Group launches hotline to report incidents of anti-Semitism on American college and university campuses

JEWISH CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP LAUNCHES STUDENT HOTLINE TO COMBAT ANTI-ISRAEL

October 2011

Press release:

(New York) Jewish civil rights group Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center has
launched the “Campus Hotline,” a manned telephone switchboard to assist
university students in the United States who are subjected to
anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks at their schools. Students and
faculty are being encouraged to call the Campus Hotline at (718)
907-9258 to report to Shurat HaDin any incidents of anti-Semitism,
discrimination, intimidation or harassment arising from anti-Israel
activities on American college or university campuses. Shurat HaDin is
also soliciting information and updates via the Hotline on BDS (the
boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to delegitimize Israel)
activities on campus and organized efforts to provide support for
terrorist organizations. Read more »

More doubletalk from UC President Mark Yudof….Yudof: “I remain a strong supporter of the Olive tree Initiative”

On June 28 2010 a Letter  signed by OC Task Force and 11 Organizations was went to  to UC President Yudof concerning, among other things, the alarming rise of anti-semitic rhetoric and physical and verbal aggression. In a very public and dismissive response in July 6, 2010 issue of the L A Times , Yudoff called that letter  a “dishearteningly ill-informed rush to judgment…” The following letter, copied to the Orange County Independent Task force on Anti-Semitism, is President Yudofs response to a recent petition from over 5,000 individials expressing  concern over the rising tide of anti-Semitic acts on the UC campuses: (Click) UC President Yudofs response to Jewish Community concerns

SEE ALSO:

Dear University of California President Yudof: Thanks for nothing!

Letter from UC Irvine Student to President Yudof concerning November 4th Presentation

Yudoff: “Whenever one of these vile acts occurs, we will act”… Will the regents continue to “act” like they are doing something or will they actualy do something about it?

“University administrators would do well to read the writing on their campuses’ bathroom walls”

UC Berkeley student:  “I don’t feel safe”

In May 2010 over 63 UC Irvine  faculty members issued a public statement saying in part: “Some community members, students, and faculty indeed feel intimidated, and at times even unsafe.”

Article: The Olive Tree Initiative “Creates a dangerous moral equivalency”

The Olive Tree Initiative and Terror

Posted by  Frank Crimi Bio ↓ on Oct 6th, 2011  Frontpage Magazine.

The danger of sending American college students on Olive Tree Initiative trips to the West Bank was underscored by the recent discovery of 13 Hamas terror cells and a foiled suicide bombing plot in Jerusalem.

Since its founding in 2007, the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), a self-described non-partisan educational program, has been a lightening rod of controversy.

With chapters already operating on four UC campuses and more scheduled to open, the OTI has steadfastly maintained its mission is to bridge differences among college students on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through what it calls “civil discussion” and “open minds.” Read more »

DA: “History requires us to draw a line in the sand against this sort of organized thuggery.”

Making Martyrs of the Irvine 11

IPT News
October 3, 2011

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas pushed backlast week against critics of his successful prosecution of 10 students who tried to shut down a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren last year at the University of California, Irvine.

Since a jury convicted the 10 who stood trial on two misdemeanor counts Sept. 23, Islamist groups and their allies have decried the case as an assault on the First Amendment sure to chill political speech. The students were charged criminally solely because they are Muslims, the argument goes, and because they dared challenge an Israeli official.

Rackauckas’ response? Bunk. In a column published by the Orange County Register, he said the case stands in defense of free speech, no matter how hard critics spin.

“History tells us of the dire consequences when one group is allowed to shout down and intimidate another or a group of people so as to not allow them to have opinions or be heard. History requires us to draw a line in the sand against this sort of organized thuggery.” Read more »

DA releases “Irvine11″ Evidence to Public; Video: “We pretty much shut him down”

Note: The evidence can be viewed at www.orangecountyda.com/home/index.asp?page=486.
.
.
Forty-five minutes of the Israeli ambassador’s speech and emails among the
students are available.
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By Lauren Williams. Daily Pilot
September 28, 2011 | 4:01 p.m.
.
The Orange County district attorney Wednesday published evidence from the so-called Irvine 11 case online.

The trove includes email threads sent among the defendants and video of the
UC Irvine and UC Riverside students shouting down Israeli Ambassador Michael
Oren’s Feb. 8, 2010, speech at UCI.

The district attorney rarely releases evidence online but did so this time
because of intense public interest, said D.A. spokeswoman Farrah Emami. Read more »

Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism Statement on the conviction of the “Irvine 11″

The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism applauds today’s Superior Court Jury’s verdict to convict  10 U C Irvine students on all counts of disturbing a public meeting and conspiracy to disrupt the Feb. 8, 2010, talk by  Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.  The Orange County Jury’s decision sends a powerful message that you cannot use the “hecklers veto” to violate the free speech rights of others, then hide behind the First Amendment.

Jury finds “Irvine 11″ guilty of disturbing a public meeting and conspiracy

UC Muslim students guilty of disturbing speech

By VIK JOLLY and LARRY WELBORN / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

SANTA ANA – A jury Thursday found 10 Muslim university students guilty of
disrupting a speech by an Israeli diplomat at UC Irvine last year, in a case
that focused on free speech.

The six-man, six-woman jury found  the students guilty on all counts of
misdemeanor disturbing a public meeting and conspiracy in connection with the
Feb. 8, 2010, talk by Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United
States.

The prosecution said the defendants used a “heckler’s veto” to thwart the
free speech rights of the speaker and others in the audience, while the defense
countered that what the protesters did was a lawful expression of their free
speech. Read more »

BBC Reporter assaulted in Egypt: “Sorry,…. “we thought you were a Jew.”

The chilling implication I was left with was that, had I been Jewish, the
assault would have apparently been justified.”

How I was the subject of anti-Semitic abuse in Cairo

By Thomas Dinham

BBC News,  Cairo

Relations between Israel and Egypt
have become increasingly strained in recent weeks, and in the Egyptian capital
there is a mounting sense of tension, including incidents of anti-Semitism. Read more »

“A despicable form of anti-Semitism,”

PLO official: Palestinian state to be free of Jews

By Haaretz

Commenting on the subject of minority rights in the potential Palestinian state, PLO envoy to the U.S. says past experience shows the two people should ‘be separated.’

The future independent Palestinian state will not include a Jewish minority, a top Palestinian official told USA Today on Wednesday, adding that it was in the best interest of both peoples to “be separated.”

Maen Areikat, PLO Ambassador to the United States, made the comment just as the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, was preparing to offer up Palestinian statehood to a vote in the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

Answering questions on minority rights in a future state, Areikat was quoted by USA Today as saying on the possibility of a Jewish minority: “After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated.” Read more »

Emails shown to Jury allegedly detailing advance plans to disrupt Israeli Ambassador Orens speech.

Irvine 11 – Jurors See Emails Plotting Disruptions

by IPT News  •  Sep 13, 2011 at 10:13 am

SANTA ANA – Emails detailing plans by Muslim Student Union (MSU)members to interrupt a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren last year were entered into evidence Monday in the misdemeanor trial of 10 University of California, Irvine students.

The emails outline how the group actively developed a plan to silence the Israeli ambassador, while dishonestly maintaining that the organization had no involvement. “We will be staying for the majority of the program and disrupting it throughout the whole time,” one email said.

Witness Rhoda Harris, a Holocaust survivor, described a scene of chaos as the students interrupted the speech multiple times. Oren could not be heard over the cheering that followed each disruption, she claimed, shutting down the event an hour before scheduled. Read more »

Universities, colleges “may be liable for massive damages” if they fail to prevent anti-Semitism on campus, Israel Law Center warns.

US colleges to receive warning letters on anti-Semitism

By JOANNA PARASZCZUK
09/08/2011 02:41  Jerusalem Post

Hundreds of US college and university presidents were set to receive warning  letters on Thursday morning, instructing them of their legal obligations to  prevent anti-Semitism on campus.

The letters also remind universities it  is their legal duty to prevent university funds from being diverted to unlawful  activities directed against the State of Israel.

RELATED:
Opinion: Can universities study anti-Semitism honestly?
UC-Irvine students secretly met with Hamas official

Civil rights group the  Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) is carrying out the legal campaign in response  to “an alarming number of incidents of harassment and hate crimes against Jewish  and Israeli students on US college campuses.”

“Anti-Israel rallies and  events frequently exceed legitimate criticism of Israel and cross the line into  blatant anti-Semitism, resulting in hateful attacks against Jews,” the center’s  lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said on Wednesday.

One university that has  attracted criticism over anti- Semitism on campus is Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Aaron Marcus, a senior at Rutgers, says he was  dubbed a “racist Zionist pig” in a public Facebook posting by a fellow  student.

The political  science and history student said he complained about the incident to the  university administration, but was told the student’s comments were protected  under the US Constitution’s First Amendment, and she had a right to freedom of  speech.“They didn’t even mention that her actions were in direct  violation of the student code of conduct or acknowledge the fact that she was  taking part in an extreme case of campus bullying,” Marcus said.Lawyer  Kenneth Leitner, Israel Law Center’s director of American affairs, said “perpetrators of hate” are exploiting academic ideals.“By condoning it,  college administrators have allowed an environment of intimidation and hostility  against Jewish students and faculty to fester on campus,” Leitner  said. Read more »

More evidence of the potential dangers of sending students on Olive Tree Initiative Trips

Israel security forces foil multiple terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, arrest dozens of Hamas militants

By Anshel Pfeffer Haaretz

Shin Bet security service intercepts explosive after it was smuggled to Jerusalem, it emerges Wednesday; dozens of Hamas militants operating in 13 separate cells arrested by security forces.

The Israeli Shin Bet security service foiled a suicide terrorist attack last month in Jerusalem, it emerged Wednesday. An explosive belt was seized only 24 hours before the planned attack, after it was already smuggled into Jerusalem.

The interception of the planned attack was part of a large-scale operation by the Shin Bet, the IDF and the police against the Hamas military infrastructure in the West Bank and Jerusalem. During the operation, dozens of Hamas militants – operating in alleged 13 separate cells – were arrested.

The main cell charged with carrying out the attack was based in Hebron. Read more »

Vehicle Vandalized with “anti-Semitic symbols, threatening statements” in Fountain Valley

Local Man Reports Vehicle Vandalism Containing Anti-Semitic Messages

Police briefs from around Fountain Valley.

ByClaire Chang 6:00am

Vehicle vandalism was reported from Indian River Court, Aug. 22 at 11:59 a.m. The victim found anti-Semitic symbols and threatening statements written on the car, and said that a few weeks prior, threatening notes and a doll with the same symbol was left nearby. No suspect(s) were seen or heard. Read more »

Student expelled from Scottish University. Judge: ” attacking someone’s Jewish identity based on their identification with Israel was racist.”

Paul Donnachi/e, Scottish Student, Found Guilty Of Racism After Abusing Israeli Flag

The Huffington Post, UK 8/24/11

A Scottish student has been found guilty of a racist breach of the peace after he “insulted” an Israeli flag and called a Jewish student a terrorist, in a landmark case that has been described as “profoundly ignorant” by some campaigners.

Paul Donnachie, an 18-year-old studying at St Andrews University, was found guilty by a Scottish court on Tuesday, following a complaint by a Jewish-American student at the campus.

Chanan Reitblat, said his privacy had been invaded when Donnachie and fellow student Samuel Colchester, entered his room, rubbed his hand first on his genitals and then on an Israeli flag.

“Paul put his hands down his pants, pulled off a pubic hair and rubbed it over my flag. Sam did the same thing,” Reitblat said.

Donnachie also told him Israel was a terrorist state and the flag was a terrorist symbol.

After finding Donnachie guilty, Sheriff Charlie Macnair said the student had racial motivations for his actions. Read more »

Is the American Jewish Committee finally getting it right on campus anti-Semitism?

With any luck, the AJC’s reversal may facilitate a unified  Jewish communal response to the resurgence of anti-Semitic incidents that have  been seen around the country, and especially in California, over the past  decade…”

AJC Gets It Right on Campus Anti-Semitism, At Last

David Harris Stood Behind Moves to Protect Jewish Students
By Kenneth L. Marcus

Published August 23, 2011, issue of September  02, 2011.  Jewish Daily Forward

In early August, the American Jewish Committee’s executive director, David  Harris, finally renounced his organization’s highly controversial joint  statement on campus anti-Semitism.

The initial statement, which AJC anti-Semitism expert Kenneth Stern had  published four months before, with Cary Nelson, president of the American  Association of University Professors, had generated considerable criticism  within the Jewish community. Interestingly, the AJC reversal coincided with  disturbing revelations in the University of California, Berkeley campus  anti-Semitism case.

The context for the AJC statement can be found in California. Jessica Felber  had gotten national attention earlier this year when she filed a federal lawsuit  alleging an anti-Semitic attack at the University of California’s flagship  Berkeley campus. In her federal complaint, the recent graduate detailed how a  Palestinian activist assaulted her on campus by ramming her from behind with a  loaded shopping cart. In mid-August, Felber revealed to the court that this  assault was part of an ugly pattern on that campus.  In another incident, a campus protester stopped a lecture to berate Felber for  the Hebrew lettering on her sweatshirt, yelling that she must be a “terrorist  supporter.” In a third, the head of Berkeley’s Students for Justice in Palestine  allegedly spat at her.

Felber is not alone; a second Berkeley student, Brian Maissy, has now joined  her lawsuit.  Maissy submitted a declaration describing the “terrifying” atmosphere on the Berkeley campus during “Apartheid Week,” when protesters  toting realistic-looking guns taunt passing students, demanding to know, “Are  you Jewish?”  Even more disturbing, Mel Gordon, a senior member of the Berkeley  faculty, is now supporting Felber’s lawsuit with written testimony that he had  been, “savagely beaten and spat upon” by the Students for Justice in Palestine.  Gordon described “serious injuries” that he received from blows to the  stomach. Read more »

“The singling out of Israel and the Jewish people for treatment that is not accorded any other group is textbook anti-Semitism”

The Reality of Campus Anti-Semitism Revisited

| @tobincommentary 08.19.2011 – 11:01 AM

Back in April, I wrote to take issue with a statement written by Kenneth Stern of the American Jewish Committee and Cary Nelson, the president of the American Association of University Professors. The duo contended that a number of recent troubling incidents involving Jewish students on American college campuses did not rise to the level of a “working definition” of anti-Semitism. Even worse, they sought to dismiss efforts to fight back against the vicious anti-Semitism that masquerades as criticism of Zionism as an unscrupulous attempt at censoring anti-Israel speech.  Their stand undermined the campaign to get the government and universities to take the issue of anti-Semitism seriously. Read more »

“Why do those who speak out against anti-Semitism suffer so much hostility from many of the Jewish organizations who should be the loudest voices?”

By Gary Fouse

7/25/11

Stella Paul of Stellapundit has sent me this article she wrote in American Thinker entitled, “Jews in the Basement”. It is strongly written and is strongly critical of certain Jewish men whom Paul deems have not stood up to anti-Semitism. It is certainly thought provoking.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/the_jews_in_the_basement.html

This is an issue that I have encountered myself in my efforts to call out instances of anti-Semitism. It certainly does not apply to all Jewish men (or women for that matter). I can name plenty of Jewish men who are actively standing up to anti-Semitism. David Horowitz is certainly no shrinking violet. My friend Ted Bleiweis of the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism is one of my closest colleagues as well as Dee Sterling in Orange County, who has endured a vicious backlash from the more established figures and organizations in Orange County for her activism and criticism of their own inaction. Read more »

Were OC Jewish Federation Leader(s) Planning to visit London to argue in favor of the Olive Tree Initiative?

The following is an excerpt from a post by Gary Fouse on his blog Fousesquawk:

In his final months, Rabbi Dunner had expressed his concern over the Olive Tree Initiative. He was so concerned about it that last January, he wrote a public letter to the Orange County Jewish Federation  asking them to reconsider Federation funding and support for this UC-Irvine-based project. In response, Rabbi Dunner was inundated with letters, e-mails and phone calls from  OTI supporters. In late January,  he received a correspondence from the embattled Federation  asking for a March meeting in London, where Dunner was based. The Federation informed Dunner that it would be sending a group to London to discuss the OTI  with the rabbi. Dunner wrote back informing the  Federation that he (Dunner) would be out of town and not available.

All of which raises the question of what business does the Orange County Jewish Federation have in sending a group of  their leaders to London to argue on behalf of the Olive Tree Initiative-and what funding would be used to finance such travel.

In Memory of Rabbi Aba Dunner 1938-2011

18 July 2011

Rabbi Aba Dunner dies at 74

World Jewish Congress

British rabbi Aba Dunner, the longtime executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis, has died in London at the age of 74. He was the leading activist for the cause of Orthodox Judaism in Europe and was widely respected across the Jewish world. He had been seriously ill for some months. Born in Königsberg (then Germany, today Kaliningrad, Russia) in 1938, Aba Dunner was the eldest son of the Rosh Beis Din of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations in Britain, Rabbi Josef Hirsch Dunner.

The World Jewish Congress said in reaction to Rabbi Dunner passing: “He was one of the leading activists for the cause of Orthodox Judaism over the past decades and was widely respected across the Jewish world. He was at the heart of the building and strengthening Jewish institutions in Europe. Within the World Jewish Congress, Rabbi Dunner and the Conference of European Rabbis – which he led for many years – were actively engaged in addressing the concerns of Jews and Jewish communities and in strengthening dialogue with other faith communities. He was a dedicated fighter for achieving peace and freedom for all peoples, irrespective of their origin, religion or ethnic background. He will be sorely missed by all those who had the pleasure to work with him over the years. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife and his family. May the memory of the righteous be for a blessing.”

Note: On January 19 2011 Rabbi Dunner sent an email  letter to OC Federation leader Shalom Elcott and copied to the OC Task Force  The letter requested that Elcott ” cancel any support for Olive Tree (Initiative) and to desist from sending anyone to their programmes.” He also suggested that  the  Federation “should carefully monitor what they are doing and take action to counteract their activities.” Apparently, Elcott and local Jewish  community leaders have ignored his counsel.  Rabbi Dunner will be missed. We wish to extend our heartfelt  condolences to Rabbi Dunners Family– OCITF

Olive Tree Initiative Leader: “Each side has engineered a campaign so clever, so manipulative and self-destructive..”

The following  is an excerpt  from a comment posted by a Jewish  member of the Olive Tree Initiative in response to our post  Olive Tree Initiatives “nefarious”connections?   His entire comment can be read by scrolling down to the bottom of the post to the comment section.  Are these the words of a student who has become overwhelmingly supportive of Israel, or do they belie the naive notion espoused by proponents of the Olive Tree Initiative, including Jewish Federation Leaders? :That Jewish students become overwhelmingly pro-Israel by belonging to an organization which gives a platform to those who unambiguously wish to harm Israel and the Jewish people.

Judge for yourself:

“….each side believes they know the truth, and takes unprecedented steps towards disseminating such truths. Additionally each side perceives themselves in the right, and expects international solidarity against the “other”. The conflict has evolved into an international industry, a media enterprise whose sole concern is to gain popular support at the expense of civilians. Each side has engineered a campaign so clever, so manipulative and self-destructive that its intention to sway the international community ends up cultivating deep resentment and entrenched hatred.”

See Also: UCI Hillel President: “Hamas, it seems, is effectively giving up on the notion of a total Palestinian takeover…”

JPost: “Elcott and Margolis do admit that students meet with speakers who support BDS and the branding of Israel as an apartheid state.”

Olive Tree Initiatives “nefarious”connections?

The ‘Flytilla’: Brought to You by Friends of the Olive Tree Initiative   

Posted by  Nichole Hungerford on Jul 11th, 2011

Evidence continues to mount over the nefarious nature of the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), a controversial student program that originated at the University of California, Irvine and is rapidly spreading to other campuses. Radical anti-Israel activists with long-standing involvement in the program have been identified as lead organizers of what has been dubbed the “flytilla,” a recent stunt aimed at putting the Israel delegitimization campaign back in the headlines. Sending young college students to meet with such Israel-hating extremists — including a leader of the terrorist organization Hamas — is what the OTI’s powerful patrons consider “holistic” education. Read more »

Richard Falk posts “vicious” anti-Semitic image on his blog. Claims ignorance of its repugnant nature “before it was pointed out to me.”

Note: Falk has taught UC Santa Barbara, at Chapman University and has appeared as a speaker at numerous anti-Israel events on Southern California Campuses including UCLA.

Obama administration, Jewish groups, to U.N.: Sack Falk

By Ron Kampeas ·                 July 8, 2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration, joined by U.S. Jewish groups, called for the United Nations to dismiss Richard Falk, its rapporteur on Palestinian rights, after he posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his blog.

“I am deeply disturbed that once again U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk has used his personal blog to publish abhorrent material,” Joseph Torsella, the U.S. representative for management and reform to the United Nations, said in a statement on Friday. “His shameful and outrageous behavior is an embarrassment to the United Nations. Someone who publishes such vicious images has no place in the U.N. system.”

The cartoon, posted by Falk, depicts a dog wearing a shirt labeled “USA” and a yarmulke marked with a Star of David devouring a bloody human carcass. Lady Justice stands by blindfolded, holding the dog’s leash as it urinates on her foot. Read more »

Dear University of California President Yudof: Thanks for nothing!

We wish to thank the author for sending a copy of the following article to the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism:

Jewish University Presidents Who Abandon Jews 

By Stella Paul

Since we live in a craven age, let’s salute our few heroes.  Meet Jessica Felber, a 21-year-old Lioness of Judah, who’s suing the University of California for failing to protect her civil rights.

Felber is a student activist at Berkeley who simply asserts her right to stand on campus and hold a sign saying, “Israel Wants Peace,” without subsequently needing urgent medical attention.  What Jew can count on that right on a UC campus these days?

In March 2010, Felber was violently assaulted by Husam Zakharia, the leader of Students for Justice in Palestine, as she peacefully held her sign at a pro-Israel event.  UC authorities “were fully aware that Zakharia, the SJP and similar student groups had been involved in other incidents on campus to incite violence against and intimidate Jewish and other students,” says her renowned lawyer, Neal Sher.  Nevertheless, “[d]efendants took no reasonable steps to protect Ms. Felber and others.”

Felber names UC President Mark Yudof in her lawsuit and therein lies a tale.  Read more »

Rutgers Hillel fights campus Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism; Gets community involved.

The event caught the attention of Jewish leaders from surrounding communities, and almost 400 people showed up to protest

Rutgers Hillel celebrates successes in combating anti-Israelism on campus

Jacob Binstein, New Jersey Jewish Standard
June 3, 2011 (From IJCR)

It was a tough year for friends of Israel on the Rutgers campus.

But last Tuesday night, at the Rutgers Hillel Gala held in Livingston, student activists got a warm reminder that they don’t stand alone as community leaders from all corners of the state came out to support the 68-year-old campus organization. Read more »

New English Review: Jewish Federation leader allegedly hits UCI Professor with coiled up flyers after “heated verbal exchange”.

Does The Olive Tree Initiative Lack Credibility?

Jerry Gordon

New English Review (July 2011)

On May 9th, the President of the Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County, California (JFOC), Shalom Elcott, was loitering on the plaza during the first day of the 2011l anti-Israel Apartheid Awareness Week organized by the Muslim Student Union (MSU)at University of California, Irvine (UCI). He encountered Professor Amihai Glazer. Glazer was one of 60 faculty members who had signed a letter expressing the view that antisemitism did indeed exist on the UCI campus – Islamic antisemitism. The conversation became heated when Elcott suddenly hit Glazer with coiled up flyers after Glazer told him he had “a credibility problem.”

Elcott is the brother of Prof. David Elcott of NYU Wagner College. David Elcott is a former US Interreligious Affairs Director of the American Jewish Committee. He left to become executive director of the J Street ally, the Israel Policy Forum (IPF). His successor at the IPF is MJ Rosenberg an active supporter of J Street’s mantra of “pro- Israel and pro-Peace” seeking immediatedeclaration of a Palestinian State.

One potential problem at UCI was the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI). The OTI was co-founded as a student led group in 2008 that included former Muslim Student Union President, Ali Malik, Isaac Yerushalmi, former head of Anteaters for Israel, and then graduate student, now director of the OTI, Daniel Wehrenfennig. The objective of the OTI program, sponsored by the JFOC Rose Project, was to send Jewish and non-Jewish students to Israel and the West Bank to expose them to a variety of views from Israeli and Palestinian representatives so they might gain an understanding of all sides of the issues.

Jewish student leaders at UCI Hillel, local JFOC officials and Jewish students who have gone on OTI sponsored trips persist in saying that antisemitism doesn’t exist on campus. Read more »

Sign the Petition to UC President Mark Yudof

Dear Task Force friends,

As a follow-up to last  year’s letter to UC President Mark Yudof, which 12 organizations  — including  your own — signed, my colleague Dr. Leila Beckwith and I have recently posted  another on-line letterto President Yudof, urging him to forcefully and  promptly address the problem of the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students on UC campuses.  We are hoping that thousands of Jewish community members will join us in signing this follow-up letter.

Could you please forward the following to your email subscribers?

Many thanks,
Tammi

Dear Jewish Community of California,

Bigotry against Jewish students has occurred on University of California campuses over many years and on many campuses.  Jewish students have been subjected to: swastikas; acts of physical aggression; speakers, films and exhibits that use anti-Semitic imagery and discourse; speakers that praise and encourage support for terrorist organizations; the organized disruption of events sponsored by Jewish student groups; and most recently the promotion of student senate resolutions for divestment from Israel that seek to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State.

Last May, more than 700 Jewish UC students signed a petition expressing outrage at anti-Jewish rhetoric and imagery on their campuses.  They asserted that these incidents are as offensive and hurtful to Jewish students as a “Compton cookout” or a noose are to African American students. In addition, dozens of Jewish students from three different UC campuses, who responded to an on-line questionnaire, described feeling harassed and intimidated by the promotion of hatred against the Jewish State and of Jews.  Almost all of the students felt that the administrators on their campuses did not treat Jewish concerns as sensitively as they did the concerns of other minorities such as African Americans and Latinos.

In June 2010, leaders of 12 Jewish organizations, including the Orthodox Union and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, wrote to UC President Mark Yudof, expressing their concerns about the hostile environment faced by Jewish students on UC campuses, and calling on him to address this serious problem immediately.  President Yudof responded by asking Jewish leaders to have patience and faith in the newly-established Advisory Councils on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion. Over the last year, however, these Advisory Councils have failed to address, or even acknowledge, the problem of anti-Semitism on UC campuses.  In fact, the aims and actions of the Advisory Councils since their inception, as revealed by documents released under a  Freedom of Information request, show that Jewish students are not a focus at all. Read more »

Has The Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC) ” been dishonest in the disclosure of its funding of the Olive Tree Initiative?”

The Patrons of Anti-Israelism

Posted by  Nichole Hungerford on Jun 23rd, 2011

Frontpage Magazine

Last week, a troubling article appeared in The Jerusalem Post on the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), a shady student organization run primarily through the University of California, Irvine that is rapidly spreading. The subject of intense criticism, the OTI has been infiltrated by (among others) activists from the terrorism-supporting International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and has sent students to meet with a leader of Hamas. Even so, what appeared in the Post does little to hold the organization accountable — or its powerful supporters in the Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC).

The OTI has been covered extensively at FrontPage, most recently in an article detailing a 2009 student trip to Israel and the West Bank on which students met with one of the foremost leaders of Hamas, Aziz Duwaik (trips to Israel to meet with “dialogue partners” are a central function of the program). The meeting occurred just months after Duwaik’s release from Israeli custody. Afterward, students were told to coverup the meeting and to essentially deceive officials in order to avoid trouble crossing borders and leaving the country. A spokeswoman from UC Irvine told FrontPage that there was no investigation into the incident that she knew of, nor has there been any evidence of an investigation subsequently. That is to say, neither the university nor the OTI’s funders have shown any interest in understanding the OTI’s dealings with Hamas, and in particular, how it is possible that the OTI arranged this meeting and what internal connections brought it about. (Duwaik, incidentally, was detained again in May by the Israeli Defense Force.)

The fact that there was no investigation is most puzzling, as JFOC sent a letter to Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake ostensibly insisting that an investigation be preformed. Yet with no investigation conducted, the federation continues its support. Read more »

JPost: “Elcott and Margolis do admit that students meet with speakers who support BDS and the branding of Israel as an apartheid state.”

So, sending students into a dangerous neighborhood and into the arms of those who seek to destroy Israel and the Jewish people  to get their “perspective”is appropriate, so long as they get the other point of view?  And this is what we call  leadership? 

A very balanced itinerary?

By BEN HARTMAN JPost.com
06/15/2011 23:20

Is the Olive Tree Initiative, an interfaith program that brings American students here to learn about the Israeli-Arab conflict, offering its participants the appropriate mosaic of views?
Shalom Elcott thinks you may have gotten the wrong idea.

In Israel this past week for Shavuot, the Orange County Jewish Federation president and CEO said that criticism of his group’s support for the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) was misplaced and not based on an honest examination of the program.

“We could all agree that we don’t love all the speakers, but we have to work with American Jews to develop a greater understanding about how important that diversity of opinions in Israel is. Our job is to work with OTI and open the door to the best possible teachers and people who know the facts on the ground and make sure they’re engaged on the trip,” he said. Read more »

Rabbi’s home attacked at UC Irvine

Official Statement from Chabad at UCI:

On Tuesday, May 31st at around 1:30pm a potted plant was thrown at the front window of the Chabad House at UCI. The home also serves as the residence of Rabbi and Mrs. Zevi Tenenbaum.

The object broke a glass panel of the front window. Thank G-d no one was hurt. The housekeeper was the only one home at the time. A police report was filed with the Irvine Police Department.

Rabbi Zevi and Miriam Tenenbaum regularly host UCI Students for Shabbat and Holiday Dinners at this location.   There is a Menorah on display in the front patio.

At this point in time there are no leads as to who may have been the perpetrator.

Rabbi Zevi Tenenbaum

The University and College Union (UCU) in the UK votes to disassociate itself from the European Unions (EUMC) working definition of Anti-Semitism

UCU condemned as “institutionally anti-Semitic”

Ronnie Fraser –31 May 2011

The University and College Union (UCU), which represents more than 120,000 University staff, used its annual gathering in Harrogate over the Bank Holiday weekend to disassociate itself from EUMC working definition of antisemitism which is used by law enforcement agencies all over the world.
 
The UCU, the leading trade union partner of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, made this move in an attempt to deligitimise and redefine anti Semitism. They didn’t just reject parts of the definition or propose changes to it, instead they decided never to use it again whether educating members or dealing with internal complaints of antisemitism.  Read more »

The following is published at the request of Rabbi Dov Fischer:

 AS A MEMBER OF THE IRVINE JEWISH COMMUNITY, I WILL CONTINUE BEARING WITNESS FOR ISRAEL AT UCI LONG AFTER THE PRESENT CROP OF HILLEL EMPLOYEES AND UCI STUDENTS MOVE ON

I, as a member of the Irvine Jewish community, participated in peaceful and dignified demonstrations supporting Israel during anti-Israel Hate Week at UCI.  I went to the campus, held placards, and respectfully quietly bore witness that I am a Zionist, that I love Israel, and that I am not deterred from demonstrating that love on the UCI campus.  I did not wait for Hillel to invite me, and I do not care whether Hillel wants me there.  Irvine is where I live.  Long after the Jewish students at UCI have departed from Irvine, long after yet another Hillel director departs from Irvine, my community and I will be here.  Irvine is not Berkeley, and our Jewish community will bear witness. Read more »

Rumors and Nonsense?

octfas2.jpg

An interesting  article entitled Just some food for thought  was linked today on the OC Task Force Facebook page by the president of UC Irvine Hillel.  The article appears on the U C Irvine Hillel Blog .  Here is some additional food for thought:

  1. The article stands in stark contradiction to a previous article written in 2009 by the same author describing  Vicious Jew-Hatred   at UC Irvine. 
  2.  In an article published in the May 2009 Jewish Journal entitled Protecting Hate at UC Irvine  a former UC Irvine student wrote: “ I have been told to censor myself so that potential students are not afraid to come to UCI, but I have had enough censorship”. 
  3. In March 2008, 20 “current and former” students issued a Press Release expressing deep concern about the anti-Semitism at UC Irvine and Hillels “response” to it. That story was covered in JTA and the Jerusalem Post”.
  4. In January 2009 an email sent to the Jewish community by the former president of Anteaters for Israel described U C Irvine as a ” a hotbed for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activism over the past seven years”.
  5.  In March 2010, Jewish student leaders appeared before the UCI student council describing the situation on campus and askedwhen will the student government stand up for me?”
  6.  May 2010 over 63 UC Irvine  faculty members issued a public statement saying in part: “Some community members, students, and faculty indeed feel intimidated, and at times even unsafe.”
  7. On February 12, 2008, the Orange County Independent Task Force on anti-Semitism completed its year-long investigation at UCI.  Over 80 hours of interviews, as well as, documents, written complaints and numerous visits to the campus were used in the compilation of the subsequent Report and Recommendations.  The complete 34 page report can be found here . The Task Force has continued to monitor and report on events on the UC Irvine campus.

Note: to read the articles click on the underlined phrases above.

SEE ALSO: Why Did Hillel Co-Sponsor Speaker Who Supported Goldstone Report?

O.C. Task Force Commends U.C. Irvine Police

The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism applauds the U. C. Irvine Police Department and the U. C. Irvine Administration for deploying a large contingent of officers and maintaining a high profile during  this years version of the contentious “Palestine awareness week”.  We commend Chief Paul Henisey and his officers for their courtesy and professionalism. For the past several years we have criticized the U C Irvine administration for maintaining  a negligible police presence and  allowing Muslim Student Union members to act as security personal at highly contentious and potentially volatile  events.  The deployment of additional  police officers this past week helped to insure the safety of students, faculty and everyone present.

Do your kids learn to hate in the university?

In the shadow of this years version of the vehemently anti Israel wall of hate stands the Muslim Student Union “information’ booth offering tours of the wall. Note the sign that reads “caution genocide ahead”  While the Middle East and North Africa continue to roil in blood shed with governments in Libya and Syria gunning down civilians on a daily basis,  the Muslim Student Union,  fresh from its “suspension”,  presents this years edition of hypocrisy and  hatred.

“If you shake hands with a Holocaust denier, you’re on his team.” Rabbi Herbert W. Bomzer, professor of Talmudic law at Yeshiva University.

Who is presenting a speaker  who physically embraced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his conference questioning the  Holocaust; A  conference attended by the likes of former Ku Klux Klan Leader David Duke?  The UC Irvine Muslim Student Union

Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press
  

If You Are a Victim of Discrimination, Bias, Intolerance and Hatred On Campus, Report It:

Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism

 info@octaskforce.org

UCI Administration Contact information:

Paul Henisey

Chief of Police
UC Irvine Police Department
(949) 824-7797
phenisey@uci.edu

Chancellor Michael Drake

University of California, Irvine
Office of the Chancellor
Irvine, CA 92697-5125
(949)-824-5111
chancellor@uci.edu

Rameen A. Talesh

Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs

G308 Student Center
Office of the Dean of Students
Irvine, CA 92697-5125
(949) 824-5590
(949) 824-3412 fax
rtalesh@uci.edu

University Of California:

Mark G. Yudof, President
Office of the President
University of California
1111 Franklin St., 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607
president@ucop.edu

In addition you may click to file a complaint on theUniversity of California’s systemwide intolerance report form. for the following:

  • Expressions of Bias
  • Hate Speech
  • Hate Crime
  • Graffiti/Vandalism
  • Intimidation, Bullying or Physical Violence
  • Bias Incidents
  • Hostile Climate
  • Other Campus Climate Issues Read more »

To Those In The Olive Tree Initiative Who Have Met With Or Support Meeting With Hamas:

The Facts About Hamas

by Ricki Hollander  C.A.M.E.R.A   May 4, 2011

(Video by Memri)

Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) is considered a terrorist organization by much of the non-Arab international community including Israel, the U.S., Canada, Japan, the U.K., Australia and the European Union. Its declared goal is to destroy the Jewish state and replace it with an Islamic one. Read more »

Hatred and Hypocrisy 101 At UC Irvine:

http://msuuci.com/events/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/209242_2048499175129_1323930717_32444753_3388614_o.jpg

While the Middle East and North Africa continue to roil in blood shed with governments in Libya and Syria gunning down civilians on a daily basis,  the Muslim Student Union,  fresh from its “suspension”,  presents this years edition of hypocrisy and  hatred :

OC Rabbi Comments On This Weeks Olive Tree Initiative Events at UC Irvine

The following comment on this weeks  Olive Tree Initiative events come from Rabbi Dov Fischer:  See also:(Meanwhile, The Olive Tree Initiative Sponsors Debate Which Questions The Existence of Israel)

This program and these students are not as important as they might hope to be.  They do not deserve special attention.  I oppose the program – particularly Jewish organizational support for the program – because it is premised on idiocy (the notion that students with limited background can grasp the truth by meeting with genius propagandists who can fool even trained diplomats), foolishness (the premise that these students can be peacemakers in this encounter between Jewish citizens trying to live and murderers hoping to murder), and falsehood (the premise that, by bring Jews to hear murderers and their proponents, the UCI Administration somehow is responding creatively and ingeniously to the problem of Arab Moslems at UCI disrupting speakers like Pipes and Oren, while promulgating Jew-hatred during Hate Week). Read more »

UCI Hillel President: “Hamas, it seems, is effectively giving up on the notion of a total Palestinian takeover…”

Palestinian Unity Deal Could Lead to Change

Matan Lurey | May 03, 2011 |

When I finished my midterm on Tuesday morning, I switched on my phone and was surprised by the flood of emails, articles and messages: Fatah, with mediation by Cairo, had successively reached a reconciliation pact with Hamas. Was Palestinian unity achieved overnight?

Fatah, the secular Palestinian political faction currently leading the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) and operating in the West Bank, had been in long-term dispute with their Islamist rivals, Hamas, who expelled the PA from Gaza, launching a bloody intra-Palestinian civil war. The PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), who accepted Israel’s right to exist in the 1990s adopting a stance of non-violence, have been at odds with Hamas, who utterly rejects Israel’s existence and carries strict anti-Semitic lines.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, co-founder of Hamas, said in 2010: “There is no place for Jews among us. And you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation.”

Like clockwork, the Israeli government had already released statement after statement condemning the agreement, naming any attempt at cooperation with Hamas — which is labeled a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union — a “complete collapse of the peace process.” I expect the ever-hawkish Zionist Organization of America and “StandWithUs” to exploit this opportunity in order to raise money. Read more »

Meanwhile, The Olive Tree Initiative Sponsors Debate Which Questions The Existence of Israel

Which nation on this planet is subjected to such a question? The following advertisment appears on OC Hillel’s Facebook page with the interesting disclamer:

 (click on poster to enlarge)

Hillel at UC Irvine

Hillel at UC Irvine President, Matan, will be with 5 others – Students Debate the One and Two State Solutions on Israel & Palestine. Should be an exciting event through Olive Tree Initiative at UC Irvine

(Note: Hillel is not endorsing or sponsoring this event or organization, in any way)

UC Irvine: The Hatred Resumes

While the Middle East and North Africa continue to roil in blood shed with governments in Libya and Syria gunning down civilians on a daily basis,  the Muslim Student Union,  fresh from its “suspension”,  presents this years edition of hypocrisy and  hatred:
 
 
Anti-Semitism: The Zionist Facade   Yisroel Dovid Weiss, a United States Haredi rabbi, is an activist and spokesman for a branch of Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist grouping of Haredi Jews. Based in Monsey, New York, he believes that observant Jews should peacefully oppose the existence of the Israeli state: “It would be forbidden for us to have a State, even if it would be in a land that is desolate and uninhabited.”  May 9, 2011 12:00 PM, Flagpoles.   8:00 PM Biological Sciences 3.
 

 Palestine: An Invisible Nation

Another Anti-Israel Divestment Resolution Scrapped at UC San Diego

You can express your concern by clicking Here and vote against the support of one sided divestment resolutions against Israel

Divestment Resolution Scrapped   

By Laira Martin The Guardian, U C San Diego

Efforts stalled Wednesday to pass an A.S. Council resolution that called for the UC system to divest funds from non-neutral corporations currently providing technology to the Israeli Defense Forces. This is the second year the resolution, proposed by Students for Justice in Palestine, has been brought before council.

Read more »

Once again, OC Federation asked to endorse pledge to deny funds to those who support BDS and those who seek to destroy Israel

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On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism,  formally asked  the Orange County Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project. to adopt the Jewish Community of San Francisco’s guidelines for funding. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit funding for any activities that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the [BDS] movement, in whole or in part.” On March 21, 2010, we published the Pledge in memory of the Fogal Family.  To date those entities, The OC Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project have not bothered to respond. The following  letter is endorsed by the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism: Read more »

UC Irvine OTI Student: “I think it would be impossible to claim we can understand the area without considering Hamas.”; CAIR weighs in on the OTI

Following this line of thinking, one must wonder if  OTI employs this sort of naive logic with  the Ku Klux Klan or other dangerous white supremacist groups?   Hamas is  virulently anti-Semitic and dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel. Meanwhile, despite OTI’s “efforts”,  nothing has changed on campus.  Also noteworthy,  according to this article:  ” Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), believes the students are pioneering an important educational project by engaging with the region hands-on.”   

Olive Tree Initiative aims to hear both sides in Middle East conflict

Group of UCI students takes trips to Middle East to talk to officials, activists in both Israeli and Palestinian territories.

April 23, 2011|By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com

 

At multicultural UC Irvine, the Middle East and U.S. policy in that region can create fervent debate.

While tensions sometimes escalate on campus — as they have with the Irvine 11 case against student protesters — in 2007 a group of students decided to respond to Middle East tensions in a way that wasn’t polemical or political.

Instead of debating the different sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the confines of the UCI campus, they would travel to the region — meeting with officials, academics, religious leaders and activists — and come back to the community with the results of their conversations.

They called their organization the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI).

Since its inception, the group has organized three university trips and two community trips. Fifteen to 20 UCI students go on the two-week trip, splitting their time equally between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“I think OTI is a really great example of an innovative campus program that has developed a really constructive way of addressing campus tension,” said Megan Braun, a UCI graduate who went on the 2010 trip.

Other UC campuses, such as UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, have taken a cue from OTI’s accomplishments by starting chapters of their own.

OTI recently came under fire for meeting Aziz Duwaik during a 2009 trip to the region. The student group had intended to meet with a member of the Palestinian Authority, but that official didn’t make it to the meeting. Duwaik, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, filled in for the official. And unbeknownst to the OTI delegation, Duwaik was also a Hamas representative in the West Bank. Read more »

The American Jewish Committee has it wrong

The Reality of Campus Anti-Semitism

Jonathan S. Tobin04.22.2011 Commentary Magazine

Should the federal government intervene when an American university permits its campus to become unsafe for Jews? When the prevailing atmosphere on campus is hatred against Israel and all things associated with the Jewish people?

After a long and involved debate, the Obama administration finally did the right thing last October and stated definitively that such conduct is impermissible at institutions that receive federal funding. Read more »

Why Did Hillel Co-Sponsor Speaker Who Supported Goldstone Report?

According to an email we received from Orange County Hillel:  On Monday April 11, 2010  “Chapman’s Hillel and Muslim Student Association have come together to host the first joint event between these two organizations in Orange County’s history. “ (Note:  It is peculiar that the email announcement we received from Hillel did not mention either of the speakers by name)  One of the two guest speakers was Rabbi Zev-Hayyim Feyer.  According to his website, Rabbi Feyer is a member of the Rabbinic Council of the  Jewish Voice For Peace and a member of the Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence .  Shomer Shalom and the Jewish voice for peace  support  Boycott Divestment and Sanction  (BDS). Here are  Shomer Shalom Elders’ letters to UC student government supporting divestment . Rabbi Feyers name appears on the following letter of support  of the Goldstone report:   Rabbis thank Judge Goldstone for upholding principles of justice, compassion and truth Read more »

International Solidarity Movement “Peace activist” Murdered in Gaza

Parents: Are the Olive Tree Initiative Trips  Safe For Your Student ?

.

By REUTERS
04/15/2011 09:34

Vittorio Arigoni found strangled in abandoned house; Erekat calls killing “dark page in Palestinian history”; Hamas says intention was to kill.
 

Security personnel in the Gaza Strip found the body of a pro-Palestinian activist from Italy who was killed and left in an abandoned house in the Gaza Strip following his abduction by militants, a Hamas official said on Friday. Read more »

And Cartoons at UC Irvine Too?

This poster appeared along with others on ring road at the last Muslim Student Union  (MSU) Israel bashing event in May 2010. The picture shows an American GI with a Jewish Talit (prayer shall) and a Torah scroll in his helmet.  Is this what passes for civil discourse among tongue-tied community leaders and university administrators?

The poster below appeared on the MSU “Apartheid” wall a couple of years ago. (Hat tip to Gary Fouse)

http://octaskforce.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/cannibal.jpg?w=385&h=286

More: Anti-Semitic? You be the Judge

Vile Anti-Semitic Cartoons in Wake of Goldstone Retraction

Courtesy of ADL’s website: http://www.adl.org/main_Arab_World/arab_anti_semitism_cartoons_2011

Ad-Dustur, April 7, 2011 (Jordan).

Written in Arabic: “Goldstone Report”.

Ukaz, April 7, 2011 (Saudi Arabia).

The figure on the right represents Judge Goldstone and it is the “Gaza War Report” that he is eating Read more »

Front Page Magazine Weighs in on Hillel, The Olive Tree Initiative and the “Tale of Two Rishmawis”

The following is an opinion piece from Front Page Magazine:

A Chapter That Should Be Expelled from Hillel

 by Nichole Hungerford on Apr 11th, 2011 and filed under Daily Mailer, FrontPage   

African American Student Leaders:”Use of word ‘apartheid’ by Students for Justice in Palestine in its characterization of Israel is patently false and deeply offensive”

Black student leaders slam ‘apartheid’ characterization

By JORDANA HORN,  JPOST CORRESPONDENT 
04/09/2011 10:09

Letter says “decency, justice and hope compel us to demand immediate cessation to deliberate misappropriation of words.”

NEW YORK ­ African American student leaders from a variety of historically black colleges and universities took out full page ads in numerous American college newspapers Thursday, displaying an “Open Letter to Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP),” to convey that they were offended by SJP’s use of the term” apartheid” at recent Israel Apartheid Weeks at campuses across the country. Read more »

In an Apparent Contradiction, Is UC Irvine Now Calling OTI Meeting with Hamas leader a “Misstep”?

As reported earlier, in an article in the OC Register, UC Irvine official Cathy Lawhon was quoted as saying ” meeting with people of many different points of view is consistent with (Olive Tree’s) mission.” “Their stated mission is to hear varying points of view, and to take people of varying points of view over there,” Lawhon said. “It’s not a homogenous  group at all.” Lawhon went on to say  “more trips to the Mideast have taken place since 2009, but that she is unaware if additional meetings with Duwaik or other Hamas officials were held.”

This statement was apparently ignored and contradicted in a different  UC Irvine official  response letter  to The Zionist Organization of America .  According to that officials letter : ” The meetings should not have happened. This was discussed specifically and at length with the Olive Tree Initiative leadership and board after their return to the United States in the fall of 2009 in an effort to avoid similar missteps in the future.”  Missteps? Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State department and it’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews.

Here is  the ZOA’s  response

Parents: Are the Olive Tree Initiative Trips Safe For Your Student ?

(Courtesy of Rabbi Fischer)

Palestinians arrest suspect in murder of Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis

By Avi Issacharoff Haaretz

PA police arrested and are interrogating former al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades militant who was released from Israeli prison more than five years ago, and is now a suspect in murder of Mer-Khamis.

Palestinian security forces arrested on Tuesday a suspect in the killing of Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis in Jenin on Monday.

According to a security official, Palestinian police have been probing the man – a former al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades militant who was released from Israeli prison more than five years ago – but he has yet to confess to the murder. Read more »

ZOA: OC Federation “Should Disassociate From Olive Tree Initiative; Take The Necessary Steps To Restore The Community’s Faith In Its Words And Action”

ZOA Urges UC Irvine To Terminate Olive Tree Initiative, And Federation To Stop Funding It, After Students Secretly Meet With Hamas Leader

Courtesy of the Zionist Organization of America ( ZOA)

In letters sent on April 1, 2011, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) called on the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to terminate a university program called the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) – set up to build understanding and dialogue about the Arab-Israeli conflict – and called on the Jewish Federation of Orange County (the “Federation”) to stop funding and supporting the program, after it was revealed that students who participated in an OTI trip to Israel, including Judea and Samaria, met with a top leader of Hamas and then were instructed to keep the meeting a secret.  The revelation about the secret meeting was made in a letter dated October 8, 2009, from leaders of the Federation – Jeffrey H. Margolis, Co-Chair, Rose Project; Dr. James Weiss, Co-Chair, Rose Project; and Shalom C. Elcott,  President & CEO of the Federation – to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake. Read more »

ZOA letters to OC Jewish Federation, UCI Chancellor Drake Express Outrage Over UCI Students Meeting with Hamas Leader

Letters to UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake and Jewish Federation Federation and Family Services leaders have been forwarded to the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). We join with the ZOA in expressing outrage over the 2009 alleged secret meeting of Olive Tree students with a known Hamas leader Aziz Duwaik and reiterate our call for the Jewish Federation and Family services to cease any and all connection with the Olive Tree Initiative. Hamas  has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization . We once again call upon the Federation leaders to adopt The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties Funding Guidelines.

Is UC Irvine OK With Olive Tree Initiative Students Meeting with Hamas?

UPDATE:

In an article in today’s OC Register, UC Irvine official Cathy Lahawn was quoted as saying ” meeting with people of many different points of view is consistent with (Olive Tree’s) mission.” “Their stated mission is to hear varying points of view, and to take people of varying points of view over there,” Lawhon said. “It’s not a homogenous group at all.”  By contrast in a statement appearing in todays Issue of  JTA “Jewish Federation Official”  Jay Feldman is quoted as saying ” The federation demanded that the university investigate the incident. The university did, and later acknowledged that the meeting was inappropriate and unapproved “  “The individual who led the trip was reprimanded, and the university pledged that the incident would not repeat itself — and it hasn’t.”  According to the Register article “Lawhon said more trips to the Mideast have taken place since 2009, but that she is unaware if additional meetings with Duwaik or other Hamas officials were held.” Read more »

Letter: UC Irvine Olive Tree Initiative Students Met with Hamas Leader in 2009 trip

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A letter obtained from UC Irvine via the Freedom of Information Act,  was forwarded to the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism:  We encourage you to to read this revealing letter.

According to this letter dated October 8, 2009  and addressed to UCI Chancellor Michael Drake from Orange County Jewish Federation leaders,  students on the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI)  trip met with Aziz Duwaik , ‘a notable  Hamas figure”, in a non scheduled  “unapproved” meeting  on September 16, 2009.   The letter reveals that Duwaik is considered by Hamas to be the leader in the West Bank . Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

Furthermore, the students were  allegedly told by OTI  officials not to tell anyone of this meeting with Duwaik , ostensibly:   (1) “in order to avoid being detained upon entering Israel from the West Bank or being held at the airport before leaving the country.” (2) ” to avoid confrontation with anyone who would have disagreed with this meeting had they known about it in advance…”. The Letter noted  that  “As it’s largest funder the Federation has strongly supported the concept and development of the OTI from it’s inception.”   However, it suggested that Federation officials were “deeply troubled” by the Duwaik incident.

On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Force on Anti-Semitism issued an Open Letter Concerning the Olive Tree Initiative at UC Irvine to leaders of the Orange County Jewish Community. In the letter we urged  the Jewish Federation, The Rose Project and and Hillel to adopt the The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties Funding Guidelines. As of this date, that letter has gone unanswered.

Facebook Removes “Third Intifada”Page. New Page Takes its Place

Facebook removes Third Intifada page

March 29, 2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Facebook has removed a page calling for a third Palestinian uprising against Israel, but a new one quickly took its place.

Nearly 350,000 people had registered for the “Third Palestinian Intifada” page, established on Facebook earlier this month. The page, which calls for a third Palestinian uprising to begin May 15, included quotes and film clips calling for killing Jews and Israelis, and for “liberating” Jerusalem and Palestine using violence. It also directs users to related content on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere on the internet.

Links to the page now redirect the user to the Facebook  homepage. The page reportedly was taken down by Facebook on Tuesday morning.

A new page with the same name attracted 4,000 friends by midday Tuesday. Read more »

Facebook Refuses to Remove Web Page Calling For “Third Intifada”, “Killing of Jews”

Facebook to monitor intifada page, won’t remove it

March 28, 2011

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Facebook will monitor a page calling for a third Palestinian uprising against Israel but will not remove it.

“Third Palestinian Intifada,” established on Facebook less than a month ago, calls for a third Palestinian uprising to begin May 15. The page, which as of March 27 had more than 330,000 friends, includes quotes and film clips calling for killing Jews and Israelis, and for “liberating” Jerusalem and Palestine using violence. It also directs users to related content on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere. Read more »

Fight “Boycott Israel Day” March 30th. Buy Israeli Products

“Kauft Nicht Bei Juden” The BDS (Boycott Divest Sanction) Movement. Is there any difference?

Those who wish to  harm the Jewish People and destroy of the State of Israel have designated March 30, 2011 as “Boycott Israel day”.  You can help counter this world wide threat from haters and hypocrites by going to your local retailer and requesting  and purchasing Israeli products.   To find a list of Israeli Products in your city click this link

Jewish Student Files Complaint Against York University Alleging “Physical and Verbal Abuse, Hostile envirnment”

March 25  2011

TORONTO (JTA) —  A York University student filed a complaint with Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal alleging the university tolerated an environment hostile to Jews.

Sammy Katz claims that he and other students were subject to physical and verbal abuse at a pro-Israel event on the university’s Toronto campus in February 2010. Read more »

Thirty scholars from 12 countries will address Anti-Semitism in America, Europe and the Middle East at Indiana University

International Conference to Examine ‘New Antisemitism’

Newswise — BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Leading experts on what has been called “the new antisemitism” will meet at Indiana University next month for a scholarly examination of anti-Jewish bias and hatred that has arisen across much of the world in the past decade.

“Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives” will take place April 3-5 at the Indiana Memorial Union. It is the inaugural conference of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, which was established in 2009 at Indiana University Bloomington. Read more »

Petition to the Jewish Federations of North America:

In memory of the Fogel Family we Pledge to Ban Jewish Federation funding of Anti-Israel Activities.

RESOLVED: We, the Board of Directors and officers of the Jewish Federation of [fill in the location], hereby resolve that, effective immediately, we will:

  1. Deny funding, whether directly from our Federation or indirectly from agencies or funds related to, associated with, or controlled or administered by our Federation,

to any individual,  program or organization, whether foreign or domestic, that directly or indirectly,  through its doctrine, mission, policies, activities, leadership or partnerships, engages in any manner or in any respect whatsoever  and to any degree, large or small, in

(a) Promoting or advocating the delegitimization of the State of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state; or

  1. promoting or advocating BDS; or
  2. promoting or advocating anti-Semitism or harm to any Jewish   community in any location throughout the world; or
  3. facilitating, encouraging, or supporting the bringing of Jewish persons (including but not limited to Jewish students of all ages), to any location (including but not limited to Middle East locations within or outside the State of Israel) to attend lectures, presentations, or discussions by individuals who support the delegitimization of the State of Israel or BDS or are opposed to the existence of the State of Israel as a secure, independent, democratic Jewish state. Read more »

Orange County ZOA Chapter Holding Presentation to Discuss the Olive Tree Initative’s Impact on the Jewish Community

Orange County Chapter
ZOA
SPECIAL PRESENTATION
Rabbi Dov Fischer
of Young Israel of Orange County

“THE OLIVE TREE INITIATIVE”
AND THE
ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH COMMUNITY
TUESDAY, March 22, 2011
7:00 P.M.
Meeting Room  – Irvine Ranch Water District
15600 SAND CANYON AVENUE, IRVINE, CA

The Chapter gives special thanks to the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism for its assistance in promoting this program and appreciation for the work it does on behalf of the Orange County Jewish Community.

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Memorial Service For the Fogel Family to be held in New York City

A COMMUNITY MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MASSACRE IN ITAMAR


Ruth Fogel (35), Udi Fogel (36.5),
Elad (4), Yoav (11), Hadas (3 months)

Thursday, March 17th, 2011
12:00 noon
Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun
125 E.85th Street
New York City

Join in a community wide memorial service for the five members of the Fogel family who were brutally murdered this past weekend while asleep in their home. We must not be silent! We must demand justice for the victims. Speak out against the continuing incitement against Israel and the Jewish people.

Co-Sponsors:

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Consulate General of Israel in New York, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, UJA Federation of New York, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun-Ramaz Schools, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, ARZA, American Zionist Movement, The New York Board of Rabbis, Stand With Us, World Jewish Congress-US, WIZO USA, America-Israel Friendship League, Camera, AMIT, Jewish Labor Committee, American Friends of Likud, One Jerusalem, Rabbinical Council of America, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., National Council of Jewish Women,  Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, ORT America, EMUNAH of America
B’nai B’rith International, National Council of Young Israel, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty
American Friends of Ateret Cohanim/Jerusalem Chai, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, Mercaz, USA, ADL, Lincoln Square Synagogue
(list in formation)

For more information please contact 212-318-6111.

Office For Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) Opens Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964 Investigation at the University of California Santa Cruz

octfas2.jpg

In a letter dated March 7, 2011,  responding to a complaint filed  by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (OCR) has agreed to open a Title VI investigation at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC). The letter stated, “We have determined that the issue is appropriate for investigation under the laws enforced by OCR.”   The letter also stated that OCR has identified the following issue for investigation:

The recipient (UCSC)  “failed to take steps in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to respond to notice of a then existing hostile environment for Jewish Students based on their actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics.”

Ms.  Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer in Hebrew at the University of California, Santa Cruz  (UCSC),  lodged  a 29-page extensively documented Title VI Complaint with the OCR  in June,  2009.  The complaint alleges, among other things,  that anti-Israel discourse and behavior in classrooms and that departmentally and university-sponsored events had created an “emotionally and intellectually hostile environment for Jewish students and had adversely affected their educational experience” at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).  The complaint further alleges that: Read more »

More on BDS, the Olive Tree Initiative and “Lip Service”

Note: On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Force on Anti-Semitism issued an Open Letter Concerning the Olive Tree Initiative at UC Irvine to leaders of the Orange County Jewish Community. In the letter we urged  the Jewish Federation, The Rose Project and and Hillel to adopt the The Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties Funding Guidelines. As of this date, that letter has gone unanswered. (OCITF)

What’s the Matter with Boycotting Israel?

Nichole Hungerford on Mar 11th, 2011 Front Page Magazine

“How ironic — no, scratch that; how incredibly shortsighted — that just as Egypt starts to open up, an American Jewish community would start to clamp down.” This, Rob Eshman penned February 16th in a piece for the Jewish Journal in which he argued against the removal of Jewish communal funds from organizations engaged in BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) strategies against Israel. To do so, as Eshman intimates, would be to close the Jewish community; to stifle the freedom of thought and expression from within its ranks. Although it is a well-meaning call for openness, it is, nonetheless, a deeply misguided assessment of the danger posed by the BDS movement. To understand the true nature of the movement, is to understand why it cannot be countenanced by the Jewish community in any form — at least not a Jewish community interested in the preservation of Israel. Read more »

Canadian MP: “Labelling Israel as an apartheid state was “offensive” to any reasonable person and a tactic of intimidation intended to foreclose debate.”

By Robert Sibley, Ottawa Citizen March 10, 2011

Two federal parliamentarians, John Baird and Joe Volpe, set aside their partisan difference Wednesday to denounce the promotion of “Israeli Apartheid Week” as morally, intellectually and historically incoherent.

 

Read more »

UCI Student Responds to Jewish Voice for Peace/Students for Justice In Palestine

The writer is a member of the Anteaters for Israel. We commend her for her courage in speaking  out.  OCITF

We Are Number Twelve

New University

Cathy Shutaya | Mar 08, 2011

The UN Declaration of Human Rights defines free speech as: “Everyone having the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontier.” Read more »

Daily Californian: Lawsuit “Names UC President Mark Yudof, the UC Board of Regents, the University of California, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, the ASUC and the ASUC Auxiliary as Defendants”

By Jordan Bach-Lombardo
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Berkeley Graduate Files Suit Against UC

A former UC Berkeley student has filed a lawsuit against the campus and UC as a whole, alleging that campus and university policies and actions have allowed a “dangerous environment” to develop, an allegation the campus has vehemently denied.

In the suit – filed on March 4 in the Northern District of the United States District Court – Jessica Felber, who was co-president of the campus Zionist student group Tikvah while a student on campus, alleges that the campus and university tolerated “the development of a dangerous anti-Semitic climate on its campuses” and failed to adopt policies that addressed the alleged dangerous climate, according to the filing. Read more »

Is The University of California Revising its Policies in Wake of Berkeley Student’s Lawsuit?

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Student Affairs <studentaffairs@uci.edu>
Date: Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 7:31 PM
Subject: Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students
To: Multiple recipients of list <all-grad@nextday.oac.uci.edu>

Dear Student,

The University of California Office of the President has made two revisions to the Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations, and Students to address student conduct matters.  The new policy language reads:

Section 102.24: Conduct, where the actor means to communicate a serious expression of intent to terrorize, or acts in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing, one or more University students, faculty, or staff.  ’Terrorize’ means to cause a reasonable person to fear bodily harm or death, perpetrated by the actor or those acting under his/her control. ‘Reckless disregard’ means consciously disregarding a substantial risk.  This section applies without regard to whether the conduct is motivated by race, ethnicity, personal animosity, or other reasons.  This section does not apply to conduct that constitutes the lawful defense of oneself, of another, or of property. Read more »

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