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March 15, 2013 9

So What Are You DOING About it?”… How ADL Counters Anti-Israel Activity on College Campuses

Amer­i­can col­lege cam­puses con­tinue to be a prov­ing ground for var­i­ous anti-Israel cam­paigns, tac­tics and mes­sages. Last week, our blog reported on sev­eral dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tives we’ve seen recently, includ­ing non­bind­ing Boy­cott Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) res­o­lu­tions at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego, River­side and Irvine; Israeli Apartheid Week and, of course, uni­ver­sity spon­sor­ship of anti-Israel pro­grams.

So what role did ADL play to counter these mes­sages and advo­cate for Israel?

Out­reach to Uni­ver­sity Admin­is­tra­tors: ADL encour­aged the Chan­cel­lors at Irvine, River­side and San Diego to speak out against the non-binding divest­ment res­o­lu­tions that passed on these cam­puses and reas­sure the Jew­ish and pro-Israel com­mu­nity that the uni­ver­si­ties intend to fol­low the UC-wide pol­icy against divest­ment. The chan­cel­lors at all of these schools have com­mend­ably done so.

In a few days, Naim Ateek, the direc­tor of a “Pales­tin­ian Lib­er­a­tion The­ol­ogy” orga­ni­za­tion called Sabeel, is sched­uled to speak at Grand Val­ley State Uni­ver­sity and West­ern Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity. Ateek fre­quently uses Chris­t­ian imagery to demo­nize Israel and Zion­ism, includ­ing claims that Israel is engaged in a “cru­ci­fix­ion” cam­paign against Pales­tini­ans. Sim­i­larly, he has accused Israel of com­mit­ting a Holo­caust against the Pales­tini­ans. His appear­ances are spon­sored by aca­d­e­mic depart­ments at the two uni­ver­si­ties. ADL has com­mu­ni­cated to both uni­ver­si­ties that the school’s spon­sor­ships of Ateek are inap­pro­pri­ate and that the uni­ver­si­ties should con­sider host­ing pro-Israel speak­ers as well.

In the past few months, ADL staff has also met with high-level admin­is­tra­tors at a vari­ety of cam­puses to talk about how Jew­ish stu­dents expe­ri­ence anti-Israel activ­ity on cam­pus. We have brain­stormed with them about ways to make the col­lege cam­pus a true “mar­ket­place of ideas” where all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict are ade­quately rep­re­sented. Over the past 100 years, ADL has devel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion as an hon­est and cred­i­ble voice for the Jew­ish com­mu­nity. ADL is there­fore uniquely posi­tioned to edu­cate uni­ver­sity offi­cials about the Jew­ish and pro-Israel community’s per­spec­tive and encour­age them to speak out against extreme anti-Israel activ­ity and anti-Semitism.

Expres­sions against Divest­ment: ADL responded to a non-binding Asso­ci­ated Stu­dents Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion urg­ing divest­ment at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego, by sub­mit­ting a state­ment against divest­ment to the stu­dent sen­a­tors con­sid­er­ing the res­o­lu­tion. The state­ment, read dur­ing the pub­lic dis­cus­sion on the res­o­lu­tion, described how BDS doesn’t advance the cause of peace because it “deep­ens the divi­sions between Israelis and Pales­tini­ans” and places all the blame for the con­flict on Israel. The state­ment also warned that the res­o­lu­tion tar­geted com­pa­nies that help Israel bet­ter pro­tect its cit­i­zens and that a call for divest­ment would illus­trate the UCSD stu­dents’ lack of com­mit­ment to Israel’s legit­i­mate right to self-defense.

Expos­ing and Edu­cat­ing: In this week’s edi­tion of J., a Bay Area-based news­pa­per, the regional direc­tor of ADL’s Cen­tral Pacific office con­tributed an op-ed about how the three stated goals of the BDS move­ment demon­strate that the movement’s objec­tive is to iso­late Israel, not cre­ate the con­di­tions for peace. ADL reg­u­larly exposes anti-Israel activ­ity through op-eds, as well as our blog, web­site and other platforms.

Train­ing Stu­dents: In San Diego, ADL runs a pro­gram called I-Pitch for Israel which helps train pro-Israel stu­dents on cam­pus to lobby against divest­ment and other anti-Israel cam­paigns. Train­ing also includes infor­ma­tion about free speech rights and the myths and facts of the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict. Sev­eral I-Pitch par­tic­i­pants spoke out against divest­ment at the pub­lic dis­cus­sion as well.

As anti-Israel cam­paigns con­tinue to play out on col­lege cam­puses across the coun­try, ADL will stand with our part­ners in the local Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties and with stu­dents to counter these ini­tia­tives and advo­cate on behalf of Israel and the Jew­ish peo­ple. Do you have any other ideas for respond­ing to anti-Israel activ­ity? Use the space below to let us know!

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February 5, 2013 0

Religious Accommodation for Sikh Corrections Officer

Last week, respond­ing to appeals by The Sikh Coali­tion and ADL, the Ari­zona Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions agreed to allow a reli­gious accom­mo­da­tion for Ikhbinder Bassin, a ten-year employee of the Depart­ment and an obser­vant Sikh. 

As part of his reli­gious oblig­a­tions, Mr. Bassin does not cut his hair (includ­ing facial hair) and wears a kara (a reli­giously man­dated steel bracelet).  Upon his entry into his posi­tion in 2003, Mr. Bassin was granted a waiver from depart­men­tal pol­icy that pro­hibits the wear­ing of bracelets (other than for med­ical pur­poses) and from shear­ing his hair.  How­ever, in Decem­ber of 2012, close to his 10th anniver­sary, when Mr. Bassin would appar­ently become eli­gi­ble for extended employee ben­e­fits, he was noti­fied by a com­pli­ance offi­cer that he was not in com­pli­ance with Ari­zona Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions pol­icy.  The com­pli­ance offi­cer advised Mr. Bassin that he must com­ply or face pos­si­ble ter­mi­na­tion or reas­sign­ment into a non-uniform position.

Act­ing on Mr. Bassin’s behalf, The Sikh Coali­tion noti­fied the Depart­ment that under fed­eral and state law, includ­ing the First Amend­ment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Arizona’s Free Exer­cise of Reli­gion Act, ter­mi­nat­ing or demot­ing Mr. Bassin for his reli­gious beliefs would vio­late the Department’s oblig­a­tions under the law.

With time run­ning out, and lit­tle indi­ca­tion that his reli­gious accom­mo­da­tion would be granted, Mr. Bassin reached out to ADL and other orga­ni­za­tions to advo­cate that his reli­gious rights be accom­mo­dated.  Fol­low­ing a con­sul­ta­tion with The Sikh Coali­tion, ADL endorsed their efforts, address­ing a let­ter to a vari­ety of Ari­zona gov­ern­ment stake­hold­ers. The League noti­fied these gov­ern­ment offi­cials that we agreed with The Sikh Coalition’s legal analy­sis, and urged a reli­gious accom­mo­da­tion for Mr. Bassin.  ADL’s Ari­zona regional office also signed on to an inter­faith coali­tion let­ter sup­port­ing Mr. Bassin’s request.  These coali­tion efforts paid off.

By grant­ing Mr. Bassin the requested accom­mo­da­tion, the Ari­zona Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions demon­strated a wel­come respect for fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of reli­gious lib­erty. When sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions arise else­where, other Depart­ments should fol­low Arizona’s lead.

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January 17, 2013 1

Access ADL Blog: Our First Year

The Anti-Defamation League’s Access ADL blog was launched last Jan­u­ary to pro­vide inside access to the agency’s work and exper­tise on a vari­ety of top­ics, and to serve as a resource.

In our first year, we pub­lished nearly 250 blog posts, pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion and analy­sis on a range of issues, includ­ing online extrem­ism, anti-Semitism, extrem­ism and ter­ror­ism, the anti-immigration move­ment, anti-Israel activ­ity and much more.

In that time, Access ADL has become a trusted resource for news and infor­ma­tion. We thank the more than 100,000 unique vis­i­tors for their sup­port and inter­est in our work.

Below is the list of most viewed blog posts in Access ADL’s first year:

August 6, 2012 - ADL Con­nects Sus­pected Shooter at Wis­con­sin Sikh Tem­ple to White Suprema­cist Skin­head Group

Fol­low­ing the shoot­ing at a Wis­con­sin Sikh tem­ple, Access ADL pub­lished sev­eral exclu­sive images of the shooter, Wade Michael Page, and con­nected him to the white power music scene as well as to the to the Ham­mer­skins, a vio­lent racist skin­head group.

Wade Michael Page

Sep­tem­ber 14, 2012 - Anti-Muslim Chris­t­ian Activists Respon­si­ble For Inflam­ma­tory “Inno­cence of Mus­lims” Film

In response to the release of the anti-Islam film, Inno­cence of Mus­lims, which sparked con­sid­er­able out­rage and vio­lence across the Mid­dle East and Islamic world, Access ADL iden­ti­fied the key indi­vid­u­als involved in the film and their con­nec­tions to a net­work of anti-Muslim organizations.

Decem­ber 18, 2012 - Con­spir­acy The­o­rists Blame Jews For Sandy Hook Massacre

In the after­math of the Sandy Hook school shoot­ing in Con­necti­cut, Access ADL uncov­ered sev­eral con­spir­acy the­o­ries blam­ing Jews and Israel for the shoot­ing, and exposed the neo-Nazi ties of Mike Har­ris, who blamed Israel for the Sandy Hook shoot­ing dur­ing an inter­view on Iran’s Press TV.

Novem­ber 16, 2012 - Demon­stra­tors at Anti-Israel Ral­lies: “Gaza is the Real Holo­caust,” “Long live the Intifada!”

In response to Israel’s Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense, Access ADL pub­lished daily updates on the anti-Israel ral­lies orga­nized in the U.S., expos­ing the extreme nar­ra­tives that marked the ral­lies, includ­ing the sup­port for ter­ror anti-Semitism.

May 21, 2012 - New Ara­bic Trans­la­tion of Tal­mud Pro­motes Anti-Semitic Narratives

Access ADL revealed the pres­ence of age-old anti-Semitic con­spir­a­cies in a newly released Ara­bic trans­la­tion of the Tal­mud – the first of its kind.

July 27, 2102 - Hezbol­lah on Your iPhone: There’s An App for ThatHezbollah's iTunes App

Access ADL broke the news about how Apple’s iTunes ser­vice was pro­vid­ing access to con­tent from Hezbollah’s satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion, al-Manar, which sub­se­quently described ADL as being part of Israel’s war against Hezbollah.

August 17, 2012 - Pos­si­ble Extrem­ist Con­nec­tion to Louisiana Police Shootings

Access ADL pro­vided evi­dence sug­gest­ing that some of the peo­ple involved in the shoot­ing deaths of two Louisiana sheriff’s deputies in LaPlace were anti-government extremists.

Sep­tem­ber 5, 2012 - For­mer Youth for West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion Leader Pro­motes White Stu­dent Union at Towson

When a white suprema­cist tried to form a “White Stu­dent Union” at Tow­son Uni­ver­sity in Mary­land, Access ADL revealed the effort and exposed his affil­i­a­tions with far-right groups.

July 3, 2012 - Far­rakhan Leads Audi­ence in Anti-Semitic Tirade

Access ADL released a video of Nation of Islam leader Louis Far­rakhan lead­ing his audi­ence in Chicago in an anti-Semitic call and response.

March 26, 2012 - New Black Pan­ther Party Enflames Trayvon Mar­tin Incident

After an African-American teenager was shot and killed in Florida, Access ADL exposed efforts by the New Black Pan­ther Party (NBPP) to insert­ them­selves in one of the most high pro­file, racially charged issues of the year. The post also pro­vided back­ground on the NBPP, the largest orga­nized anti-Semitic and racist black mil­i­tant group in America.

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