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U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights Tag

Last week the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee concluded its hearings regarding the confirmation of Kenneth L. Marcus, President Trump’s pick for the position of Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights. We noted in a post back in October, when the White House first announced the nomination, that Marcus is extraordinarily qualified for the job and is an excellent pick for heading the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Trump appoints attorney who combats antisemitism to key civil rights post.

The American Studies Association (ASA) passed an academic boycott of Israel in December 2013, along guidelines of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The ASA leadership backed the resolution, which was sent to the membership for a vote. Turnout for the online vote was low, but a majority of those voting voted in favor. Although the much smaller Association for Asian American Studies had passed the boycott the previous April, the ASA was the first major American faculty association to pass the boycott.

When I woke up this morning and learned of the Las Vegas shooting, I fully expected all sorts of horrible hot takes and political exploitation. And Twitter has not disappointed in that regard. But I have to admit, as attuned as I am to anti-Israel activists hijacking causes and events to turn them against Israel, it never entered my mind that the Las Vegas shooting would be exploited in that manner.

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.

The story of Rasmea Odeh is the story of a terrorist and confirmed liar. We've documented both aspects of her life exhaustively. She was a military member of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Yet she claims she was just a political activist. Rasmea participated in at least two bombings in 1969, of a supermarket in Jerusalem that killed two students and the attempted bombing of the British consulate.

The National Lawyers Guild is a left-wing lawyer organization that, among other things, actively provides legal advocacy in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. NLG also advocates against Israel on a variety of international issues. NLG is a "proud member" of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (since rebranded as U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights), the group that is so toxically anti-Israel that not a single congressman or congresswoman would sponsor its intended Capitol Hill event. NLG also has filed legal briefs and provide other legal support in support of convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who recently agreed to plead guilty to immigration fraud. In July 2016, the National Lawyers Guild, Inc. and the National Lawyers Guild Foundation, Inc. (collectively, "NLG") were sued by Bibliotechnical Athenaeum, an Israeli company.

“Jewish Voice for Peace” bills itself as a Jewish pro-peace organization. But JVP is not a Jewish organization. At most it claims to support “Jewish traditions of social justice” as set forth on its 2016 listing of Core Values. JVP also is not a pro-peace organization. As our extensive coverage over the years has demonstrated, JVP in reality is dedicated to delegitimizing Israel by providing an “as a Jew” cover for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and others who seek the destruction of Israel.

Snopes developed a reputation as a highly reliable debunker of internet hoaxes. It was one of the first sources I used to turn to. Now I find it often reads more like PolitiFact, a supposedly neutral fact checker that seems to lean left, or at least often seems to have a political angle on a fact check. I had noticed a change in Snopes a while ago, and even considered writing about it earlier, but Snopes coverage of Rasmea Odeh pushed me to a response. Rasmea has been in the news lately because of her involvement in launching the March 8 so-called Day Without A Woman.

On Saturday, February 25, 2017, Democrat National Committee delegates will vote in a new Chair. The two top contenders are Keith Ellison, congressman from Minnesota, and Tom Perez, former Obama Labor Secretary. Regardless of who is chosen, there is no centrist choice. Because the is no center of the Democratic Party. Perez is a fairly standard leftist. We haven't spend a lot of time covering his background because there's really nothing particularly interesting as regards the future of the Democratic Party. He's reportedly the Obama-Biden choice.

Since he announced his intention to run for Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Keith Ellison has received support from top Democrats, like Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi, and the left-wing Bernie-base of the party. Yet from the start Ellison has been dogged with revelations about his past support for Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, his claim that American Jews do Israel's bidding, and his association with fringe anti-Israel groups:

It has not been a good couple of weeks for Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison in his quest for Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison was fast out of the gate, with major endorsements from Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and many others. But then some inconvenient facts came out about Ellison: His past support for Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam during college and after; once proposing a separate country for blacks; his flirting with tutherism by claiming 9/11 was Bush's Reichstag Fire; his cozy relationship with some of the worst anti-Israel groups at the Democratic National Convention last summer and generally being the go-to congressman for that segment of the Democratic Party; and most recently, release of a partial audio clip of 2010 comments at a Muslim community fundraiser in which he questioned why the U.S. has such a special relationship with Israel considering it's only 7 million people and the Arab world is 350 million. All of this was documented by many people, including by us in the following posts:

Legal Insurrection readers have known for weeks about the controversial past of Keith Ellison, including support for Louis Farrakhan, being the go-to Congressman for anti-Israel groups, and statements suggesting it made no sense to base Mideast policy around Israel: So long as the controversy was talked about only among pro-Israel websites, Ellison and his supporters probably figured they could ride it out. But now it's gone deep into the mainstream media.

As reported the other day, Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota has the backing of several top Democrats to become Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Top Dems rally around radical Keith Ellison for DNC Chair:
The lesson Democrats are learning from the evisceration of the Democratic Party at the state level, the continuing loss of control of Congress, and the defeat in the presidential election is not that Democrats need to move back to the center. No, it’s that Democrats need to move not just further to the left, but to the fringe left. Several top Democrats, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer, are backing Keith Ellison, Democratic Congressman from Minnesota, as the next DNC Chair [as] Daily Kos reports....

The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, recently rebranded as the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian rights, is one of the most virulently anti-Israel activist groups. Legal Insurrection recently covered how the US Campaign’s plan to hold a seminar on Capitol Hill was canceled when it became known just how extremist it was, Report: Pro-BDS event on Capitol Hill canceled after nature of group exposed. Last weekend I attended the U.S. Campaign's Annual Conference. us-campaign-annual-conference-2016-poster

The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is one of the most virulently anti-Israel activist groups. Legal Insurrection recently covered how the US Campaign's plan to hold a seminar on Capitol Hill was canceled when it became known just how extremist it was, Report: Pro-BDS event on Capitol Hill canceled after nature of group exposed. Perhaps to escape its past, U.S. Campaign is rebranding itself and renaming itself as the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. This weekend the U.S. Campaign held its Annual Conference in Northern Virginia, attended by about 200 anti-Israel activists. Panelists and experts instructed activists within churches, academia, and community organizing on how to leverage their influence against Israel. I attended the annual meeting. In this first report, I will focus on how plans were unveiled by Kairos USA, an anti-Israel church group, to ramp up the efforts to turn churches against Israel by leveraging concerns about Black Lives Matter within Black Churches, and the rollout of a new crowdsourcing and organizing portal, Palestine Portal.

Omar Barghouti is the co-founder of the BDS movement. He lives in Israel because he married an Israeli woman and is a Ph.D. student at Tel Aviv University. [*] Yet he supports the academic boycott of Israel. Contrary to Barghouti's narrative, the BDS movement was founded at the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban Conference, not by a gathering of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005. The 2005 boycott call, co-founded by Barghouti, was simply window dressing designed to trick naive Western liberals into thinking BDS is about social justice and equal rights. In fact, BDS is about destroying Israel and, in their minds, reclaiming not just the territory re-captured by Israel in 1967, but all of Israel. BDS in its literature, again to fool naive liberals, plays coy with what it means when it says it wants an end to Israeli occupation of "Palestinian lands." That allows groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to End to Israeli Occupation to claim that BDS only is about liberating the post-1967 territories. But that vagueness also allows BDS to appeal to those who do not accept the existence of Israel within any border.

An informative approach to the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement is to understand the nature of the BDS movement, and how it infiltrates, exploits and ultimately subjugates other Peoples and causes to the anti-Israel purpose. I have explored the numerous examples of such subjugation in my post, BDS is a Settler Colonial Ideology:
One of the foundational claims of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is that Israel is a settler colonial project without legitimacy. But as with the Black Lives Matters, LGBT, environmental and other movements, BDS proved damaging [to American Indian Studies]. BDS was capable of taking over the intellectual territory of other peoples, but it was not for the benefit of any movement other than BDS.

I reported yesterday how one of the most extreme BDS groups, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, was scheduled to hold an event on Capitol Hill on Friday. The U.S. Campaign is behind a lot of anti-Israel efforts, such as the demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention this summer. The event was first disclosed in an article in The Free Beacon, which noted that no Congressman would admit to sanctioning the event, which would have been necessary for the room to be reserved.