Thursday, June 22, 2017

Israel haters groups response to anti-Semitism at SFSU "But we're the victims"

The recent lawsuit alleging systemic anti-antisemitism at San Francisco State University has gotten a great deal of press lately

Lawsuit claims San Francisco State, university leaders, have history of cultivating campus environment hostile to Jews

San Francisco State University fosters anti-Semitism, lawsuit alleges

Not being able to control the narrative is a first for the haters.  How are they handling the stress?

What is the reaction of, oh, lets say Jewish Voice for Peace to this? After all, their mission statement claims they oppose "anti-Jewish, bigotry and oppression".   

Ben Lorber, a JVP staffer has "talking points" to share and can help you write a letter, denying anti-Jewish bigotry and oppression even exists

Other anti-Israel groups are also mobilizing fast as they can, utilizing their perpetual theme of  " But, but, but we're the victims" ( so send us money).

A "Launch good" page has been set up to raise money for  SFSU  Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and her students. 

The page reads

They disagreed with her work on Palestine, so they plastered posters across campus calling her a terrorist and a Jew-hater.

Professor Rabab Abdulhadi of the Arab Muslim and Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies program has filed several grievances against San Francisco State University for the hostile and unsafe work and study environment for Palestinians, Muslims and Arabs on campus. Your generous donation will contribute to the legal defense fund against Islamophobia, anti-Arab discrimination and hostility to Palestinians at SFSU campus and to supporting the AMED Studies program against destruction.

"They" apparently means pro-Israel groups such as David Horowitz, Canary Mission, AMCHA, Campus Watch, Stand With US, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Middle East Forum and the Zionist Organization of America -any group that dares defends the rights of Jewish students on campus.

In the eternal sunshine of their spotless victimhood, apparently  the appearance of several dozen tasteless posters on campus constitutes "intimidation" for the General Union of Palestinian students at SFSU. However, there is no evidence that any group other than the Horowitz center was involved, and Jewish SFSU faculty and student groups on campus immediately denounced the posters.  

The General Union of Palestinian Students has rather tender sensibilities for a group that routinely shouts down any dissenting voice, calls for genocide, and maintains a truth-optional view of history.

Spreading hatred at SFSU

Spreading hatred at SFSU

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Koret Foundation withholds grant money to San Francisco State University

Anti-Semitism doesn't pay. SFSU has learned the hard way.

According to an article in the J Weekly, the Jewish News of  Northern California, written by Max.Cherney:

The San Francisco-based Koret Foundation last year held back a $1.7 million grant to San Francisco State University, according to a federal lawsuit filed earlier this week.

Among other accusations in the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s lawyers laid out a squabble over the sizable grant between SFSU and the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation, a well-fundedphilanthropic organization that works on a range of causes.

Koret’s reason for withholding the grant was due to concerns about “anti-Jewish animus” at SFSU, the lawsuit claims, and because of a 2016 incident where protesters prevented Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat from giving a scheduled talk at the school.

Read it all here

Monday, June 19, 2017

Groundbreaking Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University has been hit with a lawsuit, alleging systemic patterns of discrimination and harassment directed towards Jewish students.

The lawsuit  filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California  names the Board of Trustees of the California State University System, SFSU President Leslie Wong and others as defendants. The plaintiffs, including students, alumni and community members are represented by attorneys from The Lawfare Project and the global law firm Winston & Strawn LLP.

From a press release, filed by Amanda Berman, Lawfare Project Director of Legal Affairs
and Brooke Goldstein, Lawfare Project Director

The lawsuit was triggered following the alleged complicity of senior university administrators and police officers in the disruption of an April, 2016, speech by the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat. At that event organized by SF Hillel, Jewish students and audience members were subjected to genocidal and offensive chants and expletives by a raging mob that used bullhorns to intimidate and drown out the Mayor’s speech and physically threaten and intimidate members of the mostly-Jewish audience. At the same time, campus police – including the chief – stood by, on order from senior university administrators who instructed the police to “stand down” despite direct and implicit threats and violations of university codes governing campus conduct.

The lawsuit states that “SFSU has not merely fostered and embraced anti-Jewish hostility -it has systematically supported … student groups as they have doggedly organized their efforts to target, threaten, and intimidate Jewish students on campus and deprive them of their civil rights and their ability to feel safe and secure as they pursue their education at SFSU.” SFSU continues to affirm its preference for those targeting the Jewish community, according to the lawsuit, by claiming to handle such incidents successfully by removing the Jewish students from their lawful assembly without allowing them the opportunity to exercise their free speech rights.”

Making matters worse, no actions were ever taken by SFSU against the disruptive students, no disciplinary charges were ever filed, and no sanctions were ever imposed against the groups or students responsible for committing these acknowledged violations.

“Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the underpinning of the modern American ethos of equal protection and anti-discrimination. This case isn’t about Jews, it’s about equal protection under the law,” says Brooke Goldstein, Lawfare Project Director. “If the courts fail to apply Title VI in this context, we are creating a massive loophole that will ultimately be exploited to target other marginalized minority communities. If we refuse to enforce anti-discrimination law for Jews, if we say Jews don’t deserve equal protection, it will erode constitutional protections for everyone. Jews must be protected the same as any other minority group, or the bedrock of civil rights law will crumble.”

In addition to the disruption of the speech by Nir Barkat, the lawsuit describes a long list of discrimination, intimidation and mistreatment of Jewish students at SFSU.  Following are just a few examples:

In 1994, a ten-foot mural was erected on SFSU’s student union building that portrayed yellow Stars of David intertwined with dollar signs, skulls and crossbones, and the words “African Blood.”

In 1997, a banner depicting an Israeli flag with a swastika next to an American flag with a dollar sign was hung over the same wall where the 1994 mural had been painted.

In April of 2002, posters appeared around campus advertising an event called “Genocide in the 21st Century,” featuring a dead baby on the label of a soup can, surrounded on either side by Israeli flags.

In May of 2002, following a Peace rally, a small group of Jewish students were targeted by a large group of students who shouted bigoted and offensive remarks, including “Hitler didn’t finish the job,” “Get out or we’ll kill you,” and “Go back to Russia.”

In 2009, SFSU hosted on-campus events that advocated for the elimination of the Jewish state of Israel.

In 2016, President Wong complained that in all his years, he had never seen a university donor withhold a pledge because of a “political issue.” A Jewish Studies faculty member told him, “the physical safety of Jewish students is never a political issue.” President Wong replied, “on this, we will have to agree to disagree.”

In 2017, when specifically asked whether Zionists are welcome at SFSU, President Wong refused to provide the only proper answer: “Yes.” Instead, President Wong demurred, stating “That’s one of those categorical statements I can’t get close to. . . . Am I comfortable opening up the gates to everyone?  Gosh, of course not.”

"Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the underpinning of the modern American ethos of equal protection and anti-discrimination. This case isn’t about Jews, it’s about equal protection under the law,” says Brooke Goldstein, Lawfare Project Director. “If the courts fail to apply Title VI in this context, we are creating a massive loophole that will ultimately be exploited to target other marginalized minority communities. If we refuse to enforce anti-discrimination law for Jews, if we say Jews don’t deserve equal protection, it will erode constitutional protections for everyone. Jews must be protected the same as any other minority group, or the bedrock of civil rights law will crumble."

Read the full complaint here

Read students and community members first hand accounts of the campus climate at SFSU  here

Read the full press release from the Lawfare Project here

For more documentation of the systemic harassment of Jewish students at SFSU, see the blog San Francisco State Unbecoming

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lamis Deek spreads a modern day blood libel

Lamis Deek of the National Lawyers Guild has no trouble spreading a modern day blood libel.

Deek, an attorney, has forwarded a completely unsubstantiated article that claims:

A Palestinian child from Beit Furik town in Nablus survived certain death on Wednesday after Jewish settlers kidnapped and tortured him inside their settlement.
Local sources told reporters that eight-year-old Bashar Ghazal was found in the illegal Itamar settlement, handcuffed and injured as a result of his exposure to severe torture at the hands of extremist settlers.
The sources added that the Israeli occupation army handed over the boy to the Palestinian Authority liaison office on Wednesday night, confirming that the settlers brutally tortured the child and burned his skin with molten plastic.

No, Lamis Deek did not attempt to fact check before forwarding this modern day blood libel.
The truth, via the Times of Israel 
The Israeli military handed over to Palestinian police an apparently mentally challenged Palestinian child who walked up to the fence of a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank on Wednesday, the army said.
The 8-year-old child was spotted walking in an area adjacent to the Itamar settlement, near Nablus, on Wednesday morning. IDF troops were called out to investigate.
When the soldiers started speaking with the boy, who apparently had a mental disability, they noticed that his body was covered in “signs of harsh physical abuse,” an army spokesperson said.
The child told them that he was being abused at home,” the spokesperson said.
According to the Palestinian Authority mouthpiece Safa, the signs of abuse included burns from molten plastic being poured on him.
Bashar Abd al-, 8, who, the IDF said, told soldiers he was abused at home after he was picked up by the army as he walked outside a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank on June 15, 2017. (Safa)
The army dismissed reports in Palestinian media that the boy was kidnapped and beaten by settlers at Itamar. The spokesperson noted that at no point did the boy enter the settlement nor did settlers approach him.
The child was identified by Palestinian media as Bashar Abd al-Ghazal of the nearby village of Beit Furik.
According to Safa, al-Ghazal’s father died on Wednesday. The news site did not elaborate.
The IDF spokesperson said the soldiers gave the child “water, food and grape juice” before handing him over to PA security services.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reem's bakery in Fruitvale: Gaming the system on Yelp

From Berkeleyside, writing about Reem's, a new bakery in the  Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland:

Assil decidedly chooses to use “Arab” over “Middle Eastern” when describing her concept. “I wanted it to be political,” she said. “People are afraid of politics, but now more than ever people are asking. If my food can stir up a conversation — even if it’s a hard conversation — that’s what I want it to do. I welcome that in my space.”

Reem Assil 's commitment to open dialog  and conversation apparently is limited to those who agree with her.  On her Facebook page, she has urged her followers to rate down negative comments on Yelp, and to give her establishment positive reviews

Reem Assil, a  local anti-Israel activist and member of the extremist Arab Resource Organizing Center (AROC)  solicited her political connections to shut down complaints about her new bakery. Anti-Israel activists from as far away as Texas, many who have never set foot in the bakery were quick to leap to her defense, sharing notes on how to game the Yelp review process, and chortling over their success in shutting down negative reviews.

Let this be a cautionary tale to those who rely on Yelp reviews.  Apparently it is not difficult to trick the Yelp review algorithm.  And let this also serve as an example of how anti-Israel activists will stop at nothing in their ruthless attempt to shut down voices that challenge them-  even if the voices are simply complaining about burnt flatbread and surly service.

Reem's bakery in Fruitvale. Mainstreaming Murder

Why is Reem's Bakery in the Oakland Fruitvale neighborhood promoting hate? Why is Reem's glorifying Rasmea Odeh, the confessed killer of 2 young students? Why is a bakery that claims to "connect people across culture" lionizing a murderer who targeted civilians in a grocery store?

Mural of PFLP terrorist Rasmea Odeh at Reems bakery in Fruitvale
Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner were best friends, murdered when members of the terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine bombed a Jerusalem grocery store in 1969. Nine other people were injured.

Rasmea Odeh, a member of the PFLP terror group placed her bomb in a kosher grocery store in Jerusalem for one reason- to target and terrorize Jewish civilians.   She was arrested and confessed to the murders after one day in custody. Physical evidence such as bomb making materials were found in Odeh’s home. Guy Wintelir, an observer from the International Red Cross attended the six month long trial and described it as fair. Rasmea was sentenced to life in prison over for her role in the attack. 

In 1980, after serving only 10 years of her sentence, Odeh was released in a prisoner exchange 

She immigrated to the United States in 1995, escaping detection by using a variety of aliases, but was found guilty in 2014 of lying on her immigration papers. She confessed after an appeal and is currently awaiting deportation.

In a 2004 documentary, Rasmea was implicated by her co-conspirator Aisha Odeh which Aisha admitted to participating in the Super Sol attack and named Rasmea as one of her accomplices.  She admitted  “Rasmea Odeh was more involved than I was [in the grocery store bombing] ... I only got involved during the preparation of explosives. We wanted to place two bombs to blow up consecutively. I suggested to have the second bomb go off five or six minutes after the first bomb so that those who get killed in it would be members of the army and secret service, but it did not explode. They diffused it 20 seconds before it exploded.”

In a community devastated by violence, why is Reems bakery glorifying this unrepentant murderer?

It remains unclear how glorifying a murderer builds connections across cultures

For more information on the crimes of Rasmea Odeh:

The Legal Insurrection website provides the most comprehensive coverage of Rasmea Odeh's history, and more importantly, those of her victims and their families.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Hamas Terror Tunnel discovered under UN School in Gaza

Earlier this week, UNWRA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees uncovered a tunnel belonging to Hamas underneath 2 elementary schools in  Gaza 
The tunnel passes underneath both the Maghazi Elementary Boys School and the Maghazi Preparatory Boys School.

The agency has filed a complaint with Hamas and has stated:
"It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way," it said. "The construction and presence of tunnels under UN premises are incompatible with the respect of privileges and immunities owed to the United Nations under applicable international law, which provides that UN premises shall be inviolable. The sanctity and neutrality of UN premises must be preserved at all times."

The agency also said it condemns “the existence of such tunnels in the strongest possible terms,” adding that it was “unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon  responded to the news by stating “the cruelty of Hamas knows no bounds as they use the children of Gaza as human shields. Instead of UN schools serving as centers of learning and education, Hamas has turned them into terror bases for attacks on Israel.”

Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories  (COGAT's) response

On June 1st, a Hamas terror tunnel was discovered under the UNRWA School for Boys in Al-Maghazi.

Hamas’ act of using children as human shields with complete disregard for their lives is appalling, but sadly not surprising. The Arab world is in agreement and has shown complete understanding about who is responsible for ruining the lives of Palestinians and their prospects for a better future.

 Thursday, the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz issued an article with the statement: ”Hamas is the one leading Gaza into humanitarian disaster in that it takes over and confiscates humanitarian aid and threatens the lives of residents as it digs tunnels under schools and hospitals in order to take advantage of residents as human shields."

It is clear that the Arab world has recognized Hamas as responsible for the destruction of the Gaza Strip, eliminating any hope of a positive future for the Gazan people. Perhaps the time has come for the residents of the Gaza Strip to draw the same conclusion.

Terror groups in Gaza have used UNRWA facilities in the past.  A UN inquiry found  that Palestinian groups hid weapons in three UN-run schools in Gaza and  likely used UNRWA schools  to fire rockets at Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

For more information

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The death of 16 year old Fatima Hajiji

On May 7, 16 year old Fatima Afeef Abdul-Rahman Hajiji, 16, from Qarawat Bani Zeid village, northwest of Ramallah, charged at an Israel policeman, knife in hand.  She was shot and died of her wounds.

What makes a 16 year old girl take an action that is akin to suicide? Judging from her posts on social media, martyrdom was her goal.

Incitement and the glorification of violence and martyrdom are destroying  Palestinian youth. Until this ends, peace will remain elusive.

Richard Horton of the Lancet does teshuvah

The once venerable British Medical journal Lancet and its editor, Richard Horton have been taken to task in the past for publishing a letter filled with “concealments, half-truths, and distortions that revealed the biases of its authors and signatories” regarding Israel’s conflict with Gaza.

After the controversial document was published, Lancet editor Richard Horton, was invited to Israel to meet with medical professionals at Rambam hospital.

This is why the anti-Israel forces fear normalization the most of all.

This week Richard Horton made good on his regrets for publishing the biased and controversial article, writing

We have learned lessons from this unfortunate episode. Our collaboration seeks to undo the harm and tarnish of this episode by transforming these experiences to constructive practice.

The May 8 2017 issue of The Lancet features ten articles written by Israel doctors and researchers, on topics as diverse as treating the casualties of the Syrian civil war, digital health innovation, and maternal and child health.

Horton writes:

We have identified several determinants of Israel’s advancement in health, including articulation of a clear vision, national purpose, and long term commitment that seeks to take the health of its citizens seriously; a multi-ethnic population that brings diversity and energy to national progress: a political democracy, which is characterized by robust debate and discussion about the nation’s future; national legislation governing cardinal health-care processes: cultural and religious histories that respect and revere scholarship, learning, research and charitable donation; and expanding economy. with recent but increasing appreciation of the economic, social, and political underpinnings of health and health inequities, a strong base of support from the Diaspora Jewish community ;and a strong desire for acceptance by the international community in key areas, especially science and health.

“The special issue on Israel will not be a one-time project,” Horton said. “It is the beginning of a close partnership.”

For more information on this weeks Lancet see:

Prestigious health journal publishes edition dedicated to health in Israel

3 years after open letter alleged Gaza ‘massacre,’ Lancet eyes Israeli health

Tourism to Israel breaks a historic record. Hows that boycott working for you?

Looks like the considerable expenses and efforts of the BDS crowd to isolate Israel are for naught. 349,000 tourists visited Israel in April 2017. This is the highest ever figure for any month since Israel's inception in 1948. Since the start of the year 1.09 million tourists have entered Israel, representing an increase of 26% from last year. Tourism has injected a record NIS 6 billion into the Israeli economy this year.

This represents yet another in a series of BDS fails.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

San Francisco State University's toxic climate for Jewish Students

From the Jewish Community Relations Council Director Abby Forth:
“Campuses across the nation experience uncivil discourse and anti-Semitism. But what sets S.F. State apart is its administration’s unwillingness to state for its entire campus community that it will not tolerate these acts.
“When Jewish students and guests are intimidated and Hillel is discriminated against, this administration fails to speak out. More than that, it has celebrated the perpetrators while privately assuring our Jewish community that it will look into these incidents,”
“In so doing, this administration is, at best, complicit in the marginalization of Jewish students, and, at worst, responsible for it.

If case you missed it, check out the excellent series of articles on the campus climate for Jewish students at San Francisco State University, published in this weeks J the Jewish News of Northern California 

Dan Pine documents the history of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activism at San Francisco State University, and the current administration's tepid response

S.F. State’s Jewish problem: faculty and local leaders decry worsening climate''

Written by Max A.Cherney:

JCRC campaign aimed at ‘toxic culture’ for Jews at SFSU

Written by Mark G. Yudof  and Kenneth Waltzer of the Academic Engagement Network.

S.F. State ‘excommunicates’ Jewish students and pro-Israel speakers

Written by Marc Dollinger.the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University and  Fred Astren,chair of the Jewish studies department, stating:

"After six face-to-face meetings over the course of a year with San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong, we are obliged to report that there is no resolution in sight for problems plaguing Jewish student life on campus."
Jewish studies professors: S.F. State marginalizes Jews

Outraged? You should be.  This has been going on for a long time.

Community members are mobilizing for action.  A good first step- please sign this petition to California State University Chancellor Dr. Timothy P. White from StandWithUs  calling on him to take immediate action to "ensure the security and dignity of Jewish students"

The JCRC is encouraging people to email SFSU President Les Wong to remind him that it is the responsibility of the administration to set and enforce boundaries that protect free speech and ensure the safety of every student.  Demand he take action to protect Jewish students on campus.

Stay tuned. This is not over.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" at San Francisco's Magic Theater

The one-woman show "My name is Rachel Corrie" is playing at San Francisco's Magic Theater in Fort Mason on a 2 week run. The play includes excerpts from the diary of Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member who was accidentally killed while guarding smuggling tunnels in Gaza

Even with the deep discounts offered to Jewish Voice for Peace members, there are plenty of tickets still available.

Writing in the Northern California Jewish Weekly, Johanna Meckel,  Northern California director of StandwithUs addresses the deification of Rachel Corrie:

The play “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” currently running in San Francisco, omits all context, portraying that period of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only through Corrie’s eyes.

Rachel Corrie’s death was accidental and deeply tragic. A 23-year-old American student decided to come to Gaza, a war zone in 2003, to stand in solidarity — but in solidarity with whom? From 2001-2005, hundreds of rockets a year were being launched from Gaza at the Israeli community of Sderot, using materials brought in through tunnels just like the ones Corrie was trying to protect by serving as a human shield. The bulldozer that tragically ended her life was there to uncover one of 90 tunnels that terrorists were using to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

She was deliberately placed in a war zone as part of a strategy by the International Solidarity Movement, whose founder George Rishmawi boasted “…if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice.” As detailed by the Israeli watchdog group NGO Monitor, the ISM has a lengthy history of working with Hamas and knowingly placing foreign volunteers in situations where ISM leadership knew that they could be injured or killed.

Dozens of innocent Americans have been killed in acts of Palestinian terror.  Their stories remain untold. If you know the name "Rachel Corrie", but don't know the name Taylor Force or Daniel Wultz then you aren't paying close enough attention.

London terror suspect was on Gaza flotilla ship Mavi Marmara

One of the "peace activists" from the Mavi Marmara has surfaced again.

Khalid Omar Ali is being held in custody in London on suspicion of terrorism.The 27-year-old man was arrested carrying knives near Prime Minister Theresa May's office by British police. He was detained as part of an intelligence operation. It was reported that a concerned family member contacted the police.

Reports indicate that Khalid Omar Ali was one of the "peace activists" aboard the Mavi Marmara, a ship in the 2010 Gaza flotilla. The ship was attempting to run the naval blockade of Gaza. After Israeli soldiers boarded it, they were attacked. The resulting scuffle left 9 dead.

Anti-Israel activists still maintain the Mavi Marmara was an aid ship, manned by peace activists
Khalid Omar Ali is currently detained under the Terrorism Act and is in custody in a London police station.

Photos from the Sun

Friday, April 28, 2017

All 100 senators sign letter asking for equal treatment of Israel at the United Nations

Bipartisan support for Israel in the US remains strong, with all 100 senators signing a letter asking for fair and equal treatment of Israel at the U.N.

The letter, released today asked the U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to address  the “continued targeting of Israel by the UN Human rights Council and other UN entities”

The letter was authored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.).

Text follows:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Power Grab: As Hamas and the PA posture for political gain, the Palestinian people suffer.

As Hamas and the PA posture for political gain, the Palestinian people suffer.

In anticipation of his meeting next month at the White House Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas has taken steps to pressure Hamas to accept PA authority over Gaza.  Presidential and parliamentary elections have not been held  for over a decade.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah declared:

"I think there is a golden and historic chance to regain the unity of our people... Hamas should relinquish control of Gaza."

The PA  has been increasing the  pressure on Hamas by withholding the fuel  from Israel that powered Gaza's only generating plant, and by slashing the salaries of its 60,000 civil servants in Gaza by 30 percent.  These employees in Gaza do not work, but continue to draw salaries.  Hamas refuses to buy fuel from the PA for the Gaza power station because of a dispute over taxation. It shut down two weeks ago, plunging the people of Gaza into darkness.

Now,the Palestinian Authority has told Israel that it would no longer pay for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza.   Israel supplies Gaza with 30 percent of its total electricity needs at a monthly cost of $11 million.  Less reliable Egyptian power lines also provide a portion of Gaza’s electrical needs. In an effort to avoid a humanitarian crisis, Israel did not immediately cut off the electrical supply.  The United Nations has also allocated $500,000 for the purchase of emergency fuel for Gaza’s 13 hospitals and 54 medical centers.

Electricity shortages have led to protests in Gaza. Cuts to the power supply affect the water supply. Sewage is flowing into the sea.

Fuad Al-Shobaki of the Palestinian Authority's Petroleum Authority blamed Hamas for manufacturing  the crisis, saying  Hamas was unable "to cover their inability to manage the Gaza Strip."

The fuel shortage is one more problem for Hamas-controlled Gaza, which is already dealing with soaring unemployment and a lack of drinkable water.

In 2016, the PA’s budget was $4.14 billion, of which the Gaza Strip’s share was $1.65 billion. Hamas continues to divert this funding  to weapons and terror tunnel, in preparation for their next war against Israel.

Eylon A. Levy of i24 News explains the Gaza energy crisis on Twitter:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Holy Land Principles. Gateway Drug to Full BDS ?

Yet one more reason you shouldn't ignore the proxy statements that show up in your mail.

 Marriott International  has more than 6000 properties in over 122 countries and territories around the world. Next month at their annual shareholder meeting, they are slated to vote on a shareholder proposal urging the adoption of the  "Holy land Principles". The principles add  burdensome layers of restrictions, oversight and bureaucracy to the 2 Marriott properties in Israel.  The Marriott Board opposes this proposal and recommends a vote AGAINST it.

What are the Holy land Principles? Their website bills them as a "corporate code of conduct" that are applicable only to businesses within Israel.

From their Website: The 8 Holy Land Principles

The Holy Land Principles call on American companies conducting business in The Holy Land to:

Principle #1
Adhere to equal and fair employment practices in hiring, compensation, training, professional education, advancement and governance without discrimination based on national, racial, ethnic or religious identity.

Principle #2

Identify underrepresented employee groups and initiate active recruitment efforts to increase the number of underrepresented employees.

Principle #3

Develop training programs that will prepare substantial numbers of current minority employees for skilled jobs, including the expansion of existing programs and the creation of new programs to train, upgrade, and improve the skills of minority employees.

Principle #4

Maintain a work environment that is respectful of all national, racial, ethnic and religious groups.

Principle #5

Ensure that layoff, recall and termination procedures do not favor a particular national, racial, ethnic or religious group.

Principle #6

Not make military service a precondition or qualification for employment for any position, other than those positions that specifically require such experience, for the fulfillment of an employee’s particular responsibilities.

Principle #7
Not accept subsidies, tax incentives or other benefits that lead to the direct advantage of one national, racial, ethnic or religious group over another.

Principle #8

Appoint staff to monitor, oversee, set timetables, and publicly report on their progress in implementing the Holy Land Principles.

Marriott  has a labor relations code of principles and practices in place and already aligns with Israel's strict labor and employment laws. From their Proxy handbook:

Marriott’s practices align with the Principles included in the Proposal. Given our Global Employment Principles, Policies and Practices, Marriott’s practices at our two managed hotels in Israel align with the Principles included in the Proposal. In addition, the Israeli Equal Opportunity Law, which applies to our managed and franchised hotels in Israel, forbids discrimination in hiring, promoting, work conditions, training or termination of work. As a result, we believe that formal adoption of the Holy Land Principles is not necessary nor incrementally valuable to our business interests nor citizenship commitment. Given our portfolio of over 6,000 hotels globally in 122 countries and territories, our policies need to be applied consistently worldwide thus making a country-by country-approach inefficient and unduly burdensome. For these reasons, the Board opposes this proposal and recommends a vote AGAINST the proposal.

While the Marriott chain has 2 facilities in Israel, you'd never know it by looking at their website.
With 18 states enacting anti-BDS legislation, the "Holy land Principles"  provides a foot in the door and a nose under the tent for the "Israel is always wrong" crowd to demonize and delegitimize Israel outside the rubric of BDS.

Always open and read  your proxy statements, and Marriott shareholders- vote No on this resolution.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BDS advocates again prove that they can't win on a level playing field

By most accounts, 2017 has been a bad year for BDS

From Jonathan Marks, writing at Commentary

... the campus BDS movement this year, until recently, had notched wins solely at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, which has been passing divestment resolutions with wearying regularity since 2004, and the University of California-Riverside, where a symbolic and ineffectual blow against Sabra Hummus was struck. Meanwhile, BDS  activists lost at Ohio State (for a third time), University of Illinois-Urbana, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Columbia University.

But recently, two universities Student Councils, in an effort to push through resolutions when the Jewish students were otherwise occupied chose to have their votes during Passover week. Tufts University announced the vote 4 days in advance, and scheduled it for the day before Passover. Pitzer College held their vote during Passover, with no advance notice.

They resorted to underhanded tactics because they knew they could not win on a level playing field. They resorted to underhanded tactics because they wanted to silence opposition. They resorted to underhanded tactics to insure that their voices alone were heard.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League recently accepted an honor from Tufts, and took his alma mater to task for the vote, writing 

I find the BDS resolution passed by the TCU Senate deeply disturbing from all of my personal perspectives: as an alumnus who cares about Tufts; as a nonprofit executive who cares about justice and fair treatment; and as a Jew who cares about the fate of his people....

This vote intentionally was timed right before Passover in order to reduce the ability of all the interested Jewish students from participating in the debate. This meant that a number of individuals were forced to choose between practicing their faith and defending their people. This was a shameful tactic designed to silence the voices of Jewish students and the pro-Israel community at Tufts.

The university administration of Tufts issued a bland critique of  the resolution, saying

We have made clear in the past our opposition to calls to boycott Israeli academic institutions.  While members of our community vigorously debate international politics, Tufts University does not adopt institutional positions with respect to specific geo-political issues.

Ever immune to criticism, the  Students for Justice in Palestine, and their fan-boys at the Electronic Intifada nonetheless declared victory.

Jonathan Greenblatt concludes, with an appeal to Tufts for concrete action to address this incident, and insure that it never happens again:

I appeal to you to organize a task force that convenes alumni and administrators to review how this transpired and recommend steps to ensure it is not repeated.

And I advocate that you consider introducing a code of ethics — call it acovenant of active citizenship — for student leaders, one that demands ethical behavior, that upholds democratic processes and that creates accountability for those who fall short of these basic standards.

Now, I realize that it may seem odd for an alumnus to criticize his alma mater on the very day when I am receiving an honor from this institution.

But, from what I learned at Tufts, this is exactly what you taught me to do.

To take responsibility. To speak out. To defend free speech. To demand fair play. To make arguments respectfully and forcefully but also factually and rationally. And to defend and support the university that I so deeply love.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Israeli Economy Ranked 3rd Most Stable in the World

How that BDS working for you?

After 16 years of Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions directed towards the only democracy in the Middle East, you'd think you'd be seeing some concrete results.

Ummmm. No.

Israel's low unemployment rate, low inflation rate and reputation for innovation have earned it the rank of third most stable economy in the world by the Bloomberg Finance. Only Hong Kong and South Korea ranked higher.

Imagine if all that wasted energy directed towards bringing the Israeli economy to its knees was channeled instead towards building a real and lasting peace?

Read more about the abject failure of BDS here:

Bloomberg ranks Israel with third most stable economy in 2016

The Israeli Economy’s Got Intel Inside

Israeli Economy Ranked 3rd Most Stable in the World for 2016