Representing what’s right

An open letter to critics of the UCSA resolution on HR 35

SJPOpenLetterIllus
Sebastian Yan/Staff

Last month, the UC Student Association, a coalition of the UC student governments across each campus, expressed its principled opposition to anti-Semitism but deep concern with the language of a state Assembly bill purportedly about the topic, HR 35. The concern stems from language in the bill that conflates anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of Israeli state policies. For example, HR 35 equates anti-Semitism with statements that Israel’s policies may be racist or constitute apartheid, as Nobel Peace Prize winners Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire, among many others, have suggested, or with advocacy for boycotting Israel and complicit companies until the state ends such policies. Civil rights groups and faculty members have already recognized the threat such a definition of anti-Semitism poses to free speech and academic freedom on our campuses, and through its vote, the UCSA now has too. We applaud the UCSA for speaking up for the free speech rights of students.

We also applaud the UCSA for calling on the UC Regents to “cleanse their investment portfolios of unethical investments in companies implicated in or profiting from violations of international human rights law, without making special exemptions for any country.” Rather than singling out Israel for criticism, as some have suggested, the UCSA vote helps to correct HR 35’s efforts to singularly protect Israel from criticism that would be directed at any other nation engaging in similar practices. As the UCSA resolution makes clear, all states should be held accountable for their human rights violations, with boycotts or divestment being legitimate nonviolent tools to do so. SJP supports an ethical investment policy that would broadly target human rights abuses in multiple countries. We recognize the importance of naming Israel in that list because the United States has given more in military aid to Israel than any other country in our lifetimes, giving United States residents a special responsibility for the human rights abuses Israel commits and a special opportunity to make change.

Specifically, SJP advocates using boycott and divestment to target companies that are directly complicit in the human rights abuses attending Israel’s occupation, such as Caterpillar Inc., a company in which our school invests more than $5 million, according to the most recent end-of-year investment report. Caterpillar supplies massive weaponized bulldozers to the Israeli Defense Force that are routinely used to demolish Palestinian homes and farmland as part of Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land taken to establish exclusionary Jewish-only settlements that are illegal under international law. These are not “alleged” human rights violations, as some have recently impugned, but the honest reality affirmed by myriad human rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and the United Nations, all of whom decry the human rights abuses perpetrated by Israel with America’s support. The UCSA view that we should not be profiting from these human rights abuses should hardly be controversial, and, in most corners of the university, it clearly is not, as evidenced by the overwhelming majority votes in the UCSA and in in all three divestment votes at Berkeley in 2010.

Since the UCSA vote, however, some — including the editors of this paper — have raised objections. Though we suspect their true concerns are with the substance of the bill, their chief expressed complaint has been procedural. In response, it is worth noting that UCSA student leaders did nothing to make this bill less public than any of their other legislative efforts. HR 35’s passage was sudden and unexpected, and the UCSA had a duty to promptly respond in defense of student rights. The suggestion that the Jewish community on campus was selectively and intentionally excluded from the conversation, as has been alleged, is absolutely false. In fact, a Jewish Israeli student was one of two students to address the UCSA on the day of its vote, a fact conveniently ignored by those attempting to craft a narrative of Jewish exclusion. This student approached the UCSA because his own research on Israel’s ethnic cleansing is threatened by HR 35, and he hoped his student government would stand up for him. There’s nothing devious about petitioning your elected representatives to protect your rights — and it’s not really reasonable to demand that a student invite those who seek to restrict his free speech rights to a hearing about his right to speak freely. But there is something worrying about some people’s attempt to lend their marginal viewpoint defending Israel’s occupation the moral weight of an entire ethnic and religious minority, disregarding the many Jewish students on campus who firmly oppose Israel’s policies in the process.

Due to institutional features of the UCSA — UCSA representatives from across the state are only in the same city to cover all business matters for a full day once a month — the UCSA forum is not an ideal forum for long debates about HR 35 and divestment. To those wishing for more robust debate, we can relate. The longest public debates on the topic of Israel/Palestine on this campus came about as a result of the 2010 divestment hearings in the ASUC, initiated by SJP members. Though we recognize that fewer and fewer students stand in opposition to granting Palestinians universal human rights, we are eager to engage with those who do not yet share this opinion. In fact, on numerous occasions, our members have sought out a debating partner among those who defend American support for Israel’s policies, only to find no one willing to debate on the other side. We hereby extend an open invitation to any remaining critics of the recent UCSA resolution, including recent opinion writers Joey Freeman and Noah Ickowitz, to participate in a respectful, academic debate with fellow students regarding HR 35 and the ethicality of boycotting and divesting from Israel and complicit companies. We would like this debate to be moderated by a mutually agreed upon unbiased party — and failing that, we’d even be willing to settle for a moderator like The Daily Californian.

Cal Students for Justice in Palestine is a student group that advocates equal rights for the Palestinian people.

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  • From SWU

    The UCSA is supposed to act as the voice of UC students, and the resolution claims it reflects campus-wide sentiment. It does neither. Boycott and divestment resolutions have been defeated on all UC campuses where they were introduced. Worse, the 12-member board went out of its way to shut out and silence pro-Israel students. Arielle Gabai, president of the UC Berkeley Jewish Student Union, stated, “We were told that it was spur of the moment that day, and our campus representative wasn’t able to contact us for some reason or another, then we found out in the Daily Cal article that they have been talking about this since August….It’s very clear that Jewish students’ voices were left out. It was a conscious effort to silence Jewish voices.” While Jewish and pro-Israel student groups were excluded from this meeting, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) was asked to make a presentation.

  • I_h8_disqus

    I look forward to SJP supporting a boycott of companies doing business with Palestine for their human rights violations, since the group says the UCSA vote should apply to every place restricting human rights. Cal students need to start thinking critically. Go look at information on Israel and the countries around it. Find out the human rights violations of each, and then decide which countries need to be boycotted first.

    • peepsqueek

      Arab States will not sign on to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because it conflicts with Islamic Sharia. They sign on to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which is strictly Islamic Sharia.

      In a joint written statement submitted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), a non-governmental organization in special consultative status, the Association for World Education (AWE) and the Association of World Citizens (AWC): a number of concerns were raised, that the CAIRO DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS limits Human Rights, Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression. It concludes: “The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam is clearly an attempt to limit the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants. It can in no sense be seen as complementary to the Universal Declaration.”

      The Centre for Inquiry in September 2008 in an article to the United Nations writes that the CAIRO DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS: “undermines the equality of persons and freedom of expression and religion by imposing restrictions on nearly every human right based on Islamic Sharia law.”

    • guest

      Palestine is not a country.

      • I_h8_disqus

        Are you throwing up roadblocks your ability to think critically? Palestine has a government. They think of themselves in the same way an official country thinks of itself. They can act humane to the people in Palestine and to their neighbors. Since they don’t, they should be boycotted.

        • And here you have hit upon the double standard of these SJP fruit-loops. They demand complete sovereignity and all the rights that come with it for their selected group of people while simultaneously denying it for the Israelis. The fact of the matter is that when push comes to shove, any time they have been offered their chance to have a peaceful sovereign state, they have deliberately botched the opportunity, and for what reason? So-called “statehood” for Palestinians is a ruse, as anyone with half a brain should have been able to figure out after the Israelis turned over the Gaza Strip to the Pallies is a ruse. The Palestinian conflict is merely the Arab and Muslim world’s proxy war against the state of Israel. Time to call these people on their BS and stop treating them like some type of victims…

      • Calipenguin

        If you claim Palestine does not have to observe human rights because it is not a country, then it never deserves to become a country.

  • Rita

    the main question we all have is why was this forced through with no discussion and no feedback? Thats not democratic, and thats not the why student government should work. If it werent so expensive, I’d ask for a recall vote. That this action was taken in my name is unconscienable.

    • Rocky

      I don’t think we all have that question. It wasn’t “forced through” any
      more than any other UCSA resolution is “forced through,” you just don’t like the opinion expressed.The UCSA
      delegates discussed it and gave feedback among themselves, which is for
      better or worse how the UCSA always runs. Would love to make all our levels of government (student or otherwise) more about direct democracy, but let’s be real about what your true grievance here is. Bet you’ve never been animated about UCSA process for any other vote they’ve done on all sorts of other controversial issues. It’s the substance of this that pisses you off. Well, wake up, the majority of students around you aren’t down with Israel apologists trying to make criticism of Israel’s human rights abuses verbotten.

      • Calipenguin

        If the UCSA does not honor democracy and only discuss issues among themselves then what good is it? What is the purpose of UCSA if it does not even pretend to represent UC students? I’m thinking UCSA should be banned from the Cal campus if it just wastes everyone’s time. Or maybe UCSA members are like you, they just know “the majority of students” opinions without gathering any opinions and feel comfortable voting in secrecy since they are omniscient and infallible?

  • Deena

    The proposal that “Jewish” Voice for Peace, SJP and their various confederates opposed included such provisions has providing kosher food for Jewish students and being aware of Jewish holidays in terms of scheduling tests. I read the recommendations from Yudoff’s tasks force and couldn’t imagine why anyone would oppose them. Everything is political, and I suppose that ackowledging the needs of Jewish students on this campus has become a political act. Its no wonder that so many Jewish students stay closeted during their stay at Cal. Its probably less painful for them that way

    • human rights supporter

      here is an article by a Jewish SJP member supporting the provisions regarding kosher food etc. The problem is with the free speech limitations. http://972mag.com/is-an-attack-on-israel-an-attack-on-individual-jewish-identity/52226/

      please stop smearing everyone who disagrees with your politics as antisemitic. It gets painful.

      • Dan Spitzer

        Listen cocksucker. If you are anti-Semitic, you deserve the pain you have self-inflicted. Those who support the Palestinians support a people who advocate Jewish genocide. If that isn’t anti-Semitic, just what is?

        • Dan Hates Cock Sucking

          “yeah, yeah cocksucker cocksucker cocksucker anti-Semite anti-Semite cocksucker” Got to love the level of Dan Spitzer’s discourse. Thank god he’s not a Cal student.

          • Dan Spitzer

            You are worried about a few well-earned profanities when the real obscenity is the Palestinians pledge to genocide, their treatment of women, their brutalization of gays and their suppression of dissidents. Too bad some of those who support these barbarians are Cal students. These scumbags are supporters of violators of human rights and are obscene themselves by definition.

          • COCK

            you do realize the only genocide taking place is that of the palestinian people, right? well, a lot of israelis are as ignorant as you, even, and that says something about how little they actually have to worry about despite what is said about palestinian “aggression,” which by the way is completely warranted resistance.

          • peepsqueek

            Palestine is a geographical area on the map. Almost 80% of historical Palestine became the Arab/Muslim State of Jordan. The tiny peace of land granted to Jewish people became the State of Israel, however, the newly formed State was attacked by six Arab armies, and they lost. Arabs still do not accept the tiny Jewish State.

            Do you know what the six Arab armies were prepared to do to the Jews had they succeeded in destroying the Jewish State?

            You speak of genocide, when Palestinian Arabs keep doubling and tripling their population. How is that possible in a genocide?

            You speak of stealing land, when Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria—the West Bank—since ancient times. The only time Jews have been prohibited from living in the territories in recent decades was during Jordan’s rule from 1948 to 1967.

          • Dan Spitzer

            Palestinian pigs pledge Jewish genocide while their own numbers have increased as fast as any people on earth as they continue to irresponsibly reproduce. Meanwhile, morons like “cock” talk about “Palestinian genocide.” That shows you how out of touch with reality and what compulsive liars Stupids for Just Us in Foul-Asstine and their pro-Palestinian friends are.

            “Palestinian genocide?!” What a fucking joke. We could all use more laughter. Surely, you and your Arab friends who kill in the name of their pedophile prophet (he married one of his wives, Ayesha, when she was six and first fucked her when she was nine-talk about sick!) can summon notions even funnier. I mean you fools do all the time. The very notion of the Palestinian brings to mind a head-covered Yassir Arafat-like buffoon shooting his poor teenage daughter while his bee-keeper suit encased put-upon wife looks silently on.

          • peepsqueek

            To Dan Spitzer-

            Get a grip and address your comment to Cock, not me

          • Dan Spitzer

            peepsqueek, the DC website made an error as I was indeed addressing my comments to Cock and not you as anyone who has been reading this commentary would deduce. No offense to you meant.

          • peepsqueek

            No harm, no foul!

          • Jeff

            Let us unite in our Islamophobic racism (ring the bells)

          • peepsqueek

            Correction: Let us unite in Islamic reality!

          • COCK

            NAW U WRONG, and i dont see a need for a jewish state. everyone works under the assumption israel needs to be a jewish state. wheres the danger? is there a holocaust goin on? NAH BRUH. by the way dan-boy, palestine has recognized israel as a state for a
            long time now, but it is only recently that they have refused to recognize it
            as a JEWISH state. why? because if they do and everything becomes
            “peaceful” itll just be jim crow all over again, as it is right now
            (best seen in jerusalem); by this i mean the palestinians will remain 2nd class citizens. israel is another western imperialist construction based
            on some false history regarding the jewish right to that land (of which there
            exists none by the way, guy). the palestinians have their own culture (much of which even israel has appropriated–hummus?? cman b, that aint some eurojew dish). its is ethnic cleansing when you force them to live in squalor, or drive them out of the land entirely. israel isnt the kind, loving state thats been wrongly attacked by those GADDANG DIRTY SANDNIGGERS, its essentially a bunch of white europeans who lead bourgeois lifestyles, and a smattering of other ethnic groups who are discriminated against daily (like african migrants, oh, and palestinians). israelis are ignorant people who live inside their own little bubble. if all of them had any conception of what has actually happened and continues to happen to the palestinians, rather than relying on the image of terrorists deploying those STARTLING qassam rockets, then maybe there would be progress. but no, people like you refuse to see whats right for whatever stupid, selfish reason. also youre a racist

          • Dan Spitzer

            Now doesn’t that just sound like an erudite student of the Ethnic Studies Department. No reason to dignify that bigoted “I hate Jews” nonsense with any further commentary.

          • [NAW U WRONG, and i dont see a need for a jewish state.]

            Neither do the terrorist Muslims. Thanks for letting us know with whom your sympathies really lie.

          • Calipenguin

            @COCK If you don’t see the need for a Jewish state then we don’t see the need for a Palestinian state, since Palestinians are just Arabs who never had their own country at any point in history, and there are plenty of Arab states already. So which country gets to take over? Syria? Nah, they’re having a civil war and blowing each other up. Jordan? Are you kidding, it’s ruled by a king! Egypt? With its Muslim Brotherhood? Hell no! What about Palestinians? They killing each other with Hamas and Fatah taking over separate ‘hoods. Ain’t no good man, there is a need for a Jewish state, and the Arabs don’t deserve to run it. Jews owned Israel more than two thousand years ago, long before Mohammed started the Islamic religion.

          • peepsqueek

            The Qur’an recognizes the Land of Israel as the heritage of the Jews and it explains that, before the Last Judgment, Jews will return to dwell there. This prophecy has already been fulfilled. Prophecy or fantasy, all three religions have it in their collective books, and it has become a reality in your life time. What is the basis for wanting to turn Israel into another Islamic Republic as it states this goal clearly in the Hamas Charter? Please be specific!

          • Calipenguin

            Genocide is such an overused word. It’s impossible for a genocide to occur to Palestinian people because Palestinians are not ethnically distinct. They are Arabs (with some Aegean contribution). Are they being systematically butchered by Israelis? No, actually they kill each other in far greater numbers when not launching missiles at Jews. Are they being kicked off their land? No, the entire territory of Gaza was given to the Palestinians and the vast majority of the West Bank is theirs for the taking. Their women are not being forced to marry Jews and their children are not being relocated to Israeli orphanages. I really don’t see any genocide as defined by the dictionary.

          • [you do realize the only genocide taking place is that of the palestinian people, right?]

            You do realize that you’re lying through your teeth, right? The Israelis aren’t committing anything resembling “genocide” against the Palestinian people, despite your hysterical accusations to the contrary. OTOH, the fact of the matter is that Palestinian militants and their Muslim/Arab supporters HAVE been targeting Israeli citizens for decades now, because their objective has NEVER been any type of peaceful Palestinian state to co-exist with Israel. Look what happened in 2005 when the Israelis basically evacuated the Gaza Strip and handed it over to the Palestinians? What did they do with it? Did they elect a peaceful democratic government or stop the fighting or do anything to help the welfare of their own people? NO! They vandalized the shops, buildings and infrastructure that were build by Israeli citizens, elected a TERRORIST group (Hamas) to represent them, which then proceeded to murder or imprison everyone they could find in some position of the opposition group (Fatah), THEN started using schools, hospitals and apartment buildings as launch sites for rockets and mortars for the purpose of TARGETING AND TERRORIZING ISRAELI CITIZENS. Yet you shed tears for these people? Fact of the matter is that the Palestinian people collectively are their own worst enemy, and sniveling cowards such as your self are too absorbed in your own HATRED and RESENTMENT of the Jewish people to even deal with the truth.

    • Calipenguin

      Historically Jews have struggled with the desire to preserve their heritage while at the same time integrating with their gentile communities. What I find fascinating is that even after the Holocaust there would be Jews who identify with Arabs who spent the last half century trying to destroy the world’s only Jewish haven. Is this a way of proving to the world that they are non-political humanists first and that they can be critical of Israel? Is it mass Stockholm Syndrome? Or maybe it’s just blind faith in the military might of the IDF and U.S. military?

  • Calipenguin

    “the UCSA forum is not an ideal forum for long debates about HR 35 and divestment.”
    Oh, I see, then why did UCSA decide to listen to two pro-Islamist speakers and no pro-Israeli speaker? Why did it even agree to consider this controversial bill if it was so short on time?

    • Get a clue

      right, pro-Islamist. i guess that’s how it works, you oppose legislation limiting free speech on Israel and you are pro-Islamist (or alternatively, an anti-Semite or self-hating Jew)

      • Calipenguin

        OK, that’s a fair criticism of my choice of words. But anyone with half a brain cell can tell that removing Israeli defenses renders the Jewish population vulnerable to radical Islamic terrorists whose goal in life is to drive Jews out of Israel. Thus arguing for an end of “occupation” only helps Islamists.

        • Zeke

          i don’t think anyone is suggesting israel should be made defenseless. let it go back to the borders recognized under international law as legally theirs (1967). defend those borders, rather than continuing to transfer your population into the occupied territories via illegal settlements. there’s nothing defensive about settlements. most of the world has a negative opinion of Israel because of the settler occupation of the West Bank rather than because of anything defensive it does.

          • Calipenguin

            Look at a pre-1967 map. If Israel returns to those borders it will leave Jews in Jerusalem completely defenseless. If your people start attacking Jewish homes in Jerusalem who can stop them?

          • peepsqueek

            To Zeke-

            The 1967 borders? Did you forget those borders were used as a staging ground to attack the Jewish State? Did you forget that thousands of acts of war were committed by Palestinian Arabs since then, to include rockets, and the blowing up public transportation, public squares, and crowded market places?

            What is the basis to now return to 1967 borders? Do Palestinians recognize the State of Israel? Have Palestinians demonstrated their ability to secure their borders? They are still asking for the “right of return” for four million Arabs, not to a Palestinian State, but into Israel proper.

          • [i don’t think anyone is suggesting israel should be made defenseless.
            let it go back to the borders recognized under international law as
            legally theirs (1967).

            Fact of the matter is that he 1967 borders are indefensible, and would be a suicide policy for the Israeli people.

          • The Elders of Zion

            The conflict is not about Israelis building houses east of the Green Line. The conflict is about the existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East. If you don’t believe me, I can point to plenty of SJP/MSU-invited speakers on UC campuses, who will pretty much say this in their own words.

            Let’s not forget that much of the Palestinian leadership is publicly committed to destroying Israel (and the Hamas charter, by the way, calls for the killing of all Jews–not just Israelis or “Zionists”). When your neighbor is publicly committed to the goal of killing you and your whole family, it’s silly to argue about where to put up the fence that divides your yards.

      • I_h8_disqus

        What else would you call a person who ignores the human rights violations of the nations around Israel, but calls for a boycott on Israel?

      • peepsqueek

        If you are about freedom of speech and expression, then post a non-vulgar depiction of Mohammed on this page, sign your name to it, and see what happens to you. Attempt to make a film with anything negative about Islam. If you are a Muslim woman, attempt to put on a pair of shorts and take a jog or to go for a swim on a one hundred degree day and see what happens to you.

  • Calipenguin

    “In fact, a Jewish Israeli student was one of two students to address the
    UCSA on the day of its vote, a fact conveniently ignored by those
    attempting to craft a narrative of Jewish exclusion.”

    How is that an honest representation of both sides of the debate? Picking a pro-Islamist Arab student and a pro-Islamist Jewish student to address the UCSA effectively shuts out the Jewish students who don’t agree with the Islamists. And then UCSA had the nerve to gleefully announce its tainted vote, as if it accomplished a monumental feat in denying representation for the disenfranchised Jewish students.

  • Dan Spitzer

    This op-ed is written by Stupids for Just Us in Foul-Asstine. Since they support the Palestinians, let’s look at just what they by extension advocate. Both the covenants of the democratically elected Palestinian leadership, the PLA and Hamas stand for Israeli Jewish genocide. That is crystalline. It’s there in black and white in the two respective covenants of the two parties. Indeed, Hamas-which was elected by a Palestinian majority-supports genocide for all Jews.

    And then there is the conspicuous misogyny so widespread as practiced by most Palestinian men. In essence, women in both the W. Bank and Gaza are second class citizens. Moreover, the honor murder of teenage daughters who transgress vs the will of their fathers is met with a punitive slap on the wrist, if even that.

    Of course, homosexuality is not considered acceptable and gays are either murdered or brutalized by their fellow Palestinians. Some hope they can seek shelter in Israel where being gay is as tolerated as anywhere on the planet.

    As for dissenters, they are frequently jailed, tortured and sometimes killed by Palestinians, whether they be journalists or simply citizens at odds with the political leadership.

    So the authors of the op-ed above stand for all of these practices of apartheid vs women, gays and dissidents. And they by extension of what the Palestinian leaders openly call for are advocates of Jewish genocide.

    Dear readers, ask yourself: Is this what you too support? Think about it…

    Yes, these the people and organization which lobbied for the UCSA resolution and who claim to be for human rights and against the abuse of such. Could anyone be more hypocritical?

    • Dan Spitzer

      Addendum: the most ironic aspect of this op-ed is it’s heading, “Representing What’s Right.” Accordingly, one may reasonably ask when advocating on behalf of the Palestinians: Is it right to support Jewish genocide? Is it right to relegate women to inferior status and ignore honor murder of teenage daughters? Is it right to torture and otherwise abuse gays? Is it right to suppress freedom if expression?

      If your answer to any or all of the above is “yes,” than the Palestinian cause is for you.

  • Calipenguin

    “The UCSA view that we should not be profiting from these human rights abuses should hardly be controversial”

    What is controversial is UCSA’s hypocrisy. If it wanted UC to pull investments from any company profiting from human rights abuses, then it should sell all investment funds with stocks in oil companies doing business with Middle Eastern countries, Venezuela, and Mexico. It should ban from ASUC stores all products made in China. Since all delivery trucks that use Middle East or Latin American oil must also be banned, and since Shell sells power to PG&E so all electrical power is banned, every UC campus may as well shut down.

  • Calipenguin

    SJP writes “Caterpillar supplies massive weaponized bulldozers to the Israeli
    Defense Force that are routinely used to demolish Palestinian homes and
    farmland as part of Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land”

    Wrong wrong wrong. Caterpillar makes civilian bulldozers and the Israelis install armor to deflect bullets and rocket propelled grenades. Why the hell do supposedly peaceful Palestinians fire guns and rocket propelled grenades? Maybe they are not so peaceful after all. In fact, they actively hide terrorists in their private homes and kill soldiers who knock on their doors, which is the whole reason Israel puts armor on the bulldozers. These bulldozers help save lives but in the perverse calculus of SJP thinking they WANT more dead Israelis and more dead Palestinians to bring attention to their cause.

    SJP should realize that Israel can buy bulldozers from any manufacturer, not just American companies, since Israel has the technology to armor any bulldozer. BEML of India is yet another source. If America can provide a life-saving piece of equipment to our allies to fight against Islamic terrorism why not do it?

  • Arturo

    would love to see this debate happen

    • steve

      me too, but i doubt noah ickowitz will have the guts. that dude’s all hot air. maybe joey?

      • do it debate

        joey? noah? where are you guys?

    • Dan Spitzer

      A friend, Dr. Michael Harris, wrote this in J Weekly this morning and it shows just how low JVP and their SJP pals can stoop:

      If there was ANY doubt about anti-Semitism
      The Free Gaza Movement, which organizes the Hamas support flotillas, published a tweet on their official account which stated “Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews”, and linked to a video by a Holocaust denier from the UK, Eustace Mullins.
      The story was broken by Avi Mayer: http://storify.com/avimayer/the-free-gaza-movement-shows-its-anti-semitic-side
      Interestingly enough, the silence from all of the endorsers of the Free Gaza Movement (which locally includes Jewish Voice for Peace and Bay Area Women in Black) has been deafening. Is JVP perhaps waiting for permission from extremists such as Ali Abunimah before they can denounce this blatant anti-Semitism? That’s who had to give them permission to denounce the Jew-hater Gilad Atzmon.
      No, not all of the anti-Israel activists are as hard-core anti-Semitic as the Free Gaza Movement. But don’t think for a moment that there isn’t a black hole of anti-Semitism at its heart. And the cowardice of those who endorse the FGM is fully revealed.

  • Arafat

    ·
    If
    you want to see a BDS supporter squirm, ask them why Israel existing as a
    Jewish state is unacceptable and racist but Palestine existing as an Arab and
    Muslim state is a noble cause worth supporting.

    My proof of this is examples of the Palestinian National Charter:

    “Article 1. Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people;
    it is an indivisible part of the greater Arab homeland, and the Palestinian
    people are an integral part of the Arab nation.”

    And from the basic law of Palestine:

    “Islam is the official religion in Palestine.”

    So why isn’t there a movement to boycott the Palestinians, seeing as how they
    make it clear they intend to make a theocratic, ethnic-based state?

  • Arafat

    o Palestinians are a miserable and pathetic
    people. They slit the throats of innocent Israeli families, then whine when
    Israel sets up check points to prevent this. They blow themselves up on crowded
    Israeli buses, then whimper when Israel prevents this with a wall. The shoot
    rockets at Israel by the thousands, then kvetch and moan when Israel deploys
    Iron Dome defenses to prevent this, too.

    They
    forced the construction of the wall. They necessitated the checkpoints. All of
    their misery is their own doing. But they will never acknowledge that truth;
    because that would mean self-reflection and intelligence (decency and kindness)
    on their part– all characteristics they and their leadership know nothing
    about.

    • Calipenguin

      Palestinian women smuggled weapons under their veils and even grenades under their babies, then whine about “humiliation” when they are searched at checkpoints. The PLO tried to smuggle 50 tons of Iranian weapons in early 2002 on the ship Karine-A but failed. After that it complained that Israel spent too much time inspecting every shipment of raw materials going into Palestinian territories.

  • Arafat

    (1)
    Google on “gays” and “Palestinians” to see how gay people
    are treated by the people who are calling for boycotts, divestment, and
    sanctions against Israel. The first search result is titled, “Palestinian
    gays flee to Israel”

    (2) Google on “Palestinian” and
    “honor killings” to see how women are treated by the people who are
    calling for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

    If you are a female Cal student (or alumna)
    who is thinking about going to “Palestine” to help protest against
    the Evil Zionists, I suggest that you first read “Female Palestinian Peace
    Activists Suffer Sexual Harassment, Rape From Palestinians” (just Google
    on the title). You might want to reconsider.

    As a final note, look up Israel’s and the
    Palestinians’ relative political and civil rights ratings at Freedomhouse.org. Israel’s are close to the
    best possible while those under both Hamas and Fatah are almost the worst
    possible.

    Now, please explain to me again who is
    guilty of crimes, apartheid policies (e.g. dhimmis or second-class citizens in
    countries under militant Islamic rule), and so on. I have not even touched on
    the Palestinians’ long litany of mindless terroristic violence including the
    Munich Massacre, the massacre of the Fogel family including young children in
    their beds, and so on.

  • Arafat

    These activists are “stuck” on Israel. Neither logic,
    reasoning, or factual evidence will penetrate their mindsets, so determined are
    they to vilify Israel. Sarcasm though just might work—especially if there are
    any among them who still have the capability to feel shame.

    Usually
    when they are questioned as to why they avoid the much bigger problems
    evidenced by Israel’s neighbours, the answer is usually to say that they are
    concerned with all human rights abuses everywhere in the world, but their focus
    today just happens to be Israel. What they don’t say is that their focus is
    permanently stuck there—and their actions show that they have no interest in
    any other country, just Israel, Israel, Israel.

  • [Caterpillar supplies massive weaponized bulldozers to the Israeli
    Defense Force that are routinely used to demolish Palestinian homes and
    farmland as part of Israel’s ongoing theft of Palestinian land taken to
    establish exclusionary Jewish-only settlements that are illegal under
    international law.]

    Bullshit. The armored D9 bulldozers supplied to the IDF are used to probe for and destroy illegal tunnels used to dig under the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, as such tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons, drugs, and personnel. Israel’s policy is to destroy such tunnels when they are built, and when a home or building is used to conceal one end of the tunnels (i.e. the tunnel starts/end inside the building), the IDF’s policy is to destroy those buildings as a punitive measure. You may DISAGREE with the policy as being harsh and/or collective punishment, and may have some legitimate claim in doing so. However, to claim this is being done to create “Jewish-only settlements” is an outright lie. The problem is that the blind hatred towards Israel with the pro-Palestinian sympathizers blinds these people to the fact that the Palestinians, through their own continual belligerent and short-sighted behavior, bring most of their own misfortune upon themselves.

    • human rights supporter

      actually, Amnesty International has shown that Caterpillar bulldozers are regularly used to demolish homes of civilians not just in Gaza, as part of a systematic policy of home demolitions. Please educate yourself. Here are some links:
      http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/caterpillar-incs-role-in-human-rights-violations-in-the-occupied-palestinian-territories/

      https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/images/Profiles-CAT.pdf

      • Arafat

        The United States needs to reclaim the language of
        international human rights.

        Amnesty International’s deliberate use of the word
        “gulag” to describe U.S. actions at Guantanamo should not have been a surprise.
        As has been widely reported, Irene Khan, the secretary general of Amnesty, used
        the description in the foreword to the organization’s 2005 annual report.
        According to Khan, “The detention facility at Guantánamo Bay has become the
        gulag of our times….” It is only the latest in a multi-year slide by the
        organization away from universal human-rights standards toward a politicized and
        anti-American agenda.

        The change
        became abundantly clear at the U.N. World Conference Against Racism that took
        place in August and early September 2001. The final declaration of the forum of
        nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) said Zionism, or the self-determination of
        the Jewish people, equals racism and went downhill from there. On the final day
        prior to the adoption of this declaration, international NGOs, including
        Amnesty, deliberated about their position as one caucus. As a representative of
        the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists I was about to enter
        our meeting place along with the president of Amnesty, Irene Khan, when the
        chief representative of Human Rights Watch, Reed Brody, turned to me in the
        presence of the others and told me I was not welcome and had to go. Said Brody,
        to the objection of no one (although I had worked professionally with many of
        them for years), I represented Jews and therefore could not be trusted to be
        objective.

        At Durban, Amnesty led the international NGO assault on universal standards.
        According to Khan, what mattered were “the voices of the victims.” In her words,
        “The victims of racism and related intolerance have described their own
        realities of racism and related intolerance as they experience it…This
        Declaration and Programme of Action is an inclusive text which enables our
        various perspectives to be presented at the World Conference.”

        However, despite the rhetoric of “inclusiveness,” the Amnesty International
        chief sat on her hands when a motion to delete the voices of Jewish victims of
        racism was put to the vote and adopted. Every Jewish NGO from around the world
        walked out. Amnesty and company stayed.

        Durban ended three days before 9/11. It is no surprise that the cowards and
        hate-mongers of Durban should be on the wrong side of history in the war against
        the violence that racism and intolerance breed. International human-rights
        organizations, with Amnesty at the helm, have cast the war on terror on one side
        and protection of human rights on the other. The preferred phraseology in U.N.
        lingo is “the protection of human rights while countering terrorism.” Mere lip
        service is paid to the rights violated by terrorism: There are no detailed
        global reports emanating from Amnesty International on the abominations of
        terrorists. Searching Amnesty’s website for “terrorism” elicits 25 reports — all
        on violations by those combating terrorism.

        Amnesty International’s spokesman, William Schulz, responded this past week
        to criticism of the Soviet “gulag” comparison by saying, “The administration
        never thinks Amnesty International is absurd when we criticize Cuba, China,
        North Korea…” In other words, the fact that Amnesty is quoted sometimes means
        the group should be above criticism always. This is the arrogance of an
        international human-rights organization — and they are not alone — that for
        years has operated without serious accountability. How sad that the strengths of
        a major civil-society organization have been progressively diminished by
        overreaching, ever-increasing claims of expertise, and an irresponsible belief
        in their infallibility.

        Amnesty is, however, correct in one important respect. For far too long
        Americans have ceded the language of international human rights to just about
        everyone else on the planet. The failure to make the case for key elements of
        American foreign policy in human-rights terms has left the field wide open to
        the haters of America and of democracy, allowing them to appropriate and subvert
        the political currency of human rights. Every American kid on campus knows that
        the local human-rights club is an America-bashing hangout. If they are caring,
        compassionate, and full of energy to assist their brothers and sisters in all
        corners of the globe, they have nowhere to go — at least until they take the
        pledge of non-allegiance. Maybe Amnesty’s absurdity will help sound a long
        overdue alarm bell.

        • Arafat

          Amnesty International is bought and paid for by the Saudi Arabian Royal Barbarians.

      • Stan De San Diego

        And those homes are demolished for what reasons again? Supporting terrorism. Not just digging tunnels, but harboring fugitives and storing weapons. The Palestinians have chosen to eschew peace and instead continue their stupid suicidal war against Israel, so they shouldn’t be surprised when they are treated as belligerents. End of story.

        • human rights supporter

          nope, they are demolished because there are almost no legal ways for Palestinians to build homes in the occupied territories. Read these FAQs by the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. http://www.icahd.org/faq

          • human rights supporter

            “In only 2% of the 27,000 cases of demolition were security reasons
            given. In fact, the IDF officially stopped their policy of punitive
            demolitions in 2005.”

          • Dan Spitzer

            And I have to give Caterpillar credit. One of their fine machines flattened that bitch Rachel Corrie when she was trying to help maintain a house whose bottom floor was serving to smuggle in weaponry for Hamas to kill innocent Israelis. Of course, sinceJVP and SJP have tried to make a martyr out of Corrie so I respectfully call her St. Pancake–peaches and preserves be upon her.

          • Dan Spitzer

            More on Rachel Corrie. Read the Mother Jones piece on her and her organization, the International Solidarity Mov’t. The ISM hid two Pakistanis of British citizenry in its office the day before they killed numerous Israeli civilians with suicide bombs. Furthermore, the Israelis arrested a terrorist in an ISM office who had trained Palestinians in the building and usage of suicide bombs. In response, the Red Cross and other NGO’s moved out of the building in conjunction with their disgust with the ISM’s support of terrorists.

            Mother Jones is not exactly a rightwing publication, Yet the piece skewered the ISM along with Corrie, showing a photo of Corrie burning an American flag in front of Palestinian grade school children. Her propaganda talks with such young Palestinians fit in well with what grade and secondary Palestinians are taught in school: that the most noble cause one could have in life was to grow up to be a shehad-a martyr murderer of Jews.

            Although Corrie died accidentally, she in essence was an enemy combatant working to maintain the tunnels under Palestinian homes through which munitions were smuggled in from Egypt. Let’s just say that her demise was addition by subtraction for the planet.

          • skylar

            Building without permits is a crime. From the USA to Palestine. BTW, as many Jewish homes built without permits have been demolished as non-Jewish homes. Dont like it? Vote for municipal leaders to alter the zoning laws.

          • [nope, they are demolished because there are almost no legal ways for Palestinians to build homes in the occupied territories.]

            More bullshit. You idiots buy into any BS these activists tell you without a shred of critical thought processes involved.

      • Calipenguin

        America’s own SWAT teams regularly demolish homes or parts of homes that have explosive booby traps. If the Palestinians don’t want their homes to be bulldozed, they shouldn’t use those homes to manufacture bombs and Qassam missiles, or hide terrorist fugitives. In any case, Jewish settlers do not take over the lots where Palestinian homes once stood. Israel has given Gaza completely to Arabs whether they bought the land or not and Arab villages remain in Arab hands even after bulldozers do their jobs inside the villages.

      • Rita

        Strangely enough, there are Caterpillar dealerships in both Ramallah and in Gaza. If the Palestinians dont boycott Caterpillar. Why should we?

      • Having actually lived and worked in Israel at one time, I can tell you that manufacturers from all over the world supply bulldozers to Israel military and law enforcement agencies. However, the one piece of equipment that the anti-Israeli kooks obsess over is the up-armored Caterpillar D9 used by the IDF in border security operations, which was the type that turned that ugly little agitator Rachel Corrie into a human pancake thanks to her own reckless behavior. Other bulldozers are used for other tasks, and as one other poster correctly pointed out, Israeli authorities have bulldozed illegal houses built by Jews as well.