• Freedom of Expression,  Stateside

    Reinstate Bahia Amawi

    While university speech hi-jinks often receive media attention, it can be easy to forget how free speech is being curtailed by state legislatures in the US. In addition to introducing legislation barring teachers from introducing “controversial topics” in the classroom, states like Texas have made it a dismissible offense to engage in speech not endorsed by the state government. Enter Bahia Amawi:

  • antisemitism,  Stateside

    Protesters Target Jewish Shop Owner in San Francisco

    Manny Yekutiel recently opened up a cafe and public space in the Mission District of San Francisco. In an Op-Ed for the San Francisco Chronical, Manny detailed the shop’s purpose. The kitchen is staffed with formerly homeless individuals and run by the nonprofit Farming Hope. We’ve already given free or low-cost space to more than 25 nonprofits such as Mission Graduates, Indivisible, Citizen’s Climate Lobby and the Instituto Familiar de la Raza, who need to spend their money on programs, not expensive rental fees. Our coffee is $1.75 and you can have a healthy square meal for $6. We’ve had elected officials and advocates in the space, artists and poets…

  • antisemitism,  Stateside

    Anti-Semitism at the University of Oregon

    Sometimes, “polite” Jew haters in America drop the guise and display their anti-Semitic motives for all to see. A sign belonging to the Jewish campus group Hillel at the University of Oregon was vandalized with pro-Palestinian profanity, the group said on Friday. The sign — located in a parking lot and bearing the greeting “Welcome” in English and Hebrew — was defaced with messages including “Free Palestine you f*cks,” written using a black marker. Prior to the end of the school year, the UO student senate passed a resolution endorsing the BDS movement. Some Jewish students noted the conspiratorial claims made against speakers opposed to the resolution. One student who opposed the resolution, Elysa…

  • Israel/Palestine,  Stateside

    Zionists on Campus “a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians”

    Across the Atlantic in California: California State University Chancellor Timothy White said this week he would “explore all appropriate options” in response to a San Francisco State University professor who on Facebook described welcoming Zionists to her campus as “a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims [and] Palestinians.” In a March 26 email, White criticized SFSU associate professor Rabab Abdulhadi (who oversees the university’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas program, or AMED) for a Feb. 23 Facebook post, which she signed using her official university title and address. School administrators, including the university’s president Les Wong, have at least pushed back against this publicly. Wong reaffirmed support for Jewish students, faculty…

  • antisemitism,  Stateside

    It’s Not All Bad News for Jewish Students on American Campuses

    With the endless spats of anti-Semitism within our major political parties and a constant stream of “anti-Zionist” claptrap coming out of universities on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s nice to hear some good news about being Jewish on campus: A recent Brandeis University study of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on American college campuses finds information completely un-shocking to anyone who’s ever talked to more than three Jewish students: an overwhelming majority do not see their campus as “hostile to Jews.” The author distills the following from the Brandeis study: 1. 95 percent feel safe on campus The majority of Jewish students polled said they hadn’t experienced anti-Semitism on campus and…

  • antisemitism,  Stateside

    Twitter Cracks Down on Far Right Users

    Twitter changed their platform policies, resulting in a number of British and American right-wing accounts being banned.  From Taylor Lorenz: Far-right U.K. political group Britain First was one of the first accounts to be suspended, along with its affiliates including Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. Three of Fransen’s anti-Muslim viral video tweets, one of which featured a Dutch boy in the Netherlands falsely identified as a “migrant,” were recently retweeted by Trump. White nationalist Jared Taylor and his site, American Resistance, are also some of the early casualties of Twitter’s new anti-hate rules, along with fellow white nationalists Hunter Wallace and the Traditionalist Workers Party. The Traditionalist Workers Party is…

  • Stateside

    Santa Rosa after the Tubbs Fire

    Cross-posted from Ordinary Times As coffee brewed in the kitchen, I took to my shower with the enthusiasm only a commuter at 4 AM can muster, mentally coaching myself for the week ahead. It was a rather warm week, so I was stunned that neighbors appeared to be running their fireplaces; the unmistakable smell of burnt roughage was potent. I put on my clothes, got on my bike and began my ride to the train station. I was immediately greeted by the barricade of fire and smoke that had claimed the adjacent neighborhood. The road exiting our block was teeming with fretful drivers. All of Northern Santa Rosa had apparently…

  • Stateside

    More Anti-Semitism at Bay Area Schools

    I noted the growing issues with anti-Semitism at public schools in the infamously left-wing California Bay Area a few months back and recent examples continue to bubble to the surface. According to Algemeiner, the Alameda School District has routinely ignored anti-Semitic language directed at Jewish students. In Alameda, California, middle and elementary schools have been defaced with swastikas and a Jewish elementary school student reportedly received a death threat. Under pressure from the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and the parents of Natasha Waldorf — who received multiple antisemitic threats at Alameda High School — Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) officials are finally admitting that antisemitism is a problem and that they’ve…

  • Stateside

    Cracks in the Trump Electoral Strategy

    Tuesday was a good night for Democrats and a bad one for Trump. Jonathan Martin writes: Voters delivered their first forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday night, with Democrats exploiting Mr. Trump’s deep unpopularity to capture the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and make significant inroads into suburban communities that once favored the Republican Party. The Democratic Party’s crowning success of the night came in Virginia, where Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, an understated physician and Army veteran, won a commanding victory for governor, overcoming a racially charged campaign by his Republican opponent and cementing Virginia’s transformation into a reliably Democratic state largely immune to…

  • International

    The Betrayal of the Kurds

    American foreign policy in the Middle East has been muddled and incoherent for some time but the recent developments in Kurdistan have revealed just how hallow my nation’s proclamations in the region can be. Martin Chulov reports the following from Kirkuk: Kurdish forces have abandoned lands they had controlled since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, allowing Iraqi troops to move into disputed areas that had been central to hopes for an independent Kurdistan with expanded borders. In a stunning collapse, peshmerga units loyal to the de facto Kurdish president, Massoud Barzani, pulled out of the towns of Bashiqa, Khanaqin and Sinjar less than a day after surrendering the…