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Tufts University Student Government Passes BDS Motions

A statue of the school’s mascot, “Jumbo,” stands the campus of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tufts University in Massachusetts on Monday expressed disappointment that its student government — Tufts Community Union Senate — passed three resolutions falsely accusing Israel of apartheid and genocide, as well as demanding that the university stop selling Sabra food products, a priority of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

“We’re disappointed that a majority to pass three of the resolutions,” Tufts University spokesman Patrick Collins said in a statement to the campus newspaper, The Tufts Daily. “To be clear, as we have done in the past, we reject the boycott, divest, and sanction movement; we wholeheartedly support academic freedom and all our academic exchange and affiliated study abroad programs; and we will continue to work with all companies that we engage with and do business with now.”

The resolutions — written by a group which calls itself “Coalition for Palestinian Liberation” — divided the campus body, The Daily reported, noting that over 300 students packed the Joyce Cummings Center, where the senate convened, to spectate or deliver presentations on why senators should vote one way or the other.

Jewish students reported being verbally abused for sharing their opinions. After several said that anti-Jewish sentiment on campus is redolent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and that they had personally lost family during Hamas Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, an anti-Zionist student told them, “Stop using generational trauma to justify another genocide.” Other Jewish students were heckled while speaking and another was allegedly spit on, prompting all of them to exit the Cummings Center early, according to campus media.

As they did so, according to a report later posted by Jewish on Campus (JOC), anti-Zionist students assailed them with antisemitic comments, vulgar expletives, and, JOC added, hand gestures. The Daily reported that Tufts spokesman Patrick Collins addressed the anti-Zionist students’ antisemitism, but also denounced “Islamophobic words” which, by chance, were not witnessed by the paper’s reporters nor detailed in their article.

“This is entirely unacceptable and should be met with condemnation from the entire community, regardless of individual perspectives on the resolutions,” Collins said. “We will be investigating these accusations thoroughly and will hold accountable any student found to engage in these behaviors.”

After hearing from students, lengthy debate ensued, and a vote did not take place until three in the morning, at which time the senate closed the session to the public and recorded their votes via secret ballot, thereby concealing from the students who elected them their stances on one of the most pressing political issues of their generation. Tufts Community Union Senate, considered four anti-Zionist motions in total, passing them nearly unanimously. A fourth, demanding the cancellation of study abroad programs in Israel, failed to pass — 16-16-3 — for not achieving a simple majority.

“These resolutions do nothing to bridge difference on campus, nor do they invite a critical exchange of ideas regarding the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian situation,” Tufts Hillel executive director Rabbi Naftali Brewer said in a statement on Monday. “Instead, they caricaturize [sic] and demonize Israel and only further marginalize so many in the Jewish community at Tufts.”

Arguing that the resolutions “force a binary choice,” Brewer added, “Either one is in sympathy with the suffering Gazans and wholeheartedly rejects Israel’s right to exist, or one is supportive of Israel’s right to exist and wholeheartedly rejects the plight of innocent Gazans. I am here to tell you that this is a false and dangerous dichotomy.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Tufts University Student Government Passes BDS Motions first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

The post Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Israel Is Not Jewish People,’ New York Times ‘Daily’ Guest Really Wants You to Know

Anti-Israel protesters outside Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City, April 22, 2024. Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

When producers from the New York Times podcast “The Daily” posted on social media looking for “Jewish students who represent a range of feelings and experiences, from being enthusiastically pro Palestinian to enthusiastically pro Israel, and everything in between,” I replied, “This is a trap! They’ll use the ‘pro-Palestinian’ (the polite term they use for the ones who want to wipe Israel off the map) ones to make it sound like the Jewish community is divided and give listeners the illusion that the anti-Israel protests aren’t antisemitic.”

Sure enough, the Times podcast episode that finally aired, headlined, “The Campus Protesters Explain Themselves,” included three students.

Mustafa Yowell, of Irving, Texas, said his mother was from “Nablus, Palestine” and described himself as a Palestinian Arab. He’s a student at the University of Texas, Austin who complained to the Times that “two IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers had infiltrated the campus.” By “IDF soldiers” he meant Israeli students at the university who had, like many Israelis, served in the army before college.

The second student interviewed, Elisha Baker, a student at Columbia University, described himself as a proud Zionist and a graduate of Jewish day school.

And the third student, Jasmine Jolly, a student at Cal Poly Humboldt, described herself as the daughter of a Catholic father and “of Ashkenazi descent on my mom’s side.” Jolly showed up at protests with a sign that said “in honor of my Jewish ancestors, I stand with Palestine.” Jolly also chanted “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

“There’s nothing that has come across to me as antisemitic if you are able to pause and remember that Israel is not Jewish people and Zionism is not Jewish people,” Jolly explained to the Times audience.

Jolly read an email from her Jewish grandfather claiming, “Israel is an increasingly apartheid state.”

This is just such a misleading view of reality on campus and in American Jewish life. Even polls like Pew that use an expansive definition of who is Jewish find overwhelming Jewish support for Israel and negligible support for Hamas, including among younger Jews 18 to 34.

In reality, a lot of the anti-Israel protesters aren’t even Palestinians; they are European or Asian students or white or black Americans who either have been brainwashed by their professors or who have underlying, pre-existing antisemitic attitudes. Few of them have been to the Middle East and many of them are ignorant about basic facts about it — remember the Wall Street Journal piece, “From Which River to Which Sea?

“The Daily” episode made it crisply concrete, with the Times representing Jews as being split 50-50, with one normative Jew and one Jew chanting “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.” That’s ridiculous, yet a similar approach contaminates other Times coverage of the Jewish community, misleadlingly portraying American Jewry as deeply divided rather than unified around the goals of getting the hostages back, eliminating the threat of Hamas, and making American college campuses safe for Jewish students.

The Times was at this game well before Oct. 7, 2023, proclaiming “the unraveling of American Zionism” and trotting out old chestnuts such as the Reform movement’s Pittsburgh Platform of 1885 and the New York Times‘ favorite Jew, Peter Beinart.

I find myself rolling my eyes at such depictions, but there is clearly some audience for them among the Times readership and top editorial ranks. The Times executive editor, Joe Kahn, told Semafor’s Ben Smith in a May interview, “I’m not an active Jew.” Maybe the New York Times can sell sweatshirts: “Inactive Jew.” Who, exactly, is supposed to find that distinction between “active” and “inactive” Jews reassuring? Maybe they can put it on top of the front page in place of “All the News That’s Fit to Print”: “Edited by someone who wants the public to know he’s not an active Jew.”

Of all the moments to choose to distance oneself publicly from the Jewish people, this is sure quite one to choose.

This “Daily” episode seems calculated to appeal to the inactive Jews, and to others who want justification to believe it’s not antisemitic to set up on Passover and falsely accuse Israel of genocide. It’s nice for the Times to include a Zionist voice on the program, but he wound up sandwiched in between a Palestinian and an “only one solution, intifada revolution” person. It’s fairly typical for the New York Times these days, but it isn’t pretty.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here. He also writes at TheEditors.com.

The post ‘Israel Is Not Jewish People,’ New York Times ‘Daily’ Guest Really Wants You to Know first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases Second Video of Israeli Hostage Sasha Troufanov

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in an undated propaganda video released by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on May 30, 2024. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Thursday released a second propaganda video this week featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

In the video, Trufanov says he is doing well and criticizes Israel’s prime minister and government in remarks that were likely scripted by his captors.

There was no information about when the video was filmed. However, Trufanov refers to Israel’s decision on May 5 to order the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close, indicating he may have been filmed in the last few weeks.

The latest video came just two days after Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group in Gaza, released its first video featuring Trufanov.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare meant to torture the Israeli public, especially the families of the hostages being held in Gaza.

Trufanov’s mother said after the first video was released that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but it was “heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

“Seeing my Sasha on my TV was very cheering, but it also breaks my heart that he’s still been in captivity for so long,” she said in a video released by the family. “I ask everyone, all the decision-makers: Please do everything, absolutely everything, to bring my son and all the hostages home now.”

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Sasha was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend. All three women were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases Second Video of Israeli Hostage Sasha Troufanov first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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