Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Antisemitism at Princeton

Under the usual cloak of misrepresentations about Israel. The name "sabra" would of course be a red rag to an antisemite. It is a descriptive nickname for native-born Israeli Jews

Beginning today, students will be able to register support, opposition or complete apathy toward the Sabra hummus referendum, which has been hotly debated on campus over the past two weeks. The referendum will appear on the USG runoff election ballot this week. If passed, it will ask Dining Services to supply an alternative brand of hummus in addition to Sabra.

The petition for the referendum, which was submitted Tuesday night with the signatures of 269 undergraduates, is one piece of a campaign by the Princeton Committee on Palestine to register moral opposition to the activities of The Strauss Group, which owns 50 percent of Sabra Dipping Company. PepsiCo owns the other half.

The Strauss Group has made public statements in support of the Israeli Defense Forces and also sends care packages to soldiers. The Golani Brigade, members of which have been accused of human rights abuses, has been financially and publicly supported by The Strauss Group.

The referendum has garnered coverage in numerous publications around the world, from Fox News to The Huffington Post to The Jerusalem Post. It is part of a larger movement calling for the boycott of and divestment from companies supporting alleged human rights abusers within the Israeli military.

While alternative brands are available at the U-Store and off campus, Sabra is the only brand sold at University-run retail locations and the only hummus that can be purchased at late meal in Frist Campus Center. The U-Store, which sells other brands, is not run by the University.

According to Campion, the lack of options in University retail locations causes a problem. “Students can only use their meal plan, which they’ve have already invested a lot of money in, to purchase one kind of hummus,” she said. She did acknowledge, however, that Dining Services also makes its own hummus which is served in residential college dining halls.

PCP’s Sabra hummus campaign was inspired by Philly BDS, an organization that calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against companies that support the Israeli military. The organization, which similarly emphasizes the human rights abuses of the Golani Brigade, has also targeted companies it sees as “partners” of the military.

The campaign against Sabra hummus has spread to other campuses. DePaul University in Chicago has discontinued sale of Sabra products, and students at the University of Pennsylvania have taken both sides in a boycott campaign in Philadelphia.


Hatred of Christianity in an American school again

It was a state semi-final game and there was a lot riding on 23-yard touchdown run by Tumwater High School’s running back Ronnie Hastie. After he crossed into the end zone for his second quarter score, Hastie took a knee and briefly pointed to heaven above, thanking God.

It was this action which drew the attention of one referee and, subsequently, the referee’s yellow flag. Hastie was surprised to learn that his momentary pause for prayer would earn him a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

Hastie said he‘s pointed up as a gesture to God after every touchdown he’s scored in every game and never had a problem before. “It’s usually one or two seconds long,” he said.

Hastie said he asked the ref why he was penalized, and the ref responded that Hastie wasn’t supposed to draw attention to himself. “That wasn’t the point (of the gesture), so I guess I was a little confused,” Hastie said.

Asked if he planned to point to the sky after future touchdowns, Hastie said he would not. “I’ll just have to change it up and not make as big of a statement, I guess. The refs are in charge,” he said. “I‘ll just point to the sky once I’m off the field.”


Junk teachers for junk British schools

It reads as though it was written by a schoolchild – and a below-average student at that. But this brief note, riddled with 16 grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, was actually the work of a teacher.

The report was sent by email to the parents of a pupil in the state school teacher's class, summarising the girl’s performance over the previous year.

But yesterday her mother said that all it really did was raise questions about the teacher's own ability. Alongside simple spelling mistakes such as 'requriements' and 'occaisions', were misplaced apostrophes, missing letters and embarrassing typos such as 'ativities’ and ‘everning'.

The unnamed teacher at 800-pupil Gleed Girls’ Technology College, in Spalding, Lincolnshire, committed her first two errors in the email’s subject heading, before the note even began.

The pupil's mother said: 'What concerns me most is that this teacher is supposed to be responsible for raising my daughter’s educational standards. 'If her standards are that low, how can she expect my daughter’s to be high? 'By the time I got to the third paragraph I’d noted five mistakes. 'I would always check an email before I clicked send.

'I am very happy with the school in all other aspects of their dealings with my daughter. But I just received this email and was shocked at how poorly written it was.'

The all-girls school’s website says it is a ‘trailblazing’ institution which has an 'excellent reputation locally and nationally’, although the school is rated only as 'satisfactory' by Ofsted.

The watchdog concluded its most recent inspection report in October 2007 by ordering the school to improve the 'quality of teaching and learning’.

Only days ago Education Secretary Michael Gove called for teachers to clamp down on poor spelling and grammar.

Yesterday, the school’s head, Liz Shawhulme, said she was ‘shocked by the number of mistakes, many of which appear to be typos'. 'It was obviously written in haste and not checked but this is no excuse and I will be contacting the parent to apologise.’

Marie Clair, of the Plain English Campaign, said: ‘Teachers who do this should wear their own dunces' hats.'


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