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Hillels prepare to answer anti-Israel campus forces

by sue fishkoff & dan pine, special to j.

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Adam Naftalin-Kelman doesn’t know what anti-Israel activists at U.C. Berkeley have planned for this academic year.

But the Berkeley Hillel executive director knows something is coming.

That’s why he joined other Hillel directors around the country at a recent national conference. They came together to map a strategy for competing with well-organized anti-Israel forces on campus.

“I would be naive not to expect anything,” Naftalin-Kelman said. “I’m sure there will be some activity, as there is any year.”

The last academic year was especially tense at U.C. Berkeley, with the narrow defeat of a student-led nonbinding resolution to have the university divest from Israel.

This year, Naftalin-Kelman has a few plans of his own. In terms of proactive pro-Israel programming, Hillel will increase its “tabling,” or presence on campus quads and plazas. The booths and tables are for “students looking to connect Jewishly,” he says, “students who might see anti-Israel booths and might be looking for that Jewish booth.”

With classes at Cal beginning Thursday, Aug. 26, Hillel also has lined up what Naftalin-Kelman calls a “strong docket of speakers … all of which are committed to Israel.” He says he must await final confirmation before announcing the names of the speakers.


The Berkley Hillel strategies mirror plans across the country. Some 300 Jewish college students met Aug. 11-15 at Washington University in St. Louis at the Hillel Institute, a summer training session designed to help them prepare for Jewish engagement work on campus.

A big part of that work was learning how to respond effectively to anti-Israel actions on campus.

Anti-Israel activity has been on the rise on North American campuses for several years, but pro-Israel activists say last year was different: The new campaigns are better organized, more prevalent and more vitriolic.

This summer, a number of national Jewish organizations held training sessions to help students and staff prepare for what is expected to be an even more targeted anti-Israel campaign during the 2010-11 school year.

“In the Jewish community there’s a lot of fear and anxiety, and that lands on our campuses, on our students,” said Hillel President Wayne Firestone at the gathering’s Aug. 11 plenary session.

“We have seen things on campus, last semester in particular, that are really ugly,” he said. “We can imagine what we’ll face when we return this fall.”

Whereas past years might have involved handfuls of anti-Israel students passing out photocopied flyers, last year saw a high-tech traveling exhibit of Israel’s security barrier, complete with a plasma TV showing images that could be seen as anti-Israel.

As part of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, efforts to bring resolutions calling for divestment from companies doing business with Israel reached more than half a dozen campuses — a new tactic in the anti-Israel movement that targets student governments.

Only one of those proposed resolutions passed, in a nonbinding student body vote at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. But every time such a bill is put forward, Hillel activists say, the charged atmosphere it creates leaves lasting wounds.

Last year, Hillel at Stanford helped thwart such efforts by aligning with “Invest for Peace,” a campus campaign chaired by Jewish and Arab students to promote constructive dialogue. Among its goals is to educate students on the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and enlist support of organizations in Israel and the Palestinian territories that work for coexistence.

One measure of its success: No divest-from-Israel bills came before the Stanford student senate last year.

Similarly, at U.C. Santa Cruz, Hillel took part in the Santa Cruz Israel Action Committee, which worked to disseminate positive views of Israel. Moreover, an endowed student intern program brought additional pro-Israel voices to the relatively peaceful campus.

At San Francisco State University the fall semester begins Tuesday, Aug. 24. SFSU has long been a hotbed of intense anti-Israel activity. Still, San Francisco Hillel executive director Alon Shalev has seen positive changes of late, thanks to what he considers proper planning and a Jewish student body unafraid to stand up for Israel.

Shalev touts the Israel coalition, made up of students, faculty and community partners, which meets regularly to plan pro-Israel activities on campus. The coalition has contracted an Israel Fellow — this year it’s former Haifa University student Yochai Shavit –– to help educate students, Jewish and non-Jewish, about Israeli culture.

But Shalev and his Hillel colleagues still expect BDS proponents to go on the offensive this school year.

At the Hillel Institute meeting in St. Louis, some 80 Hillel professionals took part in a 24-hour simulation exercise in which they played various roles on a mythical college campus faced with a divestment bill and a boycott of visiting Israeli professors.

The techniques used in the simulation are included in an Israel Advocacy Playbook that Hillel distributed at the conference and plans to give every Hillel campus professional.

“The group that went through this exercise together now has a common language,” said Chicago educator Carl Schrag, who developed and ran the exercise on behalf of the Israel on Campus Coalition. “When BDS [the sanctions campaign] hits — and I presume it will — hopefully they’ll remember they’re not alone.”

Coalition building is key to Israel advocacy work on campus, say those involved in leading such efforts. It shouldn’t come down to Jewish students against the rest of the campus community, they add — and as interfaith efforts increase on more and more campuses, Jewish students should find themselves less isolated.

Allison Sheren, now Hillel program director at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, says that things were different five years ago when divestment efforts hit her campus when she was a student.

Now she points to a “MuJew” program — a Muslim-Jewish alternative spring break option on her campus that has brought Jewish and Muslim students together on social action projects for the past three years.

“There’s a real focus on dialogue, on partnerships,” Sheren said. “When Israel issues come up, even if there are disagreements, there is discussion.”

Naftalin-Kelman hopes to see Hillel members at U.C. Berkeley increase involvement with two campus interfaith dialogue groups, Bears Breaking Bread and the Interfaith Youth Corps.

Ultimately he wants to see Jewish college students decide for themselves how best to adopt and express a pro-Israel perspective.

“For me, pro-Israel is someone who wants to develop a deep, meaningful, mature, loving relationship with Israel,” he said. “How this is manifested may be different for different people.”

At S.F. State, Shalev believes that process is well under way.

“The students are more comfortable being visible,” he said. “Five years ago I don’t know how willing they would be to wear a [pro-Israel] T-shirt. Today they will. There’s a feeling they don’t want to be pushed around.”


Sue Fishkoff is a JTA staff writer. Dan Pine is a j. staff writer.


Comments

Posted by califlefty
08/20/2010  at  11:32 AM
Call out the BDS movement for what it is

The on-campus BDS movement is part of the orchestrated de-legitimization campaign which has it’s funding roots in the EU and the Arab States. It is anti-Semitic in nature and must be labeled as such. As an anti-Semitic movement it should be banned from campuses. as are other expressions of rascism. Supporters of BDS should be required to expose their funding and support. Label it for what it is, arguing point-for-point gives their position the appearance of equal standing. You don’t have conversations with Nazis, you call them out, same applies here.

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Posted by Jack Kessler
08/20/2010  at  12:35 PM
One Good Place to Start

One good place for Hillel to start in fighting anti-Israel agitation on the UC campus would be to stop hosting and even sponsoring their meetings and organizations. 

Until not too long ago the main anti-Israel group, SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) met at Hillel.  Kesher, another anti-Israel group, still meets there.

Kesher is to the Jewish state what Jews for Jesus is to the Jewish religion.

It isn’t hard to figure out why people keep kicking you if you go around wearing a “kick me” sign on your back.

If one will pardon my Yiddish, UC Hillel has to grow a pair of cojones.  They have to stand up and say “NO” to anti-Israel groups who want to use them and their facilities.  And do it now.  No more bureaucratic excuses.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/20/2010  at  02:50 PM
Hillel Has Been the Genesis of the UCB BDS Movement

When I first read this piece (and the editorial with the same bent) in J, I thought it was a satire. Surely, J’s editor and reporters were aware of what has been widespread knowledge in the Jewish community: that as Mr. Kessler noted above, Hillel has been the petri dish for the BDS movement on the UC Berkeley campus.

Indeed, Hillel has indeed played host to Students for Justice in Palestine and their Jewish cronies, Kesher Enoshi (which also supports BDS). These two anti-Israel groups have participated in numerous student meetings at Hillel and converted a number of vulnerable, impressionable students to the pro-Palestinian cause.

Moreover, several of these convertees and Kesher members subsequently played a role in convincing a majority on UCB’s student government to pass a bill advocating divestment from Israel. Fortunately, the student government’s fair-minded president vetoed the bill.


All of the above transpired under the watch of Rabbi Kelman, who did little to curtail it until finally participating himself in opposition the divestment bill. One might say, too little and too late. Fortunately, by one shaky vote the veto was upheld.

It will be instructive to see what the largely to date inert rabbi overseeing Hillel will permit at Hillel in the upcoming semester. If Rabbi Kelman continues to sit on his hands and permits pro-Palestinian students to use Hillel as their staging ground, disaster on campus and a growth of support for the pro-Palestinian movement is likely to continue apace.

If you read J and are unaware of the above, it’s not for the lack of trying by those of us who have been attempting to alter this appalling situation. Alas, the editor of this publication has refused to print numerous letters concerning this issue—so much for freedom of the press and the right to express a dissenting perspective in J…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/20/2010  at  10:25 PM
Ignore David Evans

Like grf and Janice, this Jewish site regularly receives anti-Semitic communiques from the likes of David Evans and members of various Israel-hating groups such as JVP, Women in Black, ISM, SJP and Kesher Enoshi.

Rather than respond to Evans’ ignorant, irrantional condemnation of Israel, I suggest that we not dignify his mainifest hatred of Jews with any further response. Then he will, like his anti-Semitic comrades, have his infantile anti-Semitic tantrum and fade away…

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Posted by califlefty
08/21/2010  at  02:59 PM
Ban Dan Evans and his ilk

Hey editors - this site belongs to the Jewish Community, not it’s enemies - wake up!

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Posted by califlefty
08/23/2010  at  10:11 AM
I see that the editors have failed.

If anti-Semites are allowed to post and the editors of J-weekly think that “free-speech” trumps allowing this forum to be a venue for anti-Semitic hate speech then I intend to bring the matter up with the management and board of directors. Allowing hate speech here is in violation of the stated mission - “To advance the dignity, solidarity and significance of the Jewish people.”

The contact page is here http://www.jweekly.com/page/contact/ - let them know ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ! Ban the anti-Semites !

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/23/2010  at  10:53 PM
Evans Requires Diaper Change

Calilefty, while I sympathize with your perspective on this, and J’s editors shouldn’t permit its letters column to be bombarded by the sewage anti-Semitic anal passages such as Mr. Evans expel, it’s best to just let Evans stew with an awareness that no one reads the excreta he deposits on this site.

Every time Evans poops in his diapers, his hatred of Jews compels him to expel its contents on Jewish websites. In the long run, lowlifes such as Evans will be—shall we say—wiped out of their hateful existence and people of genuine integrity will exchange ideas free of Evans diaper-soiled waste.

Meanwhile, you can be certain of this: in the short order Internet cowards such as Mr. Evans, grf, Janice and Joseph Anderson will inevitably crawl back to the rock from which they’ve been incubated on David Duke’s ranch to dine once again on the very same diet that they share with the dung beetle…

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Posted by califlefty
08/24/2010  at  12:20 PM
Dan my point is...

... we want people to come to this site secure in the knowledge that it is a welcoming place, a haven from the usual internet cesspools. If they are confronted by just more of the same ‘ol drivel then they will leave. I won’t reply to these fools, but I don’t want anyone to have to even see their posts.

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Posted by Abraham Miller
08/24/2010  at  02:07 PM
Hillel

Last school year, Hillel Director Naftalin-Kelman made a mess of things by opening Hillel to the virulent anti-Zionist,and possibly anti-Semitic, Kesher Enoshi.  If Kelman wants to know what is going to happen at Berkeley this year, all he has to do is ask his KE students.  They know because they are undoubtedly intimately involved with Students for Justice in Palestine in planning this year’s anti-Israel bashing.  The leadership (I use the term with hesitation) of this community has gone to great lengths to rehabilitate Kelman, but I was always taught that it was necessary to clean up one’s own mess without seeking affirmation for it.  Regrettably, this lesson has not been imparted to Kelman.  Both Kelman and the Counsul General had advance notice of the game planning of the BDS movement, both chose to dismiss the warnings. Has Kelman learned anything from last school year’s events?  Well, if KE is still at Hillel this fall and still recruiting naive students for JVP, then Kelman has learned nothing, and by spring, the community will be caught up in another crisis of its own making. National Hillel needs to understand this is Berkeley and send us someone up to the task.  How about a Jewish woman of valor, as the men they have sent us have all been political eunuchs?

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2010  at  03:05 PM
The Appropriate Response to Anti-Semites Like Evans

Calilefty, your point is well taken and it is reasonable to apply both methodologies to see what best works to keep anti-Semites like Evans from their massive posting on this site.

On the one hand, Evans may well be so delusional to believe anyone fully reads or takes seriously his drivel. So perhaps the best approach may be to eviscerate the poster while ignoring the swill he spews.

Too bad J’s editors are asleep at the wheel. If they were doing their job, we could exchange ideas on this site about substantive matters and not have to hold our nose every time the likes of Evans unleash their flatulence on line.

One last note: I see that Evan’s final post was made about 1 am. This is typical of these single, solitary, anti-social ideolgues who have nothing and no one in their lives other than perhaps a few fellow bigots.

In sum, anti-Semites like Evans live only to hate and should be treated accordingly…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2010  at  03:18 PM
Rabbi Kelman, Hillel, and Freedom of the Press at J

Abraham Miller makes some cogent observations concerning the absurd and injurious happenings at Hillel over the past couple of years.

If readers of J are unfamiliar with the fact that Rabbi Kelman has permitted Hillel to become subverted by the pro-BDS forces of SJP and Kesher Enoshi, it’s because the editor of this publication will neither print an accurate investigative piece about Hillel nor even publish letters from those of us who have seen this abomination unfold at what should be a place of pro-Israel support.

Now that J has published both a fawning feature as well as an equally inaccurate editorial about the role of UCB Hillel and its inert director, its editor will hopefully permit dissenting letters discussing this important matter to be aired in the upcoming issue.

For Mr. Klein to fail to do so would be to subvert the differences of opinion which we clearly value in the Jewish community and would be an outright abrogation of the free speech which should be an integral part of this publication…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2010  at  06:36 PM
Why No One is Challenging Evans

Clearly not the sharpest nail in the shed, the Jew-hating Evans simply doesn’t understand that no one is “challenging” him because no one reads/wades into waste water from a bigot.

My eyes quickly landed on one of his lamebrained sources, IfAmericansknew, the by-product of Alison Weir, a woman proudly published by David Duke and rightfully termed an anti-Semite by the ADL. Among Weir’s contributions: the Israelis are perpetuating Jewish blood libel and Zionists collaborated with the Nazis during WW II.

Yes, Mr. Moron, your source material is at least as anti-Semitic as you are.

And since you stay up all by your lonesome to come to this site to spew your loathing of Jews (1 am), try video games or auto-erotic stimulation (the multi-syllabic prose of good books is beyond your capabilities).

Clearly, you need some outlet where no partner is requireed as you are all alone, stewing in your cauldron of hate and filthy bigotry…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2010  at  09:26 PM
Alison Weir's "Impeccable" Credentials

What a cretin you are, Mr. Evans. Alison Weir’s career as a “journalist” consists of editing a “shopper” mag in Sausalito, with later pieces published in Alexander Cockburn’s laughable ideological rag,Counterpunch, as well as The Electronic Intifada (or is it “idiot’s fada). That’s it. Some brilliant career!

Oh, sorry, Wier had a piece published in full in David Duke’s on line Jew-hating mag. That made her very proud and I’m certain it resonates deeply with you.

When Weir complained that the Chron and Merc won’t publishe her screed, I reminded her that maybe their editorial page editors remembered the days when she bombarded him with op-eds maintaining her belief that HIV had nothing to do with AIDS. Talk about a crackpot!

Well, so much for your heroine’s “impeccable” journalist credentials. I remember when the University of Michigan’s Daily, the publication I wrote for as an undergrad, laughed Alison out of the press room. She was a fool then and has simply morphed into a first-class anti-Semite. No wonder she is your kinda journalist…

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/24/2010  at  10:42 PM
Evans, You are So Ignorant

You come on here with rubbish from certified anti-Semites such as Alison Weir, insult us with a link to a piece by her connecting Israelis with the odious myth of Jewish blood libel, link another piece to the repugnant fiction that Zionists collaborated with Nazis, and expect us to read any of your filth? That’s why you haven’t gotten the counter-argument you seek—no one will read this crap.

So dream on if you believe you have actually accomplished anything. ‘Course, you are probably either unemployed or working at 7 11 and with no partner to share your pathetic life, you have nothing but time on your hands and virtually nothing of value to live for other than, as I said, hate…

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Posted by jaxthots
08/25/2010  at  11:06 AM
I note the predictable outpouring

I note the predictable outpouring of insults against poster Dave Evans, but see nothing in his posts that is inconsistent with the documented factual record.

Due to its foundation in crimes and deceptions, the Zionist Project has been doomed from the start as is the desperate hasbara campaign to rescue it from the truths increasingly exposed by book after book revealing its real history from declassified archives.

Hillel does a terrible disservice to Jewish students by engaging them in a disingenuous charade of propaganda and outright lies to promote “Brand Israel” rather than commitment to traditional Jewish values of social justice which have led some half of American Jews under 35 to disassociate their Jewish identities from Israel and question the entire idea of a “Jewish state” according to a 2007 survey reported in the Jerusalem Post. 

Why?  The allegiance of college-educated people with moral integrity is ultimately to history as discovered by reputable professional historians and to the legal and ethical principles established by the consensus of humankind, over all of which Zionism has run roughshod.  For those still bewitched by what Israeli historian Shlomo Sand calls Jewish “mythistory,” here is a reading list for their path to discovery:
http://www.al-nakba-history.com/sourcesresources/booksandvideos.html

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Posted by HHM
08/25/2010  at  12:16 PM
Fortunately there are human rights-based

Fortunately there are human rights-based alternatives to Hillel and J Street.  Check out the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and their points of unity:

http://www.ijsn.net/

Points of Unity

While we all come from diverse organizing and activist experiences, and have diverse relationships to our Jewish histories and identities, we share the following points of unity:

  * Solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian self-determination, including full political, economic, cultural, social and land rights for all those living in the historic Palestine, and the right of return for its refugees;

  * Rejection of the Israeli apartheid state, premised on Jewish supremacy and Zionist ideology,  and support for all struggles for legal and economic equality against it;
 
  * Support for the building of just societies in historic Palestine, the larger region, and the other places in which we live;

  * A commitment to the values of democratic self-determination, social justice and solidarity, gender equality and cultural rights, and to assert the same values in our own organizing and political practice;

  * Commitment to the call from Palestine for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel;

  * Challenging the current use of Islamophobia as a strategy for defending and justifying an imperialist US-European agenda;

  * Challenging white racism, including its manifestations as Ashkenazi racism against Mizrahi Jews;

  * Challenging the privileging of Jewish voices in conversations and negotiations about Palestine;

  * Rejection of the ways in which the Zionist movement and Western governments exploit the Nazi holocaust to justify the historic and current actions of the State of Israel; and

  * Rejection of alliances with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacist and Nazi holocaust deniers in our Palestinian solidarity work.

—————————-

Communities quickly galvanize - and rightly so - against white supremacy and Holocaust denial. We need to do the same against Jewish supremacists and Nakba denial.

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Posted by Zionism is Self determination
08/26/2010  at  10:26 AM
Alison Weir and David Duke, sitting in a Tree

If this principle were indeed true:

* Rejection of alliances with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacist and Nazi holocaust deniers in our Palestinian solidarity work.

You would reject Alison Weir and her organization, “If America Knew”  (btw, America does know, and that is why America supports Israel).

Alison Weir’s work appears on David Duke (former president of the KKK David Duke, yes, thats the one).  When confronted with this, she laughed it off.  Personally, I wouldn’t want my intellectual property being used by white supremicists, but Alison has no such standards.

And neither do you, if you continue to promote Alison Weir

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/25/2010  at  03:33 PM
Asleep at the Wheel

It is clear that under their rubric of “free speech,” J’s editors are permitting this site to be bombarded with anti-Semitic swill.

Wake up Mr. Klein, or you will find J’s on line edition regularly awash with such sewage from scum…

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Posted by marc klein
08/25/2010  at  04:01 PM
Our Terms of Service

I suggest you read our Terms of Service, which are posted at:

http://www.jweekly.com/page/terms-of-use/

This document was put together with legal counsel. We follow the advice of legal counsel on the management of our website and have been doing so since 1995. There are legal issues involved in editing forums and deleting comments. We follow the recommendation of counsel regarding that as well. Please do not debate this issue. We have discussed it thoroughly, and we are operating the site per legal recommendations.

Especially take note of the following passages in our Terms of Service:

“You understand that when using the Site, you will be exposed to Submissions from a variety of sources, and that J. is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such Submissions. You further understand and acknowledge that you may be exposed to Submissions that are inaccurate, offensive, indecent, objectionable, obscene, threatening, harassing or encourage any such conduct, or that otherwise violate any of the Codes of Conduct, and you agree to waive, and hereby do waive, any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against J. with respect thereto, and agree to indemnify and hold J., its owners/operators, affiliates, and/or licensors, harmless to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters related to your use of the Site.

You acknowledge and agree that we have the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the Site and each Submission; to alter or remove any Submission at any time; to disclose any Submission and the circumstances surrounding their transmission to any third party or governmental or regulatory entity in order to operate the Site properly; to protect ourselves, our sponsors and our users and visitors; and to comply with legal obligations or governmental requests.”


AND this:

“Forums. Our Forums are designed for users and members of the site to comment on any Materials and share information regarding the products and services offered on the Site. You acknowledge that people participating in such Forums occasionally post messages or make statements, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that are inaccurate, misleading or deceptive. We neither endorse nor are responsible for such messages or statements, or for any opinion, advice, information or other utterance made or displayed on the Site or Forums by third parties, whether such third parties are visitors to the Site, members of the J. community or others. The opinions expressed in the Forums reflect solely the opinion(s) of the participants and may not reflect the opinion(s) of J. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions in articles or postings, for hyperlinks embedded in messages or for any results obtained from the use of such information. Under no circumstances will we or our affiliates, suppliers or agents be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on such information obtained through the Site.”

“You acknowledge and agree that we have the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the Forums and the materials you transmit or post; to alter or remove any such materials (including, without limitation, any posting to a Forum); to disclose such materials and the circumstances surrounding their transmission to any third party in order to operate the Site properly; to protect ourselves, our sponsors and our members and visitors; and to comply with legal obligations or governmental requests.”


Marc S. Klein
Editor and Publisher

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Posted by Jack Kessler
08/26/2010  at  04:32 AM
Marc Klein has cherry-picked the

Marc Klein has cherry-picked the Terms of Use with an eye to justifying his doing nothing about the problem of J becoming a platform for anti-Semites.

He conveniently omitted a few other sections of the Terms of Use.  To wit,

“Codes of Conduct.  you [the user] agree that you will not… make a submission that is… (b) unlawful, obscene, DEFAMATORY, LIBELOUS, threatening, FRAUDULENT, ABUSIVE, pornographic, harassing…  [nor] (c) is intended to victimize, HARRASS, DEGRADE or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, disability, ETHNICITY, gender, race, RELIGION or sexual orientation.” [Emphasis added]


And futher on we read,

“You [the user] acknowledge and agree that we have the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the Site and each Submission; to alter or remove any Submission at any time”


Marc Klein’s cites only the portions which seem to justify his doing nothing to protect the J’s readers from anti-semites.  He ignores the sections that give him both the obligation and the authority to do something about it.  Why is that Marc?

Under the
Terms of Use you have both the obligation to prevent abusive anti-Semitic submissions and the authority to alter or remove any Submission at any time.

Why won’t you do it?

The sections of the Terms of Use that Marc Klein cites only say that we can’t sue him to force him to stop him from letting J become a platform for anti-Semites.  Don’t worry Marc, no one is going to sue you.

Marc, Jewish communities do not sue community officials when they seem not to understand that community resources should not be perverted to use by anti-Semites. 

As we saw in the case of the SF Jewish Film Festival, we don’t sue such officials.  We fire them.

But he larded them with sections which appear to say we have to put up with anything that appears in the J.

Those sections say that we LEGALLY have to put up with whatever appears in J.  But nobody is talking about suing the J to force Marc not to run anti-Semitic broadsides. 

We are talking about his duties to the J’s readers and to the Jewish community, not about lawsuits. 

Judging by the SF Jewish Film Festival, the risk is not that you would be sued, but that you would be fired.

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Posted by Jack Kessler
08/26/2010  at  03:51 AM
Here We Go Again?

Marc Klein has cherry-picked the Terms of Service with an eye to justifying his doing nothing about the problem of J becoming a platform for anti-Semites.

He conveniently omitted a few other sections of the Terms of Service.  To wit,

“Codes of Conduct.  you [the user] agree that you will not… make a submission that is… is (b) unlawful, obscene, DEFAMATORY, LIBELOUS, threatening, FRAUDULENT, ABUSIVE, pornographic, harassing…  [nor] (c) is intended to victimize, HARRASS, DEGRADE or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, disability, ETHNICITY, gender, race, RELIGION or sexual orientation.” [Emphasis added]


And futher on we read,

“You [the user] acknowledge and agree that we have the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the Site and each Submission; to alter or remove any Submission at any time”


Marc Klein’s cites only the portions which seem to justify his doing nothing to protect the J’s readers from anti-semites.  He ignores the sections that give him both the obligation and the authority to do something about it.  Why is that Marc?

Under the terms of service you have both the obligation to prevent abusive anti-Semitic submissions and the authority to alter or remove any Submission at any time. 

Why won’t you do it?

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/26/2010  at  08:37 AM
Here's some background on the

Here’s some background on the neo-Nazi organization which excreted the likes of Evans and his fellow anti-Semitic posters.

While the founder of the so-called Jewish Anti-Zionist Network is an
anti-Semitic Jew (yes, the likes of Finklestein, Chomsky, Lubin and Lerner are
clearcut evidence that there are still kapos of Jewish genetic heritage living amongst us), the
vast majority of that organization’s members are not Jewish. Locally, they are said to
include the East Bay’s answer to Louis Farrikan, the anti-Semite extraordinare Joseph Anderson.

In FrontPage Magazie’s June 8 edition, there is a feature on the utterly insane
and hate driven organization from which Evans and his buddy’s who have posted
here hail (or should we say “heil”). As you will see below, It is clearly, even proudly anti-democratic.

FrontPage Magazine, June 8, 2010:
Moshe Machover, born in Tel Aviv in 1936, is an unrepentant admirer of all things Marxist. He scorns representative democracy, because in his view our system of government doesn’t give appropriate weight to radical ideas. Oddly enough though, the one representative democracy that comes closest to getting it right in Machover’s world is the nation he hates most of all: Israel. In April 2010 he wrote: “But here is a rare, perhaps unique, exception: Israel has just about the most democratic electoral system possible in a bourgeois state: a consistent form of proportional representation… Minority voices, including that of the Arab national minority, have regularly been heard on the floor of that house.” Not that providing Arabs living in Israel with the very things that Arabs deny non-Muslims in every nation they control – a voice in government and freedom of worship – excuses Israel’s many sins in Machover’s world. Of course not.

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Posted by Dan Spitzer
08/26/2010  at  08:42 AM
For Clarity's Sake

Moshe Machover is the founder of the “Jewish” Anti-Zionist Network and he is indeed from Jewish parentage. However, as noted, the organization has become a lightening rod for Jew haters intenationally and a majority of them are not Jewish…

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Posted by califlefty
08/26/2010  at  09:08 AM
Editor Klein's excuses hold no water....

I know of no internet blog or website that does not retain and exercise the right to ban, censor or 86 the comments of anyone that they simply don’t like for any reason. Klein is getting some pretty poor legal advise that seems to indicate he fears being sued by anti-Semites. My advise….GROW A PAIR !

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Posted by califlefty
08/26/2010  at  09:23 AM
some basic legal help for Klein...

Read this, pass it on to your lawyers. Your welcome.

http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/230

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Posted by Zionism is Self determination
08/26/2010  at  10:19 AM
Right back at ya, Mr. Evans

Mr. Evans has been trained by anti-Israel sources in the technique of “google bombing”- of planting anti-Israel links around the web in an effort to enhance the Google ranking of these sites.
There is no reason, legal or otherwise that the J needs to put up with this.

But in the words of Saul Alinsky “Make your opponent play by their own rule book”
This is for you, Mr. Evan:

Whenever I want to verify the debris you and your friends throw at us, I check the Jewish Virtual Library
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/

Stand With Us is also a great source of information on the history and politics of the Middle east:

http://www.standwithus.com/

The best source of Information on BDS Israel on the web:

http://www.divestthis.com/


Zionism and Israel on the web

http://www.zionismontheweb.org/


Fun local Bloggers who write on the Middle east

http://www.bluetruth.net/

http://oybay.wordpress.com/

http://fresnozionism.org/

http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.com/

And Mr Evans American does Know.  And that’s why America supports Israel.

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Posted by rfaelmoshe
08/26/2010  at  10:22 AM
A distinction without a difference

I often read people like David Evans attempting to make a bright line distinction between being opposed to the Jewish state of Israel versus being Anti-Semitic, or simply racially prejudiced against Jewish people.
  “Anti-Semitism” is a German word used as a more polite, scientific sounding replacement for the traditional term, “Juden Hass” or “Jew Hatred.  As to”Zionism,” Israel represents the culmination of the liberation aspirations of the Jewish people. After having been ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homeland, the Jewish people’s national liberation movement, seeking a return from exile to their homeland, Holy Sites, and sacred places.  This is commonly referred to by a Hebrew term for Jerusalem,“Zionism.” It is the world’s oldest indigenous peoples national liberation movement. When religious Jews pray, three times a day, the prayer,”Next year in Jerusalem” is recited. In essence, “Zionism” is the political expression by the Jewish people of their natural right of national self determination in their ancestral homeland. Supposed “Anti-Zionists” such as Mr. Evans, Allison Weir etc, oppose Jewish national self-determination, but ONLY Jewish national self determination. Often, this stance is accompanied by a denial of the history, culture, languages, the “peoplehood” of the Jewish people as well as a politicized, distorted version of the history of the region and the Arab-Israeli conflict The collection of myths, fabrications, prevarications and distorted history is commonly referred to as the “Palestinian narrative.” Sometimes, this distorted history is accompanied by stylish Marxist rhetoric, the language of “the Left” or quasi-scientific language like “indigenous people”, no matter how factually inapplicable.
  So in the final analysis, there is a distinction, between “Anti-Semitism” and “Anti-Zionism” but, not really that much difference in practice.

Kol tuv:

RfaelMoshe.

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Posted by artcohn
08/26/2010  at  03:02 PM
anti-Israel haters

I agree fully with, Abraham Cooper, Jack Kessler, and Dan Spitzer. Hillel Rabbi Kelman has been ineffective in opposing the Israel-Hate organizations, and often actually cooperating with them.
Daniel Evans has filled this space spewing out the hate-Israel propaganda lines. Then he defends this asinine propaganda by citing previous publications from hate-Israel propagandists.

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Posted by Rabbi Menachem Creditor
08/27/2010  at  03:19 PM
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

In response to the many comments already posted here:  If you had stood on campus with me, Rabbi Hanan Alexander, Consul General Akiva Tor, Rabbi Yonatan Cohen, Rabbi Judah Dardik, and Rabbi Adam Naftalin Kelman, you would channel the overwhelming passion you are demonstrating here to raising funds for Berkeley Hillel, which defends Israel on a daily basis while providing a strong and diverse Jewish home on campus for the next generation of Jewish leadership.  If those Jewish college students read the hatred and unvarnished rhetoric in these comments, they will be appropriately discouraged from ever joining the conversation.  I encourage everyone in our community to stop typing and to start preparing for the Cheshbon HaNefesh (soul-inventory) with which every Jew must engage in advance of Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur.

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Posted by Abraham Miller
08/24/2010  at  02:19 PM

I have a life, so I will just get into the last issue you raised.  The Stern Gang and Irgun were minor players in the history of Mandate Palestine. My colleague, J. Bowyer Bell, the author of “Terror Out of Zion,” was roundly criticized by academic reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic for creating a history of the Mandate absent the mainstream leadership and the Hagganah.  This is the history you, Mr. Evans, seek to perpetuate. By the way, Wikipedia is not a source
for anything other than a date and possibly and event.  The mainstream Zionist leadership went to war with both the Stern Gang and the Irgun in a conflict known as the “Season.”  My good friend, British General Richard L. Clutterbuck, actively worked with the Hagganah in hunting down the terrorists.  The terrorists were as representative of the Zionist movement as Al Qaeda is of mainstream Islam.  Only an imbecile or a propagandist would claim otherwise.  I am not sure which of this appellations fit you, Mr. Evans, but neither does you credit.  Get an education!  Or, perhaps, you already did, at Berkeley,

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Posted by jaxthots
08/25/2010  at  11:23 AM

These were hardly “minor players” in Mandate history. Irgun blew up the King David Hotel housing the Mandate authority, which did not consider this event of minor significance.  The leaders of these terror groups, Menachim Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, both became prime ministers of Israel.  Their activities through October 1948 were documented by the UN for incoming mediator Ralph Bunche following their assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte (http://www.al-nakba-history.com/origins1948/unterrorismchronology.html).

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Posted by Zionism is Self determination
08/25/2010  at  08:53 PM

You are quoting Gilad Atzmon? The notorious anti-Semite? My sainted dad always told me you are known by the company you keep.
Mr Evan, the company you keep has said:

“I would suggest that perhaps we should face it once and for all: the Jews were responsible for the killing of Jesus who, by the way, was himself a Palestinian Jew. …..Why is it that the Jews who repeatedly demand that the Christian world should apologise for its involvement in previous persecutions, have never thought that it is about time that they apologised for killing Jesus?”

and

“Zionists complain that Jews continue to be associated with a conspiracy to rule the world via political lobbies, media and money. Is the suggestion of conspiracy really an empty accusation?”

and

“We need the voices of David Duke…and Pat Buchanan.”

and the classic

“I’m not going to say whether it is right or not to burn down a synagogue, I can see that it is a rational act.”

Still so proud to be quoting Gilad Atzon, Mr. Evans?

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Posted by Jack Kessler
08/26/2010  at  02:36 AM

Here is just what I and others are taking about.

The J is supposed to be a Jewish newspaper for, among other things, discussion of Jewish issues within the Jewish community.

By running David Evan’s ignorant and hate-filled ramblings, J winds up giving a platform to enemies of the Jews.

I make no suggestion as to what J staff ought to do about it. 

But it is an example of a Jewish institution being co-opted and exploited by enemies of the Jews.

What just happened here on a tiny scale with the J being used for David Evans’ thinly disguised anti-semitic ranting, is just what has happened at UC Hillel on an institutional scale.

It is not clear what the J staff can do about haters like Evans, but it is perfectly clear what UC Hillel can do about haters like SJP and Kesher Enoshi. 

Hillel staff should show some self-respect as Jews and as individuals and tell the enemies of Israel to find somebody else’s facilities to use for their anti-Israel campaigns.

Lest anyone buy the tired wheeze about them being legitimate “critics of Israel”, I suggest one re-read David Evans’ letter above. 

Is he really a concerned citizen critical of certain particulars of Israel’s policies?  Or is he just what he appears to be - a latter day pogrom-chik?

There are a hundred more like him in each of SJP, ANSWER, ISP, Kesher Enoshi, and Code Pink.

Hillel should NOT be providing its facilities for their use.

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Posted by Jack Kessler
08/26/2010  at  02:59 AM

One purpose of J is for members of the Jewish community to talk to other members of the Jewish community.

No purpose of J is to provide a sounding board for anti-Semites to scream insults at Jews.

Before J staff trot out some nonsense about not censoring, let me point out that that J already censors.  Clearly J rejects comments containing four letter profanity. 

Presumably there is some limit to other forms of obscenity that J staff will permit. 

David Evans’ remarks above are a modern version of the blood libel.  Four letter profanity is vastly less offensive than that.

I have the same problems with J providing a platform for him airing these slanders that I had with the SF Jewish Film Festival running anti-Israel and occasionally overtly anti-Semitic films.

It took years for the Federation to respond to that problem.  I would like to see the J staff show some intelligent response to this problem. 

As with SJP and Kesher Enoshi, Evans and all the other anti-Semites should have all the freedom in the world to air their hatred - but not in our community newspaper.  Nor at our Hillel.

Most blogs are moderated to prevent them being ruined by flamers and trolls.  Evans and his ilk are both flamers and trolls and the J staff should protect the comment space by moderating their comments.

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Posted by Sam Liron
08/26/2010  at  06:05 PM

This is NO reason to give this anti-Jew a forum on OUR paper, get his lies out and him off the comment section….
hate speech and lies are not FREE speech

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Posted by Sam Liron
08/26/2010  at  06:10 PM

Evans is a LIAR

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Posted by Sam Liron
08/26/2010  at  06:17 PM

David Evans is a Palestinian mouth-piece that lies in his sleep.
Evans does not deserve an answer or a space on the J-Weekly

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