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    Author: Miriam Elman

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    Miriam Elman

    Miriam F. Elman is an associate professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, where she is a research director in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration.

    ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Boko Haram justifiably appear on the UN’s list of grave violators of children’s rights in conflict zones. But UNICEF is also spearheading a campaign to have Israel’s military included on this blacklist, which could lead to Security Council sanctions if successful. It’s preposterous that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) could be grouped among terror groups and militias from failed states, together with the planet’s worst offenders in terms of protecting children.

    For years, virulently anti-Israel, and in some cases even antisemitic, Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been playing a successful con game in Europe. They’ve presented themselves to foreign donors as paragons of virtue worthy of financial support, while funneling their money into anti-Israel demonization campaigns, youth programming and infrastructure that glorifies violence, and collaborative civic-engagement projects with designated terror groups.

    The Palestinian leadership has responded furiously to President Trump’s December 6th official recognition of the obvious reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Over the past several weeks, there’ve been heated denunciations, some of which trafficked in ugly antisemitic tropes and canards; the usual Hamas-incited “days of rage”; calls for demonstrations by the Palestinian Authority (which canceled school, so young people could participate in the clashes and rioting); and over a dozen rockets shot from Gaza into Israel.

    Last week the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee concluded its hearings regarding the confirmation of Kenneth L. Marcus, President Trump’s pick for the position of Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights. We noted in a post back in October, when the White House first announced the nomination, that Marcus is extraordinarily qualified for the job and is an excellent pick for heading the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Trump appoints attorney who combats antisemitism to key civil rights post.

    For some years we’ve been reporting about how Jews are being ostracized, intimidated and even physically assaulted based on their identification with Israel. As we’ve documented, on some college and university campuses, the harassing conduct of anti-Israel and pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) groups is so severe and persistent that it’s starting to interfere with the ability of Jewish and Zionist students to benefit from the educational and extra-curricular activities and opportunities offered at their schools.

    Today Israel marks a national day to remember the departure and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries and Iran. The commemorative day, which was designated by Israel’s legislative body three years ago, comes as a belated recognition of the collective traumas experienced by between 850,000 to 1 million Jews who were expelled or who fled from their homes in the Middle East and North Africa over a span of three decades (from the 1940s until the 1970s).

    The New School, a liberal Manhattan-based university, has garnered considerable controversy over a program on antisemitism that’s currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 28. The program is titled Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice and it is designed to promote a book by Jewish Voice for Peace of a similar name. Criticism of the event has been almost entirely focused on the university’s “misguided invitation” to Linda Sarsour and the “absurdity” of this self-identified anti-Israel firebrand and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement “poster girl” being asked to discuss the nature of contemporary anti-Jewish hatred and how best to tackle it.

    For years we’ve been covering incitement on the part of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its failure to prepare Palestinian society for a resolution of the conflict via non-violent means. The PA is viewed by the West as the ‘moderate’ Palestinian body and Israel’s supposed ‘partner for peace’, but as we’ve repeatedly highlighted, its officials routinely demonize Israel and glorify terrorists as national heroes. Young people are exposed to this radicalization, as schools and educational programs justify and condone the use of violence.

    In a number of recent posts, we’ve been covering the Palestinian effort at UNESCO to erase the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, Hebron and other historical sites in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). As we’ve discussed, since 2011 when the UN body recognized Palestine as a state, Palestinian officials have undertaken what amounts to a cultural jihad—hijacking the UNESCO agenda by repeatedly forcing its members to consider Jewish heritage sites as purely Islamic.

    For a number of years we’ve been documenting anti-Israel activism on U.S. college campuses, carried out by student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. In these prior posts we’ve described many instances when this virulent anti-Israelism has crossed over the line into blatant anti-Jewish animus, including at schools like Vassar, Oberlin, University of Illinois and at various California colleges and universities.

    A recently published monograph by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA) offers a sobering example of how biased teaching materials about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the history and practice of Islam were used for years in the curriculum of two public high schools in Newton, Massachusetts. As we highlighted in a post which reviewed the book, CAMERA’s important new study meticulously analyzes hundreds of highly skewed materials used by the Newton Public Schools system in its two high schools to teach 9th and 10th graders about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Islamic history and culture.

    Now in its second consecutive year, the Nakba Tour is a speaking event that brings several Palestinian women registered as refugees in Lebanon to university, church, and other community venues across North America. The talks rightly highlight the many overwhelming challenges that Palestinians face in Lebanon, including the denial of basic civil rights and endemic discrimination.

    The Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), a national organization that supports pro-Israel and Zionist students on university campuses, has released a new report that summarizes the findings from nearly 1200 anti-Israel activities that took place on U.S. colleges during the 2016-2017 academic year. The report highlights a “growing intensity” of anti-Israel campaigns on certain campuses, but also notes a 40% decrease in BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns—from 33 in 2015-2016 down to 20 over the last year—and a 20% decline in overall anti-Israel activity during the same period.

    Mitchell Flint, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot during World War II who later became a founding member of Israel’s legendary first fighter squadron and flew dozens of missions on behalf of the fledgling Jewish state during its 1948 War of Independence, died of natural causes on Saturday (September 16) at his home in Los Angeles. In several prior posts, we described how Flint and other non-Israeli volunteers played a key role during the second phase of the 1948 war, when the combined armies of five Arab states threatened to overrun and cripple Israel and “throw the Jews into the sea”:

    A joint report released last week by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (JPR), a London-based think tank, and the Community Security Trust (CST), the communal Jewish defense body in the UK, found an “unambiguous association” between antisemitic and anti-Israel attitudes in Britain. The report—an in-depth investigation and analysis of animus toward Jews, the role of hatred directed toward Israel, and the prevalence of bigotry across the political spectrum in Britain today—makes for a sobering read.

    Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is an anti-Israel extremist group that enables, legitimizes and mainstreams antisemitism by providing a façade and veneer of Jewish legitimacy for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. As we’ve highlighted in almost 100 prior posts dating back to 2011, JVP isn’t a Jewish group. Rather, it’s a far-left wing group that purports to be inspired by the Jewish tradition of social activism.