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Behind the Aegis

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(Jewish Group) Investigation finds Hillel improperly excluded from SFSU student fair


After five months of investigation, San Francisco State University officials have concluded that SF Hillel “was improperly excluded” from a campus civil rights information fair early this year.

In an email to J., a SFSU communications officer said the investigation found that, “SF Hillel was improperly excluded from the Know Your Rights Fair by the self-organized and self-appointed planning committee… The unfortunate decision by this group to exclude Hillel from the Fair represents an unacceptable breach of the University’s values, policies, and standards for inclusion and respect expected of all members of our University community.”

Concerned parties, including Hillel, were privately informed of the decision on July 21.

As detailed in a J. cover story on May 3, the dispute arose after Hillel was dropped from participating in Know Your Rights, an information fair held in February that was geared toward “vulnerable populations who may be feeling targeted in the new political climate,” according to the event web page, and which presented workshops on legal resources and immigrant rights, and tabling opportunities for student organizations.

Hillel had initially been invited to take part in the event, and staffers gladly accepted. Several days later, Hillel staffer Jason Steckler received an email: “Dear community organizer, thank you for your interest. We are at capacity.”



Anyone, I mean, anyone, surprised?!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Aug 5, 2017, 03:09 AM (2 replies)

Synagogue vandalized in Colorado Springs neighborhood

Source: KKTV

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A local synagogue was vandalized with messages of hate and anti-Semitism Thursday night. It happened at Temple Beit Torah, near Wahsatch and Monroe Street just north of downtown Colorado Springs.

Friday morning, neighbors near the synagogue, noticed some of their cars and homes had been spray painted overnight.

When Daniel Bushman saw this, he had to do something.


Colorado’s Anti-Defamation League or ADL says in 2014, they had reports of about 10 incidents. In 2017 so far, they've already seen more than 60.

Read more: http://www.kktv.com/content/news/Colorado-Springs-synagogue-vandalized--438630833.html
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Aug 5, 2017, 03:07 AM (13 replies)

(Jewish Group) Polish government condemns attack on Israeli soccer team


WARSAW: The Polish government said on Thursday it condemns the attack by a group of hooligans on members of the Israeli soccer club Hapoel Petah Tikva near Warsaw, which the Israeli embassy said was motivated by anti-Semitism.

Two people were injured late on Wednesday when a group of masked hooligans attacked the Israeli team after an exhibition game with the local MKS Ciechanow, some 74 km (46 miles) away from Warsaw.

“The Israeli embassy in Warsaw has been shocked and saddened by the news of another anti-Semitic incident,” Michal Sobelman, spokesman for the embassy, told Reuters.

“These ‘pseudo-fans’ not only harm good Polish-Israeli relations, but first of all they are damaging to Poland’s image abroad.”


Perhaps another Munich in the making is coming. My guess, it will be met with a huge global "meh".
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Aug 4, 2017, 03:48 AM (0 replies)

(Jewish Group) Jews and money the slur that refuses to die


The outrage directed against Kevin Myers’s depiction of women, Jews and money in the Irish edition of the Sunday Times was inevitable. At first glance, there appears little to learn from an easily recognised old-fashioned antisemitism, but dig deeper and its shabby prejudices help us to understand the language that is all too commonly used about Jews, Zionism and money, across the political spectrum.

Myers’s squalid example of blatant antisemitic language was swiftly dealt with but the premise of Jews and money and cunning remains rampant.

The antisemitic association of Jews with money is deeply embedded within British literature and culture. It is also a fundamental component of antisemitic conspiracy theories, including those that employ the word “Zionist” where the word “Jew” once appeared.

This goes back to Jews being blamed for selling out Jesus (money-changers in the temple, Judas’s 30 pieces of silver) and the notion of them bearing responsibility for his killing.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Aug 4, 2017, 03:45 AM (0 replies)

(Jewish Group) Googles New Hate Speech Algorithm Has a Problem With Jews


Don’t you just hate how vile some people are on the Internet? How easy it’s become to say horrible and hurtful things about other groups and individuals? How this tool that was supposed to spread knowledge, amity, and good cheer is being use to promulgate hate? No need to worry anymore: Google’s on it.

Earlier this year, Silicon Valley’s overlords introduced Perspective API, the latter being nerd-speak for Application Program Interface, or a set of tools for building software. The idea behind it is simple: because it’s impossible for an online publisher to manually monitor all the comments left on its website, Perspective will use advanced machine learning to help moderators track down comments that are likely to be “toxic.” Here’s how the company describes it: “The API uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation.”

That’s a strange sentiment. How do you measure the perceived impact of a conversation? And how can you tell if a conversation is good or bad? The answers, in Perspective’s case, are simple: machine learning works by giving computers access to vast databases, and letting them figure out the likely patterns. If a machine read all the cookbooks published in the English language in the last 100 years, say, it would be able to tell us interesting things about how we cook, like the peculiar fact that when we serve rice we’re very likely to serve beans as well. What can machines tell us about the way we converse and about what we may find offensive? That, of course, depends on what databases you let the machines learn. In Google’s case, the machines learned the comments sections of The New York Times, the Economist, and the Guardian.

What did the machines learn? Only one way to find out. I asked Perspective to rate the following sentiment: “Jews control the banks and the media.” This old chestnut, Perspective reported, had a 10 percent chance of being perceived as toxic.



Seems about right. History repeating.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Aug 2, 2017, 04:12 AM (1 replies)

(Jewish Group) A Dishonest Fallacy: Israels Occupation Isn't Why anti-Semitisms Spiking


Identifying anti-Semitism and working out how to challenge and overcome it is no easy task, but in more than two decades of work and study in this field I’ve come up with one simple rule: Don’t mimic the anti-Semites you're fighting.

At least, you’d think this is a simple rule; but British writer and activist Tony Klug fell straight into this trap when he wrote recently in Haaretz (If Israel's Occupation Doesn't End, Anti-Semitism Worldwide Will Rise to Sinister Heights) of an acquaintance who, he claimed, said to him: "I thought an anti-Semite was someone who hated Jews, not someone whom Jews hated.”

I first heard Klug use this line two months ago, at a conference on Zionism and anti-Semitism held in London by the Pears Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism. You can hear Klug make the comment here, followed by some laughter and applause. (Full disclosure: I am an Associate Research Fellow of the Pears Institute, on its Advisory Group and spoke at the same conference as Klug, but I had no role in the planning or organization of that conference).

However, this wasn’t the first time I’d heard the line itself, because for many years it was one of David Irving’s favorite jokes. He would tell it in his speeches to audiences of anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, and he usually got a much bigger laugh than Klug did.



This advice could apply to so many groups!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Aug 1, 2017, 04:53 AM (0 replies)

(Jewish Group) Israel Doesnt Cause Anti-Semitism. Anti-Semites Do


Just like short skirts don’t cause rape, Islam doesn’t cause terrorism, and dark skin doesn’t cause prejudice, Israel’s policies don’t cause anti-Semitism. Do you know what causes anti-Semitism? Anti-Semites.

With all due respect to fellow UK intellectual Tony Klug, I read his op-ed (If Israel's Occupation Doesn't End, Anti-Semitism Worldwide Will Rise to Sinister Heights) attributing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians since 1967 to a rise in global anti-Semitism with outrage.

And yes, that’s also what the occupation - which is morally and politically wrong, deprives Palestinians of human and political rights, and should be brought to just and peaceful end quickly - should provoke in all of us: outrage, protest, censure, intervention, outcry. There is certainly space for criticism, expressing concern, and outright condemnation of some of the strategies of the State of Israel without delegitimizing its sovereignty or crossing the line into anti-Semitism.

But there is a vast different between hating Israeli state policy (and recognizing that 50 years on, settlements and the occupation are seemingly indivisible from it) and hating Israelis - and all Jews. A chasm between causation and correlation when it comes to bigotry. And an ethical abyss, especially between motivation and justification for anti-Semitism. We hate many countries for what they do, but only with Israel and Jews is it somehow acceptable to hate a religion, ethnicity, and people for who they are.

As the wildly illiberal social media reaction my recent op-ed (If You Can't Say Israeli Settlers Are Civilians Too, You're Propping Up Apologists for Terror) betrayed, for many, the word “settler” is just a substitute for what it isn’t polite to write in public: Israeli or Jew (and probably a proxy for the pronoun they might prefer - “you".) When you buy into a logic that believes murdering settlers cleanses the sin of settler-colonialism, it only makes sense that you might also blame the victim too.



Seems more people need to come to this realization!!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Aug 1, 2017, 04:51 AM (1 replies)

(Jewish Group) This Is a Safe Space. No Jews Allowed.


Are you a Jew in Chicago who’d like to march for LGBTQ rights and gender equality? You’ll have to follow a few rules, helpfully laid out in recent weeks by the Chicago Dyke March and the Chicago SlutWalk.


Listed all at once, these guidelines may sound too blatantly anti-Semitic to be stated openly—yet they are, at present, the operating principles of two widely celebrated progressive movements in Chicago. Both the Dyke March and the SlutWalk allege that these rules are compelled by intersectionality, the theory that all forms of social oppression are linked. In reality, both groups are using intersectionality as a smokescreen for anti-Semitism, creating a litmus test that Jews must pass to be part of these movements. American progressives should reject this perversion of social justice. No coherent vision of equality can command the maltreatment of Jews.

The debate over intersectionality and anti-Semitism jumped into the headlines following last month’s Dyke March, an LGBTQ demonstration that avoids the corporate sponsorships and bland political undertones of mainstream Pride events. During the march, several organizers approached Jewish demonstrators who were carrying rainbow Star of David flags. The organizers asked whether these women held Zionist sympathies, their suspicions reportedly having been aroused when the flag-carriers allegedly replaced the word “Palestine” with “everywhere” in a group chant. (That chant: “From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go.) One woman, Laurel Grauer, reportedly responded, “I do care about the state of Israel but I also believe in a two-state solution and an independent Palestine.” The organizers then ejected the Jewish demonstrators.

During the outcry that followed, the Dyke March’s organizers scrambled to formulate principles that would justify this action. In a series of statements, they explained that “Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology”; that many people “see the visuals of the flag as a threat, so we don’t want anything in the [Dyke March] space that can inadvertently or advertently express Zionism”; and that only “anti-Zionist” Jews are “welcome at Dyke March.”

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jul 31, 2017, 03:15 AM (2 replies)

(Jewish Group) 'Good Jew' or 'Bad Jew'? How U.S. progressive activists police Jewish participation



For instance, I’ve learned that it’s insulting to generalize feelings, thoughts, and behaviors to a whole group. I’ve learned that, to challenge oppression, it’s essential to center the voices of marginalized peoples. I’ve learned that challenging systems of oppression requires us to measure "impact versus intent", that words informed by racism and sexism can create psychic pain even when the speaker doesn’t intend them that way. I’ve learned that those in privileged positions need to honor the lived experiences of marginalized people, rather than challenging or invalidating those experiences. I’ve learned that being part of the solution means receiving difficult feedback as a gift.

But a funny thing happened on the way to our collective liberation. We seem to have left out the Jews.


For instance, anti-oppression principles teach us not to generalize the behaviors of one person to a whole group. But I have stepped off of more than one stage - speaking against the harassment of immigrants or the extrajudicial killings of people of color - only to be confronted by a stranger demanding to know "my thoughts on Palestine." As if every Jews bears the guilt of any and all Israeli injustices against Palestine.


Unjust actions of the State of Israel, like any state, require scrutiny and, when appropriate, condemnation. I have joined voices, both Jewish and non-Jewish, that have criticized Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. But for many of my fellow justice advocates, the message to Jews boils down to a binary: either anti-Zionism or the door.


If white people don’t get to tell people of color the right way to fight for liberation, if cis and straight people don’t get to tell queer folks which expressions of gender and sexuality are "appropriate," then it follows that non-Jews don’t get to tell Jews what symbols and messages are in bounds and which are out of bounds.


Great article!!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jul 31, 2017, 03:05 AM (4 replies)

Is the Queer Community Eating Its Own (Again)?

In my almost 50 years of LGBT activism, there has never been a time that worried me more about our struggle for equality than the current state of our movement. It shocks me to have to say that, since I was a member of New York’s Gay Liberation Front, the organization born from the ashes of Stonewall. We were the most dysfunctional organization to ever exist in the LGBT community. We fought among ourselves at every turn, and while we disagreed on almost everything, we managed to create a community that didn’t exist before. We nurtured it and celebrated it; we didn’t tear it apart.

In a time when corporate America and society in general are beginning to embrace diversity and inclusion, our community, which was born with those issues in our body politic, has reverted to words and actions that seem to turn us against ourselves.

There is no better way in illustrate this separation of insanity than Gilbert Baker’s rainbow flag. That flag, which was meant from its inception to represent unity of all peoples in our community, is now becoming a symbol of hate within our community. We’ve managed to weaponize against ourselves a flag that was meant to bring unity. It is splitting us apart on two major issues: race and anti-Semitism. It pains me to say those are issues we are still fighting in our community. Gilbert’s flag has become the punching bag for racist and anti-Semitic views.

Earlier this year the issue of racism in the community was raised in Philadelphia. It started with an age-old tradition of LGBT bars discriminately carding people at the door, along with a “dress code” that happened to exclude apparel that was most culturally relevant to the black and brown community. This is not a new act. It has gone on for years across the country.That action led to a citywide effort to examine and attempt to bring the community together. To boost that effort and show inclusion, a black and brown stripe were added to the city’s official rainbow flag. This caused a backlash. The line most heard from those opposed was “then there should be a white stripe.” The most diplomatic thing I can say about that is that it’s silly. It’s as silly as homophobes proclaiming after seeing a Gay Pride parade, “Why don’t we have a straight pride parade?" I’d actually call those who opposed the brown- and black-inclusionary flag the right wing of this community.


Answer: Without a doubt. No need to worry about homophobes when so many in our community are intent on destroying the community from within.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Jul 30, 2017, 03:06 AM (2 replies)
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