2013 December » ADL Blogs
December 27, 2013

Anti-Muslim Group Promotes Offensive Project For Police

ACT! for America, a grassroots anti-Muslim organization that describes Islam as a backward and seditious political ideology that poses a threat to America and its democracy, has launched a project designed to provide law enforcement with “the information, materials and training they need to effectively understand and fight Islamist terrorism.”thin-blue-line-project-act-for-america

However, the Thin Blue Line Project (TBL), a web-portal launched in October 2013 that is accessible to current and past law enforcement officials, contains elements that are built on distorted and offensive claims about Muslims.

For example, a section titled “Pedophilia,” advises law enforcement of what to be aware of when investigating a Muslim household. It tells police that “they should be aware of any minors in the home who are not a part of the immediate family.”

“In some cultures,” the section continues, “as our military and others who have served extensively overseas can attest, having young males around the household who are used sexually by the men in the home, is common.”

The TBL also includes a section that advises police officers on how to identify a “jihadi” during routine traffic stops. Among the indicators, according to this section, are pamphlets from the Muslim Student Association, or taking note of the individual’s accent and “asking[ing] where they are from in a comfortable non-threatening tone.”

Recommendations such as these not only paint a distorted view of the Muslim community, but also promote bigotry and misinformation to law enforcement.

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December 26, 2013

University Presidents Across The Country Reject Academic Boycott Of Israel

The decision by the American Studies Association (ASA) to boycott Israeli academic institutions has yielded a silver lining: a widespread condemnation of the decision – and the broader Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement – by university administrators across the United States.asa-harvard-statement

Since the ASA’s December 16th decision to support a boycott, which ADL decried as “intellectually dishonest and shameful,” there has been an increasing groundswell of rejection by university presidents, faculty and academic associations. These statements, which number in the dozens, have forcefully and responsibly affirmed the principles and societal benefits of academic freedom and open dialogue. 

University presidents of large and small colleges and universities have made pronouncements on the topic, including:

  • President Drew Faust of Harvard University, who said:  “Academic boycotts subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of scholars. The recent resolution of the ASA proposing to boycott Israeli universities represents a direct threat to these ideals, ideals which universities and scholarly associations should be dedicated to defend.”
  • President Ronald J. Daniels  and Provost Robert C. Lieberman of Johns Hopkins University, who said: “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, of course, a complex matter on which many in our community hold passionate and competing views. We can all agree, however, that one essential ingredient to the resolution of that conflict will be the free exchange of information and open debate of ideas. This boycott is a contradiction, one that threatens what it purports to protect: the freedom of thought and expression that is the heartbeat of our academic community.”
  • President Mary Sue Coleman and Provost Martha Pollack of University of Michigan, who said:  “The University of Michigan strongly opposes the boycott of academic institutions in Israel that was recently endorsed by several academic associations. While we affirm the right of individual faculty, faculties, and professional academic associations to hold and express different viewpoints, we believe that academic boycotts violate the principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech, which are fundamental to our missions of education and research. The University of Michigan is committed to continuing and strengthening its long-standing and productive institutional relationships with Israeli universities and institutes.”

Several American Studies departments have also resigned from the ASA.  

ADL has compiled a list of select statements which we are updating daily.  Other bloggers are also maintaining full lists of all university statements and actions. 

Here’s what you can do:

Check these lists to see if officials at your alma mater have spoken out.  If they have, write the president or chancellor to commend them. 

If they have not, contact the office of the president or chancellor and call on them to join their colleagues around the country in condemning the academic boycott of Israel and standing firm in support of academic freedom.

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December 26, 2013

Anti-Semites Take Credit For Mainstreaming Anti-Israel Sentiment

Anti-Semite Patrick Slattery and anti-Semitic professor Kevin MacDonald have asserted that mainstream figures have adopted their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views in end-of-year fund-raising appeals.  david-duke-anti-israel

Slattery, who made an appeal to supporters on behalf of his close associate David Duke, claims that Duke influenced mainstream figures like Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and musician Roger Waters in their views on Israel and the “Israel lobby.” 

Slattery asserts that Waters sounded like Duke when Waters talked about a powerful “Jewish lobby” in the U.S. in an interview in CounterPunch Magazine.  In that same interview, Waters also claimed that the Jewish lobby prevented more celebrities from joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Likewise, Slattery argues that Mearsheimer and Walt sounded like Duke when “they published their book on the power of the Israel Lobby.” The two professors wrote a 2008 book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, in which they assert that the “Israel lobby” uses pressure to stifle criticism of Israel and to ensure America’s pro-Israel policy, against America’s true interests.

In the appeal, Slattery writes, “These people sound like Dr. Duke because, directly or indirectly, they are getting their information, their examples, their sources, their ideas, their narrative from him.”

In MacDonald’s fund-raising letter to supporters of Occidental Observer, an anti-Semitic online magazine he edits, he also cited Waters’ statements in Counter-Punch and the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions as proof that more mainstream groups have accepted his view that Israel is a “pariah state.”

MacDonald writes, “There has been a noticeable increase in criticism of Israel,” and takes credit for attacking the Jewish state and the “Israel lobby” in various columns in the Occidental Observer.

While certain anti-Israel campaigns have occasionally received mainstream attention, there is no linkage between these campaigns and white supremacists like MacDonald and Duke.

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