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Author: Miriam Elman

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Miriam Elman

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

Last week Durham, North Carolina’s Human Relations Commission (HRC) disappointed the vast majority of the city’s Jewish community by rejecting a draft proposal that had urged city officials to remove reference to Israel from their April 2018 ‘Statement by Durham City Council on International Police Exchanges’. At issue was the statement that passed unanimously on April 16t, 2018, by Durham’s City Council and which imposed a total ban on any and all law enforcement trainings with only one country in the world: Israel.

Two professional associations of police leaders and chief law enforcement officers in Georgia have condemned the virulently anti-Israel and undeniably antisemiticDeadly Exchange” campaign. That campaign, led by 'Jewish Voice for Peace', falsely blames Israel and American Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), for U.S. domestic police practices and problems in minority communities.

Every year, at Christmas, Palestinian officials, activists, and a host of virulently anti-Israel groups exploit the holiday season for political purposes. As we’ve documented in several prior posts, for years Christmas holiday themes, symbols, and rituals have been continuously appropriated and put into service for anti-Israel propaganda:

On December 21, 1988—30 years ago today—Pan Am Flight 103 dropped from the night sky killing 270 people, including all 259 of its passengers and crew and 11 people on the ground in the small town of Lockerbie, Scotland, which lies 120km southwest of Glasgow. It was the deadliest terror attack ever on UK soil.

Anti-Israel activists thrive in darkness. On campuses and municipalities, they spend months and sometimes years planning attacks on Israel that are often unveiled only at the last second, leaving Israel advocates scrambling. That is unfolding with a vile antisemitic campaign called "Deadly Exchange," which seeks to blame Israel and American Jewish groups for domestic U.S. problems in the policing of minority communities. Run by the misleadingly named Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Deadly Exchange seeks to exploit pre-existing domestic racial tensions to stoke antisemitism in order to turn minority communities against Israel.

November 30 is the official day for commemorating the Jewish departure and expulsion from Arab and Muslim lands. The commemorative day was designated by Israel’s legislative body back in 2014 and comes as a belated recognition of the collective traumas experienced by the between 850,000 to 1 million Jews who were expelled or who fled their homes in the Middle East and North Africa over a span of some three decades (from the 1940s until the 1980s) as a result of persecution and discrimination.

A very rare stone engraved with ancient Hebrew letters has been discovered in the rubble of a Jerusalem excavation site. The extremely tiny stone, called a “beka”, was used as a counting weight during the First Temple period. Only a few similar stone beka weights have been unearthed in Jerusalem, and according to experts, none of those previously discovered have the same exact inscription as the one that was just found.

In a highly unusual ruling, one of Israel’s chief rabbis has allowed a Palestinian Arab man to be buried in a special plot, reserved for those without religious faith, in the Jewish Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem. At issue is the decision of Aryeh Stern, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, to enable the West Bank-based family of Ala’a Qarash (also spelled Alah Kirsh) to bury him at the Jewish cemetery as an “exception” because the “Muslims themselves are unwilling to bury him” and he was a “righteous gentile” who “showed good will” to Jews.

Founded three years ago, Canary Mission is an anonymous organization that documents and exposes antisemitism and anti-Israel animus on America’s colleges and universities. By compiling online dossiers and a searchable database of the activities and the publicly-available statements and social media postings of anti-Israel activists, Canary Mission exposes the vitriolic rantings of people affiliated with the anti-Israel BDS movement, particularly on campuses.

The false claim that Israel is an 'apartheid' state underpins the intellectual foundations of the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement. The smear actually originated in anti-Zionist campaigns that were initiated by Communist states during the Cold War. Since the 2001 UN conference in Durban, which launched the BDS movement, the comparison of Israel with racist apartheid-era South Africa has also been a key leitmotif of anti-Israel activists.

The virulently anti-Jewish and anti-peace extremist organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) has partnered with the organization Researching the American-Israeli Alliance (RAIA) on several new projects for its undeniably antisemiticDeadly Exchange” campaign which, based solely on spurious accusations, singles out U.S. police department trainings in Israel for prohibition.

A Washington D.C. chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is spearheading a coalition of far-left groups who are calling on the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to end its participation in police exchanges and counter-terrorism training visits to Israel. The effort follows on a decision this past April by the Durham, North Carolina City Council to impose a total ban on police exchanges “with only one country in the world: the Jewish state of Israel.”

For many years we’ve been documenting anti-Israel activity on U.S. university and college campuses, typically part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and carried out by student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. In these prior posts we’ve described many instances when this Israel-related activism has crossed over the line into blatant anti-Jewish animus, including at schools as diverse as Vassar, Oberlin, and University of Illinois.

Why are so many of America’s mainline churches partnering with the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), an anti-Israel organization which allegedly has financial ties to terror groups and is a leader and mobilizer of BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) activism? As we’ve highlighted in many prior posts, the USCPR has long played an outsized role in advancing a vehemently anti-Israel agenda in America’s Protestant churches.

This past week I took a short but memorable and rewarding trip, both professionally and personally, to one of the holiest cities on the planet. Below I chronicle my 4 days in Jerusalem. Most of the images are personal photos and many were shared on Facebook, so I’ve included those posts as well. Enjoy!