American Anthropological Association Rejects Israel Boycott in Close Vote - Elizabeth Redden (Inside Higher Ed)
Members of the American Anthropological Association have narrowly voted to reject a resolution calling on the group to boycott Israeli academic institutions in a 2,423-2,384 vote, it was announced Tuesday.
The vote contrasted sharply with a vote in favor of an academic boycott at the association's annual meeting in November.
Nevertheless, the AAA still plans to issue a statement of censure of the Israeli government. "There is disagreement around the academic boycott, but there is a general consensus on the rest," said AAA president Alisse Waterston.
BDS Fight Is Shifting from Campuses and Churches to Statehouses - Debra Nussbaum Cohen (Ha'aretz)
Efforts to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement are rapidly shifting from college campuses to statehouses, where a growing number of legislatures are considering laws to ban any company that boycotts Israel from winning government contracts or investments.
At least 20 states so far have taken up the issue and have passed laws or are considering doing so. The legislation has the backing of a wide swath of pro-Israel organizations.
Five Jordanian Intelligence Officers Killed in Attack near Amman (Al Jazeera)
Five Jordanian intelligence officers were killed in a terrorist attack on a security office outside the Al Baqa'a Palestinian refugee camp close to Amman on Monday.
Who Were the 1948 Arab Refugees? - Yoram Ettinger (Israel Hayom)
Contrary to conventional wisdom, most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine - and most of the 320,000 1948 Arab refugees - were migrant workers and descendants of 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from across the Arab world.
Thus, between 1880 and 1919, Haifa's Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers.
The eruption of World War II accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate's military and its civilian authorities.
Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire, and then by the British Mandate, to work on major civilian and military infrastructure projects.
Legal and illegal Arab migrants were also attracted by economic growth generated by the Jewish community starting in 1882.
Thus, Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; and most of the initial Arab refugees were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and their own collaboration with the invasion.
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- Saudi Arabia Expands Its Anti-Iran Strategy Beyond the Middle East - Angus McDowall
Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia is expanding its confrontation with Iran to Africa, Asia and Latin America, no longer relying on Western allies to smother Tehran's ambitions outside the Arab world. The Saudis are using Muslim networks to push states into cutting off contacts with Iran, including by creating an Islamic Coalition against terrorism last November.
"This new coalition is basically to get worldwide Islamic support for Saudi Arabia to lead the fight against terrorism and take the flag from Iran," said Mustafa Alani, an Iraqi security expert with close ties to the Saudi interior ministry. Some African countries have followed many Arab League states in recent months in cutting diplomatic ties with Iran. In January, Sudan cut off ties with Tehran, followed by Djibouti and Somalia. (Reuters)
- Islamic State Members from the West Seek Help Getting Home - Maria Abi-Habib
Disenchanted Islamic State members recruited from the West have increasingly been contacting their governments and asking for help in getting home, according to diplomats and a Syrian network that aids defectors. Some are fighters and others are people who were enticed to move to the caliphate and now find themselves in dire straits. "There are a lot of French people who are coming back," said France's national intelligence coordinator, Didier le Bret. "They've got a feeling it's not going that well."
Westerners who joined Islamic State once enjoyed not only power and social status but also free food, housing and even cars. But that gave way to cowering in basements during air raids, dwindling food stocks and scant medical care. Islamic State militants have threatened to execute people who try to escape and paraded the severed heads of would-be defectors as a warning. (Wall Street Journal)
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- NASA Hopes to Reach Mars in 2030s with Israel's Help, Space Agency's Administrator Says - Menachem Rephun
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, in Israel to receive an honorary doctorate from Bar-Ilan University on Tuesday, said Monday that NASA hopes to reach Mars in the 2030s and looks forward to working with Israel, whose "incredibly innovative people on the cutting edge of technology" can help with the mission. "We are excited about ongoing relations with the Israel Space Agency and what we can do together on the International Space Station," said Bolden, who himself made four trips into space as an astronaut.
- U.S. Army Selects Israeli System to Protect APCs - Yaakov Lappin
The U.S. Army has chosen Israel Military Industries' Iron Fist as an active protection system for its armored personnel carriers. The system to be installed on APC rooftops will use a combination of a radar and an electro-optical sensor to detect and intercept a range of incoming missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, IMI corporate vice president of marketing Avinoam Zafir said.
The system can jam threats from missiles that have advanced guidance systems and cause them to fall harmlessly to the ground. "Dumb" weapons, such as RPGs, are destroyed using interceptors, small warheads that explode near the incoming threat, destroying it with a shock wave at a safe distance from the defended APC.
- Israel Teams with Canada on Long-Range Radar
Israel Aerospace Industries' ELTA Systems and Canada's Rheinmetall have teamed to provide the state-of-the-art, operationally proven MF-STAR radar to the Canadian Navy for long-range air and surface surveillance and tracking. The MF-STAR radar is based on the same radar technology as the MRR radar used in Israel's "Iron Dome" anti-missile defense system.
- The French Peace Initiative - Zalman Shoval
President Francois Hollande told the Paris peace conference on Friday, "We are no longer in the situation of 1993, with the Oslo Accords....We are in 2016, with the war in Syria, with the war in Iraq, with terrorism and fundamentalism." This statement proves that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn't the main, and certainly not the only, contributing factor to Middle East instability. It's the chaos spreading in the region due to Islamic fundamentalism, the collapse of the states formed under Sykes-Picot, and the ascent of Iran.
One gets the clear impression that the Americans weren't too wild about the meeting, as evidenced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry refusing to do anything but sign off on a general, noncommittal statement. The absence of the German, British, and Russian foreign ministers was also a sign of their country's reservations about the French initiative.
The Palestinians, of course, were pleased with the Paris meeting. The very fact that the conference took place and the chance that it might have a sequel plays into their game of internationalizing the conflict as much as possible without direct negotiations with Israel and without concessions or compromise on their part. The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S.
- Palestinian BDS Activist Complains: Official Arab Normalization with Israel Has Reached Critical Proportions
BDS activist Omar Barghouti told the Lebanese channel Palestine Today TV on April 10: "Unfortunately, the official Arab and even Palestinian normalization [with Israel] is on the rise. We hold the official Palestinian circles primarily responsible for this, because they are the gateway to Arab-Israeli normalization. If official Palestinian normalization had not reached this level, nobody would have dared to host Israeli delegations in Saudi Arabia, sports delegations in Qatar, trade delegations in the UAE, and delegations in Bahrain, Morocco, and so on. Official Arab normalization has reached critical proportions." (MEMRI-TV)
- Defending the University from BDS - Andrew Pessin
The Judicial Board at Montreal's McGill University ruled last Tuesday that resolutions affirming the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel violate the constitution and equity policy of its student government, the Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU). That means that McGill, whose campus has in the past 18 months endured three consecutive BDS campaigns and votes, all of which ultimately failed, will finally be able to return full-time to its proper business.
The Judicial Board noted that SSMU's mission is to "facilitate communication and interaction between all students," to refrain from discrimination on the basis of "race, national or ethnic origin...[or] religion" and to create "an 'anti-oppressive' atmosphere where all of its membership feels included." "McGill is first and foremost a university, a place of knowledge and intellectual growth - a fact that is often forgotten....[Our student government] cannot be the venue for a proxy war."
This is not about defending Israel. Criticize Israel all you want.
It is about defending the university.
The writer is Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College.
Islamic Fear of Zionism Is Irrational - Adnan Oktar (Jerusalem Post)
- Nationalism spread across the world with the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, seeking to unite those of the same cultural background and the same language. However, among the hundreds of nationalist liberation movements, one is invariably singled out and placed at the center of sinister conspiracy theories - Zionism - which aspired to reunite and emancipate the Jewish people scattered around the globe.
- Today, anti-Israelism under the guise of anti-Zionism has become the main expression of anti-Semitism, of enmity to Jews. An entire nation is targeted for verbal or physical violence simply because of their Jewish nationality. Despite the presence of 22 Arab countries, only the desire of the Jewish people to establish its own sovereign state has been subject to fierce opposition.
- The claim of some Muslims that "they fight against the Jewish people in the name of the Koran" is an act of ignorance and in violation of the Koran since God explicitly grants the Jewish people the right to live in the Holy Land: "Remember when Moses said to his people, 'My people! Remember God's blessing to you when He appointed Prophets among you and appointed kings for you, and gave you what He had not given to anyone else in all the worlds. My people! Enter the Holy Land which God has ordained for you.'" (Koran 5:20-21).
- God informs us in the Koran that the Jewish people shall gather and live in these lands in the End Times: "We said to the Children of Israel after that, 'Dwell in the land and, when the promise of the hereafter comes, We will gather you as a mingled crowd.'" (Koran 17:104).
- When the Arab-Muslim world recognizes Israel's right to exist as an independent and sovereign state, the century-long bloodshed will cease. Moreover, once the Arab world decides to acknowledge Israel as a neighbor, it can focus on developing the well-being of the Palestinian people, and of the other Arab peoples doing far less well than the Palestinians, too.
The writer is a Turkish Muslim TV commentator.
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