Are Hillel/ Jewish Federation and Family Services/ Rose Project Confused About Last Weeks Anti-Israel Event at UC Irvine?

(Note: Italicised portions are our emphasis)

Hillel and Jewish Federation and Family Services/ Rose Project Statement May 19, 2016:

Rose Project of JFFS and Hillel OC

Last night, the Students Supporting Israel (SSI) chapter at UC Irvine held a screening of “Beneath the Helmet” with the support of Hillel. The event was protested by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and other students, who made aggressive and threatening remarks to participants and physically intimidated and threatened one student attempting to enter the event.

Hillel and JFFS Rose Project professionals who were present worked immediately to ensure Jewish students were able to continue participating in the event safely. When that was no longer possible, they contacted university police and Student Life officials. While the protest was allowed to continue, the university took steps to ensure the SSI students’ safety.

Hillel and Rose Project continue to work with the university administration to investigate the incident. We encourage the administration to hold accountable the protestors who threatened our students. We continue our work to ensure that Jewish and pro-Israel students are able to engage in programming in a safe environment.

Our students are not intimidated. Today’s Artists for Israel event on the main thoroughfare is going forward as scheduled, with Hillel adding further protections to ensure student safety. We are also providing support for students who need to talk about Wednesday’s incident.

We appreciate your continued support, as Hillel and Rose Project work to ensure students are free to express their support for Israel on campus, and all students are protected against threats and intimidation.   https://jewishorangecounty.org/resources/news/jffshillel-statement-may-19-2016

 

Hillel and Jewish Federation and Family Services/ Rose Project Statement May 20, 2016:

Rose Project of JFFS and Hillel OC

Clarifying Misstatements About Anti-Israel Incident at UCI

There are several critical inaccuracies in the Campus Reform account of what happened at UC Irvine on the evening of Wednesday, May 18 when a group of protestors demonstrated outside an event sponsored by the student organization Students Supporting Israel (SSI).

The Students Supporting Israel event was not, as the Campus Reform article implies, shut down. According to eyewitnesses, including local Hillel professionals, the Jewish students were not in any way forced to retreat. When the police arrived, they ensured the SSI program could continue. One officer remained in the classroom with the students until the film was over and they concluded their program. 

The protestors were allowed to remain outside of the building.

When the SSI students were ready to leave, the officers moved the protestors to an area sufficiently distant from the exit, so that neither group was visible to one another. The police then escorted the SSI students to their cars and an Assistant Vice Chancellor stayed to assist the students.

Hillel is working with the university police and administration to ensure this incident is appropriately resolved.

https://jewishorangecounty.org/resources/news/jffs-hillel-anti-israel-incident-at-uci

 

 Jewish Federation and Family Services latest Statement :

Connections - the e-newsletter of Jewish Federatin & Family Services

The following is an update of developments surrounding the incident last week in which a pro-Israel event sponsored by the UC Irvine student organization, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), with support from Hillel, was targeted by anti-Israel protestors on the UCI campus.

First, we thank the community for the outpouring of support for our students — those who attended the screening of “Beneath the Helmet,” and others involved with the pro-Israel community, as well as the Hillel staff who were at the screening last Wednesday evening. Our students and pro-Israel campus organizations are strong and will not be intimidated. This was demonstrated by a wonderful celebration of Israel held by SSI, with Hillel, on the campus main thoroughfare less than 24 hours after the film screening incident. We are proud to thank our partners — Artists for Israel, StandWithUs, and Hasbara Fellowships — and the hundreds of students who turned out to make this a joyous and successful event.

The university has launched two parallel investigations, one by the UCI Police Department and the other by the Department of Student Affairs. These investigations are meant to uncover any criminal activity and violations of campus codes and policies, and to determine whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate.

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman issued a strongly-worded statement the day after the incident, stating the university’s belief that the line of civility was crossed. The Chancellor affirmed that the university will protect free speech, and that threats, harassment, incitement and defamatory speech are not protected.

We thank the university administration and the UCI Police Department for the seriousness, speed and sensitivity with which they are treating this matter, and for seeing to the mental health and security needs of our students. It should be noted that UCI police officers and administrators from the Department of Student Affairs arrived on the scene quickly, and campus officials were in the room with students and staff continuously until the students concluded their event. These officials comforted frightened students and advised them of their right to continue with the event until its completion. Hillel and the Rose Project staff are working closely with the university administration and police to support their investigations and to ensure that Jewish and pro-Israel students are able to engage in programming in a safe environment. Staff is also in regular communication with the targeted students, and will continue to see to their needs.

Hillel Foundation of Orange County, which operates Hillel at UCI, along with the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family Services, condemn in the strongest terms the verbal and physical harassment and intimidation of Jewish students, and the assault on their First Amendment right to assemble by the UCI chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace and their supporters. We state clearly and unequivocally that we support the right of all students to exercise their First Amendment rights, but no student or student organization has the right to  infringe on the rights of others or to instill feelings of insecurity, anxiety or fear.  The attempt that night by an aggressive, screaming mob to force its way into a room of Jewish students, and the pursuit of a Jewish student that forced her to hide in the dark in terror, are unconscionable acts that have no place on a university campus or in American society. The perpetrators of this incident maintain the justness of their actions because they claim that the target of their protest was Israel and the Israel Defense Force (IDF). Make no mistake: with no Israeli officials or IDF officers in the room that night, their actions targeted Jewish and pro-Israel students for no other reason than their connection to Israel and their desire to learn more about the Jewish State.

Those who wish to express their support for the students who attended the event are welcome to post to this Facebook page.

We will continue to keep you apprised of further developments.

http://www.elabs10.com/functions/message_view.html?mid=4266734&mlid=116679&siteid=2010001851&uid=b853607687

 

Has the Olive Tree Initiative done anything to reduce the anti-Israel rhetoric at UC Irvine?

This photo was taken from the so-called “apartheid wall” which travels throughout the State of California college campuses and recently concluded its stay at UC Irvine.  Please notice what the drawing describes as “occupied territory”.  It should speak for itself.  The question is:  Has the Olive Tree Initiative had any discernible positive impact in terms of the hateful rhetoric during “hate week” at UC Irvine and other California Campuses?  Why not ask the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union, Malik Ali, Ben White, Hatem Bazian or the so-called “Irvine 11”?

More bad news about the Olive Tree Initiative?

Note: On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism,  formally asked  the Orange County Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project. to adopt the Jewish Community of San Francisco’s guidelines for funding. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit funding for any activities that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the [BDS] movement, in whole or in part.” On March 21, 2010, we published the Pledge in memory of the Fogal Family.  To date those entities, The OC Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project have not bothered to respond.

Bringing the War on Jerusalem to American Universities

By Frank Crimi On April 2, 2012 @ 12:01 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage

The Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), the self-described “non-partisan college educational program” operating out of numerous universities, has, since its founding in 2007, received the support of a bevy of rabidly anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish individuals and groups, many with connections to terrorist organizations and their apologists, including Hamas.

One such notable OTI supporter is Palestinian political leader Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), a Palestinian political party founded in 2002 as a purported “democratic third force” between the “corruption” of the Palestinian political umbrella group Fatah and the “extremism” of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Barghouti has not only served as a lecturer for the OTI for many years, but in 2009 his organization, the PNI, was thanked for being an “Institiutional Supporter” of the program. An overview of Barghouti’s background validates why critics of the OTI believe the organization’s purpose is to manufacture anti-Israel advocates, all the while masquerading as a group dedicated to promoting “understanding” between Israelis and Palestinians.

Barghouti’s antipathy for Israelis may run in his family, given that his cousin, Marwan Barghouti, led the First and Second Intifadas and is currently serving five life sentences for murder in Israel. While Barghouti has publicly portrayed himself as a promoter of non-violence and an advocate of a two-state solution, he has also shown a disdain for the political process, having once proclaimed that “there’s no use in meetings with Israelis and there is no peace partner in Israel.”

Nevertheless, the reality is that Barghouti has played a leading role in the Fatah-Hamas coalition, a role which includes sidling up to the genocidal terrorists of Hamas and portraying Israel as bastion of apartheid and a perpetrator of crimes against humanity.

For example, Barghouti, who is a leader in the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, the economic warfare campaign against Israel, often uses “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” rhetoric in describing Israel.

Barghouti’s most recent effort to delegitimize Israel was as a prime organizer of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) on March 30, an event also supported by Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the theocratic totalitarians of Iran.

According to event organizers, the GMJ was a protest march in which Arab and foreign activists were to descend upon Jerusalem in an attempt to “confirm that the policies and practices of the racist Zionist state of Israel against Jerusalem and its people are a crime not only against Palestinians but against all humanity.” Continue reading

More Questions Raised about the Olive Tree Initiative as Hamas Member Aziz Dweik is Re-Arrested

Note: On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism,  formally asked  the Orange County Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project. to adopt the Jewish Community of San Francisco’s guidelines for funding. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit funding for any activities that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the [BDS] movement, in whole or in part.” On March 21, 2010, we published the Pledge in memory of the Fogal Family.  To date those entities, The OC Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project have not bothered to respond.

IDF Arrests Hamas Speaker of PA Parliament Who Met UC Irvine Students

by Jerry Gordon     

New English Review       Saturday, 21 January 2012

On Thursday, the IDF arrested the Hamas Speaker of the Palestinian Parliament, Aziz Dweik near Ramallah.  Dweik had been detained by the IDF in 2006. Dweik had figured prominently in the controversial Olive Tree Initiative at U.C. Irvine, when students had met students had met with Dweik during a visit to the West Bank  in 2009.  Orange County Jewish activist, Dee Sterling of Ha-Emet, the Truth had discovered through a California Public Records search evidenced that a Jewish Federation of Orange County (JFOC) affiliate, the Rose Project, had funded the Olive Tree Initiative program at U.C. Irvine.

Here is the Jerusalem Post report on Dweik’s arrest, “IDF nabs head of PA parliament” near Ramallah:

IDF soldiers arrested senior Hamas official, Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian Authority parliament on suspicion of involvement with terrorist groups on Thursday, the IDF and Hamas said. Hamas said Dweik was taken into custody at a checkpoint near Ramallah and it accused Israel of trying to prevent rival Palestinian factions from completing a unity deal. Dweik was arrested by Israel in 2006 and spent two years in jail.

Hamas won a parliamentary election in 2006 and seized control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a brief civil war a year later, since when parliament has been inactive. Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction agreed a reconciliation deal last year, but it has yet to be implemented.

We noted the encounter between Dweik, the UC Irvine students and the involvement of the JFOC in a July 2011 NER investigative article, “Does the Olive Tree Initiative Lack Credibility?”

JFOC loses its Credibility- the smoking gun letter. The JFOC’s credibility problem surfaced from a response to a California Public Records Act (PRA) request by local activists from Ha’Emet. That information surfaced a “smoking gun” letter sent by JFOC President Elcott to UCI Chancellor Drake in October, 2009 revealing a meeting between OTI students and Hamas representative Dweik. The JFOC leaders seized upon this letter as evidence that they had brought this to the attention of UCI administrators seeking an investigation. The JFOC leaders never informed the community. Continue reading

Olive Tree Initiatives “nefarious”connections?

The ‘Flytilla’: Brought to You by Friends of the Olive Tree Initiative   

Posted by  Nichole Hungerford on Jul 11th, 2011

Evidence continues to mount over the nefarious nature of the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI), a controversial student program that originated at the University of California, Irvine and is rapidly spreading to other campuses. Radical anti-Israel activists with long-standing involvement in the program have been identified as lead organizers of what has been dubbed the “flytilla,” a recent stunt aimed at putting the Israel delegitimization campaign back in the headlines. Sending young college students to meet with such Israel-hating extremists — including a leader of the terrorist organization Hamas — is what the OTI’s powerful patrons consider “holistic” education. Continue reading

JPost: “Elcott and Margolis do admit that students meet with speakers who support BDS and the branding of Israel as an apartheid state.”

So, sending students into a dangerous neighborhood and into the arms of those who seek to destroy Israel and the Jewish people  to get their “perspective”is appropriate, so long as they get the other point of view?  And this is what we call  leadership? 

A very balanced itinerary?

By BEN HARTMAN JPost.com
06/15/2011 23:20

Is the Olive Tree Initiative, an interfaith program that brings American students here to learn about the Israeli-Arab conflict, offering its participants the appropriate mosaic of views?
Shalom Elcott thinks you may have gotten the wrong idea.

In Israel this past week for Shavuot, the Orange County Jewish Federation president and CEO said that criticism of his group’s support for the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) was misplaced and not based on an honest examination of the program.

“We could all agree that we don’t love all the speakers, but we have to work with American Jews to develop a greater understanding about how important that diversity of opinions in Israel is. Our job is to work with OTI and open the door to the best possible teachers and people who know the facts on the ground and make sure they’re engaged on the trip,” he said. Continue reading

Once again, OC Federation asked to endorse pledge to deny funds to those who support BDS and those who seek to destroy Israel

octfas2.jpg

On December 28, 2010 The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism,  formally asked  the Orange County Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project. to adopt the Jewish Community of San Francisco’s guidelines for funding. Among other things, the guidelines prohibit funding for any activities that “advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the [BDS] movement, in whole or in part.” On March 21, 2010, we published the Pledge in memory of the Fogal Family.  To date those entities, The OC Jewish Federation, Hillel and the Rose Project have not bothered to respond. The following  letter is endorsed by the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism: Continue reading