Warning M.L.A., Praising U.K.
January 2017

We have had good recent news from Ohio and London, as we continue to fight for Jewish students on college campuses and on Capitol Hill. And fight we must. The Modern Language Association is threatening to become the next major academic association to adopt an anti-Israel boycott resolution. We have had a warning for them as well. We have also had some good news from Congress too, although much more work is needed there in the coming year.  Once again, w e thank you for your tax-deductible  donations  and acknowledge that w ithout you our work could not be done.

Legal Group Threatens Action Against Modern Language Association Over BDS Motion That Counters Academic Organization's Tax-Exempt Status
Lea Speyer, Algemeiner

Source: wikileaks.org
Lawyers from the Brandeis Center issued a warning to the Modern Language Association (MLA) concerning a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution - spearheaded by MLA Members for Justice in Palestine - which is scheduled for a vote at the upcoming MLA 2017 Convention. This resolution advocates faculty to boycott Israeli institutions on the grounds of Israeli "violations...of academic freedom and educational rights for Palestinian scholars and students." As the Brandeis Center emphasizes in its letter, the motion "seeks unprecedented action from the MLA that is far beyond the capacity and powers set forth in the MLA's corporate charter" and is "also inconsistent with the mission and programs that the MLA reports to the IRS."

Aviva Vogelstein, Brandeis Blog

On Monday, Dec. 12, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced in her keynote address at the Conservative Friends of Israel's annual lunch, that her government is going to formally adopt the internationally-recognized International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.
Stating that that anti-Semitism "has no place in politics and no place in this country", May's actions will make Britain one of the first country's in the world to adopt the definition which includes all forms of hatred towards Jews as well as utilizing modern day examples of anti-Semitism including those relating to anti- Israel rhetoric.

Human Rights Expert Says Unanimous Passage of Senate Antisemitism Bill Will Have 'Ripple Effect' on US Campuses
Lea Speyer, Algemeiner

The newly passed US Senate bill advancing the fight against antisemitism - which closely resembles the action that Prime Minister Theresa May has just taken in Britain -- will have a "ripple effect" on educational institutions if it is passed by both chambers of Congress in the next term, says Kenneth L. Marcus. Referring to the unanimous passage of the bipartisan  Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2016 , Marcus noted that it is "about time the government take action" on the ever increasing anti-Semitism on college campuses.
This Act attempt to do just that, identifying the phenomenon of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric  as a "persistent, disturbing problem in elementary and secondary schools and on college campuses." It also provides for the Department of Education take into consideration the definition of antisemitism set forth by the  State Department   and its Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act has created national contention, writes Professor Dina Porat chief historian of Yad Vashem.  The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act would use substantially the same IRHA definition of anti-Semitism that British Prime Minister May has pledged to adopt. Yet, in the U.S the initiative alone has become a hotly controversial, international issue.
As Porat  points out, this is a definition whose wording is a product of the joint work of organizations, scholars and activists, and the member countries, including both Jews and non-Jews. It's a practical definition - one page in length - that does not go into the identity and motives of anti-Semites or a description of their image of Jews. It provides, in one sentence, that "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities." It poses no threat to anyone except anti-Semites.

Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Anti-BDS Law
Aviva Vogelstein, Brandeis Blog 

On the December 19, Ohio Governor and former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich signed an anti-Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) bill into law.

The anti-BDS bill prohibits Ohio state agencies from contracting "with a company that is boycotting Israel or disinvesting from Israel."

LDB Senior Staff Attorney Jennie Gross testified in front of the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee in support of the bill on December 6, and LDB President and General Counsel Kenneth L. Marcus testified in support of the bill in front of the Ohio Assembly earlier this year.

Why the Oldest Hatred Flourishes on US Campuses
Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press 

Richard L. Cravatts' new book,"Dispatches from the Campus War Against Israel & Jews," (2016)  is an exploration of the growing anti-Israle problem on U.S campuses.
Beginning with the evolution of the "cognitive war against Israel." Dr. Cravatts traces the modern trajectory of what he deems 'the oldest hatred'. In its latest incarnation, the "new anti-Semitism" has morphed into a more widely acceptable, but just as hate-filled and irrational, version which hides behind the fig leaf of "criticism of Israeli policies."

The intense contortions of those whose anti-Semitism was not acceptable forged a more acceptable conduit for the irrational hatred, which then flowed into the most-favored blame receptacle, now represented by the Jewish State. Sadly, our students have become the front line in the fight against this harmful rhetoric.

Brooklyn College Needs To Shed Its Image As A Hotbed Of Anti-Zionism
Eli Verschleiser, Jewish Press 

Per the conservative Los Angeles-based David Horowitz Freedom Center, which tracks campus anti-Israel activity, Brooklyn College is one of the top 10 schools in the nation for anti-Israel activity, alongside such peers as San Diego State, University of California at Irvine, Vassar College, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Certainly the institution is home to one of the most active and extreme SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) chapters in the country and the last years has seen a Several high-profile Israel-bashing events, some coordinated with faculty, as well as a long held battle by four Jewish students thrown out of a SJP event.
At Brooklyn College, like many other campuses across the country the response by the University has been inadequate, raising the question of why it seems Israel supporters are not entitled to the same protection and concern as their antagonists.

Author and lawyer 'defines' anti-Semitism
Debra Rubin New Jersey Jewish News 

After decades of an apparent diminishment of anti-Semitism following the end of World War II, prejudice against Jews has resurfaced in recent years, often intertwined with anti-Israel bias, and nowhere has it been felt more than on college campuses.

According to Kenneth L. Marcus, efforts to counter this rise, however, have been hampered by the inability of university administrators and federal government agencies to define exactly what constitutes anti-Semitism.
Speaking at a gathering Dec. 5 at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, Marcus noted that while universities will always respond to blatant anti-Semitic incidents, such as those involving swastikas or demonstrated hate by white supremacists, the issue becomes murkier when Israel comes into play,-"It's completely different than the old school anti-Semitism."

Marcus said he became so alarmed at the confusion over the link between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism that he felt compelled to write The Definition of Anti-Semitism.

Yet, despite all the divisive speech generated by the recent presidential campaign and the rising tide of anti-Semitism on campus, Marcus said he is hopeful it can be stemmed through Jewish unity. "We're gaining strength by coming together," he said.

'Hate Spaces' reveals toxic campus bigotry
 Richard L. Cravatts, PhD. San Diego Jewish World 

"Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus," is the latest film by Dr. Charles Jacobs and Avi Goldwasser of Americans For Peace and Tolerance. It is an in-depth exploration of the practices and polices of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the ways in which these groups transform campuses into toxic spaces, especially for Jewish students.

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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 info@brandeiscenter.com.
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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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