Caldwell condemns anti-Semitism

No Cover Photo   http://www.newjerseyhills.com/the_progress/news/caldwell-condemns-anti-semitism/article_6942feaa-dd78-51f4-b099-3560ae0810d9.html   A Borough Council passed a resolution promising to denounce antisemitic sentiment expressed through the delegitimatization of  Israel. As the article puts it, “The resolution specifically pledged to combat efforts to boycott, divest from and sanction (BDS) the people of Israel and members of the Jewish community.” This pledge largely came about in response to the recent surge in antisemitism and heightened tensions on the subject of Israel and Palestine and the BDS (Boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement. This antisemtic-AntiIsrael movement has gained wide popularity among college students and campuses across the U.S, leading to many Jewish students and professors being harassed and mistreated. With the passing of this resolution hopefully more awareness or even legislation will be passed to combat further antisemtic discrimination. This article was very interesting and informative to me. I had never heard of the BDS movement or knew that boycotts of Jewish businesses and people in the workplace were  happening on the large scale. Discrimination related to people’s nation of origin or political stance when it relates to Israel is unnecessary, unfair, and wrong, which is why this topic needs to be acknowledged and discussed. Being from New Jersey, I’m not surprised this resolution to condemn antisemitism relating to Israel was passed because New Jersey is home to many Jewish families. However, getting this resolution to be passed and supported in other states where there isn’t as much Jewish influence will be more difficult. Overall, I think the purpose of the resolution to combat discrimination is certainly a positive thing, but I’m skeptical as to whether or not more states...

Tennessee Lawmakers Will Not Define Antisemitism Amid Student Concerns

On Wednesday April 5th, University of Tennessee-Knoxville students testified that hate speech was “not a problem” at their school. This comes after Tennessee lawmakers were in the midst of proposing a new definition for antisemitism. Because of the testimonies from students, the lawmakers are now delaying until next year. The proposal is known as the “Antisemitism Awareness Act or House Bill 885” and was responding “to a social media debate that erupted last fall over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some UT-Knoxville students say they received anti-Semitic comments”. However senior and past president of the Jewish organization Hillel, Jordan Schipowitz, told lawmakers that it “didn’t match up with what she’d seen”. Schipowitz told lawmakers, “”I’ve never experienced anti-Semitism personally on my campus, so when I had heard that people were making comments as to there being an anti-Semitic climate on my campus, it was extremely shocking”. According to Ken Marcus, president of The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, he said “a clear definition of antisemitism would head off future disputes”. This debate for me personally makes no sense and is very confusing. Although the president of Hillel does not experience antisemitism herself, it does not mean that her fellow students and peers do not. One person’s experience does not define a whole group of people. I think making a clear definition would help future acts of antisemtism so the school can clearly layout to a student that their behavior is antisemitic. In this current political climate, more education surrounding antisemitism is needed and this bill could have helped spread more awareness. http://nashvillepublicradio.org/post/tennessee-puts-effort-define-anti-semitism-campus-after-students-say-its-not-problem   Sisk, Chas. “Tennessee Puts...

Police Reaction to Antisemitic Flyers in Arizona

On March, 29th 2017, azcentral.com published an interesting article describing police reactions to antisemitic flyers posted around the Scottsdale area. As we have seen throughout our blog, antisemitic flyers have/are being posted throughout the United States at an alarming rate. These antisemitic actions often result in police investigation. The antisemitic flyers were posted around Scottsdale neighborhoods in Arizona on Wednesday, March 29. What is interesting about these flyers is they deal directly with the recent discovery that many of the bomb threats on Temples throughout the U.S. have came from an Israeli teen. These flyers (pictured below), contain a cartoon depicting a stereotypical jewish looking man spray painting a swastika on a temple with the caption, “…Hey Rabbi…Whatcha doin’?!” Along with this cartoon there is also a news title proclaiming that the Israeli teen has been responsible for the bomb threats and an original message that reads, “why do the Jews feel the need to create fake anti-semitism hoaxes? find out here: www.dailysformer.com.” This flyer is itself antisemitic for many reasons. It stereotypes Jewish people by using someone with an unrealistically big nose to represent them. It also presents a narrative that claims that most antisemitic actions are secretly carried out by Jewish people in order for them to make social gains. What is most unfortunate about this act of antisemitsm is the police response. Police in Socttsdale, Arizona claimed that because the flyers contained no specified threats against Jewish people they did not break any laws. While this may be the case, I believe the police could have gone a step further to condemn these actions and given...

Anti-Semitic Fliers Circulate Scottsdale AZ

Recent news discovered that an Israeli teen was responsible for a number of JCC bomb threats in America. Unfortunately, this news results in an increased level of anti-Semitism because people blame Jews for inciting their own persecution. A story posted by the ABC news network website on March 27, 2017 written by Morgan Tanabe describes how the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona responded with outrage to incredibly anti-Semitic fliers that had made their rounds throughout Scottsdale. The fliers depict a rabbi spray painting a swastika on the side of a synagogue, and links the Israeli teen to other anti-Jewish threats.The ADL said they were disgusted by the fliers and were seeking legal action with the local police. Although the police consider this issue disturbing, they are unable to pursue any recourse because the fliers are not breaking any laws, and those who released them are within their rights. Recently, a Phoenix high school was defaced with white supremacist graffiti and swastikas; people now believe this incident was perpetrated similarly to the Israeli teen bomb threats situation. People are now considering the possibility that all anti-Semitic slander comes from the Jews own doing. Fliers such as these and other mediums of bashing the Jews create a cycle of repeated and increased anti-Semitism. Because one Jewish teen with severe psychological problems was responsible for the JCC bomb threats, people are more inclined to regard the Jews as the minority who cried wolf. This flier is shameful and evokes images of Nazi propaganda in the wake of the Holocaust.       Tanabe, Morgan. “Anti-Defamation League ‘disgusted’ by Anti-Semitic Fliers Found in Scottsdale Neighborhood.”...

Trump Sends 12 FBI Agents to Israel for JCC Bomb Threat Suspect

An article by Haaretz, published on March 26th 2017, stated that Trump sent 12 FBI agents, from the cybercrime unit, to Israel to assist the Israeli investigation of the JCC bomb threat suspect. The person suspected of calling in hundreds of bomb threats to JCC a crossed America is a 19 year old Israeli- American from the city of Ashkelon. As of now, the suspect is using his right to keep quiet and, according to the article, the suspect “has so far refused to talk about anything except the fact that he is sick.” (Kubovich) Police are having a difficult time breaking into the suspects computers, but they hope they will get access to them soon. The police have determined that the suspect would call in a bomb threat and then watch the news to see the kind of affect it had on the community and country. If he saw that the threat was given a lot of attention, he would make similar calls to other JCC’s close by. The police said that the suspect had made even more threats, but the news never reported them and moved on to other places where he made threats. According to the article, he had started calling in threats over various places in Israel over two years ago. However, in 2017 he focused on American JCC’s because they attracted the most attention.  Currently, there has been no request by the FBI for extradition and Israeli forces said they would accede if a request is made. I think the USA should ask for extradition and I think, if convicted, the 19 year old...

Does Anti-Israeli Stance Equate to Antisemtism?

http://www.thehoya.com/viewpoint-criticism-not-anti-semitism/ (No cover photo) This article explains how pro-Palestinian student groups at Georgetown University, have taken up antisemitic sentiment in their mission to bring awareness and support for their cause. Two student groups, Students for Justice in Palestine and GU Forming a Radically Ethical Endowment, believe Israel should be punished for their actions surrounding the treatment of Palestine and its people. This opinion isn’t necessarily radical, however the delegitimization of Israel and denial of it as a nation that is extreme. On March 13th, one pro-Palestinian speaker held an event with the Students for Justice in Palestine titled, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.” This speaker and others that spoke to this student group made claims that Jews had no historical or biblical ties to the land and therefore Israel “stole” Palestinian land and that Israel is responsible for the “Palestinian genocide.” Let me start off by saying I’m not pro-Israeli, anti-Israeli, or pro-Palestine when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, antisemitism in the form of anti-Israeli policy is very much real. Particularly for Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians, anti-Israeli stances have gone to the extreme, and sometimes take on a shade of overt antisemitism. Because Israel is a nation aligned with a religion, it’s difficult to distinguish a people, a religion, and a government from one another, so supporting one side or the other often means one is either a supporter of jews and or an antisemite. In this instance, I would think these pro-Palestine students aren’t actually antisemitic (although I know none of them personally), but if they want to be seen as a legitimate student organization they need to...