A legal insurrectionist at heart, and a superstar in the fight against antisemitism, particularly on campuses.
September 17, 2014, changed my life forever.
I gave a speech in Syracuse, NY, for the Jewish Federation of Central New York about the anti-Israel movement on campus. I can’t find a video or audio of the appearance, but I remember one thing in particular.
At a small dinner prior to the speech, I met Miriam Elman, an Associate Professor at Syracuse University with an impressive scholarly history.
Little did I know that I was breaking bread with a future legal insurrectionist, and a future superstar in the fight against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, particularly on campuses.
We kept in touch, and on November 9, 2014, at my urging, Miriam submitted a guest post regarding her effort to stop the Syracuse U. Faculty Senate from passing a resolution supporting Steven Salaita, the noxious anti-Israel academic, Syracuse Univ. Faculty Senate Tables Pro-Salaita Resolution…Again.
That first post would lead to over 150 more posts by Miriam at Legal Insurrection in the ensuing years. Someone with an already impressive academic and scholarly body of work was able to join the fight at a more political and activist level.
I’ll take credit for “forcing” her to get on Facebook:
Miriam’s research published at Legal Insurrection is widely used and cited. It’s hard to pick and choose among the many topics Miriam has covered. Miriam’s reporting on her trip to Israel, and the people she met about whom she’d also written, includes links to many of the topics she covered about the history of the conflict.Miriam’s work documenting the malicious activism of the malicious (but I repeat myself) fake Jewish and real anti-Zionist group “Jewish Voice for Peace” has been both impressive and influential:
- Jewish Voice for Peace – “Jew Washing” the anti-Israel movement
- Jewish Voice for Peace can’t seem to stay away from Alison Weir
- Anti-Israel activists hijack Passover, turn it into Palestinian liberation event
- Anti-Israel ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ Funding Network Revealed
- Jewish Voice for Peace hijacks High Holidays for anti-Israel messaging
- “Jewish Voice for Peace” Hijacks Chanukah for Anti-Israel Messaging
- Jewish Voice for Peace Passover Haggadah: “Next Year in al-Quds!”
- With “Deadly Exchange” Campaign, Jewish Voice for Peace moves from enabling to promoting antisemitism
- Jewish Voice for Peace doubles-down on antisemitic “Deadly Exchange” Campaign
- Rockefeller Brothers Fund finances Jewish Voice for Peace as it launches new anti-Israel campaign
- Anti-Semitic campaign to blame Jews and Israel for U.S. police practices towards minorities shifts into overdrive
Miriam, a former Lone Soldier in the IDF, also documented aspects of Israel’s military history not frequently covered:
- 1948 – How American Jewish Pilots Helped Win Israel’s War of Independence
- RIP American Marine Lou Lenart: Israel’s 1948 War Hero
- A Wing and a Prayer: American WWII Aviators Who Flew For Israel
- Jerusalem Reunited 1967: Three Israeli Soldiers, One Iconic Photo
- Jerusalem Day 2017 – Movie “In Our Hands” Brings Liberation of Jerusalem to Life
- RIP American Navy Pilot Mitchell Flint: Israel’s 1948 War Hero
Miriam’s day-by-day “real time” series recounting of the 6-Day War is a must read:
- 50th Anniversary of Six-Day War: The Eve of War
- Six-Day War Day 1 – War Begins
- Six-Day War Day 2 — At the Gates of Jerusalem’s Old City
- Six-Day War Day 3 — “The Temple Mount is in Our Hands”
- Six-Day War Day 4 — Egypt and Jordan Defeated
- Six-Day War Day 5 — Golan Heights are Captured
- Six-Day War Day 6 — War Ends
I didn’t start drafting this post intending to catalog Miriam’s posts, but as I started, I realized there is so much good stuff, I felt compelled to provide links for people who may be relatively new around here.
Throughout the years, the recognition of Miriam’s work continued to rise. In 2018, Miriam was named to Algemeiner’s top 100 people “positively influencing Jewish life”:
An associate professor of political science and security studies at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, Miriam Elman is a regular contributor to the influential blogLegal Insurrection on topics concerning Israel and the BDS movement. Her books include Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City (2014) and her op-eds have been published by Haaretz, The Post-Standard and other outlets. Elman is also an editorial board member of the journals International Security, Foreign Policy Analysis and Political Research Quarterly. She serves as a member of the Council of Scholars of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), a leading pro-Israel organization among higher education professionals.
In February 2019, Miriam was appointed Executive Director of Academic Engagement Network, a group of several hundred “American university and college faculty and staff formed for the purposes of opposing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, standing for academic freedom and freedom of expression, and supporting education and robust conversation about Israel in the academy. AEN also opposes antisemitism where it appears on campus.”
Miriam now spends her time helping build the AEN network, and giving speeches and generally mixing it up with the bad guys and gals in ways that would make you proud.
The time commitment Miriam’s work for AEN requires has meant Miriam also has taken a hiatus from posting at Legal Insurrection. But Miriam still contributes frequently to our Morning Insurrection daily newsletter, so sign up if you still want to read her.
Miriam took a particularly legal insurrectionist move last spring in leading a takedown of how anti-Israel academics in Israel Studies (yes, really) have hijacked the language. The issue of Word Crimes in the Journal of Israel Studies met with a sustained backlash from the those exposed, as we documented in Word Crimes: Left-wing Israel Studies faculty try to silence scholars deemed too pro-Israel.
But enough about what Miriam has done, and more about who she is.
Miriam is one of the nicest people you can ever meet. I’m proud to count Miriam not only as a colleague, but as a friend.
I’m counting the days until Miriam’s gig at AEN is over, so she can return to Legal Insurrection.
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