion, fea­tur­ing state­ments and speeches by two Kenyans and an Amer­i­can, iden­ti­fied only as “Abu Ahmed al-Amriki.”

Abu Ahmed’s face is obscured in the video and it is impos­si­ble at this point to ver­ify his true iden­tity.  Abu Ahmed urges lis­ten­ers to join the bat­tle­fronts “whether it’s here in Soma­lia, whether it’s in Mali, whether it’s in Afghanistan, whether it’s in Iraq, or whether it’s in Al-Maghrib Al-Islami [North Africa],” say­ing that they should fight because there are no excuses from the oblig­a­tion of jihad.  He also promises vic­tory and that “Amer­ica is going down, and the Khi­lafah [Caliphate] is rising.”

The video encour­ages for­eign­ers to join jihad, or if they can­not travel, to “fight the ene­mies of Allah where you find them.”

While Al Shabaab has long used for­eign fight­ers in its pro­pa­ganda to attract West­ern recruits, the video seems to be, in part, a response to its for­mer Amer­i­can spokesper­son, Omar Ham­mami. Ham­mami appar­ently split with the group over his belief that it was inter­ested only in local pol­i­tics and the fight in Soma­lia, rather than the cause of a global ”jiahd of the entire Ummah [Mus­lim nation].” In mes­sages released late last year, Ham­mami high­lighted the ten­sions between “the muha­jireen [Arabs and for­eign fight­ers] and the Ansar [local sup­port­ers of Al Shabaab].”

By fea­tur­ing for­eign fight­ers in the video, espe­cially Abu Ahmed, Al Shabaab may be try­ing to counter Hammami’s alle­ga­tions and show that it main­tains a sig­nif­i­cant inter­na­tional sup­port base.

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