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

  • Adler

    How far fetched is it to con­front cam­pus BDS activ­ity against Israel with a kind of pro Israel boy­cott by stu­dents against the offend­ing uni­ver­si­ties? Prospec­tive Jew­ish and Zionist-sympathetic stu­dents might want to think twice about apply­ing to schools prac­tic­ing Anti-Israel behav­ior, thus depriv­ing those schools of the par­tic­u­lar tal­ents of Jew­ish stu­dents, what­ever these may be. On the assump­tion that admis­sions are largely if not entirely tal­ent based, the effect might be of a dimin­ished intel­lec­tual atmos­phere at the Jewish-rein schools with a direct line to the dimin­ished pres­tige of the school.
    Divest­ment by con­tribut­ing Jew­ish alumni might also be con­sid­ered.
    All of this is sec­ondary to the fact that the BDS move­ment against Israel will never
    get Pales­tini­ans a state of their own. If emo­tion­ally sat­is­fy­ing to the BDS peo­ple, it is ulti­mately ster­ile behav­ior that will gain them noth­ing tan­gi­ble in the end. And if in their frus­tra­tion some of the boy­cotters expose out­right anti-Semitic behav­ior, so much the bet­ter. In this, they will even­tu­ally dis­credit them­selves and, along with it, the move­ment itself.
    But effec­tive or not, the BDS move­ment against Israel must not be allowed to flour­ish unan­swered. His­tory teaches us that ‘nice’ Jews do not make bad things go away. So, I’m think­ing, a BDS of our own against the offend­ing uni­ver­si­ties.
    On the other hand…
    Might such an action as with­draw­ing from the offend­ing schools not leave the field open to the anti-Israel pro­pa­gan­dists in these places?
    How good would that be?

  • Eric

    What’s wrong with ‘anti-Israel activity’?

    Some­one has to high­light Israel’s war crimes, land theft from, and geno­cide of, Palestinians.

    That the ADL sup­ports such a regime, demon­strates what sort of organ­i­sa­tion it really is.

  • Steve

    I guess that Eric just does not know about the his­tory of the Mid­dle East, the Jews, and the Arabs, or he chooses to neglect the well known truths for his self serv­ing
    pur­pose of indi­cat­ing his absolute prej­u­dice. Per­haps he should study the mat­ter before he jumps into the fray; per­haps take an unbi­ased course of study before he debates the mat­ter in a pub­lic forum or just reads a doc­u­mented his­tory of the region.

    • Eric

      Hi Steve!

      I have stud­ied the matter.

      Please explain what these ‘well known truths’ are. They can’t be that well known; I don’t know them for a start.

      All you’ve done, is imply I’m mali­cious and wrong, with­out explain­ing how.

  • Eric

    Hi Steve!

    I have stud­ied the matter.

    Please explain what these ‘well known truths” are.

    All you’ve done is imply that I’m wrong with­out explain­ing how.

  • Steve

    Eric, Thanks for ask­ing. You say you have stud­ied the mat­ter but I won­der which sources you have used. If it is based on real his­tory books then the truth is evi­dent. If it is based on inter­net blogs and pure bias then there is obvi­ous lack­ing infor­ma­tion. So, the truth is that Jews have a proven exis­tence in the land of Israel and its envi­rons for nearly 4000 years. Archaeology-an unbi­ased sci­ence has proven that beyond any doubt. Thru the his­tory of the land now called Israel and many of the lands Pales­tini­ans wish to live in, Jews have lived their for mil­lenia. They built the Tem­ples in the land. They farmed and devel­oped a life in those lands dur­ing those mil­lenia. They lived in part­ner­ship with the peo­ple sur­round­ing them and were exiled from their land when the Romans came (not to men­tion other for­eign pow­ers dur­ing those thou­sands of years.) Yet they were allowed to live their, some­times in small num­bers and other times in large num­bers and always had a pres­ence in those lands. Pales­tini­ans did not come into exis­tence until the war of 1948. For that mat­ter Israel did not come into exis­tence until that time either. His­tory books point out that the land was ruled for hun­dreds of years by the Ottoman empire. They were expelled by the British in the early 1900s and then the British with their man­date that divided all the lands sur­round­ing Israel, not just the land now called Israel, gave a small par­cel to the Jew­ish peo­ple and major parcels, more than 90% of the total land ruled by the British, to the Arab nations to be divided by them­selves. His­tory, real his­tory shows that the Arab nations in 1948 decided they did not like hav­ing any part of their mas­sive ter­ri­tory given to the Jew­ish peo­ple and at that time, decided to “push them into the sea” lead­ing to the war of 1948. They attacked the young Jew­ish nation at that time from Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Jor­dan (Tran­sjor­dan), Egypt, Saudi Ara­bia and lost the war at that time per­mit­ting the Jew­ish peo­ple to reestab­lish their small nation, now called Israel. There was no Pales­tine at that time by the way. There was no nation by that name. So, from 1948 until the present time, the nation called Israel has with­stood mul­ti­ple attacks by the Arab nations con­tin­u­ing to try and push the Jew­ish peo­ple out of the very small piece of land that was divided by the British under the British man­date. Through the years, the wars in 1956, 1967, 1973, the Intifada, the con­tin­ued bomb­ings of south­ern Israel from Gaza which the Israelis vol­un­tar­ily turned over to the “Pales­tin­ian peo­ple” in 2005, so as to give them devel­oped land to live on, the Israelis have con­tin­ued to be attacked by peo­ple with ill will towards them. When the Israelis turned over Gaza they left fully devel­oped indus­try, full work­ing farms and green­houses, water works and numer­ous other work­able busi­ness FOR FREE and the new Gazans only had to develop them in their own man­ner. What did they do-they bull­dozed the full busi­nesses left by the Israelis and keep in mind they pulled out and removed Israeli cit­i­zens by force to accom­plish this as a ges­ture of peace. Why? That land had been cap­tured by the Israelis dur­ing one of the wars that were waged because the Arabs did not want to share the land that was divided by the British man­date nearly 60 years pre­vi­ously. So, what war crimes are we really speak­ing about Eric. His­tory has proven that nations will go to war to pro­tect their cit­i­zens. The US just in the last few days has clearly stated that they will bring the full force of our legal and inves­ti­ga­tory sys­tems to bear to find those peo­ple guilty of attack­ing our peo­ple in Boston. Not at all dif­fer­ent than the attacks on Israel from Gaza. Israel is a nation like Egypt, Jor­dan, Syria, etc. They have the right to pro­tect their cit­i­zens, just like we in the US do. So, HISTORY-real his­tory Eric proves that Israel, which did not exist in 1947 and Syria, and Lebanon, etc, did not exist in their cur­rent states at that time. The British man­date made a small par­cel of land avail­able to Jew­ish peo­ple to reestab­lish their home­land after the atroc­i­ties of WWII and in so doing gave the Arabs their own land cov­er­ing more than 90% of the ter­ri­tory. Who are the Pales­tini­ans Eric? His­tory says they are an amal­gam of peo­ple dis­placed dur­ing the war when Israel was attacked by their neigh­bors in 1948. The young Israeli nation offered peace to any Arab who stayed in the land of Israel. What did many peo­ple do? They chose to leave because the Arab lead­ers promised to drive the Jews into the sea and when that occurred they could all feast on the lands left by the dead Jew­ish peo­ple and they could reoc­cupy the lands that they claimed to be their own. Whey did they claim it to be their own? It was theirs but the chose to leave. They were not expelled. So, when those peo­ple left and the war was over they were not wel­comed back because they had left land that they had been promised by the Jews to con­tinue to own. (By the way Eric, there are now nearly mil­lion Arabs liv­ing in Israel today enjoy­ing the life of all Israelis. Did you know-you can check this out in his­tory books or his­tory of present day Israel, that there are Arab rep­re­sen­ta­tives with the same author­ity as Jew­ish rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Israeli Knes­set. The Knes­set is essen­tially the same as the US sen­ate or house of rep­re­sen­ta­tives. The Arabs are elected by the cit­i­zens just as are the Jew­ish rep­re­sen­tat­i­bves.) Going fur­ther, did you know-history in real his­tory books will tell of the nearly 1 mil­lion Jews who were expelled from lands such as Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Tran­sjor­dan, Egypt, Syria, etc. dur­ing the war of 1948. Did you know that the homes and busi­nesses of those peo­ple were run over by the remain­ing Arabs in those coun­tries and not one Jew­ish per­son was com­pen­sated for their losses when they were expelled. So, you should also know that the Pales­tini­ans have not been wel­comed into the exist­ing nations sur­round­ing Israel though they were promised the spoils of war when the Jews were pushed to the sea. That means, all the Israeli arabs who chose to leave Israel in 1948 ended up home­less and help­less with­out one iota of assis­tance from their Arab brethren and there­fore became a peo­ple look­ing for a cause. The Jews did not push them out of Israel. They vol­un­tar­ily chose to leave because of their hatred for the Jews. They chose to believe that the nations amassed against Israel would eas­ily and quickly push the Jews into the sea and that they would be able to return to a land that was given to the Jew­ish peo­ple by the British man­date, just like the lands of Syria, Tran­sjor­dan, Lebanon, etc were gifted to the Arabs. More than 90% of the land was given to the Arabs and they would not make room for their brethren who they promised to assist when they won the war. So I guess in essence they are still try­ing to win that war. They are bomb­ing Israel with rock­ets on civil­ians in a town called Sderot as well as oth­ers. They are try­ing to kill inno­cents and not sol­diers and then they cry when they bully just enough to enrage an inno­cent pop­u­la­tion and that inno­cent pop­u­la­tion retal­i­ates. And you call that war crimes Eric. Please explain because if you have stud­ied real his­tory your inter­pre­ta­tion is very wrong. There is no geno­cide of Pales­tini­ans. There is not land theft. The land was gifted to the Jews, just like the lands were gifted to the last Arabs, by the last con­queror, the British. A small piece of land com­pared to the many nations that devel­oped by the Arabs and those many nations con­tinue to for­bid the “home­less” Palesti­nans to set­tle in their lands, though they were directly and com­pletely respon­si­ble to those poor peo­ple leav­ing a land of peace with the promise to drive the Jews into the sea. Your turn Eric. Lets hear real his­tory please and not inter­net blog junk and lets not hear blind hatred; Just the facts please.

    • Eric

      Hi Steve!

      Whether or not the region was called ‘Pales­tine’ before 1948 is irrelevent. Peo­ple were still liv­ing there.

      Here’s a hypo­thet­i­cal question:

      If a group of peo­ple came to your front door, and claimed that thou­sands of years ago, their ances­tors had lived on the land where your house is, would they then be jus­ti­fied in dri­ving you out of your house, steal­ing the land and demol­ish­ing the house, leav­ing you homeless?

      Even if they were telling the truth about their ancestors?

  • Erice

    Steve must think it’s fine that count­less thou­sands of Palas­tin­ian men, women and chil­dren have been mur­dered since 1948 by Jews, because the ‘British’ took it upon them­selves to give per­mis­sion for the Jews to invade.

    Steve is clearly a deranged and despi­ca­ble racist who con­dones genocide.

    I feel sorry for him.

  • Steven Rosen­baum

    Gee I’m back Eric. I just found your responses. Sorry for not get­ting back to you sooner. Please tell me why the media is so aware that the Pales­tini­ans kill their own brethren. They do do that you know and it is writ­ten in all the media. They tor­ture their own people/read it in the media by the way, that if they sus­pect you of doing some­thing anti Islamic rule, they will kill you and drag your body through the streets at the back of a car or horse. It is called lynch­ing. They do it often-NO TRIALS. Just their hon­est to good­ness ter­ror­is­tic approach to keep their peo­ple in line. You should prob­a­bly go there to try out their type laws and see if that is how you like to live. You might find it to your lik­ing. Is it because the Israelis live on “their” land that you feel is right­fully theirs that they do it? Gee fella I just don’t think that that has any­thing at all to do with it. It is those thou­sands that you are refer­ring to in your com­ment about “count­less thou­sands”, right? By the way you cer­tainly are aware that no army in the world attempts to avoid civil­ian harm like the Israeli army and cer­tainly you must know about how the Pales­tini­ans place their cit­i­zenry in harms way by putting their ter­ror­ist fight­ers next to schools and hos­pi­tals and even inside ambu­lances. I just don’t get it Eric. Seems pretty devi­ous of their “gov­ern­ment” to put their own cit­i­zens at risk know­ing full well that when they lob rock­ets into civil­ian Israeli ter­ri­tory they are going to pay with an Israeli response. By the way Eric, I assume that you agree that under your the­ory, Saudi Ara­bia which did not exist 4,000 years ago as a coun­try should give back it’s land to the Mesopotami­ans. Saudi Ara­bia came into being the same time as did Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jor­dan, so by your the­ory they do not have the right to exist there either. Come on son, get your his­tory together. You are cer­tainly lack­ing and you can’t just make it up to suit your prej­u­di­cial knowl­edge (or lack thereof.) By the way, please be spe­cific when you talk about war crimes. Is it that the Israelis lob rock­ets into the ter­ri­to­ries and then run away believ­ing that no one will know it was them doing it? What war crimes? Try­ing to pro­tect the Pales­tin­ian civil­ians who are being abused by their “lead­ers” when those lead­ers place gun emplace­ments and rocket launch­ers next to schools. Come on Eric-you need a bet­ter def­i­n­i­tion. Genocide-you don’t under­stand the mean­ing son. Geno­cide is the pur­pose­ful goal ori­ented mur­der of a tar­geted peo­ple like what hap­pened in Rwanda or don’t you believe that, or per­haps against the Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion of Europe by the mad­man called Hitler and his cronies, or don’t you believe that? Take a tour of Europe and go to the camps and see the doc­u­mented pho­tos before you call what hap­pens in the ter­ri­to­ries geno­cide. You are sound­ing like a fool Eric. There is no geno­cide against Pales­tini­ans except by their own people-not unlike what goes on in Iran. They are sys­tem­at­i­cally killing their own peo­ple to keep their power hun­gry mul­lahs in power. Stop being so fool­ish son and grow up. Learn what real geno­cide is and learn what land theft is. What gives you the right to believe that the “Pales­tini­ans” had land stolen? What about the land of the Jews that was stolen from them, not just thou­sands of years ago, but in 48 when they were expelled from their home­lands of mil­lenia, such as in Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, etc.