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Boycott of Israeli Academics Forcefully Rejected

November 2009 Contents

Boycott of Israeli Academics Forcefully Rejected

IJCR Scholars Contribute to Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism

The New Anti-Semitism

The Rescue of Yemenite Jews by Gregg Rickman, former U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

November Articles of Interest

Boycott of Israeli Academics
Forcefully Rejected

Kenneth L. Marcus
Ken Marcus, Director
Anti-Semitism Initiative

Efforts to boycott Israeli academics were forcefully rejected at Norwegian and Scottish universities this month. This is a notable development, since the campus-based boycott, divestment and sanctions (or BDS) movement has been increasing lately in strength and shrillness. Nevertheless, as Gary Tobin and Aryeh Weinberg explain in UnCivil University (Lexington Books, Rev. Ed. 2009), the significance of the BDS proposals is not so much in whether they are actually enacted but in "how the debate on Israel is framed." In this sense, it is hardly a victory if boycott proposals are rejected on academic freedom grounds, but Israel is associated in peoples' minds with the heinous practice of apartheid.

On November 12, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's governing board unanimously decided to reject a proposed boycott of Israeli academics. During a widely followed board of governors' meeting, BDS activists were startled to find that not a single member of this Trondheim institution was willing to defend the measure. Norway's education minister, Tora Aasland, had condemned the proposed academic boycott as being "incompatible with the hallmark of academic culture: a free, research-based dialogue." A week later, the Edinburgh University Students' Association also soundly rejected an anti-Israel boycott proposal.

Read the full column

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IJCR Scholars Contribute to Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism


A new international coalition, The Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) brings together Parliamentarians from around the world to lead the fight against resurgent global antisemitism.

One of the ICCA members, the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) requested that four Institute scholars provide expert guidance: Kenneth L. Marcus, Gregg Rickman, Aryeh Weinberg and Dennis Ybarra.  The CPCCA is an important new coalition composed of Canadian Members of Parliament who are working to combat the global resurgence of anti-Semitism.  In November, Marcus and Rickman both testified in Ottawa about the extent of the current problem and best practices for resolving it. The IJCR scholars' submissions collectively provide a substantial resource for policymakers concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism around the globe and in North American universities and public schools.

Kenneth L. Marcus argues that Canada should adopt the EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism.
Gregg Rickman argues that Canada should establish a new special envoy to combat global anti-Semitism.
Aryeh Weinberg addresses the creation and dissemination of both traditional and newer forms of anti-Semitism, as well as the related prejudice of anti-Israelism, on American, Canadian and European university campuses.
Dennis Ybarra argues the Canadian educational authorities should be wary of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in public school textbooks.

The New Anti-Semitism

The New Anti-Semitism, K L Marcus

In Jurisprudence of the New Anti-Semitism (Wake Forest Law Review, Summer 2009), Kenneth L. Marcus demonstrates that persons subjected to the new anti-Semitism are harmed in a manner which should be cognizable to the law. Specifically, it must be shown how some incidents of the new anti-Semitism, which may appear to target Israel rather than individual Jews as such, nevertheless constitute prohibited forms of discrimination against Jewish Americans. Under the conventional rubrics, the question amounts to whether the new anti-Semitism abrogates anti-differentiation or anti-subordination principles. Ultimately, the answer will turn on the extent to which this new phenomenon demeans Jews, encourages anti-Jewish prejudice, and derogates Jews as morally inferior. This Article argues that the new anti-Semitism achieves these results in part through reracialization processes which stigmatize Jews as morally blameworthy and which mark them for reprisal.

The Rescue of Yemenite Jews by Gregg Rickman, former U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

The Rescue of Yemenite JewsIn November 2007, Ninwe Al Naeti, a young Yemenite Jewish woman was allegedly kidnapped and converted to Islam against her will in Yemen, home to the oldest Jewish community in the world. As the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, it was my obligation to discover more about this incident and whether it was isolated or part of a larger pattern of harassment and anti-Semitism in Yemen.

What I discovered there was a country beset with strife... I immediately expressed my opinion that these people need to get out and we need to find a way to accomplish that...

Read The Secret Rescue Flight of Yemen's Jews to Freedom by Gregg Rickman, The Cutting Edge, November 2, 2009.

November Articles of Interest

IJCR in the News

PhotoWhat's Wrong With Charitable Giving-and How to Fix It
By Pablo Eis

enberg, Wall Street Journal
November 9, 2009

Mumbai Chabad HouseBehind the Mumbai Attacks
By Martin Krossel, FrumForum
November 18, 2009

World Anti-Semitism

Wolfe, SusanKudos to S.F. State president for stand on anti-Israel speech
By Susan Wolfe, j. Weekly
November 12, 2009

Norway Won't Support BoycottNorway University Won't Boycott Israel
By Melanie Lidman, Jerusalem Post
November 13, 2009
Related: Kenneth L. Marcus' November column

Hannah RosenthalThe Anti-Anti-Semite
By Hannah Rosenthal
The State Department's new anti-Semitism envoy, discusses her plans, Israel, and Abe Foxman
By Allison Hoffman, Tablet Magazine
November 20, 2009

Berl KatznelsonThe Jew Flu: The strange illness of Jewish anti-Semitism
By Uzi Silber , Ha'aretz
November 11, 2009

Book Review

A Sfe Haven: Truman & Founding of IsraelA Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel
By Allis Radosh and Ronald Radosh (HarperCollins, 2009)
Reviewed by Asaf Romirowsky, Jerusalem Post
November 5, 2009