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May 2, 2012 0

Anti-Semite to Appear at MSU’s “Palestine Liberation Week”

Update: Amir Abdul Malik Ali used his plat­form at UC Irvine to rant about Zionism’s respon­si­bil­ity for the finan­cial col­lapse, the alleged vil­i­fi­ca­tion of Islam and global cor­rup­tion issues.

The Mus­lim Stu­dent Union at UC Irvine is at it again.

The group has invited Amir Abdul Malik Ali, a vir­u­lent anti-Semite, to speak at the uni­ver­sity next week. His talk is titled “The Strug­gle Has No Bor­ders.

Malik Ali’s sched­uled appear­ance is part of a week­long pro­gram being spon­sored by MSU next week called “Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Week: Get­ting to the Root of the Occu­pa­tion.” Other anti-Israel speak­ers sched­uled to appear include Hatem Baz­ian and Hedy Epstein. In addi­tion, mem­bers of the “Irvine 11, who were sus­pended for dis­rupt­ing a speech by Israeli Ambas­sador Michael Oren in Feb­ru­ary 2010, will return to cam­pus to take part in the event.

Malik Ali, who is affil­i­ated with the anti-Semitic Sabiqun move­ment and is the imam of a mosque in Oak­land, is reg­u­larly invited to speak on cam­puses in Cal­i­for­nia. Dur­ing his appear­ances at Irvine, Malik Ali has con­spir­a­to­ri­ally claimed that “Zion­ist Jews” were respon­si­ble for 9/11 and that they con­trol the U.S. gov­ern­ment, the econ­omy and the media. He has referred to Jews and Zion­ists as “the new Nazis” and “the party of Satan.” And, dur­ing an address titled “Death to Apartheid” in May 2010, Malik Ali responded “yes” to ques­tions about whether he sup­ports Hamas and Hezbollah.

MSU at UC Irvine did not invite Malik Ali to its annual anti-Israel pro­gram in 2011, but he had spo­ken at the pro­gram every year before that going back until at least 2006.

News of Malik Ali’s appear­ance coin­cides with an arti­cle that was pub­lished yes­ter­day in The Jew­ish Daily For­ward that describes how Jew­ish stu­dents and Hil­lels have begun work­ing with chap­ters of Mus­lim Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion and other Mus­lim stu­dent groups on cam­pus. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Hil­lel chap­ter respon­si­ble for UC Irvine was quoted in the arti­cle say­ing that Jew­ish stu­dents on cam­pus are engag­ing with their Mus­lim stu­dent coun­ter­parts and described it as “a new era.” Unfor­tu­nately, MSU’s con­tin­ued will­ing­ness to pro­vide a plat­form to an anti-Semite sug­gests otherwise.

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April 26, 2012 3

Divestment Effort at the Methodist General Conference in Tampa

Should the United Methodist Church divest from its invest­ments in “com­pa­nies that sus­tain the Israeli occu­pa­tion?”

The answer to that ques­tion will be decided in Tampa, Florida, at this year’s Gen­eral Con­fer­ence of the United Methodist Church (UMC). The con­fer­ence began on Tues­day and is sched­uled to take place through May 5, 2012.

The UMC includes on its agenda a list of “major issues” that will be addressed at the con­fer­ence, includ­ing the church’s stance and efforts regard­ing abor­tion, gay rights, bul­ly­ing and immi­gra­tion. Also included in the agenda is a res­o­lu­tion on divest­ment from three Amer­i­can com­pa­nies – Cater­pil­lar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard – until they “end their involve­ment in the Israeli occu­pa­tion of the Pales­tin­ian ter­ri­to­ries.” The res­o­lu­tion fur­ther calls on “the United Methodist Church boards and agen­cies, annual con­fer­ences, local churches and indi­vid­u­als to prayer­fully con­sider cor­po­rate involve­ment in Israel’s occu­pa­tion when mak­ing invest­ment decisions.”

The res­o­lu­tion is being pre­sented to the Gen­eral Con­fer­ence by the United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR), an anti-Israel con­tin­gent that was formed in 2010 fol­low­ing the release of the “Kairos Pales­tine Doc­u­ment.” That doc­u­ment, which calls for a global BDS cam­paign, denies Jew­ish con­nec­tion to the Holy Land and jus­ti­fies terrorism.

If the res­o­lu­tion is passed, UMC gen­eral boards will be required to present reports on their respec­tive progress at the church’s 2016 conference.

UMKR has a doc­u­ment on its web­site list­ing indi­vid­u­als and groups that sup­port the res­o­lu­tion and it takes care to specif­i­cally high­light the Jew­ish anti-Zionists who sup­port BDS. This is likely an attempt to obvi­ate alle­ga­tions of anti-Semitism. The res­o­lu­tion has received sup­port from Jew­ish Voice for Peace, a vari­ety of Israeli anti-occupation activists and two anti-Zionist Holo­caust sur­vivors, Hedy Epstein and Hajo Meyer. In his state­ment, Meyer claims that, as a sur­vivor of Auschwitz, he “[refuses] to belong to a group which is a per­pe­trator, and there­fore I do not agree to allow the state of Israel to com­mit its crimes in the name of Judaism.”

In addi­tion to the divest­ment res­o­lu­tion, par­tic­i­pants at the con­fer­ence may be asked to vote on other vir­u­lently anti-Israel res­o­lu­tions, includ­ing one regard­ing endors­ing the Kairos Pales­tine Document.

Efforts by Methodist anti-Israel activists to divest from Israel began in 2008. Then, the UMC voted to con­tinue to allow its agency staff to make com­par­isons of Israel to the apartheid regime that existed in South Africa and par­tic­i­pate in the US Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occu­pa­tion. The Gen­eral Coun­cil did not, how­ever, vote in favor of divest­ing from Israeli companies.

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