UN Official Gives Speech to U.S. Group That Advocates Destruction of Israel

Amid funding showdown, top official welcomed by BDS group

A top United Nations official is facing criticism following a recent speech before a well known anti-Israel organization that supports boycotts of the Jewish state, denies Israel’s right to exist, and has promoted anti-Semitic materials.

Elizabeth Campbell, director of the UN Relief Works Agency’s office in Washington, D.C., recently spoke before the Jerusalem Fund, a Washington-based pro-Palestinian activist group that promotes boycotts of Israel as part of the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment movement, or BDS.

Campbell has appealed to the Trump administration not to cut funding to UNRWA, the Palestinian aid organization that has long been criticized for employing members of Hamas, participating in anti-Israel political activism, and allowing its facilities to be used by terrorists groups. Campbell discussed the issue in a speech earlier this month before the Jerusalem Fund.

The United States has been withholding more than $65 million in taxpayer funding to UNRWA as the Trump administration considers demanding reforms to the organization or permanently reducing funding.

White House-allied policy advisers with knowledge of the talk told the Washington Free Beacon that it is just another example of UNRWA’s biased attitude towards Israel and its efforts to legitimize groups that take a hardline stance against the Jewish state.

One foreign policy official who has worked with the Trump administration on its effort to reform UNRWA said he views the speech by UNRWA’s Washington director at a BDS group as providing the group with undue legitimacy, particularly in light of U.S. efforts to reform the UN group.

“UNRWA explains away its scandals by protesting, in essence, that you can’t expect Palestinians in Gaza not to support terrorism,” the source said. “But there’s no way to explain away the Washington-based head of a taxpayer-funded group supporting a notorious hate group. The anti-Israel culture at UNRWA is toxic—and it extends from Gaza City to Washington, D.C., as this incident shows.”

UNRWA officials did not respond multiple requests for comment on Campbell’s speech.

The Jerusalem Fund regularly holds events that suggest the group’s affinity for Hamas and make explicit its support for BDS. The title of a recent event was “Hamas: From Resistance to Government.” Another was titled, “Building the BDS Movement.” Another asked, “Israel: Democracy or Apartheid State?” with the speaker endorsing the latter.

A State Department official declined to comment directly on the appearance of an UNRWA official at the Jerusalem Fund, but emphasized the administration’s efforts to see UNRWA reformed or face a further cut off in U.S. aid.

Richard Goldberg, a former senior adviser to retired Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) who helped spearhead efforts to hold UNRWA accountable for its anti-Israel advocacy, told the Free Beacon that Western nations footing the bill for the agency are growing weary of its anti-Israel activism.

“There’s a growing consensus among UNRWA’s largest donors that the time has come for fundamental changes,” said Goldberg, now a senior adviser for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The agency was established nearly 70 years ago by Arab states as a political weapon in their ongoing fight to destroy the fledgling State of Israel—a war the Arab states now understand they lost.”

“Rather than keeping Palestinians in a perpetual state of poverty and hopelessness, Palestinians deserve to see a path toward prosperity and self-sufficiency,” Goldberg explained. “Before the United States hands over its next tranche of contributions to UNRWA, at a minimum the Trump administration should get a commitment from all parties to prepare for the transition of UNRWA to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. If the Palestinians truly want an independent state, they need to show they can step up and care for their own citizens.”

A second Trump administration adviser who works on Middle East issues told the Free Beacon that appearances such as this have become routine for UNRWA.

“No one is surprised by this, least of all the Trump administration’s UN and Middle East officials,” the source said. “Ambassador Haley has spent an enormous amount of time trying to call attention to the UN’s hostility toward Israel, which exists at every level. Of course a UN official is being hosted by a group that advocates economic attacks against Israel. They’re on the same side.”

Originally Published in the Free Beacon.

The anti-BDS effort – Targeting the symptoms, not the sickness

BDS is not an attempt to delegitimize Israel, but rather a product of Israel’s delegitimization; it is thus a consequence, rather than a cause, of that delegitimization

The Palestinian narrative claims that the Jews of Israel are colonialist interlopers who stole the land from the Palestinians, its rightful owners. The narrative makes no distinction between Tel Aviv and Hebron. All of Israel is a crime against the Arab world. All of Israel is illegitimate. Caroline Glick, June 1, 2017.

I recently participated in a rather animated televised debate on the new English language channel, ILTV, dealing with the BDS campaign against Israel.

Given the objective time constraints of such a program, it is inevitable that one cannot fully elaborate on all the points raised in it, or adequately articulate arguments to underpin the positions taken on it. Accordingly, I should like to devote this week’s column to a more detailed, orderly and comprehensive presentation of the issues I broached in that debate.

Sign of a welcome change of attitude?

Late last month, it was announced that the Israeli government had approved a plan to set up a fund of $72 million to counter the ongoing international BDS campaign against Israel. According to this plan, the funds will be allocated to a yet-to-be-established not-for-profit organization whose board will be made up of government officials and donors from abroad, and which will oversee what is reportedly to be the first major “civil-society infrastructure servicing the State of Israel and the pro-Israel community in the fight against the de-legitimization of Israel.”

The planned initiative appears to signal a welcome—and long overdue—change in the hitherto dismissive attitude of Israeli officialdom towards public diplomacy and towards the pernicious effects such disregard was having not only on Israel’s international standing, but also on the predicament it created for pro-Israeli advocates abroad.

This detrimental insensitivity was starkly displayed by none other than the person who ought to have been most alive to it – Israel’s then-incumbent Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman, a few years ago, in a regrettable exchange with a young pro-Israeli activist at an international conference in New York.

During question time from the audience, Liberman was asked by a young pro-Israel undergraduate activist (Justin Hayet of Binghamton University): “What is the Foreign Ministry doing to stand with college students, like myself, to fight BDS on campus?

A small step in the right direction

Dispensing with any semblance of civility, and any expression of encouragement for the voluntary efforts of young pro-Zionist activists in defense of Israel on hostile campuses, Liberman brusquely conveyed to him that endeavors like his were essentially unnecessary, and largely a waste of time—since, according to the then-Foreign Minister, BDS should not be a great source of concern for Israel. (For Hayet’s impassioned and dismayed response – see here)

Liberman’s response was, of course, disturbing and, as I wrote back then: “it encapsulated all the misperceptions, and mismanagement that have characterized Israel’s diplomatic strategy. In particular, it spotlighted the incomprehension and incompetence Israeli officialdom has displayed in the conduct of our public diplomacy, going a long way to explain Israel’s growing international beleaguerment.”

Accordingly, the newly announced initiative appears, overall, to be a step in the right direction, and seemingly heralds a refreshing, new awareness of the vital importance of public diplomacy in the nation’s strategic arsenal.

Indeed, in some aspects it resembles—albeit on a far smaller scale—measures I have long advocated.

Almost half a decade ago, I called for setting up an extra-ministerial “national authority for the conduct of strategic diplomacy” which would “interface with Zionist NGOs and help finance their pro-Israel activities, enhance their impact and expand their reach – as a counterweight to the massive funding that post- and anti-Zionist NGOs receive from foreign governments”.

Moreover, given the strategic importance and urgency of enhancing Israel’s public diplomacy performance, I urged assigning 1% of the state budget (then $1 billion, now considerably more) for this purpose annually —far more (almost ten-fold!) than the budget planned for the newly envisaged entity.

“Intellectual warriors, not slicker diplomats”

In broad brush strokes, I set out the kind of activities, with which this strategic diplomacy authority would be tasked, and for which the prescribed budget would be utilized.


  • Its activities would be assertively offensive, geared to uncompromisingly attacking and exposing the mendacious and malicious nature of Israel’s adversaries – a necessary condition for international understanding of Israel’s policy imperatives.
  • Its staff would not be professional diplomats but articulate and committed intellectual ideologues, neither bound by the constraints of diplomatic protocol nor versed in the niceties of diplomatic etiquette but rather adept in the mechanism of mass media, cyberspace and social networks (see my “Intellectual warriors, not slicker diplomats”).
  • Their task would not be to interact with foreign counterparts but to wage diplomatic warfare, at home and abroad, with a $1bill. budget at their disposal to saturate the Web with polished, professional Zionist content – on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and by means of full-page “infomercials” in the leading printed media.”

In this, there is a fair amount of overlap between my prescription and the reportedly planned operation of the nascent anti-BDS non-profit initiative.

There are, however, some important differences—apart from those of scale—between the two proposals. These relate to substantive issues of scope, focus and ongoing proactivity.

Focusing on the symptoms, not the sickness

According to press reports, the creators of the planned entity envisage it operating on “a regular basis to counter pressure applied to artists, performers and commercial enterprises not to engage with Israel. But it would shift into high gear at sensitive periods such as fighting, waves of terrorist attacks, and anti-Israel votes at international forums

Clearly, then, it would appear that the nature of the planned operation will be essentially reactive, rather than proactive, designed almost exclusively to deal with –i.e. rebuff, negate, discredit—BDS-related attacks against Israel, with the level of intensity of such activities determined by largely exogenous events such as hostile military or diplomatic offensives against Israel.

These are grave shortcomings, which are liable to seriously undercut the efficacy of the prospective initiative—for two different, but interrelated, reasons, the one substantive, the other methodological.

The first of these relates to the restriction of the focus to BDS related activity. In many ways, this is like focusing on the symptoms of an illness, rather than on its origins, in search of a remedy. Sadly, it is likely to be just as ineffective.

For what is crucial to realize is that, in essence, BDS is not an attempt to delegitimize Israel, but rather a product of Israel’s delegitimization. In other words, it is a consequence, rather than a cause of that delegitimization.

Two incompatible narratives

On reflection, this should be an almost self-evident truth. After all, if Israel was perceived internationally as legitimate, anything remotely resembling the BDS campaign against it would be inconceivable.

Accordingly, without contending with the underlying sources of the delegitimization of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, there is little hope of effectively stifling the impulses that give rise to phenomena such as the BDS movement.

In this regard, it is crucial to grasp two things:

The first is, as Caroline Glick alludes to in the introductory excerpt above, the Palestinian narrative and the Zionist narrative are, for all intents and purposes, inconsistent with each other. In other words, they are mutually exclusive narratives.

Accordingly, enhancing the legitimacy of one necessarily implies undermining the legitimacy of the other. (For a more detailed elaboration of this matter see Deciphering delegitimization).

The second is that it is the Palestinian narrative, and its perceived legitimacy that underpins the legitimacy of the claim for Palestinian statehood. In other words, undermining the legitimacy of the Palestinian narrative undermines the validity of the claim for Palestinian statehood.

Thus, as I have argued elsewhere, “for the notion of a secure Israel [as the nation-state of the Jews] to regain legitimacy, the notion of a Palestinian state must be discredited and removed from the discourse as a possible means of resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict.”  

A viable Israel as “occupation”

But the converse is also true: As long as the Palestinian narrative is perceived as legitimate—and, hence, the claim for Palestinian statehood is seen as valid—the legitimacy of a secure Israel will always be challenged—and hence vulnerable to measures that arise from that challenge, such as the BDS campaign.,

For those who find this too disturbingly adversarial to accept, I would refer them to an article authored by Omar Dajani and Ezzedine Fishere, published in the prestigious “Foreign Affairs” and entitled “The Myth of Defensible Borders”. In it, the authors – an adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team and an adviser to the then-Egyptian foreign minister, respectively—write, not without significant justification: “A policy of defensible borders would… perpetuate the current sources of Palestinian insecurity, further delegitimizing an agreement in the public’s eyes…

They therefore conclude “… Palestinians are likely to regard defensible borders as little more than occupation by another name.”  

Consequently, for any settlement to be perceived as legitimate in the eyes of the Palestinian public, Israel must resign itself to being indefensible—as claims for it to be defensible (i.e. viable) would delegitimize it as an occupier!

Thus, as I pointed out in The political algorithms of the Arab Israeli conflict, there is a chain of algorithmic-like reasoning, which inexorably demonstrates that Israel’s acceptance of the legitimacy of Palestinian national claims has, in effect, laid the foundations for the assault on its own legitimacy.

An inconvenient, but inevitable, conclusion

The architects of any anti-BDS enterprise will ignore this reasoning at the peril of fatally undermining the success of their endeavor.

For as long as the Palestinian-Arabs are perceived as having a legitimate claim to statehood, any counterclaim by Israel to ensure its viability will be perceived as thwarting that claim –thereby, ipso facto, delegitimizing such counterclaims—and, hence, exposing the very legitimacy of the notion of a viable Israel to attack—such as the BDS initiative.

Accordingly, just as focusing on reducing the temperature of a patient suffering from a severe infection will not cure that infection, so focusing on BDS will not remedy the delegitimization drive against Israel. Just as the source of the infection must be diagnosed and treated, so must the sources of the delegitimization of Israel.

Clearly then, if the Palestinian narrative is diagnosed as the source of the de-legitimization of the Zionist narrative, then the re-legitimization of the latter calls for the de-legitimization of the former. No amount of politically-correct gobbledygook, decrying such a stark “zero-sum” assessment, can obscure this inconvenient, but inevitable, conclusion.

The operational implications of this are clear.

The BDS campaign is not—and cannot—be treated as a “stand alone” problem. To eradicate it, one must eradicate its root causes—and since the roots of BDS sprout from the delegitimization of the Zionist narrative, the causes of this delegitimization must be eradicated.  However, as the delegitimization of the Zionist narrative can be traced to the legitimization of the incompatible, mutually exclusive Palestinian narrative, the unavoidable imperative is that for any anti-BDS initiative to be successful in the long run, it must focus efforts on the discrediting and delegitimizing of the Palestinian narrative.  

Expose mendacious myths underpinning a fallacious narrative  

Accordingly, any successful long term anti-BDS strategy cannot confine itself to responding to manifestations of anti-Israel calls for boycotts, sanctions or divestment—however infuriating these might be, and however telling such responses may be.

It must go on a genuine, proactive offensive against the primary sources of those calls—by resolutely and relentless exposing the mendacious myths that underpin the fallacious Palestinian narrative, while highlighting how these contrast with the fact-based foundations of the Zionist narrative.

After all, if the Palestinian narrative is discredited and delegitimized, who would want to instigate boycotts, sanctions or divestments in order to endorse or promote it?

BANNING BDS: List of BDS Organizations Now Banned From Entry to Israel

Below is the list of organizations now banned from entry to Israel due to BDS activities:


• AFPS( (The Association France Palestine Solidarité)

• BDS France

• BDS Italy

• ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)

• FOA (Friends of Al-Aqsa)

• IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

• Norgeׂׂ (The Palestine Committee of Norway) Palestinakomitee

• PGS- (Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden) Palestinagrupperna i Sverige

• PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

• War on Want

• BDS Kampagne


• AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)

• AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)

• Code Pink

• JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)

• NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)

• USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights)

Latin America

• BDS Chile

South Africa

• BDS South Africa


• BNC (BDS National Committee)

BDS ATTACKS: Over 200 Israeli Academics Call to Boycott Ariel University

Over 200 Israeli academics signed a petition calling on the Council for Higher Education in Israel to reject the government’s plan to apply Israeli law on academic institutions of higher learning in Judea and Samaria.

Currently, academic institutions beyond the Green Line fall under the jurisdiction of the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria, but earlier this month the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill that would apply Israeli law on Ariel University and other academic institutions of higher learning in Judea and Samaria, thus incorporating them into the Council for Higher Education in Israel (CHE).

“Ariel University is situated in an area that has a sharp separation between Palestinian residents and the settler community,” read the letter addressed to the members of the CHE that was published yesterday in Haaretz newspaper.

“Annexing Ariel University to Israel turns the entire Israeli academia into an active partner in the occupation, as it is defined in Europe and in other places in the world.”

The letter continued: “Therefore, we are calling on you not to be a partner in the decision of the Ministerial Committee, and to prevent this move that has grave implications to the distinguished Israeli academia and academics in universities and colleges that are within the borders of the State of Israel.”

The letter was signed by academics from 15 different Israeli universities and colleges, with the majority coming from Hebrew University, Tel-Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University.

“This is BDS from within, and nothing less,” said Im Tirtzu Chairman Matan Peleg. “These so-called enlightened academics have joined the ranks of the most vile anti-Israel advocates in the world who use boycotts as a means to destroy the Jewish state.”

“This is further proof of the urgent need to implement the proposed academic code of ethics, which will restore sanity to Israeli academia.”



In what appears to be a major move by the UN, the international organization sent 150 Israelis companies a warning letter that they risked losing international business due to their dealings with companies that worked out of Judea and Samaria. UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein personally sent the letters two weeks ago and has already received two responses that affirmed their break in doing business with companies from Israel’s Biblical Heartland.

The Arab countries and their supporters have had a solid hold on the UN  Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for some time, but the move by the organization is literally unprecedented and seemingly part of a wider diplomatic war against Israel .  With UNESCO already erasing the Jewish connection to its holiest sites and cities, the UNHRC move seems natural.

All of this appears to be crossing into dangerous ground as the UN is laying a deeper trap for the Jewish State.  Ultimately, by disregarding the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel as well as a firm campaign backing the BDS movement, the UN seeks to ultimately weaken Israel as its enemies gather against it.

An unnamed western diplomat told Haaretz that more than half of the companies that received the warning letter were Israeli, about 30 were from the US and the remainder from countries including Germany, Norway and South Korea. The diplomat added that Hussein also sent copies of the letter to foreign ministries of several countries who are home to companies which may be added to the blacklist.

According to the report Israeli companies on the list include pharmaceutical giant Teva, the national phone company Bezeq, bus company Egged, the national water company Mekorot and the country’s two largest banks, Hapoalim and Leumi.

The US has threatened to withdraw from the council if the entire list is published.

Before one assumes the worst, Israel was in far worse shape at the time of the Six Days War and we all know how that ended.  With that in mind, reality is how one perceives it.  The UNHRC has very little teeth, yet its bite still has power.  At the end of the day, Israel’s market is small and businesses can make the calculus that it is far better to stay away from the political intrigue than pull in some extra money from Israel.

Once again the aim here is to weaken and divide the State of Israel as it contends to deal with a plethora of unprecedented security challenges. The focus for Israelis should not be to despair, but rather know that with deep faith and a yearning to survive they will make it past this as well.

As Rebbe Nachman says: “There is no despair at all.”

After all, if we’ve made it this far then the rest should be within our grasp as well.  No outside force can move the will of the Creator.

Israel, American Jewry and Trump’s GOP

To understand what can and ought to be done, it is first important to understand the nature of the BDS movement.

Earlier this month Norway, Denmark and Switzerland did something surprising.

Norway announced that it was demanding the return of its money from the Palestinian Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Secretariat, for the latter’s funding of a Palestinian women’s group that built a youth center near Nablus named for PLO mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi.

Denmark followed, announcing it was cutting off all funding to the group.

And last week, the Swiss parliament passed a resolution directing the government to amend Swiss law to block funding of NGOs “involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions.”

For years, the Israeli government has been urging these and other European governments to stop funding such groups, to no avail. What explains their abrupt change of heart? In two words: Donald Trump.

For years, the Obama administration quietly encouraged the Europeans to fund these groups and to ratchet up their anti-Israel positions. Doing so, the former administration believed, would coerce Israel to make concessions to the PLO.

But now, Trump and his advisers are delivering the opposite message. And, as the actions by Denmark, Norway and Switzerland show, the new message is beginning to be received.

If the US administration keeps moving forward on this trajectory, it can do far more than suspend funding for one terrorism-supporting Palestinian NGO. It can shut down the entire BDS industry before Trump finishes his current term in office.

To understand what can and ought to be done, it is first important to understand the nature of the BDS movement. Under the catchphrase BDS, two separate campaigns against Israel and against Jews are being carried out.

The first BDS campaign is a campaign of economic warfare. The focal point of that campaign is Europe. The purpose of the campaign is to harm Israel’s economy by enacting discriminatory, anti-Israel trade policies and encouraging unofficial consumer and business boycotts of Israeli firms and products.

The US Congress can end this economic war against Israel by passing laws penalizing European states for engaging in trade practices that breach the World Trade Organization treaties. The US Treasury Department can also push strongly and effectively for such an end in its trade negotiations with the EU. The Treasury Department can also investigate whether and how EU trade practices toward Israel constitute unlawful barriers to trade.

Unlike the situation in Europe, where the BDS economic war against Israel is fairly advanced, efforts in the US to mount economic boycotts of Israel hit an iceberg early on due to the swift preemptive actions taken by state legislatures.

In 2015, then-South Carolina governor Nikki Haley became the first governor to sign a law barring her state government from doing business or investing in companies that boycott Israel. Last week Kansas became the 21st US state to pass an anti-BDS law along the same lines. Last month, all 50 state governors declared opposition to BDS.

The second BDS campaign being carried out against Israel is a form of political and social warfare.

Its epicenter is US academia. Its purpose is to erode US support for Israel, by making it politically unacceptable and socially devastating to publicly voice support for Israel on college campuses and more generally in leftist circles.

As is the case with the economic BDS campaign, the best way to defeat political BDS is through state and federal government action. If state and federal governments withheld funding to universities and colleges that permit BDS groups to operate on their campuses, campus administrators, who to date have refused to lift a finger against these hate groups, would be forced into action.

If the US Education and Justice departments opened civil rights investigations against major BDS groups for antisemitic bigotry, campus administrators would finally begin banning them from their campuses.

For many Israelis, the notion that defeating BDS is a job for the US government rather than for grassroots, American Jewish activists, will come as a surprise.

When Israelis think about the BDS movement, they tend to think that the American Jewish community is the place to turn for assistance.

This is not merely incorrect.

As two studies published in the last few weeks show, the notion that Israel can look to the American Jewish community for help with anything is becoming increasingly dubious.

To be sure, there are several American Jewish groups that devote massive resources to combating BDS on campuses. But their actions are tactical.

They fight specific BDS resolutions coming to votes before student councils. They train pro-Israel students to defend Israel to their peers.

While helpful, none of these actions constitutes a serious challenge to the movement.

On a strategic level, the effective moves made to date against BDS have been initiated by Republicans.

Alan Clemmons, the South Carolina lawmaker who initiated the anti-BDS bill in his statehouse and has since gone on to spearhead the state government anti-BDS drive nationally, is a Christian Zionist.

Clemmons didn’t act out of concern for South Carolinian Jews. The Jewish community of South Carolina numbers a mere 20,000 members. The state-by-state anti-economic BDS campaign is neither the brainchild of any major Jewish group nor the product of their efforts.

So, too, to the extent that the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress take action to defeat BDS on campuses and in Europe, they won’t be answering the call of their Jewish constituents. American Jews vote overwhelmingly for the increasingly anti-Israel Democratic Party. And while making up a mere 2% of the US population, American Jews contributed 50% of the donations to the Democratic Party in the 2016 elections.

This then brings us to the two studies of the American Jewish community and its future trajectory.

The first study was published by the Jewish Agency’s Jewish People Policy Institute. It analyzes the data from the 2013 Pew survey of American Jewish attitudes. The Pew survey demonstrated that the Jewish identity of American Jews is growing increasingly attenuated and superficial.

Famously, while 19% of American Jews said that they view observance of Jewish law as an essential part of their Jewish identity, 42% said they viewed having a good sense of humor as an essential part of their Jewish identity.

The JPPI study analyzed the Pew data regarding rates of marriage and childbearing among American Jews aged 24-54. The study started with the data on intermarriage. Sixty percent of non-haredi American Jews are married to non-Jews. A mere 32% of married American Jews are raising their children as Jewish to some degree.

From there, the JPPI study considered marriage and childbirth rates in general. It works out that a mere 50% of American Jews between 24 and 54 are married. And a mere 40% of American Jews between those ages have children living with them.

The JPPI study tells us two important things.

First, in the coming years there will be far fewer American Jews. Second, among those who are Jewish, their Jewish identity will continue to weaken.

Clearly, it would be unwise for Israel to believe that it can depend on such a community to secure its interests in the US for the long haul.

The second study shows that not only can Israel not expect the American Jewish community to help it maintain its alliance with the US, the number of American Jews willing to spearhead anti-Israel campaigns is likely to grow in the coming years.

The second study was produced by Brand Israel, a group of public relations experts that for the past decade has been trying to change the way young Americans think about Israel. The idea was to discuss aspects of Israel that have nothing to do with the Palestinians, with an emphasis on Israel as a hi-tech power. The hope was that by branding Israel as the Start-Up Nation, leftists, who support the Palestinians, would still support Israel.

Fern Oppenheim, one of the leaders of Brand Israel, presented the conclusions of an analysis of the group’s work at the Herzliya Conference this week and discussed them with The Times of Israel. It works out that the PR campaign backfired.

Far from inspiring increased support for Israel, Oppenheim argued that the hi-tech-centric branding campaign made leftist American Jews even more anti-Israel. She related that over the past decade, there has been an 18-point drop in support for Israel among US Jewish students.

To remedy the situation, which she referred to as “devastating,” Oppenheim recommended changing the conversation from hi-tech to “shared values.”

The problem with Oppenheim’s recommendation is that it ignores the problem.

Young American Jews aren’t turning against Israel because their values are different from Israeli values. By and large, they have the same values as Israeli society. And if they know anything about Israel, they know that their values aren’t in conflict with Israeli values.

Young American Jews are turning on Israel for two reasons. First, they don’t care that they are Jewish and as a consequence, see no reason to stick their necks out on Israel’s behalf.

And second, due in large part to the political BDS campaign on college campuses, supporting Israel requires them to endanger or relinquish their ideological home on the Left. Since their leftist identities are far stronger than their Jewish identities, young American Jews are joining the BDS mob in increasing numbers.

This then brings us back to BDS.

The only way to diminish the groundswell of American Jews who are becoming hostile toward Israel is to defeat the forces of political BDS on campuses. To do this, Israel should turn not to the Jewish community but to evangelical Christians, the Trump administration and the Republican- controlled Congress.

As for the American Jews, Israel needs to stop viewing the community as a resource and begin to view it as a community in crisis. To this end, the most significant contribution Israel can make to the American Jewish community – particularly to non-Orthodox American Jews – is to encourage them to make aliya. Assuming that current trends will continue, the only way non-Orthodox American Jews can have faith their grandchildren will be Jewish is to make aliya.

No, this won’t appeal to all American Jews. But nothing Israel does will. Israel’s job isn’t to reach the unreachable. It is to protect its alliance with the US and to help the Jews that remain in the room.

Originally Published in Jerusalem Post

Emergency Knesset Committee on BDS Activity in Ben-Gurion University

Today (Wednesday), the Knesset Education Committee convened an emergency session to discuss the concern that Ben-Gurion University is promoting the BDS movement.

The committee was initiated by MKs Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), Anat Berko (Likud) and Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu) following the University’s recent promotion of a controversial workshop run by far-Left NGOs and sponsored by the European Union, which taught students how to effectively film protests.

Ben-Gurion University has come under fire in the past for its affiliation with anti-Zionism and BDS. In 2011, Israel’s Council for Higher Education recommended shutting down the University’s Department of Politics and Government unless changes were implemented.

Education Committee Chairman MK Yaakov Margi (Shas) said: “It is outrageous that such a phenomenon is occurring within Israel. We need to deal with whoever is promoting it.”

MK Bezalel Smotrich added: “You cannot talk about freedom of expression when [the professors] are signing in their name and in the name of the University on petitions against the State of Israel.”

“You cannot invoke freedom of expression on the one hand and protect the professors, yet not allow a member of the Board of Governors to express his opinion,” said Smotrich referring to an alleged attempt of the University to kick out a member of its Board of Governors who spoke out against this issue.

Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi was also present at the discussion and rebuffed the claims that the University is involved in promoting BDS.

“The University is spearheading the battle against BDS,” said Carmi. “Again and again empty allegations arise [against the University]. The organizers of this discussion will not frighten us.”

Carmi also rejected the accusation that the University was trying to silence a member of its Board of Governors: “It has been said that we are silencing Michael Gross. We have listened to all of his comments. Michael Gross called me personally a ‘Kapo,’ and that’s the way he treats the University.”

Ahead of the discussion, the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu distributed reports citing a number of what it referred to as “anti-Israel” statements from Ben-Gurion University faculty, including public calls to boycott Israel.

“It is impossible to deny the involvement of Ben-Gurion University and its faculty in the delegitimization of Israel and IDF soldiers, and in the promotion of boycotts and international pressure against Israel,” said Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg.

Peleg called on Carmi to “take responsibility” and immediately deal with this issue.

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) shot back at Peleg, calling Im Tirtzu a group of “hooligans.”

“You have been pestering the Knesset for a long time now. Everyone works for you. You are engaging in a witch hunt,” said Zandberg.

At the conclusion of the session, Education Committee Chairman Margi remarked that he was pleased that the discussion convened. “Whoever calls to harm Israel, we must fight against them,” concluded Margi.


What is Obama’s end game on Israel?

President Obama’s decision to engineer passage of U.N. Security Council 2334 in the final weeks of his presidency wasn’t a bid to revive the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” a “parting shot” at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or any of the other characterizations splashed across cable news chyrons over the weekend. Rather, it was intended to irrevocably destroy the viability of the very “two-state solution” the president claims to be protecting.

 Obama was widely expected to take some kind of action against Israel, which he blames for both the failure of his Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives and his difficulties convincing a skeptical Congress to back his Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Most thought this would come through a public speech in the form of an Eisenhower-type farewell warning about Israeli perniciousness or proposed final settlement terms. The smart money had the president giving his assent to a U.N. Security Council resolution criticizing Israeli settlement policies or recognizing Palestinian statehood in some way.

But no one expected President Obama to directly engineer and coordinate a Security Council resolution condemning all Jewish communities in lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War as “a flagrant violation under international law” with “no legal validity” and demanding that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

Resolution 2334 goes far beyond the administration’s previously expressed positions. Its blanket condemnation of “settlements” includes bustling Jewish communities along the east side of the green line — places negotiators on both sides have accepted will be retained by Israel in a final settlement (in exchange for Israeli land west of the green line).

The resolution’s blanket demand for a cessation of “all settlement activities” explicitly bars “natural growth,” which is to say that Jewish communities may not expand their housing stock even to accommodate new births. This would force Israelis living on the wrong side of the green line, many of them religiously devout and aspiring to have large families, to make gut-wrenching choices — a de facto imposition of China’s one-child policy. The “obvious objective” of the demand, as Charles Krauthammer explained early on in Obama’s tenure, “is to undermine and destroy these towns — even before negotiations.”

So extreme a resolution is devastating to the cause of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. Having balked at making compromises before 2334, what Palestinian leader will now drop demands for all territory to which the U.N. says Israelis have no claim?

The White House clearly colluded in the resolution’s language and the timing (right before the Christmas holiday weekend, the most ideal news-dump timeslot of the year in U.S. media markets). Although previous administrations occasionally abstained on Security Council votes against Israel, these were nearly all in response to specific actions, such as its annexation of the Golan Heights and 1981 air attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor. This resolution happened because Obama wanted it as part of a larger purpose.

The only conceivable ends toward which orchestration of this resolution would constitute the most rational means is the reinvigoration of the worldwide anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, at the very moment when international preoccupation with jihadist terror and pushback regarding its rampant anti-Semitism were beginning to limit its growth.

With Israelis and Palestinians largely out of the headlines since the collapse of Syria, the rise of ISIS, and Islamist terror assault on Europe, Obama single-handedly brought about what The New York Times casually called the “return of the Palestinian cause to the world stage.” And what university administrator is now going to crack down on student groups calling for a Judenrein Jerusalem when President Obama himself has done just that?

After spending most of his political life disavowing his far-leftist ideological and political roots, has Obama revealed himself to be the radical Third Worldist progressive his critics always suspected he was? Perhaps, but his willingness to shatter this carefully constructed public façade while still in office — and likely weaken the Democratic Party in the process — purely to take action against a nation of only 8 million people on the other side of the globe suggests there is something even more malevolent at work here.

Originally Posted at the Hill.



Roseanne Barr: “BDS is Fascist”

Very few people can express and discuss the issues the Jewish people and the State of Israel face with such clarityas Roseanne Barr.  I have always found her an amazing spokeswoman for the truth because that is exactly how she guides her life by way of truth.

Watch below how Roseanne tackles multiple challenges Israel faces and most important of all her clear dismemberment of the radical left cum fascists.  She nails it as she very rightfully states that BDS is Fascist.

Break the BDS