Monday, January 31, 2011

Rutgers: Never Again for Anyone Tour: Blatant Discrimination Against Jews

Some 400 pro-Israel Jewish students and their supporters gathered Saturday night to attend "Never Again for Anyone" program at Rutgers University which had been advertised through Facebook and Craiglist as "free and open for all".

The talk was hosted by BAKA - Students United for Middle Eastern Justice, and sponsored by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Americans Muslims for Palestine and the Middle East Children's Alliance. The "Never Again for Anyone" tour was founded by Dr. Hatem Bazian, a UC Berkeley lecturer and chairman of the American Muslims for Palestine. Bazian is well known for his call for "intifada" in America. His organization, American Muslims for Palestine recently circulated an article accusing Israel of creating unusually fierce and aggressive dogs that terrorize the West bank. Auschwitz survivor Dr. Hajo Meyer was also on the panel . When the Jewish students and their supporters arrived, they were shocked at what transpired.

According to Rutgers student Aaron Marcus, it looked like "those in anti-Israel apparel, keffiyahs and hijabs were taken aside, given green wristbands, labeled as 'staff' and given free entrance." Other sources reported that students wearing kippas were banned from the event.

Sara Kershnar of the the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network who has been arrested in the past for interrupting Jewish community events , claimed: "The accusation that anyone was excluded from this event due to his or her ethnicity or political views is a complete fabrication.". She claimed the fees were made mandatory after they learned there would be protests at the event

But student protesters witnessed that the sign reading free admission was taken down as they approached the venue.

Stand With us, a grassroots Israel advocacy group immediately released a statement condemning the discriminatory practice
“We deplore the blatant anti-Jewish discrimination that occurred at Rutgers University’s anti-Zionist event ‘Never Again for Anyone’ on Saturday night, January 30,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein. “Apparently the organizers are afraid of anyone who might expose their lies and prejudice. We hope Rutgers University will investigate and take proper measures to ensure that such essentially anti-Semitic events don’t recur. But we applaud the pro-Israel students and community members who came out in droves, who chanted and sang Jewish songs in the lobby when they were barred entry into the event itself.”

The event was well documented. Watch the videos of the event at Challah Hu Akbar

This anti-Semitic exploitation of the holocaust is coming to a city near you. Please take a lesson from the students of Rutgers. Its time to fight back, and to document your efforts. When we fight back, we win.

The Never Again for Anyone" schedule follows:
Toronto, Canada: Feb 1, 2011
Milwaukee: Feb 3, 2011
Chicago: Feb 4, 2011
Chicago: Feb 5, 2011
Detroit: Feb 6, 2011
Twin Cities: Feb 8, 2011
Atlanta: Feb 10, 2011
New Orleans: Feb 13, 2011
Sacramento: Feb 16, 2011
SF Bay Area: Feb 17, 2011
Los Angeles: Feb 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bay Area Anti-Zionists Ignore Dr. King's Message

Today was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States. In San Francisco, as in many other cities around the country, commemorative marches occurred.  In San Francisco, perhaps unlike in many other cities, an anti-Israel group decided that it would try to hijack the parade to its "river to the sea" agenda.

It was a stunning and arrogant display. Not because they handed out fliers advertising the anti-Israel posters in BART put up by Jewish Voice for Peace and Sabeel, not because they attempted (without success) to start anti-Israel chants among the marchers, but they because did it in willful disregard of Dr. King's own position on Israel.  

Dr. King stood for peace. And he understood that peace for Israel was impossible in the context of ongoing attacks and threats of destruction, so that Israel needed to ensure its security first--even after the Six Day War, which occurred 10 months before he said:

"Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect her right to exist, its territorial integrity, and the right to use whatever sea lanes it needs.  Israel is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy.  Peace for Israel means security, and that security must be a reality."  

And Dr. King understood that, far too often, attacks on Israel were a more politically acceptable expression of anti-Semitism.

"When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism."

Yet Bay Area Women in Black, which is supposedly a Jewish women's group but was led for much of march by Hassan Fouda, decided to ignore Dr. King's own sentiments and make this march about what THEY wanted, not what Dr. King wanted.  


(And who, you may ask, is Hassan Fouda?  A man whose association with anti-Semitism has left a trail from his previous residence in Connecticut to the Bay Area, and has also included an attempt to bring outdated medications and old unusable equipment-- and a group of Turkish jihadists-- to Gaza earlier this year. Though he is not the man in this picture!)

Of course, those of us who knew this was going to happen didn't let it go unchallenged.  And no better way to do it than with Dr King's own words (thanks to BlueStarPR).  

My teenaged daughter who came along to photograph the scene was incensed that they would attempt to force this issue into the march commemorating Dr. King.  Of course, this is a standard tactic for anti-Israel groups:  International ANSWER's overt support of Hamas and Hezbollah drove any political leader with an ounce of sanity far away from their rallies against the Iraq war, and the San Francisco Pride Parade is always treated to the sight of groups demonstrating against the only country in the Middle East where LGBT individuals can live freely.  Maybe their insistence on making everything part of their war against Israel also has something to do with narcissism-- after all,  who better than a teenaged girl to recognize someone trying to say "It's all about MEEEEEEEE!!!!"