fbpx
Thursday, October 29, 2020

ADL Condemns Benedictine SJP Member for Urging Holocaust Survivor to Denounce Israel

Print This Article

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt condemned a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Benedictine University for asking a Holocaust survivor to denounce the Israeli government’s “ethnic cleansing.”

The member Ayah Ali asked Grinnell College Religious Studies Professor Dr. Harold Kasimow during his Oct. 24 speech on campus, “Do you support or do you condemn the establishment of the Zionist Israeli state, and whether it’s okay to exile and completely — the complete ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, the way that the Jewish people were exiled and ethnically cleansed?”

Kasimow said that while he was displeased with the current Israeli government, he believes that both sides need to work together to achieve peace. He then added, “Yes, I think Israel should exist.”

Ali asked again, “Do you support or condemn the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people? Because the establishment of the Israeli state and the idea of Zionism ties back to the right of the Israeli state at any cost, and that cost is the Palestinian people.” 

She then said, “I am the result of experiences that you have been through. I am a survivor of the Intifada” before adding that she was “disappointed” that he’s remaining “neutral” on the matter.

Kasimow replied that he doesn’t “have enough knowledge” to give her a straight answer but said that there’s blame on both sides on the conflict and he hopes that there will be a two-state solution.

Ali then said she was “very hurt” at Kasimow’s answer and walked out of the speech.

Greenblatt tweeted, “To demand this elderly Holocaust survivor condemn Israel is outrageous & deeply offensive. Yet another example of SJP’s anti-Semitic practice of marginalizing Jews and reducing their identity to their connection to Israel.”

Other Jewish groups weighed in.

“Not that we needed it but here’s the latest proof that the anti-Israelism plaguing universities is anti-Semitism, plain and simple,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted. “ Can @NationalSJP explain how demanding that an American Holocaust survivor answer for the actions of Israel’s [government] does a damn thing for Palestinians?”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center similarly tweeted, “Fed a steady diet of Jew-hatred, these young Palestinian students enjoy harassing a Nazi Holocaust survivor – who politely retorted the hate.”

StandWithUs CEO and Co-Founder Roz Rothstein, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, said in a statement to the Journal, “SJP has a long record of hijacking and exploiting the narratives of various marginalized communities. Now they’ve taken it a step further by disrespecting and harassing a Holocaust survivor, and derailing an event that had nothing to do with them. Universities should call out SJP for what it is: a hate group that tries to use every platform as an opportunity to dehumanize Israelis and spread misinformation and anti-Semitism.”     

A university spokesperson said in a statement to the Journal, “Benedictine University does not support nor tolerate speech that is hateful to any group. As an inclusive, Catholic, and Benedictine institution of higher learning, we provide a values-based education that revolves around developing the whole person. This includes learning that being respectful and tolerant of groups and individuals is a core value each world citizen must support.”

The statement added that they “expect students, faculty, staff, and guests to adhere to the Benedictine values upon which we were founded – including hospitality, community, and love of Christ and neighbor. We thank Dr. Kasimow for joining us at Benedictine and sharing his experiences with our community.”

SJP Bendictine defended Ali in a Twitter thread. “If we are against oppression, we need to be against ALL oppression, and if Mr. Kasimow stands against ethnic cleansing, then it is expected that he be against ALL ethnic cleansing, and he has failed to apply his same principles to the victims of the Palestinian Occupation,” they tweeted.

Kasimow and his family hid from the Nazis in Lithuania from 1942 to 1949 until the family successfully escaped to New York. Kasimow was three years old when the Nazis took control of Lithuania in 1941.

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Pandemic Times Episode 100: Who’s Better for Israel, Trump or Biden?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. A conversation with political editor Shmuel Rosner on the upcoming U.S election, a new survey on anti-Semitism...

Trump’s Jewish Outreach Point Man Makes His Pitch

Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump and co-chair of Jewish Voices for Trump, shared the Trump campaign’s pitch to the Jewish...

Neighbors – a poem for Torah portion Lech Lecha

Please let there be no quarrel between me and between you… Please part from me; if left, I will go right, and if ...

Amal and George Clooney Honored at Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance 2020 Gala

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance honored Amal and George Clooney with the 2020 Humanitarian Award at its virtual gala on Oct. 28.  Hosted...

Armenia’s deadly attacks on Azerbaijani civilians must stop

It is difficult to put into words how I am feeling today, a day that follows several weeks of indiscriminate shelling of bullets and...

Why I Get Out the Vote for My Patients

My family and my career would not be affected much by the outcome of an election. What gets me out and knocking on doors are the healthcare needs of my own patients and millions like them across the country.

Digital Platform Blends Technology and Spirituality for Easy Online Services

In 2011, Rabbi Daniel Medwin had an idea to digitize prayerbooks and project them onto a screen using a PowerPoint slideshow format. He never...

Adherents to Faith-Based Diplomacy See Political Boost for Israel

The Media Line: Josh Reinstein is the author of Titus, Trump and the Triumph of Israel, a new book just out on the power of...

U.K. Labour Party Suspends Jeremy Corbyn Over Anti-Semitism Report

The United Kingdom’s Labour Party suspended former party leader Jeremy Corbyn on October 29 following the release of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s...

60 Years of Voting, 60 Years of the American Way

This year marks the 17th presidential election in which my vote will be counted. The first was the year of Kennedy versus Nixon — 1960. It was a big year for me. I became a wife. I began my career as an educator. I turned 21. And I voted.

Culture

Amal and George Clooney Honored at Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance 2020 Gala

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance honored Amal and George Clooney with the 2020 Humanitarian Award at its virtual gala on Oct. 28.  Hosted...

Digital Platform Blends Technology and Spirituality for Easy Online Services

In 2011, Rabbi Daniel Medwin had an idea to digitize prayerbooks and project them onto a screen using a PowerPoint slideshow format. He never...

Oscar Isaac to Play Jewish Superhero

Oscar Isaac, who portrayed an Israeli Mossad agent in “Operation Finale” in 2018, will star in the Disney+ series “Moon Knight” as a Jewish...

Award-winning Documentary ‘The Last Sermon’ Set for Digital Release (with VIDEO)

THE MEDIA LINE — The award-winning documentary film The Last Sermon is set to premiere on digital platforms on December 15, Gravitas Ventures, a...

Rice Is Nice With Everything

Someone once said that rice is the food equivalent of khaki pants—it goes with anything. Anthropologists are divided over whether the popular Asian rice we...

Latest Articles
Latest

Pandemic Times Episode 100: Who’s Better for Israel, Trump or Biden?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. A conversation with political editor Shmuel Rosner on the upcoming U.S election, a new survey on anti-Semitism...

Trump’s Jewish Outreach Point Man Makes His Pitch

Boris Epshteyn, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump and co-chair of Jewish Voices for Trump, shared the Trump campaign’s pitch to the Jewish...

Neighbors – a poem for Torah portion Lech Lecha

Please let there be no quarrel between me and between you… Please part from me; if left, I will go right, and if ...

Amal and George Clooney Honored at Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance 2020 Gala

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance honored Amal and George Clooney with the 2020 Humanitarian Award at its virtual gala on Oct. 28.  Hosted...

Armenia’s deadly attacks on Azerbaijani civilians must stop

It is difficult to put into words how I am feeling today, a day that follows several weeks of indiscriminate shelling of bullets and...

Hollywood

Oscar Isaac to Play Jewish Superhero

Oscar Isaac, who portrayed an Israeli Mossad agent in “Operation Finale” in 2018, will star in the Disney+ series “Moon Knight” as a Jewish...

Jon Stewart to Return to TV in Apple TV+ Series

Emmy-winning writer producer, director and “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart will return to television with a new one-hour, multi-season current affairs series for Apple...

Adam Sandler Goes to Space in Netflix Film

Adam Sandler, now starring in “Hubie Halloween” for Netflix, is going to space in his next movie for the streamer. He’ll play an troubled...

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 100: Who’s Better for Israel, Trump or Biden?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. A conversation with political editor Shmuel Rosner on the upcoming U.S election, a new survey on anti-Semitism...

Pandemic Times Episode 99: When Corona Meets a Chronic Illness

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. A poignant story that captures our pandemic times, by Karin Katz. How do we manage our lives during...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

x