What American Universities Can Learn From the UK: Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, Feb. 28, 2017— Yesterday, I wrote about the outrageous decision by students at the University of London to deny Jewish students the right to define what constitutes hatred against their group — something that all other minority groups are allowed to do.
What Can Trump Do to Stop the BDS Movement?: Benjamin Weinthal & Asaf Romirowsky, Realclearworld, Feb. 6, 2017— In late December, with just weeks left in his administration, former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a shot in the arm to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, or BDS.
There are Fascists on Campus. Protesters Don’t Realize it’s Them, Not Milo Yiannopoulos: Rex Murphy, National Post, Feb. 3, 2017— I suggest, as a corollary to Orwell’s prescient observation that (I’m paraphrasing) some things are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them…
Welcome to the "Social Justice" University: Philip Carl Salzman, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017— Universities used to be fonts of knowledge, charged with disseminating the known and seeking new knowledge…
Rabbi Sacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign: Rabbi Sacks, Feb. 27, 2017
‘It’s About More Than Hummus,’ Says UC Riverside Rabbi Leading Fight Against Sabra Boycott: Rachel Frommer, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017
Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News: Lukas I. Alpert, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2017
Enter Milo Yiannopoulos, Progressivism’s Spawn and History’s Pendulum in Action: Barbara Kay, National Post, Feb. 14, 2017
WHAT AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES CAN LEARN FROM THE UK Mitchell Bard
Algemeiner, Feb. 28, 2017
Yesterday, I wrote about the outrageous decision by students at the University of London to deny Jewish students the right to define what constitutes hatred against their group — something that all other minority groups are allowed to do. Last week, in a long overdue blow to the antisemitic BDS movement, the University of Central Lancashire cancelled an event for violating the government’s definition of antisemitism.
In December 2016, the British government adopted the definition of antisemitism advanced during a conference of the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The definition states: Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.
Examples of antisemitism cited by the conference included: Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust. Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavor. Applying double standards by requiring Israel to behave in a way not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or the blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis. Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
The conference’s definition minimizes gray areas and confusion regarding the difference between legitimate criticism of Israel and Jew-hatred. A spokesman for the University of Central Lancashire said that the cancelled program, titled “Debunking Misconceptions on Palestine,” was called off because it contravened the government’s new definition of antisemitism, and was thus “unlawful.” Why is it so difficult for American universities to follow this example? In the US, Israel’s detractors objected to efforts to adopt the State Department’s definition of antisemitism as a means of evaluating campus activities; however, this is an international standard endorsed by the UK, a country that values free speech as much as the United States.
Based on this definition, it is clear that many activities that occur during anti-Israel weeks on college campuses — as well as many of the programs sponsored year-round by Students for Justice in Palestine — are unequivocally antisemitic. The BDS movement, for example, is antisemitic because it denies “the Jewish people their right to self-determination” and applies a double standard by requiring Israel to behave in a way that is “not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” As I wrote yesterday, no university acknowledges a First Amendment right to bigotry — even though the Constitution protects offensive speech — except when it comes to discrimination against Jews.
UCLA communications professor Keith Fink was interviewed on TV last week and noted several examples of that school’s hypocritical interpretation of the right to free speech. In one case, top administrators condemned and took down posters connecting the anti-Israel hate group Students for Justice in Palestine with Hamas. In another, a fraternity was suspended for holding a “Kanye West” party, and the university sent a threatening letter to students warning that all lawful resources would be used against students who engaged in intimidation or harassment. Sadly, this is nothing new for UCLA, which punished a fraternity during my days on campus because it planned a “Viva Zapata” party that offended some students. UCLA is by no means unique; this is the norm across the country.
As I wrote in, “Why do antisemites get to define antisemitism?” if antisemitism is protected speech, then no university should be allowed to prevent other forms of offensive speech. But this will never happen because universities have conceded the First Amendment to pressure groups, and will not tolerate bigotry directed at the LBGTQ community, women, African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims or any other group willing to protest. Only Jews are denied protection, under the pretext that attacking Jews and Israel is permissible speech. Only Jews are denied the right to decide what constitutes hatred against the Jewish people. No more.
Administrators can no longer hide behind an arbitrary application of the First Amendment. The University of Central Lancashire has set the precedent American universities should follow. Activities that meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism should be prohibited. Practically, that means universities should condemn all BDS campaigns and cancel any events on campus — especially those scheduled for the upcoming Israel hate weeks — which are antisemitic.
Benjamin Weinthal & Asaf Romirowsky
Realclearworld, Feb. 6, 2017
In late December, with just weeks left in his administration, former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a shot in the arm to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, or BDS. Obama instructed the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, to abstain instead of vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution rebuking Israeli settlement activity. Resolution 2334 deems Israel's presence in disputed territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illicit. Combined five days later with a didactic anti-Israel speech from Secretary of State John Kerry, the resolution administered a body blow to Israel's brand.
The BDS movement, which also has an anti-American agenda, thrives on de-branding Israel as the Middle East's only free state and democracy. In short, BDS uses economic warfare in its effort to label Israel as a pariah state and to end its existence as the Jewish homeland. There are several policies that a Trump administration can pursue to retard the growth of BDS. First, the U.S. Congress should submit the Combating BDS Act of 2016 for President Trump's signature. The bipartisan legislation would permit state and local governments to penalize companies participating in BDS by pulling taxpayer money from those businesses.
Second, Trump can join other world leaders, especially those from BDS ground-zero countries in Western Europe, and declare BDS an anti-Semitic movement that runs counter to all peace efforts. Moreover, lawmakers should push through Congress The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, introduced by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA). This legislation would give the U.S. Department of Education the statutory tools to examine anti-Semitic incidents in the broadest and most effective way possible. The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act mirror's the State Department's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism definition of anti-Semitism that includes the critical language covering where anti-Israel conduct crosses the line into prejudice and discrimination. The act will enhance the Department of Education's ability to identify, investigate, and punish all forms of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionism and anti-Israel harassment.
Third, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, can help to move the United States out of the den of the jackals and state that Resolution 2334 boosts BDS and should be discarded and disdained. Already, Rex Tillerson, the new secretary of state, was asked during his Senate nomination hearings how he would respond to BDS: He replied that he would change the relationship with countries that cooperated with the boycott movement, and that "those countries need to understand that it does shape our view of them."
Finally, U.S. ambassadors in countries where BDS is flourishing — countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium — should deliver speeches in those countries condemning the movement. Moreover, the ambassadors should advocate that the European Union replicate anti-BDS legislation. France's anti-discrimination statute — the Lellouche Law — has been invoked to stop BDS activism based on its discrimination against national origin. The Lellouche Law can serve as a model for Brussels.
The BDS movement has been incorrectly viewed as exclusively anti-Israel. Take one telling example, Code Pink, an allegedly pro-peace U.S. group that is a main actor in the BDS network. Code Pink supports many of America's principal enemies — the Islamic Republic of Iran and communist North Korea, just to name a couple. There are clearly many unknowns regarding what the Trump administration will do. However, Donald Trump, speaking at last year's AIPAC Policy Conference, underscored that BDS is a real strategic threat.
Understanding the architecture of BDS and navigating universities where so such much of the BDS work is happening is not a simple task. Administrators and trustees are self-interested stakeholders devoted to seeing that peace and quiet prevail at their institutions. But faculty and students are the heart of the university. Only a small minority of both implacably opposes the existence of Israel. But this minority successfully shapes the larger university environment by playing to politically correct views on violence and supposed racism, hijacking other issues such as minority rights and fossil fuels, and cowing opponents with harassment and intimidation, false claims of persecution, and undertones of threatened violence.
The actions proposed above can help in providing concrete long-term solutions. Winning the war against BDS will require a playbook that understands the opposing players and their strengths and weaknesses.
National Post, Feb. 3, 2017
I suggest, as a corollary to Orwell’s prescient observation that (I’m paraphrasing) some things are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them, that should you seek stupidity in depth and a full lock on all mental development, enroll in a prestige high-fee North American liberal university. Further, I hold that whatever debates may be underway about the targets of Orwell’s dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four, the modern university is the only institution that has taken that noble work for use as a manual.
For where else are words turned quite upside down, flipped over to stand on their bruised heads and told to dance to the rigorous tunes of fanatics? For it is only on a university campus that simple, basic words are made by violence to take on their exact and opposite meanings: up is down, right is wrong, day is night, and anti-fascism is fascism.
A couple of nights ago the Twitter-banished, Trump supporter, Internet gadfly and author Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to give a talk at the (hilariously regarded) home of the Free Speech movement of the 1960s, Berkeley campus in Oceania, sorry, in California. If I were to characterize Yiannopoulos I’d put him down as a right-wing, more sophisticated version of Jon Stewart. He is certainly more clever. There is a relaxed quality to his goading of the politically correct hordes that Stewart’s more determined sneering never really achieved.
Milo doesn’t have a TV show (yet) but he gives talks and is on a campus tour. Naturally when he showed up at Berkeley a riot broke out. A little flavour of the evening may be gleaned from any number of sources: “Protesters armed with bricks and fireworks mounted an assault on the building hosting a speech by … Milo Yiannopoulos.” Another: “Several injuries have been reported and at least four banks have been vandalized after demonstrators marched away from the scene of a violent protest at the cancelled speaking event by … speaker Yiannopoulos.” And just one more: “As the gathered crowd got more agitated, masked ‘black bloc’ activists began hurling projectiles including bricks, lit fireworks and rocks at the building and police. Some used police barriers as battering rams to attack the doors of the venue, breaching at least one of the doors and entering the venue on the first floor.”
Now what do we call it when people in black uniforms and face masks storm a speaking venue, assault attendees, light fires and throw bricks at police with the express purpose of shutting down a speech? Would “fascist” work for you? In this context, and remembering it is a university campus where this outrage was perpetrated, I think fascist will serve quite nicely. And then we may advance to giving the name of the group that sponsored this giddy fit of intolerance and mayhem. They call themselves “AntiFa” which is the cute way campus blackshirts like to spell anti-fascist these days.
You see thereby what I mean by saying it is only in a university setting that words and descriptions are not only torn from their roots, mauled and variously abused, but put to service in the exact opposite of all their meaning. For those who are little too fond of invoking an analogy with the Weimar Republic in these Trumpian days, it might be worth looking in a reverse direction at Trump’s more fanatic opponents for a more faithful deployment of the comparison. As between the well-coiffed, mild-mannered Yiannopoulos and a mob of black-clad mask-wearing brick-tossing rioters, I’d go with nominating the latter as the fascist crowd.
Righteousness staggers the angry mind. The rioters presented the “argument” that Yiannopoulos’s (aborted) talk was an act of violence, while ever so superciliously they maintained that their acts of violence were free speech. One pureblood nitwit at the event whined that it wasn’t Milo’s talk, per se, that triggered her, but that she feared that in some future class she might unwittingly be sitting next to someone who had attended it. (Does Berkeley have an entrance exam? Does it require baying at the moon?)
More and more those who are, as it were, genetically opposed to the results of the presidential election, make the assumption that the Republican victory handed them a licence to violate all the codes of civil society and the understandings of democratic practice. That because their fellow citizens make a choice they find unpalatable they are thereby released to riot and violence and plaster their actions as heroic and noble. And of course the cringing authorities of the universities, instead of clarion denunciations of such actions, and absolute dissociation from all such charades, dance mildly down some imagined middle. Milo is a “provocateur” or he is “extreme” right wing, or that most feeble of all standbys, claiming the protest was “infiltrated” by “outsiders.”
The moral courage of some universities is at a low low ebb and their long and ancient reputation as havens of thought and intellectual regard is being travestied. There is only one real protest I would really like to see on a university campus these days: one that marched for more rigorous courses and more time in the libraries, reading. Meantime, I expect we’ll see a run on Mussolini bios.
Philip Carl Salzman
Gatestone Institute, Feb. 1, 2017
Universities used to be fonts of knowledge, charged with disseminating the known and seeking new knowledge. But progressives have brought great progress to the university: progressives know all the answers, and that the problem is not to understand the world, but to change it. Welcome to the "social justice" university. Its orientation is expressed by the School of Social Work, at Ryerson University in Toronto:
“School of Social Work is a leader in critical education, research and practice with culturally and socially diverse students and communities in the advancement of anti-oppression/anti-racism, anti-Black racism, anti- colonialism/ decolonization, Aboriginal reconciliation, feminism, anti-capitalism, queer and trans liberation struggles, issues in disability and Madness, among other social justice struggles.”
Many universities are not as candid as Ryerson, but often their positions are much the same. Many have established "equity and inclusiveness" committees to oversee "just practice," to disseminate "correct" views through literature, posters, and re-education workshops, in some cases mandatory. They also sanction faculty members who express unacceptable views. Schools of education ensure that their graduates will be inculcating their school pupils in the principles of "social justice," and in identifying the deplorable "multiphobes" in their families and communities. American schoolchildren have been taught by teachers determined to discredit America, that slavery was an American invention and existed exclusively in America — a staggeringly counter-factual account.
What do progressives intend under the label of "social justice"? What theories and policies have they made the central task of the university to advance? The first goal to be advanced is equality, by which they mean equality of result, as opposed to equality of opportunity — which is often inadequate and needs to be addressed. Thus, to advance economic equality, progressives advocate redistribution of wealth, taking money from those who have it and giving it to preferred others. ("The problem with socialism," as the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pointed out, "is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money.")
Progressives also recognize that equality of result contradicts individual freedom, and that individual freedom will have to be suppressed supposedly for the collective good. Coercion is necessary to enforce social justice goals. A social justice friend recently argued that cars should be replaced by public transport, and that people should live in central cities rather than suburbs. When it was pointed out that housing and transport choices indicated North Americans seem to have a strong preference for suburbs, and that they prefer driving cars to taking public transport, he replied that they will have to be forced to live in cities and use public transport. This is an actual the plan of the United Nations, known as Agenda 21. Given the necessity of coercion to get people to do the "right" thing, progressives favour a strong central government to direct citizens' — or subjects' — lives.
Second, equality among individuals is "insufficient," and must be complemented by collective rights based on "category membership". Each category — of gender, sexual preference, national origin, culture, race, religion, and so on must be considered equal and receive equal benefits. All societal roles should therefore have an equal number of each category, either at the same time or in rotation. Equality of result also mandates that members of each category must have the same position and same benefits as all others: an equal number of men and women in government offices and in business administration. So too with members of different races, religions, sexual preferences, and so on. To balance ethnic representation in professions, Jews who want to become dentists must be forced to become police officers, while Irish men and women who wish to become police officers, must be forced to become dentists. Diversity becomes a moral end in itself.
If all variations of human beings are not present at an event or in an organization, it is seen as prejudiced and discriminating. But this does not apply to members of the majority, who are increasingly not welcome; only "diverse" members of minorities are now welcome. This applies even to history. The University of Pennsylvania English Department removed a portrait of Shakespeare, on the grounds that Shakespeare is not sufficiently diverse, and replaced it with a portrait of the black lesbian poet, Audre Lorde…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
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Rabbi Sacks on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign: Rabbi Sacks, Feb. 27, 2017—The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is dangerously wrong because beneath the surface it's an attempt to delegtimize Israel as a prelude to its elimination.
‘It’s About More Than Hummus,’ Says UC Riverside Rabbi Leading Fight Against Sabra Boycott: Rachel Frommer, Algemeiner, Feb. 1, 2017—A proposed student resolution to ban Sabra company products from the dining hall of a California university “is about more than hummus,” the campus rabbi leading the opposition to the boycott told The Algemeiner.
Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News: Lukas I. Alpert, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2017—Milo Yiannopoulos, a media provocateur who had become an outspoken voice in conservative politics, has resigned from the hard-right news site Breitbart News after a video surfaced in which he made remarks that appeared to condone sex between grown men and underage boys.
Enter Milo Yiannopoulos, Progressivism’s Spawn and History’s Pendulum in Action: Barbara Kay, National Post, Feb. 14, 2017—Freedom for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is an organization that defends freedom of speech for students and academics at American universities. They’ve tracked disinvitations and speech disruptions on campus over the last 17 years and recently published their findings.