Sunday, April 28, 2013

Just Like the Warsaw Ghetto? Three Million dollar Flats in Gaza

Seyi Rhodes traveled to the Gaza Strip in February to film an episode of Unreported World.  He was not prepared for what he saw.  Expecting a humanitarian crisis on par with sub-Saharan Africa, instead he found   luxury villas and apartments with prices  that were on par with London and New York.

From the

    Mr Rhodes said the experience confounded his expectations. "Before I started researching, I thought the region was destitute - people living literally hand-to-mouth on aid, with constant security threats. I took it for granted that people would be living in temporary accommodation provided by the UN."

    In fact, he found "a growing wealth gap", with ordinary families struggling even to rent but new flats being sold for up to $3 million to wealthy Palestinians with money from abroad or from jobs with the Hamas government.

 "As a left-wing student, I was given one view of Gaza/Palestine," said Mr Rhodes. "But I realise now that many of those representations were entirely politically motivated.

    "Even Gazans wouldn't recognise the image that is portrayed of them sometimes. The woman crying over her dead son, the man throwing stones at tanks."

 He added that such stereotypes were "frankly offensive as most of these people live their lives with the same concerns as you and me… getting on the housing ladder, educating your children. People didn't even talk about Israel unless I brought it up."
Yet not long ago, the rhetoric out of Gaza was of mass starvation, and deepening humanitarian crisis. Organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace accused  Israel of starving Gaza.                                                                                                                              

It was a lie.
The Gaza today website, featuring some of the fine dining establishments in Gaza:

Some of these venues are rather elegant. The all you can eat buffet at the Gaza Lighthouse looks delightful.

Roots in Gaza City is lovely, as well

With medical bulletins reporting Western levels of obesity in Gaza, and with the number of activism-tourists moving in and out of the strip on a regular basis, the lies of "Starving Gaza" were unsustainable. Seyi Rhodes stated  "As a left-wing student, I was given one view of Gaza/Palestine...but I realise now that many of those representations were entirely politically motivated."

 Indeed they were.  We won't be fooled again

Handy Reference Lists: Jews for the destruction of Israel

There is a new group "Jews for Palestinian right of return"  (The fictional "right" of return of course is code  for the elimination of Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people)  Jews for the Palestinian Right of return helpfully lists their endorsers  at

Out of 14 million Jews in the world, this list represents an extremist fringe of those who would sell out their families, their homeland, their heritage. The pathology or politics that motivates them is a mystery.

Initial Signers
Max Ajl, Writer and activist; Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Switzerland
Max Blumenthal, Journalist and author
Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar
Lenni Brenner, Author and antiwar activist
Mike Cushman, Convenor, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)
Sonia Fayman, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France
Sherna Berger Gluck, Founding member, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Coordinator, Fellowship of Reconciliation Peacewalks, Mural Arts in Palestine and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
Hector Grad, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Spain
Abraham Greenhouse, Blogger, Electronic Intifada
Tony Greenstein, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)
Jeff Halper, Director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Stanley Heller, Host of “The Struggle” TV News
Tikva Honig-Parnass, Former member of the Zionist armed forces (1948); author of False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine
Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor,
Selma James, Global Women’s Strike; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK
David Klein, Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Dennis Kortheuer, Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign; Dump Veolia LA
David Letwin, Activist and writer; Gaza Freedom March
Michael Letwin, Co-Founder, Labor for Palestine; Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist and author
Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance
Mike Marqusee, Author of If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew
Hajo Meyer, Auschwitz survivor; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Linda Milazzo, Participatory journalist and educator
Prof. IlanPappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist
MikoPeled, Author of The General’s Son
Karen Pomer, Granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, Dutch anti-Zionist leader and Bergen-Belsen survivor
Diana Ralph, Assistant Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices-Canada
Dorothy Reik, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, President, International League for Human Rights (German Section FIDH); Founding member, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace – EJJP Germany
Rachel Roberts, Civil rights attorney and writer
Ilana Rossoff, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Carol K. Smith, Activist and civil rights attorney
Lia Tarachansky, Director, Seven Deadly Myths
Hadas Thier, Contributing author of The Struggle for Palestine; Israeli-born daughter and granddaughter of Nazi Holocaust survivors
Dr. Abraham Weizfeld, Jewish People’s Liberation Organization (Montréal)
Sherry Wolf, Author and public speaker; International Socialist Organization; Adalah-NY
Marcy Winograd, Former Congressional peace candidate; public school teacher
Dr. Roger van Zwanenberg, Non-Executive Director, Pluto Books Ltd. 
Additional Signers
Dr. Liz Aaronsohn, New Britain, CT
Stephen Aberle, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Deborah Agre
, Middle East Children’s Alliance; Berkeley, CA
Seymour Alexander
, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; Slough, UK
*American Jews For A Just Peace (
Steve Amsel
, Jerusalem
Jeremy Appel, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) York; Toronto, ON
Ruth Bader
German-Jewish/Australian daughter of Holocaust survivors
Adam Balsam, Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Miri Barak, Israel
Elifelet Sara Der Barambdiker, Jerusalem
Moran Barir, Human rights activist; Jerusalem
Ronnie Barkan, Boycott from Within; Tel-Aviv
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Journalist
Dalit Baum, Israeli feminist teacher and activist
Medea Benjamin, Codirector, Codepink
Ray Bergmann, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Craig Berman
, Kampala, Uganda
Mark Berman, Playwright
Rima Berns-McGown, Writer and Adjunct Faculty, University of Toronto at Mississauga
Frances Bernstein, Leeds, UK
Professor Naomi Binder Wall
, Toronto, ON
Councillor Jonathan Bloch, London, UK
Elizabeth Block
, Independent Jewish Voices; Toronto, ON
Audrey Bomse, National Lawyers Guild, Free Gaza
Lawrence Boxall, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Professor Dennis Brasky, Rutgers University
Monique Buckner, BDS South Africa; Cassington, Oxfordshire, UK
Estee Chandler, Founding Member, Jewish Voice for Peace, L.A. Chapter
Linda Clair, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK
Jonathan Cohen, College Park
Robert A. H. Cohen, Kendal, Cumbria, UK
Richard Colbath-Hess, Jewish Voices for Peace; Cambridge, MA
David Comedi, Tucumán, Argentina
Prof. Stuart Cryer, Gatineau, QC
Prof. Roger Dittmann, Scientists Without Borders; CSU Fullerton
Gordon Doctorow, Toronto, ON
Amy Druker, Toronto, ON
Sarah Ducker
, Leeds, UK
Mark Elf
, Jews sans frontiers
Arlene Eisen, San Francisco, CA
Marc Etlin, NYC
Prof. Sam Farber, NYC
PnIna Feiler, Yad Hanna, Israel
Marian Feinberg, Environmental and social justice activist; Bronx, NY
Harry Feldman, Blogger
Keith Fine, Birmingham, AL
Deborah Fink
, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; UK
Julius Fisher, Vancouver, BC
Alexei Folger, Jewish Voice for Peace; Bay Area
Maxine Fookson, Jewish Voice for Peace; Portland, OR
Racheli Gai, Tucson Women in Black; Jewish Voice for Peace
Prof. Roni Gechtman, PhD, Mount Saint Vincent University; Halifax, NS
Nicole Gevirtz, Voorhees, NJ
Amit Gilutz, Ithaca, NY
Dr. Terri Ginsberg, film scholar; Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism; NYC
Christoph Glanz, Oldenburg, Germany
Neta Golan, ISM, Palestinian Territories
Nathan Goldbaum, International Socialist Organization; Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators, Chicago Teachers Union
Sharon Goldberg, Surrey, BC
Michael Golden, Ashland, OR
Steve Goldfield, PhD, Former chair, Palestine Solidarity Committee; former editor, Palestine Focus; Oakland, CA
Jean R. Goldman, Women in Black; Miami Beach
Rachel Goldstein, Lakewood, CO
Sue Goldstein, Women in Solidarity with Palestine; Toronto, ON
Arifa Goodman, San Cristobal, NM
Kathryn Goodman, Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast, Wellington, NZ
Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union Local 100, NYC
Allen Greenberg, NYC
Terry Greenberg, Vancouver, BC
Shaina Greiff
, Researcher/writer; London, UK
Jennifer Grossbard
Heidi Grunebaum, Cape Town
Cathy Gulkin, Independent Jewish Voices; Queers Against Israeli Apartheid; Toronto, ON
Georges Gumpel, Union Juive Française pour la Paix
Freda Guttman, Tadamon!; Montreal
Boris Hammerschlag‏, Internationalist Socialist League, grandson of holocaust survivors and victims (Dachau); Israel/Occupied Palestine
Shaul Hanuka, Mitzpe Ramon
Benjamin Hecht, Germany
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Author and journalist; Germany
Elliot Helman, Jewish Voices for Peace; San Francisco, CA
Annette Herskovits, Holocaust survivor, writer, and activist; Berkeley, CA
Louis Hirsch, Chicago, IL
Rebecca Hom, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-U.S.
Bec Hynek, Socialist Alternative; Sydney, NSW
Naomi Isaacs, Munich, Bavaria
*Jews Opposing Zionism, Not In Our Name – NION (Canada)
Riva Joffe
, Jews Against Zionism; London, UK
Bette Jones, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; Network of Oxford Women (NOW) for Justice & Peace; UK
Ramsey Judah, Activist and immigration rights attorney; Los Angeles, CA
Elena Judensnaider, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Alex Kane, Assistant Editor,; World Editor, AlterNet
Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT Local 1493, San Mateo, CA Community College Federation of Teachers
Jenny Kastner, Cambridge, MA
Louis Katz, Longmeadow, MA
Martha H. Katz, Youngstown, OH
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Author, Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation; Independent Jewish Voices–Canada; Burnaby, BC
Asaf Kedar, Zochrot
Alice Diane Kisch, Jewish Voice for Peace; Emeryville, CA
Elena Klaver, Niwot, CO
Janet Klecker
, Sonoma Valley Peace & Justice
Mark Klein, Toronto, ON
Dr. Irena Klepfisz
Jacob Klippenstein, Chicago, IL
Harris Kornstein, Graduate student, UC Santa Cruz
Bud Korotzer, Brooklyn, NY
Francine Korotzer, Brooklyn, NY
Yael Korin, Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid; Southern California
Al Kovnat, Vietnam Vets Against the War; OSS; Veterans for Peace; Bensalem, PA
Prof. Emeritus Steve Kowit, American poet, Southwestern College
*L.A. Jews for Peace
Rosa Kurshan-Emmer, public school teacher; Oakland, CA
Micha Kurz
, Grassroots Jerusalem; Al-Quds
Sylvia Laale
, Ottawa, ON
Stephen Landau, Translator and publisher; White Plains, NY
David Landy, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Lenny Lapon, Springfield, MA
Valerie Lasciak, WILPF Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Santa Cruz, CA
Lillian Laskin, L.A. Jews for Peace
Prof. Barbara Laslett, Seattle, WA
Albert Meyer, Gainesville, FL
Alan Myerson, Culver City, CA
Pauline Laurance
Chuck Scurich
, Oakland, CA
Melanie Lazarow
, University of Melbourne, Australia
Rachel Lederman, Attorney; San Francisco, CA
Howard Lenow, Union Attorney, Founder, American Jews For A Just Peace;
Sudbury, MA
Aaron Lerner, Senior, University of Washington-Seattle
Leah Levane, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; London, UK
Adam Levenstein
Michael Levin
, Musician; Chicago, IL
Rebekah Levin, Steering Committee, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine; Oak Park, IL
Daniel Levyne, Union juive française pour la paix, France
Brenda Lewis, Child of Holocaust survivor; Guelph, ON
Mark Lickerman, Chicago, IL
Molly Lidz, Labor organizer; Philadelphia, PA
Daniella Liebling, Brooklyn, NY
Prof. Emerita Abby Lippman, McGill University, Montreal
Dave Lippman, NYC
Michael Locker, NYC
Stephanie Locker, NYC
Jennifer Loewenstein, Faculty & Programming Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Henry Lowi
Prof. Alex Lubin, American University of Beirut
David Makofsky, Research anthropologist; Oakland, CA/Beijing, PRC
Helga Mankovitz
, Independent Jewish Voices; Kingston, ON
Eli Marcus, Occupied Palestine
Richard Marcuse, Independent Jewish Voices; West Vancouver, BC
Katrina Mayer, Jewish socialist & anti-Zionist; Leeds, UK
Hilda Meers, Scottish Jews For a Just Peace
Helaine Meisler, Jews Say No!, Middle East Crisis Response
Chloe Meltzer
Peter Melvyn, Critical Jewish Voice; Vienna
Abraham Melzer, Publisher and Journalist; Neu Isenburg, Germany
Waldo Mermelstein, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Karen Meshkov, Philadelphia, PA
Gail Miller, Passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza-The Audacity of Hope; NY
Prof. David Moshman, Lincoln, NB
Susannah Nachenberg
, Oakland, CA
Dorothy Naor
, Herzliah, Israel
Ofer Neiman
, Jerusalem, Israel
Sheryl Nestel
, Independent Jewish Voices Canada; Toronto, ON
Prof. Hilton Obenzinger, Palo Alto, CA
Orna Neumann
, London, UK
Marlene Newesri, NYC
Hiam Tabbarah Odds, Spain
Paula Orloff, Nevada City, CA
Norah Orlow, Jerusalem
Akiva Orr
(1931-2013), Matzpen
Dr. Susan Pashkoff, London, UK
Ibrahim Paul, Sweden
Sharon Pavlovich, Teacher, NYC
Yael Petretti
, Southampton, MA
Karen Platt, Jewish Voice for Peace; Albany, CA
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Peter Purich, Ottawa, ON
Prof. Peter Rachleff
, Macalester College; Saint Paul, MN
Dr. Marco Ramazzotti Stockel, Ebrei Contro l’Occupazione; Roma
Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism; London, UK
Zohar Chamberlain Regev, Dúrcal; Granada, Spain
Fanny-Michaela Reisin, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace-EJJP Germany
Renen, Boycott From Within; Tel Aviv
Ernest Rodker, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; UK
Barbara Rosenbaum, Co-editor, Patterns of Prejudice; London, UK
Ernesto Rosenberg, Gynecologist; Neuquén, Argentina
Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead, Chair, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)
Emma Rosenthal, Director, Cafe Intifada; Los Angeles, CA
Yehoshua Rosin, Gush-Shalom; Rehovot, Israel
Martha Roth, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Peter Roth, Stockholm, Sweden
Reuben Roth, Laurentian University, Oshawa, ON
Gerald Rozner, Monroe, MI
Prof. Cheyl A. Rubenberg, Boca Raton, FL
Rachel Rubin, Chicago, IL
Sandra Ruch, Toronto, ON
Michael Sackin, Leicester, UK
Leslie Safran, London, UK
Margot Salom, Just Peace for Palestine; Brisbane, Australia
Marlena Santoyo, Jewish Quaker, Germantown Friends Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
Prof. Christiane Schomblond (Ret.), University of Brussels
Ralph Schoenman, Author: Hidden History of Zionism; Vallejo, CA
Abraham Schultz,  Mexico City
Chuck Scurich, Oakland, CA
Susan Schwartz, Thousand Oaks, CA
Sylvia Schwarz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; Saint Paul, MN
Yossi Schwartz
, Internationalist Socialist League; Haifa
Amanda Sebestyen, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Independent Jewish Voices
Carole Seligman, Co-editor, Socialist Viewpoint; San Francisco, CA
Noa Shaindlinger
, PhD candidate, Department of Near and Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
Stephen Shenfield, Researcher and translator; Providence, RI
Ur Shlonsky, Geneva, Switzerland
Sid Shniad, National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Mya Shone, Author, The Hidden History of Zionism
Benjamin Silverman, Student and writer; New Jersey
Inbal Sinai, Tel-Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine
John Sigler, Jewish Friends of Palestine, Colorado Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Judy Slosser, Los Angeles, CA
Erica Smith
, New Rochelle, NY
Kobi Snitz, Tel Aviv
Abba A. Solomon
, Author of The Speech, and Its Context
Peter Sporn, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East; Oak Park, IL
Lyn Stein, San Francisco, CA
Marsha Steinberg, BDS LA for Justice in Palestine
Alan Stolzer, NYC
Bilha Suendermann Golan, Human rights activist; Beit She’arim, Israel
Rhonda Sussman
Cy Swartz, Grandparents for Peace in the Middle East; Philadelphia, PA
Lois Swartz, Grandparents for Peace in the Middle East; Philadelphia, PA
Len Szajko, Israel
Marta Szedlak, Australia
Joshua Tartakovsky, Jerusalem
Prof. Barry Trachtenberg, Historian; Albany, NY
Matthew Taylor, Founding member, Young Jewish and Proud group within Jewish Voice for Peace; Berkeley, CA
Steve Terry, Criminal defense attorney; Brooklyn, NY
Sara Traub, Toronto, ON
Michael Treiger, Palestine
Lily van den Bergh
, Documentary filmmaker & organizer; Women in Black; NL
Dominique Ventre, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France
Richard Wagman, Honorary Chairman, French Jewish Peace Union (UJFP), Paris
Donna Wallach, Founder, Justice for Palestinians
Judith Weisman, Independent Jewish Voices; Not in Our Name (NION); Toronto, ON
Jeff Warner, La Habra Heights, CA
Suzanne Weiss, Not In Our Name (NION); Toronto, ON
Barry Weisleder, Federal Secretary, Socialist Action/Ligue pour l’Actionsocialiste; Toronto, ON
Devra Wiseman
Adrienne Weller
, Freedom Socialist Party; Seattle, WA
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Founder member, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; UK
Bekah Wolf, Co-Founder, Palestine Solidarity Project
Tamar Yaron, Founder & moderator: Encounter-EMEM for International Israel-Palestine peace activities; Kibbutz Hazorea, Israel
Myk Zeitlin, London, UK
Helen Holt Zuckerman, Philadelphia, PA
Larry Zweig, Solidarität International e.V.; Fürth, Germany
*Al Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Avigail Abarbanel
, Psychotherapist, activist and writer; Inverness, UK
Medhat Abbas, Bioinformatician, Director, Egyptiske KulturSenter I Norge
Lamia Abbas, Atlanta
Ramy Abdeljabbar, Paterson, NJ
Milagros Ahmad, Clermont
Jane Alexander, Oxford, UK
Faisal Algahtani
, Saudi Arabia
Elaine Algrain, Luxembourg
Tony Ali, Vancouver, BC
Jackie Alsaid, Academic lawyer in international law; Fareham, UK
Nawal Annab
Don Anderson, Vietnam Veteran; Lebanon, OR
Muhammad Haris Ansari, Medical student; Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Marshall Ansell
, Sweden
Larry C. Anthony, Richardson
Enzo Apicella, FCSD/Cartoonist; London, UK
Rita Appleby, Grays, Essex, UK
B. Ross Ashley
, Steering Committee, NDP Socialist Caucus; Toronto, ON
Captain Wajkih Asi, Los Angeles, CA
Muna Assaf, Ramallah, Palestine
Rev. Rene August, Cape Town, South Africa
Prof. Silvio Augusto de Carvalho, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Ahmed Azeddine, Retired didactic engineering specialist, Teknologist Institut, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Belal Bahader, Writer/activist, Seton Hall University; South Orange, NJ
William Bailey, Kaneohe HI
Maggie Bagon, Florence, OR
Samar Barakat, London, UK
Benjamin Baker
, Doctoral candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Prof. Mona Baker, Translation Studies, University of Manchester, UK
Julien Ball
, International Socialist Organization; San Francisco, CA
John Banks, Care Africa; Las Vegas, NV
Pier Luigi Barberini, Civitella San Paolo, Italy
Brenda Barnard, Brighton, UK
Julia Barnett, Toronto, ON
Faye Bartlett, United Methodist; Bellingham, WA
Bonita Behun, Sebastopol, CA
Nancy J. Bell
, US Student Ambassador for Peace to Israel (1978); Rossville, GA
Linda Benedikt, Writer; München, Deutschland
Ray Bergmann, Just Peace for Palestine; Brisbane, QLD
S. Bergsma, Zwinderen, NL
Joshua Beth

Ada Bilu, Jerusalem
Nils Bjørkelo, Fredrikstad, Norge
Paul Bouwmeester, Elgin, IL
Anne Bowers, Women in Black; NYC
Sallye Steiner Bowyer
Soraya Boyd, Facilitate Global; London, UK
Eamon Bradley, Derry, Ireland
David Bragin, USA
ed Brandt, Occupied Media; Brooklyn, NY
Nadine Brennan, Santa Cruz, CA
Tibby Brooks, NYC
Jean Brown, Oakland, CA
Pauline Brown, Oakland, CA
Regina Brown, MD, Anochi; San Francisco, CA
Tom Brown
, Oakland, CA
Rick Burgess, Bangor & Ynys Mon Peace and Justice Group, Anglesey, Wales
Dr. Clint Le Bruyns, Director & Senior Lecturer of Theology & Development Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Francisco Caballos
, Sefarad Al Andalus, Rojo, Seville, Spain
Edith Cacciatore, Novato, CA
Maria Cal, Vigo, España
Paola Canarutto, Italy
Jen Carlo, Staten Island, NY
Smadar Carmon, Human rights activist; Toronto, ON
Daniel Carnie, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-UCLA
Vittorio Caroselli, Blogger; Palermo, Italy
Eva Carter
, Pittsburgh, PA
Eric Carwardine
, Thornlie, Western Australia
Teresa Castillo, Madera, CA
Carolyn Cicciu, Palestine Education Network (NH) and New Englanders for Justice in Palestine; Goffstown, NH
Ben Collins, International HIV Partnerships; London, UK
Margot Connolly, Charleville, Co. Cork, Ireland
Ismael Cordeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sue Cosgrave, Cork, Ireland
Aquila Coulibaly, Occupy The Hood; Philadelphia, PA
Armand Crispin
, Staten Island, NY
Prof. Susan Curtiss, PhD, UCLA
Ian Cuthbertson, UK
Michelle Dalnoky, RN; Florida
Jamal Daoud
, Viva Palestina Australia; Sydney, NSW
Susan Daum, MD, NYC
Walter Daum, League for the Revolutionary Party; NYC
Howard Davidson, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid; Toronto, ON
Rebeca Dawson
, MD; Houston, TX
Jean Day, Seattle, WA
Langlois Dominique, Hainaut, Belgium
Elsie Dean, Burnaby, BC
Pucci Dellanno, Public speaker, music manager; Porterville, CA
Alexander R. DeSantiago, Stockton, CA
Dr. Sheila Delany
, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
Stany Dembour, Belgium
David DePoe, Teacher, Rank and File Education Workers of Toronto, Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly
Merav Devere, Brighton, UK
Gustav Draijer, Amsterdam, NL
Francine Dumas, Gatineau, Quebec
Shane Duran, Brisbane, QLD
Juan De Santiago, San Jose, CA
Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian & Gay Solidarity; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sarah Ebady
David Ehrens, Dartmouth, MA
Prof. Nada Elia, Antioch University, Seattle WA
Hilde Kristin Ellingsund, Norway
James A. Everett, President, Ark of the Covenant Foundation
Shaban Mahamoud El-Hellou
, Gaza, Palestine
Ramzy Elian
Liz Elkind
, Scotland
Philip Englehard
, Macclesfield, UK
Sydda Essop, Cape Town
Unni Evang
, Norway
David Evans, Rochester, NY
Prof. Faramarz Farbod, Moravian College, Nazareth, PA
Kathy Felgran
, Watertown, MA
Daniel Fernandes, Curitiba, PR, Brazil
Prof. Gary Fields,
University of California, San Diego
Michael J. Fitzgerald, Klamath Falls, OR
Steven Flowers
, Chicago Cuba Coalition
Richard Forer, Author, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion–A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict; Trenton, NJ
Heather Formaini, Italy
Sadie Fourie, Pretoria, South Africa
Prof. Cynthia Franklin
, Univ. of Hawaii
Carl Freeman
, France
Joseph Freeman, Toronto, ON
Craig Fulton
, UK
Patricia Furlough, Conway SC
Maria Galan, Spain
Alisa Gayle-Deutsch, Toronto, ON
Daniel Geery, Salt Lake City, UT
Gumpel Georges
, Union Juive Française pour la Paix, France
Ihsan Ghadieh, Michigan
Kamran Ghasri, CA Green Party Israel Divestment Campaign
Bilal Billy Gibbons, London, UK
W. Gifford, Leesburg
Christoph Glanz, Oldenburg, Germany
Veronica Golos, Poet, Taos, NM
Alicia Fdez Gómez, Asturias
Neil Gordon, Author; Paris
Alice Graner, Minneapolis, MN
Shaina Greiff, Researcher and writer; London, UK
Elsa Guerra, San Francisco, CA
Leticia Guerra, San Antonio, TX
Mitchell Gumbley
Marilyn Hacker
, Poet, translator and editor; Paris
Ismail Hammad, Fairfield, CA
Khaled Hamam, Qatra, Palestine
Cliff G. Hanley
Marcus Christain Hansen, Alstead, NH
Jane Harries, UK
Leora Harris, Brooklyn, NY
Wendy Hartley, Palestine-Israel Working Group of Nevada County, CA
Kamal Hassan, Grants Pass, OR
Abe Hayeem, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, UK
Dietrich Heißenbüttel
, Esslingen, Germany
Detlef Heier, Watamu, Coast, Kenya
Amy Helfant, Activist and worker
Philippe de Henau, ingénieur civil member of ABP, INTAL; Belgium
Elise Hendrick
, Cincinnati, OH
George Henry, Bellevue
Shir Hever, Goettingen, Germany
Pat Hewett, Friends of Sabeel; USA
Guy St. Hialie, Canada
Martin Hijmans
, Journalist & blogger, Amsterdam, NL
Sally Hinshaw, Columbus, OH
Reverend Andy Hird, Santa Fe, NM
Guus Hoelen, Leusden, NL
David Howard, Ojai, CA
Michael V. Hugo, Youth and Young Adult Minister; Clinical Social Worker; Mundelein, IL
Thami Hukwe, Socialist Party of Azania
Tony Iltis
, Green Left Weekly, Melbourne, Australia
John A. Imani, Los Angeles, CA
Jane Jackman, Researcher, UK
Mohammed Jaradat, Torrance, CA
Jake Javanshir, Toronto, ON
Patrick Jay
, Occupy Colorado Springs
Lee Jenkins, Deputy General Counsel, Howard University; Sterling, VA
Michael Jerome, NYC
Roland James Jesperson, Attorney, Taylor, ND
Nicholas Jewitt
, Bangor, Wales, UK
Linea Johansen, Social-and healthcare helper; Denmark
Susan Kadray, London, ON
Ghada Karmi, UK Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Adah Kay

Asaf Kedar, Zochrot
Warren Keller, Clearwater, FL
Kieran Kelly, Aotearoa
June Forsyth Kenagy, Albany, NY
Stephen Kerpen
, Portland, OR
Dr. Israr Khan, UK
Migna Khan, Advocates for Peace and Social Justice; West New York, NJ
Dr. Nasir Khan, Historian and peace activist; Oslo, Norway
Samira Khoury, Lebanon
Mark Kilian, Internationale Socialisten NL, Alkmaar, Nederland
John King, NYC
Orang Kiyani, London, UK
Kim Klausner, San Francisco, CA
Susie Kneedler, USA
Gill Knight
Margaret Knight
, Santa Cruz, CA
Terri Knoll, Tampa, FL
Kostas Kounenidakis, Athens, Greece
Robert Krikourian
Larry Kronen
, Albuquerque, NM
Elfriede Krutsch
, Berlin, Germany
Jurgen P. Kuhl, Burnaby, BC
*Labor for Palestine
Scott Lafferty
, Brighton, UK
Mika Laiho
, Ex-peacekeeper, UNIFIL, UNPROFOR, IFOR; Pori, Finland
David Landy, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Dublin
David K. Langstaff, Bay Area, CA
Marian Larsen
, Odense, Denmark
Pam Laurance, London, UK
Larry Lawson, Tignish, PEI, Canada
Rachel Lea

Arthur Leahy, Ireland
William Leavy
Lucien Legrand
, Président, Comité pour unePaixJuste au Proche-Orient (CPJPO)–Luxembourg
Margaret Leicester
, Albuquerque, NM
Paola Leonardini, Livorno, Italy
Kathy Lessuck, Providence, RI
Benji de Levie, NL Palestina Komitee, Rotterdam
Jeremy Levinger
, University of Wisconsin-Madison; St. Paul, MN
Carol Frances Likins, ICUJP (Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace); Los Angeles, CA
Scott Linder
, Fremont, CA
Brittney Little, Students for Liberty; Toms River, NJ
Brooke Lober, PhD Student, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson
Tristan Lohendrin, Amsterdam, NL
Ben Lorber, Journalist and activist; Chicago, IL
Leila J. Louis
Rhonda Lumley, Pensacola, FL
Prof. Andrew Lyons, PhD; Toronto, ON
Prof. Emerita Harriet Lyons, University of Waterloo, Toronto, ON
Michael McAllister, Founder of Ché scholarship Bethlehem University; Belfast, Ireland
Ellen McGovern, Buderim, QLD
Dr. William F. McIver II, PhD; Eugene, OR
Paula McPheeters
Dorothy Macedo

Savdah Manjra, Toronto, ON
David Marchesi, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK
Daniel Marlin
Eugene Marner
, Franklin, NY
Robby Martin, Dublin
Marita Mayer
Marijke Merel, Utrecht, NL
Katherine M. Metres, Writer entrepreneur; Silver Spring, MD
Cecily Michaels
, Blaxland, NSW
Salem Mikdadi, China
Julia Miranda, Montreal, QC
Mirna Miranda, U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation; LaPorte, CO
Sean Mohsin, Chicago, IL
Jeffrey Monheit, Fresh Meadows, NY
Liron Mor, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
Margrit Moser, Berne, Switzerland
Marie Mouradi, East Greenwich, RI
Neil Mulholland, Ireland
Mariyam Mulla, London, UK
Sean Mulligan, Alpharetta, GA
Haroon Munir, Watford, UK
A. Munshi, Toronto, ON
Maarten Muskens
, PK NL; Germany
Prof. Rima Najjar, Al Quds University, Occupied Palestinian Territory; Bloomington, IN
Taghreed Najjar, Amman, Jordan
Yahya Nana
, Lenasia, South Africa
Jeff Neff, Los Angeles, CA
Mical Nelken
, London, UK
Diana Neslen, Ilford, UK
Si Neumann, Artist, Cairo
Cindy Newman, Los Angeles, CA
Hayley Newman
*New York City Labor Against the War
Tony Nicholas, Sydney, NSW
Rael Nidess, MD; Marshall, TX
Kathy Nitsan, Berkeley, CA
Dagmar Noble
, Weston-super-Mare, Avon, UK
Devon Nola, Political and social justice activist
Judith Norman, San Antonio, TX
Henry Norr, Berkeley, CA
*North Pyget Sound Israel-Palestine Mission Network, Everett, WA
Adam Nuchtern, Houston, TX
Cornelius O’Brien, London, UK
Dr. John O’Brien, Sydney, NSW
Margaret O’Bryan, Australia
Gerry Ohannessian, London, UK
Annika Ohlson
, Teacher; Bjärred, Sweden
KajOhrnberg, Historian; Helsinki, Finland
Roberta Olimpi
Vaneide Olmo
, São Paulo, Brazil
Cristina L
ópez Ortiz, Barcelona, Spain
Sot Otter, Scotland
Kevin Ovenden, Palestine solidarity activist and Respect Party; London, UK
*Palestine Poster Archives
Pauline Pan
, Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
Dr. Kathy Panama, London, UK
Meredith Pass, Louisville, KY
Judith Pecho, RN; Educator; Corrales
Grahame Perkins
, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Deutschland
Ursula Peters, Germany
Mr. Blair M. Phillips, St. Catharines, ON
P.G. Phippen, New London, NH
Caroline Picker
, Phoenix, AZ
Daniel Pines, Rochester, NY
Sophia Ponders, Interfaith worker; Los Angeles, CA
Sylvia Posadas, Blogger, Kadaitcha; Noosa, QLD
Jenean Qaddura, SMU; Dallas, TX
*Queensland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Australia
Ezyño Ezygual Quemasda, Madrid, Spain
Steve Quester, Teacher; Brooklyn, NY
Attia Rajab, Palestine Solidarity Committee; Stuttgart, Germany
Najah Rammouni, Dearborn Heights, MI
Boris Ran, Dallas, TX
Sterling Rand
, Eugene OR
Naomi Rankin, Edmonton, AB
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed, Vietnam-era veteran; NYC
Dan Read
, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
Peter Reid
, Abbotsford, BC
Dick Reilly, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism
Michael Richter
, München, Deutschland
David Rider
, Washington
Rosalie Riegle, Neighbors For Peace; Evanston, IL
Bill Risebero, Palestine Solidarity Committee; Friend of Alrowwad; London, UK
William Roberts, Redwood City, CA
Liz Roberts, War Resisters League; Brooklyn, NY
Stewart Robinson, Cleveland Hts., OH
Joan F. Rodriguez, San Mateo, CA
Linda Rogers, Bangor and Ynys Mon Peace and Justice Group; Llangoed, Ynys Mon, Wales
Ned Rosch
Rudy Ruddell
, Castro Valley, CA
Michael Ryan, Lacoste, France
Sara Saba, Esq., Attorney and human rights activist; Princeton, NJ
Katherine Salahi, Oxford, UK
Joe Salameh, Brentwood, CA
Julieta Salgado, Organizer, New York Students Rising; Brooklyn, NY
Herbert Salit, Los Angeles, CA
Yasmina Samahy
, Houston, TX
Dr. Ian Saville, Lecturer, Middlesex University, London, UK
Michael Schembri
, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine; Allawah, NSW
Gabriel M. Schivone, Ad Hoc Steering Committee, National Students for Justice in Palestine; Tucson, AZ
Fred Schloessinger, Nanaimo, BC
Margot Schlösser, Malmedy, France
Angelika Schneider
, German Branch Fellowship of Reconciliation; Lilienthal
Björn Schneider, Frankfurt, Germany
Prof. Christiane Schomblond (Ret.), Brussels, Belgium
*Scientists Without Borders
Neil Scott, Auckland, NZ
Chuck Scurich, Oakland, CA
Prof. Sako Sefiani, Glendale, CA
Mehrdad Shahabi, Tehran, Iran
Mehraz Shahabi, Bristol, UK
Jennifer Selwyn
, PhD
Mona Seredin, Delray Beach, FL
Ellen Shatter, Providence, RI
Glenn Shelton, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice; Detroit, MI
Anouche Sherman, London, UK
Amanda Joy Sidell
, Chicago, IL
Damon Simonetti, ACLU, F&AM; Greenfield, MA
Sam Simpson, Cork, Ireland
Inbal Sinai, Tel-Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine
Diego Siragusa, Author of “Il terrorismoimpunito”; Biella, IT
Melinda Smith, International peace education consultant; Albuquerque, NM
*Socialist Party of Azania
Rebecca Anshell Song
, Redmond, WA
Dan Sockrider, Indianapolis, IN
Isabelle Spreafico
Prof. Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI
John Spritzler, Editor,
Aviva Stahl, US researcher, CagePrisoners; London, UK
Rick Staggenborg, MD
, Board President, Take Back America for the People; Coos Bay, OR
Burton Steck, Chicago, IL
Ron Strand, Vancouver, BC
Mary-Alice Strom, USA
Deena Stryker, Philadelphia, PA
Beverly Stuart, Seattle, WA
Dr. Dwyer Sullivvan, Organization Director, Camp Micah: Leadership for Peace and Justice; Kitchener, ON
Liz Taha, London, UK
Mohamed Taha, London, UK
John Taulbee
, Fort Wayne, IN
H. Kelly Taylor, University City, MO
Nadya Tannous
Barbara Thiessen, Kansas City
Laura Tillem, Wichita, KS
Maxime Touzel, Sept-Iles, QC
Roger Tucker
, Publisher, One Democratic State; Eronga, Michoacan, Mexico
Beth Tupper, Allston
Rogers Turrentine, WGAwest; Encinitas, CA
Samir Twair, Journalist; Los Angeles, CA
Willi Uebelherr
, Halle/Westfalen, Germany
Katie Unger, NYC
*US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
Lily van den Bergh, Documentary filmmaker & organizer; Women in Black; Amsterdam, NL
Rev. Johan A. van der Merwe, Dutch Reformed Church; George, West Cape, South Africa
Dottie Villesvik, North Pyget Sound Israel-Palestine Mission Network; Everett, WA
Johan Viljoen, South Africa
Maria Vittoria, Italy
Viva Palestina Australia
Fay Waddington
, Founding member, Queensland Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Brisbane, Australia
Bonnie Walker
, Portland, OR
Dan Walsh, Palestine Poster Project Archives
Sharron Ward, London, UK
Stuart Ward, Chairperson, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Thailand;
Nadia Warrayat, Washington, DC
Kathy Wazana, Director, They Were Promised the Sea; Toronto, ON
Terry Weber
Lilian Wehbe
Alison Weir
, Executive Director, If Americans Knew, USA
Pim Wiersinga
, Rotterdam, NL
Barbara B. Wilhelm, Brookline, MA
Samantha Wischnia
, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP
Vincent Calvetti-Wolf
, TESC Divest!; Oakland, CA
Naomi Woodspring, Palestine Solidarity Committee; UK
Elizabeth Woolever, Lay Delegate, United Methodist Upper NY Conference; Rochester
Efa Wulle
, Wales
Rhona Wyer, Bangor & Abglesey Peace & Justice Group; Upper Bangor, Wales
Rev. Darrell Yeaney, Santa Cruz, CA
Sue Yeaney, Santa Cruz, CA
Samar Yunis, Florida
Ben Young, London, UK
Errol Young
, Toronto, ON
Frances Yule, Mt. Barker, Western Australia
Giuseppe Zambon
, Grankfurt am Main, Deutschland
Elizabeth Zoob, CSW; Boston

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Apartheid fail: Muslim Arab Bedouins serve as Israel's gatekeepers

Lieutenant Colonel Magdi Mazarib is a Bedouin, a Muslim Arab who grew up in northern Israel. He is also the Israeli army’s highest-ranking tracker and commands a unit of Bedouin soldiers.  Currently, there are1,655 Bedouin in active service in the Israeli army.

 Read this fascinating article on the role of Bedouins in the Israel army, from Al Arabiya.
As part of a minority within the Arab Israeli community, itself a minority among the Jews of Israel, Mazarib is at ease protecting his country’s borders from other Arabs, fellow Muslims.

“This is our country,” he states simply in perfect Hebrew with a light Arabic accent. And its Jewish symbols, such as the Star of David or the theme of the national anthem, do not perturb Mazarib.

“The flag of England also has a cross on it, and the Jews there are fine with it,” he says during a tour of the Bedouin Heritage Centre which houses a memorial to the 182 Bedouin killed fighting for Israel.

The amiable and composed officer, who with a shaved head, Hermes cologne and long, delicate fingers could pass for a business executive, believes that his fellow Bedouin across the Middle East are even envious of the way those in Israel live.

“The state of Bedouin in Israel is better, as far as the respect we get, our progress, education,” he says. “It’s a different league.”

Bedouin are not the only native Arabic speakers in the Israeli military, with members of Israel’s Druze and Circassian minorities enlisting, but they dominate the small, elite tracker units guarding the country’s northern and southern borders....
 Although Mazarib is following in the footsteps of his father, his uncle and his brother who also served as military trackers, he doesn’t see the same future for his eldest son, who is currently in school.

Mazarib envisions that his son --the only Bedouin in his class -- will serve in one of the army’s top elite units before taking up a senior role in Israeli society.

To him, the Bedouin integration in Israel’s army and society could be evidence of the possibility of Jewish-Muslim coexistence, which “could serve as an example of how to solve the entire Jewish-Arab conflict,” he says.

Even more surprising are the comments, including this one from  Mustafa Najjar  
Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Israel is a great country that gives it's citizens equal rights, then why not serve such a country? Why not work there? Why not be proud of carrying it's passport, and even nationality? The situation in Arab countries surrounding us is completely pathetic. No health insurance, no job security, no chance at affording higher education for you or for your kids, if you're not rich. In Israel, we're well equal, and we love it. Love lives the state of Israel and the Jewish people!

Visions of Orwell: North Korea and Iran attack Canada for human rights abuses

In which United Nations Human Rights Council becomes indistinguishable from the “Onion”

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.   And Iran, North Korea and China and other bastions of individual freedoms have joined forces to attack Canada for its ‘human rights abuses”.

From the National Post:
Canada was the focus of critical attacks on its human rights record at a prominent United Nations forum by a cluster of countries with dubious human rights records, including North Korea, Iran and China.

The delegation from North Korea lamented: “We have serious concerns about continued violations of the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, torture and other ill-treatment, racism and xenophobia...”

Iran railed against “violations of human rights by Canadian government” including “child sexual exploitation and trafficking, the right to food, discriminatory law and regulation against indigenous people and minority groups including Muslim, Arab and African communities.”

China’s delegate complained of “widespread racial discrimination in Canada.”

Pakistan was dismayed by Canada’s “increased poverty and unemployment rate among immigrant communities”; Egypt by Canada’s “racial profiling in law-enforcement action”; and Cuba with the “racism and xenophobia” in Canada.

Russia expressed alarm over Canada’s “police actions of torture and cruelty against peaceful demonstrators.”....
From Hillel Neuer, a Canadian-born lawyer,  human rights advocate, and director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO
“The continued subversion of the UN human rights system — whereby thugs, murderers and rapists purport to judge the human rights record of a liberal democracy — undermines the founding principles and credibility of the United Nations.” 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Extortion Allegations Swirl around Divestment Debate at Berkeley

The divestment imbroglio at UC Berkeley just got uglier, amidst extortion allegations. According to the UC Berkeley newspaper, the Daily Cal,  ASUC Senator Jorge Pacheco sent a letter to ASUC President Connor Landgraf, stating a suit against prior actions of Landgraf would be dismissed if he agreed not to veto the controversial divestment resolution. Pacheco's actions were condemned by Senator Mihir Deo, who stated,  "The fact that he used something important to all students to leverage a political opinion of his was very disappointing and unacceptable."

From the Daily Cal

Hours before ASUC President Connor Landgraf publicly announced that he would not veto SB 160, the controversial divestment bill, he received a letter that gave him pause. It guaranteed a settlement on charges against him if he agreed not to veto the bill, which passed 11-9 in the ASUC Senate. Landgraf said he received the letter, written by Cooperative Movement Senator Jorge Pacheco, around 4 p.m. Tuesday. In the letter, Pacheco stated that he would settle the suit against Landgrafs executive order to put the health and wellness referendum on the spring 2013 ballot if Landgraf opted not to veto SB 160. A settlement was ultimately reached on the suit against Landgrafs executive order around 5:30 p.m. that day.

Landgraf said that he had already made the decision not to veto SB 160 at the time Pacheco slipped the handwritten letter into his office. Landgraf communicated in a text message to Pacheco that he was disappointed and shocked by the letter and immediately sent it to ASUC Attorney General Hinh Tran to make it clear that Landgrafs decision regarding SB 160 was not influenced by Pachecos offer. By not vetoing, I will settle, the letter reads. You should make this decision on your own conscience, but this is something I will do if you stand behind your senators and demonstrate everything that would appease any and all of my concerns….Tran said that his office is still looking into the legality of such a letter and that it may violate a bylaw. He was not aware of a precedent for this sort of situation.  

Prophetic words from our friends at Divest This:

What most of us, until recently, could not even imagine, ruthless players like divestment’s champions wake up every morning and do. Subverting the language of human rights for short-term political gain, forcing colleges and religious organizations to take a stand or risk possibly permanent schisms, dragging the bitterness of the Middle East into a struggling, multiethnic college, city, union or church, these are all acts with potentially long-term damaging effects. Yet the ruthless do not care about the consequences of their actions. To them, the leaders and members of UC Berkeley are mere props to be manipulated so that leaders of the divestment movement can feel part of some great, global, revolutionary struggle....

While divestment proponents might be able to convince themselves that the ends justify the means as part of some fantasized higher, noble calling, in truth their means have become their ends. For what defines such movements outside of their willingness to say anything, do anything, hurt anyone, sew conflict, corrupt democracy, abuse the language of human rights and free speech, i.e., to behave in a manner that defines ruthlessness?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Berkeley Divestment: the Aftermath

It didn't take long for  Jewish Voice for Peace to rise to the bait.

From Sydney Levy, sent  via the Jewish Voice for Peace email  list
Last night, the President of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) announced that he would not veto a UC Berkeley Student Senate resolution in favor of divestment from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.
This is an incredible divestment win - and you helped make it happen!
In 2010, a similar vote was vetoed by a previous ASUC president. Make no mistake - this is a precedent setting win, on a high-profile campus, in the midst of a series of UC student body resolutions in favor of divestment. The growing momentum behind this movement could not be more obvious.
The ASUC President was under  a nationwide email campaign organized by the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs referring to the divestment bill as "alienating and hateful." These are strong and misleading words to describe a resolution that focuses on the relation between investments and human rights.
Thanks especially to the Berkeley chapter of Student for Justice in Palestine, whose leadership, moral clarity, and tireless organizing is truly the foundation of this victory.
I am more hopeful and determined than ever to keep this momentum growing.
Thanks for making a difference when it really counted.

This is the state of the BDS movement.  More importantly, this is the level of the delusion of  those at JVP.    An 11-9 vote that fractured the campus, a resolution roundly condemned by the Senate president is heralded as an "incredible victory". That statement  required mental gymnastics of Olympiad quality,  JVP.

Regarding the bill,   ASUC president Connor Landgraf  wrote " I firmly reject its one-sided narrative, and the bill's complete and utter failure to create any constructive discussion or dialogue on a complex and multifaceted issue. This bill has served to do nothing more than divide our campus, foster anger, and encourage divisiveness. The threats of violence that have been hurled at students by members of our own campus community clearly demonstrate the complete failure of this bill as a legislative tool to promote any resolution to this nuanced conflict."

Incidentally, the  ASUC president was under enormous pressure from the BDS holes not to veto the resolution, with a nationwide campaign promoted via social media by such extremist organizations as Al Awda, the  US Campaign , JVP  and others.

The moral clarity of SJP that JVP writes of?  Does it include the race-baiting and hate speech tweeted and retweeted from their twitter account and those of their allies?

 Does it include dismissing attempts at peaceful co-existence as "disgusting"?

Does it include the unspeakable lies levied against Israel, the only democracy in the Middle east ? Does it include the attacks of  those on campus who dared express a contrary opinion?

Does it include the vandalized  bus shelter?

Interestingly enough, Connor Landgraf takes great pains to distance the Berkeley resolution from the International BDS movement, stressing " I want to make it clear that SB 160 is not linked to the international Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement. The international BDS movement, which has been known to attach itself to this legislation, cannot and should not take this as its victory."

Pssst, Connor.  Its too late. Note that the vandalized bus shelter is attributed to the international BDS movement.

Additionally, the International BDS movement is already promoting this "victory" on their website.  ( ) And organizations such as JVP are already using the events in  Berkeley as leverage to bully other groups into capitulating to their demands.

Connor: A personal note. I have no doubt, like most of your generation, you grew up reading the Harry Potter books.    Do you remember Dumbledore’s eulogy to Cedric Diggory, as he admonished the students “ Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy....”  Connor, you picked the easy way out, and you made the wrong choice.  The ramifications of your misguided decision will  continue  to poison this campus long after your graduation.

Stones Kill: Palestinian Murderer Gets Two Life Sentences

From the Jerusalem Post

The Judea Military Court sentenced Waal al-Arjeh to two life sentences plus 58 years on Tuesday for the murder of Asher Palmer, 25, and his infant son, Yonatan, in 2011, killed when Arjeh threw a stone through the windshield of their car. According to the court, the object thrown at Asher’s vehicle was large and deadly. "It was thrown from an oncoming vehicle that was traveling in the opposite direction," said the Palmer family's lawyer, Adrian Agassi, a former IDF military court judge. "At that velocity, it was like shooting a bullet."

Arjeh, who had worked for the Palestinian Authority security forces, was the ringleader of a gang that developed this method of killing Jews, Agassi said. They had tried it many times before, and Arjeh had "carried out more attacks" after the deaths of Asher and Yonatan.

In a series of heart-rending moments leading up to the court’s decision, Asher’s father, Michael Palmer, spoke about his son and grandson, killed when Arjeh threw a stone through the windshield of their car. He recalled arriving at the family home to see “a gurney with Asher’s body wrapped in a tallit, and a little box on top, in the box was Yonatan’s body.”

Asher's father, Michael Palmer, said that Asher and Yonatan's lives "were taken by people who did not know them, who had never even seen them, for the simple reason that they were Jews."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stop Palestinian Child Abuse

Citing  the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the United Nations in 1959 Zahi Damuni  from the Al Awda Palestinian Right of Return organization urges us to demand an end to the abuse of Palestine's children   He encourages his readers to take a moment to call  (1-202-456-1111 ) or  write to President Obama (  Its a splendid idea.


 Adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 1386 (XIV) of 10 December 1959

  WHEREAS the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

  WHEREAS the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,

  WHEREAS the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth,

  WHEREAS the need for such special safeguards has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924, and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the statutes of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children,

  WHEREAS mankind owes to the child the best it has to give,

  Now, therefore, Proclaims
   THIS DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD to the end that he may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon men and women as individuals, and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities and national Governments to recognize these rights and strive for their observance by legislative and other measures progressively taken in accordance with the following principles:

1    The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.

2  The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

3  The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.

4  The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.

5  The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

6  The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of large families is desirable.

7  The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society.
  The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.
  The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.

8  The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.

9  The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form. The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

10  The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.

Berkeley Student President will Not Veto Divestment Bill

Expect massive self congratulatory slaps on the back from the BDS holes on their Pyrrhic victory, while they ignore the rather telling language by ASUC President Connor Landgraf, explaining why he has chosen not to veto a deeply flawed and divisive divestment bill.

*  I firmly reject its one sided narrative, and the bill’s complete and utter failure to create any   constructive    discussion or dialogue on a complex and multifaceted issue
* This bill has served to do nothing more than divide our campus, foster anger, and encourage divisiveness.
 *  The threats of violence that have been hurled at students by members of our own campus community clearly demonstrate the complete failure of this bill as a legislative tool to promote any resolution to this nuanced conflict.

Expect calls of "BDS is unstoppable" and  "BDS is on a roll". Expect talks about "momentum" and the "world waking up". We've heard it all before.

From the UC Berkeley student newspaper, the Daily Cal

ASUC President Connor Landgraf has announced that he will not veto SB 160, the controversial bill passed last week that divests ASUC funds from companies affiliated with the Israeli military and encourages the UC system to do the same.

In a statement released Tuesday night, Landgraf emphasized that his decision should not be taken as an endorsement of the bill.

“I firmly reject its one sided narrative, and the bill’s complete and utter failure to create any constructive discussion or dialogue on a complex and multifaceted issue,” he said in the statement. “This bill has served to do nothing more than divide our campus, foster anger, and encourage divisiveness.”

SB 160, authored by Student Action Senator George Kadifa, seeks the divestment of more than $14 million in ASUC and UC assets from companies including Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard. The bill claims that these companies are implicit in Israel’s alleged abuse of human rights in Gaza, including the illegal demolition of Palestinian homes.

However, Landgraf said he decided not to veto the bill because he believed such an act would only lengthen the conflict and make the campus’s healing process more difficult. It is for this reason only, Landgraf said, that he decided not to veto SB 160.

Last week’s ASUC meeting lasted more than 10 hours and was attended by more than 500 students, faculty and other concerned members of the community. Three senators cried as they explained their vote, which took place just before 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released a statement last Thursday affirming his opposition to SB 160, saying that he believed that “targeting a single nation or state in this highly complex world is not appropriate and does little to advance the cause of peace and coexistence.”

In an interview with The Daily Californian, Landgraf characterized the week leading up to his announcement as  one of the worst weeks of his life.

“I want people to know that this was not me siding with either side and this is not me siding with the bill,” he said. “I couldn’t disagree more with this bill and the way it was done. I think this bill has utterly failed in that it hasn’t resulted in any constructive dialogue and that it’s very clear that this is not a model for how to produce change."

Read his full statement below:
Dear Campus Community,

Last Wednesday, April 17, 2013, the ASUC Senate passed senate bill 160, "A Bill in Support of Human Rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip." Over 500 students gathered to engage in debate for over 10 hours until the bill finally passed by a slim margin of 11-9. The 11 senators represented their own perspectives and do not speak for the entire student body's opinions. The divisiveness of the bill and the rift it created in our campus community was evident that night and has only further manifested itself throughout campus over the past week. Several students- including myself- have been verbally abused and many have even received threats of violence, all due to the polarizing nature of this bill. 

Some have called for me to take direct action and veto the senate's decision, but after much discussion and pondering, I have ultimately decided not to veto this bill. However, this decision should not be construed in any manner as an endorsement of this bill. I firmly reject its one-sided narrative, and the bill's complete and utter failure to create any constructive discussion or dialogue on a complex and multifaceted issue. This bill has served to do nothing more than divide our campus, foster anger, and encourage divisiveness. The threats of violence that have been hurled at students by members of our own campus community clearly demonstrate the complete failure of this bill as a legislative tool to promote any resolution to this nuanced conflict.

 I want to make it clear that SB 160 is not linked to the international Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement. The international BDS movement, which has been known to attach itself to this legislation, cannot and should not take this as its victory. In no way do I endorse the movement's call for cultural and academic boycotts that hamper freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas. In addition I was disheartened that senators voted down amendments to promote a two state solution, as well as an amendment recognizing the right to self determination of the Jewish people.

 However, as ASUC President, I recognize the legislative authority of the senate. I realize that a veto of this bill would only serve to further prolong this campus conflict and further tear at the seams of this campus. It would magnify the pain this bill has already produced. A veto would not serve to create constructive dialogue, and would only once again serve to end discussion for a little longer. It is for this reason, and only this reason that I have decided not to veto SB 160.

 I hope that we can use this as a learning experience and catalyst to move forward in a positive manner. Senators should consider SB 158, which pushes for a positive and constructive resolution on this issue. I urge students to use more effective and constructive vehicles of dialogue that promote substantive discussion and compromise, which can foster and maintain the campus community that UC Berkeley prides itself on

Connor Landgraf

Word to the wise:   Oberlin University in Ohio is next in the BDS'ers' cross-hairs..  Read the words of  Connor Landgraf and ask yourselves. "Do you really want to subject yourselves and your school  to this?"

Palestinian hunger striker reaches deal for release

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Israel Thrives and Geoffff's Joint.}
RAMALLAH, West Bank - A Palestinian prisoner whose hunger strike had stoked weeks of protests in the West Bank ended his eight-month on-off fast on Tuesday in exchange for early release by Israel, Palestinian officials said.

Israeli and Palestinian officials had feared that had Samer Essawi, 32, died because of refusing food, it might have led to mass unrest.

At least six Palestinian protesters were wounded in February in clashes with IDF soldiers after another Palestinian died while being interrogated in an Israeli jail. The clashes were fueled by the worsening health of Essawi and other prisoners.

Under a deal signed by Essawi and a military prosecutor, he will serve eight more months for violating bail conditions from an earlier release, the officials said, announcing he had ended the strike.

He will then be allowed to go to his Jerusalem home, Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian prisoner organization, told Reuters.

Israel convicted Essawi of opening fire on an Israeli bus in 2002, but released him in 2011 along with more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Schalit.
So let me see if I understand this correctly.

In 2002 this maniac shot up a bus in an effort to kill a bunch of Jews.  Since then he sat in prison until he was one of the five gazillion criminals and murders and Jihadis that Israel released for Gilad.   And now he's back in prison for another eight months for violating bail conditions, but Israel is considering giving him an early release if he would eat?

Once again, how can anyone have writer's block when the pure stupidity piles up this high and this fast on a daily basis?

The guy shot up an Israeli bus, for crying out loud.  I do not know about you guys, but where I come from if someone takes a gun and goes down to the road and shoots at a bus full of people (was it a school bus?) they pretty much go away forever.  They don't get exchanged for kidnap victims.  And if they refuse to eat that's basically their problem.

I don't really quite understand why Israel does this kind of thing.  Israel is the most maligned country on the planet and, yet, it is constantly begging the world for some kind of pat on the head for noble little gestures like this.  Israel gives up the Sinai and it gets back hatred.  Israel gives up the Gaza and it gets back ten thousand Kassam and Katyusha rockets.  People try to kill Jews in the Jewish State and they get released for diplomatic reasons.

Look, I was thrilled when Gilad Shalit was released from whatever Gazan hell-hole that they subjected him to, but there is no reason to release this maniac - and, yes, anyone who shoots a gun at a bus is a maniac.

It's as if Israel, if not the Jewish people more generally, are so desperate for some kind of acceptance by the world that they will do anything for a pat on the head, but it simply never works.  Releasing criminals and murderers because they refuse to eat, and thereby potentially sparking riots by their misguided and heavily propagandized compatriots on the outside, is beyond foolish.

It is suicidal.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spotted in Berkeley

What do you think? Mixed marriage?  Split personality?  Garden variety nuts?  Or perhaps terribly, terribly indecisive? Your guess is as good as mine.

UC Berkeley's Divestment vote

There has been a great deal of written on last weeks UC Berkeley 11-9  divestment vote, including some excellent commentary from the student newspaper, the Daily Cal:

After divestment

Jason Willick writes about the “ASUC Senate’s deeply misguided vote to divest UC funds from companies affiliated with the Israeli military”, saying 

"I was appalled by the degree of radicalism — and venom — on display at the senate’s marathon meeting last Wednesday, during which divestment advocates took control of the night. Frenzied speakers charged Israel with unspeakable atrocities as their supporters roared. Residents of Israel were smeared as European colonialists. The Holocaust was brushed aside. Some speakers defended terrorism against civilians as legitimate resistance, and the pro-divestment audience appeared to endorse the odious chant — “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — that implicitly negates the Jewish State’s right to exist. Perhaps this shouldn’t have surprised me, seeing as the Cal Students for Justice in Palestine website calls for “struggle against the apartheid regime that has consolidated itself” not only in the West Bank or Gaza, but in “1967 Israel.”

 Chancellor Birgeneau issues response to ASUC vote on divestment 

"As you all know, the ASUC is an independent student organization, and its vote in this matter will not change investment policy established by the Regents of the University of California. In addition, it is my personal opinion that targeting a single nation or state in this highly complex world is not appropriate and does little to advance the cause of peace and coexistence."

The divestment dilemma

Students have every right to voice concerns about how the university spends their tuition dollars. But the framing of SB 160, which passed with 11 senators supporting it and nine against it, neglected to fully incorporate important perspectives, thereby alienating many Jewish students on campus and effectively worsening campus climate. The bill’s authors should have engaged in more dialogue with leaders of different communities about how to best represent all students on this subject.

While the bill was noble in its efforts to condemn human rights violations, some of its rhetoric and the resulting marginalization of many Jewish students will ultimately produce more harm than good.


How can you help?

Email President Connor Landgraf TODAY calling on him to veto the bill.  president (at ) .  Let President Landgraf know that the passage of Bill SB160 is alienating and damaging to the climate on campus.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Chareidi Woman In The IDF

An eight-year-old girl, dressed for school in her light blue shirt and dark navy skirt, presses the elevator button as she hurries to school. When the elevator appears, she dashes inside and finds herself standing next to two Israeli soldiers with M16 rifles slung over their backs. The soldiers, sporting kippot, are her neighbor’s sons, who are heading back to the base after Shabbat. The little girl looks at them admiringly. She decides that one day she’s going to be just like them—a defender of the Jewish people.
That little girl was me.
The idea that religious Israeli Jews are growing in numbers, take from and control Israeli society, and don't contribute has become part of the anti-Israel narrative. It provides cover to lament that Israeli democracy is being undermined by people who--mysteriously--are imbued by the narrator with the traits that classical anti-Semitism attributes to all Jews.

The work of women like Fayga Marks, who find ways to live out their intersectionality in positive and bridge-building ways stands as a contradiction to these gleeful predictions of the destruction of Israel's democracy because of religious Jews.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The BDS Circus is Back in Berkeley

On Wednesday evening,  hundreds of people packed into the Anna Head Alumae Hall at UC Berkeley to listen to the ASUC Senate debate divestment. After 10 hours of emotional testimony by dozens of students and faculty members, the senators voted 11-9  for the divestment bill, SB 160.

Originally published at Bluetruth, written by DrMike:

The BDS circus pulled its caravan into UC Berkeley this week, and the show featured everything we've learned to expect from the Bullying, Defamation and Slander crew:  false assertions about Israel and the history of the conflict; simultaneous denial of their true goal of full divestment from Israel while cheering speakers who referenced that goal; polarization of the campus environment with poisonous denigration of their fellow students; and a "victory" that will accomplish nothing on the ground on Israel or the West Bank, but will encourage extremism and hatred. They should be quite proud of themselves, given their goal is rejection of peace with a Jewish state of Israel within any borders--they made sure that nothing happened that would help promote peace.

After a long, drawn-out session of the ASUC (Associated Students of the University of California) student senate earlier this week, the BDS-sponsored bill passed by a 1 vote margin.  The bill asked the University to divest its investments in 3 specific companies that were charged with abetting Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories. The bill had the usual one-sided characterizations of Israel, though the sponsors made sure that they could claim it was "even handed" by denouncing attacks on civilians on both sides. (The BDSers even indicated their willingness to have the UC system divest from companies that supported Palestinian terror, but they were apparently saddened that they just couldn't find any.) I won't go through an extensive analysis of all the flaws in the document, as there's an excellent review posted here. Rather, I'd like to focus on what occurred in the room, as well as around it in cyberspace.  I was at one of the meetings held as part of the 2010 edition of the Berkeley BDS Circus, so was perhaps less shocked than others who had not experienced this performance previously.

I'm going to refer to the group in support of the resolution as the "BDS side".  The resolution and the arguments mirrored those used at other campuses and the entire rationale for the effort came straight from one of the BDS playbooks:   “Divestment campaigns and requests for institutional divestment provide debate material that places Palestine solidarity groups in the most favorable position to present their case." The original text of the resolution even referenced the BDS movement's own website as a source. The UC Regents already had a standing statement that they were not going to change their investment policy based on ASUC resolutions, so there was not even a thought that this could have any practical effect.  So the only reason to bring up such a resolution is, exactly as stated, to provide a forum for Students for Justice in Palestine to lead a discussion to condemn Israel.   I will note that the final amended version of the bill apparently has clauses explicitly rejecting the BDS goal of the elimination of Israel. However, these amendments were inserted after the public comment period.

The tone was set right at the beginning, when one of the Jewish students introducing their alternative resolution (calling for positive investment for peace) mentioned that the leadership of the organized Jewish community was present. A hiss went up from the BDS side that was quickly silenced, but the sentiment was clear.  The BDS side then introduced their featured speaker, the author Alice Walker; Walker has a lengthy history of flirtation with the line between legitimate political criticism of Israel and overt anti-Semitic ideology.  As the open comment period began, the BDS side couldn't quite decide whether their ASUC student fees were subsidizing Israel's occupation or whether they were profiting from it. Or both at the same time. Actually, it's more likely neither-- the student fees pay for student programs, and tuition and university investments pay for the operations of the university.  But like much of the rest of the debate, facts weren't really important here; emotion was. The argument was that they simply couldn't continue to have their student fees pay for (or profit from? or both at once?) Israel's actions. And there was no charge that was too vile for them to use to this end-- one speaker went as far as to suggest that Israel was inserting rats into Palestinian girls' genital tracts. Another claimed that the IDF specifically shot Palestinians in the eye so as to blind them but not kill them (must be a newly invented Zionist magic bullet that could be fired that precisely and then stop before entering the brain, which happens to be located right behind the eyes).  Other students invoked details of genocidal episodes that have occurred to other peoples, as if the treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank was comparable to mass slaughters of populations.  It was reminiscent of the recent use (by a professor of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina) of photos of Buchenwald to illustrate a story about Deir Yassin.

Just as in 2010, any BDS speaker was met with choreographed high volume cheers. At least this time the room was too small to allow them to gather en masse at the front to intimidate anyone who dared to oppose them, as they had done in 2010.  And just as in 2010, the loudest cheers were for the speakers who promoted the most radical anti-Israel line.  It was ironic that while the BDS side tried to claim that their resolution wasn't part of BDS, they were ecstatic when one of their speakers invoked the trinity of BDS demands: that Israel end its occupation of "all Arab lands", that Israel give equality to its Palestinian citizens, and that it recognize the fictional "right of return" that would eliminate Jewish national rights in the Jewish homeland.  They loudly cheered a student who had brought the unrepentant racist Louis Farrakhan to campus to speak. They insisted that the goal of the resolution wasn't divestment from Israel at all, yet they whooped even more loudly when a speaker stated that South Africa's ANC had endorsed divestment from Israel.   They claimed they were not anti-Israel, yet that very morning many of them had rallied in Sproul Plaza chanting the anti-Zionist anthem "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."

One tactic that the BDS side used (which they also used at UC Riverside in their ultimately failed attempt there to pass a BDS resolution) was to claim that this resolution was the "neutral" position because it would also divest from companies involved in human rights abuses of Israelis--though they searched far and wide and couldn't find any. They clearly weren't neutral enough to look into any companies doing business with Iran-- the patron of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the source of the Fajr-5 missiles that rained down on Israel last year.  Given that all of those missiles were deliberately aimeed at Israeli cities, each constituted human rights abuses of Israelis on a massive scale.  They clearly weren't neutral enough to look into companies involved in other human rights abuses such as those doing business with Mauritania-- a country in which Arabs continue to hold black Africans as slaves. They certainly weren't neutral enough to find any other country in the world upon which to focus their attention, except for the one Jewish state, which the BDS movement targets for elimination.

What was quite telling was that many of the pro-Israel speakers indicated empathy with Palestinian suffering and stating that they too would like to see the occupation come to an end. Yet none of the student speakers on the BDS side (at least during the first 4 hours of the process when I was in the room) indicated any recognition that people on both sides of the conflict had experienced pain and loss and suffering. None of them indicated any recognition of the two offers by Israel within the past 13 years of a Palestinian state-- which would have ended the occupation against which they railed.  None of them indicated that they were doing this to promote peace between a Jewish state of Israel and a future Arab state of Palestine; when one Jewish student turned and directly asked the crowd "How many of you who are in favor of this resolution support peace between a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine?" only a few hands went up.  I'm not sure that those few fully understood the question.

But what went on inside the room was polite and restrained compared to what was happening in cyberspace. The two Twitter accounts being used by the BDS side (@Berkeley SJP --Students for Justice in Palestine; and @ucbdivest) are worth noting. Now many of the comments under their hashtag #UCBDivest came from elsewhere, and so these tweeters can legitimately claim that they're not responsible for them.  But they certainly give a sense of the sentiment of BDS supporters. And @UCBdivest at least, while making clear his/her biases, at least did report some of what the pro-Israel side had to say. Though by the end, while not too tired to continue reporting all of the speaking points of the BDS side, did let his/her guard slip a bit:

But that's really nothing compared to Cal's Students for Justice in Palestine, the sponsors of the shameful "Israel Apartheid Week" every year.

There's plenty more-- but you get the point. For those who aren't familiar with the term (and I wasn't until this) "zizi" might have several meanings.  Wiktionary lists it as "penis". But there's possibly a far more ominous meaning; according to the staff of the Anti-Defamation League, "zizi" is also used in extremist circles as shorthand for "Zio-Nazi". 

If you're responsible for maintaining a campus climate of respect for others, perhaps you'd want to consider the role that SJP and their resolution has played on campus this week.  Does their behavior uphold UC Berkeley's Principles of Community, which state that the university should "strive to uphold a just community in which discrimination and hate are not tolerated" , a phrase specifically included in this resolution? 

And this contribution from an SJP member at UC Riverside might be a sign for what's in store at other campuses that dance with BDS: 

Here's the tumblr post referenced in her tweet, just chock-full of trivialization of the deliberate, targeted murder of Jews:  

Ways to Get Rich During Divestment Livestreams

For this, you’ll need a jar (or piggy bank, whatever you’ll be keeping your cash in), a few friends, and your wallets.
  • Put a quarter in the jar for every time someone refers to the barrier as a “security fence”.
  • Put another quarter in for every time someone refers to suicide bombers in restaurants, cafes, or nightclubs in Tel Aviv.
  • Put two quarters in every time someone makes a Holocaust reference.
  • Put a dollar in every time someone says the bill makes them feel “marginalized”. Double this if they say this and “our campus has been divided” in the same two-minute time slot.
At the end of the night, after the vote has been handed down, use the earnings to treat yourselves for sitting through the hasbara.

Are Jewish students who have positive identification with Israel (the great majority) going to be automatically declared as "racist" by SJP and its supporters, especially if this biased and flawed resolution is upheld? For that matter, will committed Jewish and Zionist students even choose to attend Cal if the campus climate is marked by this type of organized hatred?  Whether this resolution is signed or vetoed by the ASUC president, the damage has been done.  The university administration immediately noted, in a statement by Chancellor Birgenau, "I sincerely hope we can avoid a recurrence of the rancor and divisiveness that arose in th wake of a previous ASUC vote in 2010." The DailyCal student newspaper recognized this when it wisely editorialized "Ultimately, the passage of the divestment bill leaves lingering tensions that the ASUC must work to resolve in some way. The impact of SB 160’s passage will be felt most immediately on campus, where many students already feel isolated and unwanted. Moving forward, the ASUC needs to make a proactive attempt to alleviate the ongoing friction among students that this divestment solicits. Until campus communities can find a way to come together, divestment will continue to drive us further and further apart." 

In the end, Jewish students have choices.  There will be very few students for whom Cal is the only option. And while the BDS circus will move on to another town, not caring about the campus community it leaves in its wake, the university will be the one to suffer the consequences. 

Divestment isn't happening at UC Berkeley (as the Regents already made clear), but division is-- and so are delegimitization, demonization and double standards regarding Israel. And Natan Sharansky knows what those add up to.