Covert Cash: What US universities Don’t Want You to Know about their Foreign Funding

The Clarion Project just released an important investigative report on foreign influence at U.S. universities. It was an honor to have our work at Zachor Legal Institute featured in this report.

How do we define ‘antisemitism’?

Earlier this month, 140 concerned organizations sent a letter to Facebook requesting that this leading online company fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism to accurately identify the anti-Semitism that proliferates throughout its social media platform.

The reasons that adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism specifically are so critical include:

  1. IHRA has become the international de facto standard for defining what is (and what is not) anti-Semitism, endorsed/adopted by more than 40 countries.
  2. IHRA relates to ages-old anti-Semitism directed at Jews, as well as modern anti-Semitism directed at Israel as a proxy for Jews.  On university campuses and in social media, it is the more modern anti-Israel variety that is so widespread.

The Facebook letter was part of the ongoing and intensified efforts to advocate for governmental institutions and social media companies to adopt IHRA.

We are starting to see results.  Shortly after receiving this letter, Facebook announced that it has strengthened its policy on treating identifying anti-Semitism, moving closer to the IHRA definition.

In the U.S., the State Department has adopted the IHRA definition.  Yet other governmental institutions and leading social media platforms have been reluctant to do the right thing and embrace the most accurate definition of anti-Semitism, thus shirking their civic responsibility to stop this discriminatory hatred from being propagated.

Therefore, it is instructive to examine the recent actions in the state of Florida, which can serve as a model within the United States for creating the appropriate state and local legal infrastructure for combating anti-Semitism.  This includes using IHRA as a guideline for definition as well as introducing provisions to penalize those guilty of spreading anti-Semitism in public schools and universities.

Last month, 8,000 Florida State students signed an online petition to remove their student senate president over social media posts described as anti-Jewish.  This prompted the university to pass a resolution combating anti-Semitism as defined by IHRA.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation last year mandating that discrimination against Jewish people must be treated the same as acts of racial discrimination in Florida’s public education institutions.  The definition for discrimination against Jews refers to the U.S. State Department definition, which is based upon IHRA.

Finally, at the federal level, President Trump signed an executive order combating anti-Semitism earlier this year specifying that the Title VI anti-discrimination provision of the Civil Rights Act is applicable to anti-Semitism and that IHRA should be considered when defining if an incident at a public school or university is anti-Semitic.

Governor DeSantis called Florida “the most Israel-friendly state in the country,” and he just may be right.  But beyond that, the state of Florida and Florida State University have adopted measures to define anti-Semitism correctly, taking measures to eliminate this hatred from public educational institutions.  Doing so actually doesn’t relate to Israel; rather, joining the international community in adopting the IHRA definition is the first step in enabling Jewish students to study and thrive in environments free of harassment and discrimination.

What is critical now is that other states and universities take notice and join the efforts to define anti-Semitism properly so that it can be identified and eradicated from our public institutions.  Equally important, the largest social media companies should finally begin to use the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism to enforce their internal regulations against hate content, making it more difficult for such postings to be propagated virally.

With such a concerted effort, we can finally push back against the anti-Semitism that continues to skyrocket throughout our country.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/08/how_do_we_define_antisemitism.html

Jewish Orgs, Israel Ministry Press Facebook to Stop Online Antisemitism

A coalition of nearly 130 Jewish and pro-Israel organizations from around the world has appealed to Facebook to step up enforcement against hate speech on its platform and has reached out to Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Orit Farkash-Hacohen to help lead the charge.

The coalition is urging the social media giant to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism at a time when they said online antisemitism is the most acute form of hate speech they experience today.

The coalition argues that this definition “provides an effective, neutral and nuanced tool to protect against incitement to hatred, inside and outside the social network.”

According to the group, community standards on Facebook and other social media platforms have failed to address the growing threat.

“Facebook’s Director of Content Policy Stakeholder Engagement, Peter Stern, shared in a webcast last May that Facebook did not have a robust policy aimed at combating online antisemitism,” a release put out by StopAntisemitism.org about the appeal explained. “While he described the usefulness of the IHRA working definition, he admitted that the company did not fully embrace it. More recently, in June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly committed to revising the company’s policies to fight hate speech.”

The group appealed to Farkash-Hacohen because they said that, “We need the State of Israel to stand with us.”

“I am pleased that more than 100 pro-Israel organizations have approached me to address this important issue,” Farkash-Hacohen said. “I welcome the initiative and call on more bodies and organizations to join the clear demand for change.”

Farkash-Hacohen is already a leader in the battle against growing online hatred.

Last May, just after she took up her new role, the minister asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend the account of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In his tweets, Khamenei had likened Israel to a cancerous tumor that must be destroyed – statements that violate Twitter’s policies. She said Twitter’s failure to suspend Khamenei’s account highlights the dual morality that the microblogging network follows.

Under Farkash-Hacohen’s guidance, the ministry formulated a proposed outline for dealing with the issue of hate speech on social media. The ministry is asking that the networks define clearer policies and then enforce them and that they better monitor their platforms.

“Social networks cannot be used as a wild space for antisemitism and harm to the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Farkash-Hacohen concluded.

Among the organizations that joined the call to action are StopAntisemitism.org, Zachor Legal Institute, NGO Monitor, Honest Reporting, Zionist Organization for America, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce, National Council of Young Israel, Jewish Policy Center and more.

“Hate speech and hate crimes are highly correlated,” stressed Zachor Legal president Marc Greendorfer. “There is no free pass to amplifying antisemitism. We’re not just fighting hate speech; we’re fighting for people’s safety.”

Original Jerusalem Post Article

Note to Social Media Companies: Antisemitism is Hate Content

 People get much of their news and information from social media. As such, it is refreshing to learn that the largest social-media companies have policies against hate speech on their popular platforms, and have taken it upon themselves to remove anti-LGBTQ, anti-black and Islamophobic content when they become aware of it.

Why then are they negligent in ensuring that discriminatory and hateful anti-Semitic speech is not removed as well?

As the frequency and levels of violence of anti-Semitic acts soar in the United States and throughout the world, we expect that social-media companies will do their part to remove this dangerous content from their platforms, and take stronger actions in the future to monitor and purge such hate speech of their own volition.

Zachor Legal Institute has recently sent letters to FacebookYouTube/Google and Twitter, updating them about anti-Semitic postings that are present on their popular platforms. These postings violate their own hate-speech regulations, and we have asked them to remove this content immediately. To date, we have received no response whatsoever from any of these companies.

Countries throughout the world are adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which includes both the age-old hatred targeting Jews, as well as the more modern venom aimed at Israel as a proxy for Jews.

The inclusion of the newer form of anti-Semitism targeting Israel is critical for the following reasons:

  • On university campuses where anti-Semitism is so prevalent, the primary form this takes is discrimination aimed at Israel and Jews who support Israel.
  • Anti-Semitism targeting Israel, rather than Jews directly, is more nefarious, as it is regularly claimed that the attacks are legitimate criticisms of Israel and often even disguised as Palestinian human-rights expressions, when in reality the organized movements targeting Israel openly admit that their goal is to eliminate Israel as a Jewish nation.

What the IHRA definition does is distinguish between legitimate criticisms of Israel that are protected free speech and expressions that cross the line into unprotected anti-Semitic hate speech. Adoption and implementation of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is as legitimate an anti-discrimination measure as the use of similar laws and regulations that prohibit other forms of discrimination, including LGBTQ and gender discrimination.

In the United States, the State Department has adopted the IHRA definition, and the recent Executive Order Combating Anti-Semitism instructs the Department of Education to consider IHRA when evaluating Title VI Civil Rights Act complaints of discrimination against federally funded academic institutions and programs.

What is critically missing is acceptance and enforcement in the online and technology sectors, where anti-Semitism is today most prevalent and spreads quickest. For instance, we referenced in our report “The New Anti-Semites” an ADL study that “reported 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets on Twitter in 2017 alone. This means that over the course of the study, throughout 2017, an average of 81,400 anti-Semitic tweets were generated per week.”

In our letters to the leading social-media companies, we identify specific content that violates their own internal hate-speech regulations using the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. Examples include comparing Israel’s legitimate reactions to Palestinian terror with the Nazi regime, as well as cases calling for Palestine from “(Jordan) River to (Mediterranean) Sea,” a code for the elimination of the State of Israel.

The United Nations is well-known for applying negative double standards in their treatment of Israel. We are concerned that social-media companies are applying a similar double standard as far as how they treat anti-Israel anti-Semitism compared to all other forms of hate content.

All of the tools are in place for social-media companies to accurately define, monitor and remove anti-Semitism from their platforms, and make the world a safer place. The only thing needed is the will of the online companies to do so.

Ron Machol is the COO of Zachor Legal Institute, an organization using the law and activism to combat antisemitism. He can be reached at ron@zachorlegal.org.

Link to JNS Article.

Groups on far-left, far-right co-opt Black Lives Matter movement to target Israel

Efforts to link police brutality in the United States with the Israel Defense Forces maintaining security against Palestinian attacks have flooded the Internet and been used as propaganda by the BDS movement.

 Groups on the far-right and far-left, including pro-Palestinian organizations with links to terrorism, have been engaged in a campaign to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement to target and delegitimize Israel.

“The cynical use of the Black Lives Matter by groups backed and controlled by foreign terror movements is nothing less than a repeat of the many other times that terror groups have used human shields to push their violence and hate,” Mark Greendorfer, president of the Zachor Legal Group, told JNS.

A “civil-rights movement (Black Lives Matter) has been hijacked by extremists to push an agenda focused on promoting hate, in the form of anti-Semitism, rather than seeking justice,” he said.

Last week, it was widely reported when several Jewish institutions were targeted during protests in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, which included vandalism to Jewish businesses and synagogues, such as Congregation Beth El, which was vandalized with graffiti stating “Free Palestine” and “F*** Israel.”

https://www.jns.org/groups-on-far-left-far-right-co-opt-black-lives-matter-moves-to-target-israel/

Anti-Semitism in US linked to BDS movement, new NGO-backed report finds

EXCLUSIVE — A new report, obtained Sunday by Fox News, has exposed what it called “unprecedented similarities between the BDS [The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement and far-right groups to propagate anti-Semitism in the United States.”

Original article here.

The 120-page report, titled “The New Anti-Semites,” is scheduled to be released on Monday and is backed by 23 Jewish and Christian American non-governmental organizations.

The report warned that “this bigotry does not end with the Jewish people; it threatens to dismantle American values and result in mass violence,” one of the report’s authors, StopAntiSemitism.org director Liora Rez, told Fox News.

Last week, in Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven Fulop said the shooting that unfolded at a kosher market was a “targeted attack,” in what he called an act of hate. Two shooters sparked a chaotic scene of gunfire; six people died, including a police officer, the shooters and three bystanders.

The shooters had been linked to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a militant group whose members believe they’re descendants of the ancient Israelites and who have been known to rail against white and Jewish people.

“What we are seeing is a phenomenon amongst all the radical movements, with BDS being one of the leaders, and making anti-Semitism mainstream to incite hate against Jews,” Rez said. “I think that the BDS movement has put anti-Semitism in the spotlight with a massive megaphone that they have been granted on college campuses. It basically opens the Pandora’s box.”

StopAntisemitism.org and the Zachor Legal Institute authored the report. The authors said the report detailed how the BDS movement “directly drives anti-Semitism and radicalizes public discourse in Western democracies,” documenting more than 100 examples in the United States and around the world.

Zachor Legal Institute founder Marc Greendorfer,  a co-author, told Fox News the research began two years ago. He said what prompted him to start putting together the report was his involvement in supporting state anti-BDS laws.

“We knew, because we have done other work, we had done research, where BDS was formed, how it was formed, who supported it, and what we found was that there was a very strong terror organization component to the founding and management of BDS,” Greendorfer told Fox News.

He said he then talked to other organizations and asked them if they had specific examples of BDS “both making very blatantly anti-Semitic statements and affiliating with hate groups.”

“All the groups consolidated their information and we prepared the report from that,” Greendorfer added.

The report uncovered “an increasingly public intellectual and philosophical alliance between the BDS movement and far-right groups,” according to the authors. They also said it “brings to light numerous incidents in which the anti-Semitic rhetoric used by far-right groups and white supremacist networks has been embraced by left-wing BDS leaders and activists.”

The report said the “delegitimization campaign” has been anti-Semitic, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA]: bigotry against Jewish people often used by the U.S. government and other governments.

“This report builds on the idea that BDS is backed by terror, but specifically it investigated the burgeoning ties between extreme left and extreme right anti-Semitism,” Greendorfer told Fox News. “We compiled an analysis of examples of anti-Semitism that has been spread over the years going all the way back to the Middle Ages, really, and to the Nazi regime and then anti-Israel activism once Israel was established as a state.”

The report said, “The BDS movement and its agenda against Israel is also being promoted by the more ‘mainstream’ and center-stage white supremacists of the United States.” One example: former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s “newfound support.”

It provided examples from Duke’s Twitter account.

“For the first time we are seeing David Duke changing his vocabulary. Rather than using ‘Jews,’ he is spotlighting ‘Israel’ and ‘Zionism.’ And, in my opinion, this is a direct result of the radical BDS movement coming into play,” Rez told Fox News.

Greendorfer said the report reached two major conclusions.

“The groups today that spread anti-Semitism are using the same style, message and sometimes even images that have historically been used by anti-Semites,” Greendorfer said. “The second part is the intersection of the extreme left and the extreme right, that they are now united in spreading these messages.”

He added, “There is a terrorist element behind this and that’s what we are trying to expose and now the left and right are uniting in anti-Semitism.”

Rez said, “For far too long, BDS has been able to masquerade as a social justice movement in America, while spreading vile Jew-hatred and inciting hate and violence.” She added, “By exposing the history, methods, and networks of the new anti-Semites, we are empowering the American people to effectively combat it.”

The report is scheduled to be released five days after President Trump signed an executive order targeting anti-Semitism on college campuses. The order broadened the federal government’s definition of anti-Semitism to include the IHRA’s definition, which can include criticism of Israel, and instructed it to be used in enforcing laws against discrimination on college campuses under Title VI.

Under the order, the Department of Education could withhold funding from schools that it found in violation of Title VI.

“The president did exactly what this report was encouraging,” Greendorfer told Fox News. He also said Trump “did exactly what he had hoped for, but it would be much more comprehensive if Congress also acted.”

The report called on federal and state governments to incorporate the IHRA’s definition into “clear, enforceable laws.”

These measures would include increased social and academic education on modern anti-Semitism and legislation “preventing social media sites from serving as a platform for anti-Semites to spread their hatred,” according to the report’s authors.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee, which, according to its website, is the coalition of Palestinian civil society organizations that leads and supports the BDS movement, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

We Urgently Need State Laws Against Anti-Semitism

 According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), anti-Semitic acts in the United States have skyrocketed, doubling from 2015 to 2018 (1,879 incidents). The high-profile anti-Semitic violence in New York during the summer is an indicator that things may be getting even worse.

To counter this disturbing chain of events, two states, South Carolina and Florida, have recently passed laws that define and accordingly regulate anti-Semitic crime and discrimination in the state’s public education system. These laws are critical in stemming the rising trend of anti-Semitic incidents throughout the United States.

This legislation uses a definition of anti-Semitism similar to that of the U.S. Departments of State and Education and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. A consistent and comprehensive definition is critical to success in these efforts, encompassing not only the age-old demonization of Jews but also the more contemporary anti-Israel diatribes, including delegitimizing Israel and/or holding Israel to a double standard.

It is crucial to note that the authors do not define criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic, as long as the criticism is similar to that leveled against other countries.

These state laws use the agreed upon definition of anti-Semitism to target one particular environment where such incidents are most prevalent: public schools and universities.

State laws defining and combating anti-Semitism close an often-exploited loophole whereby anti-Israel expressions are used to convey an anti-Jewish message. The ever-present dilemma faced by university presidents is whether to acknowledge anti-Semitism or downplay it as a matter of protected criticism of Israel.

Too often, the subjective whims and self-interests of university administrations become operative factors. Sadly, the majority of cases are thus swept under the table, with no actions taken to penalize the offenders and stop such events from reoccurring, and eventually leading to an atmosphere of fear, intimidation and harassment for Jewish students.

Pro-Israel groups throughout the country are demanding that universities and state governments adopt better definitional tools for addressing anti-Semitic crime and discrimination.

Florida and South Carolina have decided to take legislative action to define anti-Semitism, thereby protecting students and sending a strong message of public policy and moral clarity.

Of course, anti-Semitism is a nation-wide phenomenon, and such laws are needed as soon as possible in other states as well.

For instance, a complaint was made to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights against UCLA in California for hosting the Students for Justice in Palestine national conference, in which anti-Semitic statements and activities occurred, creating a hostile atmosphere for Jewish and pro-Israel students. The lack of the state’s preparedness to deal with such an urgent problem highlights the wisdom of Florida and South Carolina’s proactive approach.

K-12 grade schools are by no means immune to the specter of anti-Semitism. There was a recent high-profile case in California where an ethnic-studies K-12 curriculum was submitted with a strong anti-Israel bias. In this case, public uproar caused the curriculum to be rejected. Nonetheless, such instances have occurred in a variety of states’ school districts in the past years, and without strong state laws in place, the ability to defeat such measures is much more difficult than it needs to be.

To make matters even more complicated, pro-Palestinian and certain anti-Semitic groups on campus are suspected of being funded by foreign sources. A court case in Texas is now aimed at determining whether the tens of millions of dollars that Qatar has transferred to Texas A&M are being used to finance anti-Semitic/anti-Israel groups on campus. State anti-Semitism laws would provide additional tools to stop foreign governments from supporting campus activity that threatens student safety and rights.

Anti-Semitism, whether home-grown or imported from abroad, is an age-old scourge. The more tools that states and universities have available to combat it, the more able we will all be to study, work and simply live in environments free of discrimination and intimidation.

Ron Machol is the Chief Operating Officer of Zachor Legal Institute.

Zachor Legal Institute Working to Stop Terror Recruitment on University Campuses

Groups with ties to foreign terror organizations were recently found to be recruiting students on U.S college campuses, including from Duke University. These groups are sending American students to areas in the Middle East controlled by the designated terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) for the purpose of radicalization. Examples of these recruitment events are described below. These incidents were documented by the Haym Salomon Center.

Zachor Legal Institute has informed the North Carolina Attorney General’s office of this matter and outlined the potential violations of law involved, including providing material support to terror organizations as part of a racketeering enterprise in violation of North Carolina’s “RICO” statute.

Providing material support, including non-violent organizational assistance and advocacy in support of terror organizations is prohibited by federal law.

Zachor believes that these activities also violate North Carolina law. In particular, under North Carolina’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. §75D), racketeering includes any activity that is described in 18 U.S.C. 1961(1) (see N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75D-3(c)(2)). One of the federal crimes under 18 U.S.C. 1961(1) that is incorporated into North Carolina’s RICO Act is 18 U.S.C. 2339B, providing material support to terrorist organizations. Zachor believes that the activities of the organizations operating on American campuses to facilitate meetings between students and terror groups overseas constitute, among other things, the provision of material support to designated terror organizations under 18 U.S.C. 2339B in violation of federal law and are thus subject to prosecution by the Attorney General’s office under the North Carolina RICO Act.

Students recruited at these events, such as the ones described here, are likely unaware that they are being culled by radical operatives to travel overseas to train with terrorists for the purpose of their own transformation. Also left in the dark about on-campus terror recruitment are well-meaning parents who entrust college administrators to safeguard their children. Campus anti-Israel groups are now going beyond inciting hate – they appear to be providing material support to foreign terror organizations.

April 3, 2019 Event at Duke University:
On April 3, 2019, during “Israel Apartheid Week” at Duke University, groups known as Eyewitness Palestine (formerly Interfaith Peace Builders) and Coalition For Peace With Justice made presentations at events that were sponsored by the campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine and promoted via Duke online groups. At this event, a panel of students and other delegates spoke at “Movements for Black Palestinian Lives” where the students acknowledged that they had extensive, in-home meetings with representatives of groups that have been designated as foreign terror organizations by the United States government, including the PFLP.

Students were invited to travel to the Middle East to meet with leaders of terror groups and informed that student trips to meet with representatives of designated foreign terror groups are paid for by Coalition for Peace with Justice. This group has actively recruited students for such trips at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and at North Carolina Central University.

April 5, 2019 Event at Duke University:
The Duke University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, together with representatives from Eyewitness Palestine and Palestinian Youth Movement, held the final event for Duke’s “Israel Apartheid Week.” During the presentation, the Palestinian Youth Movement recruiter falsely claimed that Israel targets black people for death and torture. Students were urged to organize with other extreme movements and the recruiter compared the anti-Israel movement today with the radical Black Panther and the Palestinian Liberation Organization movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Specific calls to violence included comparisons of anti-Israel activism on campuses to Palestinian terror groups and lauding the Palestine Liberation Organization’s violent “resistance” against Israel that has resulted in the deaths of innocent Americans and Israelis. The recruitment event ended with a video presentation promoting Eyewitness Palestine trips and the distribution of applications for future delegations.

Summary of Issues:
One of the groups recruiting North Carolina college students to travel overseas explicitly requires participants to advocate on behalf of the foreign terror organizations that they have met with overseas when they return to the United States. Other similar groups are believed to advocate in North Carolina on behalf of terror groups for initiatives such as blocking law enforcement cooperation between local police and their Israeli counterparts.

These terror-recruitment activities put North Carolina students, and the safety of the public, at risk. Also, these activities aid foreign terror organizations, violating federal and state laws. In fact, the United States Department of Education recently sent inquiries to several large American universities to determine whether the universities have properly screened foreign groups on campus for ties to terror – checking for violations of the federal prohibition on providing material support to terror.

Ron Machol, COO of Zachor, noted “this is a clear case of in-your-face glorifying and recruitment of terrorist groups directly on campuses. Rather than offer safe environments, universities are inviting groups with dangerous agendas to masquerade as civil rights organizations, using public funding to entice students to make contact and then subsequently advocate for radical causes contrary to US public interests. This issue urgently needs to be highlighted and stopped.”

We urge the appropriate authorities to begin an investigation into the terror-recruitment operation described above taking place on North Carolina campuses.

About Zachor Legal Institute:
Zachor Legal Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, uses the law to defend against anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel, with a focus on opposing BDS. To learn more, please visit http://www.zachorlegal.org/.

Zachor Legal Institute Submits Amicus Brief in Support of State of Arkansas’s Anti-Discrimination Law at 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

Press Release – For Immediate Release
June 6, 2019

Media Contact:
Ron Machol
ron@zachorlegal.org

 

Zachor Legal Institute Submits Amicus Brief in Support of State of Arkansas’s Anti-Discrimination Law  at 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

JUNE 6, 2019

(Red Level, AL) – Zachor Legal Institute submitted its amicus brief to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the State of Arkansas’ anti-discrimination (anti-BDS) law, Act 710.  In earlier proceedings, the district court in Arkansas followed the legal theories set out in Zachor’s founder Marc Greendorfer’s law review articles to uphold the law and Zachor urges the Eighth Circuit to affirm the lower court’s order.

The challenge to the Arkansas law is being led by the ACLU and supported by a number of notoriously anti-Semitic organizations, including one group that was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing prosecution and a number of others which Zachor alleges have direct ties to foreign terror organizations.  These parties make the ludicrous claim that anti-Semitism is not discrimination and seek the imprimatur of federal courts to continue their bigotry against Jews.

Zachor’s brief explores the history of the so-called “BDS” (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) movement and details how BDS was formed by, and functions to support the agenda of, a coalition that includes groups designated by the United States government as foreign terror organizations.  Zachor’s brief further reminds the judges of the Eighth Circuit that discriminatory boycotts of Jews can be traced back thousands of years and BDS is simply the latest incarnation of that hate-filled ideology.  Act 710 doesn’t prevent speech critical of Israel, but it does allow the state of Arkansas to not be a financial party to discriminatory acts and ideologies.

Zachor’s brief also explains that BDS, in addition to being a front for foreign terror organizations, is a movement that seeks to disenfranchise Jews of their right to self-determination in their historic homeland.  Arkansas, and other states with anti-discrimination laws, have an obligation to withhold financial support for those who choose to engage in discriminatory acts.

Under globally accepted definitions, BDS is raw anti-Semitism and thus a form of racial and national origin discrimination.  Zachor argues in its brief that Arkansas’ law is a valid exercise of state powers to keep the state from funding anti-Semitism and is the type of law that the ACLU has supported as recently as last year.  Zachor’s brief shows that the ACLU’s arguments that purport to distinguish Act 710 from all other anti-discrimination laws hinge on the discredited claim that there is not a Jewish nation, a line of argument that is nothing less than science and history denial.  If the ACLU’s arguments are accepted, all other state anti-discrimination laws that protect minority populations will necessarily have to be struck down as well.

Marc Greendorfer, President of Zachor, described the brief as “part history lesson, part cautionary tale about the risks of ignoring history.”  Greendorfer further explained that “while anti-Semites like to accuse Israel of being an apartheid state, the truth is that BDS is an apartheid movement that seeks to strip Jews and other minority populations in the Middle East of the right to their own homeland.  Indeed, if one looks at the founding charter of BDS, as well as the words and acts of its adherents, it’s clear that the goal of BDS is to ethnically cleanse the Middle East of Jews, a violation of international law and human rights norms facing Christians throughout the Middle East as well.  If BDS succeeds in its goals, the only country on Earth that exists to protect Jews and allow them to live securely will be eliminated and replaced by yet another Arab country where Jews, Christians and other minority groups are second class citizens.”

About Zachor Legal Institute: Zachor Legal Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, uses the law to defend against anti-Semitism, with a focus on opposing BDS. To learn more, please visit www.zachorlegal.org.

 

SUPPORT ZACHOR LEGAL INSTITUTE:

Zachor Legal Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

 

Thwarting ‘Terrorists in Suits’ in the Israel Boycott – Washington Times

– – Tuesday, May 21, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Israeli government earlier this year released an alarming report, “Terrorists in Suits” on the campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, known as the BDS movement. The report documents the movement’s significant and widespread connections to designated terrorist organizations, and demonstrates that rather than the feel-good civil rights campaign described as such by its founders and decision-makers, BDS is actually a front for terror.

As the report indicates, the primary goal of BDS, along with the terrorist groups that supply them directly with financial resources and personnel, is the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

For anyone still deciding whether to support a boycott of Israel, understanding the incestuous relationships between terrorist organizations and BDS may give you cause to reconsider the motivations of this movement.

A terrorist connection also opens the door for the federal government to take legal action against this discriminatory organization forcing its foreign policy on America.

Twenty-six states already have anti-BDS legislation on the books, distancing themselves from commercial relationships with those that advocate for an anti-Israel boycott. This is a defensive tactic — a way to publicly oppose doing business with a movement that brazenly violates anti-discrimination principles. However, anti-BDS laws do not target the source of BDS, those that hide in the background, providing the financing and ultimately calling the shots.

With the exposure of the relationship between BDS and designated terror organizations, a new legal strategy is possible to hit the movement where it really hurts.

That is, using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to penalize BDS movement founders with ties to terrorism.

RICO was enacted to target mafia bosses, offering the U.S. government a way to hold organized criminal kingpins responsible for crimes committed by their underlings but initiated by the leader’s instructions.

In the ensuing years, RICO has been used not only against organized criminals, but also against a variety of organizations in which the leadership keeps a distance from those in their enterprises that are committing illegal acts.

The BDS movement is an ideal structure for using RICO prosecution, as laid out in a scholarly legal article: “The BDS Movement: That Which We Call a Foreign Boycott, by Any Other Name, Is Still Illegal” (pages 95-120).

RICO enables the government to hold accountable the BDS leaders that are managing the movement. These individuals and groups with associations to terrorist organizations would otherwise be free from legal responsibility, since rather than participating directly in criminal activity, they are directing others to perform their bidding. They are a bridge between terrorism and those on the ground in the U.S. and other countries spouting anti-Israel hate.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, Islamic terror attacks against the United States, RICO was amended to broaden its scope significantly and to provide the government with a wide-ranging weapon against global terrorist organizations.

RICO enables criminal prosecutions initiated by either the federal government or states, with penalties including prison time and/or significant monetary fines. In addition, RICO civil cases can be brought by the government or a private party (company/individual) redressing losses due to BDS-advocated actions.

The Zachor Legal Institute (where I am COO) has submitted a detailed legal analysis and evidentiary support to the Department of Justice on this very topic. The request outlines the RICO case against BDS, along with detailing BDS ties to terrorism, and asks the Department of Justice to open an investigation. Only with the full weight of the government can all those truly responsible for BDS be held criminally liable.

In the meantime, because many states have RICO laws similar to those of the federal government, I expect that a state will soon decide to initiate RICO criminal proceedings against a BDS organization with terrorist ties in their state. In addition, companies that have experienced financial loss due to BDS can be expected to bring civil RICO cases against terror-associated BDS affiliates responsible for that loss.

With the support of the public and their representatives in government, I believe that before the end of 2019, we will see the first case of a BDS organization with ties to terrorism in court, having to answer for promoting terror and hate in the United States. Certainly governments and organizations supporting BDS will financially reward convicted supporters of terror, as is their normal mode of operation, but let’s see how these terrorist financiers and leaders hold up in jail. I have doubts whether terrorists in suits will transition well into prison garb.

• Ron Machol is the chief operating officer of the Zachor Legal Institute, a legal think tank.  He can be reached at ron@zachorlegal.org

Originally published in the Washington Times: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/may/21/thwarting-terrorists-in-suits-in-the-israel-boycot/.