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Ariel Gold Tag

Anti-Israel activists regularly, and with never-ending repetition, claim that Israel is an "Apartheid state" because if favors Jews over non-Jews. This accusation is a key part of the strategy to delegitimize Israel, and was developed in 2001 as part of the Durban conference boycott call. That boycott call, based on the accusation of Apartheid, was the foundation of the current Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as I discussed in my lecture, The REAL history of the BDS movement.

The Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), a national organization that supports pro-Israel and Zionist students on university campuses, has released a new report that summarizes the findings from nearly 1200 anti-Israel activities that took place on U.S. colleges during the 2016-2017 academic year. The report highlights a “growing intensity” of anti-Israel campaigns on certain campuses, but also notes a 40% decrease in BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns—from 33 in 2015-2016 down to 20 over the last year—and a 20% decline in overall anti-Israel activity during the same period.

Bassem Tamimi is a Palestinian activist  best known for using children, including his own, to confront Israeli soldiers in the hope of creating viral video and photo images. Tamimi has been quite successful at this, and many of the images resulting from these provocations have become international hits. This video of his daughter gained international fame, and a prize for her from the Islamist prime minister of Turkey:

I appeared on the Mark Levin radio show on Wednesday night, December 14, 2016, to talk about my post, VIDEO: Activists manipulate third-graders into hating Israel. Video of the event is at the link above, which also has extensive background. The short version is that Ariel Gold from Code Pink and Jewish Voice for Peace arranged for Bassem Tamimi to appear before the third grade classes at an elementary school in Ithaca, NY. Tamimi is best known for using children, including his own, to confront Israeli soldiers in the hope of creating viral photos and videos. Tamimi urged the children to become activists and "freedom fighters for Palestine."

Anti-Israel activism by faculty at colleges and universities receives a lot of media attention in part because campuses generally are open to the public and college students are able to report on what happens. Faculty-inspired anti-Israel activism, however, is not limited to colleges and universities. I hear many parents and students complain that by the time many students reach college, they already have been turned against Israel. Far under the radar, the attempt to demonize Israel is moving down the educational chain even into elementary schools, pushed by activists who accept no boundaries even for young children. Yet because such activities take place in schools to which access is limited, and the young students are not developmentally able to report on what happens, it's rare to obtain hard visual proof. We have such proof.

On Friday morning, September 18, 2015, the third grade classes at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, NY, heard a presentation on “human rights” by Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi and local anti-Israel activists, led by Ariel Gold. In fact, through the investigative and litigation efforts of Legal Insurrection, it has become clear that the Tamimi event was an anti-Israel propaganda event targeting young children, and as we just learned, caused at least one student to suffer nightmares.

The Attempt to Portray the Tamimi Event as Loving and Promoting Peace

On Sunday night, September 20, Legal Insurrection broke the story, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY. Because of Tamimi’s notoriety for exploiting children in videotaped confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Tamimi’s mere appearance in a third grade class raised suspicions about the event.

We recently wrote about Miko Peled after Jewish Voice for Peace accused him of posting an antisemitic tweet, Jewish Voice for Peace disavows BDS activist Miko Peled: “No place 4 antisemitism in our movement”: Peled denied that the tweet was antisemitic, as detailed in the prior post. But the fact that an anti-Israel group like JVP would make this accusation against Peled and would support the cancellation of his speech at Princeton was pretty remarkable.

The Ithaca Journal has an article today about my court victory against the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) seeking records under the NY Freedom of Information Law regarding the anti-Israel 3rd Grade event. The Ithaca Journal article, discussed below, reveals that ICSD spent over $20,000 in its fight to avoid having to disclose video and documents regarding the event. I laid out the history and the court ruling in my post, Another Legal Insurrection victory: Ct orders video released of anti-Israel 3rd Grade event. The short version is that for the second time, the court granted virtually all my requests, including forcing ICSD to release a video of the event. Before the litigation began I suggested the video be redacted by ICSD to protect student privacy, but ICSD refused to release ANY portion of the video or audio, even the portions that didn't contain student images or voices.  Instead, ICSD produced a partial transcript with obvious gaps.

On Friday morning, September 18, 2015, the third grade classes at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, NY, heard a presentation on “human rights” by Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi and local anti-Israel activists, including Ariel Gold of the local chapter of the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace (she also is a full time employee of Code Pink), and Mary Grady Flores. The event was arranged through third grade teacher Brooke Burnett, a friend of Gold and Flores. Bassem Tamimi Beverly Martin School Ariel Gold redacted w border

So ... I just noticed that Stanley Cohen, the pro-Hamas tax convict who, after release from prison, was held out as representing some anti-Israel teenager even though his law license was suspended, has blocked me on Twitter. I think this tweet of mine is what did it: Here are some others. It's not a complete list, for sure. This is just from memory.

You may recall the name Janna Jihad. Janna is a member of the Tamimi clan from Nabi Saleh. Among the more infamous Tamimi members is Ahlam Tamimi, the woman who organized the Sbarro Pizza restaurant suicide bombing in 2001, and then broke out with a huge smile when she learned that more children actually were killed than she thought. The Tamimi clan also has a sophisticated media operation. Under the guidance of Bassem Tamimi and his wife, Tamimi and other village children are used as media props to confront Israeli soldiers for the cameras, including throwing rocks, hoping to create a viral image or video.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is holding its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C. There are 18,000 attendees. Today was a rally for Palestine, and the marchers (200-300 based on the videos posted online) marched to the AIPAC conference location where protesters heckled people trying to enter. There also were the usual Code Pink antics, such as trying hard to get arrested by blocking doors (so far this year, no arrests). The main Code Pink protest is Monday, and I'm sure they will try hard to get arrested for publicity, as they did last year. But there were far more aggressive and dangerous people in the crowd, as this video shows.

Language Warning on all videos

(Video Via The Right Scoop via Townhall)

Bassem Tamimi has been on these pages quite frequently in the past half year, most of it related to his appearance at an Ithaca, NY, third grade class as part of an anti-Israel propaganda event organized by local Jewish Voice for Peace activist Ariel Gold (now employed by Code Pink) and one of the teachers. Tamimi is best known for using children, including his own, to confront Israeli soldiers in the hope of creating viral video and photo images. He has been quite successful at this, and many of the images resulting from these provocations have become international hits, such as this video of his daughter from several years ago: And this more recent incident:

As detailed in a prior post, my Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) regarding Bassem Tamimi’s appearance before third graders at the Beverly J. Martin School (BJM) encountered a completely unexpected problem:
In brief, and incredibly, the teachers union in the Ithaca school district appears to have instructed its members not to produce records responsive to my FOIL Request contained on personal electronic devices and email accounts.... So I went to court and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order preserving records pending a court determination on the merits.
After responsive motion papers from ICSD and the Ithaca Teachers Association [ITA], in which ITA disputed some of ICSD's allegations, and my reply, the case was argued on January 25, 2016, before the N.Y. State Supreme Court (the trial level court in NY) in Ithaca. I was pro se in the case. ICSD was represented by a large Syracuse law firm, and ITA by the legal department of New York State United Teachers, the statewide teachers union. In a decision issued today, the Court granted most of the relief I requested, including injunctive relief requiring ICSD to make specified efforts to obtain records contained on the personal electronic devices of ICSD employees. (Full embed at bottom of post.) But first, some background for those of you not familiar with the third grade incident.

Galway, Ireland. They stood huddled in the corner of the lecture theatre whispering ominously. A final pep talk perhaps, or a hasty revision of tactics. Then the leader surged forward, arms flailing, voice bellowing, clad in the colours of Palestine. ‘Get the f–k off our campus, now, you f–king Zionist, f–king prick,’ his body literally convulsing with rage. His acolytes obediently pounded the desks in wild approval. ‘We don’t want your Israeli money around here.’ Professor Alan Johnson, a respected political theorist and one of British Labour’s most astute thinkers, stoically continued his address, speaking in his characteristic soft, measured, thoughtful tones. He presented his analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, unsparing in his criticism of both sides, and stated the progressive case for peace: two states for two peoples. But the protestors weren’t there to engage with ideas, or to advance a negotiated, peaceful outcome to the conflict. They were there to ‘resist’. (language warning)

I reported on November 22, 2015, that local Ithaca, NY, anti-Israel activists were objecting to the appearance of American Jewish reggae musician Matisyahu, Anti-Israel boycott movement targets Matisyahu again. The appearance is scheduled for this Friday night, December 4, 2015. That post had the history of how Matisyahu has been singled out for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement scorn because he is an American Jew who refuses to renounce and denounce Israel. In fact, Matisyahu has expressed support for Israel's right to exist and has come out against media demonization of Israel. That makes Matisyahu a marked man by BDS, and led to cancellation of his appearance last August at the Spanish Rototom Reggae Festival. The ban was reversed after a public outcry and Spanish government and media denunciations of religious discrimination. I also detailed how the local protest was organized by the same core group of people who organize just about every anti-Israel event in the Ithaca area, particularly Ariel Gold. Matisyahu - Ithaca State Street Theater At the end of my prior post, I noted:

Important Update: Artistic freedom showdown as BDS protests Matisyahu appearance in Ithaca, NY ---------------------- Matisyahu, whose real name is Matthew Paul Miller, is the American Jewish reggae musician who rocketed to fame with his combination Hasidic Jewish and Reggae anthems such as One Day, a call for peace: Matisyahu has been targeted by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In the summer of 2015 an international firestorm of controversy erupted after BDS succeeded in getting Matisyahu banned at the Spanish Rototom Reggae festival after Matisyahu refused to denounce Israel. That political litmus test was applied to no other musician and to no other nation. The ban was reversed only after an international outcry, including denunciations by the Spanish government and a leading Spanish newspaper that the action amounted to religious discrimination. Matisyahu appeared at the festival where "pro-Palestinian" protesters tried to disrupt his performance. Now Matisyahu is under attack again, this time by an anti-Israel BDS group in Ithaca, NY. The group, calling itself The Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine, has a controversial history of inflammatory statements and actions.
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