Rutgers bars Jews from anti-Zionist gathering (pro-Israel programs planned)
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Rutgers bars Jews from anti-Zionist gathering
Public event suddenly closed to all but supporters by campus police
By Alyssa Farah WorldNetDaily
Posted: January 29, 2011 :10 pm Eastern
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers University campus police tonight barred some
400 Jewish students and their supporters, including some Holocaust
survivors, from attending what was billed as an anti-Zionist gathering at
the state school tonight.
The student-sponsored event was announced with an open invitation
campus-wide, and Rutgers policy is for all student activities to be open to
However, when the sponsoring organizations of "Never Again for Anyone" saw
they were outnumbered by Jewish students and their supporters by about
4-to-1, they asked campus policy to bar students wearing kippas – and
eventually limited attendance to known supporters of the International
Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Americans for Muslims in Palestine and the
Middle East Children's Alliance.
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Pleas to university officials from the Jewish students and their supporters
for access to the event went unheeded.
"They started charging money as soon as they saw Zionists outside," said
Rabbi Akiva Weiss.
Rutgers campus police said they could not provide a statement as to why the
public event would turn away 400 members of the public. One officer said
they were called in late and weren't really sure what was going on.
When the Jewish students, led by Aaron Marcus, were denied entry, they
gathered in the lobby and sang religious songs in Hebrew.
"We wanted to protest this event because as the children and grandchildren
of victims of the Holocaust we believed it to be absolutely absurd to
compare Israeli act of self defense to the viscous, systematic murder of
millions of Jews, Catholics, Gays, Gypsies, Russians and others," Marcus
Members of the New Jersey branch of Young Americans for Freedom were in
attendance to protest the discrimination against Jewish students.
The program at Rutgers is part of a national tour purporting to promote
peace and justice for Israel and surrounding lands.
Alyssa Farah is a WND editorial assistant.
#2 Federations aid Rutgers Hillel's pro-Israel efforts
Debra Rubin NJJN Bureau Chief/Middlesex The Jewish Exponent January 27, 2011
Rutgers Hillel executive director Andrew Getraer said, "We need to combat
this extremism and delegitimization of Israel."
The state's Jewish federations have pledged $10,000 to Rutgers Hillel for a
series of pro-Israel events.
Aimed as a response in part to recent pro-Palestinian activities on campus,
the events will include a Jan. 31 forum on United States-Israel relations
featuring Reps. Frank Pallone (D-Dist. 6) and Leonard Lance (R-Dist. 7) and
Israeli deputy consul general Shlomi Kofman.
The events are intended to highlight Israel's democratic values and the
country's importance to the United States and New Jersey as a trading
partner and ally.
"We have pledged to help them, and our immediate concern is providing
support for its Israel advocacy program," said Jacob Toporek, the executive
director of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations. "We've
had conversations with someone from the governor's office about what's
happening. We are involved and we are engaged."
The Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County is commiting $2,000
towards the Israel advocacy program for the spring semester. "We feel
strongly that we need to provide the resources for our students to respond
effectively and immediately," said Gerrie Bamira, the Middlesex federation's
The partnership announced on Jan. 25 is one component of a campaign to
counter a series of events organized by BAKA: Students United for Middle
Eastern Justice, a Rutgers University student organization. BAKA has
supported efforts to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, holding events that
have featured nationally prominent speakers deeply critical of Israel and
its role in May's deadly flotilla incident.
The latest event -- cosponsored by BAKA, Journalists for Human Rights, and
Psi Sigma Phi men's multi-cultural fraternity -- was held Jan. 20 on the
College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick to commemorate the second anniversary
of the "Gaza massacres" during Operation Cast Lead. It drew 54 people,
according to the campus newspaper, The Daily Targum.
In December, a "Palestine Culture Festival" was held on the university's
Douglass campus to raise money for the Palestine Children's Relief Fund of
Rutgers University. It featured a panel discussion on the Gaza conflict and
was cosponsored by the Arab Cultural Club, BAKA, and the Center for Middle
"We need to combat this extremism and delegitimization of Israel," Hillel's
executive director, Andrew Getraer, told NJJN. "We are once again being
targeted as we were last semester where it seemed as if there was an
anti-Israel event every week or at least every other week."
Toporek said the association asked Getraer to speak to a meeting of
federation executives in December about the Mideast debate on campus, after
which they voted unanimously that advocacy "should take a higher priority."
Hillel was also asked to submit a three-year plan and budget for its
pro-Israel campaign, which is being reviewed.
The first counter event, featuring Lance and Pallone, is billed as a Rutgers
University student leadership dinner. Scarlet Blue and White, a student
organization launched last semester as a multi-ethnic and religious
pro-Israel student coalition, is sponsoring the event along with Rutgers
Hillel, the State Association, the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey,
and the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County.
"Hillel is a great organization, but obviously we're all Jews," Liran
Kapoano, a senior history and political science major from Somerset and a
founder and president of Scarlet Blue and White. "I wanted to do something
that was religion neutral."
Kapoano said the student organization is also planning an event featuring
American politicians with expertise in science and technology to speak to
students on how Israeli trade and technological advancements benefit the
American economy. Kapoano welcomed the assistance of the State Association,
which has helped him make connections with political and Jewish community
Getraer is concerned about another event to be held on Jan. 29 on the
Douglass Campus, sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine, the
International Anti-Zionist Jewish Network, and the Middle East Children's
Alliance. The program, Never Again for Anyone, is being held in conjunction
with the United Nations International Day of Holocaust Remembrance.
"They will have speakers who will equate Israel's treatment of Palestinians
to the Holocaust and genocide, which is morally outrageous," said Getraer.
"It not only trivializes the victims of a true genocide, the Holocaust, but
it defames the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish people."