Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Hate Crimes against Jews rise by 37% in 2017

According to the latest FBI hate crime statistics,  the overall number of hate incidents reported to the FBI increased about 17 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year.  

Jews were subject to nearly 60% of religiously motivated hate crimes in 2017 in spite of being only 2% of U.S. Population.  There were a total of 938 hate crimes committed against Jews in 2017, up 37 % from 2016.

Of the 1,749 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:

  • 58.1 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.
  • 18.6 percent were victims of anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias.
  • 4.3 percent were victims of anti-Catholic bias.
  • 3.3 percent were victims of bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
  • 2.3 percent were victims of anti-Protestant bias.
  • 1.8 percent were victims of anti-Other Christian bias.
  • 1.5 percent were victims of anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Other) bias.
  • 1.5 percent were victims of anti-Sikh bias.
  • 0.9 percent (15 individuals) were victims of anti-Hindu bias.
  • 0.9 percent (15 individuals) were victims of anti-Mormon bias.
  • 0.7 percent (13 individuals) were victims of anti-Jehovah’s Witness bias.
  • 0.7 percent (12 individuals) were victims of anti-Buddhist bias.
  • 0.5 percent (8 individuals) were victims of anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
  • 4.9 percent were victims of bias against other religions (anti-other religion).

The toxic climate coming from both the fringe left and the fringe right  is adding fuel to the fire of the worlds oldest hatred.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Berkeley's mayor Jesse Arreguin opposed to appointment of Hatem Bazian to Local Commission

Berkeley's mayor Jesse Arreguin has publicly expressed his opposition to the appointment of Hatem Bazian to the city's Peace and Justice Commission, and has expressed his frustration about his inability to prevent it.

From the J Weekly, the Jewish News of Northern California:
Berkeley mayor objects to appointment of Bazian to city commission

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin is not pleased with the appointment of controversial UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian to the city’s Peace and Justice Commission, saying Bazian is not qualified to serve as a public official because of his “anti-Semitic statements and actions.”

Bazian, a lecturer at UC Berkeley and the co-founder of American Muslims for Palestine  has called for an intifada in America, and has spread anti-semitic images and messaging through social media

Mayor Arreguin, speaking to the J Weekly: 

“There’s documentation showing things he has said that are very offensive and inappropriate and anti-Semitic.  And on that basis, I think it’s a very serious issue about whether this person should be in public office.”

Cheryl Davila, the Berkeley City Council representative from District 2 had also appointed Bazian as an emergency stand-in, in a move that prompted 3 Berkeley Rabbis to write to mayor Arreguin, expressing their deep concerns.   Davila's continued promotion of Bazian, a financial contributor to her campaign, shows her  abject disdain for the local Jewish community

Cheryl Davila is a regular at local and national anti-Israel events, and received financial support for her campaign from anti-Israel activists nationwide.
Berkeley City Council member Cheryl Davila  wearing T shirt in support of convicted Jew-killer Rasmeah Odeh
Hatem Bazian has circled the wagons and is attempting to orchestrate a response.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tourism to Israel at Record Levels

Hows that boycott working out for you?

In 2001 at the notorious Durban Conference in South Africa,  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions emerged as a tactic against Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

A full 17 years after this cynically orchestrated attempt to isolate the worlds only Jewish state, tourism is at record levels.

I'm calling BDS fail.

From Globes:  

485,500 tourists visited Israel in October, 14% more than in October 2017. The Ministry of Tourism estimates that they contributed over NIS 2.5 billion to the Israeli economy. 3.4 million tourists visited Israel in January-October 2018, 15% more than in the corresponding period last year, and the Ministry of Tourism is aiming to increase this number to four million a year. The increase in tourism and the prosperity of hoteliers and the tourist industry also depends on the relative tranquility in the regional security situation. According to Ministry of Tourism figures, tourists stay in Israel for an average of eight days.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Stronger than Hate: Honoring the Pittsburgh Victims.

There have been many small and meaningful gestures in the wake of the horrific violence at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger is wearing custom cleats today to honor the synagogue shooting victims.

Cecil and David Rosenthal, victims of the shooting were brothers of Michele Rosenthal, who worked in the Steelers' community relations department and assisted in Roethlisberger's foundation.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have added a Star of David, and the words "Stronger than Hate" to their Jerseys

Limited editions of this patch are available for sale, with proceeds going to the families of the victims.

Throughout the country, Jewish Day schools and synagogues have reported tender messages of solidarity, comfort and compassion from their neighbors.

After the attack, the worse ever on US soil, parents from San Raphael's Venetia Valley Elementary School  meet their neighbors at Marin Brandeis with a sign  "You are not Alone".

Synagogues across the country reported flowers, cards and condolence notes left at their doorsteps.

Memorial to the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting  left in front on Berkeley's Congregation Beth Israel
These gestures are the beacons of light in what has been a dark time in our land, and are a reminder again, of the words of Dr. King:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Friday, November 2, 2018

Today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette

An astonishing gesture of solidarity with the Jewish community, from the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

In the wake of Pittsburgh, 2 California Synagogues are vandalized

On the heels of the slaughter at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, a community already on edge and in mourning is facing a different kind of threat, as two California synagogues were vandalized this week.

Congregation Beth Jacob in Irvine was defaced with antisemitic graffiti.

Irvine California Synagogue vandalized
Temple Beth Israel  in Fresno was also vandalized.

Fresno Synagogue Vandalized
Police are treating both incidents as hate crimes.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Blood Libel from Al Awda co-founder Zahi Damuni

Dr. Zahi Damuni is the co-founder and the first executive director of the anti-Israel extremist group Al Awda.   He's well published, and has taught biochemistry at the university level.

You'd think he'd have some rudimentary research skills.

You'd be wrong.

Blood Libel from Al Awda co-founder Zahi Damuni 

Yesterday, Zahi Damuni  published a photo, claiming it represented the 1967 mass murder of Egyptian prisoners of war.

Blood libel.

The actual photo was taken during the Yom Kippur war, in 1973, by photographer Micha Bar-Am.  Its captioned  "Suez Canal.October 1973.  A trench with Egyptian prisoners of war captured by the Israelis along the banks of the Suez Canal."

Suez Canal.October 1973.A trench with Egyptian prisoners of war captured by the Israelis along the banks of the Suez Canal.
This modern day blood libel  has been shared over 900 times, proving again that a lie can travel half-way across the world, before the truth gets a chance to put on its pants.

Incidentally Zahi Damuni has at least 3 separate Facebook accounts.   Not suspicious at all.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Gaza Women reach for equality, pick up firearms

As a way to enhanse gender equality and personal freedom, Islamic Jihad has been training women in Gaza to use automatic weapons.

Check out the camoflauge niqabs.

Gaza Women

Gaza Women

Gaza Women

Remember this next time woman are reported killled in Gaza

Jerusalem: One of the Best Small Cities in the World.

Israel's beautiful cities and countryside continues to win accolades from travel journals and visitors alike.  Jerusalem, the capital of Israel recently made Conde Naste's short list of "Best Small Cities " in the world.

From Conde Naste: The Best Cities in the World: 2018 Readers Choice Awards

Not too long ago, you'd make the trip to Jerusalem for a handful of reasons: to seek out monuments of faith, like the Western Wall or the Dome of the Rock; to celebrate history and culture. But the city just didn’t have the cachet of Tel Aviv or Eilat; it couldn’t offer visitors fusion cuisine, or hot hotel rooftop bars—until now. You can feel the changes in the winding alleyways of Machane Yehuda Market, an open-air labyrinth of food stalls near Jerusalem's city center that was once, the chef says, “where people would buy dried fruit and discount underwear.” Now you’ll find one of the buzziest places in Jerusalem: People crowd market bars, drink Israeli wine, and eat dinner at Crave's, a kosher take on Western comfort food, or Steam Kitchen & Bar, home to freshly steamed Chinese-style buns and American-style smoked meat sandwiches.

Check out Noam Chen's images of our beautiful city of light, Jerusalem.

Photo by Noam Chen

Photo by Naom Chen

Photo by Noam Chen

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Israel Under Attack. Home in Beersheva stuck by Gaza Rocket

A rocket from Gaza stuck a home in Beersheva this evening.  A mother and her 3 young children were awaken by the warning siren and had just shut the door to their shelter when the rocket hit, destroying much of the home.   The family is currently hospitalized and is being treated for shock.
Rocket Damage from Gaza

Rocket damage from Gaza
Rocket damage from Gaza
Beersheva is the largest city in southern Israel. A second rocket was launched towards Tel Aviv, but missed its mark and fell  harmlessly into the sea.  These attacks represents a significant escalation of hostilities from Gaza.

An Israel Arab Breaks the Silence

Yoseph Haddad, an Israeli Arab writes in the Jerusalem Post:

I cannot be silent, I must break my silence. I served in the IDF during the Second Intifada. It was a difficult time. I also stood at checkpoints, stood guard, arrested people and fought in the Second Lebanon War. As an Israeli Arab and IDF solider in the Golani Brigade, I served together with other Israelis: Jews of all backgrounds, Druze and Bedouin. We were all equal, we were all brothers fighting side by side and I can testify that I served in the most humane and moral army in the world, with the highest code of ethics and human values.

Haddad is the CEO of the nonprofit organization Togther – Vouch For Each Other, which "builds bridges that bring together Arabs and Jews in meaningful social connections in Israeli society" and has also been involved with Reservists on Duty

Read his story:  
It's time I break my silence:  I served in the IDF during the Second Intifada.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hatem Bazian: The extremist member of Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission

Its often quipped  "Two Jews, three opinions".   Not when it comes to Hatem Bazian, a man so extreme that the three leading congregational Rabbis in Berkeley, representing the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movement co-signed a letter in opposition to his appointment  as an emergency stand-in for Berkeley Councilperson Cheryl Davila.  The latter stated, in part:

“Prof. Bazian has a history of encouraging and personally engaging in speech which is offensive, uncivil and encourages demonization of others, including many citizens of Berkeley”

In spite of the controversy and concern over Bazian's divisive and inflammatory rhetoric Davila has now appointed him to the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission.   Bazian, who once infamously called for an intifada in America is now on a commission tasked with advising the City Council and the School Board  "on issues of peace and social justice."  

Cheryl Davila is a regular participant in anti-Israel protests on campus, in the streets, and in front of the local Israeli consulate.

Hatem Bazian and anti-Israel activists across the nation donated to Davila's election campaign.  

Zaytuna College congratulated Bazian on his appointment.

The local Jewish community is understandably concerned about having a man who recently retweeted anti-Semitic caricatures tasked with advising the city on matters of social justice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

John Cheney-Lippold faces the music

Occasionally, actions have consequences, even for tenured professors.

John Cheney-Lippold, a tenured American and digital studies associate professor at the University of Michigan refused to write a letter of recommendation for a student wanting to study in Israel.    

The University has launched disciplinary proceedings against Cheney-Lippold. In an Oct 3rd letter, published in the Detroit News,  Elizabeth Cole, the acting dean of UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts wrote:

"Your conduct has fallen far short of the University’s and College’s expectations for how LSA faculty interact with and treat students...This letter is a strong warning that your behavior in this circumstance was inappropriate and will not be tolerated."

"In the future, a student's merit should be your primary guide for determining how and whether to provide a letter of recommendation. You are not to use student requests for recommendations as a platform to discuss your personal political beliefs."

According to information obtained through a FOIA request, the Detroit News reported that Cheney-Lippold  

will not get a merit raise during the 2018-19 academic year and can't go on his upcoming sabbatical in January or another sabbatical for two years...  He could also face additional discipline, up to and including dismissal, if a similar incident occurs in the future.

Since then, it has been reported that Lucy Peterson, a graduate student instructor at  the university  also denied a student a letter of recommendation for study in Israel.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Anti-Semitism at UC Berkeley

Flyers blaming the Jewish people for sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Nominee  Brett Kavanaugh  were found  at UC Berkeley today.

From the Facebook page of Tikvah, Students for Israel:

Anti-Semitic flyers found on UC Berkeley campus near Eshleman Hall:

UC Berkeley’s tolerance of anti-Semitism preached from authoritative figures and lecturers like Hatem Bazian  shows Neo-Nazis that our campus allows for racism and enables them to publicly promote their Jewish conspiracies without challenge.

To be clear Nazi imagery on UC Berkeley’s campus is nothing new and has been an issue that Jewish students have been raising to the school administration since 2015. Despite repeated calls for action, the school has neglected to take serious measures to address this issue. Chancellor Christ, you have a serious problem…NOW is the time to take a stand. 

These repulsive anti-Semitic flyers have been appearing across the country, most recently at UC Davis

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Gaza children deliberately transported to war zones

In the last few weeks, several children have been reported killed in the border clashes with Gaza.  How does this happen?  Why are children in a battle zone, instead of in school?

Sadly, the children are bought to the combat zone deliberately, either by their parents and family members

or in free buses organized by Hamas, who regards the death of children as a win important tool in their efforts to demonize Israel.

It is a war crime to use children as both combatants, and as human shields. 

We Celebrate Life. They celebrate death

Today two young families are devastated.  Four children will go to bed without a parent to tuck them in or read them a story.

This morning 2 Israelis were slaughtered by a Palestinian coworker in the Barkan Industrial park. Barkan is often hailed as an example of regional co-existence and cooperation, where Arabs and Jews have worked side by side since 1982.

KimYehezkel, 27 years old and Ziv Hajbi, 35 were tied up and shot at point plank range, execution style.  A third victim was also injured. Kim was the mother of 1 year old toddler.  Ziv was the  father of 3.

Palestinians celebrated the news of the murders by passing out candy.

Palestinians celebrating the murder of KimYehezkel and Ziv Hagbi

Palestinians celebrating the murder of KimYehezkel and Ziv Hagbi

Palestinians celebrating the murder of KimYehezkel and Ziv Hagbi

KimYehezkel's family made the decision to donate her organs, because they, and we as a people, cherish life.

Say their names.
Ziv Hagbi

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Maps of Disappearing Palestine: The Prequel

The more things change....

You've likely already encountered the ubiquitous  "Maps of Disappearing Palestine" propaganda card seen at every anti-Israel event.

Meet its great-grandfather.

The subtle change in language is fascinating, and is reflective of the attempts to create a serviceable Palestinian narrative suitable for Western consumption.

The earlier map (circa 1967) refers to Arab land- the Palestinians had not yet become a "people".  It also acknowledges the area was under the British mandate- and was not an independent Palestinian state. Surprisingly the first panel documents the tremendous growth of the Arab population during the years of the mandate,  as economic migrants were drawn to the economic opportunities created by the Zionist pioneers.

The influx of workers from across the Arab world into pre-state Israel was well documented.

Robert F Kennedy, a cub reporter for the Boston Post stationed in Mandate Palestine wrote in 1948:

The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500,000 Arabs, in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944, came into Palestine to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state. This is the only country in the Near and Middle East where an Arab middle class is in existence.

From the July 1934 Journal of Foreign Affairs:

There is a constant infiltration of Arab labor, on which there can scarcely be a practical check, from neighboring Arab lands.  It will increase as the country's prosperity increases. The crossings of the River Jordan are barred for eastward Jewish Traffic, but there is traffic westward for the Arabs of Transjordan....The Jews are not permitted to develop Transjordan;
 its Arab inhabitants are free to come in to Palestine to take advantage of opportunities of employment which do not exist on their home country and which have only been created in Palestine by Jewish capital and Jewish enterprise.

The second panel describes the terms of the UN partition plan,  conveniently leaving out the fact that the Jewish population agreed to the division of land, and the Arab population turned it down.  60 percent of the land allocated to the Jewish state was to be the arid desert in the Negev.

The third panel shows the aftermath of Israel's war of independence, and neglects to mention Jordan's control of the West Bank, or Egypt's control over Gaza.  Instead\ they describe it as  Palestinian Arabs  "in their own homes under Arab rule".  Contrary to the usual claims of 650,000 refugees, this  claims 400,000  "refugees in exile outside Palestine".

The last panel shows the conclusion of the 6 day war.  In this defensive war,  Israel reclaimed its historic heartland- Judea and Samaria, and captured the Sinai peninsula and Gaza. This is the map deliberately excluded from the modern incarnation- because the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt proved Israel's commitment of land for peace.

Both the 1967 map and its more modern counterpart misrepresent residency, ownership and sovereignty, and provide evidence, yet again, that while the Jewish people have history,  the Palestinian people  continually struggle to create a convincing "narrative".  Nothing has changed in 50 years.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

I love a Parade. Islamic Jihad Military Parade in Gaza

The embattled Gaza strip found the time and the finances to put on a military parade today.

The event featured the peaceful protestors of Islamic Jihad, decked out in their finest.

Yes, Halloween came early to Gaza
The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, held the military parade in Gaza City to pledge solidarity to Ziad al-Nakhla as the new Secretary-General, replacing Ramadhan Shalah.

Islamic Jihad even brought out their big guns to mark the occassion.   

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On the cluelessness of If Not Now

On the cluelessness of If Not Now

If you are interested in the "Palestinian perspective" you can listen to their own words

From the Twitter account of Jtruzmah

Sunday, September 30, 2018

SFPD bias. The catch and release of terrorist wannabee Salim Ahmad Nasser

His name is Salim Ahmad Nasser.  He violently attacked a peaceful celebration in honor of Israel's independence in San Francisco.  The attack was witnessed by members of the San Francisco Police Department and by dozens of others.  And yet he was released without consequence, by an impotent police department that just couldn't be bothered protecting the first amendment rights of the Jewish community

The "catch and release" policies of the San Francisco police department jeopardize free speech and lawful assembly in our community, and sends a message to Jewish community members that if they take to the streets, they do it alone.

The release of Salim Ahmad Nasser is just one in a series of incidents where attacks on Jewish community members  have been ignored by the police department.

Salim Ahmad Nasser  under arrest for battery
In the police report, filed on May 15  2018, Salim Nasser is described as "extremely angry" and "aggressive".  He was heard yelling profanities at the pro-Israel crowd that had gathered in celebration of Israel's 70th anniversary. The police readily admit witnessing his assault on a young man with an Israeli flag.  Nasser admitted knocking the young man to the ground.   He is taken away, and summarily released.  There is no consequence to his action.   There was no jail time.  No restraining order to keep him from attacking peaceful protests in the future.

The message to the pro-Israel and the Jewish community is chilling.   The San Francisco Police Department is not committed to protecting our constitutional rights or our personal safety.  SFPD- you can do better.  We need you to do better.

Anti-Zionism meets anti-Semitism, as a sukkah is vandalized in New York City

This week in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side of New York City,  a community sukkah was vandalized, spray painted with the words  "Free Gaza".

The structure had been erected by Chabad to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

According to Chabad:

In a neighborhood where an apartment with a balcony or private rooftop large enough to host a family sukkah costs about $4 million, public sukkahs are a must for just about anyone who wants to spend time and eat in a sukkah.  

Even in New York City, Sukkahs in public area are at risk.  

When anti-Israel graffitti vandalizes a Jewish religious structure, it is pure anti-Semitism.

True to Chabad tradition, the grafitti was painted over with messages of peace and unity.

The New York City Police Department  is investigating the graffiti as a "possible"  bias incident.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Civil Rights groups urge the University of Michigan to take action against anti-Israel professor

Fifty-eight religious, civil rights and educational groups have called upon President  Mark Schlissel of the University of Michigan to take actions to safeguard the rights of students seeking to study abroad in Israel.

The letter was coordinated by the AMCHA Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to investigating, documenting and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America.

The letter follows:
Dear President Schlissel,
We are 58 religious, civil rights and education advocacy groups writing to you about an incident of grave concern to our organizations and our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters.

Earlier this month a University of Michigan faculty member in the department of American Culture, Prof. John Cheney-Lippold, refused to write a letter of recommendation for one of his students applying to study abroad at Tel Aviv University.  Cheney-Lippold unabashedly disclosed that the sole reason for his refusal is that the academic boycott guidelines forbid “writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study” in Israel. 

Impeding a student’s ability to participate in a university-approved educational program in order to carry out political activism is reprehensible. Individual faculty members have the right to express public support for an academic boycott of Israel. But when faculty like Prof. Cheney-Lippold go as far as implementing the boycott’s guidelines by taking action to suppress students’ ability to travel to or study about Israel, they have abrogated the most basic professorial responsibility of promoting the academic welfare of their students. Such discriminatory behavior that impedes the rights of students must be sanctioned to the fullest extent of university policy.  

We are aware that on 9/18/18 your office issued a public statement reiterating the university’s opposition to the academic boycott of Israel and stating that the academic goals of U-M students "are of paramount importance" and that the university will "take all steps necessary to make sure our students are supported."  With all due respect, this statement is simply insufficient to assure students, their parents, and all other U-M stakeholders that you recognize the egregiousness of this incident. Of particular concern are the omission in your statement of any condemnation of Cheney-Lippold’s behavior and your statement acknowledging that "members of the University of Michigan community have a wide range of ‘individual’ opinions on this and many other topics."  Both your omission and inclusion give the impression that individual U-M professors will be permitted by your administration to discriminate against students wanting to study about and in Israel. This is deeply alarming, given that there are at least two dozen U-M faculty members in a number of departments who have expressed public support for the academic boycott of Israel, including seven faculty members currently serving as chairs and directors of U-M academic departments and programs. Left unaddressed, this isolated incident could lead to unchecked discrimination, and the denial to students of their fundamental rights.

And while we appreciate your own remarks that were posted yesterday, in which you acknowledge that "personal views and politics should never interfere with our support of students," these remarks, too, do not go far enough.

We therefore call on you to make a public statement specifically stating that this behavior will not be permitted, affirming your commitment to ensuring that no U-M student will be impeded from studying about or in Israel, and detailing the steps you will take to ensure that faculty do not implement an academic boycott of Israel at the University of Michigan.

Thank you,

Academic Council for Israel
Accuracy in Academia
Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)
Alums for Campus Fairness - National
Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore
Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis
Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside
Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA
AMCHA Initiative
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
American Institute for Jewish Research
American Truth Project
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)
BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources
Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore
Center for Righteousness and Integrity
Christians and Jews United for Israel
Club Z
Coalition for Jewish Values
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
CUFI on Campus
Davis Faculty for Israel
Eagles Wings
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
Hasbara Fellowships
Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel
Iranian American Jewish Federation
Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization
Israel Matters
Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)
Israeli-American Civic Education Institute
Middle East Forum
Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)
National Conference on Jewish Affairs
National Council of Young Israel
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations   
Religious Zionists of America
Rhode Island Coalition for Israel
Russian Jewish Community Foundation
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Stop BDS on Campus
Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism
Students Supporting Israel National
Students Supporting Israel at Columbia
Students Supporting Israel at UCLA
The Israel Christian Nexus
The Lawfare Project
Tufts Friends of Israel
World Jewish Congress, American Section
Zioness Movement
Zionist Organization of America
ZOA’s Fuel for Truth

Cc: University of Michigan Board of Regents
       Special Counsel to the President Liz Barry

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Hypocrisy of University of Michigan Professor John Cheney-Lippold

This is yet another example of how BDS is anti-peace, and how it hurts Jewish students and pro-Israel students on campus.  BDS seeks to actively prevent students from learning about the conflict first hand.  By stifling opportunities to engage, it limits academic discussion and academic freedom.

Via Club Z:

Abigail, a student at the University of Michigan, asked her Professor, John Cheney-Lippold for a letter of recommendation for her study abroad trip to Israel. Cheney-Lippold agreed initially, then rescinded his original offer, citing the academic boycott of Israel.

Tilly Shames, executive director of the University of Michigan Hillel, sent out this email:

You may be aware of the issue regarding a University professor's refusal to offer a letter of recommendation to a student applying to an Israeli university. Our Hillel has been actively engaged on this issue with the Provost's Office and other University leadership. Like many of you, we expect to hear the University strongly condemn this action and uphold the academic values of the institution by supporting all of our students' rights to the education they choose. This professor's decision is antithetical to the academic values of our University. A professor's political views should not factor into any student's access to learn, including studying in Israel.

We appreciate the University's serious attention to this matter at its highest levels, and support for the student involved. For us, the bottom line is our students and their campus experience. We are making ourselves available to our students as a supportive resource, and are actively engaging with our student leaders on how best to advocate and educate on this issue among our campus community.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to be in touch. Thank you, as always, for your support. 

She was likely disappointed by thie University of Michigan's tepid response

Statement from the  Public Affairs and Internal Communications  University of Michigan statement  Sept. 17, 2018
The University of Michigan has consistently opposed any boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education.

That position has been stated publicly by university leaders, including this statement from the president and provost in 2013 and this statement from members of the university’s governing Board of Regents in 2017.

No academic department or any other unit at the University of Michigan has taken a position that departs from this long-held university position.

There also is no doubt that members of our campus community have a wide range of individual opinions on this topic and many other topics.

The academic goals of our students are of paramount importance. It is the university’s position to take all steps necessary to make sure our students are supported.

It is disappointing that a faculty member would allow their personal political beliefs to limit the support they are willing to otherwise provide for our students.

We will engage our faculty colleagues in deep discussions to clarify how the expression of our shared values plays out in support of all students.

It is not readily apparent from the University's public statement if there will be any disciplinary action taken against  Prof. Cheney-Lippold

For more information see: 

University of Michigan ‘Disappointed’ After Professor Refuses to Write Recommendation Letter for Student Studying Abroad in Israel

Citing BDS, professor refuses to write reference for student to study in Israel

Professor Refuses to Write Letter For Student Wanting To Study Abroad in Israel

Pssst, Professor Cheney-Lippold.  Apple's second largest research and development facility in the world is in Herzilya, Israel.  Shouldn't you be boycotting Apple, too?

I want to take a moment to address the recent situation in which a faculty member refused to provide a previously promised letter of recommendation for a student because she was seeking to study abroad in Israel – and to reiterate that this view is not the position of the University of Michigan, nor does it reflect the position of any department or unit on our campus.
I will state again: The University of Michigan strongly opposes a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
The academic aspirations of our students – and their academic freedom – are fundamental to the University of Michigan, and our teaching and research missions.
We are committed as an institution to support our students’ academic growth.
We are a large and diverse public university, and the individual opinions of our community range widely on many issues. But personal views and politics should never interfere with our support of students. It is counter to our values and expectations as an institution.
The Regents, Executive Officers and I have been deeply engaged in this matter. We will be taking appropriate steps to address this issue and the broader questions it has raised.