Thursday, June 17, 2010

Other stuff...

Gary Wexler pens an op-ed on what we can learn from anti--Israeli activism.
They have managed to take this great Jewish nation -- a place of dynamism, creativity, humanity, innovation, celebration, warmth, spirituality, miraculous history, mystery, culture, vibrancy and fun, albeit with many, many flaws, tensions and wrongdoings -- and turn it on the world stage into a country and people wholly perceived as illegitimate, criminal, fanatic, rigid, frightening, hateful and unjust.

That is quite an accomplishment. And an even greater success on this team's behalf is that many of us Jews -- certainly the next generation -- are now coloring the Zionist and Israeli enterprise with their hues.
Jewish groups brief congressional offices.
American Jewish groups briefed congressional staffers on the intimidation of Jewish students on college campuses.

The June 7 briefing, convened by Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), the co-chairman of the Congressional Task Force Against Anti-Semitism, drew staffers from about 25 congressional offices, including those of leading lawmakers such as Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy Committee; Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.

Jewish groups represented included the Zionist Organization of America, the American Jewish Committee, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and the Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

Staffers for the Jewish groups described "harassment and intimidation" faced by students, and outlined steps that could be taken toward "legal recourse if their colleges and universities do not rectify the problems," according to Susan Tuchman, the director of ZOA's center for Law and Justice.
BBI wants Syria condemned for their comments made at the UN.
B'nai B'rith International condemned the statement made June 8 by Syrian First Secretary Rania Al Rifaiy, and called on the president of the United Nations Human Rights Council to speak out against such anti-Semitic language.

Israel "is a state that is built on hatred, discrimination, oppression and a paranoid feeling of superiority," Al Rifaiy said during debate in the U.N. Human Rights Council following Israel's interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead. "Hatred is widespread, taught to even small children, who are taught to use weapons, and who are taught to sign missiles that will be fired at Arabs.

"Let me quote a song that a group of children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school. And I quote" 'With my teeth I will rip your flesh. With my mouth I will suck your blood.'

The United Nations Mission to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva condemned the comments and called on leaders of the council to do the same.

B’nai B’rith President Dennis Glick said that “Unfortunately, we hear rhetoric like this repeatedly with few-to-no consequences that follow. Words of this kind inflict hate and incite violence, and that simply cannot be tolerated.”

In a letter addressed to U.N. Human Rights Council President Alex Van Meeuwen, Glick and B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin wrote, “Hate-speech must be confronted at the council, especially when the perpetrator is a Member State of the United Nations, sworn to uphold the U.N. Charter.”

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