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NYU announces antisemitism research center as Jewish students file discrimination suit

(New York Jewish Week) — New York University says it will launch a center dedicated to studying and combating antisemitism, as U.S. universities grapple with strident anti-Israel activities that Jewish students say often veers into discrimination.

The Center for the Study of Antisemitism center will research both “classical” anti-Jewish discrimination and “the ‘new antisemitism’ and its links to anti-Zionism,” NYU President Linda G. Mills said in a statement on Wednesday.

The announcement came the same day that NYU was hit with a lawsuit filed by three Jewish students alleging that the university allowed hostile, discriminatory environment that violated their civil rights protections. The students — Bella Ingber, Sabrina Maslavi and Saul Tawil — say the school did not apply its anti-discrimination policies as they faced antisemitic incidents, which they said accelerated after Hamas’ attack on Israel Oct. 7. 

The new research center is expected to open in the fall of 2024 and will study how antisemitism manifests and ways to counter discrimination against Jews. The institute will convene scholars from a range of disciplines, including the social sciences, Judaic studies, history, social work, public policy, psychology and law.

The university’s statement said a recent “seven-figure donation” will fund the academic center, without elaborating. Officials declined to respond to additional questions about who was funding the new initiative.

Mills cited the Hamas attack on Israel in her statement announcing the center, saying antisemitism was on the rise before the terrorists’ incursion, but that “since Oct. 7, the increase has been truly terrifying.” The Hamas assault killed 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians, and took over 200 others hostage. The attack, and Israel’s devastating response against the terror group, have fueled an outpouring of antisemitism in the United States, according to law enforcement and Jewish security groups.

The NYU center will provide funding to faculty, students and fellows for research; hold undergraduate and graduate courses; host conferences, webinars and speaker series; conduct training seminars; and coordinate measures to “create an atmosphere free of anti-Jewish prejudices,” the statement.

U.S. Congressman Daniel Goldman, who is Jewish and represents the district covering NYU’s main campus, said he had held “constructive conversations” with university leaders and applauded NYU for launching the center.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York also celebrated the announcement. Last year, the Jewish group partnered with New York City’s public college system, the City University of New York, to address antisemitism on its campuses. NYU is a private institution.

Two representatives of the Jewish advocacy group the Academic Engagement Network, which organizes academics to counter antisemitism on U.S. campuses, also welcomed the NYU announcement and said it would cooperate with the initiative.

“NYU’s commitment to this scholarship and research will ensure that Jewish inclusion is supported and addressed alongside all forms of bias and discrimination,” the Academic Engagement Network’s Miriam F. Elman and Naomi Greenspan said in a joint statement.

NYU said the antisemitism center would investigate the ways antisemitism and other forms of discrimination feed into each other. In addition to research, the center will conduct training at the university and elsewhere to guard against antisemitism and other forms of hatred, and will engage with non-academics including members of the media, law enforcement and government.

The center will work closely with NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, and the inaugural faculty advisory panel includes several professors from the department.

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the executive director of the university’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, will also be an adviser.

NYU, like a number of other universities has long grappled with anti-Israel activities on campus that some Jewish students said amounted to antisemitism. Eitan Gutenmacher, an NYU student activist with the New Zionist Congress, told the New York Jewish Week late last month that as an Orthodox Jew, he was afraid to be on campus due to classmates’ support for “the so-called resistance” against Israel, but added that the administration was working with Jewish students to make them feel safe and was taking steps to address antisemitism.

The bigger problem was the “enthusiasm on campus from a huge portion, thousands in the student body, that are openly anti-Jewish, that are openly against the existence of a Jewish state,” he said.

Mills issued a statement that unequivocally condemned the Hamas attack days after the assault.

Other New York campuses, including Columbia University, Cooper Union, and some colleges from the City University of New York have also faced harsh criticism for anti-Israel activities in the past month, including condemnation of the administrations.

New York City has seen a surge in antisemitic incidents since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, according to Jewish security groups and the New York Police Department.

The post NYU announces antisemitism research center as Jewish students file discrimination suit appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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UN Committee Says Not Enough Evidence to Declare a Famine in Gaza

Egyptian trucks carrying humanitarian aid make their way to the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel, May 30, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The United Nations Famine Review Committee (FRC), a panel of experts in international food security and nutrition, has cast doubt on the notion that the northern Gaza Strip is suffering through a famine.

In a report released earlier this month, the committee responded to a claim by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) — a US-created provider of warning and analysis on food insecurity — that a famine was likely underway in northern Gaza. FEWS NET said that northern Gaza began experiencing famine in April and projected that the embattled enclave would endure famine until at least July 31.

The FRC rejected the assertion that northern Gaza is experiencing famine, citing the “uncertainty and lack of convergence of the supporting evidence employed in the analysis.” The panel carries out evaluations of humanitarian conditions on behalf of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), an international famine monitoring initiative. 

The FRC added that there is not sufficient evidence to confirm the existence of a famine within northern Gaza and called for more humanitarian access into the warzone, providing experts an opportunity to give an accurate assessment of the conditions. 

“The very fact that we are unable to endorse (or not) FEWS NET’s analysis is driven by the lack of essential up-to-date data on human well-being in northern Gaza, and Gaza at large,” the report stated. “Thus, the FRC strongly requests all parties to enable humanitarian access in general, and specifically to provide a window of opportunity to conduct field surveys in northern Gaza to have more solid evidence of the food consumption, nutrition, and mortality situation.”

However, the panel warned that Gaza is still enduring “extreme human suffering” and called for the “complete, safe, unhindered, and sustained” transport of aid into the enclave.

The report represents a course-reversal for the FRC, which claimed that Gaza likely surpassed the “famine thresholds for acute malnutrition” in March. The FRC now contends that civilians in Gaza are experiencing improved humanitarian conditions as a result of increased aid flowing into the war-torn enclave.   

“Since the FRC review conducted in March 2024, there seems to have been a significant increase in the number of food trucks entering northern Gaza,” the report read.

“The FEWS NET analysis acknowledges that humanitarian assistance in the area has increased significantly, finding that caloric availability from humanitarian assistance increased from 9 percent in February to 34 percent  to 36 percent in March and 59 percent to 63 percent in April. The opening of alternative routes to the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, the authorization of commercial truck entry, as well as airdrops, allowed for an increase of food availability,” the report continued.

Several aid agencies, media outlets, and politicians, as well as pro-Palestinian activists, have repeatedly accused Israel of inflicting famine on Palestinians since beginning its military operations in Gaza following Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter of over 1,200 people throughout southern Israel. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, accused Israel of using starvation as a “weapon of war.”

Despite these allegations, data produced by the United Nations showed that Israel allowed more than 100 food trucks to enter Gaza per day in March, an increase from the daily average of 70 trucks before the war. Moreover, many trucks transporting aid into Gaza have been hijacked and seized by Hamas terrorists, increasing the difficulty of distributing food to civilians.

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Hundreds rallied outside Toronto school board offices to protest a racism report that doesn’t mention antisemitism

Hundreds of people filled the lawn in front of the Toronto District School Board (TSDB) to oppose a proposed anti-discrimination policy being voted on by trustees that would include recognizing anti-Palestinian racism—while failing to acknowledge rising antisemitism in schools. The report, entitled Combating Hate and Racism: Student Learning Strategy, was received without any amendments by […]

The post Hundreds rallied outside Toronto school board offices to protest a racism report that doesn’t mention antisemitism appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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French President Denounces ‘Scourge of Antisemitism’ After 12-Year-Old Jewish Girl Raped

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference in Paris, France, June 12, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday denounced the “scourge of antisemitism” and called on schools to hold discussions on racism and hatred of Jews after three boys were charged with raping a 12-year-old Jewish girl in a Paris suburb.

The young girl told police that she was approached by three boys who raped and beat her in the northwestern Paris suburb of Courbevoie on Saturday in an incident that French authorities have described as a hate crime. According to French media, the assailants called the victim a “dirty Jew” and uttered other antisemitic remarks during the brutal gang-rape.

A police source told AFP that one of the boys asked the young girl questions about “her Jewish religion” and Israel, citing the child’s statement to investigators.

The boys — two aged 13 and one 12 — were arrested on Monday and indicted on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Macron’s office said the president asked French Education Minister Nicole Belloubet “to organize a discussion in all schools on the fight against antisemitism and racism, to prevent hate speech with serious consequences from infiltrating schools.”

The rape of the unnamed 12-year-old girl has caused outrage throughout France and among the Jewish community.

Elie Korchia, president of France’s Central Israelite Consistory, told BFM TV that the girl was raped “because she is Jewish,” adding, “We have never seen antisemitism that extends so far in all areas of life.”

Courbevoie Mayor Jacques Kossowski echoed that sentiment in a statement released on X/Twitter, saying, “The rape was carried out with antisemitic intent.”

Eric Ciotti, leader of Les Républicains, also condemned the “rise of antisemitism” in France, which he argued was “fueled by the alliance of the far left.” He added that “we must act as a bulwark” against antisemitism.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing National Rally party, decried the rape on social media. She noted “the explosion of antisemitic acts” in France since Oct. 7.

The recent gang-rape came amid a record surge of antisemitism in France in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel. Antisemitic outrages rose by over 1,000 percent in the final three months of 2023 compared with the previous year, with over 1,200 incidents reported — greater than the total number of incidents in France for the previous three years combined.

In April, a Jewish woman was beaten and raped in a suburb of Paris as “vengeance for Palestine.”

The post French President Denounces ‘Scourge of Antisemitism’ After 12-Year-Old Jewish Girl Raped first appeared on

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