Israel Unfazed by Global Disapproval, Sticks to Eurovision Song ‘October Rain’ Entry Despite Pressure

KAN, the Israeli broadcaster, reaffirmed the decision even at the cost of being barred from the competition.


The Israeli Culture minister sent Miki Zohar the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) a letter on Thursday urging them to approve Israel’s submission to the Eurovision song competition after the EBU called it “too political.”

“As you know, the State of Israel is experiencing one of the most difficult and complex periods since its establishment. We lost our loved ones, and there are women, men and children who are still held captive by a terrorist organization,” Zohar said.

Israeli media reported that the broadcasting union would not approve the song, called “October Rain,” after several countries even issued threats to boycott the event if Israel participated. The EBU issued a statement saying “We are currently in the process of carefully examining the lyrics of the song – a process that is confidential between the EBU and the Public Broadcasting Corporation until a final decision is made. To all broadcasters, they have until March 11th to officially submit their songs. If a song does not meet the criteria for any reason, the corporation will be given the opportunity to submit a new song or new lyrics, according to the contest rules.”

“The song that Israel sent to the Eurovision Song Contest was chosen by a professional committee made up of well-known names in the local music and entertainment industry,” Zohar added. “It is a moving song, discussing renewal and revival from a very fragile reality of loss and destruction, and describes the current public mood in Israel these days. We see now most clearly because our lives – as one, united society – manage to overcome even the greatest suffering. This is not a political song.”

Despite the news that the song by Israeli singer Eden Golan would not be approved, The CEO of KAN, Israel’s national broadcasting service, and the body that approves the song, Golan Yokhpaz, said “We will not change the words or the song, even at the cost of Israel not participating in Eurovision this year.” Adding “The Israel Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) is in dialogue with the EBU regarding the song that will represent Israel at Eurovision.”

Zohar said later in a television interview “The songwriters, KAN, and the singer will have to make the decisions at the end of the day… I do think that Israel should participate in Eurovision because it is important for us at this time to be represented there, and to express ourselves throughout Europe.”

NOTE: Based on the Israeli outlet “Israel Hayom“, we can reveal the following details:

  • The majority of the lyrics are in English, but there are 2 lines in Hebrew.
  • The song is a ballad with a build-up in the melody
  • The title of the song is probably “October Rain”

Israeli broadcaster Kan has released the full lyrics of the song:

Writers of the history
Stand with me
Look into my eyes and see
People go away but never say goodbye

Someone stole the moon tonight
Took my light
Everything is black and white
Who’s the fool who told you
Boys don’t cry

Hours and hours and flowers
Life is no game for the cowards
Why does time go wild
Every day I’m loosing my mind
Holding on in this mysterious ride

Dancing in the storm
We got nothing to hide
Take me home
And leave the world behind
And I promise you that never again
I’m still wet from this October rain
October Rain

Living in a fantasy
Ecstasy
Everything’s meant to be
We shall pass but love will never die

Hours and hours and flowers
Life is no game for the cowards
Why does time go wild
Every day I’m loosing my mind
Holding on in this mysterious ride

Dancing in the storm
We got nothing to hide
Take me home
And leave the world behind
And I promise you that never again
I’m still wet from this October rain
October Rain
October Rain

לא נשאר אוויר לנשום
אין מקום
אין אותי מיום ליום
כולם ילדים טובים אחד אחד

(There’s no air left to breathe
There’s no space
I’m gone day by day
Everyone is good kids one by one)

As of the moment, the approval process for the song is still underway.

RELATED ARTICLE: “October Rain”— First Glance at The Lyrics of Israel’s Eurovision 2024 Entry

EDITORS NOTE: This World Israel News column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

10/7 Testimony: The murder of Inbar Haiman

Inbar Haiman, 27, was murdered after being abducted by Hamas on October 7th from the Supernova music festival where she was volunteering.

When Hamas attacked, Inbar first hid under a stage with friends and then took cover under a bush where she was found by a pair of Hamas gunmen armed with knives, who hauled her out and placed her on a motorbike.

Eventually, her family and boyfriend received a video posted by Hamas on Telegram, showing Inbar bloodied and beaten, surrounded by four men.

She was murdered while in captivity, and Hamas is still holding her body hostage!

We must not forget this beautiful soul, taken far too early by such monsters.

Bring Inbar home so that her family, and all of Israel may mourn her.

EDITORS NOTE: This Newsrael News Desk column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Negotiate, you fools!

For the first time since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine two years ago, the possibility of negotiations has emerged on the horizon.

Both Putin and Zelenskiiy have indicated in recent interviews that they are now open to negotiations. In his two-hour history lesson to Tucker Carlson, Putin recalled the Istanbul negotiations in March-April 2022. “We were ready to sign it and the war would have been over long ago,” Putin said, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson swung by and told Zelenskiiy to hold off.

In his interview with FoxNews host Bret Baier that aired on Thursday night, Zelenskiiy poured cold water on the notion that an agreement had been at hand in Istanbul in 2022, but said he was ready to talk with Putin today. Clearly the near-encirclement of Ukrainian forces at Avdiivka, and the heavy losses they took in their hot withdrawal, helped focus his mind. So has the reticence of Republicans in Congress to write Kyiv another blank check.

Exactly how, and under whose auspices those talks take place is another story. Since Zelenskiiy is understandably demanding great power guarantees, that will mean buy-in from the U.S., France, and Germany as well as Russia.

Ironically, the party most reticent to come to the table is Joe Biden. Just this week, he doubled-down yet again on his “Putin the murderer” rhetoric (aided, for sure, by the apparent murder of dissident Alexei Navalny in a Siberian jail). But like the Chekist he is, Putin didn’t take offense at Biden’s words, telling a Russian journalist Russia would deal with anyone the American people elected president, but would prefer Biden because he was more “predictable” than Trump and a known quantity.

Meanwhile, the rumors of expanded war in Europe intensified this week. Putin’s deputy, former president Dmitry Medvedev played bad cop and said that Russia needed to change the government in Kyiv and probably occupy the Ukrainian capital, to prevent “encroachments” on Russian land.

And in Moldova, the Russian breakaway region of Transnistria hinted it would call a referendum to approve Russia’s annexation of the territory, possibly as soon as February 28, with a Putin speech already planned for the next day.

As I explain in this week’s Prophecy Today Weekend, Transnistria is a narrow strip of land on Ukraine’s southwest border with Moldova. If it fell under Russia control, this would add yet another front to the war. But as It is completely landlocked, and not contiguous with the Russian front lines, resupply would be a challenge.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sketched out his vision for the future of Gaza this morning, and it fell pretty much in line with what I previously surmised in my white paper, “Israel’s War of Survival and the End of the Two-State Solution,” released by the America First Policy Institute last month. Gaza must be completely demilitarized, with Israel in control of security, and local Palestinians with no prior ties to Hamas or other terror groups in charge of civilian affairs.

What Netanyahu did not say, however, was how Israel would find such a rare breed of Palestinian. As I write in And the Rest is History: Tales of Hostages, Arms Dealers, Dirty Tricks, and Spies, Israel has been trying for decades to find such Palestinians, and when they do, the other Palestinians (i.e., the PLO or Hamas) murder them.

©2024. Kenneth R. Timmerman. All rights reserved.

Reason, Reasonableness & Realpolitik

“Foreign policy is really domestic policy with its hat on.” Hubert H. Humphrey


Under Biden, important foreign policy interests are being sacrificed domestic ones

Under the Biden administration, US foreign policy appears afflicted by several perturbing defects. Indeed, it seems to suffer from both a lack of general strategic perspective and of sound theater-specific understanding. Moreover, it appears to be heavily impacted by extraneous factors not having any discernable relevance for the pursuit of American interests across the globe.

Crucial goal for military success

This was starkly illustrated recently by the sharp changes in tone in US attitudes towards Israel during its protracted battle against Hamas. Immediately after the 10/7 massacre, in which innocent Israeli citizens—men, women, senior citizens, and infants—were slaughtered, mutilated, tortured, raped beheaded, and incinerated—the Biden administration appeared staunchly supportive of Israel’s right of self-defense. But as the fighting dragged on, the US began to adopt a more critical attitude towards IDF actions—particularly regarding a possible assault on Rafah, on Gaza’s southern border, conditioning any support for an operation against the town on plans to ensure the safety of Gazan civilians who fled to the south under Israeli directives.

For Israel, the takeover of Rafah is essential for its success in its battle to eradicate Hamas. Indeed recently,  Netanyahu declared that sending ground troops into Rafah is essential to meeting Israel’s war goals while  Biden warned him that Israel should not conduct a military operation there without a “credible and executable” plan to protect civilians.

Incubator for terror

Underscoring the problematics of this is the recent daring Israeli Special Force rescue of two elderly hostages, who were kidnapped on 10/7. The hostages were held in Rafah— among civilians– precisely because of US opposition to Israeli military action there.

It is difficult to understand the underlying rationale of this policy twist– particularly regarding Hamas which is, after all, the exact antithesis of the all values the US purports to cherish: It is indisputably a tyrannical, homophobic misogynistic organization that was freely elected by the Gaza public. The approval it won in the polls in the immediate wake of the polls proves that the Gazan public is not so much a victim of its elected leaders but the crucible in which it was formed and the incubator from which it emerged.

What lies behind this perverse and seemingly paradoxical US approach to pressure Israel, the only like-minded ally in the region, into negotiations with an entity, whose very raison d’Etre is its destruction? The answer to this lies outside the realm of foreign policy and falls into the sphere of domestic politics and the current fabric of the Democratic Party. Most of the ideological energy in the party comes from the radical, “progressive” (read “regressive”) wing, on the far Left of the party which harbors considerable animosity toward Israel and commensurate sympathy for the Palestinians, and fears that support for Israel could alienate its electorate, thus undermining the party’s fortunes in the elections?

A geopolitical pivot for US

Another case of self-obstructive policy appears to be the approach to Azerbaijan. This central Asian country is not only a strong ally of Israel, being one of its largest energy suppliers and one of the biggest purchasers of Israeli armaments, but it has far-reaching importance for US strategic interests as well.  Indeed, as one former US National Security Advisor remarked, Azerbaijan constitutes one of the world’s “geopolitical pivots” and a key to U.S. security interests.

Recently, however, in the wake of the recent fighting resulting in the dissolution of the former Armenian enclave Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh), relations between Washington and Baku have soured.  Thus, last November, Washington, reportedly under heavy domestic pressure from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), initiated hostile legislative and administrative acts, the former prohibiting  US military aid to Baku for the two coming fiscal, the latter by including  Azerbaijan in the State Department’s Special Watch List (SWL)  for alleged religious intolerance –with the possibility of economic sanctions.

These actions appear somewhat heavy-handed toward a Shi’a Muslim majority country that is not only resolutely secular, pro-Western, and relatively free of religious bias. Indeed, a recent Jerusalem Post article refers to it as a: “model of interfaith harmony, where the nation embraces and protects the Jewish community.”

America’s linchpin

Moreover, in terms of realpolitik self-interest, Washington has several security interests in the region as well– deterring threats from Iran and Russia and limiting Islamic extremism.

Azerbaijan has proved a willing partner in each of these areas. Baku has given U.S. energy companies access to Azerbaijani energy reserves and supported U.S. military campaigns in the Middle East. Likewise, Azerbaijan’s geostrategic position in Central Asia prompted one prominent strategic analyst to describe Azerbaijan as America’s “linchpin” in the area.

Furthermore, for the West, Azerbaijan’s strategic pipelines (see here & here) and considerable energy exports reduce dependency on Russia. Indeed, EC President Ursala von der Leyen praised  Azerbaijan as a “reliable, trustworthy partner” as Europe tries to break its reliance on Russian energy.

The history of the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict is complex and blame is not always easy to apportion fairly, However, it would appear that both reason and realpolitik, should perhaps spur a rethink of the current punitive approach toward Baku.

©2024. Dr. Martin Sherman. All rights reserved.

Trump Vows To Get Hamas Sympathizers The Hell Out of Our Country

“We’ll terminate the visas of all Hamas sympathizers. We’ll get them off our college campuses, out of our cities, and get them the hell out of our country…” — President Donald J. Trump


Donald Trump in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 23rd, 2024.

G-d bless this man.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Jew-Hating Queens College Muslim Student Association to Host Speaker Who Accused Israel of Creating ISIS and Involvement In 9/11, Jews of Pedophilia

Nothing new here.

Muslims and leftists bring the most abhorrent, anti-human, vicious demons to speak as a matter of course.

What does bear pointing out is, on the rare occasion that when supporters of Israel, Conservative leaders, voices of freedom are extended an invitation all hell breaks loose and they are inevitably canceled.

There is no freedom in this once free country and we are living under the boot a most brutal and vicious thugocracy.

“Jews of pedophilia” this from a ‘religion’ whose prophet, the ‘perfect example’, married his favorite bride Aisha at the tender age of six which is why child marriage is rampant in Islam.

I won’t even dignify the Islamic State or 9/11 blood libel against the Jews.

Queens College Muslim Student Association to Host Event with Speaker Who Accused Israel of Creating ISIS and Involvement In 9/11, Jews of Pedophilia

By Zach Kessel, JNS, February 21, 2024:

The Muslim Student Association at Queens College, a public institution under the City University of New York (CUNY) system, plans to host an event on February 29 titled “Analyzing the Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Multifaceted Examination.”

Their featured speaker at the discussion is an author named Daniel Haqiqatjou, a writer at a website called Muslim Skeptic and the author of the book “The Modernist Menace to Islam.” According to his bio, he attended Harvard University for his undergraduate studies and then earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Tufts University.

Haqiqatjou, as is often the case with guests invited to address Israel and the ongoing war against Hamas, has a history of publishing antisemitic conspiracy theories.

His most recent article at Muslim Skeptic is titled “Is ISIS Jewish?” and argues that “ISIS acts in keeping with the Jewish law of war,” which “is why ISIS encourages random individuals to constantly burst into churches and even mosques, then kill the innocent men, women, and children there by [sic] shooting or bombing (like the recent church attack in Turkey).”

He says that “the most likely explanation for ISIS’s behavior is that it is run by Israel,” but even if it is not, it has adopted “the type of disgusting tactics approved of in Judaism.”

Haqiqatjou has also written about his belief that “Judaism is perhaps the world’s most racist religion” and that “owing to the influence of Judaism, Israel is one of the most racist states in the world.”

To prove this claim, Haqiqatjou pointed to a passage in the Talmud — which even the most advanced Jewish scholars spend their lifetimes studying — that he contends “says that blacks, due to their inferiority, are not allowed to fully participate in sacred worship.” Haqiqatjou is not a Talmudic scholar, and there is no evidence available to suggest that he has ever engaged in the study of the texts.

In another piece, Haqiqatjou bemoaned a supposed state of affairs in which “researchers who make claims about” World War II and the Holocaust “which might provoke criticism of Jews” find themselves suffering “career setbacks.” He stated his opinion that “it is not permitted to conduct research on the possibility of Jewish human sacrifice rituals” and accused Jews of controlling academia to the extent that no criticism of Jews or Israel can be published.

Haqiqatjou has claimed that Israel and India are working together to commit genocide against Muslims and that “the powerful Israel lobby has . . . successfully pushed the U.S. government into adopting” a plan to eradicate Islam. He wrote that the Jewish holiday of Purim — a celebration of an instance in which a plot to eliminate Jews in the Achaemenid Empire was thwarted — is, in fact, a remembrance of Jews’ “continuing duty to genocide their enemies in all times and all places.”

On his X account, Haqiqatjou has argued that “Judaism has developed a special hatred for Christianity and Islam.” In the immediate aftermath of October 7, he supported Hamas’s barbarism, writing that “Palestine has the right to defend itself from terrorists” and criticized Mehdi Hasan as being a “complete zionist shill” because he condemned Hamas’s taking children hostage. He has baselessly accused Israel of stealing Palestinian organs. He has also reposted those who claim Israel was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and said himself that he believes Al Qaeda was “gradually infiltrated over time” by Israel.

Continue reading.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

WATCH: Israel Launches Pilot Program to Replace Hamas with Local Leaders in Gaza City District

The pilot program in the Zeitoun neighborhood will include ending incitement in the schools 

Israel is preparing to carry out a pilot program that will see local authorities replace the Hamas terrorist group in governing the southern Gaza City neighborhood of Zeitoun, Channel 12 reported.

The military began a major aerial and ground offensive in the district on Monday night to clear it of terrorists ahead of the initiative. Led by the 162nd Division, Israeli forces killed and captured dozens of terrorists and confiscated a large amount of ammunition.

According to the report, Israel’s goal is for community leaders to manage the reception and distribution of humanitarian aid to establish an alternative to Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip. Security forces will attempt to prevent the terrorist group from interfering with this process.

Gazan representatives recently met with Israeli officials to discuss the plan.

Notably, the plan does not involve a return to the north for the tens of thousands of Gazans who evacuated to a humanitarian zone in the southern Strip at the behest of the Israeli army. Instead, the pilot will be carried out with the residents who remained there.

Additionally, the pilot includes replacing the school curricula with textbooks that do not promote violent rejection of Israel and hatred towards Jews. Israeli leaders have repeatedly stressed the importance of deradicalizing the Gaza population, including moderating the educational system, after Hamas is defeated.

Israeli War Cabinet member Benny Gantz on Wednesday evening referred to an international pilot in which moderate Arab countries would establish a civil administration to manage the Strip after the war ends, while Israel maintains full security control.

This civil administration would likely include “local Palestinians supported by some sort of regional committee or arrangement,” according to Gantz.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously said that he wants to see local Palestinian community leaders govern Gaza instead of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority.

“Oslo was the mother of all sins. The difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is only that Hamas wants to destroy us here and now, and the P.A. wants to do it in stages,” Netanyahu said in December.

IDF building security road bisecting the Strip.

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EDITORS NOTE: This JNS – Jewish News Syndicate column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Netanyahu: ‘Hezbollah must understand—we will restore security’

The Israeli prime minister delivered the message to the Iranian terror proxy during a visit to troops stationed on Mount Hermon. 

February 22, 2024 / JNS — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a message to Hezbollah on Thursday during a visit to troops stationed near the Lebanese border, telling the Iranian terrorist proxy that it “must understand—we will restore security.”

Surrounded by the snow-covered terrain of Mount Hermon, Netanyahu sat down with commanders from the 210th Division and the IDF Alpinist Unit.

They briefed him on the activities on the northern front, where Hezbollah has been conducting daily cross-border attacks since joining Hamas in the war that started on Oct. 7. Israel has been pounding Hezbollah targets from the air inside Lebanon and with artillery at the border.

“In the north, we have a simple goal: To return the residents [to their homes near the border with Lebanon]. In order to that, we must restore security—and this will be achieved. We will not relent here. We will achieve this in one of two ways: Militarily—if necessary; diplomatically—if possible,” Netanyahu said, according to a government statement.

In addition to the Alpinist Unit, troops from the 188th Brigade are currently deployed to Mount Hermon after departing Gaza one week ago.

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EDITORS NOTE: This JNS column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

EXCLUSIVE: Jim Banks Demands DOJ Investigate Midwest Nonprofit Linked To Chinese Communist Influence Network

Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks urged the Biden administration to probe a Midwestern nonprofit with extensive ties to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence and influence operations to determine if it violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), according to a letter shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Banks sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct an inquiry into the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA), a 501(c)(3) bipartisan organization, which characterizes its mission as “building bridges and promoting opportunities” between 21 U.S. heartland states and China. However, USHCA leads trips to China for Midwestern mayors in cooperation with organizations affiliated with a Chinese government influence arm, and also employs multiple individuals belonging to such organizations, the DCNF reported.

Banks’s letter asks the DOJ to review whether or not USHCA may need to register under FARA, which “requires certain agents of foreign principals who are engaged in political activities or other activities specified under the statute to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities,” according to the DOJ.

“I am writing to urge you to investigate the U.S. Heartland China Association (USHCA) for apparent violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), as revealed in a recent report from the Daily Caller News Foundation,” Banks’ letter states. “FARA requires all U.S. residents acting as agents of foreign governments to regularly file public disclosures with the Justice Department (DOJ) outlining their activities and describing their status as a foreign agent.”

Banks’ letter alleges that USHCA “acts in concert with the United Front to expand CCP influence within Indiana and the Midwest.”

The CCP utilizes an influence and intelligence collection strategy known as the “United Front,” which, among other things, targets “foreign actors and states,” according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The United Front is coordinated by the Chinese government’s United Front Work Department (UFWD), which “oversees many subordinate organizations,” including operations within the U.S., according to the House Select Committee on the CCP.

The UFWD “conceals its influence over groups like the USHCA through its use of proxy groups,” Banks’ letter alleges, citing USHCA’s partnership with the Chinese People’s Association For Friendship With Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) as an example.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has characterized CPAFFC as a “key organization” in the CCP’s United Front.

In November 2023, USHCA announced it had led a delegation of six mayors to China in order to “underscore the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the United States and China.” Yet, Chinese state-run China Youth Daily reported that CPAFFC took credit for inviting the delegation to China.

“CPAFFC is the UFWD proxy responsible for managing and expanding sister relationships between the U.S. and China,” Banks’ letter states. “During the trip, the former Mayor of Carmel, Indiana, Jim Brainard, who also serves as vice chair of USHCA, ratified a sister-city agreement with Xiangyang, Hubei.”

The U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center has warned that CPAFFC “may exploit” sister-city agreements to “press its agendas.”

USHCA “will inevitably work with Chinese entities” because it “promotes people-to-people exchanges in culture, education and business between the Heartland and China,” a spokesperson for the nonprofit recently told the DCNF.

Mary Kissel, former senior advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told the DCNF that U.S. engagement with the United Front only benefits China.

“Please give me an example of when engagement with a United Front organization resulted in positive change on the Chinese side?” Kissel said. “The answer is, there is no example of that.”

The United Front’s “brazen” targeting of America’s heartland suggests far more extensive operations in high-population states, said Kissel, who’s now an executive vice president at Stephens, a private financial services firm.

“If they’ve done it in Missouri, what in the world are they doing in places like Florida or California or New York or Texas?” Kissel said. “Alarm bells should be going off.”

Banks’ letter to the DOJ also calls attention to USHCA’s leadership, which includes at least four individuals who’ve held positions at UFWD-affiliated entities, the DCNF reported.

“One of these senior USHCA officials, a strategic advisor named Zhao Suisheng, has worked directly for China’s government in a variety of advisory positions,” Banks’ letter states.

Zhao, who serves as the director of the University of Denver’s Center for China-U.S. Cooperation, told the DCNF he’d attended events hosted by several UFWD-affiliated organizations, such as the Center For China And Globalization (CCG), which lists him as an “expert” on its “academic advisory committee.” Zhao claims the reason he’s held advisory positions with Chinese government agencies and UFWD-affiliated organizations is because he’s an “independent scholar” studying “Chinese politics” and “United Front tactics.”

“USHCA is not an independent entity — it is a malign agent of our foremost foreign adversary,” Banks’ letter concludes.

AUTHOR

PHILIP LENCZYCKI

Investigative reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


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After Male Basketball Player Injures 3 Female Players, Team Forfeits Game

J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the “Harry Potter” series, has received vehement backlash from LGBT activists over her belief that men who identify as women should not be held in women’s prisons. “If you support putting violent and sexually predatory men into women’s prisons, you are knowingly forcing those women to live in fear of, and, in some proven cases, to suffer abuse that many of them will have endured pre-incarceration,” she wrote on X Tuesday.

She concluded, “Women have the basic human right not to suffer cruel and unusual punishment.” And while Rowling’s grievances centered on trans-identifying men in women’s prisons, her sentiments reflect what many fear within the realm of women’s sports, namely, girls getting hurt by physically stronger boys.

Since the presence of trans-identifying men in women’s competitions have increased, the number of women winning first, second, and third has decreased. The women and girls in swimmingtrack and fieldgolfvolleyballdancecross country, and other sports, are repeatedly defeated by men. For some, this alone is enough to demand a change. But when women losing to men isn’t enough to spark change, many are asking if women being hurt by men, which has happened repeatedly over the last few years, will prove to be the final straw.

Footage from a girls’ high school basketball game earlier this month is raising a lot of questions about the safety of trans participation. In a viral video from a game between Massachusetts Collegiate Charter School of Lowell and KIPP Academy, a large, male figure (who reportedly is six feet tall and has facial hair) from the KIPP team throwing a female player from the charter team to the ground as he seized the ball from her — a move that resulted in the girl gripping her back in pain. But this wasn’t the only incident.

A total of three injuries resulted from the play of this trans-identifying athlete, all of which happened before halftime, and with only five players able to play, KIPP chose to forfeit because they couldn’t afford to have any more girls get hurt.

Allegedly, the male athlete was competing among girls to reflect “the school’s commitment to ‘inclusivity and safety.’” Riley Gaines, a former NCAA All-American swimmer, posted on X, “A man hitting a woman used to be called domestic abuse. Now it’s called brave.” She added, “Who watches this [and] actually thinks this is ‘compassionate, kind, and inclusive?’”

Mary Szoch, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, expressed her concern to The Washington Stand. “As a former Division I basketball player at one of the top women’s basketball programs in the country, at practice, I competed against men every day.” She said this was common for Division I women’s basketball teams, because it gave the women a chance to practice against men who were “stronger, faster, and quicker.”

However, Szoch emphasized that the male players were instructed “to be humble enough to know they are there to help the women’s team become better — not to use their physical advantages to humiliate or hurt a player.” Szoch added that men, on average, are stronger and better at sports when competing against women, and “when we don’t recognize this, women get hurt. … [A]nd deep down, everyone knows this.” But it’s a truth that “people don’t want to acknowledge … because they are afraid of being called a bigot.”

FRC’s Meg Kilgannon also commented to TWS, “It seems abusive to make the girls endure this situation.” However, she added that “seeing girls on the opposing team physically injured by ‘inclusive’ athletic participation policies is only half of the story.”

“We have to also consider the girls on the team with the male player, who have to share a locker room with him, change clothes in front of him, and pretend that he is ‘just one of the girls,’” she pointed out. “I can’t say which situation is more abusive, but both are intolerable.” For Kilgannon, it seems evident that “Massachusetts public schools, charter or not, don’t protect the educational interests or rights of women and girls, but rather advance the interests of men and men who identify as women.”

Kilgannon insisted, “This story is all the more enraging because we knew it would happen, we tried to prevent it, and now girls are getting hurt.”

Szoch added that, ultimately, “telling a biological male that he is a female and allowing him to play women’s sports doesn’t help anyone — least of all the man.” She concluded, “As a former athlete who now has a daughter, I am hopeful that the presence of men playing women’s basketball will be a wake-up call for our country. Women deserve a chance to compete on a fair and safe playing field.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

PERKINS: Hostility to Churches Fueled by Biden’s Anti-Faith Climate

“It’s an emotional moment,” Pastor Robin Lutjohann said quietly, surveying the rubble of his church. “It’s been a place of worship for a number of communities for over a century,” he told reporters after a six-alarm fire raged through the building Easter Sunday, destroying the Massachusetts landmark. “It fills me with sadness and dread about the work that is ahead of us,” Lutjohann admitted, wondering why anyone would have such malice toward Faith Lutheran. “If and when a person is found who has done this then we will pray for the power to forgive,” he insisted.

Unfortunately, his congregation isn’t alone in that prayer. An astonishing 436 churches in America were victims of criminal attacks in 2023, according to a new report from Family Research Council — more than double the number in 2022. From shattering stained glass and spray-painting relics to lighting five-gallon drums of gasoline on fire and riddling altars with bullet holes, houses of worship have become an increasingly dangerous target.

“You just feel the hate,” Rev. Jerome Jones shook his head, still shocked at the sight of his trashed Maryland sanctuary. Bibles, ripped into shreds that “looked like snow” on the pews, slashed upholstery, the big wooden cross — where congregants lifted their hands during the offering — torn down and tossed on the $100,000 of damage. From now on, Jones had to tell worshippers, “the cross is in your hearts.”

His Fowler United Methodist Church is just a few miles from the Maryland State House, a fact that didn’t shield Jones from the violence that too many U.S. congregations are experiencing. If anything, experts say, our country’s deepening political divides may be what’s fanning the all-too-real flames. The growing anti-faith rhetoric of the Left, led by the Biden administration’s own bigotry toward Christians, has made it open season on houses of worship. After just 55 acts of hostility in 2020 under Donald Trump, the aggression has skyrocketed from 96 (2021) to 195 (2022) to a staggering 436 acts last year.

None of this happened in a vacuum. Under the Biden administration, there’s one common denominator between the growing religious persecution abroad and the rapidly increasing hostility toward churches here at home: our government’s policies.

Frankly, Congressman Nathanial Moran (R-Texas) insisted on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch,” the biggest reason for this spike is probably because “this is the behavior that’s being modeled by the federal government.” When we see “the Department of Justice weaponizing its political views against everyday Americans and religious institutions and faith-based organizations, more of [these attacks] are going to happen.”

Under Joe Biden, men and women at the highest levels of government have not only condoned religious intimidation, they’ve encouraged it — refusing to investigate, hold culprits accountable, or worse, targeting Christians themselves. From the FBI to IRS, the Biden administration has spent the last three years criminalizing Americans with biblical views, only to turn around and complain about threats to democracy. What bigger threat is there than a government weaponized against its own people?

And sadly, this 800% spike in church attacks hasn’t just triggered terror here at home, it’s also had deadly consequences abroad. During my time as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I witnessed firsthand that when American leaders turn their backs on religious hostility, it sends a message that the world’s persecuted are on their own.

As my friend and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo understood: “If we got it right here in America, good things would happen all across the world.” If we get it wrong, we’re no longer just hurting ourselves, but millions of innocents who depend on the United States to fight against oppression around the world.

We see evidence of that failure in the freshly dug graves in Nigeria, in the Christians hiding deep within Afghanistan, even in the global calls for Israel’s ceasefire. Biden’s weakness on the international stage has escalated the threat for the world’s religious populations to a degree we’ve not seen in modern history. And the situation grows more dire every day.

When America ignores the indiscriminate slaughter of 8,222 Nigerian Christians in a single year — even going so far as to remove the nation as a Country of Particular Concern from America’s watch list— it gives permission for other world leaders to look the other way. Worse, it sends a green light to terrorists everywhere to continue their killings, abductions, land-grabs, and torture. But if Joe Biden can’t be bothered to condemn thugs and vandals at home, how could he possibly take on jihadists?

At its core, this is cultural terrorism, and it’s designed to silence us. The spiritual enemy of our soul has a goal to intimidate Christians everywhere into backing away from speaking biblical truth. So here’s what we’ve got to do: not yield.

Obviously, we need to take the appropriate precautions, so our people can come to church free of fear with the sole focus of worshiping the Lord. But then, we do something just as important: vote for men and women who respect and understand our vibrant First Amendment freedom, which is the ability — not only to worship God — but to live your life according to your faith. That means teaching your children. That means carrying your beliefs into the workplace.

So we need to be bold. We need to be courageous and live out our faith for the Lord in such a way as it brings honor and glory to him. Yes, we need to take the practical steps to make sure our churches are safe, but we cannot give in to those who would make us shrink back into the shadows of society. We need to continue to hold forth the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ — without apology.

AUTHOR

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Students for Justice in Palestine at Claremont Colleges Think They Just got a BDS Win. But did they?

  • On February 11, 2024, the Pitzer College Student Senate voted to suspend Pitzer’s study abroad partnership with the University of Haifa in Israel. The resolution was spearheaded by Claremont Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). Pitzer College is one of the seven Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California.
  • Since 2018, Claremont SJP has been trying to pass this initiative. However, the response by Pitzer’s president was swift and decisive. In a statement, Pitzer said, the “Student Senate does not speak for the College, nor does it represent the views of all Pitzer students. The president will not accept…any resolution antithetical to [the principles of academic freedom and safe and productive learning].”
  • Claremont SJP has a long history of supporting terrorists, calling for Israel’s destruction and rejecting dialogue. The group regularly promotes anti-Israel agitators and initiates campaigns for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

KEY FINDINGS

Claremont SJP and JVP spearheaded the ‘Suspend Pitzer Haifa’ initiative, resulting in the Pitzer College Student Senate voting to suspend the college’s study-abroad partnership with the University of Haifa in Israel.

This BDS campaign is a continuation of an initiative that began in 2018.

Daniel Segal, the faculty advisor for SJP, played a key role in both the 2018 and 2024 campaigns to suspend the Haifa partnership, acting as a link between the two efforts.

On October 7th, the same day as the massacre committed by Hamas in Israel, Segal posted on X (formerly Twitter) justifying the attack with the following statement: “Israeli state apartheid, ethnic cleansing & settler colonialism are ongoing violence against Palestinians; some of the resistance provoked is violent also. All who support the oppression, all who oppose non-violent BDS, have more blood on their hands today. #PalestinianFreedom.”

Claremont SJP and JVP act as two campus groups united under the same banner and have collaborated on events as far back as 2015.

On October 8th, one day after the brutal Hamas attack, Claremont SJP and JVP issued a joint statement blaming Israel for all bloodshed and expressing support for resistance and intifada.

Malak Afaneh, a prominent figure in the 2018-2019 ‘Suspend Pitzer Haifa’ campaign, later attended Berkeley Law, where she served as president of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter. During her tenure, the SJP chapter notably drafted a bylaw to exclude Zionist voices from campus.

Lea Kayali, another key player from the 2018-2019 ‘Suspend Pitzer Haifa’ campaign, is now an organizer with Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine (HLS Justice for Palestine), one of the groups that signed the October 2023 anti-Israel statement. This statement, endorsed by over 30 Harvard student groups, held Israel entirely responsible for the violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th.

SEE BELOW CLAREMONT SJP HISTORY OF EXTREMISM AND TERROR SUPPORT

JUSTIFYING HAMAS ATROCITIES

The day after Hamas’ October 7, 2023 massacre of 1,200 Israelis and the kidnapping of 250 more, Claremont SJP and JVP issued a joint statement in support of Hamas, which praised “decolonization” (read: murder), Palestinian “resistance” and violent uprising (intifada). This statement justified the Hamas attack, placing all the blame and loss of life squarely on Israel’s shoulders.

The statement read in part:

Before October 7, Claremont SJP activities in 2023 centered around the re-launch of their campaign against Pitzer to suspend its exchange program with the University of Haifa in Israel.

In addition, the group strategized how they could prevent the Claremont student government from adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

The definition includes singling out Israel and holding it to a different standard than other countries of the world vis-a-vis boycotts (a feature of the BDS movement).

Claremont SJP also pushed the lie that Israel was harming Black and Brown communities in Los Angeles by training the Los Angeles police department in repressive surveillance techniques.

2022

In 2022, Claremont SJP participated in a car caravan protest in response to false charges against Israel of “ethnic cleansing” neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Hebron and the Negev region.

The group also held a “Free Palestine” Week and ended the year with a letter-writing event to “show solidarity and build morale” for the “Holy Land 5.” The Holy Land 5 refers to the five individuals who worked for the Holy Land Foundation in Texas and were convicted of funneling money to Hamas in the largest terror financing case in American history. Three of the men are still in prison serving their sentences.

2021

SUPPORTING TERRORISTS

In May 2021, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists fired over 4,300 rockets from Gaza at major population centers in Israel.

Israel responded by launching “Operation Guardian of the Walls (OGW),” carrying out targeted military strikes in Gaza.

During the conflict, Claremont SJP advertised two marches organized in solidarity with the “Palestinian Uprising and General Strike.” The first, held on May 15, 2021, was billed as an “LA Rally & Protest for Resistance Until Liberation!”

The second, on May 18, 2021, was held in front of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles.

As of December 2021, Claremont SJP’s signature was on a petition calling the “Palestinian Students Solidarity Campaign” that was launched by the anti-Israel NGO Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network (Samidoun).

The petition supports Palestinian students detained or incarcerated by Israel for participating in direct terror activity or terror-related activities.

Samidoun advocates for the release of all Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are members of Hamas or other terror groups like the PFLP. Multiple Samidoun activists have been identified as PFLP members, including Mohammed Khatib, Samidoun’s European coordinator.

On March 26, 2021, Claremont SJP posted to Facebook an event page for an online panel titled “Free Them All!” that featured Khatib. The event page said speakers would discuss “the importance of supporting and organizing for the freedom of political prisoners as part of the Palestinian national liberation struggle.”

CALLING FOR ISRAEL’S DESTRUCTION

As of December 2021, Claremont SJP’s platform referred to Israel as an “apartheid state…that can only be dismantled through Palestinian national liberation.”

As of the same date, Claremont SJP’s Instagram bio read: “Fighting for Palestinian liberation, from the river to the sea.” The same quote reportedly appeared in the Instagram bio as early as February 2020.

“From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free” is a chant used [00:02:52] to call for the elimination of the State of Israel. It has also been employed by Hamas leader Khaled Mashal to call for the replacement of Israel with an Islamic state.

The text on a September 21, 2021 advertisement for Claremont SJP for the colleges’ 5C club fair read, “Join Claremont SJP to fight for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.”

HOSTING A TERRORIST SUPPORTER

On November 18, 2021, Claremont SJP hosted an event titled “A Conversation with Mohammed El-Kurd,” who has glorified terrorists, spread incitement against Israel and whitewashed Hamas. El-Kurd has also spread hatred about America and the police and conspiracy theories about Israel.

He has spread misinformation about Israel in interviews on CNN and MSNBC as well as social media. The event advertisement called El-Kurd a “Palestinian activist and poet.”

El-Kurd’s talk was also sponsored also by the Departments of International Relations, Religious Studies and English at Pomona College as well as the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC), Pomona’s student government; McKenna’s student government, The Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC); and the 5C Prison Abolition Collective.

DEMONIZING ISRAEL

During the May 2021 conflict in Israel, Claremont SJP advertised on Instagram a rally in Chicago, calling out all their “Chicago friends” to attend the rally to “Stand against Israeli land theft” and “Stand with the people of Sheikh Jarrah.”

In May of 2021, a property dispute in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah erupted into violence in anticipation of an Israel High Court hearing that was expected to rule on eviction proceedings. The dispute involved over 70 Palestinian tenants illegally residing in Jewish-owned properties. On May 9, 2021, the court postponed the hearing.

The Sheikh Jarrah dispute sparked violent clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in and around the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

Incitement surrounding Al Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah were leading factors in Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists firing over 4,300 rockets from Gaza at Israeli population centers on May 10-21, 2021. Israel responded by launching OGW, carrying out targeted military strikes against the terrorists and their infrastructure in Gaza.

REJECTING DIALOGUE

As of December 2021, Claremont SJP’s platform read: “We reject any and all collaboration, dialogue, and coalition work with Zionist organizations through a strict policy of anti-normalization and encourage our comrades in other organizations to do the same.”

Proponents of the “anti-normalization” policy seek to police all interactions between Israelis and Palestinians and shut down all conversations, interactions and speech that they perceive as being ideologically unaligned with their own agenda. Adherents to this position reject “liberal Zionist” groups who seek to dialogue with Palestinians on the grounds that such interaction “normalizes” entrenched power dynamics.

This policy was originally dictated by the BDS National Committee (BNC), which listed as one of its “main activities” the “Monitoring & Rapid Response” against interactions that recognize or cooperate with “Israel’s regime.”

CAMPAIGNING FOR BDS

On April 15, 2021, Claremont SJP and 5C Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) introduced a resolution to the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) Senate that mandated ASPC compliance with BDS.

The resolution was titled [p.1], “Banning the Use of ASPC Funding to Support the Occupation of Palestine” and it required [p.2] that ASPC “internal spending” could not be used on products or services from companies that “knowingly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

ASPC internal spending includes multiple items including funding 5C student clubs and student-run events.

The resolution also created [p.2] an oversight role for Claremont SJP over the ASPC-run Coop Store and the Coop Fountain restaurant. According to the resolution, ASPC would “work in tandem with members of SJP, and other pertinent parties, to perform an annual check on the ASPC’s businesses to ensure all goods sold adhere to the guidelines outlined in this resolution.”

The resolution stated [p.2] that: “Clubs that fail to divest and/or refrain from such uses of funding would face the loss of all Claremont Colleges Student Government Association funds.”

Claremont Colleges pool mandatory student activity fees and distribute the money to the 5C student governments. ASPC provides almost 47% of the funding for all 5C clubs, although each 5C student government can fund 5C clubs.

The above clause effectively mandated BDS compliance for pro-Israel and Jewish student organizations like Claremont Hillel and Claremont Chabad.

In the spring of 2021, ASPC gave more than $10,000 to 5C clubs. It also gave $30,000 for student-run events at Pomona that were coordinated through the ASPC’s Pomona Events Committee (PEC). The full ASPC spring 2021 budget was $216,700.

The Claremont SJP and Claremont JVP resolution also said [p.2] that ASPC’s “end goal” would be to lead other 5C student governments to pass similar BDS resolutions.

On April 22, 2021, the ASPC Senate passed the resolution with a vote of 10-0-0. Five senators were not present, representing one-third of the ASPC Senate’s 15 seats.

The same day, Claremont SJP issued a press release calling the resolution’s passage “an important first step in reducing our complicity with a country that maintains an illegal military occupation and regularly commits crimes against humanity against the indigenous Palestinian population.”

On April 23, 2021, following criticism of the resolution reportedly among campus and national Jewish groups, Pomona President G. Gabrielle Starr sent an email to the student body opposing the resolution. Starr said that requiring student clubs to boycott Israel was “deeply concerning.” She said that since the vote “was held without representation from any student opposition,” the ASPC Senate should “reverse course and allow for full discussion.”

On April 29, 2021, the ASPC Senate held a Zoom meeting that included a “comment period” for student senators and student guest speakers to express their feedback on the resolution.

On April 30, 2021, the ASPC Senate reportedly decided to “table the resolution” for further discussion in regards to the resolution’s call to deny funding to student clubs that failed to adhere to BDS.

On May 6, 2021, the ASPC Senate reportedly passed a modified resolution that omitted the original clause forcing student clubs funded by ASPC to comply with BDS.

The final resolution mandated BDS compliance for internal ASPC spending, PEC-coordinated events and the two ASPC-managed businesses. Claremont SJP was also granted the oversight role regarding the compliance of ASPC businesses with the resolution.

2019

DEMONIZING ISRAEL

On April 2, 2019, Claremont SJP hosted an event titled, “The Washings: Pinkwashing, Greenwashing, and Faithwashing,” as part of Palestinian Freedom Weeks 2019 (PFW 2019) which was held on campus from March 25-April 7, 2019)

The Facebook event page accused Israel of “settler colonialism” and also said: “The Washing Campaign has been fundamental in sustaining Israeli apartheid by way of presenting Israel as a progressive entity in an effort to deflect from state-sanctioned crimes against Palestine.”

“Pinkwashing” is a claim used by anti-Israel activists to argue that Israel manipulates the LGBTQ community in order to garner support for Israel.

“Greenwashing” is a claim that Israel advocates manipulate the environmentalist community in order to garner support for Israel.
“Faithwashing” is an accusation that supporters of Israel engage in interfaith dialogue to promote a pro-Zionist agenda.

On March 27, 2019, Claremont SJP hosted another PFW 2019 event titled “Open Air & Cages: Prison Abolition from Attica to Gaza.” The event’s Facebook page called the United States and Israel “white supremacist and settler colonial projects.”

The same event page also said: “This event will work through the solidarity pacts of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Black Panther party who attempted to draw ‘comparisons between racial capitalism in the United States and Israel …’”

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was declared a foreign terrorist organization by the United States in 1987. The group’s 1968 charter stated that its goal was the “liberation of Palestine” through “armed struggle.”

Yasser Arafat, who was known as the “father of modern terrorism,” was the leader of the PLO from 1969 until his ddeath in 20014.

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was a revolutionary Marxist political organization founded in 1966. The party advocated the use of violence and guerilla tactics to overthrow the U.S. government. BPP members were involved in a number of fatal firefights with police.

On March 25, 2019, Claremont SJP hosted an event titled, “Visit the Mock Apartheid Wall,” where they built a wall on campus meant to simulate Israel’s security barrier.

Israel’s security barrier, 97% of which is a low chain-link barrier, was built as a deterrent to Palestinian terror attacks. The concrete portions of the fence were built in response to Palestinian sniper attacks.

The event’s Facebook page read, “The Wall is an extension of Israel’s policies of land theft and ethnic cleansing.” The page also said, “We especially want to bring attention between the connections between the construction of the Apartheid Wall in Palestine and other similar racist, oppressive projects of border militarization around the world.”

PROMOTING ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATORS

On November 14, 2019, Claremont SJP hosted a film screening of “Gaza Fights for Freedom,” featuring anti-Israel activists Abby Martin, the film’s director, and her husband, Mike Prysner, a journalist.

Martin is a former anchor for the Russian state news agency RT and the Venezuelan state news agency Telasur. She has compared [00:00:13] Israel to Nazi Germany and spread anti-Israel propaganda. Prysner has defended terrorism and has referred to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as the “Apartheid Defense Forces.”

During the event, Martin reportedly “defended Hamas and placed sole blame on Israel for the lack of peace between both states.”

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Canada, Australia, the United States and Israel.

Also at the Claremont SJP event, Martin reportedly accused a Jewish student journalist of being “associated with ‘white nationalists.’” Prysner called Israel an “attack dog” of the United States.

CAMPAIGNING FOR BDS

Beginning in 2018 and culminating in 2019, Claremont SJP was involved in a push to boycott Pitzer College’s exchange program with Israel’s Haifa University.

The events transpired as follows:

On November 8, 2018, Pitzer College faculty reportedly voted for a motion to suspend the exchange program which Pitzer had run since 2007. Professor Daniel Segal, the Claremont SJP and Claremont JVP faculty advisor, led the boycott campaign.

The faculty motion was a non-binding recommendation to Pitzer President Melvin L. Oliver. The motion called for the “suspension of the College’s exchange with Haifa University, until (a) the Israeli state ends its restrictions on entry to Israel based on ancestry and/or political speech and (b) the Israeli state adopts policies granting visas for exchanges to Palestinian universities on a fully equal basis as it does to Israeli universities.”

After the faculty vote, the motion was then sent to the Pitzer College Council (PCC), Pitzer’s “primary legislative body” which “votes on policy recommendations forwarded by the faculty as well as committees.” The PCC includes faculty and student senators who issue recommendations to the Pitzer president. The president is then free to approve or disapprove the recommendations.

On November 18, 2018, Claremont SJP issued a statement supporting the pro-BDS faculty vote, saying that it was “imperative” to end the “deeply problematic” Haifa program. Claremont SJP also circulated a petition to the public titled, “No Academic Freedom Under Occupation,” which accused Israel of having “increasingly draconian policies” and employing a “systemic practice of racial discrimination.”

On November 29, 2018, President Oliver responded to the faculty recommendation, opposing it and calling it a “repudiation of our educational mission…an anathema to Pitzer’s core values.” Oliver also questioned the faculty in singling out Israel for special scrutiny among other foreign countries like China and Nepal where Pitzer also has study abroad programs.

On March 14, 2019, the PCC passed a motion to end the Haifa program. The motion, a non-binding recommendation for Oliver, passed with 68 votes in favor, 25 against and eight abstentions.

The motion outlined a “uniform policy” ending study abroad programs in countries that “restrict entry on the basis of either (a) legally protected political speech or (b) race or ancestry (as distinct from citizenship).” The motion claimed that the Haifa program violated the “uniform policy” and would be suspended immediately.

Also on March 14, 2019, Oliver released a statement declining to implement the PCC motion, saying, “By singling out Israel, the recommendation itself is prejudiced.”

In the statement, Oliver also said, “Although some claim that this is not an academic boycott of Israel, I disagree. The recommendation puts in place a form of academic boycott of Israel and, in the process, sets us on a path away from the free exchange of ideas, a direction which ultimately destroys the academy’s ability to fulfill our educational mission.”

On the same day, Pitzer’s student newspaper, The Student Life, reported: “In advance of the Haifa vote, the organization [Claremont SJP] has focused on outreach to Pitzer faculty and student senators, and on building a coalition of other campus groups.”

On March 15, 2019, Claremont SJP posted on Facebook that they would “continue to organize to suspend Haifa and demand that President Oliver reverse his decision.” Claremont SJP also posted an online petition demanding Oliver rescind his veto of the PCC motion and included the hashtag “#ProApartheidOliver.”

On March 25, 2019, Claremont SJP posted a Facebook event page for its “Palestine Freedom Weeks,” scheduled for March 25 to April 7, 2019. The event page promoted the BDS campaign against the Haifa program and used the hashtags “#SuspendPitzerHaifa” and “#MelvinWontListen.”

On March 31, 2019, the Pitzer College Student Senate, the college’s student government, introduced two resolutions at an “Emergency Meeting” called to address the Haifa program boycott campaign.

Claremont SJP members Shay Lari-Hosain and Jorj Chisam-Masjid were among the co-sponsors of the first resolution, which stated: “The Pitzer College Student Senate votes no confidence in President Melvin Oliver and, if President Oliver does not retract his anti-democratic decision by the end of the day on April 11, 2019, call for his immediate resignation or removal from office.”

Pitzer Senate president Shivani Kavuluru and vice presidents Kamyab Mashian and Dawson Reckers were among the co-sponsors of the second resolution. Their resolution censured Oliver for keeping the Haifa program and demanded that Oliver reverse his veto.

On April 7, 2019, the Pitzer Senate reportedly voted down the resolution of no confidence 20-12. However, the resolution censuring Oliver passed 29-0.

As of July 2021, Pitzer continued to offer its semester abroad program at the University of Haifa.

2018

SUPPORTING VIOLENT PROTESTERS

On April 15, 2018, Claremont SJP hosted a “Solidarity Vigil with Gaza” on campus in support of the March of Return riots. The event’s Facebook description alleged Israeli snipers “opened fire on thousands of unarmed protesters, killing at least 35 people, including photojournalist Yaser Murtaja while he was wearing a press jacket, and injuring at least 3,000.”

Yasser Murtaja, a photojournalist, was reportedly a Hamas spy who used drones to film Israeli positions. Murtaja was shot on April 6, 2018, as he filmed the 2018 “March of Return” protest in Gaza.

On March 30, 2018, some 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza approached Israel’s border to take part in “Land Day Protests” or the “March of Return.” The March of Return was organized and funded by Hamas as a campaign of violent protests along Israel’s border to spotlight the demand of Palestinians to “return” to Israel.

The “right of return” is a Palestinian demand discredited as a means to eliminate Israel.

March participants sent scores of kites bearing explosive devices across Israel’s border to burn Israeli crops and homes. Participants also attempted to breach the border fence, which caused the Israeli Defense Forces to respond with live fire.

Agitators threw Molotov cocktails, firebombs, shot firearms and threw rocks under the cover of smoke from burning tires.

On May 16, 2018, a Hamas senior official stated that 50 out of 62 protesters killed during a May 14 protest were Hamas operatives. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also claimed that three of its members were killed at the same protest.

On April 17, 2018, Claremont SJP hosted “PFW: Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night!” as part of its 5C Palestinian Freedom Weeks 2018 (PFW 2018) which was held on campus April 9-20, 2018.

The event’s Facebook description read: “SJP will be addressing the topic of Palestinian political prisoners in connection to the Israeli occupation, capitalist exploitation, and child prisoners. Later, we will guide people in writing letters of support to political prisoners under the guidelines of Samidoun, a Palestinian prisoner solidarity network.”

As part of PFW 2018, on April 9, 2018, Claremont SJP hosted an event marking 70 years since the creation of the state of Israel. The event’s Facebook description read, “2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba — the planned mass expulsion of more than 750,000 indigenous Palestinians to establish an exclusionary Jewish-majority state in Palestine.”

Nakba is generally translated as “catastrophe” in Arabic, referring to the outcome of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. It is a term often used to delegitimize the creation of the State of Israel by defining it as a catastrophe.

PROMOTING ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATORS

On April 14, 2018, Claremont SJP hosted an event on campus, titled “Voices of Palestine Resistance” to promote the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) was founded in 2001 and is allegedly “committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.” ISM has been accused of supporting terrorism and has encouraged volunteers to act “as human shields in cities, towns and refugee camps.”

ISM has encouraged activists to break curfew and disregard Israeli directives prohibiting access to closed military zones, a policy which resulted in the death of American ISM activist Rachel Corrie in 2013.

The event’s Facebook description said: “The presentation includes an abridged version of Radiance of Resistance, a film by three ISM volunteers serving in Nabi Salih and featuring Ahed Tamimi and her cousin, Janna Ayyad.”

Ahed Tamimi was detained after she was filmed punching and kicking Israeli soldiers. She has a long history of physically attacking Israeli soldiers.

Tamimi is the daughter of Bassem Tamimi, who is known for exploiting young children as political props in staged confrontations with Israeli soldiers. In 2011, he was jailed for organizing violent rallies and inciting minors to commit violent crimes such as rock-throwing.

Ayyad, who is known as “Janna Jihad,” is a relative of Tamimi.

The village of Nabi Saleh is a Tamimi family stronghold. It is notorious as a place where photographers gather nearly every Friday to document scenes of Palestinian residents and international activists clashing with Israeli soldiers. Much of this is instigated by the Nabi Saleh Tamimi clan.

2017

DEMONIZING ISRAEL

On April 12, 2017, in conjunction with Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), Claremont SJP held a screening of an anti-Semitic documentary titled: “The Occupation of the American Mind.” The film claimed to show that Israel controls the American public’s view on Arab-Israeli conflict via the media.

On April 11, 201, as part of IAW, Claremont SJP held an event titled “Pinkwashing 101 Workshop.” The event page claimed “Pinkwashing is a deliberate marketing campaign that Israel uses to project an image of queer-friendliness in order to cover up its atrocities of apartheid, genocide, and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.”

On April 7, 2017, Claremont SJP published an article accusing Israel of being an “Apartheid state.” The article claimed: “700,000 Palestinians — Muslim, Christian, and Jewish alike — were violently uprooted and expelled from their homes by Zionist forces in 1948.”

The article went on to mislead its readers, claiming that “Palestinian citizens in Israel are also subject to racialized laws and regulations that inhibit them from living as equals under the law,” and that “There are over 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians in Israel.”

The conclusion of the article encouraged readers to participate in its IAW events saying: “We call attention to these crimes this year in Israeli Apartheid week.”

On April 3, 2017, Claremont SJP erected a mock apartheid wall on the Pitzer college campus as part of IAW. On April 6, 2017, Claremont SJP wrote a blog post condemning individuals who displayed a large Israeli flag on campus in opposition to the wall, saying: “This flag shows the ideological underpinnings of Zionism, a settler-colonial project to lay claim to Palestinian indigenous land without acknowledging the human rights abuses, the violence, the massacres, the apartheid, and the walls that are necessary to sustain this project… this 20 foot flag that was hung in an attempt to cover up the horrors of Zionist violence.”

BDS ACTIVITIES

On April 16, 2017, which was the sixth day of Passover as well as Easter Sunday, Claremont Colleges’ Student Senate held a vote revising the Pitzer College Student Senate Budget Committee Bylaws.

Pitzer College student Simone Bishara added an amendment to the Student Activities Funds’ restrictions dictating that the student senate budget committee adhere to a boycott list formulated by the BDS movement. The amendment was approved in a secret ballot vote.

Bishara’s amendment to the Bylaws (P.4. Student Activities Funds, Section 2. Restrictions VI.) stated: “Student Activities Funds shall not be used to make a payment on goods or services from any corporation or organization associated with the unethical occupation of Palestinian territories. Products include those products from corporations and organizations as delineated in the boycott list maintained by bdsmovement.net/get-involved/what-toboycott.

Upon being informed of the vote, the executive boards of Claremont Progressive Israel Alliance (CPIA) and the Alpha Epsilon Pi of the Claremont Colleges circulated a petition that objected to the vote’s unexpected introduction and passage when many Jewish and Christian students, including student senators supportive of Israel, were off-campus, due to the holidays.

The petition also criticized the fact that the amendment was not announced before the meeting.

Bishara claimed that “the timing was merely an unfortunate coincidence.”

Claremont’s student newspaper, The Student Life, also reported that Bishara did not include the amendment in the first draft of the budgetary bylaws presented on April 9.

Because the BDS resolution was couched as an amendment, Bishara was not required to announce the measure on the meeting’s agenda. Bishara stated: “It’s just not procedurally how Senate does things.”

Although Bishara did not inform anyone from CPIA and the Alpha Epsilon Pi of the Claremont Colleges of the amendment, The Student Life reported that Bishara did “reach out” to some senators and Claremont SJP, which sent members to speak at the meeting in favor of the amendment.

Bishara told The Student Life she did not alert CPIA that she was presenting the amendment “because my intention was to have it pass. I have had enough intellectual conversation about why people disagree with me.”

Bishara went on to say: “My opinions are less rooted in academic knowledge or political belief and more in this identity-based concern,” she said. “It’s emotionally gutting for me to sit here and have to explain why I think these things are the right things to do…It’s just emotional labor that no one ever should have to do.”

In the same interview, Bishara claimed the amendment’s timing also made it difficult for her to go home to celebrate Easter.

“…I had to pull myself away from home and I would never, in a million years, ask anyone else to do that, and never in a million years would intentionally target something around somebody’s faith…I can’t even conceive of a world in which I would be okay if I knew somebody was doing that on purpose.”

Claremont SJP’s press release on Facebook celebrating the vote said it passed by “22 aye, 0 nay, 4 abstentions.” The announcement did not mention that the budget committee’s decisions would be tied to the dictates of the BDS movement.

2016

SUPPORTING A CONVICTED TERRORIST

On December 7, 2016, Claremont SJP posted on Facebook a call for support for Rasmea Odeh.

Odeh was a military operative with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an internationally designated terrorist organization. In 1969, she masterminded a bombing that killed two university students in a Jerusalem supermarket. Odeh also attempted to bomb the British consulate.

Odeh confessed, in a highly detailed account, the day following her arrest. In a 2004 documentary, one of Odeh’s co-conspirators directly implicated her as the mastermind.

In 1970, an Israeli court tried and convicted Odeh for her involvement in both bombings and sentenced her to life imprisonment. However, Odeh was released 10 years later, in a prisoner swap and emigrated to the United States. In 2017, Odeh was deported to Jordan and stripped of U.S. citizenship, after admitting to immigration fraud.

SUPPORTING AN INCITER TO VIOLENCE

On July 12, 2016, Claremont SJP shared a petition on Facebook supporting Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian woman.

In October 2015, Tatour was placed under house arrest for incitement to violence and for support of a terrorist organization on social media.

Tatour had supported the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and posted to her 4,800 + Facebook friends “I am the next shahid [martyr]” on Facebook under a picture of attempted-murderer Asraa Zidan Tawfik Abed. Tatour also posted a Youtube video of a woman reading a poem that glorified violence and rejected peace.

October 2015 saw an upsurge in violence across Israel incited by Palestinian political and religious leaders. The wave of stabbings, known as the “Knife Intifada,” saw young Palestinians throughout the country stabbing and attempting to stab scores of Israeli civilians.

HARASSING STUDENTS

On March 9, 2016, Claremont SJP posted a statement on Facebook defending their posting of mock eviction notices on student dorm room doors. The action was in violation of the college’s posting regulations.

The notice read: “EVICTION NOTICE: DORM SCHEDULED FOR DEMOLITION IN THREE (3) DAYS. If you do not vacate the premises by 3/10/2016 8 PM, we reserve the right to demolish your premises without delay.”

On March 11, 2016, It was reported that following expressions of concern by Jewish students that they were being targeted, Stan Skipworth — Claremont’s Director of Campus Safety — wrote in an email to the student body that “the flyers violated posting regulations at CMC, Pitzer College, and Scripps College.”

The Claremont SJP’s Facebook post also stated the group’s intention to engage in “pursuing boycott/divestment campaigns” at the Claremont Colleges.

2015

DEMONIZING ISRAEL

On October 28, 2015, Claremont SJP hosted a speaking event featuring anti-Israel journalist David Sheen titled, “The Bullet, the Ballot, & the Boycott: Racism in Israel Today.”

The Facebook post advertising the event announced that Sheen would “describe how top Israeli political and religious leaders use dehumanizing discourse to inspire vigilante attacks toward Palestinians, Africans and other non-Jews.”

The event was co-sponsored by JVP.

On April 2, 2015, Claremont SJP hosted an event screening the documentary “Occupation 101” as part of Claremont SJP’s Israeli Apartheid Week. The documentary is narrated by anti-Israel agitator Alison Weir, founder of the controversial anti-Semitic website If Americans Knew (IAK).

Weir is notorious for writing an article that endorsed a Swedish newspaper’s blood libel which claimed Israel harvested Palestinian organs.

On March 31, 2015, Claremont SJP installed a mock apartheid wall on campus that aimed to “bolster support for the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel.” Claremont SJP student activists posed as Palestinians supposedly being oppressed by an Israeli soldier next to the mock apartheid wall.

The mock wall misrepresented Israel’s security fence, which was built as a non-violent deterrent to Palestinian terrorist attacks — mostly by suicide bombers.

Claremont SJP’s wall featured text that read: “Zionism is Racism.” The wall also featured a series of maps that presented lands once controlled by Britain, Egypt and Jordan as autonomous “Palestinian land” purportedly stolen by Israel.

PROMOTING TERROR INCITEMENT

On October 17, 2015, Claremont SJP hosted an event featuring Nada Elia. Earlier that month, as radicalized Palestinians across Israel stabbed scores of Israeli civilians during the “Knife Intifada,” Elia wrote on October 7, 2015 an article titled “Why Be Afraid of an Intifada?” In the article, Elia stated: “Intifadas are good.”

The event was co-sponsored by JVP.

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Hamas didn’t just gang-rape children and women at gunpoint, they forced their families to watch.

“Hostages who have returned from Gaza have revealed grotesque sexual violence towards the hostages” — Jerusalem Post


“Most of those sexually assaulted by Hamas terrorists were killed afterward, and some even during the act of rape. Others still were found dead later, their genitals mutilated beyond recognition or penetrated with weapons.”

In one photo, a burned body appears to project anguish. In another, a woman lies naked from the waist down, her underwear hanging from her leg. In interviews, first responders haltingly describe finding naked female corpses tied to beds and survivors recount witnessing a gang rape at the music festival.

All of this is part of a mounting body of evidence of the gender-based crimes carried out by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.

Fourteen young girls remain hostage in Gaza.

Hamas terrorists forced families to watch loved ones get raped at gunpoint

TRIGGER WARNING: Most sexual assault victims of Hamas on October 7 were killed either before or during rape; several victims’ genitals were mutilated beyond recognition.

By Tamar Uriel-Beeri, Jerusalem Post, February 21, 2024:

(Warning: This story describes deeply disturbing events and testimonials in graphic detail.)

A report analyzing numerous testimonies from the October 7 massacre specifically relating to Hamas’s sexual violence revealed that families and friends were forced by Hamas terrorists to watch their loved ones be raped and sexually assaulted at gunpoint.

The report, presented by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, analyzes confidential and public testimonies, eye-witness accounts, and interviews with victims, first responders and witnesses. It was sent to “decision-makers” in the United Nations to leave “no room for denial or disregard.

“The terrorist organization Hamas chose to harm Israel strategically in two clear ways – kidnapping citizens and committing sadistic sexual crimes,” said ARCCI CEO Orit Sulitzeanu. “Silence will be remembered as a historical stain on those who chose to remain silent and deny the sexual crimes committed by Hamas.”

The report revealed that Hamas terrorists threatened victims, often injured women, with weapons in order to rape them violently, often collectively with collaboration between multiple terrorists.

Partners, family, and friends were forced to watch to “increase the pain and humiliation for all present.”

Most of those sexually assaulted by Hamas terrorists were killed afterward, and some even during the act of rape. Others still were found dead later, their genitals mutilated beyond recognition or penetrated with weapons.

The full extent of Hamas’s sexual crimes will probably never be known

The report highlighted that it cannot provide the full numerical measure of the extent of Hamas’s sexual violence, “most of which resulted in the victims’ deaths, making their full extent unknown and possibly unknowable.”

The sexual assaults occurred in four main locations: At the Nova Festival, in kibbutzim, on IDF bases, and in captivity.

Severe sexual assaults were reported on multiple occasions by eye-witnesses and first responders in the Nova Festival, including group rapes. On kibbutzim, women and girls alike were brutally assaulted, including at least one case of a knife being hidden in the genital organ of one such victim.

Soldiers on IDF bases were victims of sexual violence, as well, their bodies clearly indicated. Hostages who have returned from Gaza have revealed grotesque sexual violence towards the hostages, as well.

“As the scars in our hearts refuse to heal, and the souls of our sisters and brothers cry out to us from the depths of the earth, a significant portion of those we considered partners responded in silence and denial of these horrors,” the report’s authors, Dr. Carmit Klar-Chalamish and Noga Berger, wrote. “We call on you to raise your voices and not allow the cries of these victims to fade away.”

Continue reading.

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Can Harvard Be Saved From DEI and a Debased Curriculum?

Harry Lewis has been at Harvard, man and boy, for fifty years. He’s a professor of computer science, and formerly Dean of Harvard. He has long been a Cassandra, a vox clamantis in deserto, alarmed about the state of education at Harvard, where he has registered the decline brought about by the madness of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and by self-indulgent faculty members who teach what they want — their niche subjects — rather than what the students need. More on Professor Lewis’s analysis of Harvard’s “debased curriculum,” and comments on it by Professor Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution, can be found here: “Harvard’s Crisis Stems From Debased Curriculum,” by Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear PoliticsFebruary 18, 2024:

Last month, Harry Lewis published a Harvard Crimson column that squarely laid the blame on Harvard for the crisis that has engulfed the great university. Fifty years of experience on the banks of the Charles River inform Lewis’ severe judgment: He is a longtime Harvard computer science professor, a 1968 Harvard College graduate, and, from 1995 to 2003, he served as dean of Harvard College. Nevertheless, while illuminating Harvard’s damaging politicization over the last 20 years of its undergraduate curriculum – and despite his half century at Harvard – Lewis overlooks the full extent of the crisis.

In “Reaping What We Have Taught,” Lewis maintained that the surge of antisemitism on campus following Hamas’ perpetration of mass atrocities in Israel on Oct. 7 was not the fault of Claudine Gay, who resigned as Harvard’s president in early January. Nor, he asserted, had Harvard admitted antisemitic students or hired antisemitic faculty. The problem, rather, lies in Harvard’s curriculum: “Unapologetic antisemitism – whether the incidents are few or numerous – is a college phenomenon because of what we teach, and how our teachings are exploited by malign actors.”

Lewis performed a simple experiment. He typed into the Harvard online course catalog search box key words associated with fashionable progressive ideology. The word “decolonize,” he found, “is in the titles of seven courses and the descriptions of 18 more” – more than triple its appearance before 2000. The words “oppression” and “liberation” are each “in the descriptions of more than 80 courses,” while “‘Social justice’ is in over 100.” Lewis also searched for “white supremacy” and “Enlightenment” – these days, it is often said, the latter arises out of and perpetuates the former. He discovered that the terms’ appearances in the online course catalog run “neck and neck, both ahead of ‘scientific revolution’ but behind ‘intersectionality,’” which barely registered before 2000…..

Consider the Ethics & Civics category. The 2024 spring semester offerings feature such options as “Ethics of Climate Change,”; “Evolving Morality: From Primordial Soup to Superintelligent Machines,” and “Ignorance, Lies, Hogwash, and Humbug” (which deals with fake news and other forms of deceit that mark “the post-truth era”). With one of these courses, students can check the ethics and civics requirement at Harvard without ever studying Western civilization’s biblical and classical foundations, the synthesis of faith and reason in the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Middle Ages, the modern tradition of freedom’s emergence in the 17th and 18th centuries, and, not least, America’s founding principles and constitutional traditions.

The post-Oct. 7 educational crisis at Harvard, entwined with antisemitism, has been several decades in the making. Effective reform must replace the current curriculum, which advances professors’ interests in niche scholarship and partisan politics, with one that serves students’ interests in acquiring an organized introduction to the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and in undertaking a reasoned exploration of the United States, the West, and the world.

Can the curriculum be changed at Harvard, removing niche subjects offered by self-indulgent professors, so that again requiring that students be provided with what they need to know: the “general education” that demands basic instruction in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences? And who will remove the modish madness of DEI from the campus, so that it no longer the deciding factor in determining the courses that are taught, the faculty who are hired, and the students who are admitted? What Dean or future President of Harvard would take on the twin tasks of DEI removal and curriculum reform? Perhaps, despite his age, the Harvard Corporation will offer the job of President to Harry Lewis himself. That would be a welcome sign from the Corporation that it’s willing to break with the past. Harvard could not do better.

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VIDEO: Democrat Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, ‘Immigration is not a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’

Barbara Jordan’s vision on immigration is more relevant today than ever before.


In a February 21, 2024 Numbers USA column titled “The Essential Barbara JordanJeremy Beck wrote,

February 21, 2024 – Today is Barbara Jordan’s birthday. She would have been 88 years old. Tragically, she died in 1996, just before Congress voted on the immigration recommendations she developed over the last years of her life.

If you don’t know much about Barbara Jordan, you should look her up. She regularly appears on lists of great American orators. Jordan’s life story is full of “firsts,” including the first Southern Black woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, and the first woman to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.

If you are concerned at all with immigration policy, you must learn about Barbara Jordan and the last act of her illustrious life and career. Her work as chair of the last bi-partisan commission to study immigration is essential to understanding where we’ve been; and necessary for us to see where we need to go.

Growing up during the Great Migration

Jordan was born in 1936, twelve years after the Immigration Act of 1924 was signed into law (one hundred years ago this May). That bill permanently ended The Great Wave of European migration (after the Great War had temporarily halted it in 1917). The slowdown of ships from Europe forced Northern industrialists to do the unthinkable: they sent recruiters to the far corners of the deep South and recruited the descendants of slaves and American Freedmen. The result was The Great Migration of Black Americans into the North and West.  White workers’ income went up two hundred and fifty percent. Black workers’ income went up four hundred percent. W.E.B. DuBois called the immigration slowdown “the economic salvation of American black labor.” DuBois’ declaration was echoed by Black journals and newspapers.

Jordan grew up during segregation and other forms of institutionalized racism. She also grew up during The Great Leveling and the rise of the Black middle class, whose economic gains led to new political power. In the year before Jordan was elected to the Texas State Senate (another first), Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Four decades of economic empowerment had finally led to the dismantling of institutional barriers to social equality.

Righting an old wrong; creating a new one

As Jordan was on the cusp of beginning her political career in the Texas Senate, legislators in Washington, D.C. were about to make a mistake that Jordan would spend the coda of her political career trying to clean up. In the spirit of the civil rights movement, and to honor the slain President Kennedy, Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. In doing so, they righted an old wrong, and created a new one.

Multiple administrations and Congresses had criticized one aspect of the immigration system created by the 1924 law: national-origin quotas made it virtually impossible for anyone outside of Europe to immigrate to the United States. The 1924 Act drastically reduced immigration from Europe, but it effectively banned immigration from other parts of the world, regardless of an individual’s merit. If the fundamental questions of immigration policy are “how many” and “which ones,” the 1924 Act was right on the former, and wrong on the latter.

“Everywhere else in our national life, we have eliminated discrimination based on national origins,” Senator Ted Kennedy said, “Yet this system is still the foundation of our immi­gration law.”

Kennedy and his fellow reformers vowed to leave the successful “how many” part of the 1924 Act in place. They promised a system that would admit 265,000 immigrants per year. Their aim was only to recalibrate the “which ones” part. The new system, they promised, would be less discriminatory.  A nuclear physicist, for instance, wouldn’t be denied just because he or she came from the “wrong” part of the world.

In the end, the bill changed both the “which ones” and the “how many.” The discriminatory quotas were abolished, but immigration numbers almost immediately doubled. Decades of declining inequality, an expanding middle class, and shrinking racial wealth gaps were halted and reversed. Inadvertently, it seems, Congress created new economic barriers to equality within a month of passing landmark civil rights legislation.

The 1965 Act was the photo negative of the 1924 bill. The legislation got the “which ones” right and the “how many” wrong. The challenge for policy makers today is to get both parts right. Nobody in the last half century has provided a clearer roadmap to achieving that sensible balance than Barbara Charline Jordan.

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