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Harvard, Penn, Columbia announce steps to address antisemitism following campus turmoil

(JTA) — Three Ivy League universities have announced steps to fight antisemitism after weeks of turmoil on their campuses and others.

Harvard University has put together a group of advisors to address antisemitism on campus, and both the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University announced on Wednesday that they would convene task forces on antisemitism.

The announcements come as those schools and many others have contended with complaints that their administrations have not taken sufficient action to protect Jewish students or condemn Hamas following its Oct. 7 attack on Israel. At Cornell University, another Ivy League school, a junior was recently arrested for threatening to kill Jewish students.

At Harvard, the team of advisors includes Harvard faculty, staff, alumni, and religious leaders from the Jewish community, President Claudine Gay announced on Friday. They include Dara Horn, a 1999 graduate and author of “People Love Dead Jews,” an essay collection on antisemitism; Rabbi David Wolpe, who recently retired from Los Angeles’ Sinai Temple and is currently teaching at Harvard; Thomas Dunne, Harvard College’s dean of students; and Martha Minow, the former dean of Harvard Law School, who is Jewish.

“They will help us to identify all the places — from our orientations and trainings to how we teach — where we can intervene to disrupt and dismantle this ideology, and where we can educate our community so that they can recognize and confront antisemitism wherever they see it,” Gay said at a Shabbat dinner at Harvard Hillel on Friday. “They will help us find opportunities to foster the empathy, literacy, and understanding across identities and beliefs that we need to be the Harvard the world is calling for and that our community deserves.”

The advisory group’s formation comes three weeks after Hamas’ attack ignited conflict at Harvard. Dozens of student groups, including representatives of Palestinian, Arab, Black, Bengali, Pakistani, South Asian and Sikh student associations, signed onto a letter the day of the attack that solely blamed Israel for the violence and called on Harvard to “take action to stop the ongoing annihilation of Palestinians.”

The university did not issue a statement of its own for days, drawing criticism and in some cases consequences from concerned pro-Israel alumni and donors. Several groups pulled their names from the letter following backlash, which included websites publishing identifying details of students who were linked to the signatories.

Gay addressed the tensions in comments during the school’s Family Weekend on Friday. She said that while the university encourages free expression, some members of the community had failed to condemn various types of hatred.

“Harvard rejects terrorism. Harvard rejects hate—antisemitism, Islamophobia, hate of any group of people based on their faith, their national origin, or any aspects of their identity,” Gay said. “Harvard rejects the harassment or intimidation of individuals based on their beliefs. Pernicious ideologies—and the unconscionable actions they can inspire—are an affront to all that we are and all that we seek to accomplish. They have no place here.”

At Penn, where tensions over the Israeli-Palestinian issue were roiling even before Hamas’ attack, the university said it would review its public safety practices, create both an antisemitism task force and a student advisory group, and send a delegation of university leaders to a conference about antisemitism in higher education being held at Brandeis University later this month.

After a conference at the school showcasing Palestinian authors drew criticism last month, Penn is also scrutinizing how it allows outside groups to use university space  And it is adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism, known as IHRA, as a tool for its task forces. Advocates for the definition, which has been adopted by an array of institutions and governments, say it provides a useful yardstick for determining whether statements are bigoted against Jews, while its critics say its inclusion of some forms of Israel criticism could have a chilling effect on free speech.

At Columbia, where students and faculty have been trading letters about Israel and where a former student is facing hate crime charges after allegedly assaulting an Israeli student during a confrontation related to the Israel-Hamas war, a new task force will identify short- and long-term strategies to combat antisemitism at the university and its affiliated institutions.

“One would hope that by the twenty-first century, antisemitism would have been relegated to the dustbin of history,” Columbia University president Minouche Shafik, Barnard President Laura Rosenbury and Teachers college President Thomas Bailey wrote in their announcement. “But it has been rising here in New York, across the country, and around the world in recent years.”

The announcement Wednesday named Ester Fuchs, director of the Urban and Social Policy Program at the School of International and Public Affairs; Nicholas Lemann, Journalism School dean emeritus; and David Schizer, the Law School dean emeritus, as heads of the task force. Fuchs, Lemann and Schizer were the primary authors of an open letter that demanded the university “unambiguously” condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, in response to another faculty letter that said it aimed to “recontextualize” the attack as a “military response.”

“Speaking out on issues like this helps strengthen Columbia and prevent the kind of disputes that are a very healthy part of the University from tearing apart the sort of fabric of respect and safety in the University,” Lemann told the Columbia Spectator.


The post Harvard, Penn, Columbia announce steps to address antisemitism following campus turmoil appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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The Associated Press Removes Threats of Violence and Hamas Support From Articles

Vandalism outside the home of Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak. Photo: New York Mayor Eric Adams’ Twitter account.

Even as authorities from Sydney to Brooklyn were still investigating and removing pro-Hamas graffiti, the Associated Press engaged in a scrubbing of a different sort.

In a June 10 article about the anti-Israel vandalism of the US consulate in Sydney, the Associated Press initially whitewashed a menacing symbol used to denote support for Hamas since the terror organization’s Oct. 7 terror massacre of murder, rape and countless other atrocities (“Australia PM urges activists to ‘turn down the heat’ after US consulate vandalized over Gaza war“).

The AP euphemistically reported about the symbols used to express support for the designated terror organization as follows:

Two inverted red triangles, seen by many as a symbol of Palestinian resistance, were also painted on the front of the building.

A screenshot of the AP’s headline about the vandalism in Australia, along with an accompanying video which briefly shows the red triangles:

Given that Hamas uses the red triangle in its videos documenting attacks on Israelis, it signifies support for the designated terror organization. “Resistance” doesn’t quite convey the horrors that went down on Oct. 7.

The New York Post detailed the association of the red triangles with Hamas terrorism:

The triangle became a prevalent symbol online and offline beginning in November 2023 following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and Israel’s aggressive retaliatory offensive, according to the Anti Defamation League.

It first appeared in propaganda videos from the al-Qassam brigades — Hamas’ military wing — to highlight an Israeli soldier that was about to be killed or wounded in a targeted attack by the terrorists.

In the clips, the red triangle followed the target, which was then hit with a sniper’s bullet, a rocket-propelled grenade or another deadly blast.

“Though it can be used innocuously in general pro-Palestine social media posts, the inverted red triangle is now used to represent Hamas itself and glorify its use of violence in many popular anti-Zionist memes and political cartoons,” the ADL says on its website.

For example, the group said, anti-Israel protesters will put the symbol over an image of Israeli soldiers or on a Star of David “as a way to call for further violent resistance.”

In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, the AP moderately improved its explanation of the red triangles, revising the sentence to at least include reference to Hamas:

Two inverted red triangles, seen by some as a symbol of Palestinian resistance but by others as supporting the militant group Hamas, were also painted on the front of the building.

While an AP video paired with the article briefly showed the red triangles defacing the US consulate, the AP’s still photographs made do with boarded up windows. The accompanying captions also ignored the sinister red triangles:

A couple walks past the boarded windows at the U.S. consulate as police investigate the vandalism in Sydney, Monday, June 10, 2024. A suspect is believed to have smashed nine holes in the reinforced glass windows of the building in North Sydney after 3 a.m., a police statement said. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Meanwhile, red triangle vandalism took an even darker turn when the pro-terror symbol, used repeatedly to mark targets, appeared June 11 on the New York co-op building where Anne Pasternak, the Jewish director of the Brooklyn Museum, lives.

In coverage of that incident, the AP didn’t simply scrub the pro-Hamas significance of the symbol. Instead, the AP entirely sliced the ominous red triangles out of the story, which referred only to red paint. In his Jan. 13 article, Philip Marcelo selectively reported (“Apparent Gaza activists hurl paint at homes of Brooklyn Museum leaders, including Jewish director“):

People purporting to be pro-Palestinian activists hurled red paint at the homes of top leaders at the Brooklyn Museum, including its Jewish director, and also splashed paint across the front of diplomatic buildings for Germany and the Palestinian Authority early Wednesday, prompting a police investigation and condemnation from city authorities.

Mayor Eric Adams, in a post on the social platform X, shared images of a brick building splashed with red paint with a banner hung in front of the door that called the museum’s director, Anne Pasternak, a “white-supremacist Zionist.”

But the images that Mayor Adams shared didn’t merely show “a brick building splashed with red paint” and a banner denouncing Pasternak as a “white supremacist Zionist.”

Adams’ post on X includes four photographs of the vandalism, all displaying the huge red triangles which absolutely cannot be missed. And yet AP chose not to note the presence of the threatening imagery, much less explain its significance.

This is not peaceful protest or free speech. This is a crime, and it’s overt, unacceptable antisemitism.

These actions will never be tolerated in New York City for any reason. I’m sorry to Anne Pasternak and members of @brooklynmuseum‘s board who woke up to hatred like this.

I… pic.twitter.com/vi17PumBoM

— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) June 12, 2024

The AP’s ubiquitous photographers — the prolific bunch churns out 1.2 million images annually — also didn’t manage to capture the shocking scene of Pasternak’s home defaced with what amounts to a murder threat.

Instead, the cadre of photojournalists suffice with an image of the German consulate, which was vandalized with red paint, apparently applied in an abstract arrangement, sans red triangles. Like Marcelo’s article, the photograph’s caption also paints over the pro-Hamas imagery, referring to a random splashing of color:

Red paint covers portions of the entrance to the German consulate building, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in New York. Pro-Palestinian protesters have vandalized locations associated with the Brooklyn Museum and United Nations in New York City, throwing red paint across their entrances in opposition to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. (AP Photo/Sophie Rosenbaum)

Not only does the caption neglect to note the Hamas-linked graphic, it also ignores that the “locations associated with the Brooklyn Museum” were private homes.

It’s not just Hamas graphics that are subjected to AP’s scrubbing. A pro-Hamas organization also gets sanitized.

Here’s how the AP’s Marcelo whitewashes the pro-Hamas Within Our Lifetime group:

The protest group Within Our Lifetime and other organizers of that demonstration said the museum is “deeply invested in and complicit” in Israel’s military actions in Gaza through its leadership, trustees, corporate sponsors and donors — a claim museum officials have denied.

He says not a word about the organization’s support for Hamas. According to ADL, Within Our Lifetime:

has hosted or co-sponsored at least 78 anti-Israel rallies many of which included explicit support for violence against Israeli civilians by U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations  Hamas, The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Hezbollahthe Houthis and affiliated individuals such as Leila Khaled and Hamas’ military wing spokesperson Abu Obaida. WOL also expressed enthusiastic support for Iran’s unprecedented April 13 drone-and-missile attack on Israel.

Marcelo similarly sluices down Within Our Lifetime’s horrifying and deep embrace of terror at the demonstration outside the Nova Festival massacre last week. His censored account states:

The paint attacks came the same week that Within Our Lifetime organized a large demonstration outside a New York City exhibition memorializing victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on the Tribe of Nova music festival. The group called it “Zionist propaganda” and dismissed the music festival, where hundreds died, as “a rave next to a concentration camp.”

The AP spares its readers from the most disturbing aspects from the event. As The Times of Israel reported:
Protesters set off flares, flew flags of Hamas’s armed al-Qassam Brigades terror wing and of the Hezbollah terror group, and carried banners with slogans such as “Long live October 7” and “The Zionists are not Jews and not humans.”
 On June 11, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) denounced the antisemitism of the pro-Hamas crowd outside the Nova Festival exhibit, twice citing those most heinous lines:

What was even worse, or at least adding salt into the wounds was that just a day or two after I visited the exhibit, protestors gathered outside the exhibit chanting repugnant antisemitic phrases, donning banners that read “Long Live October 7th” and “The Zionists are not Jews and not humans.” How low can you go ?

Having visited the exhibit and seeing those young people and then knowing and seeing on film what happened to them at the vicious hands of Hamas, and then having people come outside and protest and say “Long Live October 7th” and “The Zionists are not Jews and not humans.” How repugnant. How despicable. How terribly unnerving that humanity could sink that low.

And yet, at this low point for humanity, AP has relegated these repugnant slogans glorifying mass murder to the dustbin of history.

Tamar Sternthal is the director of CAMERA’s Israel Office. A version of this article previously appeared on the CAMERA website.

The post The Associated Press Removes Threats of Violence and Hamas Support From Articles first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Netanyahu Disbands War Cabinet, Says No Need After Gantz’s Resignation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Jerusalem, Feb. 18, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 News — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that he will dissolve the six-member War Cabinet, a move that was expected following the departure from government of the centrist former general Benny Gantz.

During a meeting of the State Security Cabinet, Netanyahu said that the War Cabinet was established following Blue and White leader Gantz’s demand to join the coalition, and that after he left there is no reason to maintain it.

Netanyahu made it clear that he will continue limited security consultations. He rejected establishing a forum of coalition heads for security consultations, an idea that was brought up during the meeting.

 In practice, the expanded cabinet will meet more often. According to Israeli law, the powers and responsibilities for making decisions on managing the war effort are vested in State Security Cabinet.

The Prime Minister’s Office said that, regardless, Netanyahu will continue to consult regularly with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other representatives of the defense establishment.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir lobbied to join the War Cabinet since its inception in the beginning of the war with Hamas in October. After Gantz announced he would leave the coalition and demand elections, thereby resigning from the War Cabinet, the far-right Ben Gvir demanded to be added to the small council. Such a move likely would have intensified strains with international partners including the United States.

The war cabinet was formed after Gantz joined Netanyahu in a national unity government at the start of the conflict. Gantz left the government last week over what he described as Netanyahu’s failure to form a strategy for the Gaza war.

The post Netanyahu Disbands War Cabinet, Says No Need After Gantz’s Resignation first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Only 9% of Palestinians Think Hamas Committed War Crimes; 67% Support Oct. 7 Atrocities

Marwan Barghouti gestures as Israeli police bring him into the District Court for his judgment hearing in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2004. Photo: Reuters / Pool / David Silverman.

There have been shocking poll results in the latest survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR).

Only 9% of Palestinians think Hamas committed war crimes, while a whopping 67% support the Oct. 7 attacks.

For those who still delude themselves into thinking that Palestinians are moderate, think again.

For president, Palestinians overwhelmingly prefer the Hamas leader (46%) over the Palestinian Authority (PA)/Fatah leader (5%). Fatah is only preferred when their candidate is the terrorist Marwan Barghouti, a convicted murderer, who is serving 5 life sentences.

This must be an eye-opener for Americans and Europeans, who are pressuring Israel to accept the Palestinian Authority as a peace partner. The PA represents no one. According to this poll, the Palestinian population is not interested in peace. Mahmoud Abbas only represents himself. And if the Palestinians ever have a future election, they are certain to elect a terrorist as president and Hamas to rule the parliament.

The following are some of the most important findings in the latest poll by the PSR. Palestinians were questioned between May 26 and June 1, 2024. The poll includes Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Was Hamas’ decision to launch the October 7 offensive correct or incorrect?

Correct: 67% (West Bank 73%, Gaza Strip 57%)

Incorrect: 26% (West Bank 17%, Gaza Strip 41%)

Are you satisfied with the performance in the war?

Hamas: 64% satisfied

Fatah (Palestinian Authority): 14% satisfied

War crimes

97% – Israel committed war crimes

9% – Hamas committed war crimes

Who should rule the Gaza Strip after the war?

Hamas: 71%

Current PA (with or without Abbas): 12%

A new PA: 16%

If presidential elections were held today between these two, for whom would you vote?

Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah: 5%

Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas: 46%

If presidential elections were held today between these three, for whom would you vote?

Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah: 2%

Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas: 23%

Marwan Barghouti from Fatah: 47%

If elections were held today for parliament, how would you vote?

Hamas: 31%

Fatah: 17%

Other parties: 4%

Will not vote or don’t know: 51%

Which side will win the war?

Hamas: 67%

Israel: 11%

89% say Mahmoud Abbas should resign.

Itamar Marcus is Founder and Director of Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Only 9% of Palestinians Think Hamas Committed War Crimes; 67% Support Oct. 7 Atrocities first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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