Monday, October 31, 2011

Did I Write to the UC Regents?

I just received this e-mail from the Regents Office of the University of California:

"On behalf of The Regents of the University of California, thank you for your email.

Your correspondence will be forwarded and, as appropriate, included in the next
summary of communications to the Regents.

We appreciate your interest in the University"

I guess it's possible I may have signed onto some letter to the UC Regents months back complaining about this or that, but it has obviously been so long, I don't remember.

I must be getting old.

Ed Schultz Rolls Out the Hatchets on Herman Cain

"Let's get to work."

This evening, I made a point to tune in on the first segment of the Ed Show....

......on MSNBC certain that Butter and Egg man Ed Schultz would be raring to go on the Herman Cain "scandal". He didn't disappoint.

There was Ed breathlessly playing the Grand Inquisitor as he played all of Cain's statements the past 24 hours to show his inconsistencies. There was Ed referring to Cain as "Pizza Man". There was Ed bashing "the right-wing hate machine" and playing a tape of Ann Coulter defending Cain by saying that liberals will always attack black conservatives (which is a fact). At any rate, there is hardly any doubt in Ed's mind that Cain is guilty.

But guilty of what?

All we know is that in the 1990s, a couple of women filed a sexual harassment complaint on him with the National Restaurant Association, with whom they were employed and he was president. The allegation is that he engaged in "inappropriate sexual conduct that made them feel uncomfortable." The association made some sort of negotiated settlement with the women, and they received some financial amount in five figures. As is customary, they signed an agreement of non-disclosure. Thus, we don't know the identities of these women, nor so we know the specific allegations.

But Ed knows he did it.

The only thing I have gleamed so far is that Cain has vigorously denied having committed sexual harassment. (Of course, the concerned women and men often have a different perspective on that question of what constitutes sexual harassment.) Cain has said he wasn't involved in the settlement and didn't know the amount-then later gave another interviewer an answer that implied he was involved or had knowledge of the settlement. Ed is jumping all over that.

But we don't know the specifics of what was alleged, and either does prosecutor Schultz.

Never fear, however. Ed is on the job. Here is what he needs to find out for us-his breathlessly awaiting viewers.

What exactly did Cain do? Did he ask for a phone number or a date? Did he proposition these women? Did he put his arm around their shoulders over cocktails in a bar? Did he put his hand on their fannies? Did he tell a suggestive or dirty joke? Did he compliment them on their looks? Was he staring at their cleavage?

Did he tell them that "they made his knees knock"?

Did he invite them up to his room?

Did he drop his pants in their presence and tell them to "kiss it"?

Did he telephone them  late at night and talk dirty to them?

Did he ask them to have sex with him in his office?

Has Cain lied about it under oath?

Because if all that is true, then Cain is obviously not fit to occupy the Oval Office, right?.

As Ed said tonight, "And you want this guy to be president of the United States?"

Rest assured, Ed and the other mad-hatters at MSNBC are going to stay on this like white on rice. What I would like to know is where was Schultz when Clinton was doing all that stuff in the White House with Monica Lewinsky? What was Schultz's position on the Paula Jones complaint and the story put out by other women about Clinton's alleged predatory behavior? Was Ed outraged at Clinton, or was he telling us to "Move on"? (Actually, Ed was doing play-by-play on football games for North Dakota State University in the 1990s, so I guess  there is no public record.)

Far be it for me to give advice to Ed Schultz, but he might want to check that talk about the "right-wing hate machine" in the same breath as he is trying and convicting Herman Cain. In addition, Ed may want to think about how many of Cain's pizzas he has consumed before he calls him "Pizza Man".

US Cuts Funding to UNESCO

Three cheers to the Obama administration for cutting off 60 million dollars to UNESCO after they granted membership to the Palestinians.

Oh, you mean it was required by law?

As for that delegate who yelled, "Vive la Palestine!", I think I know what he's saying now.


AMCHA Response to UC President Yudof

In recent weeks, I have posted a letter from a group called AMCHA to University of California President Mark Yudof complaining about anti-Semitic speech and incidents on UC campuses. I have also posted Yudof's response. Below is AMCHA's response to Yudof, which was written by Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus at UCLA and Tammi Benjamin, adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz.

October 31, 2011

Mr. Mark G. Yudof
President, University of California
1111 Franklin Street
Oakland, CA 94607-5200

Dear President Yudof,

Thank you for responding to the letter from members and supporters of the California Jewish community, expressing concern over the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students on several UC campuses. As requested, we will share your letter and appendices with these individuals, as well as the following response from the two of us.

Although we appreciate that you have outlined in your letter some "deliberate steps the University has taken over the last year to make our campus communities safer and more inclusive," we believe that these steps are wholly inadequate to addressing the serious problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses. In addition, we are deeply disappointed that you did not address the key concerns of the more than 5,000 signatories to our letter, which included thousands of UC alumni, parents, donors, staff, and faculty such as ourselves.

We have 4 major points of concern with your letter:

1) Contrary to what you have written, it is clear that the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry has not received, and likely will not receive, the attention it deserves from the UC Advisory Council for Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion.

In your letter, you highlight the UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion, which you established in June 2010 in response to acts of intolerance and bigotry that had taken place on UC campuses earlier that year. In theory, these acts included numerous incidents of anti-Jewish bigotry that had created a hostile environment for many Jewish students, such as: the appearance of numerous swastikas; the malicious disruption of Jewish students' events; the virulently anti-Israel divestment campaigns which sought to harm the Jewish state; and the "Israel Apartheid Week" events, which included rhetoric and imagery considered antisemitic by the U.S. State Department. In practice, however, there was virtually no discussion of acts of anti-Jewish bigotry during the first three meetings of the UC Advisory Council.

In addition, the Advisory Council Working Groups, which you established in December 2010, are primarily focused on the concerns of African American, Latino, and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered students; Jewish students and antisemitic harassment are not a specific focus of any Working Group, despite the fact that anti-Jewish bigotry has been a long-standing, pervasive, and serious problem on many UC campuses.

We are aware that after our letter and its growing number of signatures came to your attention in June, you responded by commissioning two members of the UC Advisory Council "to speak with Jewish students in an effort to better understand both their challenges and positive experiences on our campuses." These representatives visited three campuses -- UC Irvine, UC Davis, and UC Santa Cruz -- and spoke to selected groups of students for little more than an hour on each campus. Although perhaps well-intentioned, these visits were purely token gestures, meant to give the impression that Jewish students' concerns are being seriously considered, when in fact they are not. For example, Jewish students at UCSC who attended the meeting with the Advisory Council representatives reported feeling frustrated that they were not given sufficient opportunity to express their concerns. Equally worrisome, some students complained that one of the two representatives was surprisingly ill-informed about Jews and the history of anti-Jewish harassment on UC campuses, and made inappropriate remarks about Jewish "privilege."

By any objective measure, Jewish students have experienced at least as much harassment and intimidation on UC campuses as any other ethnic group. Yet the Advisory Council has focused almost none of its time or effort on dealing with this serious and worsening problem.

2) Contrary to what you have written, UC administrators not only ignore intolerant and abusive behavior directed against Jewish students, they also condone, award, and at times even engage in it.

You wrote: "Our ten Chancellors continue to do their utmost to ensure that our students, regardless of their faith, encounter an atmosphere at the University of California that is conducive to their intellectual and personal growth." However, not only have several UC chancellors turned a blind eye to the abusive and intolerant behavior directed against Jewish students on their campuses, but under their watch, some UC administrators have even been implicated in it. Consider the following:

In October 2010, we sent UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau a letter expressing our concern that an authorized unit of UCB's College of Letters and Sciences was an official co-sponsor of an event whose primary focus was promoting a boycott of Israeli academics and businesses, and whose speakers and non-academic co-sponsors had all promoted campaigns to harm the Jewish state. We pointed out that anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns are not only a violation of the core principals of academic freedom and antisemitic according to the working definition adopted by the U.S. State Department, but these campaigns had already contributed significantly to a hostile environment for Jewish students at UCB. We respectfully asked Chancellor Birgeneau to sever the university's involvement with this event and publicly condemn the BDS campaign on his campus. Chancellor Birgeneau refused our requests. Nor did Chancellor Birgeneau publicly condemn or censure four UCB academic departments for sponsoring a talk on "Israel Palestine" by well-known anti-Israel activist Jeff Halper two weeks ago. In April 2010, Halper, a vocal advocate of BDS, had written a letter to members of the UCB student government, which demonized and delegitimized the Jewish state and encouraged UCB student leaders to embark on a campaign to economically strangle the "apartheid regime" in Israel. In contrast to his silence about rhetoric that is offensive to Jewish students, Chancellor Birgeneau recently vigorously condemned speech and behavior that he perceived to give offense to other identity groups, including African Americans, Latinos, and women. In a strongly-worded letter that he sent to the entire UCB community, including alumni and supporters, Chancellor Birgeneau used his own free speech to condemn the Berkeley College Republicans for holding a Bake Sale that priced the goods according to a person’s ethnicity, race, or gender. Yet, he has been unwilling to publicly condemn numerous incidents of speech and behavior highly offensive to Jewish students.

In May 2010, the Israel Apartheid Week event presented by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at UC San Diego, which was replete with speakers, exhibits and imagery that demonized and delegitimized Israel and her supporters, was sponsored by 18 academic departments and administrative units on that campus. (A UCSD professor of literature gave a glowing testimonial of the event, writing on the MSA's website that he had rarely seen "a more sophisticated and tempered demonstration of activism." Interestingly, soon after writing this, the professor was appointed to the President's Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion). This year, the UCSD-MSA's "Israel Apartheid Week," which included a 60-foot long "Apartheid Wall" and speakers well-known for their antisemitic rhetoric, was sponsored by UCSD's Cross Cultural Center and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

In June 2011, a few weeks after the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union presented their week of events demonizing Israel and featuring speakers who advocate boycotting and eliminating the Jewish state, that organization was given an award for "demonstrating a commitment to transforming structures of inequality and injustices through reflection and action" by the UCI Office of the Dean of Students.

In June 2011, an event entitled "Teach-in on Islamophobia" took place at UC Santa Cruz, organized and co-sponsored by two academic units and several student groups, including the UCSC Muslim Student Association and the Olive Tree Initiative. The speakers at the event, who were well-known for their anti-Israel animus and activism, blamed the Jews for Islamophobia and used language that demonized the Jewish state and Jews. A large table set up at the event contained materials advertising and promoting the U.S. Boat to Gaza, one of the boats participating in the "Freedom Flotilla II," whose organizers had ties to terrorist organizations including Hamas. Sitting at the table and handing out a personal letter encouraging students to endorse the U.S. Boat to Gaza was a UCSC college administrator, who was to be among the passengers on the boat. In response to a letter sent to UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal by the Zionist Organization of America, which raised serious and legitimate concerns about the event, a representative of the Chancellor's Office defended the faculty and administrators who organized the event, and showed no concern at all for its anti-Jewish content or the effect it would have on Jewish students.

In September 2011, UCLA Today, the official news outlet of the UCLA Chancellor's Office, published an unscholarly and politically-motivated article about the Palestinian bid for statehood, which contained numerous falsehoods, omissions and distortions, and effectively called for the elimination of the Jewish state, a position considered antisemitic by the working definition employed by the U.S. State Department. In a private correspondence with Leila Beckwith, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Communications at UCLA stated that she saw nothing problematic about the publication of this piece.

We believe these many examples belie your claims of a strong and consistent commitment of the UC administration to combatting anti-Jewish bigotry.

3) Members of the California Jewish community are appalled and deeply offended that UC administrators, including yourself, continue to fund, promote, and honor the Olive Tree Initiative, a program which brings students into contact with individuals and organizations that call for the murder of Jews and the elimination of the Jewish state.

In your letter, you defend the Olive Tree Initiative, calling it "the best tradition of activism, public service and open discussion," and saying that you remain "a strong supporter" of the program. Your defense and on-going support of the OTI is extremely troubling for a number of reasons.

First, your glowing characterization of the OTI flies in the face of what has recently been documented, publicly exposed and made known to you about the program by several individuals, including ourselves:

As you know, the OTI sends students for a two-week trip to Israel and the disputed territories. During that time students meet with over 50 individuals and groups, an approximately equal number of Israelis and Palestinians, with some international and Jordanian speakers. Overall, there is a clear anti-Israel pro-Palestinian tilt to the OTI.

Of the Palestinian speakers and groups who addressed the students on the OTI trips, the overwhelming majority have expressed an overt animus towards the Jewish state, including by advocating for its elimination or for measures to harm her, or by allying with terrorist groups that perpetrate violence against Jews. Over one-third of the Palestinian speakers have advocated boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Moreover, at least two of the Israeli speakers represent organizations which engage in relentless Israel bashing, and several other speakers on the Israeli side have been harshly critical of Israeli government policy. In addition, two of the four supposedly neutral international organizations, whose representatives have made presentations to the OTI students, are well-known for their virulently anti-Israel bias.

Here are just a few examples of prominent individuals with whom students have met on multiple OTI trips:

Mazim Qumsiyeh is a professor at Bethlehem University and co-founder of Al-Awda, an organization which opposes Israel's right to exist, has links to Hamas and Hezbollah, and is a leader in the BDS movement. He co-founded the Boycott Israeli Goods campaign. According to the ADL, he "often equates Israel interchangeably with apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany and his arguments frequently focus on "Zionist" control of American foreign policy. Qumsiyeh fundamentally rejects a two-state solution..."

George N. Rishmawi, co-founder of The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), is the current director of Palestinian Center for Rapprochement (PCR). In a 2008 document which he authored in the name of the PCR, Rishmawi called on activists to "initiate boycotts, divestments and sanctions at all levels and including asking leaders to expel the Israeli ambassadors (an ambassador of an apartheid and rogue state)." The PCR is under the aegis of the ISM, an organization that, according to a Jewish Federations of North America webpage, has links to terrorist organizations, openly advocates the destruction of Israel, and sends activists and unsuspecting volunteers (often university students like Rachel Corrie) into life-threatening situations in order to protect known terrorists. In addition, the ISM is a leader in the global BDS movement and has been a signatory or supporter of many BDS campaigns, including on UC campuses.George S. Rishmawi, co-founder of the ISM and co-ordinator/co-founder of the Siraj Center for Holy Land Studies, is a tour guide and primary contact of the OTI in the West Bank. He is on staff at the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement (PCR), an organization run by his cousin George N. Rishmawi, which is under the aegis of the ISM (see above). In a 2004 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he said that the ISM's main purpose is to increase awareness of Palestinian suffering through the involvement of foreign activists who pay their own way to the West Bank, adding that "if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice." In 2005 he wrote, "I believe the right of return is the most important issue because it helps finishing [sic] Zionist Israel."

As you know, even before members of the Jewish community discovered that OTI students had met with a Hamas leader on one of their trips, it was clear to many of us that given the anti-Jewish animus of a significant number of its speakers, not only is OTI incapable of stemming the tide of antisemitic bigotry on UC campuses -- especially at UCI, where the program had originated -- OTI may even be contributing to the problem.

Our outrage grew considerably when a Freedom of Information Act request filed last March turned up a letter from three leaders of the Orange County Jewish Community Federation to UC Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake. In that letter, dated October 8, 2009, Federation leaders expressed their surprise and distress to learn that students on the 2009 OTI trip, which the Federation had helped to fund and promote, met with Aziz Duwaik, a leader of the terrorist organization Hamas, whose stated goal is to destroy Israel and murder Jews. Furthermore, the Federation leaders were extremely upset that OTI students were allegedly told by the UCI faculty who organized the meeting with Duwaik to keep it secret from Israeli officials and from "anyone who would have disagreed with this meeting." Not only did the meeting and collusion to silence the students possibly violate both Israeli and American law, but meeting with a known terrorist leader, who had been imprisoned 3 times by Israeli authorities for engaging in terrorist activities, exposed UC students to considerable danger.

The Federation leaders correctly predicted that if the OTI-Hamas meeting were to come to light, "many in our Jewish community -- in OC, nationally, and around the world -- will be astonished and furious that a Jewish organization would sponsor any program that directly exposed students to a leader of a recognized terrorist organization." Indeed, many in the Jewish community are no less "astonished and furious" that UC administrators who knew about the meeting would continue to fund, promote, and honor the OTI: Although the meeting with Duwaik was made known to UCI Chancellor Drake in October 2009, he nevertheless did not shut the OTI down. Rather, he continued to fund the program, and even gave it the 2009 Living Our Values award a few weeks later. And surprisingly, despite your own knowledge of the OTI-Hamas meeting, you, too, directed a non-profit organization on whose board you sit to donate thousands of dollars to the OTI, and you bestowed on it the distinguished President's Award in 2010.

Even more disturbing, however, is the fact that despite knowing about the OTI-Hamas meeting, neither you nor Chancellor Drake disclosed this important information to UC stakeholders such as parents, alumni, donors, or California taxpayers, who had every right to know about this egregious breach of ethical, legal, and fiduciary responsibility. We also believe that you did not inform the U.S. State Department of the fact that UC students had met with the leader of an organization on our government's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, prior to the State Department's honoring of the OTI in November 2010. Instead of making a full and public disclosure about the OTI-Hamas meeting, you and Chancellor Drake continued to give money and awards to the program, in what could be perceived as an attempt to cover up serious wrong-doing.

Finally, we are very troubled by your unwillingness to even acknowledge that the OTI is profoundly problematic, and your insensitivity to the concerns of thousands of members of the California Jewish community about a program that is rife with anti-Jewish bigotry.

4) In order to address a problem, you first need to understand it. Yet nowhere in your letter -- or anywhere else -- have you acknowledged the nature and scope of anti-Jewish bigotry at the University of California.

Here is a brief overview of the problem:

There are two primary sources of antisemitism on UC campuses. The first are members of Muslim and pro-Palestinian student groups, such as the Muslim Student Association (MSA/MSU), which has chapters on 9 UC campuses, and the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which has chapters on 7 UC campuses. As you may know, the MSA/MSU was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, a virulently antisemitic Egyptian-based organization dedicated to instituting Sharia law and a Muslim empire throughout the world, in part by means of violent jihad (holy war). The tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood are the ideological source for all Sunni-based Islamic terrorist groups, such as Hamas. (In a video at the 2011 MSA convention at UCLA, you can hear Amir Abdul Malik Ali, a frequent speaker on UC campuses well-known for his antisemitic rhetoric, leading students in the MSA pledge, which is an obvious restatement of the Muslim Brotherhood Credo calling for Jihad and pledging its adherents to die in order to establish Islam). In addition, the MSA and SJP groups on UC campuses are closely affiliated with Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return, an organization that opposes Israel's right to exist and supports groups on the U.S. State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah, organizes numerous rallies, demonstrations, and events to demonize Israel and her supporters, and actively encourages boycott, divestment, and sanctions in order to isolate and economically strangle the Jewish state. (As noted above, one of Al-Awda's co-founders, Mazin Qumsiyeh, is a regular speaker for the OTI trip to Israel and the disputed territories).

Since at least 2001, MSA/MSU and SJP groups on multiple UC campuses have sponsored speakers, films, exhibits, and agitprop that engage in discourse or use imagery and language considered antisemitic by the U.S. State department. MSA and SJP students have also been responsible for aggressively confronting Jewish students at pro-Israel events and for disrupting pro-Israel speakers, as well as for promoting boycott, divestment, and sanction campaigns (BDS) as a means of harming the Jewish state.

At UC Irvine, for example, the MSU hosts annual weeklong events which target Israel and the Jewish people, such as “Holocaust in the Holyland,” “Israel: The Politics of Genocide,” and “Israeli Apartheid Week: A Call to Boycott, Divest and Sanction." These events feature virulently anti-Israel and antisemitic speakers such as Imam Abdul Malik Ali, who, at an MSU-sponsored event in 2010, likened Jews to Nazis, expressed his support for Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, and called for the destruction of the “apartheid state of Israel.” The MSU’s events have been accompanied by antisemitic posters and flyers, the display of bloodied Israeli flags, and the construction of an “Israeli Apartheid Wall” in the campus square. In addition, MSU students have harassed and intimidated Jewish and pro-Israel students and disrupted the talks of pro-Israel speakers such as Daniel Pipes and Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

Although the behavior of the MSU and SJP students has on occasion violated federal and state law, and often violates university policies and Principles of Community, UC administrators have, in almost all cases, turned a blind eye to these violations and refused to exercise their own freedom of speech to condemn the hateful anti-Jewish bigotry that is perpetrated by these groups.

The second major source of antisemitism on UC campuses is anti-Israel faculty. In classrooms and at departmentally-sponsored events on a number of UC campuses, faculty members have advanced falsehoods and distortions about Zionism, Israel, and Jews, as well as statements advocating the elimination of the Jewish State, with some even encouraging their students to help in that campaign. Although their rhetoric is unscholarly, politically motivated, and antisemitic according to the definition adopted by the U.S. State Department, these professors hide under the mantle of academic freedom. In many cases, the faculty responsible for these anti-Zionist and antisemitic expressions openly identify themselves as Jews or Israelis and use their religious or national identification to legitimate their behavior or to protect themselves from critique.

For example, an academic conference entitled “Alternative Histories Within and Beyond Zionism,” which took place at UC Santa Cruz, was sponsored by eight university departments. Four professors and one graduate student, none of them scholars of Israel or Zionism though all of them self-proclaimed Jewish anti-Zionists who had previously engaged in political activism against Israel, delivered papers demonizing the Jewish state, denigrating its founding ideology and encouraging anti-Israel political activism among members of the largely student audience. The five talks were replete with gross misrepresentations of the facts, selected half-truths, and numerous unsubstantiated claims, such as the following: Zionism is racism; Israel is an apartheid state; Israel commits heinous crimes against humanity, including genocide and ethnic cleansing; Israel’s behavior is comparable to Nazi Germany; Jews exaggerate the Holocaust as a tool of Zionist propaganda; and Israel should be dismantled as a Jewish state. (These claims are all antisemitic according to the working definition adopted by the U.S. State Department).

The University of California has several policies and rules to insure that faculty do not use the classroom or conference hall as a platform for advancing their own political or partisan agendas, and yet UC faculty on multiple campuses routinely and egregiously violate these policies and rules with total impunity.

As you might imagine, students and professors who use hateful anti-Jewish rhetoric and imagery, who actively promote the dismantling of the Jewish State, and who support terrorism against Jews, have created a hostile and threatening environment for many Jewish students on UC campuses, who report feeling physically unsafe, emotionally and intellectually harassed and intimidated by peers and professors, isolated from their fellow students, and unfairly treated by faculty and administrators. As a result of their experience of campus antisemitism, some Jewish UC students have even reported leaving the university, dropping classes, changing fields of study, avoiding certain parts of campus, and hiding symbols of their Jewishness.

In short, there has been a long-standing and pervasive pattern of emotional, intellectual, and physical harassment and intimidation of Jewish students on several UC campuses, which UC leaders, including yourself, have been unwilling to acknowledge, let alone address. This is unconscionable.

In closing, we would like to remind you that more than one year ago the heads of 12 national and international Jewish organizations, including the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism and the Orthodox Union, signed a letter to you expressing deep concern over anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses and urging you to address the problem immediately. In your response to these Jewish leaders, you dismissed their concerns as "a dishearteningly ill-informed rush to judgement against our ongoing responses to troubling incidents," and you ignored their recommendations. Yet in the ensuing year, you have done little of substance to address the problem, which, in many ways, has grown considerably worse.

We are losing confidence and patience in the ability of your administration to deal effectively with the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses.

Before the situation deteriorates further, we urge you to do the following:

Establish an official Working Group of the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion to focus specifically on investigating the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses. For Jewish students, the council’s success will depend specifically on the commitment and ability of the Working Group’s members to identify discourse, imagery and actions that are unacceptable expressions of antisemitic bigotry, to have a firm grasp of the literature on contemporary campus antisemitism, and to understand the problem on UC campuses. We would both be happy to serve on such a Working Group. As participants in a two-week scholarly workshop on campus antisemitism in higher education at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in July 2010, which Tammi Rossman-Benjamin also co-organized, we are well aware of the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on colleges and universities around the country. And as UC faculty who have been investigating, documenting, and exposing anti-Jewish harassment and intimidation on UC campuses for the last several years, we already have a very good grasp of how the problem manifests itself at the University of California.

Adopt a definition of antisemitism that provides concrete examples, in accordance with extant definitions, such as EUMC and the U.S. State Department's Working Definition, as a crucial tool in implementing the university’s commitment to respond vigorously to any manifestation of antisemitism on campus.

Set a policy in which the administration systematically identifies and condemns antisemitic incidents on campus as vigorously as they do other kinds of bigotry, such as racism.

Institute educational programs on antisemitism for faculty, staff, and students that identify manifestations and provide guidelines for behavior, consistent with best practices for addressing other forms of discrimination, e.g. sexual harassment.

In the meantime, you can be assured that we will continue our efforts to investigate, document, and expose the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses, and we will use every means available to us to address it. Members of the California Jewish community, too, will express their dissatisfaction with the University's unwillingness to provide adequate protection for Jewish students: undoubtedly some will choose not to attend or send their students to UC campuses, while others will choose to lessen or terminate their financial support.

Please understand that the Jewish community will not remain silent while Jewish students are being intimidated and harassed at the University of California.


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Lecturer, University of California at Santa Cruz

Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles

CC: University of California Chancellors

University of California Regents

University of California Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion (c/o Jesse Bernal)

California Governor Jerry Brown

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom

California Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson

BCC: Members and Supporters of the Jewish Community

Herman Cain: Meet Clarence Thomas

It had to happen. No sooner does Herman Cain rocket to the top of the Republican polls then the media digs up something from a decade ago on him. Sexual harassment, be geezus.

Of course, I know nothing about these allegations, but isn't it amazing that the media, which had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the John Edwards case, has once again turned its best investigative reporters loose to dig into the past of Herman Cain? The same media who are ignoring Solyndra and Fast and Furious as we speak are showing their investigative skills once again, skills that we thought had eroded once we saw how precious little they vetted candidate Obama.

Perhaps, we will learn that Cain did act inappropriately within his work circle. To me, that means he used his position vis-a-vis the women involved to put inappropriate pressure on them for trists. Perhaps, we will learn that he merely made unsuccessful passes at women. (Who hasn't done that?)


Anyway, I guess we will have to tune in every day to find out if Herman Cain is a skirt-chaser, which, of course, if true, will disqualify him for the White House.

And he smokes cigars too.

Why Are We Funding Pensions for Palestinian Terrorists?

Hat tip to Commentary Magazine

Jonathan Tobin in Commentary Magazine has an excellent article about the funding we provide to the Palestinian Authority and where it is going. Over one thousand terrorists and killers who are being released in the latest prisoner swap (1,000 + for one Israeli soldier) will be receiving money not only from Hamas but from the PA as well.

I say it's high time to cut off funding to this phony "peace partner". We need that money here at home.

And how timely is this article now that UNESCO, that long-time anti-American body within the UN, has voted to grant membership to the Palestinians?

There's another $80 million a year we need here at home.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Tale of Two Countries

Hat tip to Daily Mail and Political Forum

Remember that Charles Dickens story entitled; "A Tale of Two Cities?"


You'd think England and France haven't come very far over the centuries. Hate, violence and intolerance are running rampant.

Anjem Choudary and his gang of nose-pickers

In London, Muslims Against the Crusades, a UK-based radical group that is fighting against something that happened many centuries ago, has added another disgraceful episode to their long resume-this time storming a mosque where a British politician was holding some sort of British version of a town hall meeting. The Daily Mail has the report.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the English Channel, hate and intolerance reign supreme. In the French city of Nimes, Catholic worshipers were pelted with stones by Middle Eastern youths as they left a religious event. Political Forum has the report.

And France is supposed to be a Catholic country!

Update on Catholic University Controversy

At this point, it appears that George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf has filed a discrimination lawsuit without any participation of Muslim Students at Catholic University. Below is my initial posting.

Below is an update by the Blaze:

Thus, we must conclude at this point that what we are dealing with is a suit-happy law professor who has unsuccessfully attempted to recruit Muslim students at Catholic University to join in his lawsuit. The students who have chosen to stand with Catholic University are to be saluted.

The law professor at George Washington University is a jerk.

How to Make a Key White House Witness in Fast and Furious Unavailable-Post Him to Iraq and Cut Off His Phone

Hat tip to PJ Media

One of the key witnesses in Fast and Furious is a guy named Kevin O'Reilly, who is, was a National Security advisor in the White House. It seems that O'Reilly was in contact with ATF office head William Newell of the Phoenix office during the time of Fast and Furious and was getting updates from Mr Newell, a highly unusual chain of command, I might add. (They are supposedly old pals.) At any rate, Congressman Darrell Issa wants to bring O'Reilly in to testify under oath. He has been advised that O'Reilly is unavailable. He's been assigned to Iraq!

PJ Media has more.

Well, when I read this, I figured there must be some mistake. So I sent off a quick note to my pals in Attack Watch about this smear report from PJ Media and asked for the straight skinny-as they promise. Here is what I sent:

"Dear Sirs,

The below link from PJ Media says the White House has posted Kevin O'Reilly to Iraq to keep him away from testifying in Darrell Issa's committee on Fast and Furious and that his phone number has been cut off. Is this true? I hope you will set me straight on this.


Gary Fouse"

I'll let you know as soon as Attack Watch gets back to me with the real truth.

Note to Mr Issa. Issue a subpoena. They have to bring him back.

Occupy Arrests Keep Piling Up

"Heigh ho, heigh ho. It's off to jail I go."

The arrests in the Occupy movement are piling up around the nation from Oregon to Oakland to Tennessee now. Soon 99% of the nation's population will be in jail leaving only the Tea Party's 1% who are free because they hold peaceful rallies.

Now we learn that fights are erupting in Zuccotti Park (that's in New York City for all you UC Santa Cruz Community Studies majors). We also learn that Boston police are receiving threats from the Occupy Boston crowd.

"God bless them."

Meanwhile, President Obama is said to be getting daily briefings on the situation.

"I can empathize with that."

Of course, none of this will faze the support from MSNBC-especially Butter and Egg Man Ed Schultz, who still thinks these bums represent the 99%.

"Look Ma, no brains."

Of course, Ed and his fellow mad-hatters at MSNBC will continue to hold positive comparsions of the Occupy mobs to the peaceful Tea Parties even though the latter has yet to see its first arrest. The only thing they threaten to do is vote, which they carry out (no idle threat).

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

State Department Spends $70,000 for Obama Autobiography

President Obama, who wrote two autobiographies before he even became famous, has now added to his delayed royalties with a $70,000 purchase of "Dreams from my Father" by none other than our striped pants State Department under the enlightened leadership of the Most Intelligent Woman in the World, Hillary Clinton.

"You must read this book."

Not since Mein Kampf became required owning of every household in Germany has a government been so audacious in glorifying its Leader.

"Kampf? What Kampf?"

Nit-pick if you will, but here we have a government department spending $70,000 of tax-payer money to purchase the President's book, of which he figures to pocket several thousand in royalties.

Death of Ghaddafi-Because "You Asked For It"

"Dear Art,

"I wanna see what happened to that SOB Ghaddafi, who had  Pan Am 103 shot down."

Global Post has come up with additional videos and photos of Muammar Ghaddafi's capture and death, which are even more graphic than previously seen. It appears that Ghaddafi was subjected to more indignities than previously known. You won't see this on Public Television, but here it is-because You Asked for it. (For those of you who didn't ask for it, viewer discretion is advised.)

"Thank you, Art."

Adam Gadahn Update From Amir the Animator

Hat tip to Amir the Animator

Amir the Animator has another great image of American Al Qaeda spokeshole, Adam Gadahn.

Keep 'em coming, Amir.

New York PD's Investigation of Muslim Student Associations

Hat tip to Campus Watch and Frontpage Magazine

It seems the West Coast is not the only area where university-based Muslim Student Associations have come under law enforcement scrutiny. Ryan Mauro has written a report which appears in Frontpage Magazine and Campus Watch. It concerns the controversy over the NYPD's investigations into MSA chapters on several university campuses in the city.

Not surprisingly, Islamic organizations are trying to iintimidate the NYPD into ceasing their investigations notwithstanding the list of examples of MSA alumni who have gone into the jihad against this country. This also ties into that 1960s thinking that university campuses are some sort of sanctuaries from law enforcement, which they clearly are not.

The point is not that every member of a Muslim Student Association chapter on any university campus is a jihadist. I don't believe that for a minute. Many join simply because they see it as a social support group when they begin their university careers. Yet, the list of radical speakers that regularly appear at MSA-sponsored events is a matter for concern and signals a radical bent among the leadership that is worthy of scrutiny.

Having suffered two major terror attacks and a couple of other thwarted attempts, New York has the right and the responsibility to take necessary measures to prevent another. I fail to note any unjustified arrests of innocent people being carried out here. Hopefully, the city will stick by its police.

More Muslim Brotherhood Take on the Coptic Christian Situation

The below article is dated October 20, 2011 and is posted on Ikhwan Web, the English-language site of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It concerns the recent killings during a Coptic Christian demonstration. Again, while seemingly calling for peace between Copts and Muslims, the article again accuses certain Copts of collaborating with Western and Israeli governments in an attempt to de-stabilize the country and the revolution.

I don't claim to be an expert on the situation in Egypt, but it seems clear that implicating Coptic Christians with Israel and other Western governmemts in an alleged attempt to harm the revolution in Egypt can only lead to more violence and persecution against an already persecuted minority.

1NewHeart Loses a Child

Sadly, in the past few days, one of 1NewHeart's sponsored children in Israel/Palestinian territories did not survive surgery. His name was Ybada.

Many of the children born in this region are afflicted with congenital heart defects. Hank Dannecker's 1NewHeart charity has saved the lives of several children in collaboration with Israeli hospitals and surgeons working pro bono. Please visit their site, which is linked on this blog.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kent State University Professor Shouts, "Death to Israel"

Kent State Professor Israel
Julio Pino (l) 
(Photo by Fox News)

Professor Julio Pino, of whom I have written before, has once again brought embarrassment to Kent State University.

At least the president of the university, Lester Lefton, condemned the behavior of Pino.

Of course, Pino will not be fired over this incident because of his free speech rights. What is appropriate, however, is that all universities do some self-reflection on the kind of radical, left-wing activists they have hired to teach our children in the classroom. Professors like Pino and so many others around the country have brought so much disrepute to higher education that a diploma (at least in the humanities)  has become something of a joke.

The White House is Going to Investigate Solyndra??

"Investigation? We got it covered, right boys?"

No need to investigate Solyndra, Congress. The White House has it covered.

Of course, this is the same tom-foolery that DOJ is doing with their Inspector General investigating Fast and Furious.

Kind of reminds me of OJ Simpson out looking for the "real killer". His "search" consisted of looking through the roughs of golf courses (no real killers there) before he took up permanent residence in Nevada.

How about Bernie Madoff investigating fraud on Wall Street?

How about ACORN investigating voter fraud?

How about Nixon investigating Watergate?

"I tried that."

How about Bill Clinton assigning the White House staff to investigate the Monica Lewinsky rumors? That actually happened.

How about Clinton investigating sold pardons? He can even use the current attorney general as his lead investigator. Eric Holder familiar with the facts of that case.

How about Barney Frank and Chris Dodd investigating the mortgage meltdown?

At least one aspect of this latest announcement makes perfect sense. In a way, it is only fitting that the White House should conduct this investigation. After all, that is where the crime was committed. Thus, I guess they have jurisdiction.

DOJ Asked to Criminalize Criticism of Islam?

Eric Holder and Thomas Perez *(the eminance gris of DOJ)

It seems that our embattled attorney general, Eric Holder and his top radical deputy Thomas Perez are at it again this week. Creeping Sharia reports that they have been asked by Muslim-American "leaders" to find a way to criminalize any critical discussion of Islam. It seems they may be taking the idea under consideration.

It is bad enough that DOJ has allowed itself to be pressured to get rid of training manuals that mention Islamic terrorism. It is bad enough that they would allow themselves to be pressured to cut back on support to state and local police when it comes to terror investigations. But to seriously discuss ways to stop any public discussion of this issue is incredible.

Strike that. Not with this Justice Department and with this attorney general.

Remember the words last week of Hedieh Mirahmadi at UC-Irvine, when she told us how she cannot use the word, "Islamist" when she is working with government. It has to be "radical extremism."

Did nobody at DOJ inform Ms Aziz that we have something called the First Amendment in this country? It may not exist in Egypt, but it still exists here. One can only wonder why she wasn't escorted out of the building when she made this request.

Al Azhar Grand Mufti: Is He a Radical Extremist?

Hat tip to PJ Media

Al Azhar University in Cairo is considered the world's leading Islamic theological center. Therefore, when its grand mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, makes a proclamation declaring Christians to be infidels-in a society wracked by violence, death and church destruction aimed at Coptic Christians, the world needs to sit up and take notice.

These are not the ravings of say, Abdul Alim Musa, Anjem Choudary, or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is a man whose words carry great worth in the Muslim world. This is considered top shelf Islamic scholarship here. It also must be taken within the context of the on-going persecution against Christians being carried out in Egypt, as well as Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and other countries.

Several days ago, Hedieh Mirahmadi spoke at UC Irvine. She is an American Muslim who has dared speak out against Islamic extremism, as well as the phony moderate organizations in America like CAIR. Yet, she is a Muslim who will defend her faith when questioners ask her about disturbing passages in the Koran and hadith. With all due respect to Ms. Mirahmadi, she needs to consider the words of the grand mufti. It is not so easy to lump him in with the Salafist hate-mongers she courageously criticizes.

Is it?

Several months ago, I heard Imam Faisal Rauf speak at UCLA, he of the Ground Zero mosque. He spoke of the need for Muslims, Christians and Jews to join together against the radicals and extremists of all our faiths. My question then was, "Where are the radicals and extremists within Christianity and Judaism who are committing acts of terror world-wide?" My question now is what Rauf has to say to the grand mufti of Al Azhar University?

Then there is Muzammil Siddiqi, the so-called "bridge-builder" in Orange County, who spoke of extremists who were protesting his award from the Orange County Human Relations Commission a few months ago (a protest in which I took part). Siddiqi is most recently on tape proclaiming that Islam is "a religion of peace". A couple of weeks back, his mosque in Garden Grove was one of many that held an open mosque day for non-Muslims to visit and learn more about Islam. I wonder what Mr Siddiqi has to say about the words of the grand mufti of Al Azhar-especially given the events in Egypt. Keep in mind that the bookstore in Siddiqi's mosque features the works of such "moderates" and "bridge-builders" as Abul Ala Maumudi and Sayyid Qutb, of which I will have more to say later. I invite the reader to Google those names. They were hardly bridge-builders.

It is also relevant to bring up Yusuf al Qaradawi, the leading spiritual voice of the Muslim Brotherhood. His taped sermons reek of references to his desire to die in battle fighting the infidels and references to the Holocaust being God's punishment to Jews. Are we to consider him as one who is twisting the truth?

It is easy to dismiss people like Ahmadinejad, Choudary, Musa, and others as nuts. It is not so easy to say that people like the grand mufti of Al Azhar, and Qaradawi are outside the mainstream.

Fast and Furious: Is This the Motive?

Hat tip to PJ Media

A few months ago, following a DEA funeral, I was having lunch with a group of DEA retirees with whom I had worked. The topic of Fast and Furious came up. During the conversation, one of my colleagues mentioned that there was a "conspiracy theory" going around that the motive for this operation was the desire of the administration to cut back on the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership rights. Yet, there is reason to believe that this may be more than just a wild conspiracy theory. PJ Media has another in a series of reports on this scandal.

Interesting theory, is it not? (Conspiracy theory, I mean.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why You Don't See Many Conservative Speakers on College Campuses-UC Santa Barbara

If you ever wonder why you don't see many conservative speakers on college campuses, the recent example of David Horowitz and UC Santa Barbara is illustrative. Frontpage Magazine has an update on the hassles Horowitz faced trying to speak at UCSB.

UC Santa Barbara, you may recall, is where professor William Robinson, a radical guy, stirred a fuss by e-mailing his students material that reflected his own hatred of Israel. Some students complained about the indoctrination*, but the university eventually ruled that he was exercising his freedom of speech. Meanwhile, students who want to hear people like David Horowitz have to fight to have the right to hear him speak while radical students and university officials haggle about diversity, inclusiveness and all that other rot.

* Don't think I am talking about Robinson behind his back when I talk about his indoctrination. I have told him to his face.

Catholic University Told to Remove Crosses by Muslim Students

This story will leave you shaking your head. Catholic University in Washington DC, a private school, is being sued. Muslim students who are attending Catholic University are demanding a prayer room not adorned with crosses.

Let me make sure I get this straight. Muslim students choosing to attend Catholic University are offended because of crosses on the walls. They want Catholic University to provide them with a room free from crosses. They say that Catholic University is not respecting their religion. The crosses at Catholic University are offensive

What is Catholic University to do?

Another Stunner From Janet Napolitano

Here is the feckless Janet Napolitano testifying before Congress on Fast and Furious. What is shocking here is that she says she and her department have not been in communication with Eric Holder and the Justice Department over Fast and Furious-the botched operation that is connected to the deaths of two of her employees.

Where does one start? She refers to the referral of the investigation to the Inspector General of the Justice Department, a woman with a long association with Holder and one who has already compromised herself in this very matter by turning over taped conversations to the officials involved in the scandal. Not only is Napolitano not bracing Holder against the wall by the scruff of his neck demanding answers, she is not even talking to him!

Pass the Propofol. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Olive Tree Initiative Sticks it to Israel

As my readers know, I have written many critical articles about the UC-Irvine-based Olive Tree Initiative. This year, another OTI trip was conducted to Israel and the West Bank. Last night, there was a welcome home event held at UC-Irvine for the students to report on the latest trip. I went to the event to listen and to learn. Since it was their event, I had no intention of being the skunk at the garden party especially since it was centered around the students, Jewish, Muslim and other who went on the trip and were presenting their views and experiences. I went as one who is critical of the OTI. I left even more cemented in my views. This was another diatribe against Israel disguised as a striving for peace.

After introductory speeches by OTI founder Daniel Wehrenfennig and UCI Vice Chancellor Thomas Parham, there were a series of presentations by pairs of participating students. There was also an introductory video. When I saw the Al Jazeera logo on the screen, I should have been able to predict the content. This was not going to be fair and even-handed no matter how they might try and present it as such.

What followed the video was an historical recount by a Muslim and Jewish student of the series of meetings and agreements that had fueled an expectation of a final peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians  that never panned out. There were images of Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, Yassir Arafat, Yizhak Rabin, and other leaders who had entered into negotiations. There were few if any words of praise for Israel, but there were plenty of criticisms.

There were images of Jordan's King Hussein and his son, the current king,  representing a nation that has no proud history of how it has treated Palestinians living in its territory. (Remember Black September?)

We were told how the OTI trip had started with a stop in Washington where the students and organizers were briefed by Dennis Ross, the chief US negotiator between the Israelis and Palestinians. That is how far this venture has succeeded in gaining official support.

There was a scripted debate between two student-participants who argued the point about whether the UN should grant nationhood-recognition to Palestine or whether that should be accomplished by negotiation between the Palestinians and the Israelis. (That was the strongest support of Israel I heard last night.)

The principle theme last night was a message of peace, reconciliation and the hope that Israelis and Palestinians would live in peace. A wonderful ideal, indeed. Yet, there was another theme that cropped up from time to time. Israeli intransigence and Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. One student speaker introduced an account from an Arab of Israeli citizenship who stated that while he was glad to have Israeli citizenship, he was not proud of his nationality. There were a couple of negative references to Bibi Netanyahu and his followers who "were not interested in peace." There was a reference to the First Intifada, which was "peaceful".

About two-thirds of the way into the program, there was an emergency alert and we were instructed to leave the room and go to the nearest exit. Was it a bomb threat? A fire? We proceeded outside and waited for about 20 minutes. A fire truck passed by. Finally, we were informed that it was a false alarm and people proceeded back inside. I and three like-minded friends decided we had heard enough. We left.

This was not a balanced presentation. I have come to my final decision on the Olive Tree Initiative.

I offer this for consideration. One of the contacts of OTI, which was described is an group called Parents' Circle Family Forum. This is a group founded by one Yitzhak Frankenthal, an Israeli whose son was shot and killed by Palestinians while serving with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). The group consists of families of Palestinians and Israelis who have died in the conflict including families of suicide bombers and their victims. We learned how they have come together and exchanged accounts of their grief and desire for peace. On the surface, it sounds wonderful. What could be better than reconciliation and a desire for peace between those who have lost family members on both sides? Indeed, this group has been recognized by meany international bodies including the EU.

When you look deeper, it gets murky. Mr Frankenthal also blames his nation's policies for the death of his son. Below is an article he wrote in the Guardian:

So just what is the principle guiding the Parents' Circle? Below is an article written by Lee Kaplan in Frontpage Magazine. It concerns two of their activists who have spoken in the US:

Here is what was not discussed last night (at least before we left in disgust):

There was no mention of Palestinian terrorism other than oblique references to the suicide bombings in connection with the Parents Circle Family Forum.

There was no reference to the Itimar Massacre of the Fogel family.

There was no reference to the issue of Jew hatred among the Palestinian population, the Hamas charter that quotes the hadith of hate, whereupon on the Day of Judgement, the Jews will hide behind trees, which will call out to the Muslims to "kill, the Jew hiding behind me". Indeed, the word Hamas was barely mentioned.

Here is the key, which all of us need to understand. There are now hundreds of organizations out there all over the world that proclaim that they are dedicated to bringing peace to the Middle East. They talk about reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews and the desire that they will learn to live in peace. Yet, the overwhelming majority of these so-called peace organizations  are solidly on the Palestinian  side of the issue. They believe that Israel is an occupying power and that the Palestinians are victims-no matter how many terrorist acts against innocent civilians the Palestinian  terrorists of Hizbollah and Hamas commit. They believe that Israel is a human-rights violator. In fact, many of them believe that Israel has no legitimacy as a sovereign state. Israel must eventually cease to exist. They may or may not state it, but that is what they want.

That is the desire of the International Solidarity Movement, founded by Palestinian activists and now international in scope. They declare that they are for peace, but they have links to Hamas. Their mission is to work toward the dissolution of Israel by deligitimization of her in the eyes of the world. They are tied into the world-wide movement of Boycot, Divest and Sanctions, which is active in the US and Europe-especially on university campuses.

The International Solidarity Movement has also wrapped its tentacles around the Olive Tree Initiative. How else does one explain the involvement of George S Rishmawi, a co-founder and his cousin George N Rishmawi?

There are also links between the ISM and the Parents' Circle Family Forum. They are all birds of a feather flying together. You will find their names both linked on various sites dedicated to "peace in the Middle East." For example, let's look at the Holy Land Task Force:

Note the following links:

Friends of Sabeel
The Electric Intifada
Stop the Wall
Breaking the Silence
Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
If Americans Knew
Israel Committee Against House Demolitions
Website of Norman Finkelstein
Boycott Israel
Muzzle Watch-From Jewish Voice for Peace
Global BDS Movement
International Solidarity Movement
Parents Circle

Get the message?

Below is the link for the Michigan Peace Team:

Recommended resources:

US Campaign to end the Israeli occupation
Jewish Voice for Peace
International Solidarity Movement
Parents Circle

Now let's go to the webpages of the Parents Circle itself:

"Yehuda Shaul, "Breaking the Silence"

Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada.

Until today, Yehuda Shaul and" Breaking the Silence" interviewed hundreds of soldiers who served in the territories, and they continue to interview soldiers daily. The organization also has lectures and tours to Hebron. The testimonies are published with minimal editing and with complete confidentiality, in order to protect the soldiers and to encourage them to speak."

Ayed Ahmad Morar –

"Ayed, a father of six from the village Budrus near Ramallah, is an enthusiastic supporter of nonviolence resistance in Palestine. Ayed Ahmad Morar established the first popular committee against the wall in 2003 and led over 60 non violent demonstrations together with the residents of Budrus. Ayed Ahmad Morar advises on non-violence in Palestine and is a member of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian movement for non violence."

Also note on the right margin the list of activities and events in which they include a Mavi Marmara event and a meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht. Below is the Wikipedia entry for Mr De Gucht.

Get the message?

The Parents Circle Family Forum is one of the planned activities of the Olive Tree Initiative. They were also on the 2010 itinerary. They are a pro-Palestinian organization that believes Israel is an occupying power. Their program was part of last night's presentation.

Here is a salient point: For those of you old enough to remember the Cold War with the Soviet Union, you may recall that a major part of the Soviets' propaganda revolved around the international peace movement, which argued that only the US was a war-like, imperialistic  country that should dissarm. The USSR stood for peace. Never mind their invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan.

That tired old tactic is at work again when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel is the aggressor and peace means that Israel must make all the concessions, give up land and ultimately give up its very existence. That is the tactic, and many of the old Soviet-sympathizers of the Cold War in the West are using the same tactics today to destroy Israel.

And today, I firmly believe this is what is happening with the Olive Tree Initiative. It is all in the name of peace. Young students are being manipulated by older, experienced left-wing activists in and out of academia along with some misguided life-long peace activists (who do more harm than good) and led to believe that they can help bring peace to the Middle East. It is an illusion. In this spirit, dozens of college students are being led over to the Middle East. There they meet with a few Israeli officials and many Palestinian activists, combined with selected Israeli peace activists who are hostile to their own country.

What transpired last night (in the time I was there) was a pathetic travesty when it came to being even-handed in this complex issue. We heard a lot of pompous talk about the need for young people to have the courage to open their minds to both sides. Yet, it was not a balanced event. That's because this is not a balanced venture. This is part and parcel of the International Solidarity Movement's effort to bring about the dissolution of Israel by convincing the international community that Israel is a racist, occupying state that has no legitimacy.

My anger is not toward the students. Most genuinely believe they are advancing peace. My anger is to the adults who are manipulating them.

Shame on the University of California system for advancing this cynical and fraudulent program.

Shame on the UCI Department of Social Sciences and the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies for spearheading this program.

And more than that, shame on the Jewish Federation of Orange County and their suspicious financial operation called the Rose Project for supporting the anti-Israel indoctrination of Jewish students with their funding. It is beyond disgrace.

Oakland Raiders in Action

No, not those Oakland Raiders. I mean Oakland's Finest, who raided the Occupy Oakland encampment this week in an effort to maintain the city's world-famous beauty and cleanliness.

A spokesman for the Occupy Oakland group was unavailable for comment.

New Name-Same Old ACORN in Occupy New York

It's New Improved Cheer Acorn

For all of you naive folks who thought ACORN was defunct, think again. They have simply morphed into new groups with new names.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Student Op-Ed on Hazem Chehabi

I occasionally post articles from the UC-Irvine campus paper, New University. This week's edition has an op-ed by a student that I think is well worth posting. It has to do with the fact that the chair of the UC-Irvine Foundation, Hazem Chehabi, is also an honorary consul for the Syrian government in Orange County. I have written about this issue before. The article is by Erum Siddiqi

I don't always agree with what I read in (any) student newspaper since they tend to be liberal. I do agree with this one. Of course, the position of honorary consul is different from regularly posted diplomats. They don't even have to be citizens of the country that appoints them. (Chehabi is Syrian-American.) Their job entails certain minor duties that cannot be covered in a certain geographical area due to limited resources of the concerned govenment. Yet, given what is happening in Syria today, to say nothing about what has been going on in Syria for decades under the Assad rule, I think it is unbecoming at the least to have anyone associated with this regime on the UCI Foundation-let alone be its chair.

Adam Gadahn: More From Amir the Animator

Hat tip to Amir the Animator

Here's another in the series of Adam Gadahn (American Al Qaeda traitor) through the eyes of Amir the Animator. It kind of makes you wonder from whom Gadahn is really hiding.

You have to admit; it's a fascinating theory. First, Usama bin Laden. Then Anwar Awlaki. Now Muammar Ghaddafi.

Stay tuned.