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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hillel's anti-Israel educators

I'm now back in Israel, thank God.

I thought Hillel Director Eric Fingerhut was turning Hillel into a pro-Israel organization. Apparently he has not succeeded (assuming he tried). Here's a petition at Change.org calling for the dismissal of North Carolina Hillel director rabbi Jenny Solomon, for running a tour to Hebron with the viciously anti-Israel Breaking the Silence. Here's the petition.
On July 4, 2016, Rabbi Jenny Solomon co-led a trip to Hebron led by Breaking the Silence, a group that is closely associated with BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction Israel) organizations, harasses Israeli soldiers, and spreads hearsay accusations that demonize Israel that would be inadmissible in a court of law.
Rabbi Solomon and the Truah organization invited college groups to join the trip.
Who is Rabbi Jenny Solomon? She is the Senior Jewish Educator for NC Hillel.
In the 2015-2016, anti-Semitic attacks on campuses doubled. These attacks are directly correlated with the presence of BDS groups on campus.
This is NOT the time for Hillel to be hiring educators, rabbis, or directors with afiliation to the BDS movement.
URGE Hillel to remove employees like Rabbi Jenny Solomon with BDS associations.
URGE Hillel to vet all future hires to prevent Hillel from giving voice to those who would promote anti-Semitism by demonizing, delegitimizing, and applying a double standard to Israel.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition.
If Rabbi Jenny's name sounds familiar, perhaps it's because she's the spouse of Rabbi Eric (Rabbi and Rabbi Solomon? Rabbi and Rabba Solomon? Rabbis Solomon?), who was recently forced by his congregation to drop a plan to take them on an anti-Israel tour run by Breaking the Silence.

For those of you who have forgotten 'Breaking the Silence,' they are an organization that claims to be dedicated to exposing IDF abuses of 'Palestinians' in Judea and Samaria. They are funded by European governments, by the European Union (which awarded them the prestigious Andrei Sakharov prize) and by private American citizens (as well as by UNICEF and OxFam). 'Breaking the Silence' interviews discharged IDF soldiers and debriefs them regarding their IDF service. Or so they claim. It now seems that they do a lot more.

And in case you were wondering, of course George Soros funds Breaking the Silence. Eli Lake disclosed that last week.
The 2013 document describes the "toxic atmosphere" in 2000 and 2001 when the foundation began its work in the Middle East, and how this environment could lead to "politically motivated investigations" from either the Bush administration or what it calls "pro-Israel entities." Soros himself was worried about George W. Bush. In 2006, he said the president's communications strategy reminded him of Nazi and Communist propaganda. Hence his foundations took a "cautious approach."
"For a variety of reasons we wanted to construct a diversified portfolio of grants dealing with Israel and Palestine, funding both Israeli Jewish and (Palestinian Citizens of Israel) groups as well as building a portfolio of Palestinian grants and in all cases to maintain a low profile and relative distance –particularly on the advocacy front," the 2013 paper says.
Some of this was known before. I reported in 2010 that the liberal Jewish group J Street had received Soros money but had denied receiving it to the press and on its website. In 2013, the pro-Israel group NGO Monitor issued a report on Soros funding for Israeli and Palestinian activists covered in the documents released this week.
Still, let's take a minute here to savor the irony. An outfit that promotes the "open society" is shielding its efforts to influence public policy. It's true that plenty of foundations take a similar sub rosa approach to funding advocacy work in Washington.
But those foundations are not named for Karl Popper's famous defense of liberal democracies. It's enough to make you wish there was a new Open Society Foundations to expose the old one.
The group that leaked these documents is mysterious. It's called DCLeaks.com, and it says it's a project of "hacktivists" committed to many of the same principles espoused by Popper and Soros.
Rebecca Beyer, a communications officer for Open Society, confirmed to me Monday that documents were removed from an online forum used by the staff of the foundation and its partners. She said the breach was reported to the FBI. "The materials reflect big-picture strategies over several years from the Open Society Foundations network, which supports human rights, democratic practice, economic advancement, and the rule of law in more than 100 countries around the world."
When it comes to Israel, that translates into funding organizations like Breaking the Silence, a group of Israeli ex-soldiers who tour Europe and the U.S. to discuss the Israel Defense Force's war crimes. The document says that between 2012 and 2014, the Open Society Foundations gave this group $100,000 -- a significant donation for a group that in 2012 had a budget of only $841,410.
Emphasis mine. I wonder whether Soros also contributes to Rabbi and Rabba Solomon's salaries. Hmmm.

Time for Hillel to clean house. 

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