Tag: Campus antisemitism

NORTH AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES EARN “F” FOR TOLERATING ANTISEMITISM & CONDONING BDS

York University: It’s More Than Just a Mural: Danielle Shachar, Times of Israel, Feb. 10, 2016 — In North American universities, the right to a “safe space” free from dissenting or controversial ideas is, regrettably, becoming sacrosanct. 

Anti-Semitism, Not Academic Content, Fuels University Boycotts: Winfield Myers, Miami Herald, Feb. 6, 2016— In the aftermath of the American Studies Association’s (ASA) December 2013 vote to support the boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli universities and scholars, the heads of 250 American universities voiced their opposition to both the ASA’s decision and to academic boycotts in general as violations of academic freedom.

On Israel, Vassar College Teaches Make-Believe: Ziva Dahl, Algemeiner, Feb. 5, 2016— I recently attended a Vassar College event sponsored by the “Dialogue and Engagement Across Differences” program, established by the president of the college to help students and faculty discuss contentious issues.

Professor Who Praises Jihadis Still Teaches, Jihad Critic Doesn't: Noah Beck, IPT, Jan. 27, 2016 — To understand just how depraved today's college campuses are, compare the treatment of two professors – one defending a Western, pro-American democracy (Israel) and the other suspected of supporting this century's most gruesome Islamist terror organization, the Islamic State ("ISIS").

 

On Topic Links

 

In Latest Blood Libel, US Prof Accuses Israel of Harvesting Arab Organs, Assassinating Teenagers: Ahuva Balofsky, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 10, 2016

Anti-Israel Fanaticism on Oberlin Campus Creating Hostile Environment for Jews, Says Active Alumnus: Algemeiner, Jan. 18, 2016

From BDS to Ferguson: Columbia U. Panel Takes Aim at Israel: Mara Schiffren, Frontpage, Jan. 13, 2016

The Ugly PC Race to be the ‘Victimiest’ Victim: Carrie Lukas, New York Post, Jan. 29 2015              

 

 

 

            YORK UNIVERSITY: IT’S MORE THAN JUST A MURAL

Danielle Shachar

                             Times of Israel, Feb. 10, 2016

 

In North American universities, the right to a “safe space” free from dissenting or controversial ideas is, regrettably, becoming sacrosanct.  Speech is policed for any statement that could be construed as insensitive or politically incorrect. In light of the widespread tendency to censor even the most innocuous of statements, it is critical to distinguish between speech that merely offends and speech that clearly incites.

 

At York University, where I am a student, the York Federation of Students (YFS) adheres to politically – based censorship with draconian zeal, earning a “F” grade on the 2015 Campus Freedom Index. Though the YFS might justify its infringement of academic freedom on the basis of upholding diversity, tolerance and acceptance, these values are applied with glaring double standards when it pertains to Jewish and pro-Israel students.

 

Case in point: the mural in the York University Student Centre that is behind media mogul Paul Bronfman’s decision to end his support of York’s film program. The mural depicts a man in a keffiyeh holding two rocks in his hands. His scarf is adorned with the Palestinian flag and a map that fails to demarcate the borders between Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.  The words “peace” and “justice” appear below in multiple languages. Why do Bronfman and Jewish students find this mural so disturbing?

 

While artists must be free to criticize the state of Israel, this does not mean that academic freedom acts as a shield for the incitement of violence and hatred. Hundreds of Israeli civilians have been injured or murdered by Palestinian stone throwers. Maps that show Palestinian sovereignty over the entire Israel-Palestine region are used by terrorist groups like Hamas to show that the annihilation of the Jewish state is the only way to achieve real “justice” and “peace”. When Gayle McFadden, Vice President of Operations for the YFS, was asked about the possibility that the mural might be interpreted as something against Israel as the Jewish state and not just against the government politics of Israel, she answered “It’s not my place to tell Palestinians how to resist an occupation”.  However, one might note that it is the place of Canadian law to dictate what constitutes acceptable “resistance” and neither stone throwing nor the elimination of Israel from the map fall under that category.

 

The mural is just one in a long list of complaints that Jewish students have against the YFS. The President of the YFS posted an image on social media that included the Jewish star alongside the instructions to “Smash Zionism”. The YFS partners with ‘Students Against Israeli Apartheid’, a club whose members have denigrated the genetic impurity of European Jews and hosted events with Holocaust deniers.  One of these events was promoted by Palestine House, an organization whose board member, Nazih Khatatba, publicly praised the 2014 slaughter of Jewish worshippers – including York alumnus Howie Rothman – in a Jerusalem synagogue. When the Israeli flag was vandalized with red paint in its Student Centre, the YFS refused to issue a condemnation. The YFS’s annual “Expression against Oppression” programming educated students about every conceivable form of oppression – Islamophobia, anti-black racism, homophobia, and ableism – but notably omitted anti-Semitism. When a Jewish student submitted a motion at the YFS annual general meeting, members of the YU Divest coalition (of which the YFS is a partner) used his religion as justification to defame him for being a “murderous extremist” and a “racist”.

 

The insistency of the YFS to frame the mural as a free speech issue and to posture themselves as victims of censorship becomes even more hypocritical when considering the ways in which the union has promoted anti-Israel extremism at the cost of academic freedom. For example, the YFS supports the boycott of Israeli academics and institutions – a move which has angered free-speech proponents and left many Jewish students scared to freely express their support of Israel. Most ironically, the YFS was a co-signatory of an open letter that urged Victor Phillip Dahdaleh to retract his 20 million dollar donation from York unless the university divested from Israel. How does the YFS reconcile this letter with their anger at Paul Bronfman’s decision to pull his funding over the anti-Israel mural? Where is the consistency?

 

This brings us to the outrageous lack of fairness that shepherded the hanging of the mural in the first place. Progressives at York would never dream of treating any other religious, national, or sexual minority with the same insensitivity as they do the Jews. Can anyone imagine that a mural of a Ku Klux Klan member wearing a scarf of the Confederate flag and holding a noose in his hands would be displayed at any university in the country? If not, why is a mural of a man poised to throw rocks and a map that eliminates Israel any different?…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                       

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                  ANTI-SEMITISM, NOT ACADEMIC CONTENT,

                   FUELS UNIVERSITY BOYCOTTS

Winfield Myers                       

                                                Miami Herald, Feb. 6, 2016

 

In the aftermath of the American Studies Association’s (ASA) December 2013 vote to support the boycott/divestment/sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli universities and scholars, the heads of 250 American universities voiced their opposition to both the ASA’s decision and to academic boycotts in general as violations of academic freedom. Typifying their stance was that of Brown University president Christina Paxson, who said that such action “would be antithetical to open scholarly exchange and would inhibit the advancement of knowledge and discovery.”

 

Yet in failing to address the odiousness of singling out Israel for boycott, such reactions ignore the black heart of BDS: its profound anti-Semitism hiding under the guise of anti-Zionism, anti-colonialism or any cause de jour. A university president harboring intensely anti-Israel or anti-Semitic beliefs could still oppose BDS on academic freedom grounds while leaving unaddressed this key moral issue.

 

Former Harvard president Larry Summers made this point in a recent video interview with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol in which he said he was “disappointed by the response of university presidents,” because they “framed the argument almost entirely in terms of their distaste for academic boycotts rather than anything about the specific substance.” If boycotting Israeli universities is an offense to academic freedom rather than an act of overt anti-Semitism — i.e., if there are no moral reasons beyond standing for “the advancement of knowledge and discovery” to dissuade one from supporting BDS — one might ask if there are any circumstances under which a nation’s universities should be boycotted?

 

Judging by the standards applied by American academic leaders to German universities during Hitler’s reign, the answer might be a resounding No. Following the Nazis’ implementation of their “cleansing process,” which legalized the expulsion of Jews and political opponents from the formerly great German universities by instituting racial and political tests for university appointments, many American universities maintained, and in some instances even strengthened, their ties with their German peers. James Conant and Nicholas Murray Butler, presidents of Harvard and Columbia, respectively, entertained representatives of the Nazi government and brooked no opposition from objecting faculty or students.

 

Behind this shameful display in the 1930s lurked not a commitment to academic freedom at any price, however, but a blatant anti-Semitism stoked by the nativism then widespread in American society. Relations with German universities were warm in spite of their persecution of Jewish faculty and students precisely because most of those affected were Jews. A prejudice acceptable among American elites was unlikely to spark outrage when practiced overseas.

 

That same bigotry is at work today among supporters of the BDS movement who share with elite administrators of 80 years ago a conviction that Jews are uniquely deserving of censure and isolation. Put differently, the same hostility or, at best, indifference that allowed Conant and Butler to ignore the singling out of Jews for persecution motivates those persecuting the Jewish state today.

 

This point is important because boycotts, per se, are not inherently wrong-headed. The West’s unwillingness to object to Nazi policies targeting Jews during the 1930s, before the onset of war and the Holocaust, remains among its most abject moral failures. In the shadow of this history, Summers was surely correct when he told Kristol, “I’m not sure that boycotting Hitler’s universities would actually have been such a terrible thing.”

 

A sweeping condemnation of boycotts in the name of academic freedom, as proffered by many university leaders today, provides cover for those who feel compelled to publicly oppose BDS, but don’t wish to be seen as supporting Israel — a controversial stance in academe that invites much more backlash than casting their position as a principled defense of academic freedom. Ignoring the immorality at the heart of BDS — the singling out of Israel for opprobrium from among all the nations — university leaders appear to seize the moral high ground of defending academic freedom while lending a veneer of legitimacy to the invidious attacks on Israel from BDS proponents. Summers is right to be disappointed — and likely to be so for a long time to come.

                                                                       

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ON ISRAEL, VASSAR COLLEGE TEACHES MAKE-BELIEVE

Ziva Dahl                     

                                                Algemeiner, Feb. 5, 2016

 

I recently attended a Vassar College event sponsored by the “Dialogue and Engagement Across Differences” program, established by the president of the college to help students and faculty discuss contentious issues.

 

The chosen topic, “Conversation About Israel/Palestine,” is one that, in the real world, generates striking differences of opinion. The underlying assumption of a “dialogue across differences” is that participants hold different opinions. However, the two speakers, Hartford Seminary’s Professor Yehezkel Landau and Duke University’s Turkish Imam Abdullah Antepli, differing in nationality, religion and life history, espoused the same opinions, i.e., that although Israel has a right to exist, it is an oppressive human rights abuser of innocent, victimized Palestinians. Landau and Antepli called each other “soul brothers” and their message represents the prevailing campus narrative about Israel. Their views are well known at the Poughkeepsie college, and predictably, their conversation was a duet rather than a dialogue.

 

Vassar described this program, before and even afterwards, as a model for dealing with conflict, despite the absence of any discernible conflict between the speakers. To comprehend how intelligent college administrators could promote such a sham, one needs to understand the current condition of higher education on elite liberal arts college campuses like Vassar.

 

Traditionally, a liberal arts education sought truth by exposing students to a marketplace of ideas, studying the past for insights into the present. However, over the last half century, the university has undergone an astounding revolution. Rather than using the past to understand the present, academics today create their own conclusions about the present and use the past selectively to achieve a political objective. Under the guise of “social justice” (redistribution of wealth and power), these academics look at the world through the lenses of power and oppression, blaming all inequities on the moral failures of Western civilization and demanding equality of results rather than equality of opportunity.

 

They insist that victims of these societal failures deserve compensation for past and current injustice.  This philosophy is called “post-colonialism,” a narrative of good and evil legitimized by pointing to examples in history, literature, and even science. Those who reject this orthodoxy, intentionally or otherwise, will not only be bullied into admitting their error, but also be subjected to “sensitivity training” about incorrect speech or thought, the undeserved benefits of “white privilege,” and the victimization of gays, women and people of color. While faculty laud diversity in gender, class, sexual preferences, race and national origin, there is, in fact, no diversity in political views and opinions on campuses today. Freedom of thought has morphed into indoctrination of thought.

 

Post-colonialists, mired in politically correct multiculturalism, argue that it is important not only to respect the political rights of others, but also to accept their cultures and value systems. Believing that all world cultures have equal value and that non-Western societies have suffered as a result of Western colonialism, they see no conflict in empathizing with and championing Middle Eastern countries that treat women as chattel and murder gays. To them, these people can’t be expected to adhere to Western moral standards, especially since those standards are fundamentally flawed.

 

This worldview significantly impacts the narrative about the Israel-Palestinian situation, where the constant drumbeat of anti-Western propaganda inevitably leads to an anti-Israel climate on campuses. At Vassar, the “dialogue across differences” event represents a classic example of groupthink, where conflict is minimized, disagreement with consensus views is strongly discouraged, and where harmony is valued above accurate analysis and critical evaluation. Vassar’s “Conversation about Israel/Palestine” was a charade contextualized by negative foundational assumptions of Western imperialism. The ideological message about Israel included only selective historical references, with both speakers blaming Israel for the lack of peace, holding the Palestinians blameless, and insisting that Israel sacrifice to repair the situation.

 

There was no mention of the multiple Palestinian rejections of generous Israeli peace proposals.  Absent was consideration that the conflict is a religious war in which the Arabs will not tolerate Jews in their midst. There was no acknowledgement of Israel’s legitimate security needs. Discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was framed as oppressor versus victim.  To add another element to the spurious discourse, Vassar’s director of Religious and Spiritual Life asserted that the Palestinian “struggle for dignity and justice” is linked to the racial and economic injustice in the US. The speakers advocated that successful dialogue about the conflict must eliminate polarization, avoid the black-and-white perspective and the “villains-and-victims” mentality. But they contradicted themselves by talking about Palestinian victims and Israeli villains in the context of good versus evil.  Their presentation was replete with divisive terms such as “illegal occupation,” “expulsion of the Palestinians,” “Nakba” and the reference to Israel as a hyphenated “Israel-Palestine.”

 

Vassar and other elite liberal schools create the world as they wish it to be, not as it is, viewing the Israeli/Palestinian issue as they view all issues, through an anti-Western prism, with Israel as the foreign Western colonialist established by Western imperialism victimizing the “indigenous” Palestinian “people of color.”  To Vassar progressives, Zionism is a nationalistic movement imposing a collective injustice on one people to rectify a worldwide injustice to another, rather than the liberation movement of the Jewish people, espousing the return of an ancient people to its historic homeland…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

                                                                        

Contents

              PROFESSOR WHO PRAISES JIHADIS STILL TEACHES,

                                   JIHAD CRITIC DOESN'T

Noah Beck                                                                      

IPT, Jan. 27, 2016

 

To understand just how depraved today's college campuses are, compare the treatment of two professors – one defending a Western, pro-American democracy (Israel) and the other suspected of supporting this century's most gruesome Islamist terror organization, the Islamic State ("ISIS"). Julio Pino, an associate history professor at Kent State University, is under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for potential ties to ISIS. Pino's jihadist leanings and virulently anti-Israel rants on social media include possible threats against the U.S. government. In 2002, he praised a teenage Palestinian suicide bomber who had killed two people in Jerusalem, saying that the teen had "died a martyr's death in occupied Jerusalem, Palestine."

 

In a 2014 open letter to "academic friends of Israel," Pino published an unhinged and anti-Semitic invective: "I hold you directly responsible for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children, women and elderly civilians over the past month…[w]hile The Chosen drain the blood of innocents without apologies you hide behind the mask of academic objectivity, nobility of research and the reward of teaching to foreign youth – in a segregated university, of course." Pino closed the letter with: "Jihad until victory!"

 

Despite decades of hateful and extremist rants, Kent State reportedly gave Pino multiple awards, including the Faculty Excellence Award in 2010, 2003, 2000 and 1996, along with the Professional Excellence Award in 1999 and 1997. Kent State remains comfortable with him in the classroom despite the over-the-top rhetoric and news of a federal investigation. The Kent Stater, the university's student newspaper, provided him with a video platform to defend himself, and the editorial board wrote that "it is too soon to make a judgment on the investigation…"

 

Contrast Pino's case with Connecticut College's treatment of professor Andrew Pessin for defending Israel in its 2014 war with Hamas (a State Department-designated terrorist organization). Over half a year after Pessin's Facebook post critiquing Hamas, the student newspaper at Connecticut College launched a surprise character assassination by publishing three editorials condemning Pessin (including on the front page), without giving him a chance to defend himself against libelous accusations of racism.

 

In a reportedly packed auditorium Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron said that she was "disappointed by the language" of Pessin's post, which "seemed to show poor judgment," and she praised "the valor of the students who responded to these incidents by exercising their own right of free speech with confidence and intellectual acuity." These statements by Bergeron (as of this writing) continue to appear on the college's web site, long after a Washington Post column cited available evidence to make a compelling case that the allegations against Pessin were politically motivated lies.

 

More absurdly, Bergeron promised to "review our social media policies to ensure they include appropriate advisory language about respectful expression," even as her administration continues to allow the school's student newspaper to host libels against Pessin alongside anti-Semitic rants. As if public condemnation of Pessin weren't enough, the administration continues to display statements from scores of academic departments, school officials, student associations, and other college affiliates, denouncing Pessin on the official Connecticut College website. As of this writing, no other issue or speech is similarly scrutinized or condemned on the school's official web site.

 

At the same public forum last March, Bergeron also promised to update the school's "protocol for bias incidents so that those who come forward under these circumstances are well served by the process." Too bad her lofty commitments proved empty after the bias incidents against Jewish students at the school last December, when Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine ("CSSP") placed posters around campus bashing Birthright, a program that helps young people travel to Israel. The CSSP posters call the program a form of "settler colonialism" and demonize Israel. As Phyllis Chesler reported, the administration's spinelessly neutral response was to "recognize CSSP's right to share its perspective [and] the right of members of the community to express their disagreement with the posters' characterization of the Birthright program."

 

Anti-Israel sentiment is therefore welcome on bulletin boards throughout Connecticut College's campus, regardless of whether it is true. But the "poor judgment" Andrew Pessin showed in a Facebook post merits his absence from campus for at least a year, especially in comparison with "the valor of the students" who refused to accept his apology and his immediate clarification that he was speaking only about the Hamas terrorists in Gaza…                                                                        

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

On Topic

 

In Latest Blood Libel, US Prof Accuses Israel of Harvesting Arab Organs, Assassinating Teenagers: Ahuva Balofsky, Breaking Israel News, Feb. 10, 2016—Vassar College in upstate New York is once again in the news as a hotbed of anti-Semitism, as a professor accused Israel of assassinating teens, harvesting organs and stunting Palestinians’ growth, Israel National News reported Tuesday.
Anti-Israel Fanaticism on Oberlin Campus Creating Hostile Environment for Jews, Says Active Alumnus: Algemeiner, Jan. 18, 2016—Pro-BDS activists are largely responsible for creating a hostile environment for Jewish students at Oberlin College today, a 1986 Oberlin alumnus told the blog Legal Insurrection. 

From BDS to Ferguson: Columbia U. Panel Takes Aim at Israel: Mara Schiffren, Frontpage, Jan. 13, 2016—The nexus between boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) and Black Lives Matter activists that began with the 2014 protests following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri culminated in a recent panel discussion at Columbia University.

The Ugly PC Race to be the ‘Victimiest’ Victim: Carrie Lukas, New York Post, Jan. 29 2015—Actress Julie Delpy should have known she was doomed to defeat in her artless attempt to displace African-Americans as bigger victims of discrimination in Hollywood.

 

 

 

                  

 

 

 

THE (ON-GOING) DECLINE OF U.S. “HIGHER” EDUCATION — AND, ONCE AGAIN, CANADA MAY BE LEADING THE REVERSAL

Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing

 

Contents:                          

 

 The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic WorldDavid Feith, Wall Street Journal, Apr. 5, 2013—It sounds like the setup for a bad joke: What did the Wall Street type say to the college president on the golf course? Well, we don't know exactly—but it has launched a saga with weighty implications for American intellectual and civic life.

 
This is Columbia UniversityDavid Horowitz, National Review, April 2, 2013—Our educational system from kindergarten to the university level, which has long been under the academic thumb of a Left that is comfortable supporting Islamic supremacists and anti-American terrorists both at home and abroad.

Manitoba Student Union Defunds Anti-Israel GroupCanadian Jewish News, Apr. 15, 2013—The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) voted to strip funding and official club status from an anti-Israel group on campus last week.

The Moral Challenge of Divestment Comes to UCSDShlomo Dubnov and Asaf Romirowsky, Times of Israel, Mar. 20, 2013—Last week the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Associated Student Council passed an amended version of a resolution for divesture from companies dealing with the State of Israel, voting 20-12-1 in favor of divesting.
 

On Topic Links

 
Exposing Florida Atlantic U.: Anti-Semitism & Anti-Israel ExtremismAlan Bergstein, You Tube, Mar 7, 2013 (video)
‘Israel Lobby’ Threatening Free Speech at Berkeley?Lee Kaplan, Front Page News, Mar. 29, 2013
'Book Robbery' Hijacks HistoryAsaf Romirowsky, Ynet News, Apr. 7, 2013
Pro-Gay & Anti-Israel? ‘Pinkwashing’ to the RescueCinnamon Stillwell  & Reut R. Cohen, Front Page News, Mar. 25, 2013
 
 

THE GOLF SHOT HEARD ROUND THE ACADEMIC WORLD
David Feith

Wall Street Journal, Apr. 5, 2013
 

It sounds like the setup for a bad joke: What did the Wall Street type say to the college president on the golf course? Well, we don't know exactly—but it has launched a saga with weighty implications for American intellectual and civic life.
 
Here's what we do know: One day in the summer of 2010, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, a respected liberal-arts school in Brunswick, Maine, met investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein for a round of golf about an hour north of campus. College presidents spend many of their waking hours talking to potential donors. In this case, the two men spoke about college life—especially "diversity"—and the conversation made such an impression on President Mills that he cited it weeks later in his convocation address to Bowdoin's freshman class. That's where the dispute begins.
 
In his address, President Mills described the golf outing and said he had been interrupted in the middle of a swing by a fellow golfer's announcement: "I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons," said the other golfer, in Mr. Mills's telling. During Mr. Mills's next swing, he recalled, the man blasted Bowdoin's "misplaced and misguided diversity efforts." At the end of the round, the college president told the students, "I walked off the course in despair."
 
Word of the speech soon got to Mr. Klingenstein. Even though he hadn't been named in the Mills account, Mr. Klingenstein took to the pages of the Claremont Review of Books to call it nonsense: "He didn't like my views, so he turned me into a backswing interrupting, Bowdoin-hating boor who wants to return to the segregated days of Jim Crow."
 
The real story, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, was that "I explained my disapproval of 'diversity' as it generally has been implemented on college campuses: too much celebration of racial and ethnic difference," coupled with "not enough celebration of our common American identity."
 
For this, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, Bowdoin's president insinuated that he was a racist. And President Mills did so, moreover, in an address that purported to stress the need for respecting the opinions of others across the political spectrum. "We are, in the main, a place of liberal political persuasion," he told the students, but "we must be willing to entertain diverse perspectives throughout our community. . . . Diversity of ideas at all levels of the college is crucial for our credibility and for our educational mission." Wrote Mr. Klingenstein: "Would it be uncharitable to suggest that, in a speech calling for more sensitivity to conservative views, he might have shown some?"
 
After the essay appeared, President Mills stood by his version of events. A few months later, Mr. Klingenstein decided to do something surprising: He commissioned researchers to examine Bowdoin's commitment to intellectual diversity, rigorous academics and civic identity. This week, some 18 months and hundreds of pages of documentation later, the project is complete. Its picture of Bowdoin isn't pretty.
 
Funded by Mr. Klingenstein, researchers from the National Association of Scholars studied speeches by Bowdoin presidents and deans, formal statements of the college's principles, official faculty reports and notes of faculty meetings, academic course lists and syllabi, books and articles by professors, the archive of the Bowdoin Orient newspaper and more. They analyzed the school's history back to its founding in 1794, focusing on the past 45 years—during which, they argue, Bowdoin's character changed dramatically for the worse.
 
Published Wednesday, the report demonstrates how Bowdoin has become an intellectual monoculture dedicated above all to identity politics. The school's ideological pillars would likely be familiar to anyone who has paid attention to American higher education lately. There's the obsession with race, class, gender and sexuality as the essential forces of history and markers of political identity. There's the dedication to "sustainability," or saving the planet from its imminent destruction by the forces of capitalism. And there are the paeans to "global citizenship," or loving all countries except one's own.
 
The Klingenstein report nicely captures the illiberal or fallacious aspects of this campus doctrine, but the paper's true contribution is in recording some of its absurd manifestations at Bowdoin. For example, the college has "no curricular requirements that center on the American founding or the history of the nation." Even history majors aren't required to take a single course in American history. In the History Department, no course is devoted to American political, military, diplomatic or intellectual history—the only ones available are organized around some aspect of race, class, gender or sexuality.
 
One of the few requirements is that Bowdoin students take a yearlong freshman seminar. Some of the 37 seminars offered this year: "Affirmative Action and U.S. Society," "Fictions of Freedom," "Racism," "Queer Gardens" (which "examines the work of gay and lesbian gardeners and traces how marginal identities find expression in specific garden spaces"), "Sexual Life of Colonialism" and "Modern Western Prostitutes."
 
Regarding Bowdoin professors, the report estimates that "four or five out of approximately 182 full-time faculty members might be described as politically conservative." In the 2012 election cycle, 100% of faculty donations went to President Obama. Not that any of this matters if you have ever asked around the faculty lounge.
 
"A political imbalance [among faculty] was no more significant than having an imbalance between Red Sox and Yankee fans," sniffed Henry C.W. Laurence, a Bowdoin professor of government, in 2004. He added that the suggestion that liberal professors cannot fairly reflect conservative views in classroom discussions is "intellectually bankrupt, professionally insulting and, fortunately, wildly inaccurate."…
 
In publishing these and other gems, Mr. Klingenstein and the National Association of Scholars hope to encourage alumni and trustees to push aggressively for reforms. They don't call for the kind of conservative affirmative action seen at the University of Colorado, which recently created a visiting professorship exclusively for right-wingers. Rather, Mr. Klingenstein and the NAS want schools nationwide to stop "silent discrimination against conservatives." Good luck.
 
In case you're wondering, Bowdoin's official statement on this week's report amounted to little more than a shrug. A serious response would begin with inviting Mr. Klingenstein to campus for a public debate with President Mills. No golf clubs allowed.

 
Mr. Feith is an assistant editorial features editor at the Journal.
 

 
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THIS IS COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
David Horowitz

National Review, April 2, 2013
 

People who ask how it is possible that a convicted killer — a participant in a failed plot to blow up a social dance attended by 18-year-old draftees and their dates; a murderess who abetted the cold-blooded massacre of three law-enforcement officers, including the first African-American on the Nyack police force; a woman whose actions left nine children fatherless and who has shown no genuine remorse for that — should be hired as an adjunct professor at an elite school like Columbia University haven’t been paying attention to what’s happened to our educational system from kindergarten to the university level, which has long been under the academic thumb of a Left that is comfortable supporting Islamic supremacists and anti-American terrorists both at home and abroad….
 
The prestige of Columbia derives from its scientific and professional divisions (Social Work and Education excepted), in which traditional standards drawn from the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution and including two sides to controversial questions are still observed. Over the past several decades, the liberal-arts divisions and the aforementioned professional schools have reverted to their religious origins, except that the doctrines being rammed down students’ throats without the benefit of opposing views are Marxist rather than Christian.
 
Conservatives have been lame in opposing this ominous development. They have abdicated responsibility at the trustee level, they have had little or nothing to say about it at the policy level, and they have been inattentive to it at the political level, despite the fact that 85 percent of college students attend state universities whose curricula and liberal-arts faculties are as monolithic, intellectually deficient, and politically perverse as Columbia’s.
 
For example, a course at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is described in the official catalogue in these exact words: “The goal of this seminar is to learn how to organize a revolution.” The course description goes on to explain that this would be an anti-capitalist revolution. Kathy Boudin would feel right at home there. In fact, her colleagues Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who organized the terrorist Weather Underground in which Kathy Boudin was a soldier, were not adjunct faculty members like Boudin but full-fledged professors (at Northwestern and the University of Illinois). Ayers, a Columbia graduate, is an iconic figure at Columbia’s Teachers College (a third professional school at Columbia that is an ongoing disgrace) and has edited its series of classroom guides on how to use subjects like Mathematics to teach “social justice” — which, as Ayers understands and articulates it, is indistinguishable from the principles of the Communist gulags that the Cold War disposed of.
 
But of course it is terribly outré to mention all this, and those of us who do are marginalized not only by the academic profession but by the editorial supporters of political bomb throwers at institutions that function as the arbiters of the intellectual culture — such as the New York Times, which played an active role in securing Boudin’s undeserved release from a federal prison. These are sad times for our country, and the hour is late.

 

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MANITOBA STUDENT UNION DEFUNDS ANTI-ISRAEL GROUP
Canadian Jewish News, Apr. 15, 2013

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) voted to strip funding and official club status from an anti-Israel group on campus last week. The move came a day after the University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU), which represents both graduate and undergraduate students, repealed its support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, 14 months after becoming the first university student union in Canada to endorse it.

 

The UMSU vote on April 11 went against legal advice and bucked the trend among other student councils at other universities across the country, which in recent months have voted to divest from Israel, most recently at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus earlier this month. The UMSU motion, which passed by a vote of 19 to 15, prohibits Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) from receiving funding from the student union or using student union facilities for club activities.

The resolution references the Manitoba Human Rights Code and accuses the club of “discrimination” and “harassment.” Prior to the vote, the undergraduate student union’s attorney issued an opinion reading, in part, that “the actions of SAIA were well within the grounds of legally protected and acceptable political discourse.” The legal opinion warned that barring the group could expose the student union to legal liability, the National Post reported.
 

SAIA has branches on most major campuses in the country and organizes the annual Israeli Apartheid Week. Supporters of SAIA have said they’ll fight the decision. “We are shocked that UMSU would ban Students Against Israeli Apartheid without any evidence or basis for the accusations brought forward in the motion,” spokesperson Liz Carlyle said in a statement released by the Winnipeg Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid.
 

Judy Zelikovitz, vice-president of university and local partner services for the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, commended and congratulated the local student activists who led the initiative in Winnipeg. B’nai B’rith Canada hailed the vote as “precedent setting” and called on other universities to follow suit.
 

Not all Canadian backers of Israel supported the move. Ezra Levant, a conservative television commentator and outspoken supporter of Israel, condemned SAIA, but warned that the vote set a dangerous censorship precedent on campuses and made the anti-Israel group look like the victim. However, Zelikovitz said the resolution does not harm free speech on campus. “It in no way infringes the right of students to organize or voice their opinions in open spaces on campus. Rather, the motion ensures that student union fees and resources are not misused to promote divisive and discriminatory agendas,” she said in a statement to The CJN.

The resolution barring SAIA was the brainchild of student council member Josh Morry, who said SAIA’s events were making Jewish students feel uncomfortable, although there haven’t been any incidents of violence during its five-year run on campus. “I didn’t have to prove that Israeli Apartheid Week has actually incited hatred, but that it is likely to undermine the dignity or self-esteem of students on campus who are Zionists,” Morry told the Winnipeg Jewish Review.
 

The University of Manitoba has approximately 28,000 students, and Avi Posen, director of Hillel Winnipeg, said the number of Jewish students is “in the hundreds.” The UMSU decision comes after several student unions across the country endorsed the boycott movement against Israel recently, including at York University and U of T’s Scarborough and Mississauga campuses.
 

Meanwhile, the University of Regina Students’ Union repealed its endorsement of the BDS movement at a general meeting of the group on April 10. Although there was no official vote count, Sean Wilson, a student representative who spearheaded the campaign, estimated about 130 people voted to withdraw support of the motion, while around 70 voted against the idea.
 

“I knew that when people were faced with what [BDS] actually was, they’d vote in favour of repealing it,” Wilson said. “The fact of the matter is, us adopting BDS doesn't change anything overseas but it makes our Jewish students feel extremely uncomfortable and alienated.”

 

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THE MORAL CHALLENGE OF DIVESTMENT COMES TO UCSD
Shlomo Dubnov and Asaf Romirowsky

Times of Israel, Mar. 20, 2013

 
Last week the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Associated Student Council passed an amended version of a resolution for divesture from companies dealing with the State of Israel, voting 20-12-1 in favor of divesting. To date, UCSD is the most prestigious school to pass a divestment resolution, as part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign being propagated across North America and Europe. This resolution marks three out of the ten universities in the California system that have introduced and voted on similar resolutions. It is anticipated that the Student Council of UC Santa Barbara will be voting on a similar resolution soon.
 
The UCSD students, in formulating their resolution, relied on the distortions of the BDS campaign in general: namely, a false characterization of Israel as a rogue human rights violator, the portrayal of the Jewish citizens of Israel as “colonial occupiers,” and the positioning of Arabs as indigenous residents of the land.

The students supporting the BDS movement have challenged the pro-Israel community as they have promoted the false notion that they are open to actual dialogue and debate that would promote equitable and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; in reality, their motives are much more sinister. Rather than being interested in the “social justice” and “human rights” to which they so regularly give lip service, their actual intention is to weaken and destroy Israel, not to make it a partner in peace. As a result, the American Jewish community at large, many of whom embrace the “big tent” approach, still hold on to the desire to accept everyone’s views and self-affirmation in the name of being open and pluralistic.

Since Israel’s very existence is positioned by BDS proponents as antithetical to peace, and an obstacle to social justice for the Palestinians, many on campus are conflicted about fervently supporting the Jewish state. To avoid such dilemma, the strategy of some organizations that support Jewish students is to focus on internal campus life issues, such as Jews being offended if the divestment passes. These arguments are not strong enough in the battle against BDS.

But not all supporters of Israel fall into that moral trap. For instance, some faculty at UCSD, spear-headed by members of its SPME chapter of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), were able to come together and issue a strong statement opposing the divestment initiative, stating that ”the most troubling aspect of the resolution is its characterization of Jewish citizens of Israel as ‘colonial occupiers’ while Arabs are described as indigenous to the land. In so doing, the resolution denies the profound emotional, cultural, and religious connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, a connection that spans 3000 years. This is a deplorable attempt to delegitimize an ancient people’s ethnic identity. Rather than advancing the prospect of reconciliation between Arabs and Jews, such claims regress to the very attitude that has been at the heart of the conflict and prevented a peaceful resolution thus far.”
 
So while the UCSD faculty understood the danger of BDS, the rest of the Jewish community – both on the UCSD campus and at large – lost the battle before it even came to a vote because of a lack of unified strategy and a common ideology. SPME commends the student groups for toning down some of the amoral language of the BDS bill yet it was clearly not enough. Consequently, these grassroots efforts led Associated Students President Meggie Le to express objection to the divestment resolution, but to no avail. Unfortunately, the BDS movement continues to gain momentum as it uses academic freedom to intimidate those who would speak up and question its true intentions.

It is critical to understand that the BDS campaign is contrary to peace, representing a form of misguided economic warfare. The movement is in direct opposition to decades of agreements between Arabs and Israelis, in which both sides pledged to negotiate a peaceful settlement and commitment to a two-state solution, even while only Israel has repeatedly made concessions for peace. There is no doubt that what we saw at UCSD is only part of a larger campaign to isolate Israel and silence its supporters. Until we internalize that the actions of those supporting the BDS campaign are, as former Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers observed, “anti-Semitic in their effect if not in their intent,” we will be losing more ground in this uphill battle.
 
As such, SPME would welcome the opportunity to help students navigate through the matrix of the university governing bodies as we work together, faculty, community and students, to combat BDS more effectively and strategically.

Shlomo Dubnov is a professor of music at UCSD and an SPME board member. Asaf Romirowsky is the acting executive director for Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME)
 


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Exposing Florida Atlantic University: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israel Extremism: Alan Bergstein, You Tube, Mar 7, 2013
A university in Boca Raton, Florida tolerates the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel activities of a radical hate group.

 

‘Israel Lobby’ Threatening Free Speech at Berkeley?: Lee Kaplan, Front Page News, Mar. 29, 2013—The title of a recent panel discussion at the University of California, Berkeley was ominous: “SHHHH! Don’t Talk About Palestine: Chuck Hagel, Judith Butler, and the Israel Lobby’s Threat to Free Speech on Our Campus.”

 

'Book Robbery' Hijacks History: Asaf Romirowsky, Ynet News, Apr. 7, 2013—'The Great Book Robbery' (watch here), a documentary that recently screened on a number of US college campuses, is the latest attempt by anti-Israel groups to rewrite and recast the historical events of 1948.

 

Pro-Gay and Anti-Israel? ‘Pinkwashing’ to the Rescue:Cinnamon Stillwell and Reut R. Cohen, Front Page News, March 25, 2013—What’s a pro-gay, anti-Israel activist to do when faced with the fact that the Jewish state is the only nation in the Middle East in which not only is it illegal to discriminate against homosexuality, but where homosexuality is celebrated with an annual gay pride parade? 

 

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