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June 20, 2014

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 20, 2014 By Abdullah H. Erakat The Media Line [AL-QUDS UNIVERSI- TY]--The Palestinian pro- fessor who touched off a maelstrom of controversy by taking a group of students to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland is now at odds with his former employer after the school ac- cepted his resignation. Dr. Mohammed S. Da- jani Daoudi, who headed the American studies depart- ment and served as chief librarian at A1-Quds Univer- sity, stirred-up a hornets' nest among Palestinians who felt the visit was not appropriate when he led the March trip. Daoudi told The Media Line that although the participants were students at Al-Quds, the trip itself was under the aegis of Wasatia, the NGO that he heads whose goal is to "promote a culture of moderation and reconciliation between the Israeli people and the Pal- estinian people." But when the trip became a public issue, criticism was leveled at both the school and the professor. Daoudi received threats and the employees union and students union, Palestinian professor who took students to Auschwitz resigns over fallout Dr. Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, who founded the Wasatia movement of moder- ate Islam and resigned as a professor of political science at al-Quds University in Jerusalem. of which Daoudi was not even a member, formally banned him from membership. On May 18, Dr. Dajani Daoudi submitted his res- ignation from Al-Quds Uni- versity; a move incoming President Imad Abukishek says he was shocked by given the lengths the school went to on behalf of Daoudi, both personally and professionally. "We thought he noticedwhat we did for him and that he would respect what we did for him," Abukishek told The Media Line citing the assignment of two security guards to protect Daoudi and the confronting of the em- ployees and students unions to demand the rescinding of the ban issued against the professor. But Daoudi saw the univer- sity's response in a different light. In his letter of resigna- tion addressed to outgoing President Sari Nusseibeh, Dr. Dajani Daoudi charged that as a result of the fallout from the Auschwitz trip, "The educational environment on this campus for teaching and learning is not available at your university which makes it difficult to practice my mis- sion to educate and practice academic freedom." In a statement to The Me- dia Line, the administration strongly disagreed. Citing the school's efforts to "act prompt- ly and effectively to deal with the actions" of the two unions; and the assignment of two bodyguards, the administra- tion insisted that although it "was being made to deal with 'an external activity carried out by Professor Dajani in his private capacity as the CEO of an independent NGO which he runs [that]... had nothing to do with the University,'" A1-Quds nevertheless did all it could do "to deal with the repercussions of his visit." The administration declared that it did "all that it could do to ensure that individuals, including Professor Dajani, had the right to express their views freely, and to act freely within the confines of the law, without fear of intimidations or threats." Dr. Dajani Daoudi sug- gested that "the statement the administration issued in response to the trip sparked the incitement on campus with their public state- ment distancing themselves from the trip and me as if we are doing something wrong." The assignment of security guards, according to Daoudi, exacerbated the problem rather than solving it. "The high-pitched incite- ment against me made the university decide to have security guards escorting me on campus. How can I perform my duties under such circumstances?" he asked The Media Line. Dajani Daoudi, who has taught for more than 40 years, realized that the trip toAuschwitz-Birkenau would be controversial at best. He explained to The Media Line that, "The Holocaust has been a taboo topic in Palestinian memory and I believe for the sake of peace and rec- onciliation we need to deal with this taboo among oth- ers." Students who traveled with Daoudi were exuberant and uniform in praise of their professor. Issa Jameel, the student coordinator for the trip, said he expects Daoudi to win the Nobel Peace Prize. "Over the ages there was a stage when the scholars were attacked by some because of what they taught. Dr. Dajani wanted to teach us students to think out of the box, far from politics, just for educational purposes and unfortunately what hap- pened with him is the op- posite because they viewed him taking us to Auschwitz politically and not from the educational level." Speaking on the condi- tion of anonymity due to the sensitivity and controversy, a female Al Quds University student who went on the Auschwitz trip expressed her surprise at word of Dajani Daoudi's resignation and said she is "sad because he really enlightened us and made us think beyond the horizon." In confronting the unions, outgoing Al-Quds President Dr. Sari Nusseibeh and suc- cessor Abukishek stressed "the values and principles we have at A1 Quds University... that every member should have freedom of choice and freedom of expression and the diversity of it all." The admin- istrators admonished Daoudi that, "From our side, we will make sure that you will be safe, have the freedom of ex- pression, freedom of choice, freedom to do whatever you want in our environment despite the fact that [going to Auschwitz] is not our [AI- Quds University's] project. This is your project, your choice. But we will protect you and we nominate two security guards fromA1 Quds University to be with [u] all the time if ]you] feel that [you] are not safe." Despite the differing inter- pretations of the university's actions, Abukishek said, "We thought he will take it [the resignation] back." He said the personnel depart- ment "was waiting for Dr. Dajani to cancel the letter, but he refused to cancel the resignation." Rolling Stones defy BDS, make history in Israel By Paul Miller (PaulieGroup) With the first chord of one of the most famous guitar riffs reverber- ating through the amplifiers June 4, 50,000 music fans were greeted with the 1981 classic Start Me Up, as the Rolling Stones made their Israeli de- but in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park. As promised, the band took the stage at 9:15 p.m., push- ing back their original start time to enable observant Jews to attend the entire concert after sundown marking the end of Shavuot, a holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Lead singer Mick Jagger got into the celebratory spirit, shouting to the crowd "Chag Shavuot Sameah [Happy Sha- vuot Holiday], Israel!" As reported by The Times of Israel, the band played a 19-song set that included Brown Sugar, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Women, It!s Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It) and Angie, a favorite amongst Israeli Stones fans. About an hour into the two-hour show, the crowd was treated to a glimpse of the band in the early 1970s. Mick Taylor, who replaced founding Stones guitarist, the late Brian Jones, in 1969, joined the band for a performance of Midnight Rambler. Haaretz music critic Ben Shalev described Taylor's part of the show as "very long and very wonderful." Also joining the band on stage was Tel Aviv University's Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Choir, performing, You Can't Always Get What You Want. When originally recorded in 1968, the song fea- tured the London Bach Choir. During the performance, Jagger reportedly showed off his Hebrew chops, say- ing to the crowd "Anachnu ha'avanim ha'mitgalgalot" (We are the Rolling Stones), "Hokol sa baba?" (All good?), and asking guitarist Ronnie Wood, "Kanita na'alayim ba'shuk?" (Did you buy shoes in the market?). Members of the band, who are older than the Jewish State, enjoyed the younger nation during their stay. Bring back our boys A Facebook page created Friday following the kidnap- ping had garnered close to 80,000 "likes" by Monday. The "Bring Back Our Boys" Facebook page, which aims to raise international awareness of the kidnapping, acquired more than 7,000 "likes" in its first four hours, and numerous viewers uploaded pictures of themselves holding signs reading "Bring Back Our Boys." The page is predicated on the international protest formula initiated by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who created a page called"Bring Back Our Girls" to campaign for the release of nearly 300 Christian Nigerian girls kidnapped by the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram. Viewers who arrive at the "Bring Back Our Boys" page are asked to share it with friends, with an emphasis on celebrities who can more effectively raise the page's profile by adding pictures of themselves with the slogan. Nitzi Yakov, Shlomi Diaz, Shlomo Cesana, Yael Barnovsky, and Ilan Gattegno contributed reporting. Ronnie Wood and drum- mer Charlie Watts traveled to Jerusalem to visit its Old City. Jagger tweeted from the town of Caesarea, a small coastal city located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa, where he reportedly went jogging. He and other band members were also spotted in a cafe near their Tel Aviv hotel. The band ended their two- hour performance with a two-song encore. The afore- mentioned You Can't Always Get What You Want and their 1965 classic (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. Publicly modeling the courage of conviction, the band defied pressure from a small minority of anti-Israel voices such as Pink Floyd alumnus Roger Waters, who went as far as to pen an open letter asking the band to re- fuse to perform in Israel in an effort to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause. But the message that the "arts can build bridges" pre- vailed-giving the anti-Israel Divestment and Sanctions movement another blow in their efforts to delegitimize Israel. "Artists want to play for their Jewish, Muslim and Christian fans in Israel be- cause they realize that it pro- motes peace and understand- ing, said Lana Melman, direc- tor of the nonprofit Creative Community for Peace. The Stones' performance comes off the heels of last month's concert by Justin Timber- lake who also performed at Yarkon Park. During his trip, which included his parents and wife, actress Jessica Biel, Timberlake posted a photo of himself in prayer, with both hands touching the Western Wall, to his social media ac- countswith hashtag"#Israel," causing an uproar amongst anti-Israel voices. At their performance at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park, the Rolling Stones (l-r) Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts enthrall 50,000 fans. Kol ha'kavod (Way to go), Stones! You Can't Always Get What You Want--but sometimes you dol Paul Miller is a journalist and op-ed contributor to the Franklin Center for Govern- ment & Public Integrity. He serves as principal ofPaulieg- roup LLC, a Chicago-based new-media and political consulting firm. His article and editorials have appeared on the Drudge Report and in the New York Post, Chicago Tribune, Jerusalem Post, San Diego Union-Trib, Fox News and Washington Times. Hillary Clinton rewrites her position on Israeli construction ( Inasection of Hill- ary Clinton's new memoir that was published by U.S. media over the weekend, the former secretary ofstatewrites thatthe Obama administration made a tactical mistake by demanding an Israeli construction freeze that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implemented be- tween 2009 and 2010. Clinton in "Hard Choices" writes, "In retrospect, our early, hard line on settlements didn'twork." She explains that the American stance on the settlements hardened Pales- tinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's position. Yet the sentiment Clinton expresses in the book con- trasts sharply with her stated views on Israeli construction while she served as President Barack Obama's secretary of state. In May 2009, she told Al Jazeera, "We want to see a stop to settlement con- struction, additions, natural growth--any kind of settle- ment activity. That is what the president has called for." Later that month, at a press conference with Egypt's for- eign minister, Clinton said Obama "wants to see a stop to settlements--not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions." "It is very difficult, looking at [Clinton's] record during this period, to conclude that the presentation of her role in her book is accurate," wrote Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, for the Weekly Standard. "There is a simple and likely explanation for this revisionist history: She knows that her prominent role in the past five years of acrimony between the Obama administration and Israel is unhelpful to her presidential ambitions, and so she is at- tempting to distance herself from the administration's record by downgrading her in- volvement in its Israel policy." State Department Hillary Clinton