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Yale prof sounds alarm over new anti-Semites

Dr. Charles Asher Small, a Yale University scholar with a background in social theory and human rights work, sounded alarm bells on rising anti-Semitism in the guise of anti-Zionism.

“The new form of anti-Semitism is the delegitimization, the dehumanization of Israel.

“Israel is the new Jew,” he said.

Founder and director of the Yale Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, Small spoke Nov. 6 at the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, Ross Family Campus, in West Orange to a gathering of the Jewish Faculty Network (see sidebar).

His talk covered the implications of radical Islam and rising anti-Semitism on North American university campuses.

He condemned the silence, the lack of response, from students and faculty, particularly on the Left, his own intellectual home. He said colleagues are “acquiescing” to an existential threat from radical Islam.

“We have failed not just the Jewish people, not just Israel, but human rights and notions of democracy,” he said. “And the silence continues.”

Small, who worked on anti-apartheid campaigns for South Africa in his native Canada as a youth, more recently lived in Israel and worked in the West Bank city of Ramallah, trying to deepen relations between Palestinians and Israelis before the Second Intifada in 2000.

In Western countries, there is “almost total ignorance of what radical Islam is,” he said. “I used to ask, ‘Who has read the Hamas charter, who has read fatwas, who has read the sermons coming out of mosques on Friday?” He was usually “disappointed” with the response.

“There’s a tremendous disconnect between Western intellectuals — in Western Europe and in North America — to the ideology, the language, the raison d’etre of radical Islam,” Small said. “We don’t understand the language. We don’t know the language.”

He pointed to the Hamas charter. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most pernicious form of genocidal anti-Semitism, is the theme that runs through their constitution,” he said. “In their constitution, they literally call for the killing, for the extermination of Jews.”

He added, “This is going on and what the Western world is doing, by and large, is saying things like, ‘If the settlements were frozen, everything would be okay.’ There’s no critical analysis of the context of the ideology.”

It should not be Jews alone who should be providing this analysis, but the entire human rights community, Small said. “You have a genocidal movement that is genocidal in anti-Semitism; it’s anti-democratic, it’s homophobic, it’s sexist, it’s anti-citizenship.”

He urged the faculty members sitting around the table, who included academics from Seton Hall University and Montclair State University, to serve as examples for students away from friends and family who are feeling embarrassed to defend Israel.

“I think truth is on our side,” said Small. “If we stand up and fight on a scholarly and policy level, I think we can make inroads.”

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Tuesday 31 October 2017

Eight people have been killed and at least 11 injured in an "act of terror" after a man drove a pick-up truck onto a path for cyclists in New York city.

The 29-year-old driver of the truck was shot by police in the abdomen and taken into custody after he crashed the truck into a school bus and fled his vehicle, according to New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill.

Speaking at a press conference, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the attack was "a particularly cowardly act of terror". 

The mayor said: "It's a very painful day in our city. Horrible tragedy on the West Side.

"Let me be clear, based on the information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror and a particularly cowardly act of terror. Aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them.

"We at this moment based on the information we have, we know of eight innocent people who have lost their lives. And over a dozen more injured."

Mr O'Neill said the driver was armed with a paintball gun and a pellet gun.

The driver hit a school bus, injuring two children and two adults on board before exiting the pick-up truck.

The man was shot in the abdomen by a uniformed officer before being taken into custody.

The commissioner said a statement made by the suspect when he exited the vehicle was "consistent" with a terrorist attack.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said there was no evidence to suggest a wider plot or wider scheme.

US President Donald Trump said the attacker was "very sick" and a "deranged person".

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted: "Appalled by this cowardly attack, my thoughts are with all affected. Together we will defeat the evil of terrorism. UK stands with #NYC."

A police spokesman posted a photo showing a white pick-up truck on the bike path with its front end mangled and the hood crumpled.

The rented truck had logos of the Home Depot hardware store chain.

Mangled and flattened bicycles littered the bike path, which runs parallel to the West Side Highway on the western edge of Manhattan along the Hudson River.

One witness told reporters at the scene that he heard about five gunshots before seeing a large man being taken into custody.

"He seemed very calm," the witness said. "He was not putting up a fight."

A witness told ABC Channel 7 that he saw a white pick-up truck drive south on the bike path at full speed and hit several people.

A video apparently filmed at the scene and circulated online showed scattered bikes on the bike path and at least two people lying on the ground.