Beating BDS
July  2017 
The last few weeks have seen state-wide anti-BDS victories in Kansas, Nevada, and North Carolina. At the same time, we have faced continuing challenges at San Francisco State University and the University of California at Irvine. This issue of the Brandeis Brief updates you on these and other important developments across the country, in Congress, and at the United Nations.  Once again, we thank you for your tax-deductible   donations   and acknowledge that without you our work could not be done.

UN Ambassador Addresses Anti-Israel Bias

On June 6th, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling
 for the end of its historically one-sided, anti-Israel bias. The chronic behavior of the Council extends beyond mere anti-Israel sentiment: its actions represent a pervasive anti-Semitic attitude in the UN.

Modern Language Association Overwhelmingly Passes Anti-BDS Motion
Edward Kunz, Brandeis Blog 

The Modern Language Association (MLA) announced that a resolution against BDS had been ratified by their members. The anti-BDS motion follows an attempt to pass a pro-BDS motion at the MLA national conference in January of 2017, which the Louis D. Brandeis Center had urged the organization to reject last year.

Anti-Semitism seen on the rise again in nation, Oregon
Peter Wong, Portland Tribune

Anti-Semitism is on the rise again in America - and in Oregon - according to the director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Portland, Bob Horenstein. Unlike past occurrences,  the attacks are coming from both the political left and right, representing a bipartisan phenomenon.

On June 21 2017,  the Brandeis Center applauded  University of Wisconsin - Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, for administration's castigation of the Associated Students of Madison's controversial divestment measure while urging further action. The ASM introduced various versions of BDS resolutions, violating the student's constitutional rights.
Advocacy Groups Charge UC Irvine with Failing to Protect Pro-Israel Students' Rights
JV Staff, Jewish Voice

Fifty Jewish, civil rights and education advocacy groups recently wrote to University of California Irvine (UCI) Chancellor, Howard Gillman, demanding he publicly address the latest in a slew of disruptions of pro-Israel events on campus  in light of the commitment the Chancellor made last year to stand against intolerance.

Jen Kleinman, Brandeis Blog

On June 19, 2017, the Lawfare Project and Winston & Strawn LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf  of students and members of the Bay Area Jewish community against San Francisco State University. The complaint allges  that the university has fostered a climate of anti-Semitism on campus, and violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights, as well as their rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

North Carolina General Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Bill
Edward Kunz, Brandeis Blog

On June 28, legislators from North Carolina's General Assembly  passed House Bill 161 , an anti-BDS bill which would punish companies engaged with state business who actively participate in boycotts against the State of Israel. Once signed into law, the bill will be the 22nd anti-BDS legislation adopted by a U.S. state.

Kansas Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill into Law
Michaela Shapiro, Brandeis Blog 

On June 16, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed an anti-BDS bill barring state agencies from entering into contracts with individuals or companies that boycott Israel. Kansas follows in the footsteps of Texas and Nevada, which both passed similar anti-BDS legislation within the past month.

Nevada Passes Anti-BDS Legislation
Ali Rosenblatt, Brandeis Blog

On May 24, 2017, Nevada's House unanimously passed an anti-BDS bill that outlaws government entities from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel. The Senate approved this bill last month in a 19-2 vote and, it is now being sent to Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is expected to sign it into law.

Victory Over BDS at Pitzer
Edward Kunz, Brandeis Blog

Today, the Pitzer College Trustees announced that they had rescinded the recent BDS amendment passed by the Pitzer Student Senate. Changes included removing an inflammatory paragraph prohibiting conducting business with organizations "associated with the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories," among others. 

SCOTUS Decision Could Impact Freedom of Speech Debate on Campus
Jordan Weber, Brandeis Blog

The momentous Supreme Court decision in  Matal v. Tam ruled that the government cannot refuse to trademark potentially derogatory or offensive names, irrevocably altering the  national debate about hate speech and the First Amendment. While hate speech remains constitutionally protected, harassing conduct remains subject to civil rights laws.

Bipartisan Taskforce Praises European Parliament's Actions Progress in the Fight Against Global Anti-Semitism
Brandeis News
On June 27, the U.S. Congress' Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism issued a letter in support of the European Parliament for its adoption, earlier this month, of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. While applauding the Parliament's efforts, the Taskforce notes that "more work remains to be done."

Congratulations to Aviva Vogelstein
Edward Kunz, Brandeis Blog

The Louis D. Brandeis Center would like to congratulate its Director of Legal Initiatives, Aviva Vogelstein, on receiving the Daniel Siegel Memorial Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in the Jewish community.

LDB Welcomes New Legal Clerks and Interns
Brandeis News
The new summer team includes Civil Rights Law Clerks Jennifer Kleinman and Jordan Weber, and interns Ali Rosenblatt and Michaela Shapiro.  LDB Clerks will conduct legal research and writing, while LDB's interns will assist with communications and development, among other important tasks. 

In This Issue:
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The Louis D. Brandeis Center is a nonprofit organization supported by individuals, groups and foundations that share our concern about Jewish college students.  Contributions are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  To support our efforts to combat campus anti-Semitism, please contact us at
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The Louis D. Brandeis Center stands ready if we can help you to combat anti-Semitism in higher education.  Please contact us if you are a student or professor who needs our help.  We are also available to provide technical assistance to university administrators who are interested in achieving legal compliance and best practices for eliminating campus anti-Semitism.
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