Campus Reform OP-ED: Pro-Palestinian groups don’t respect free speech on campus

I’ve penned another column at Campus Reform. This week, it is centered around a video from Portland State University featuring MSA and SJP students denouncing a pro-Israel event hosted by the College Republicans.

Here’s an excerpt:

College is meant to be a place where free speech comes alive. Different viewpoints are supposed to be welcome and intellectual diversity celebrated.

For at least one loud minority on college campuses, however, the rights and the privileges afforded by the First Amendment only extend to those who share their exact beliefs.

Let me give you one recent example.

The College Republicans of Portland State University, hosted a viewing of the 2005 documentary film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” only to leave after the pro-Palestinian group attempt a hostile takeover of the event.

Before the event began, pro-Palestinian activists attempted to route the event by storming the stage making loud announcements about a competing event in the hallway outside where students could “meet real Muslims.”

When the documentary ended things got worse. The “activists” yelled, shouted and attempted to pick fights with the organizers. The scene was reminiscent of feeding time at the zoo.

Continue reading at Campus Reform.

 

Times of Israel Column: Remembering the Dolphi Disco Terror Attack

In my first column at Times of Israel, I wrote about the 12th anniversary of the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv. The attack left my cousin Simona Rudina (Rodin) and 20 other young Israelis dead.

Here’s an excerpt from my column:

This Saturday marks 12 years since the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv, Israel.

On June 1, 2001, the Dolphinarium discotheque – once a popular nightclub frequented by young Israelis, especially Soviet émigrés – became center stage for one of the deadliest suicide terror attacks in Israel’s history. It occurred at the height of the Second Intifada and subsequently changed the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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Suicide bomber Said Khutari, 22, came to the Dolphinarium discotheque with the intent of causing mass destruction. Reports allege Khutari taunted his victims before the attack. He then banged on a drum laced with explosives and ball bearings, and went on to blow himself up, kill 21 youngsters, and injure 132 club goers. He carried out the attack in the name of Islamic Jihad and had ties to Hamas.

One of Khutari’s victims was my cousin Simona Rudina (Rodin).

Continue reading at The Times of Israel.

 

Blogging Update: Times of Israel and PolicyMic

Since the school year is dying down, I have found more time to blog on a semi-regular basis. Given my usually busy travel schedule and work with college students, I cannot write a weekly column. Nevertheless, I continue to write for Counter Cultured, ViralRead.com, and Townhall.com.

This week, I added two blogs to the roster: Times of Israel and PolicyMic. The former is an Israeli blog that caters to American readers and focuses on issues related to Israel, politics, and Judaism. I’ll write about Israel-U.S. relations, anti-Semitism at American universities, and conservatism and Jews there. The later is a website that caters to millennials. I’ll focus on politics with respect to youth issues, feminism, and conservatism.

 

New Townhall Column on Divestment Resolutions Passing at the University of California

I have a new column up on Townhall.com today about the University of California system embracing the BDS movement. The article is titled “Divestment Resolutions at the University of California Encourage Anti-Semitism.”

Below is an excerpt from the article:

The University of California system is living up to its reputation for being home to anti-Semitism.

Earlier this month, several campuses belonging to the University of California system passed legislation in their respective student governments calling for divestment from Israel. Resolutions decrying so-called “human rights violations” in Israel passed at UC-Riverside and UC-San Diego. UC-Irvine passed a similar bill last year in November. In 2010, UC-Berkeley passed a resolution in favor of divestment although it was vetoed by their student body president.

Divestment is a component of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by Palestinian activists in an effort to delegitimize the state of Israel. BDS’s goals are to promote the “Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination” by “ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall”, “recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality,” and “respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”

On the surface, BDS appears to be benign and legitimate. Support for human rights in the Middle East? Why not! What could be wrong with that?

My Thoughts on UCSD Passing Divestment in The Daily Caller

My alma mater – UC-San Diego – was center stage for the Arab-Israeli conflict last week after the Associated Students passed a divestment bill condemning Israel for “so-called human rights violations.” It was passed by a secret vote 20-2. (What every happened to transparency?)

Here are my thoughts in The Daily Caller:

Student government meetings are no place for parsing out the Arab-Israeli conflict, said one recent graduate.

“Universities shouldn’t become center stage for the Arab-Israeli conflict,” said Gabriella Hoffman, a 2012 UCSD graduate, in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation. She added that passing divestment resolutions gives legitimacy to anti-Semitic viewpoints on campus.

During her time at the university, Hoffman worked to prevent the ASUCSD from approving such resolutions.

“Many pro-Israel and Jewish students and community members–including professors and activists–worked together to ensure that divestment wouldn’t pass,” she wrote. “As a result, they were always rejected.”

Sister campuses UC-Riverside and UC-Irvine also passed divestment bills in their respective student government bodies. Although defeated in previous years, the passage of divestment at the University of California is a very troubling trend in higher education.

UCSD still won’t be receiving any alumni money from me.

Smart Girls Are Armed, Conservative, and Fabulous: My “Youth in Action” Interview

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Teen conservative and Smart Girl Politics activist Bethany Bowra (@bethanybowra) interviewed me for the latest installment of Smart Girl Politics’ “Youth in Action” series profiling young conservative female activists. Those of you who know me are familiar with my hold-no-prisoners approach to conservative politics, anti-Communist tendencies, and desire to lure in more young people to our movement.

I hope my thoughts and sentiments in this interview inspire other freedom-loving youngsters to speak out and reject collectivism. Without a doubt, we must encourage more young conservatives…especially young conservative females.

Enjoy!

While Planned Parenthood and Democrat women in Congress claim to speak for all women, these young women have something to say about that. Contrary to popular belief, those groups do not speak for all young women— many young women my age have views that are quite the opposite. Below is my interview with conservative activist, Gabriella Hoffman!

Why did you get involved in politics?

I got involved in conservative politics because of my parents. My mother and my father are Lithuanian immigrants who escaped from Soviet communism 27 years ago. The Left’s policies remind them too much of the Old Country, so conservatism came naturally to them. Their stories and perspective on life really brought me to conservatism. Both sides of my family suffered immensely in the former Soviet Union. I’m in this fight to honor their memories and remind people that freedom must be safeguarded for future generations to come.

How did you get involved?

In 2006 when I was 15, I started writing a column in a local Orange County, CA community paper, The Coto Voice, called “Teen Beat.” I maintained this column for three years. I primarily focused on topics ranging from volunteering in high school to upholding traditional values. After I graduated from high school and moved onto college, I began to write about politics for The California Review, the conservative paper at UC-San Diego. From there, I went onto running a YAF chapter and hosting David Horowitz on campus- an event which landed on national news. After the event garnered a lot of attention, I started working for The Rick Amato Show as an Executive Assistant and landed a coveted role at Eagle Forum of San Diego as the Director of Youth Outreach.  I also started blogging for various websites and publications.

What issues have you been focused on since you became active?

I’m a firm believer in sound conservatism (social and fiscal conservatism), and I also believe in strong national defense. During my time at UC-San Diego, I heavily focused on support for Israel (I have family there and support a healthy U.S.-Israel relationship) and exposing militant leftists on campus. I also exposed radical feminism and openly condemned the Vagina Monologues. Now, I concentrate on a plethora of issues ranging from traditional values to Israel advocacy to media/leftist/campus bias to free enterprise.

Continue reading at Smart Girl Politics Action.

Young People Should Be Thankful for Senator Ted Cruz

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The 113th Congress was sworn in this past week. Divided government still dominates in the nation’s capital (Democrats still control the presidency and the U.S. Senate), and President Obama promises to be more partisan and equally tyrannical in his second term. Nevertheless,  my generation should look forward to the addition of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to the 113th Congress.

Cruz, a conservative champion and fearless defender of the Constitution, promises to be a much-needed conservative voice in the U.S. Senate. With Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) resigning to assume Ed Feulner’s post at Heritage Foundation, Cruz will likely take over DeMint’s role as the stalwart conservative voice in this respective chamber.

Earlier this morning on Fox News Sunday Cruz said, “I don’t think what Washington needs is more compromise. I think what Washington needs is more common sense and more principle.”

He also criticized the nomination of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel to the Secretary of Defense post citing his long-track record of being anti-Israel and being a detriment to healthy U.S.-Israel relations.

If you haven’t watched the entire interview, you can view it below.

A few days earlier, Senator Cruz published a column in the Washington Post urging Republicans to promote “opportunity conservatism.”

He writes, “So let me suggest an alternative course: opportunity conservatism. Republicans should conceptualize and articulate every domestic policy with a single-minded focus on easing the ascent up the economic ladder.”

Cruz adds, “That does not mean adopting the wealth-redistribution policies of the left. Among other problems, collectivist approaches to our economy simply do not work. They fail to produce economic prosperity or to improve the material conditions of the populace. And they lead to bankruptcy and economic collapse, as Europe demonstrates daily.”

And then he finishes with this point: “Why do millions of people from all over the world come to the United States? Because no other nation has offered such opportunity. Nowhere else can so many come with nothing and achieve anything.”

Senator Ted Cruz understands the problems that my generation faces. As a first-generation American born to a Cuban father, Cruz notions that freedom and prosperity-not welfare and government handouts-best uplift people.

As a young person, I’m largely drawn to Ted Cruz and his conservatism because like him, I’m also a first-generation American born to immigrant parents. (My parents are from the Baltic Republic of Lithuania. They escaped from it before the USSR collapsed.) Additionally, Cruz knows how to articulate conservatism and win arguments by clearly stating the problems we face and how to solve them. If young people are looking for a serious leader, then Ted Cruz is the right guy to confide in.

Welcome to Washington, D.C., Senator Cruz! My generation is counting on you.