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Here’s a Partial List of Assaults on American Jews in June

Anti-Israel demonstrators outside the Adas Torah synagogue in the heavily-Jewish Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles, June 23, 2024. Photo: Screenshot

Street protests targeting Jews and Jewish institutions, and institutions deemed supportive of Israel, escalated in June and were characterized by threats of violence and antisemitic rhetoric. Among the most notable incidents was a Los Angeles march by keffiyeh clad and masked protestors organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement and Code Pink, where Jews were physically assaulted outside of a synagogue.

The confrontations spilled over into the surrounding Jewish neighborhood, where a number of Jews were beaten and sprayed with mace. Reports indicate Los Angeles police, who had been warned about the event, were initially instructed to stand down and then protected protestors and prohibited Jews from entering the synagogue. Several injuries and one arrest were reported.

President Biden condemned the Los Angeles attack without naming the perpetrators as did Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass and other local politicians including Governor Gavin Newsom, all within a 30-minute period. The protests were defended by anti-Israel activists and the ACLU (for the non-violent part) on the grounds that the real estate fair was “political activity.”

In another egregious example, protestors from Within Our Lifetime (WOL) in New York City besieged an exhibition about the Nova music festival massacre of October 7. Police rushed the waiting viewers into the exhibition space while protestors lit flares and shouted “long live intifada” and “Israel go to hell.”

In another pro-Hamas and pro-Hezbollah protest, a two-mile long group organized by the People’s Forum, Palestinian Youth Movement, and the ANSWER Coalition encircled the White House. Protestors shouted “We don’t want no two states, we’re taking back 48” and “kill another Zionist now” while vandalizing local monuments with slogans including “Death to Amerikkka,” “Death to Israel,” “Death to Zionists,” and “Al-Qasam make us proud. Kill another soldier now.”

No arrests were made, and mainstream media reported only slogans such as “free Palestine.”

Other public events have been co-opted by anti-Israel protests, notably gay pride parades. In Philadelphia the pride parade was blocked by anti-Israel protestors who shouted “Now, Now, Now, Now, Burn Israel to the ground.” The Washington D.C., and Denver pride parades were similarly disrupted.

In one June incident, the homes of Brooklyn Museum trustees were vandalized by WOL activists with red paint, red triangles symbolizing Hamas targets, and the words “blood is on your hands.” The home of the head of the board, Anne Pasternak, was painted with the words “White Supremacist Zionist.”

The museum has been targeted repeatedly by pro-Hamas protestors, who have now attacked the institution for permitting arrests of protestors who took over part of the building.

Among the official responses to escalating pro-Hamas violence have been calls to reinstate mask bans which had been aimed at the Ku Klux Klan. New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City mayor Eric Adams, and Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass — all Democrats — spoke in favor, while the ACLU and “civil liberties”advocates expressed opposition.

A group took credit for three firebombings on the University of California at Berkeley campus in “in retaliation for UCPD’s violent assaults on vulnerable student demonstrators and to punish the university of kkkalifornia system for supporting the genocidal Zionist-Israel entity.” The Columbia University Jewish Voice for Peace chapter expressed support for the perpetrator.

Efforts were made to disrupt remaining campus activities. At Columbia University, an encampment was set up to harass attendees at alumni weekend.  Building takeovers also occurred at Cal State Los Angeles and Oregon State University. At Cal State, the takeover trapped a number of staff members inside the building, including the president, and vandalism was widespread. No arrests have been made.

University and local authorities continue to take little or no action against protestors. Notably, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dropped most charges against students and others arrested for taking over a building at Columbia University.

Harassment of Jewish students and campus organizations remained steady in June. The University of Southern California Chabad house and the University of Minnesota Hillel building were vandalized. Student for Justice in Palestine (SJP) remains at the forefront of targeting Jews on campus. At the University of Pittsburgh, the SJP chapter demanded , among other things, that the Hillel chapter be banned from campus for its support of Zionism.

Direct SJP protests were also held at the Baruch College Hillel, which included banners stating “Hillel stands with genocide,” “It is right to rebel, Hillel go to hell,” and “Synagogue of Satan.” The masked protestors also wore Hamas and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) headbands.

Faculty support for anti-Israel students was highlighted by the events surrounding publication of a tendentious and absurd paper by the Columbia Law Review that alleged “nakba” should be a new category in international law. After secretly soliciting and then circumventing the normal review process the paper was accepted. The board of directors then asked the student editors to delay posting the piece online leading to accusations of censorship.

The student editors then published the piece and leaked the story to the media while the directors shut down the website. The piece was later published with a board disclaimer regarding the irregular process. The incident illustrated how student activists have helped subvert international law by controlling law reviews and surrounding discourse.

In the K-12 sphere, walkouts occurred across the country, and support of anti-Israel activities at the New York City Department of Education was also shown by the fact that it had hired prominent BDS activist Debbie Almontaser to conduct “workshops” on the Gaza war for teachers. Jewish teachers complained that the materials presented were deeply anti-Israel.

The predictable targeting of Jews by teachers and parents reached its peak in June at a fifth grade commencement ceremony in Brooklyn when a Jewish family was physically attacked by an Arabic-speaking family shouting “Free Palestine!” “Gaza is Ours!” and “Death to Israel.”

A presentation made by teachers to high school students in the Fort Lee, New Jersey, Public School District — which described Hamas as “armed resistance,” the “Nakba” as “the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and near destruction of Palestinian society,” and the Gaza war as “genocide” — is another event criticized after the fact. The tendentiousness of the presentation was explicitly recognized by the teachers who confiscated students’ cellphones and warned in advance that it was “biased.”

Most egregiously, efforts are being made by schools to institutionalize anti-Israel bias and Palestinian narratives in the guise of outlawing “anti-Palestinian racism.” At the Toronto District School Board, proposals were adopted in June to outlaw this supposed hatred. While the Toronto proposal was vague, other cases indicate that objecting to the Palestinian narrative of the nakba, Palestinian descriptions of Zionist as racism, and demands for Israel to be erased, are examples of “anti-Palestinian racism.”

The June political primaries showed the pivotal place of Israel and antisemitism at all levels of American politics. In the most closely observed race, Westchester County Executive George Latimer defeated Squad member Rep. Jamaal Bowman by a large margin in a New York Democratic primary. Bowman blamed the loss on Israel supporters, Jews, and AIPAC.

Another key test will come in August when Rep. Cori Bush faces a Democratic primary challenge in Missouri, and Rep. Debbie Wasserstein-Schultz (D-FL) is facing a challenge from a Jewish anti-Zionist.

In the international sphere, the Maldives announced that it was banning Israelis from entering. After an outcry and calls for a boycott of the country by the Jewish community, the Maldive government announced it was reconsidering. One consideration was apparently the fact that the edict as written banned Arab citizens of Israel in addition to Jews.

Anti-Israel bias continues to dominate and divide the various communities in the arts, with attacks from Palestinian supporters leading to sudden revocation of corporate support for festivals and other events. In Britain, Barclays has dropped support for music festivals after protests from artists regarding the firm’s alleged business relationship with Israel. Several festivals boycotted Barclays, which has been long targeted by the anti-Israel movement including recently vandalizing of branches around Britain.

Similarly, the investment firm Baillie Gifford ended its support for all book festivals in Britain after being attacked for its minor business links with Israel and alleged relationship with fossil fuel. Critics note that continued attacks on corporate sponsors will undermine arts funding in Britain and jeopardize the existence of book festivals. A similar process is emerging in the US where the South by Southwest festival announced it would no longer accept support from the US Army or weapons companies after boycott threats from various bands.

The politicization of Wikipedia, where a handful of anti-Israel editors have now elected to ban the ADL as a source, parallels that of the media, albeit behind the fig leaves of anonymity and decentralization. The use of Wikipedia as a source for generative artificial intelligence training promises to expand and cement anti-Israel bias and antisemitism.

The author is a contributor to SPME, where a significantly different version of this article was first published.

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Netanyahu Heads to DC After Biden Quits 2024 Race, Says Israel Will Remain ‘Strong’ US Ally Whoever Is in White House

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday departed for a highly anticipated trip to Washington, DC, where he will meet with US President Joe and Biden and deliver a speech before Congress this week as America grapples with the aftermath of Biden’s unprecedented decision to end his 2024 reelection campaign.

During his first trip to the US capital in almost four years, Netanyahu plans to visit the White House and also address US lawmakers on Wednesday. Netanyahu was originally expected to meet with Biden on Tuesday; however, several Hebrew media outlets reported that the meeting will likely be delayed due to Biden still being sick with COVID-19.

It is unclear how Biden’s shock decision on Sunday to drop out of the US presidential race will impact Netanyahu’s address to the US Congress. According to Israel’s Channel 13, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, a close confidant of Netanyahu, assured US officials that the speech will not include criticism of or against Biden following repeated requests by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan for information about what the Israeli premier will say.

Netanyahu issued a statement following Biden’s announcement indicating the Israeli premier will underline the importance of bipartisanship in maintaining a close US-Israel relationship.

“I will seek to anchor the bipartisan support that is so important for Israel. And I will tell my friends on both sides of the aisle [in Congress] that regardless of who the American people choose as their next president, Israel remains America’s indispensable and strong ally in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said while leaving Israel for Washington, DC. “In this time of war and uncertainty it’s important that Israel’s enemies know that America and Israel stand together today, tomorrow, and always.”

The Israeli premier also expressed gratitude to Biden, stating that he will thank the US president for helping the Jewish state as he prepares to exit the White House.

“I plan to see President Biden, whom I’ve known for over 40 years. This will be an opportunity to thank him for the things he did for Israel in the war and during his long and distinguished career in public service, as senator, as vice president, and as president,” Netanyahu said.

Amid declining support for Israel among US liberal Democratic lawmakers, Netanyahu hopes to use his congressional address and White House visit to mend relations with Democrats, who have become increasingly uneasy over Israel’s war effort against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in Gaza.

Biden has come under heavy fire from Republicans as well as pro-Israel Democrats for what they’ve described as him turning against Israel amid the ongoing war in Gaza.

The US president expressed strong support for Israel following Hamas’ brutal invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7, when Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists murdered 1,200 people and kidnapped about 250 hostages during their onslaught. In recent months, however, Biden has paused some weapons shipments to Israel and accused the US ally of “indiscriminate bombing” — a charge rejected by Israeli officials.

The Biden administration also discouraged Israel from launching a military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah to target some of the last remaining Hamas battalions, arguing such an operation would put too many civilians at risk. Experts told The Algemeiner at the time that Israeli forces needed to operate in Rafah in order to dismantle Hamas’ military capabilities.

More broadly, the relationship between the Democratic Party and Israel has deteriorated in the months following Oct. 7. Several high-profile Democrats, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), have suggested that Israel’s military operations in Gaza are tantamount to a “genocide.” Democratic lawmakers have also called on Biden to halt arms transfers to Israel, citing concern over mounting civilian casualties in Gaza.

While Israeli officials have expressed frustration about the Biden administration pressuring them to halt their military campaign, Netanyahu is expected to use his visit as a way to repair some of the damage. The trip could also serve as a way to make Israel’s case directly to the American public, which overall remains pro-Israel despite declining support among younger demographics.

The percentage of Americans that express “little or no confidence” in Netanyahu has increased by 11 points since 2023, according to an April poll by Pew Research Center. Among Democrats, a staggering 71 percent express “little or no confidence” in the Israeli leader. 

Anti-Israel groups have also organized protests in advance of Netanyahu’s congressional address. Far-left organizations such as Party for Socialism and Liberation and Palestinian Youth Movement are urging their supporters to “surround the Capitol” during Netanyahu’s address. Leaders of these groups have branded Netanyahu as a “war criminal” and have called for his arrest. 

The people charge Benjamin Netanyahu with genocide. When war criminal Netanyahu comes to Washington DC,” Palestinian Youth Movement wrote on Instagram, “the people of the world stand with Palestine and against the genocide committed by Israel with full support of the United States and impunity.”

In addition to meeting with Biden, Netanyahu may also speak with Republican presidential nominee and former US President Donald Trump. Netanyahu has requested an in-person meeting with Trump while in the US this week, according to Politico.

The Algemeiner could not immediately verify the report.

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Pro-Hamas Demonstrators Avoid Punishment Following Wave of Dropped Charges, Reports Say

Law enforcement officers detain a demonstrator, as they clear out a pro-Hamas protest encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Los Angeles, California, US, May 2, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/David Swanson

The State Attorney’s Office of Cook County, Illinois has dropped criminal charges filed against three Northwestern University faculty and one graduate student who allegedly obstructed law enforcement’s efforts to clear an unlawful demonstration at the Deering Meadow section of campus.

According to a local National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, the office said its decision is based on its “policy not to prosecute peaceful protesters.”

Charges against the four individuals were pursued by the Northwestern University Police Department, which said that they allegedly engaged in “obstructing a police officer during the protests,” a crime for which they could, if convicted, spend a year in jail and pay a $2,500 fine, The Daily Northwestern reported last week. They had already appeared before a judge and were scheduled to do so again in August.

The university had defended the recommendation of its police department and rejected the notion that the individuals acted peaceably, saying in a statement issued earlier this month that it “does not permit activity that disrupts university operations, violates the law, or includes the intimidation or harassment of members of the community.”

Many more protesters have similarly avoided punishment for the actions they took during a burst of pro-Hamas demonstrations at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year, according to a new report by The New York Times. Prosecutors in Travis County, Texas, for example, have dropped over 100 charges of criminal trespassing filed against University of Texas at Austin protesters, the paper said, and 60 other Northwestern University protesters saw their charges dismissed, with prosecutors calling them “constitutionally dubious.” The Times added, however, that some charges will stick, including those filed against someone who bit a police officer, and many students are still awaiting the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.

Per the report, “At the University of Virginia on May 4, as students were preparing for final exams, administrators called in police to break up an encampment. Police officers in riot gear used chemical irritants to get protesters to disperse and eventually arrested 27 people. The local prosecutor dropped the charges facing seven people after he determined there wasn’t enough evidence. He offered the rest an agreement: their charges would be dismissed in August if they didn’t have any outstanding criminal charges at the time.”

Prosecutors in other states have not been as forbearing. According to Fresh Take Florida, prosecutors in Alachua County, Florida charged seven University of Florida students, as well as two non-students, with trespassing and resisting arrest. The defendants have resolved to take their chances at trial, the news service added, noting that all nine have rejected “deferred prosecution,” an agreement that would require them to plead guilty, or no contest, in exchange for the state’s expunging the convictions from their records in the future so long as they abstain from committing more criminal acts.

One of the nine, computer science student Parker Stanley Hovis, 26, — who was suspended for three years — proclaimed earlier this month that they will contest the state’s cases.

“We did not resist arrest, and we are prepared to fight our charges,” Hovis said in a statement. “We’re standing in solidarity with each other, and collectively demanding that the state drop the charges against us.”

Jewish civil rights group have described the anti-Israel protesters across the US as posing an imminent threat to Jewish students and faculty while noting that many avert being identified by concealing their faces with masks and keffiyehs, a traditional headscarf worn by Palestinians which has become known as a symbol of solidarity with the Palestinian cause and opposition to Israel. Images and footage of the practice have been widely circulated online, and it has rendered identifying the protesters — many of whom have chanted antisemitic slogans, vandalized school property, and threatened to harm Jewish students and faculty during a weeks-long demonstration between April and May — virtually impossible.

On Thursday, one such civil rights group, StandWithUs (SWU), implored the US Department of Justice to crack down on masked protests at Columbia University by enforcing legal statues which are widely referred to as the “KKK Laws,” citing numerous antisemitic incidents of harassment and assault on its campus and the difficulty of punishing the perpetrators.

Dating back to the administration of former US President Ulysses S. Grant, the so-called “KKK Laws” empower the federal government to prosecute those who engage in activities which violate the civil rights of protected groups, as the Ku Klux Klan did across the US South during Reconstruction to prevent African Americans from voting and living as free citizens. StandWithUs alleges that five anti-Zionist groups — most notably Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — currently operating on Columbia University’s campus have perpetrated similar abuses in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which guarantees all students, regardless of race or ethnic background, has the right to a safe learning environment.

“We hope the Department of Justice will take this opportunity to restore justice on Columbia University’s campuses and hold bad actors responsible for violating federal laws,” Yael Lerman, director of the SWU Saidoff Legal Department, said in a statement.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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France Says Israeli Athletes ‘Welcome’ at Olympics Amid Mounting Threats, Added Security Measures

The Olympic Village prepared for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Photo: Paris 2024 / Raphael Vriet

French leaders said on Monday that the Israeli delegation to the 2024 Paris Olympics is welcome in France, despite what critics described as “antisemitic” comments to the contrary made by a French politician two days earlier

At an anti-Israel rally on Saturday, far-left French lawmaker Thomas Portes said, “I am here to say that, no, the Israeli delegation is not welcome in Paris. Israeli athletes are not welcome at the Olympic Games in Paris.”

Portes called for Israelis to be excluded from the Paris Olympics because of Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip who perpetrated the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel.

Portes later also told the newspaper Le Parisien that “France’s diplomats should pressure the International Olympic Committee to bar the Israeli flag and anthem, as is done for Russia” due to its invasion of Ukraine.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said Portes’ comments had “obvious antisemitic overtones” and “placed a target on the backs of the Israeli athletes.” He added, “I want to express my disgust at that. I want to assure the Israeli athletes of our full protection, like all athletes, but particularly them, also welcoming them.”

Darmanin also announced that Israel’s Olympic delegation, which includes 88 athletes representing the Jewish state, will have increased security and will receive 24-hour security from French police. He said the decision was made after taking into consideration the 1972 Munich Olympics — where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September — and how Israeli athletes are a target for attacks, especially since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

France has experienced a record surge in antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched the war with its massacre across southern Israel.

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné reiterated that the Israeli delegation “is welcome in France” for the Paris Olympics during his visit to Brussels on Monday, the French-language newspaper Le Monde reported. He called Portes’ remarks “irresponsible and dangerous,” and added that France “will ensure the security of the [Israeli] delegation.”

Paris Police Chief Laurent Nuñez said 30,000 to 45,000 police personnel will be working daily to ensure safety at Olympic sites and fan zones in Paris.

It was previously reported that Israel doubled its security budget for this year’s Games, which will be Israel’s 18th appearance in the Olympics. Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar told The Telegraph that the Israeli Olympic delegation this year, which is the second-largest Israeli delegation in Olympics history, has received threats but he did not go into detail. He added that delegation members will receive security details from Israel’s Shin Bet security agency but not everyone will have their own bodyguards.

“We try our best to make sure the athletes feel free but also safe and not afraid. We don’t want them to notice the security guards too much. We want them to feel confident so they can do their job,” he explained to the publication.

There have been calls to ban Israel from the Paris Olympics because of the Israel-Hamas war, but Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said in March there is no doubt that Israel will participate in the Paris Olympics.

The 2024 Olympic Games will take place from July 26-Aug. 11.

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