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Letter to Rutgers President McCormick 4-6-11 (1)

Letter to Rutgers President McCormick 4-6-11 (1)

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Published by Rebecca Harrington

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Published by: Rebecca Harrington on Dec 02, 2011
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ZION.l.ST'O'RGANIZATIONOFAMER.ICA
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April6,2011BYFAXANDE-MAILDr.RichardL.McConnickOfficeofthePresidentRutgers,TheStateUniversityofNewJersey83SomersetStreetNewBrunswick,NJ08901DearPresidentMcConnick:WewritetoyouonbehalfoftheZionistOrganizationofAmerica(ZOA),theoldestandoneofthelargestpro-IsraelorganizationsintheU.S.,becausewehavereceivedverytroublingreportsfromJewishstudentsatRutgersUniversitythattheyarebeingsubjectedtoacampusenvironmentthatisincreasinglyhostileandanti-Semitic.Theimpacthasbeenserious:Jewishstudentsfeelthreatenedandintimidated,theiremotionalwell-beinghassuffered,andtheirabilitytoparticipateinandbenefitfromRutgers'programsandactivitieshasbeenimpaired.TheproblemsthatJewishstudentsarefacingaredescribedindetailbelow.Asarecipientoffederalfunding,RutgersisobligatedtocomplywithTitleVIoftheCivilRightsActof1964,whichrequiresthatfederalfundingrecipientsensurethattheirprogramsandactivitiesarefreefromracialandethnicdiscrimination.LastOctober,theU.S.DepartmentofEducation'sOfficeforCivilRights,whichischargedwithenforcingTitleVI,issuedapolicyletter(enclosed)makingitclearthatfederallyfundedschoolsmustprotectJewishstudentsfromanti-SemiticharassmentunderTitleVI.WeurgeyoutoensurethatRutgerscomplieswithitsobligationsunderthelawimmediately.Below,wehaveproposedsomereasonablestepsthatwebelievewillhelpremedytheproblems.
EventsDemonizingJewsandIsraelhavebecomeaRegularOccurrenceatRutgers
JewishstudentsgotatasteofwhatwastocomethisacademicyearwhenIshmaelKhaldicametospeakattheRutgersHillelonOctober29,2010,regardinghisexperiencesasanIsraeliBedouin.Approximately20to30anti-Israelindividualscametotheeventandoccupiedthefirstthreerowsofseats.Severalwerewearinganti-Israelshirts.DuringMr.Khaldi'sspeech,theseindividualsdisrupteditbypassingaroundpapersandwhisperingtoeach.other.Whenitwastimeforthequestion-and-answerperiod,theseindividualstriedtomonopolizeit,callingout,shoutingattheguestspeaker,andtreatinghimwithoutthecivilityandrespectthatallguestsofRutgersUniversityhavetherighttoexpect.Theirverbalattacksonthespeakerweregreetedwithwildcheersandapplausefromtherestoftheanti-Israelgroup.Thegroupleftenmasse,andbythen,therewasnotimeleftforanyoneelsetocommentoraskquestions.Thisgroup
 
Dr.Richard
L.
McCormickApril6,2011Page2interferedwithMr.Khaldi'sfreedomofspeechandalsointerferedwithotherstudents'righttohearhimandexpresstheirownopinions,allbecausetheydisagreedwithMr.Khaldi'sviews.Asyousurelyknow,sincethateventatHillel,arecognizedstudentgroupatRutgerscalled"BAKA[whichstandsforBeliefAwarenessKnowledgeandAction]-StudentsUnitedForMiddleEastJustice"hasbeensponsoringandpromotingcampusprogramsandeventsonaregularbasiswhichdemonizeJewsandIsrael,includingthefollowing:OnNovember4,2010,BAKA.sponsoredaneventcalled"U.S.toGaza"toraisefundsforanorganizationthatwasseekingtopurchaseanAmericanshiptobreakthelegalIsraelinavalblockadeofGazathatwassetuptopreventweaponsandmissilesfromenteringGazaandbeingusedtoattackIsraeliciviliansinsouthernIsraeLIfrocketsweren'tbeinglaunchedfromGazaintoIsrael,killinginnocentciviliansandwoundinghundredsofothers,therewouldbenoneedfortheblockade.BreakingtheblockadeandprovidingmaterialsupporttoHamas-aU.S.-designated"foreignterroristorganization"-inGazawouldviolatefederallaw.Alsoalarming,thefundraiseritselfincitedhatredofJewsandIsrael.AdamShapiro,theco-founderoftheInternationalSolidarityMovement(ISM),spokeatthefundraiser.TheISMhaslinkstoandaidsterroristgroups,advocatesthedestructionoftheStateoflsrael,andisaleaderintheglobalBDS(boycott,divestmentandsanctions)movementagainstIsraeLAtRutgers,ShapiroinflamedtheaudienceagainstIsrael,exhortingthemto"transformthisconflictfromonebetweenIsraelandthePalestinians...toonebetweentherestoftheworldandIsrael."Anotherspeaker,NadaKhader,encouragedtheaudiencetosupportaboycottagainstIsraeLKhaderreportedlycomparedZionism-theexpressionoftheJewishpeople'srighttoliveintheirhistoricandreligioushomeland-towhitesupremacy.Thehostilityintheroomwasunmistakable;everyattackagainstIsrael-includingthementionofsuicidebombings,whichhavemurderedinnocentJewishcivilians,andotherformsofviolenceagainstIsrael-waschillinglygreetedwithcheeringandloudapplause.OnNovember10,2010,BAKAhosted"ArabsandtheHolocaust:AHistoryofCompetingNarratives."TheprogramfeaturedGilbertAchcar,whohasclaimedthatthedenialofthe"Nakba"(theso-calledtragedythatthePalestiniansArabsclaimbefellthemaftertheStateofIsraelwasestablished)ismoreseriousthanthePalestinians'denialoftheHolocaust.AnysuggestionthattheestablishmentoftheJewishStatewasa"tragedy"forthePalestinianArabsisitselfadistortionofhistoryintendedtoincitehatredofJewsandIsrael;atthetimetheStatewasestablished,theUnitedNationshadalsoofferedthePalestinianArabstheirownstatewhennonehadexistedbefore,buttheofferwasrejected.Disturbingly,thisBAKA.-sponsoredprogramwasco-sponsoredbytwoacademicdepartmentsatRutgers,theCenterforMiddleEastStudiesandtheDepartmentofJournalismandMedia.OnNovember16,2010,BAKA.broughtNormanFinkelstein,awell-knownHolocaustminimizerandIsrael-basher,tocampus.Finkelsteinistheauthorofthebook
TheHolocaustIndustry:ReflectionsontheExploitationofJewishSuffering,
which
TheNewYorkTimes
hascomparedtoTheProtocolsoftheEldersofZion,andhasdecrieditas
 
Dr.Richard
1.
McConnickApril6,2011Page3"vergjing]onparanoiaand..serv[ing]anti-Semitesaroundtheworld...."(SeeBartov,Orner,"ATaleofTwoHolocausts,"TheNewYorkTimes,Aug6,2000[http://www.nytimes.com/books/yr/mo/day/reviews/000806.06bartovt.html].)OnNovember19,2010,BAKAsponsoredashowingofthefilm"Occupation101,"whichinflameshatredofJewsandIsraelbypromotingtheincendiaryfalsehoodthatthePalestinianArabsareinnocentvictimsandIsraelistheirbrutaloccupiersandoppressors.Theterm"occupation"isitselfapropagandatoolusedtopromotehatredofJewsandIsrael,becauseitfalselysuggeststhatIsrael'spresenceintheWestBankandeasternJerusalemamountstooccupyingsomeoneelse'slandInfact,Israelhasanundeniablerightunderinternationallawtobepresentintheseareasandthestrongestclaimtothoseareas.OnDecember5,2010,BAKAco-sponsoreda"PalestineCultureFestival"thatcelebratedthePalestinian"legacyofresistance,"-whichiscodefortheendorsementofsuicidebombings,terroristattacks,andthemurderofIsraeliJews.OnJanuary20,2011,BAKAsponsoreda"Gazavigil"toCOmmemoratetheso-called"massacres"ofPalestinianArabsinGaza,anotherinflammatoryfalsehoodthatinciteshatredofJewsandIsrael.Thenotionthattherewereany"massacres"isfalse;manyifnotmostofthepeoplekilledwerenotinnocentciviliansbutratheroperativesfortheterroristgroupHamas.ThetruthisthatIsraeldidwhatanycountryinitspositionwoulddoandmustdo-defenditspeople,afterinnocentmen,womenandchildreninsouthernIsraelweresubjectedtoyearsofrocketandmissileattacksbyPalestinianArabsinGaza.Asyousurelyknow,RichardGoldstone,whowascommissionedbytheUnitedNationsHumanRightsCounciltoinvestigateIsrael's2008-09defensivewarinGazaagainstHamasaggression,recentlyrecantedhispreviousfindingsandconcludedthatIsraeldidnotintentionallytargetciviliansduringthewarandthatanydeathsthatoccurredwereinadvertent.ThesameisnottrueforHamas,whichGoldstonedeterminedhadpurposefullyaimeditsrocketsatcivilians.OnMarch1,2011,aspartofits"PalestineAwarenessWeek,"BAKAsponsoredapaneldiscussionentitled"Israel,theApartheidAnalogyandtheBoycott,Divestment,andSanctions(BDS)Movement."TheeventfalselyandoffensivelycomparedIsrael'streatmentofitsArabcitizenstohowSouthAfricatreatedblacksundertheapartheidsystem.SpeakersfalselyaccusedIsrael-theonlyestablisheddemocracyintheMiddleEast,whereallcitizens,includingArabs,haveequalrightstofreespeech,topracticetheirreligion,andtovote,andwhereArabsserveinthegovernmentandonthecourts-ofdiscriminatingagainstArabs,andtheyadvocatedinfavorofhurtingIsraelbyboycottingIsraeliproductsandculturalexchanges.OnMarch2,2011,aspartof"IsraelApartheidWeek,"BAKAerectedaso-called"apartheidwall"-falselyrepresentingthesecurityfencethatIsraelhasbeenforcedtoconstructtoprotectinnocentIsraeliciviliansfromdrive-byshootingsandterroristattacks.IftherewerenoArabterrorismagainstIsrael,therewouldbenofence.

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