Group launches hotline to report incidents of anti-Semitism on American college and university campuses

JEWISH CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP LAUNCHES STUDENT HOTLINE TO COMBAT ANTI-ISRAEL

October 2011

Press release:

(New York) Jewish civil rights group Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center has
launched the “Campus Hotline,” a manned telephone switchboard to assist
university students in the United States who are subjected to
anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks at their schools. Students and
faculty are being encouraged to call the Campus Hotline at (718)
907-9258 to report to Shurat HaDin any incidents of anti-Semitism,
discrimination, intimidation or harassment arising from anti-Israel
activities on American college or university campuses. Shurat HaDin is
also soliciting information and updates via the Hotline on BDS (the
boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to delegitimize Israel)
activities on campus and organized efforts to provide support for
terrorist organizations.

Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center (http://israellawcenter.org/) is an
international human rights law organization dedicated to enforcing basic
human rights through the legal system and to representing victims of
terrorism in courtrooms around the world. The organization is based in
Tel Aviv and has a newly established American office located in New York.

Recently, Shurat HaDin sent letters
(http://israellawcenter.org/uploadimages/image/Letter%20to%20Columbia%20U.pdf)
to college and university presidents around the United States warning
that their schools may be subject to civil and criminal liability if
they do not take necessary measures to ensure the educational rights and
safety of Jewish students and faculty on their campuses. The schools
were also cautioned concerning their duty to reasonably prevent
university funds from being diverted to unlawful activities that are
directed against the state of Israel and to be particularly vigilant in
funding student organizations that may have ties to terrorist
organizations or that may engage in unlawful activities abroad.

The Campus Hotline will assist Shurat HaDin in monitoring activities on
college campuses and in protecting the rights of Jewish students and
faculty and the security of the state of Israel. The organization is
currently investigating the alarming connection between anti-Israel
activists, organizations and activities in the United States and Middle
East terrorism. Many extremist groups operate and recruit on college
campuses. Direct contact with the students will keep the organization
constantly aware of unacceptable activities and will allow it to rapidly
respond with appropriate legal action. An immediate, effective legal
response will have a deterrent effect on harassment, discrimination, and
potentially on terrorism. Shurat HaDin’s new American office will be
devoting significant time and resources to responding to calls to the
Hotline. By taking advantage of its world-wide legal network, Shurat
HaDin will be a formidable force in combating the ever-increasing threat
to Jewish students on campuses nationwide.

Attorney Kenneth Leitner, the law center’s Director of American Affairs,
said “we want Jewish students to know that there is a number to call
when they are victimized by extremist groups promoting anti-Israel and
anti-Semitic hate on American college campuses. Jewish students should
be made aware that they have the full support of a large community of
Jewish and non-Jewish advocates who will not tolerate their continued
intimidation and harassment. We want to encourage pro-Israel students to
stand-up for their rights and beliefs without fear.”

Mr. Leitner further stated, “it is time for us to go on the legal
offensive. In the same way that Shurat HaDin pioneered the use of the
courtroom to bring terrorist organizations and their state sponsors to
justice, we will employ the legal system to take down campus hate groups
and their off-campus financiers. We would like American college campuses
to be safe and secure for Jewish students, without distraction,
intolerance, antagonism and most importantly, violence. We expect that
the schools share our goals; if not, we will legally compel them to.”

Shurat HaDin is also in the process of creating a “Report Card” to rate
campuses based on their commitment to the U.S. Department of Education’s
civil rights guidance and to providing a safe and welcoming environment
for Jewish students and faculty and for pro-Israel viewpoints. The
organization expects administrators at poorly-ranked campuses to become
more actively aware of both their legal obligations and their social
responsibilities in responding to hostility and discrimination against
Jewish students.

Contact:

Kenneth Leitner, Esq.
kleitner@ShuratHaDinUSA.org
(718) 855-3627

Media Contact:

Suzanne Balaban
BMM Worldwide
Suzanne@bmmworldwide.com
(212) 796-5895

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