Category Archives: Anti-Semitism


{Previously published in The Jerusalem Post}

I was particularly struck by the profound concern and fear expressed by the high school-parents group, who shared with me a number of troubling incidents.

I recently gave a series of talks on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), anti-Zionism, and antisemitism. I first spoke at a leading synagogue in Manhattan, then to a group of parents of high school and college students with children applying or already in college, and then to students at a local high school.

At the high school, I was confronted after my lecture by one of the teachers. He first told me, disingenuously, that he was “right-wing” on Israel. Then he proceeded to tell me that Israel ethnically wiped out all of the Palestinians, and Jews have no right to be there just because a few thousand years ago they lived there. Fortunately the majority of students were engaged and asked important questions. One young man couldn’t understand why it is antisemitic to be against Israel.

I was particularly struck by the profound concern and fear expressed by the high school-parents group, who shared with me a number of troubling incidents.

An Israel club was denied permission to form at a high school with a large Jewish population. Another parent told me that her son, who was attending one of New York’s most prestigious private schools, was given as an example during a writing exercise, of someone representing Israel’s supposedly egregious human rights abuses in Gaza. Other high school parents told me that when visiting prospective campuses, they were horrified to see the presence of BDS and an intimidating environment for Jewish students on campus.

I remember watching a UCLA non-Jewish college student, Lauren Rogers. She told her harrowing story about intimidation and administrative indifference after she was forced to defend herself before a university judicial committee. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) charged Rogers with bias because she did not to vote to divest from Israel while on the UCLA student council. Her crime was visiting Israel with AJC’s educational program. This is BDS in action. A hostile climate toward Jewish students goes hand-in-hand with the level of SJP activity on campus.

There are plenty of safe spaces for every ethnic group on today’s college campus, with administrators bending over backwards to thwart every alleged micro-aggression there is – unless you are a Jewish student.

Prof. Deborah Lipstadt has said that people know antisemitism when they see it.

Let’s do an instructive exercise. Imagine what would have happened to a white male Congressman if he said everything Rep. Ilhan Omar said about Jews and Israel. He would definitely not have been treated with kid gloves. If he had, there would have been an uproar, with rallies in Washington. And all the cable news talking heads would be beside themselves with righteous indignation against right-wing antisemitism.

Fighting antisemitism would be politically correct for the moment, a weapon for political gain.

Let’s be clear, repeated antisemitic statements – ranging from dual loyalty to Jewish power to Jewish money to legitimizing a debate over Israel’s right to exist – are antisemitism.

Clouding the debate on antisemitism are the moral-equivalence arguments used by groups like J Street, which are blind to left-wing and Islamic antisemitism, and use a double standard for bigots from the Right than they do from the Left.

Illustrating the point, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami said, “[We] made clear to lawmakers our concern that the timing of the resolution could be seen as singling out and focusing special condemnation on a Muslim woman of color, Rep. Ilhan Omar – implying that her insensitive comments somehow posed a greater threat than the torrent of hatred that the white-nationalist Right continues to level against Jews, Muslims, people of color and other vulnerable minorities.”

ALLOWING DEFENDERS of an antisemite to change the narrative by transforming an antisemite into a victim, simply because she is considered part of a minority or persecuted group, is unhealthy for our democracy. And by the way, if a Jewish person said the same things Ilhan Omar said, they too would be antisemitic. Antisemitism is not about being a Semite, it is about what you say about Jews and Israel.

Falsely claiming, as Elizabeth Warren did, that “branding criticism of Israel as automatically antisemitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse,” is not only blatantly untrue, but dangerous for our melting-pot society.

Bashing Israeli policies is a national sport for Israelis, as well as for American Jews, making a mockery of those who claim all defenders of Israel cry antisemitism for every criticism of Israeli policy. However, claiming Israel has no right to exist because it is a colonialist, apartheid, human-rights abuser crosses a line from legitimate criticism into antisemitism.

Boycotting all of Israel and having a double standard that you don’t apply to other nations is antisemitism. BDS is an antisemitic movement. Representatives Omar and Rashida Tlaib support BDS.

As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Denial of Israel’s right to exist is antisemitism.”

And as the late Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking antisemitism.”

French President Macron said, “Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of antisemitism, behind the negation of Israel’s existence, what is hiding is hatred of Jews.”

In the Arab world, Israelis are simply called Jews.

Are you listening congresswomen?

A strong predictor for antisemitism on a college campus is the presence of BDS. The international definition of antisemitism adopted by the US, UK, Germany and many other countries, says delegitimizing, demonizing and having double standards targeting Israel are antisemitism.

Unfortunately, on our college campuses, supporters of Israel are told that they are not welcome to be part of the social justice movement, as it is completely incompatible with Zionism, a racist ideology. Israel is an oppressor and so it must be dehumanized.

BDS is the sword against the oppressor, so we must stand with the most victimized people on earth, the Palestinians. Ask a BDS supporter why Palestinians could have turned down having their own state five times over the last 70 years, and you will be screamed down on today’s college campus. BDS advocates claim it is their First Amendment right to scream so loud and so long to silence you, because any opinion other than theirs is evil by definition, especially the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state.

Just ask Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid, who was chased off the stage at the University of Chicago last year by SJP. His great offense was saying that we need to reconcile with our Israeli neighbors.

BDS is not about two states for two peoples. It is about the demographic destruction of Israel through the right of return, ending the colonization of Arab land (Dar el Islam).

Did you know that the Palestinian BDS national committee based in Ramallah coordinates BDS worldwide, and that it includes designated terrorist organizations?

Jonathan Schanzer, a former US Treasury official and a contributing expert for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, explained during congressional testimony last year that former employees of Hamas-linked charities now work for the American Muslims for Palestine. It is the key sponsor for Students for Justice in Palestine, creating a toxic environment for Jewish students through talk of apartheid walls, intimidation of speakers, divestment resolutions, academic indifference, and professors refusing to write recommendations for students studying in Israel.

BDS is an antisemitic movement by its words and actions. Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib support BDS.

Antisemitism, now you know it when you see it.

The writer is the director of Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN), and a regular contributor to The Jerusalem Post and i24TV.


{Previously published in The Jerusalem Post}

After Pittsburgh, it seems that the pendulum has swung and Jews fear that America has changed.

For years I have given talks at universities, professional organizations, churches, and synagogues, and would recite FBI statistics of American hate crimes. Almost all audiences were shocked to learn that in regard to religiously motivated hate crimes, including the most recent 2016 statistics, Jews were targeted more than twice as often as Muslims, and three times as often as blacks. My aim was not to frighten, but rather to educate Americans who seem to believe that due to the lack of reporting on antisemitism – Islamophobia is the predominant threat.

After Pittsburgh, it seems that the pendulum has swung and Jews fear that America has changed. Jewish communal institutions are wondering if they will now have to be armed to the teeth as they are in Europe. But is this simply an overreaction?

In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh massacre, the media has focused on a report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which cite a 57% increase in antisemitic incidents which news organizations have blamed on US President Donald Trump. But are we dealing with fact or fiction?

According to Adam Kirsch in The Wall Street Journal and Jonathan Tobin in the New York Post, this figure is misleading, as the 57% rise was due to threats from a single mentally disturbed Israeli teenager who threatened countless Jewish institutions. Until he was identified as the culprit, the media overwhelmingly blamed white supremacists.

When one removes this disproportionate factor, “antisemitic assaults actually decreased by almost half” in 2017. One act of hate is one too many, but it seems the statistic has been used to advance an agenda that sees right wing hatred of Jews as the only form of antisemitism in America. Far too many use the tragic events to score political points even before the dead were buried. We should fight Nazi right wing antisemitism with all our strength, but it isn’t the most dangerous form of antisemitism in the US, and certainly not in the world.

Despite the fact that around 10-14% of Americans harbor antisemitic views, my impression of my fellow Americans hasn’t changed; they are overwhelmingly tolerant and accepting of Jews of all walks of life.

It is wonderful that so many Jews and gentiles came together for the AJC’s #ShowUpShabbat to show solidarity against antisemitism and hatred against anyone, but America even after the Pittsburgh massacre is still the safest place for a Jew living in the Diaspora anytime in the last 2000 years. Assimilation and intermarriage are far greater threats to Jews in the US than antisemitism.

We first need to understand contemporary antisemitism in all its forms, and not allow Pittsburgh to completely define today’s antisemitic challenges. We need to ask; does everyone stand against all forms of antisemitism, or only against the sickness from the neo-Nazi radical right?

WHAT IS antisemitism in 2018?

Antisemitism is hatred of Jews. Despite the tragedy of Pittsburgh, the worst incident of antisemitic violence in America to date, it is dwarfed in magnitude by hatred of Jews throughout the world, which is found in almost every Islamic society. Classic European antisemitism as well as anti-Zionism are alive and well in almost every Muslim capital in the world, yet Jews in America choose to ignore it.

In the 21st Century, antisemitism’s most virulent form is the hatred of the Jew among nations, Israel. It is a pandemic that infects European elites, the majority of Muslim nations, the racist Louis Farrakhan who is supported by the leaders of the Women’s March on Washington, and even by some fringe Jews like Jewish Voice for Peace, which acts as a cover for antisemites who are accused of antisemitism.

In the US it is most evident on colleges campuses where Jewish students are intimidated for supporting Israel and receive little support from university administrations. There are no safe spaces for Jewish students, and they seem to be treated differently than other targets of hateful speech and acts because they are Zionists.

According to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, contemporary antisemitism began at the UN 2001 Durban Conference that united “radical Islamists with human rights NGO’s, the right wing and the left wing against a common enemy, the State of Israel.”

As the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, Malcolm Hoenlein said, “I hate Israel instead of I hate Jews does not cover up the fact that both mean the same thing.”

The founder of Human Rights Watch, Robert Bernstein said that antisemitism is “deeply ingrained and institutionalized” in Arab nations in modern times,” while Harvard professor Ruth Wisse said, “antisemitism  and anti- Zionism has been the cornerstone of pan-Arab politics since the Second World War.” According to Josef Joffe of Newsweek, antisemitism in the Arab world is “as much part of the Arab life today as the hijab or the hookah…in the Arab world, Jew hatred remains culturally endemic.”

SO THE QUESTION we must ask is, who is in more danger from 21st century antisemitism, American or Israeli Jews?

To an objective observer, the Jews of Israel are in far more danger, due to a combination of diplomatic antisemitism of the UN that is singlehandedly trying to destroy the state of Israel by demonization and delegitimization, to the physical threats of annihilation from Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas.

The claim that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism doesn’t hold water. This is the antisemitism which Jewish students face on college campuses from pro-Palestinian organizations. The US State Department’s definition of antisemitism makes it clear that if you claim the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor, apply a double standard requiring certain Israeli behavior which is not demanded of other nations, use symbols like Jews drinking the blood of Palestinian children, or draw comparisons of Israel to Nazis – that is antisemitism.

Both the far right and left give succor to dehumanizing Jews. The progressive media darling Linda Sarsour, one of the leaders of the Women’s March said, we must “dehumanize the oppressor (Israel).” Yet too many mainstream politicians and organizations have no qualms about being associated with her. She says feminists cannot be Zionists, yet few question why she is silent about misogyny in the Muslim world. Political correctness regarding antisemitism must end in the US.

We need to fight antisemitism everywhere, in America, in Europe, at the UN and South America. But there are seven million Jews living in Israel that are truly in the crosshairs of antisemites. They are Iranians, Syrians, and Palestinians, whose words and actions have been the very definition of hatred of Jews.

You cannot be against antisemitism if you are only against right wing antisemitism, or if you only care about it if it occurs in the US. Let’s stand together and fight all forms of antisemitism and stop using it for a political advantage.

The writer is the director of MEPIN, the Middle East Political Information Network. Dr. Mandel regularly briefs members of the Senate, House, and their foreign policy advisors. He is a regular columnist for The Jerusalem Post, and a contributor to i24TV, The Hill, and The Forward.

The State of Anti-Semitism on Campus

A disturbing report was published this week on the rise of anti-Semitic activity at American universities  in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. The report was the first time a quantitative account of the prevalence of anti-Semitism on college campuses was produced. It correlated the presence of anti-Israel groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activity, as strong predictors of hostility to Jewish students.

Learn more in Dr. Mandel’s latest vlog:


Rationalizing Palestinian Terrorism and Anti-Israel NGO’s

Today’s Vlog deals with two issues, European government support for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) whose goal is to Boycott and Delegitimize Israel, and the rationalizations used to explain the “Knife Intifada”.

Thanks to the great work of NGO Monitor, European taxpayers and American supporters of Israel now have some transparency into the odious agenda of many NGO’s that hide behind the false façade of purely humanitarian work.

Anti-Semitism on US College Campuses, Educating Pro-Israel Americans and Marking the Shoah

(Previously published in The Jerusalem Post.)

Last week I was privileged to speak to two very different audiences about the Middle East and Israel.

Last week I was privileged to speak to two very different audiences about the Middle East and Israel.

Though the talks had the same title, “Understanding the Middle East: Iran, the Sunni-Shi’ite War, the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict, Anti-Semitism and the Delegitimization of Israel,” the reasons I was invited, and the questions I received were profoundly different.

The first talk was at Purchase College in Westchester County, New York. I had been invited as part of my college speaking tour on the Middle East which brought me to many universities in the Northeast, i.e. Harvard, Cornell, Brown, SUNY Oneonta SUNY Binghamton and more. The first scheduled speaking date was postponed because of a snowstorm. Coincidentally, a week before the rescheduled talk, the campus was defaced with anti-Semitic and racist graffiti including swastikas and a noose.

There is a rash of anti-Semitism now sweeping college campuses. I know this because my organization, Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN), is continually being asked to sign letters to college presidents throughout the country responding to the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents, insisting that universities maintain a safe environment for Jewish students.

I was told that even before this anti-Semitic incident, the topic of my speech had created a controversy on campus, especially among a growing anti-Israel movement, and that I should be prepared to receive a hostile reception. The anti-Israel group did ask some provocative questions during my talk, but to their credit they choose not to interrupt the talk or intimidate Jewish students as other anti-Israel groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine have done. Perhaps the police presence had something to do with it.

Hillel of Westchester, and the Westchester pro-Israel community, responded to the display of anti-Semitism by publicizing my talk to the local Jewish community and rallying support for the students by coming out in large numbers. Purchase College is not known as a hotbed of political activism, but nowadays anti-Israel activists of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement are targeting almost every college, and the anti-Israel activity often turns into simple, ugly anti-Semitism.

The State Department’s working definition of anti-Semitism says that if you deny the Jewish State of Israel the right to exist, or hold it to a standard not asked of any other nations, that is anti-Semitism. Advocates of BDS against Israel fit that definition when they have nothing to say about the current major violators of human rights around the world, denying basic rights to women, committing mass genocides, and abrogating the rule of law to punish their political opponents.

Later in the week I was invited to speak at a non-denominational Protestant Church of primarily African American New Yorkers. I cannot remember a more engaged audience, eager to learn what is really going on in the Middle East. What impressed me most was that they were totally aware of the way many mainstream media outlets editorialize the news, as they report it in their supposedly non-editorial pages, fitted to their own opinions. I only wish the Progressive readers of The New York Times were as astute as this audience. They were passionate about Israel, frustrated with the administration’s pressure on Israel and its readiness to capitulate to the Iranians. Members of the audience asked me how they could become active in advocating for Israel.

Both groups, college kids under attack for their pro-Israel activism and church groups willing to advocate for Israel, present challenges and opportunities for the pro-Israel American Jewish community.

America is a Christian majority nation. There are many Christians in America, both Protestant and Catholic, who would like to support Israel based not only on religious teachings but because they see in Israel a liberal humane nation and a strategic asset to America. But pro-Israel groups, both Jewish and Gentile, liberal and conservative, need to work to coordinate their resources to educate religious communities. If pro-Israel advocates fail to connect with America’s churches of all denominations, the vacuum will be filled by anti-Israel groups who have already hoodwinked some denominations into joining forces with those groups pushing for BDS, convincing them that Israel is the schoolyard bully, picking on an innocent underdog.

On the college campus, our kids are besieged by a growing plague of anti-Zionism in the name of political correctness and anti-colonialism.

As Phyllis Chesler, a leading voice of the feminist movement, says, the “new anti-Semitism” is nearly inseparable from anti-Zionism. According to a recent survey by Trinity College, the majority of secular and religious Jewish students on American college have experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during their college careers.

We must support our college students and provide them with an environment that isn’t poisoned by anti-Semitism. That means fighting the BDS movement, not rationalizing it, legitimizing it, and providing Jewish forums to demonize the Jewish state. Are you listening, New Israel Fund and J Street? As Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish organizations said, “It is the BDS movement that is the 21st century form of 20th century anti-Semitism…

it is attacking the collective Jew, Israel, rather than the individual Jew that we saw 70 years ago.”

Which brings me to the third speech. I will be speaking to a Shoah commemoration in New York, where there will be many young Jewish adults in attendance. They are our future, and the following is what I will say to them.

Anti-Semitism in the 21st century has changed its face from the racial and religious anti-Semitism directed at the individual Jew in the 20th century, to focusing on the Jew among nations, Israel. You may hear someone claim that they are not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist. Don’t believe it.

Israel is our ultimate victory over the Nazis, with its ground-breaking medical and scientific discoveries, a vibrant free society, the only liberal democracy in a region filled with unstable, brutal, repressive, corrupt regimes. As American Jews, we should be honored and proud to support Israel as the miracle that rose out of the ashes of humanity’s darkest hour.

Today, Holocaust deniers proliferate, and challenge the very fact of the unspeakable horrors of the Shoah.

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani reinstated an annual conference of Holocaust deniers and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists. In the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas wrote his PhD thesis supporting Holocaust denial. Yet the most anti-Semitic nations in the world sit in the leading bodies of the United Nations, even controlling the human rights council.

While we look back and try to honor the memories of those six million who were slaughtered, we must also look forward, and use all of our strength to defend endangered Jewish communities, whether in Europe, South America or Israel.

We need to be less reactive and more on the offense in our response. This includes empowering non-Jewish pro-Israel Americans with the information and knowledge to effectively advocate for the Jewish state. Over 70 percent of Americans are sympathetic to Israel, but their knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep. It makes them vulnerable to the distortions, lies and anti-Semitism of anti-Israel movements.

Supporting Israel is not a political act; it is our moral obligation to those who cherish life and the continuity of Jewish civilization.

May Holocaust Remembrance Day and its heroes be a day that our children and grandchildren honor and embrace as a new voice of conscious.

Honoring the survivors of the Shoah still with us and the memory of those who are not, requires that we give of ourselves whatever it takes, to never be ashamed to be a Jew and to be justly proud of the Jewish homeland.

The author is the director of MEPIN (Middle East Political and Information Network), a Middle East research analysis read by members of Congress, their foreign policy advisers, members of the Knesset, journalists and organizational leaders. He regularly briefs members of Congress on issues related to the Middle East.

Is the United Nations anti-Semitic?

(Previously published in The Jerusalem Post)

States that support terror overwhelmingly control the UN. They mouth the words of moderation, but defend nations that give sanctuary to terrorists.

“When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In our world of cultural relativism, calling someone anti-Semitic is usually dismissed as beyond the pale. The usual retort is that legitimate criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. At the UN, it goes much further. Israel is a nation designated for special treatment, much like South Africa was years ago. Critics use the template of apartheid South Africa for the Jewish state. Because apartheid is beyond the pale of civilized norms, they argue, Israel deserves special treatment. This allows the UN to bypass any legitimate defense of Israel and Zionism. No one can defend apartheid, so it must be destroyed.

Non-democratic states overwhelmingly control the UN. They often mouth the words of moderation, but defend nations that give sanctuary to terrorists. How else can one explain that some of the most odious nations on earth are elected to the UN Human Rights Council? In fact, Israel’s judge and jury at the UN are often nations that enable terrorism and anti-Semitism.

To accurately judge the United Nations, we need a definition. If Israel is treated and judged completely differently than other nations and held to a standard not applied to any other member nation, then that should be considered anti-Semitism.

The Inter-Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (ICCA), composed of 140 parliamentarians from 40 countries, affirmed the definition of anti-Semitism by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA). It states, “Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” is anti-Semitism.

As Abe Foxman of the ADL said, “anti-Zionism constitutes anti-Semitism if Zionism is the only nationalism being opposed.” When criticism of Israel devolves into demonization and delegitimization of its right to exist as a Jewish state, you have anti-Semitism. If Zionism is described conspiratorially as scheming to take over the world, you are dealing with anti-Semitism.

Robert Wistrich, of The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, said, “The deplorable combination of discrimination, delegitimization and double standards at the United Nations has in recent decades been a lethal source of globalized anti-Semitism.”

Defenders of the UN claim it was created in the wake of the Holocaust, and that the organization annually commemorates the world’s most heinous genocide against the Jews. That is commendable, but historical revisionism has universalized the Holocaust, and its special characteristics pertaining to Jews have been watered down until the Holocaust has become merely one among many genocides throughout the ages.

A 2014 ADL poll revealed “the most anti-Semitic region in the world is the Middle East and North Africa, with 74 percent harboring anti-Semitic views.” The Palestinian Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza had a 93% anti-Semitic rating.

If the double standard of treating Israel profoundly differently than other UN members is anti-Semitism, consider the following:


The UN Human Rights

Council Israel is the only nation in the world that has a standing agenda item against it at every session of the UNHRC. Not North Korea, not China, not Pakistan, not Syria, not Sudan, not Iran. The Council never has mentioned the word “Hamas.”

From 2006 through 2013, Israel has been subjected to 45 condemnation resolutions. No other nation in the world comes close.

Special Rapporteur on Palestine John Dugard said in 2006, “Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories has many features of colonization. At the same time it has many of the worst characteristics of apartheid.” In explaining Palestinian violence, UN “expert” Dugard sees moral equivalence with the partisans who fought the Nazis! Mr. Dugard is also a judge on the UN’s International Court of Justice.

UN General Assembly Resolutions

From 1947 to 1991, there were about 300 anti-Israel General Assembly resolutions against Israel. In 2012, there were 22 GA resolutions specifically against Israel, while there were only four for the rest of the world combined.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency

The Palestinian refugee organization UNWRA changed the definition of “refugee” to create a unique status for Palestinians. While other refugees lose refugee status in the following generation, only Palestinians remain refugees forever. This allows UNWRA to receive 50 percent of the UN’s money for all the refugees in the world. Instead of having only 30,000 original Palestinian refugees (if they were counted as every other refugee in the world is), we now have over 5,000,000 Palestinian Arabs refugees – courtesy of the UN.

UN Security Council

The real power of the UN lies in the Security Council. Israel is the only member state that has not – and cannot – serve on the Security Council. From 1948 to 2010, there were 77 resolutions directly aimed at Israel. No other nation on earth even comes close to this record of infamy.

Israel’s Exclusion from Regional Groups

Israel is the only UN member excluded from membership in its own regional group in the Middle East and Asia.

The UN’s Durban Conference

The three UN Durban Conferences on Racism have found racism in only one of the 192 nations of the UN: Israel. One of the flyers distributed at the first Durban conference pictured Hitler asking the question, “What would have happened if I had won?”

Ignoring and not acting against the worst nations in the world.

Anne Bayefsky, a Senior Fellow with the Hudson Institute, said: “There has never been a single resolution about the decades-long repression of the civil and political rights of the 1.3 billion people in China…. Every year, UN bodies are required to produce at least 25 reports on alleged human rights violation by Israel, but not one on an Iranian criminal justice system which mandates punishments like crucifixion, stoning and cross-amputation. This is… demonization of the Jewish state.”

UN Special Rapporteurs Richard Falk (2008-2014) and Makarim Wibisono (2014-2020)

Richard Falk is a notorious anti-Semite, infamous 9/11 conspiracy theorist and Boston Marathon bombing apologist.

His successor, Makarim Wibisono, according to UN Watch, has accused Israel of “unconscionable use of force against the Palestinians,” and of having a “policy of retribution against the entire Palestinian nation.” Wibisono described Israel as showing “ruthless contempt for the lives of the innocent.” His home country has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Navi Pillay is the UN official who questioned the legality of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and is an enthusiastic supporter of the anti-Zionist Durban conferences. According to Pillay, “The Israeli occupation of Palestine led to large-scale violations of international law.”

Is anti-Zionism at the UN anti-Semitism? You decide.

Here is how United States can fight anti-Semitism at the UN while advancing American foreign policy interests: The US pays for 22% of the UN’s annual $5 billion budget. Congress should legislate support for only humanitarian efforts at the UN. Don’t support or defer to an institution that glorifies anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

End financial support for UNWRA until it adopts the definition of “refugee” which applies everywhere else. This would end a root cause of the conflict, as it would reduce from 5,000,000 to 30,000 the number of Palestinian Arab Refugees.

Find democratic coalition partners to support American national security priorities and protect America’s allies.

As the leader of the free world, the US should speak out unapologetically in the UN. Fighting institutionalized anti-Semitism hiding behind the cloak of anti-Zionism would be a great start.

Soon there may be a new Islamic caliphate of al-Qaida in the Levant. So who will be elected to the UN Human Rights Council first, Israel or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?

The author is the founder and director of MEPIN, the Middle East Political and Information Network.

Listening and Speaking to Young American Jews on College Campuses

(Previously published in The Jerusalem Post)

Idealist college students are presented with non-contextual information, which they view through the utopian eyes of youth.

There may be nothing more important to the future of the US-Israel relationship than young American Jews. What are they thinking, to whom do they listen, how far have they strayed from their parents’ and grandparents’ Zionism? This spring, I have been listening and speaking to a broad spectrum of students, including those at Columbia, Vassar, Ithaca, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Binghamton University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Nearly all of the students confirmed that most Jewish college students know little about Israel, and worse, care less about it. No doubt there are many young Jews and Gentiles who really do attempt to understand the Middle East and are willing to educate and advocate for Israel, but, sadly, they are a distinct minority.

So what makes Young American Millennial Jews tick? Many American Jews seem to define their attachment to Judaism through progressive liberal values. Anti-Israel groups have used this to target impressionable young adults. They distort and fabricate a reality that persuades their target audience that Israel is an oppressive and intolerant theocracy.

Idealist college students are presented with non-contextual information, which they view through the utopian eyes of youth. Their mantra is “Justice for the Oppressed.” Whoever is perceived as the weaker party is in the right. They side with David against Goliath. This is what resonates.

Their professors tell them that Israel was born in sin, as an anachronistic colonial enterprise against an indigenous people. They have transformed Palestinian Arabs into America’s people of color, and identify them as a persecuted minority. The fact that there are 400 million Arabs with endemic hatred for Israel’s six million isolated Jews barely registers. Muslim misogyny and repressive, anti-gay environments are left on the curriculum’s cutting-room floor. They claim that all the Middle East’s problems grew from the transplanted and illegitimate seed of Zionism. There never seems to be time or interest for a fuller discussion of the complexities of the region.

Imagine your local pro-Palestinian student organization of your Alma Mata sponsoring a forum critical of Palestinian positions, with Arab speakers demonizing the Palestinian government. Of course, such an event would never happen. However, on a recent spring night at Washington U, Hillel and J Street co-sponsored a one-sided, highly critical event against Israel featuring Breaking the Silence (BtS). BtS is a far-left-wing group of very disgruntled former IDF soldiers who parade themselves around our country as representative of what the IDF routinely does to oppress Palestinians Arabs. To make matters worse, no rebuttal or balanced opposing opinion is tolerated.

I recently spoke to Hen Mazzig, a mild-mannered, left-wing Israeli soldier, about the Wash U event. Hen spent his IDF career with COGAT, Coordinator of Government activities in the Territories. COGAT’s mission is to deal with the Palestinians in the territories and to protect them. He is fluent in Arabic and mediated many times between Palestinians and the IDF in the territories. Hen is also a witness to the so-called “non-violent” Palestinian protests that Breaking the Silence defends. His friend and fellow IDF soldier lost an eye, and another soldier broke his jaw during the some of the “non-violent” rock throwing.

This experience understandably has influenced his opinion – and it is different from that of BtS.

Hen showed me a picture of some of the Wash U. students who attended a different J Street event wearing T-shirts reading, “Resistance Is Not Terrorism.”

Hen has been traveling though America for the past 16 months, speaking on college campuses about Israel and the conflict. I asked him why American Jewish students are so critical of Israel.

“US Jews were on the front lines of civil rights, fighting for ‘justice.’ Every student is idealistic and falls for words like ‘justice.’ They think that the bravest thing you can do is go against your own people. They were indoctrinated with pro-Israel, and they now want to be anti-establishment.”

At Columbia, I spoke to the graduate school of international affairs where I debated the campus “pro Israel, pro-peace” representative. The speaker uncritically defended Palestinian positions and made it clear that Israel was the intransigent party, with little or no Palestinian accountability or complicity for the situation. Sources quoted were only from the far Left that demonized Israel, but were presented as mainstream.

What do I discuss with students? In today’s environment, students need some clear guidelines to alert them when anti-Israel rhetoric crosses the line. In honor of David Letterman’s announced retirement, here are my Top 10 tips:

  1. Boycotting goods from the territories is wrong. Its goal is to destroy all of Israel. Support of the BDS campaign puts you outside the pro-Israel tent.
  2. Self-described pro-Israel, pro-peace groups that only criticize Israel are not pro-Israel.
  3. If someone denies Israel’s right to exist as a homeland of the Jewish people, they are not only out of the tent, they are anti-Semitic, according the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).
  4. Applying a different standard to Israel than applied to every other nation is anti-Semitism, according to the European Union.
  5. If you don’t as vociferously protest the occupation of Cyprus by Turkey, the occupation of Crimea and Georgia by Russia, or the occupation of Tibet by China, then targeting Israel is not only a double standard, it is anti-Semitism, according to the EU.
  6. Israel’s existence is essential for American foreign policy and national security. Israel is an American strategic asset, not a foreign policy liability.
  7. International law is on Israel’s side and Israel has shown a willingness to make far-reaching concessions for peace.
  8. Israel, for all its faults, is one of the great democratic wonders of the world.
  9. Iran is not just an Israeli issue, it is very much an American national security issue.
  10. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an existential conflict, not a territorial one.

Next semester, I am supposed to speak at Brandeis, unless I too receive the honor of being disinvited.

The author is founder and director of MEPIN, the Middle East Political and Information Network.