It is a well-established principle that public universities are bound by the First Amendment. You might not know this from talking to students who are speaking out for Palestinian rights. In the past eight months, Radhika Sainath has given 15 know-your-rights workshops to students from nearly 70 different universities. Despite her extensive conversations with SJPers, she continues to be surprised at the level of repression these students face from their administrations.
Category Archives: US Politics
On September 19, the administration of Loyola University Chicago temporarily suspended Loyola Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and opened an investigation of the organization. The actions, which will culminate in a disciplinary hearing on Thursday evening, came after a diverse group of students gathered at a table hosted by Taglit-Birthright Israel, which provides trips to Israel exclusively for Jewish students, to register and ask questions about the program. Loyola’s investigation is part of a broader censorship of political speech on university campuses around the US over issues related to Israel and Palestine.
While Steven Salaita has received massive support from colleagues, students, community groups, and others in the US, what has received less attention is the support he has received from outside the US. This is extremely important, for as protests against Israel continue and in fact grow across the globe, one should understand that such acts of silencing resonate with those beyond US borders. Today it is clear that criticism of Israel is the issue, and that the significance of Salaita’s case is not limited to the
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has clearly been stung by a senior Obama administration official saying that he’s “chickenshit”. The White House is trying to repair the (intentional) damage.
Former Israeli president Shimon Peres was interviewed by Bob Woodruff at Colgate University last Saturday night, and when Pat Carmeli interrupted a standing ovation to ask about illegal settlements, Colgate edited it out of its video of the event
Are there any in more active complicity in the destruction of Palestine than Palestine’s well-wishers? J Street’s October 28 statement is the latest example of a “pro-peace” organization that is doing nothing to advance an end to the conflict in Israel/Palestine.
Do settlements foster terrorism? State Department spox Jen Psaki suggested as much yesterday, saying Netanyahu’s push to build in East Jerusalem is “incompatible with peace.”
A October 22 letter of support from Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, to President Barack Obama regarding his policy towards Israel/Palestine avoids the real issues.
Yet another reporter for the New York Times has a son in the Israeli Defense Forces. Isabel Kershner, a correspondent in the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau, says that her son is in training in the army. This is the third time in recent years that a writer who covers the conflict for America’s leading newspaper has a son serving in an army that is regularly accused of human rights abuses. On each of those occasions, an outside publication has disclosed the army servic
A California Hillel chapter has partnered with a D.C.-linked public relations firm to fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, according to leaked emails obtained by Mondoweiss. The PR firm 30 Point Strategies has discussed how to combat BDS at the University of California, Los Angeles campus with Hillel staffers there. 30 Point staffers have advised UCLA’s Hillel to stay largely silent in the event of a student government resolution that recommends divestment from Israeli military-linked corporations. The revelation that a Hillel chapter has turned to a professional public relations firm shows that UCLA Hillel is stepping up its work to fight BDS on campus.
Samantha Brotman shares her remarks from an event called “Zionism & The New McCarthyism: A Conversation with Bruce Robbins” that took place in Champaign-Urbana. It was a canceled University of Illinois event that was rescheduled as an independent event, without university support. Bruce Robbins’s short documentary, Some of My Best Friends are Zionists, interviews influential Jews such as Judith Butler and Tony Kushner who discuss the repression of anti-Zionist viewpoints. His talk addressed the rise of a “new McCarthyism” on college campuses which threatens to shut down criticism of Israel in the guise of “civility.” Brotman was a respondent along with Jodi Byrd (Professor in American Indian Studies) and Bruce Levine (Professor of History).
Hannah Friedstein writes a primer on Birthright to demystify its themes and its objectives based on her experience in the program. Her goal is that Birthright participants gain a new and critical perspective on the program which she believes is anything but neutra
On the evening of October 7, after a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Israeli team Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Palestinian-American Nerdeen Kiswani was attacked by a group of Maccabi Electra fans. The 20-year-old Hunter College student was punched in the stomach, and a Palestinian flag was torn from her hands. Among her attackers was Leonard Petlakh, a professor of Jewish history at her own school. After he and his accomplices assaulted the young Palestinian woman, Petlakh later told police that he himself was allegedly assaulted in a hate crime. He falsely accused 25-year-old journalist and Palestinian solidarity organizer Shawn Carrié of punching him for being Jewish.
Growing up an ardent Zionist, Liz Rose says Judaism “became synonymous with Jewish nationalism.” Now she’s struggled to separate the religion and the ideology. At Yom Kippur she had a breakthrough, remembering Palestin
“It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,” Israeli president Reuven Rivlin said over the weekend, but the diagnosis has gotten no pickup in the United States. The media continue to protect dreamcastle Israel.
Claire Paddock reports from the opening night of “The Death of Klinghoffer” at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
“Another Jew!” Speakers at a Klinghoffer rally single out Peter Gelb, James Levine, and Alice Goodman and other Jews as Jews who are supporting anti-Semitism.
The question of Palestine, or rather the question of Palestinian statehood is plaguing the Israeli government and now the pages of the New York Times. In a round table of op-eds Nadia Hijab, Avital Leibovich, Efraim Halevy, Nathan Thrall, Caroline B. Glick, Richard Ottaway, and Omar Barghouti, weigh in on the domino effect of declarations of sovereignty over the occupied territories from the past mont
Rabbi Jill Jacobs in the Washington Post joins former Ambassador Marc Ginsberg in calling on an end to federal tax break for nonprofits helping settlement construction in Palestin
A Times article praising life for Israelis in Berlin in today’s paper exposes a frontpage article in the paper three weeks ago on the demon of anti-Semitism rising in Germany as hasbara hysteria
Steven Salaita’s book “Israel’s Dead Soul” (2011) merits serious attention and ultimately effusive praise. It contains five critical essays that not only offer brilliant insight into the cultural and ideological practices of Zionism in both Israel and the United States, but implicitly explain why his conscientious efforts would be denigrated and rejected by the ostensibly liberal aspects of this culture at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Professor Max Weiss says a member of the Jewish Agency vetoed his invitation to speak on a panel about Gaza at Princeton University. He writes, “Apparently this preemptive act of exclusion was carried out on entirely political grounds. This strikes me as an attempt to stifle the exchange of views on an important, if contentious, issue of concern to many in the Princeton University community — an egregious violation of our community’s values.”
Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, a Clintonite and Israel supporters, turns on Netanyahu for placing the country on the “wrong side of history” and for endangering its most important relationship, to the U.S.
Oskar Schindler’s redemptive life is a legacy, an invitation to all of us to move past our self centered concerns and figure out how we can contribute to the saving of innocent lives. Today it tells us to throw our energy into supporting the people of Palestin