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Faculty associations have been a focus of anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activity. Unlike at universities, where there are counter-balancing constituencies, such associations can be hijacked by relatively small percentages of the membership, who take over committees and national councils. This allows the agenda to turn away fein the academic purposes of the organization, and instead, to turn the organizations into anti-Israel activist platforms. We have seen that play out at the American Studies Association and some smaller associations. The American Anthropological Association just finished membership voting on a BDS resolution, but the results have not been announced. The faculty association warfare on Israel is getting very personal:

Scheduled from May 25th through June 3rd, Tel Aviv Pride is a week-long series of events that celebrate gay life. For over nearly two decades, it’s become one of the city’s most popular annual festivals. Tens of thousands of gay Israelis and LGBTQ tourists from around the world enjoy the extravaganza, which seems to get bigger and better each year with new events added and more people taking part. But for anti-Israel gay activists, Tel Aviv Pride is a means for discrediting the one state in the Middle East which actually treats its gay community with dignity and respect. Below I highlight the latest campaign to put Tel Aviv Pride Week into service for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions).

This past Sunday more than 1,500 people—along with dozens of members of the media and press—attended The Jerusalem Post’s 5th Annual Conference in New York City. The one-day event, themed “Israel, the U.S. and the Free World Facing Global Terror,” was held at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in the heart of Times Square and Manhattan’s theater district. JPost annual conference 2016 logo According to the pre-conference publicity, the annual conference—which in the past has proved to be “both newsworthy and dazzling”—was predicted to be the “best and biggest yet”. It was indeed.

In an unexpected move, the United Methodists decided on Tuesday to call on the church’s mission agency to withdraw its membership in the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO). Based in Washington, D.C. the USCEIO is a vehemently anti-Israel umbrella organization for the boycott, sanctions, and divestment (BDS) movement. Its main goal is to end “all U.S. support and aid” for Israel. USCEIO logo The plenary vote on Petition 60198 (End Coalition Support) came during the church’s leading policy-making event.

Every four years the United Methodist Church General Conference (UMCGC) meets to make policy decisions and set the direction for the denomination. From May 10th through May 20th, 864 delegates (half of them clergy) are convening at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland to consider over 1,000 resolutions.

The University of Chicago has the distinction of being recognized by FIRE as a model for free speech in higher education. At the same time, the school is home to a number of BDS activists who typically engage in the shouting down of people with whom they disagree. This dichotomy has led to an ironic impasse on campus. While the administration is committed to free speech, some members of the student government are not. This struggle has been going on for some time. In April, the College Council passed a resolution to divest from Israel. The Chicago Maroon reported:
College Council Passes Resolution Recommending Divestment College Council (CC) approved a resolution last night calling on the University of Chicago to divest from 10 companies that the resolution’s proponents say enable Israeli human rights abuses in Palestine.

As you know if you have been reading Legal Insurrection for years, we regularly track Gallup and Pew surveys of attitudes among Americans of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. What we see is that support for Israel among the entire U.S. population remains at near historical highs. For example, the Gallup survey released in February 2016 demonstrated that Americans still overwhelmingly support Israel:
The survey shows that support for Israel versus the Palestinians remains near historical highs, slightly up from last year:
Americans’ views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained steady over the past year, with 62% of Americans saying their sympathies lie more with the Israelis and 15% favoring the Palestinians. About one in four continue to be neutral, including 9% who sympathize with neither side, 3% who sympathize with both, and 11% expressing no opinion.

In the saturated market of U.S. anti-Israel activism, the political organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) plays a starring role. In many posts (see a partial list here), we’ve highlighted how JVP provides the façade of American Jewish support for pro-BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) organizations arrayed against the Jewish state. By presenting itself as the Jewish justification for BDS, the group gives “cover” to political and economic war on Israel, insulating BDS from allegations of anti-Semitism and providing it with a veneer of legitimacy. On its website, JVP boasts over 60 member-led chapters across the United States and more than 200,000 online supporters. These days it also has increased access to funding, which it uses to promote and publicize its “high profile” anti-Israel activism.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad confirmed he will sign a bill that will not allow public companies to do business with firms involved in Israel boycotts. Iowa's Senate passed House File 2331 last week in a 38-9 vote. The legislators hope the bill counters "efforts of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement." Palestinian groups began the movement in 2005 as a way to money and goods from Israel. "I just think it is wrong to be boycotting our friend and ally, Israel," declared Gov. Branstad. "There is a lot of opportunity for us to do business with them, and I don’t believe we ought to be penalizing Israel, of all countries. They are one of our best friends and allies. This is something I strongly support."

Kuwait Airways has decided to stop all of their inter-European flights instead of accepting Israeli passengers. The Lawfare Project filed civil and criminal complaints against the airlines in Geneva, Switzerland, over their discrimination policies. They claimed the policy violated "the Swiss Penal Code as well as the Swiss constitution, which protects individuals from discrimination based on race, religion and ethnicity." "By cancelling these lucrative flight paths rather than admitting Israelis on KAC flights, the airline--a wholly owned instrumentality of the Kuwaiti government--is demonstrating its commitment to discrimination even while exposing itself to enormous pecuniary loss," wrote Lawfare Project in a statement.

A bipartisan bill in California to end taxpayer support for the discriminatory anti-Isarael Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been shelved, as less forceful measures work their way through committee. Assembly Bill 1552 by California Assemblyman Travis Allen, would have prohibited state entities from contracting with parties that engage in commercial discrimination, and boycotts on the basis of national origin, and sought to end the practice of California supporting such discriminatory or anti-Semitic efforts. “Rather than promoting peace, the BDS movement denies the right of the Jewish State to exist, regularly employing tactics designed to harm Israel,” said Allen in an exclusive interview in January.

David Horowitz doesn't pull punches in defense of Israel and western civilization. Perhaps his most famous moment was when he got an anti-Israel student at UC-San Diego to admit she supports extermination of Jews (watch to the end): Horowitz's Freedom Center has been posting provocative posters at various campuses. In February the posters showed SJP as Hamas executioners, because so many SJP members express support for the bloody Intifadas and back "the resistance" (which is what Hamas means in Arabic).

The Vassar student body voted the past two days on two anti-Israel referenda sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. For background on anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activism at Vassar, see Tuesday's post, Vassar students start voting on anti-Israel referenda. The results were just announced by email, and both referenda were rejected. The vote was close.  The BDS resolution was rejected 573 Against, 503 For. The spending resolution was defeated 601 Against, 475 For. Under the circumstances, with a years-long anti-Israel propaganda campaign supported by vocal faculty members, this must be considered a huge victory for the voices of reason on campus.

Anti-Israel boycott campaign, the so-called BDS movement, and other anti-Israel groups are carrying out a coordinated campaign to hijack the May Day demonstrations in Germany with an aim of spreading their anti-Semitic and anti-Israel message. The blatant anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel these groups propagates is getting so repugnant that it is unnerving even the old left-wingers who otherwise never missed a chance of criticising the Jewish State. The attempts by some moderate groups to keep anti-Israel agitators from taking over the Labour Day events have failed. A resolution tabled by a prominent left-wing activist Jutta Ditfurth seeking to expel openly anti-Semitic groups from the event was rejected overwhelmingly by the organising committee, forcing Ditfurth and her environmentalist group groups to leave the alliance.

Right in time for Passover as tiny Jewish student communities across Germany were preparing for the Jewish holiday, several University campuses all over the country were hit by a major anti-Semitic cyber-attack. Last week, printers and photo copy machines on college campuses across Germany began spontaneously shooting off flyers filled with anti-Semitic contents. The Spokesperson of Jewish Society at the University of Bonn says, "​Just imagine sitting in your university and suddenly, dozens of anti-Semitic fliers with hate speech fly out of the printer next to you. Your university has usually been a safe place but now you face death threats against you, your family, and your friends, and you can't do anything to stop the attack. On top of that, you find out that your school was one of several in the country that was targeted." Bonn-based German newspaper General Anzeiger reports:

Marc Lamont Hill is a professor at Morehouse College and a frequent TV Commentator. He also is coming out with a new book soon on social justice in the U.S. Lamont Hill also is a big supporter of the "Ferguson to Palestine" movement which uses the doctrine of intersectionality to connect Israel to inner city and racial problem in the U.S.  The only majority Jewish state in the world is held out as the connecting force of evil in the world. We wrote about his support in January 2015, when he was part of a Dream Defenders delegation to Israel and theWest Bank, Wow, Marc Lamont Hill drank the anti-Israel Kool-Aid. For that visit, Hill included this statement in a video about the trip:
We came here to Palestine to stand in love and revolutionary struggle with our brothers and sisters We come to a land that has been stolen by greed and destroyed by hate

By now, it is common for supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on campuses to interrupt speeches and chant "Long Live the Intifada." At UT-Austin, the chant was shouted by a group from the Palestine Solidarity Committee as they interrupted an event put on by the Israeli Studies Department. The group was led by law student Mohammed Nabulsi, who will be interning at "Palestine Legal," which serves as the lawfare division of the BDS movement: Similar chants we have covered at Legal Insurrection include Northeastern University, San Francisco State, City University of NY, and UC-Davis. The Intifada is the bloody campaign of terror launched by Palestinians mostly against Jewish civilians.