The Heat Is On 
August  2016

As the summer draws to a close, the battle against campus anti-Semitism is only heating up. We at the Brandeis Center have been working throughout the heat to ensure that all Jewish students will be safe in their studies this fall. While exposing the anti-Semites of WikiLeaks and going to court against the American Studies Association, the Brandeis Center continues to address anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents at such places as Irvine, Saint Louis, and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, new lawsuits have been filed against the ASA and the pro-BDS National Lawyers Guild, and we are pleased to note that New Jersey and Rhode Island have joined the growing list of states that have legislated against the anti-Israel boycott movement. This month's Brandeis Brief explores these and other developments, features community leader Mark Bloome, and introduces new LDB intern Dani Hovsha. 
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Anti-Semitism Expert: WikiLeaks 'Knew What It Was Doing' When Invoking Antisemitic Tropes on Twitter (INTERVIEW)
Lea Speyer, Algemeiner

Brandeis Center President Kenneth L. Marcus takes WikiLeaks to task for an anti-Semitic tweet from the organization's account.

Daniella Hovsha, Brandeis Blog

AMCHA Initiate co-founder Tammi-Rossman-Benjamin.
2016 is unfolding as another unsettling year for Jewish students across U.S. college campuses. According to a  report  released last week by the AMCHA Initiative, anti-Semitic activities have surged over the past six months. Moreover, the study provided "ample empirical evidence showing that the presence of anti-Zionist student groups, faculty boycotters and anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activity are each strong predictors of anti-Jewish hostility."

Brandeis Center and Hillel Urge UC Irvine to Respond to Anti-Semitic Incident
Aviva Vogelstein, Brandeis Blog

Hillel International, Hillel of Orange County, and LDB wrote in early July to University of California - Irvine (UCI) Chancellor Howard Gillman urging a strong response to the physical intimidation of a Jewish student, Eliana Kopley and the campus climate of intimidation aimed at Jewish and Pro-Israel students. LDB represents Eliana Kopley regarding this matter. 

Image of the rejected ad from the filed complaint, Bibliotechnical v. NLG, 07/13/16
On July 13, New York attorney David Abrams filed a complaint against the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), on behalf of an Israeli organization, Bibliotechnical Athenaeum. In the complaint, Abrams alleges that NLG practiced unlawful discrimination, violating the New York City and State Human Rights Laws. The activity described in the complaint is consistent with NLG's involvement in a recent aggressive protest on the UC Irvine campus, and suggests that NLG, which promotes itself as a human rights organization that provides neutral and independent "legal observers" is perhaps not so neutral when it comes to discrimination against Israelis and pro-Israel Americans.

Aviva Vogelstein, Brandeis Blog 

It's been a  rough  year for the American Studies Association (ASA), legally speaking. In mid-July, a lawsuit was filed in New York State Court against the New York Metro chapter of the ASA, alleging "unlawful discrimination under the New York City and State Human Rights Laws," in relation to the ASA's boycott of Israeli academic institutions. This is the second lawsuit filed against the ASA in a matter of months, following LDB's lawsuit filed against the ASA, on behalf of four distinguished American Studies professors, for its unlawful boycott of Israel.

LDB Praises Rejection of Charges Against Saint Louis Jewish Students
Press release

On July 15, LDB praised St. Louis University ( " SLU " ), for rejecting retaliatory charges brought against two Jewish students by an anti-Israel activist. LDB advised the students who faced these charges after filing an appropriate and legitimate bias complaint against another student. LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus commended  the SLU administration for setting a good example for other university administrations nationwide.

New Jersey's Anti-BDS Legislation
Michelle Yabes, Brandeis Blog

Photo: State.NJ.US
In June, the New Jersey General Assembly in an overwhelming 69-3 vote passed legislation prohibiting the investment of state pension and annuity funds in companies that boycott Israel or Israeli businesses. 

Rhode Island Governor Signs Anti-BDS Legislation
Juan Pablo Rivera Garza, Brandeis Blog

Rhode Island Governor Gina
Raimondo (D) Courtesy of
This month, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D) signed into law HB-7736, "Anti-Discrimination in State Contracts," an anti-BDS law that prohibits the State of Rhode Island from patronizing any business that refuses to do business with another firm based upon national origin, effectively preventing Rhode Island's tax payer money from supporting companies that boycott Israel. This new law is an important step in combatting BDS, and we commend Governor Raimondo for her principled stand against the anti-Semitic forces of BDS.

Anne Crowell, Brandeis Blog

Photo courtesy of Milan Chatterjee.
In mid-July, LDB issued a statement expressing our continued support for  Milan Chatterjee , the former President of the UCLA Graduate Student Association (GSA) who has been subjected to months of harassment by supporters of the BDS movement for his neutral stance regarding BDS. This is an important time to reiterate our support for Mr. Chatterjee, as the UCLA Discrimination Prevention Office (DPO) recently issued a report which alleged that his refusal to fund either side of the BDS debate was a violation of university policy. Additionally, this news from UCLA serves as a reminder of the concerning spread of anti-Semitism on University of California campuses such as UCLA and UC Irvine, and underscores the importance of putting the policy of the UC Regents' Statement of Principles Against Intolerance into practice.

LDB Pleased to Participate in Civil Society Consultations
Press Release

Photo courtesy of Anne Crowell.
On July 28, LDB submitted a statement to several federal agencies as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Civil Society Consultation process, urging officials to more effectively address campus anti-Semitism. This is a key component of LDB's participation in the upcoming series of Civil Society Consultations, which are hosted on behalf of various federal agencies to ensure the implementation of recommendations from the United States's 2015 Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Council. Anne Crowell , an LDB Civil Rights Legal Fellow, is scheduled to speak at three of the consultations.  

Mark Bloome: Community Leader and Coalition Builder
Aviva Vogelstein, Brandeis Blog

Photo courtesy of Mark Bloome.
Mark Bloome has become an expert at coalition-building and finding innovative ways to fight the Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel and its anti-Semitism on a national basis. But why is he so committed to solving these issues? Read more to find out.

Major Party Platforms Combat BDS
Juan Pablo Rivera Garza, Brandeis Blog


In a pair of positive steps, both the Democratic and Republican parties have inserted language into their party platforms that push against the forces of BDS. 

UNESCO Delays Temple Mount Vote
Juan Pablo Rivera Garza, Brandeis Blog

Temple Mount Source:
On July 12th, UNESCO (The UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) delayed a vote on a draft resolution that would damage ties that Israel and the Jewish people as a whole have with the Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

LDB Welcomes Intern Daniella Hovsha
Emma Dillon, Brandeis Blog

Photo courtesy of Daniella Hovsha.
LDB welcomes Daniella Hovsha, who will be joining the organization as a Civil Rights Communications & Development Intern for Fall 2016. Daniella's early arrival is much welcomed in light of LDB's busy docket, including its landmark lawsuit against the American Studies Association (ASA) for the ASA's unlawful boycott of Israeli academic institutions, legal advocacy work--including representing Eliana Kopley, a UC Irvine  student aggressively confronted and threatened by anti-Israel protesters, and efforts to expand its law student chapter initiative network. 

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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Kenneth L. Marcus

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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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