Tag: zionism on campus


I'm a Student at McGill. Our Problems with Anti-Semitism are Far From Over: David Watson, National Post, Nov. 1, 2017— Last week, McGill University was thrust into the national spotlight for an unfortunate reason.

An Anti-Semitic Caricature of Me Generates No Criticism from Berkeley Hard Left: Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 26, 2017— I was recently invited to present the liberal case for Israel at Berkeley.

Universities Can’t Have it Both Ways on Free Speech: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Oct. 27, 2017— The trouble with campus speech codes is that they backfire.

I Don’t Want an Apology from Justin Trudeau: Sally F. Zerker, CIJR, Oct. 26, 2017— Canadian governmental spokespeople have been active lately in apologizing for historical wrongs.



On Topic Links


The Zionists are Coming! Panic at San Francisco State U.: Cinnamon Stillwell, American Thinker, Oct. 7, 2017

New Wave of Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic Activity Emerges on US Campuses: United With Israel, Oct. 2, 2017

Against Faux-Feminists Who Deny the Rights of Muslim Women and Jews: Phyllis Chesler, Tablet, Oct. 2, 2017

Massey College Suspends ‘Master’ Title, Apologizes for ‘Completely Inappropriate’ Incident: Simona Chiose, Globe & Mail, Sept. 29, 2017




OUR PROBLEMS WITH ANTI-SEMITISM ARE FAR FROM OVER                                                       

David Watson

National Post, Nov. 1, 2017


Last week, McGill University was thrust into the national spotlight for an unfortunate reason. Students at the bi-annual General Assembly of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) voted to remove a Jewish student, Noah Lew, from the society’s board of directors. Lew later wrote on Facebook that he had been targeted for his Jewish identity. Before the vote, Lew and two other directors were publicly accused of corruption by a student political group for their affiliation with Jewish political organizations such as the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC).


The vote against Lew at the general assembly last week is certainly disappointing. But what’s even more troubling is that, to anyone with a decent grasp of student politics at our university, it wasn’t in the least bit surprising. Lew’s removal is just the latest symptom of a much deeper problem in McGill student politics. Unless it can be definitively resolved, it will only be a matter of time before the next episode of alleged anti-Semitism at the university.


I’ve been an undergraduate student at McGill since 2014, and I’m now in my final semester. For the past two years, I’ve been writing about student politics at McGill for a student newspaper, The McGill Tribune. In that time, I’ve become familiar with a student society that is engulfed in an endless debate over whether or not to support Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), a movement that calls for a boycott of Israel over its occupation of the Palestinian territories. It’s a struggle that consumes the attention of the society and its members, and generates most of the scandals that plague the university, including last week’s vote against Lew.


For the past three years, BDS has been the organizing principle behind most of the major controversies on our campus. Motions to support BDS were brought forward three separate times in 18 months, before they were declared unconstitutional by the Judicial Board, SSMU’s version of a supreme court. Since then, the struggle over BDS has continued through proxy debates over constitutional issues, proposed reforms, and, as we saw last week, votes on individual student representatives.


Incidents like Lew’s removal are nowadays generally accompanied by a semantic debate about what does or does not constitute anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, or some other form of -ism. Those who voted against Lew claim that their grievances were only political, though I’m not aware of any legitimate criticisms of Lew, since no one even bothered to speak during the allotted debate period before the vote. But whatever their intentions, what matters most is that their actions have real, damaging consequences for our university’s Jewish students.


By voting against board members for things like their membership in CJPAC, McGill students are forcing many of their Jewish peers to make an unfair and harmful choice. They are forced to choose between getting involved in their communities and participating in student government at our university. No McGill student should be put in such a situation, and it’s our responsibility as fellow students to ensure that no one is. That’s why, after the results of the vote against Lew were announced, I joined dozens of my peers in walking out of the general assembly. To vote against Lew for his involvement with Jewish political organizations is to imply that one’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict should be a litmus test for student representatives at McGill. This would be an absurd requirement, and its burden would fall disproportionately on Jewish students at McGill.


In the days after the vote against Lew, many powerful actors voiced their concerns about the incident, and expressed their willingness to explore solutions. McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier released a statement promising an investigation and a task force. Lew was even the subject of a discussion in the House of Commons. And at a meeting on Oct. 29, the SSMU Board of Directors voted to establish its own committee to investigate anti-Semitism in the student society.         


If they are to make a meaningful difference, any proposed reforms will need to address the root cause of the issue: the persistence of the BDS debate at McGill. This isn’t to say that discussion of BDS or Israel should be banned on campus. Universities should be arenas for discussions on even the most controversial topics — that’s how we learn. But these issues shouldn’t come to dominate student politics, or to determine who should be able to sit on a student council.


One immediate fix would be for more students to take an active role in their student society. Much of the pro-BDS lobbying comes from a mobilized vocal minority — Lew’s candidacy was opposed by only 160 votes, at a school with more than 20,000 undergrads. Past online referendums suggest that most students don’t support BDS, but their inaction allows its supporters to drive the agenda. With only a few weeks left before I graduate, I won’t be around to see any of the changes I’m proposing. BDS will have defined my entire experience with student government at McGill. This can’t be allowed to continue. McGill is an otherwise great school, and its incoming students deserve a better experience than the one that the students now graduating have endured.






Alan M. Dershowitz

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 26, 2017


I was recently invited to present the liberal case for Israel at Berkeley. In my remarks I advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state and a negotiated end of the conflict. I encouraged hostile questions from protestors and answered all of them. The audience responded positively to the dialogue.


Then immediately after my address, a poster was plastered outside Berkeley Law School with a swastika drawn on my face. The Dean of Berkeley Law School, Erwin Cherwinsky, sent a letter condemning the swastika: "Several of our students expressed their disagreement with him [Dershowitz] and did so in a completely appropriate way that led to discussion and dialogue. I was pleased to hear of how this went, but then shocked to learn of the swastika drawn on a flyer that someone had posted about him."


Shortly after, The Daily Californian – Berkeley's student newspaper – published an anti-Semitic cartoon, depicting an ugly caricature of me sticking my head through a cardboard cut-out. Behind the cardboard I am portrayed stomping on a Palestinian child with my foot, while holding in my hand an Israeli soldier who is shooting an unarmed Palestinian youth. Above the cardboard cut-out the title of my speech – The Liberal Case for Israel – is scrawled in capital letters.


In a Letter to the Editor, the university's Chancellor, Carol Christ, wrote the following: "Your recent editorial cartoon targeting Alan Dershowitz was offensive, appalling and deeply disappointing. I condemn its publication. Are you aware that its anti-Semitic imagery connects directly to the centuries-old "blood libel" that falsely accused Jews of engaging in ritual murder? I cannot recall anything similar in the Daily Cal, and I call on the paper's editors to reflect on whether they would sanction a similar assault on other ethnic or religious groups. We cannot build a campus community where everyone feels safe, respected and welcome if hatred and the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes become an acceptable part of our discourse."


It is shocking that this vile caricature – which would fit comfortably in a Nazi publication – was published in "the official paper of record of the City of Berkeley" (according to the Editor.) The cartoon resembles the grotesque anti-Semitic blood libel propaganda splashed across Der Sturmer in the 1930's, which depicted Jews drinking the blood of gentile children. Canards about Jews as predators – prominently promulgated by the Tzarist forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – were anti-Semitic back then and are still anti-Semitic today, whether espoused by the extreme left or the extreme right.


This sequence of events – by hard-left students who originally protested my right to speak at Berkeley– confirmed what I've long believed: that there is very little difference between the Nazis of the hard right and the anti-Semites of the hard left. There is little doubt that this abhorrent caricature was a hard-left Neo-Nazi expression.


These anti-Semitic displays against me were in reaction to a speech in which I advocated a Palestinian state; an end to the occupation and opposition to Israeli settlement policies. Many on the hard-left refuse to acknowledge this sort of nuanced positioning. That is because their hostility towards Israel does not stem from any particular Israeli actions or policies. Even if Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, destroy the security barrier, and recognize Hamas as a legitimate political organization, it would still not be enough. For these radicals, it is not about what Israel does; it is about what Israel is: the nation state of the Jewish people. To many on the hard left, Israel is an imperialistic, apartheid, genocidal, and colonialist enterprise that must be destroyed.


Nonetheless, just as I defended the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie, I defend the right of hard-left bigots to produce this sort of anti-Semitic material, despite it being hate speech. Those who condemn hate speech when it comes from the Right should also speak up when hate speech comes from the Left. The silence from those on the Left is steeped in hypocrisy. It reflects the old adage: free speech for me but not for thee…

[To read the full article click the following link—Ed.]                       





Margaret Wente

Globe & Mail, Oct. 27, 2017


The trouble with campus speech codes is that they backfire. That's what happened when Dalhousie University tried to discipline Masuma Khan for making rude remarks on Facebook. Ms. Khan is the black-robed student activist who got pushback after she urged people to boycott Canada Day. "F*** you all," she responded in one post. "Be proud of this country? For what, over 400 years of genocide?" For good riddance, she signed off with the hashtag #whitefragilitycankissmyass."


Never mind for now the remarkable ingratitude Ms. Khan expresses toward the country that took her parents in, and provided her with a first-class education. No one took offence at that. On today's campuses, the sentiments she expressed are common – and, for aspiring activists, practically obligatory. No one blinked until a white, male graduate student decided to test the system. He filed a written complaint alleging that her Facebook post was "blatant discrimination" against white people.


The university should have told them both to go away and grow up. But of course it couldn't do that. Dalhousie has a detailed code of conduct that, among other things, prohibits "unwelcome" actions that might make another person feel demeaned, intimidated or harassed – even if it's just a Facebook post. The vice-provost of student affairs investigated the matter and recommended that Ms. Khan should face a disciplinary hearing and be sentenced to re-education camp. What happened next was perfectly predictable. The very people who had insisted on rigid campus speech codes in the first place – left-wing professors, Indigenous and anti-racism activists and the like – suddenly discovered the importance of free speech. In an open letter, they vigorously condemned the administration, and demanded an environment in which "political speech can flourish." The university capitulated instantly.


These people are, of course, correct. Ms. Khan has every right to trash talk anyone she wants on her Facebook page. She should not, however, be surprised when she is trash-talked back. Nor should we expect these sudden converts to free speech to express the same zeal for protecting the free-expression rights of, say, conservative white male graduate students. For universities, the burden of policing speech creates an impossible dilemma of their own making. The requirement to create "safe" spaces, where people have a right to feel unoffended, undemeaned and undiscomfited, is incompatible with the right to free expression in the public square – for the simple reason that free expression is bound to make people feel cheesed off, threatened and unsafe. That's why it needs protection.


Ironically, universities have done much to institutionalize the idea that speech itself can be dangerous, and that certain speech should not be tolerated. This idea is now depressingly pervasive. In one recent survey of 800 U.S. university undergraduates, 81 per cent said they agreed with the statement: "Words can be a form of violence." Thirty per cent agreed that physical violence "can be justified" to prevent someone from espousing hateful views.


As intolerance spreads on campus, more and more students – and their professors – are insisting that "free speech" includes the right to shut down speech they don't like. At Columbia University, hundreds of students and professors have come to the defence of demonstrators who shouted down an address by the far-right U.K. activist Tommy Robinson last month. They insist that the demonstrators should not be disciplined by the university. By shutting down the speaker, they argue, the protesters "were providing a model of informed political engagement." As two graduate-school journalism students (!) wrote, "defining 'free speech' as a one-handed monologue full of unchallenged smears, however, is a lazy cliché."


These students simply echo the position of professors such as the University of Southern California's Charles H.F. Davis, who argues that students who shout down right-wing speakers are engaged in "resistance against white supremacy." Last week, anti-fascist protesters at a university in California even shut down a panel on – that's right – free speech. Universities should scarcely be surprised that campus conservatives are now using policies devised by leftists to constrain speech they don't like. People who are happy to see the leftie vigilantes get their comeuppance shouldn't be too smug. Those surveys show that students of all stripes – left, right and centre – aren't very tolerant of speech they don't happen to like.


As universities enthusiastically embrace a mission of expanding social justice, the tensions between their role as speech nannies and as a platform for ideas and debate will only grow. I am sorry to say that no university in Canada has yet followed the lead of the University of Chicago, which explicitly advises incoming students that it does not believe in trigger warnings, safe spaces, disinviting speakers, or presumably, in policing students' Facebook posts. The administrative time and energy that could be saved by adopting such a policy would be truly awesome. And imagine what would happen if universities stopped treating students like kindergarteners: They might grow up.






Sally F. Zerker

CIJR, Oct. 26, 2017


Canadian governmental spokespeople have been active lately in apologizing for historical wrongs. Everybody was getting into the act; Trudeau with regard to mistreatment of Indian immigrants, Wynne with respect to exploitation of native peoples, Toronto’s chief of police for a raid on a gay bathhouse long ago. Now, Justin Trudeau is considering an apology for Canada’s turning aside a boatload of Jews seeking asylum in Canada from Nazi persecution in 1939.


Let me say right up front. I don’t want an apology although the Canadian government did me irreparable harm by their rejection of Jewish immigrants during the 1930’s and well into the 1940s. The refusal to allow the entry of the Jewish escapees from Hitler on the ship St. Louis was only one part of a larger discriminatory policy of the Liberal government in power.


What malice was inflicted on me personally by the Canadian government? It was responsible for the early deaths of my aunt, uncle, and their children—my cousins. Of course, the Canadian authorities didn’t directly murder these members of my family, but nevertheless they were responsible. How? My aunt Chaya was my father’s sister, she was married to Alter, and they had five healthy, bright children, who undoubtedly would have been a great asset to Canada.  Chaya and Alter lived in Lodz, Poland. In the 1930’s, they were all set to join their parents and siblings in Canada. By then, my father’s whole extended family, with the exception of Chaya’s, was already settled in Toronto, Canada.


My parents migrated to Canada in 1927, to join both their maternal and paternal parents and siblings. My father’s three brothers and one sister were newcomers to Canada. As you can imagine, these new immigrants were doing everything possible to earn a living. But they were determined to assemble enough money to bring their remaining sibling and her family to Canada. Unfortunately, it took a few years to accumulate the required amount.  By that time, in the thirties, the Canadian policy, with regard to Jews wanting to settle here, was in the hostile hands of Prime Minister Mackenzie King and Frederick Blair, head of immigration, who had the support of the Liberal cabinet and the caucus. They didn’t want any Jews to enter Canada. None! The result was that Canada had the worst record for the entry of Jewish refugees of any nation during the Nazi years.


The application of Chaya’s family to migrate to Canada was made in the normal way, and to my father’s surprise and disappointment, their visas were denied. An expert on immigration was hired to appeal the decision, but that too failed. A reason given for the rejection was that Alter, the husband and father of the family, had a limp, and was therefore liable to have tuberculosis of the limbs, which could threaten other Canadians. I don’t know how they came up with this excuse because it was a complete falsehood.  I know this for certain, because one cousin who survived the holocaust, and who came to Canada after liberation, was able to confirm that this accusation was utter nonsense. Her father was strong and young, was fully competent to work, walk and run, and with healthy legs.


Why then is it that I don’t want an apology for this cruel act? Because an apology can’t right this wrong.  It will not retrieve my relatives for me nor offer me any solace. Instead, it will whitewash a government and a Liberal Party that continued to do nothing to amend the type of antisemitism that was endemic in Canada until the 1970s. It is a shallow, empty, meaningless act for my extended family who lost part of this family for no reason except Jew hatred. It’s not as if Canada would have known any additional cost for my aunt’s family. In those days sponsorship meant total responsibility and upkeep for those committed to the newcomers.


And Canada was the undoubted loser. My father’s family of Friedbergs produced a generation that contributed very well to Canada’s interests. In total my cousins and I have three Ph.Ds in various fields, one Rabbi who led the largest Conservative congregation in Canada, two outstanding medical doctors, one excellent dentist, four who earned different kinds of post-graduate degrees, and were fruitfully employed in their respective areas of expertise, and a couple of cousins who took their talents to the USA, one who was a violinist in a Chicago orchestra. I often am filled with remorse for the loss to the Jewish community and to Canada that might have been had the bigotry and hatred not impaired the creativity and talent from thousands of Jewish refugees who were rejected. If Trudeau is set on making an apology, it is owed to Canada, not from Canada, and it should be in the name of the Liberal Party.


Dr. Sally F. Zerker is Professor Emerita at York University and a CIJR Academic Fellow.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


The Zionists are Coming! Panic at San Francisco State U.: Cinnamon Stillwell, American Thinker, Oct. 7, 2017 —In the fevered imagination of the academic left, these are dark days at San Francisco State University (SFSU).

New Wave of Anti-Israel, Anti-Semitic Activity Emerges on US Campuses: United With Israel, Oct. 2, 2017—Jewish college students returning after their summer break are encountering a wave of swastika daubings and anti-Israel activity on campuses across the country—and there are signs the hostility may intensify in the weeks ahead.

Against Faux-Feminists Who Deny the Rights of Muslim Women and Jews: Phyllis Chesler, Tablet, Oct. 2, 2017—I came into my feminist destiny in 1967, both as an academic and as an activist. Our original feminist vision was radical and transformative. We believed in universal human rights.

Massey College Suspends ‘Master’ Title, Apologizes for ‘Completely Inappropriate’ Incident: Simona Chiose, Globe & Mail, Sept. 29, 2017—Massey College, an independent residential college affiliated with the University of Toronto, has temporarily suspended the formal title of "master" to refer to its head, and apologized for an incident earlier this week that deeply offended and hurt members of the school.



'Unsafe Spaces': Supporting Israel in Modern Campus Culture: Daniel First, American Thinker, Sept. 6, 2017— The American college campus was once a place where students listened to the views of their peers, debated ideas, and derived knowledge through the examination of multiple viewpoints.

When Great Institutions Lie: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 7, 2017— Over the past week, two major US institutions have produced studies that discredit their names and reputations as credible organizations.

The War on History: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Aug. 29, 2017 — Last week, answering the call from Black Lives Matter and other statesmen, mobs destroyed or removed statues of leaders of the Confederate cause all across the United States.

You Can’t Say That!: Matthew B. Crawford, Weekly Standard, Aug. 21, 2017 — It was in the mid-1980s that I first heard the term “politically correct,” from an older housemate in Berkeley.


On Topic Links


College Lecturer Promotes Antisemitism Through Social Media: Ben Shachar, Algemeiner, Sept. 5, 2017

Affirmative Action Policies Evolve, Achieving Their Own Diversity: Vivian Yee, New York Times, Aug. 5, 2017

PC Idiocy Killed ‘The Great Comet’: Karol Markowicz, New York Post, Aug. 13, 2017

Cultural Approbation: Weekly Standard, Sept. 4, 2017





Daniel First

American Thinker, Sept. 6, 2017


The American college campus was once a place where students listened to the views of their peers, debated ideas, and derived knowledge through the examination of multiple viewpoints. Schools like UC Berkeley proudly advertised themselves as leaders of a “free-speech movement”, and discourse was not only allowed, but encouraged.


Fast forward to 2017. Students demand safe spaces. Classes are cancelled for emotional mourning over election losses. School-sponsored counselors are coddling “grieving” students, triggered by their “offensive” surroundings. Speakers are shouted down by angry mobs. Speakers are banned from campuses. Schools unapologetically cave to the demands of gangs of 18-22 years old “activists”. There are violent riots, fires in the streets, and university administrations literally taken hostage by their students.


The problem is that on many American campuses, a single set of views is all that students, faculty and administrations deem “safe”, and any dissent or opposition from the platform is viewed as “hate speech” and a threat to public safety. So, those who deviate from that singular worldview not only become pariahs among their academic peers, but they may also see their classroom grades suffer. This has affected the Jewish and pro-Zionist college experience on many campuses throughout the United States. The once apolitical decision to support the existence, growth and successes of the State of Israel — the only free democracy in the Middle East and, arguably, America’s closest, most trusted ally — has become politicized, and opposed, by mainstream campus culture.


Today, the social aspect of campus academics have increasingly been hijacked by continuing campaigns of disinformation, propaganda, and polarization about Israel. According to data from the AMCHA Initiative, 53 Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) Resolutions have been passed to isolate or entirely eliminate association with Israel in all facets of campus life. Examples include opposition to collaboration with Israeli academics and universities, and the heated and bizarre debate on the morality of carrying Sabra hummus in campus mini-marts. On another 59 major American campuses, these types of BDS resolutions have been raised, but defeated. Currently, the AMCHA Initiative is tracking 56 new campuses and three new State University Systems, which are facing upcoming BDS votes in the 2017-18 school year.


Directly spearheading much of this anti-Israel sentiment on many campuses is the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist (i.e. radical Islamic) organization (that should be designated as a terror organization). The Muslim Brotherhood founded two popular American student groups: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA). These groups have made their names on many campuses by engaging in ridiculous PR stunts such as die-ins, apartheid walls, the aforementioned BDS campus resolutions, and public protests with the intent to shut down events and speakers of opposing viewpoints.


As Muslim Zionist activist Nadiyah Al Noor explained at the Endowment for Middle East Truth Rays of Light in the Darkness Dinner, the fighting and propagandizing rhetoric of these organizations create a “narrative of anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism. I believed their hateful lies: Israel was an apartheid state, Israel was Nazi Germany 2.0, Zionism is racism and Israel has no right to exist. But then I met Zionist Jews, I met Israelis, I started to learn about Israel and once I learned the truth I became a vocal Zionist. I wasn’t going to sit back and watch my Jewish friends suffer at the hands of their anti-Israel peers.”


Anyone who has ever been to Israel knows that what Al Noor said is the truth. Israel is truly a ray of light in the darkness that is the Middle East. In Israel, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha’i, Druze, Bedouin, the members of the LGBTQ and the straight communities, the religious and the secular groups of all religions, all live together in a free, peaceful, and thriving land that the Jews have continuously inhabited for the past 4,000 years. On a Mediterranean coastline, surrounded by the atrocities of Islamist terrorists and dictatorial regimes, Tel Aviv and Haifa sit as diamonds In the rough…


Unfortunately, the anti-Zionists are winning in the battle for the hearts and minds of American college Jews right now. In a recent study released by Brand Israel Group, in 2010, 84% of U.S. Jewish college students supported Israel, but by 2016 only 57% did. At this rate, by 2018, support from Jewish American college students is projected to dip below 50%. Relentless propagandizing and an anti-free-speech campus culture, complicit in spreading such slanderous lies about Israel, have lead us to a point of reckoning.


It is now the start of a new school year, a new beginning with countless memories to be made. There is no doubt we live in a polarized society, but this year, put your partisan views aside at least on this issue. Jewish college students as well as college students from all backgrounds are going to have to stand up for what is right, by supporting the State of Israel and denouncing those who spew anti-Semitic rhetoric and hatred. I know I will, but will you?                          




Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 7, 2017


Over the past week, two major US institutions have produced studies that discredit their names and reputations as credible organizations. Their actions are important in and of themselves. But they also point to a disturbing trend in the US in which the credibility of important American institutions is being undermined from within by their members who pursue narrow partisan or ideological agendas in the name of their institutions…


The first study was produced by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. It dealt with the Obama administration’s policies regarding the war in Syria and specifically the acts of mass murder undertaken by the Assad regime. Authored by Cameron Hudson, a former Obama administration national security official who now serves as the director of the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, the report absolved the Obama administration of all responsibility of the bloodbath in Syria.


As reported by Tablet magazine, the paper argued that “a variety of factors, which were more or less fixed, made it very difficult from the beginning for the US government to take effective action to prevent atrocities in Syria.” The paper’s claim was based on “computational modeling and game theory methods, as well as interviews with experts and policy-makers.” It argued that had then-president Barack Obama not ignored his own redline and actually responded with force to the regime’s 2013 chemical weapons attack at Ghouta, it wouldn’t have made a difference.


In the last months of the Obama administration, Obama appointed several of his loyalists, including his deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, to positions on the board of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. Rhodes was one of the architects of Obama’s Syria policy. After sections of the report were released to Tablet and the report was posted on the museum’s website, its findings were angrily rejected by prominent Jewish communal leaders and human rights activists…


While distressing, the impact of the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s action is limited to a historical falsehood. The goal of the second study published this week by an esteemed institution is to distort and indeed block discussion about a problem that is ongoing. This week, Stanford University’s Research Group in Education and Jewish Studies published a report which purports to show that there is no significant antisemitism on US college campuses and that Jewish students do not feel threatened by antisemitism.


The Stanford’s conclusions fly in the face of a massive body of data, collected by researchers over the past decade, which all show the opposite to be the case. If the Stanford study is believed, it will discredit the work of hundreds of professional researchers and academics, journalists and Jewish and academic leaders throughout the US. But that’s the thing of it. The Stanford study is utter nonsense.


As the researchers, led by Associate Professor of Education of Jewish Studies Ari Kelman, made clear in their report, their study is the product of interviews with a deliberately chosen, nonrepresentative group of 66 Jewish students from five California campuses who are not involved in Jewish life. The researchers said that they deliberately chose only Jews who aren’t involved in Jewish life on campus, since they make up the majority of Jewish students on campuses. The researchers claimed that reports on campus antisemitism are generally distorted, because they generally highlight the views of the minority of students who deeply involved in Jewish life at their universities. Their views, the researchers said, are different from the views of Jews who aren’t involved.


There is certainly a valid argument to be made for researching the views of uninvolved Jewish students about antisemitism on campus. But the researchers didn’t do that. They didn’t survey a random, and therefore statistically meaningful sample of uninvolved Jews. They went to great length to ensure that the “uninvolved” Jewish students were their sort of “uninvolved” Jewish students. As they wrote, “We screened students with respect to their activities in order to determine whether or not they fit our general criteria so as to minimize those with vastly different definitions of ‘involvement’ than ours.”


Armed with their painstakingly selected, nonrepresentative 66 Jewish students, Kelman and his team concluded that all the researchers who have conducted statistically relevant studies of Jewish students on US university campuses are wrong. There isn’t a problem with antisemitism on campus. All the Jewish students the researchers spoke with felt perfectly safe on their campuses as Jews.


This academically worthless finding, published under the Stanford University letterhead, would be bad enough. But the fact is that this finding is the least sinister aspect of the study. The real purpose of the “study” was to use this deliberately selected group of students to shut down debate on the most prevalent and fastest growing form of antisemitism on campuses: anti-Zionism. The survey found that their interlocutors “reject the conflation of Jewish and Israel.” “They chafe at [the] assumption that they, as Jews, necessarily support Israeli policies. They object to the accusation that American Jews are responsible for the actions of the Israeli government, and they express similar discomforts with the expectation that all Jews should be Zionists.”


At the same time, they really don’t like Israel much at all. The survey’s Jewish students “struggle with Israel,” whose actions “generally often contradict their own political values.” Here we begin to see the ideological purpose of the pseudo-academic Stanford study. First things first. The uninvolved students who think that Israel’s actions “generally often contradict their own political values” told Kelman and his colleagues that they are offended by “the accusation that American Jews are responsible for the actions of the Israeli government.” And this makes sense because that accusation is self-evidently a form of antisemitism. Like antisemites who accuse Jews of killing Jesus, antisemites on campuses is ascribe responsibility for the alleged “crimes” of the Jewish state to American Jewish students in California.


So by “chafing” at the allegation, the students his researchers deliberately selected acknowledged that they are offended by antisemitism. But then, helpfully, they agreed with the researchers that antisemitism isn’t antisemitism. The study went on to explain that its student correspondents have been intimidated into silence by the “tone of campus political activism in general, and around Israel and Palestine specifically.” That tone, they said, is “severe, divisive and alienating,” and the students wish to avoid paying “the social costs” of involvement…

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




THE WAR ON HISTORY                                         

Paul Merkley       

Bayview Review, Aug. 29, 2017


Last week, answering the call from Black Lives Matter and other statesmen, mobs destroyed or removed statues of leaders of the Confederate cause all across the United States. At a press conference on August 15, 207, President Donald Trump — who has, after all, been at the forefront of more movement for change (good or ill) than any figure in recent History — stepped up at once to note the inspiration behind it all.


There were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee, I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally… [But where is it all heading?] … George Washington was a slave owner …So [he asked the assembled reporters] will George Washington now lose his status, are we going to take down statues of George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson, what do you think of Thomas Jefferson? Are we going take down his statue, because he was a massive slave owner, now are we going to take down his statue? You’re changing history, you’re changing culture.


No great gift of prophecy was required to arrive at this, but only a talent for discerning mob mentality. Sure enough: “Bishop” James E. Dukes of Chicago’s Liberation Christian Centre has demanded that Mayor Rahm Emnanuel of Chicago rename the Washington Park.  He finds the First President undeserving of this and all his other honours because he was a slaveholder. So was President General Andrew Jackson – for whom another local park is  named.  Around the country, countless memorials standing on private ground are now in the crosshairs.


Meantime, a bust of Abraham Lincoln erected elsewhere in Chicago has been set in flames and defaced. How this is related to the ongoing campaign of vilification of Confederate leaders is anyone’s guess. In any case, local police have declined to investigate this matter. The President was right, of course. Inevitably, enthusiasm for eradicating the memories of bad persons cannot be contained to the figures known to have been active in the overlapping causes of States Rights and defense of Slavery.


Jim Quinn, writing for the website www.zerohedge.com, offers some background: “Liberal mayors and city councils across the south are falling all over themselves wasting time and taxpayer money to remove statues of Confederate generals to appease the left and make a display of how anti-racist they can be. Meanwhile, their cities are bankrupt, their infrastructure is decaying, black crime is rampant and their education systems matriculate functionally illiterate deranged snowflakes into society … Do we get rid of all dollar bills and quarters? Do we change the name of our capital? Do we change the name of Washington & Lee University to Obama & Spike Lee University?”…


Politicians all around the land, caught unprepared, have been calling out for overtime all the manpower available to them so that under cover of darkness, statues dedicated to Lee and Stonewall Jackson and other champions of the Lost Cause could be dismantled without fuss.  Baltimore’s Mayor, Catherine Pugh, squeeked that “with the climate of this nation,” ordering Confederate monuments under cover of darkness “was in the best interest of my city…It’s very important that we move quickly and quietly.” No amount of discussion should be allowed to stand in the way of righteous action.


David Goldfield, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, applauds the strategy of pre-emptive demolition of the statues of evil persons. “The fact that it’s done fairly expeditiously is not surprising because if you do it quickly the opposition can’t build up, and the confrontations that we’ve had, not only in Charlottesville but elsewhere, will not materialize.” Mayor Pugh told the New York Times that she did not know where the statues were moved or where they will end up. And here is the most Orwellian line of the week: “She suggested plaques be installed that describe ‘what was there and why it was removed.’” Does she want General Lee remembered or forgotten? Are these cowardly public officials anticipating visits from the ghosts of the gents on the horses?…

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





                             Matthew B. Crawford

                                                 Weekly Standard, Aug. 21, 2017


It was in the mid-1980s that I first heard the term “politically correct,” from an older housemate in Berkeley. She had a couple glasses of wine in her and was on a roll, venturing some opinions that were outré by the local standards. I thought the term witty and took it for her own coinage, but in retrospect she probably picked it up from one of the magazines that she would leave on the kitchen table: Commentary, or maybe the New Criterion. The Cold War was in full bloom at the time, and it was clear to all in Berkeley which side deserved to win. She was on the other side. I was in my late teens; her treasonous perfidy was exciting.


Through the ’80s, ’90s, and into the new millennium, the phrase “politically correct” would crop up here and there. Among people who were credited as being sophisticated, use of the term would be met with a certain exasperation: It was needling and stale. The phrase had been picked up by the likes of College Republicans and Fox News, and if you had an ear for intellectual class distinctions you avoided it.


Originally a witticism, the term suggested there was something Soviet-like in the policing of liberal opinion. When it first came into wide circulation, was it anything but humorous hyperbole? Is that still the case today? A sociologist might point to a decline in social trust over the past few decades—they have ways of measuring this—and speculate about its bearing on political speech. One wonders: Who am I talking to? How will my utterances be received? What sort of allegiances are in play here? In the absence of trust, it becomes necessary to send explicit signals. We become fastidious in speech and observe gestures of affirmation and condemnation that would be unnecessary among friends.


The more insecure one’s position (for example, as a middle manager who senses his disposability, or a graduate student who hopes for admittance to the academic guild), the more important it is to signal virtue and castigate the usual villains. In some settings these performative imperatives lead us to mimic the ideologue. But from the outside, mimicry may be indistinguishable from the real thing. This uncertainty heightens the atmosphere of mistrust, as in the Soviet world where one could never be sure who might be an informer. Such informers need not be ideologues themselves, just opportunists.


Ryszard Legutko is a professor of philosophy in Krakow who has held various ministerial positions in the post-Communist, liberal-democratic governments of Poland and is currently a member of the European parliament. Under communism, he was a dissident and an editor of the Solidarity movement’s samizdat. He is thus well positioned to make comparisons between two regimes that are conventionally taken to be at polar ends of the axis of freedom. In his book The Demon in Democracy—published last year, with a paperback edition scheduled for next year—Legutko’s thesis is that the important differences between communism and liberal democracy obscure affinities that go deeper than any recent sociological developments. He finds both tyrannical in their central tendencies and inner logic. Legutko’s tone is darkly aggrieved, and he sometimes overstates his case. But his biography compels us to consider seriously the parallels with communism that he asserts, for as a former dissident under a brutal regime he knows what real oppression looks like. He is no intellectual crybaby or talk-radio crank…

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


CIJR Wishes Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


College Lecturer Promotes Antisemitism Through Social Media: Ben Shachar, Algemeiner, Sept. 5, 2017 —In December 2016, the Israeli Students Association (ISA) at York University received numerous complaints from Israeli students at Ryerson University. The complaints concerned the social media use of Valentina Capurri — a contract lecturer at Ryerson’s Department of Geography & Environmental Studies.

Affirmative Action Policies Evolve, Achieving Their Own Diversity: Vivian Yee, New York Times, Aug. 5, 2017—Just a year ago, after the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the University of Texas at Austin’s admissions program by a single swing vote, the question seemed to be edging, at last, toward an answer: Colleges could, the justices ruled, consider race when deciding whom to let through their gates.

PC Idiocy Killed ‘The Great Comet’: Karol Markowicz, New York Post, Aug. 13, 2017—‘There’s a war going on out there somewhere.” So goes the catchy opening song from the Broadway show “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.” The idea is the war is happening far away, and the characters of the show, safe in a swinging Moscow, are untouched by it.

Cultural Approbation: Weekly Standard, Sept. 4, 2017—The Delta Sigma Phi fraternity chapter at the University of Michigan had what it thought was a delightful theme—antiquity on the Nile—for a party kicking off the school year. They invited guests to come as a “mummy, Cleopatra, or King Tut, it doesn’t matter to us. Get your best ancient Egyptian robe and headdress and be ready to party in the desert.”















The Radicals Have Taken Over: Academic Extremism Comes to Canada: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Dec. 3, 2016 — I bet the poor guy never saw it coming.

Anti-Semitism: The Socially Acceptable Hatred: Tamar Lyons, Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2016 — I write this in fear of what we have become and accepted as our norms.

McGill University Attempts Peaceful Dialogue Hindered by Protest: Eva Chorna, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 30, 2016 — The reason McGill University spoke to me so much was because of its emphasis on the importance of free speech and self-expression.

Universities Strive for Diversity in Everything but Opinion: Philip Carl Salzman, Inside Policy, Nov. 14, 2016 — My seminar students at McGill University told me that you can't say anything at this university without being accused of being sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, fascist, or racist, and then being threatened with punitive measures.


On Topic Links


Academics Are Spreading Anti-Israel Message At Universities Everywhere (Audio Recording): Asaf Romirowsky, Pundicity, Dec. 7, 2016

Revisiting CUNY’s Flawed Antisemitism Investigation: Manfred Gerstenfeld & Leah Hagelberg, Algemeiner, Dec. 2, 2016

"Hate Spaces" Film Exposes Campus Intolerance: Noah Beck, IPT News, Dec. 13, 2016

Jewish Students Must Realize That SJP Is About Hate, and Only Hate: Yaakov Menken, JNS, Dec. 15, 2016





Margaret Wente                                                  

Globe & Mail, Dec. 3, 2016


I bet the poor guy never saw it coming. Until recently, Henry Parada was director of the School of Social Work at Ryerson University, Toronto’s big downtown commuter school. His career was going well and he got major research grants. Now he has stepped aside after a handful of students calling themselves the Black Liberation Collective accused him of “a violent act of anti-Blackness, misogyny and misogynoir.” What was this act? It seems that he left a meeting where a black female speaker was giving a talk. No one knows why.


What happened next won’t surprise anyone who has been tracking the steady rise of authoritarian illiberalism on the left. The Black Liberation Collective at Ryerson (which has perhaps the most diverse student body in the nation) issued an escalating series of rants demanding immediate action to address his crimes, along with institutional racism in general. Students disrupted faculty meetings. The administration has issued the standard non-response: Basically it values diversity and inclusion, and is looking into the matter. But really, it doesn’t matter what Prof. Parada did. He’s a white man, and therefore guilty.


Here’s a partial list of what’s been happening on campus lately. At the University of Toronto, psychology professor Jordan Peterson is under attack – not least by his own administration – for refusing to use invented pronouns for transgender people. (Last year, Kenneth Zucker, a renowned U of T psychiatry professor, was fired from his position at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health because his treatment of transgender kids was deemed not radical enough.)


At Queen’s, a good-natured off-campus costume party blew up into a crisis over racism. Queen’s principal Daniel Woolf denounced the event on his blog as “the unacceptable misappropriation and stereotyping of numerous cultures,” and solemnly vowed yet again to improve diversity and inclusion on campus. In other news from Queen’s, the head of a student theatre group was forced to grovel after announcing a plan to cast a white female as the lead in Othello. “There is absolutely no excuse for making a casting decision that was oppressive and caused people of colour to feel as though they were invalid,” she apologized. The production was cancelled.


At many campuses, students routinely try to shut down controversial speakers because they might make someone feel queasy. When Marie Henein, Jian Ghomeshi’s defence lawyer, was invited to speak at Bishop’s University early next year and have her lecture live-streamed to other schools, one women’s studies major at St. Francis Xavier said that Ms. Henein’s talk was a “disservice to students who are victims of sexual violence.” To his credit, Bishop’s principal Michael Goldbloom wrote a rebuttal – an unusual act of academic courage these days.


How did we get here? Here’s a very short answer. University campuses have always leaned a little left. But in the 1990s, as the previous generation of academics was replaced by baby boomers, they began to lean dramatically left. The humanities and social sciences were colonized by an unholy alliance of poststructuralists and Marxists – people who believe that Western civilization is a corrupt patriarchy that must be dismantled. According to studies of U.S. universities, 18 per cent of social-sciences professors say they’re Marxists. Only 7 to 9 per cent identify as conservative. Leftism in the academy is a positive feedback loop – and we’re now well past the point where the radicals have taken over. Those who don’t agree just shut up. “There’s no question there’s an atmosphere of terror,” one (older, white, male) professor told me.


According to classic Marxist ideology, people’s degree of oppression is determined by their ancestry and class. Today’s identity politics simply swaps in race and gender. But the anti-liberal thinking is the same. When your goal is revolution, dissent becomes intolerable, and you have a moral licence to shut down free speech. As the very liberal Jonathan Chait wrote in New York magazine: “Liberalism believes in political rights for everybody, regardless of the content of their ideas. Marxists believe political rights belong only to those arguing on behalf of the oppressed.”


Social sciences and humanities make up only part of universities, of course. Other disciplines – engineering, physics, B-schools – are relatively apolitical. So how is it that the radicals wound up running the show? Here’s Jordan Peterson’s answer: “Engineers and scientists are interested in things. They say, you guys are all insane, just leave us the hell alone.” And by the time they look up, the power positions have been taken over by the radicals. Not so long ago, I thought this craziness would pass. Now I’m not so sure. When institutions cave in to radicals, their demands will only escalate. As for Prof. Parada, his is a cautionary tale. He believed in the revolution. And it devoured him.                                         



ANTI-SEMITISM: THE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE HATRED                                                                       

Tamar Lyons                                                                                                                  

Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2016


I write this in fear of what we have become and accepted as our norms. I write this reflecting on the anti-Semitism I was privy to on my university campus. I am a student at Ryerson University. On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, I attended the Semi-Annual General Meeting (AGM) to show my support for a motion that stated that, the Ryerson student union should provide programming to educate people during Canadian Holocaust Education week.


To be clear — this was not a political statement or a controversial topic. This was simply to raise awareness to learn from the past in order to better our future. Meant to educate, it shows that less than a century ago, people were burned, gassed, and killed for being different. They were persecuted for having a different religion skin colour, or sexual orientation. Things we millennials are fighting for today!!


Today’s millennials pride ourselves on social justice. We pride ourselves on fighting for the oppressed, don’t we? At the meeting, I was trying to actualize my calling, to be deserving of the hero cape I wear so proudly everyday, and to let people know that hate and division lead to the worst atrocities ever committed by humanity. I lined up to speak at the microphone in favour of this motion. Three people including the President of the Muslim Student Association (MSA), and vice president of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), were ahead and opposed the motion. SJP claims to be against anti-Semitism (after tonight I can attest that it clearly does not live up to that standard) and stand up for social justice of the oppressed.


I stood behind them, politely welcoming them. I was then aggressively told by the president of the MSA and Vice President of SJP to “sit down” because there are too many people with my opinions. Excuse me? You think that just because I wear a Jewish star on my necklace you can assume my positions? Well, unfortunately for these individuals, they attacked the WRONG Jewish girl.


The opposition to the motion continued. A young individual from the Social work Union requested that all recordings be shut off reasoning that, “Holocaust education is not inclusive to all students, and it’s not fair to recognize this genocide.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? She further explained that we should include within this week the Somali Genocide, the “Palestinian Genocide,” and a few others. We attempted to clarify that by morphing all of these genocides together, we pose the issue of degrading them. These genocides are different and deserve individual attention. Ryerson can hold awareness weeks for these at other times, Holocaust education week doesn’t have to be the only one.


Moving on, the opposition quickly realized that the more they continued to speak, the more controversy they created. Their strength is in numbers, and they chose to use that against us. As if rehearsed, they formed an unofficial walk-out in which they guarded the doors, patrolled the hallways and aggressively pressured attendees to leave the room so that there would not be enough people present to hold a vote or hear the “pro” voices. The president of the MSA then called for a recount on quorum. Out of a room of 200 of my peers, the audience was reduced to less than 50. The meeting was adjourned.


This act was motivated purely by anti-Semitism and an attempt to try to erase our past. They weren’t interested in discussion or the chance to hear us speak. They were not interested in providing education to the Ryerson community. Their only interest was to walk out of that meeting to ensure the Jewish voices not be heard. How is this social justice?


NOTHING is more inclusive than history. History has proven repeatedly to be cyclical. By raising awareness of the holocaust we wanted to make sure that as a race no one should ever suffer the way we did. This education would benefit everyone in our campus community. Our screaming of “never again” as all social justice leaders screamed in the past, has been silenced by these groups against the motion. As we were trying to express our hope for a better world and pay our respects to the ones that paved the way to our freedom, 200 students walked out making sure that quorum would not be met. Those students, confident in the justice of their action, walked out not only on the Jewish students, but they walked out on history. They walked out on every minority that was ever persecuted for being different.


Holocaust Education Week could have paved the way to discussions on genocide, awareness, and unity. By walking out, they turned their back on social justice. They turned their back on equity. They showed us tonight, that they only stand against “some” forms of oppression. They showed me that their definition of anti-Semitism is non-existent, because to them, it is irrelevant and doesn’t exist. These student leaders are repeating the same exact mistakes that lead to the worst moments of our history.   





DIALOGUE HINDERED BY PROTEST                           

Eva Chorna

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 30, 2016


The reason McGill University spoke to me so much was because of its emphasis on the importance of free speech and self-expression. Coming from France, I often found I was not given a platform to express my support of Israel and was silenced by the necessity to prioritize my safety. Here, I was in a safe space, where my differences were not only embraced, but appreciated… or so I thought.


Over the past year and a half, I found myself disappointed by the relentless hatred that has brought three anti-Israel divestment resolutions to our campus over a two-year period. After all the ignorance and blind accusations I encountered, I decided that I wanted to learn more, and participate in fruitful conversations rather than passively witnessing a lot of hateful slogans thrown around. Therefore, I became a StandWithUs Canada Emerson Fellow, and have been given the tools and the facts to initiate those dialogues. The question remains, when will they happen at McGill? On November 8, I brought a program to McGill that I thought best represented the vibrant, spontaneous and optimistic nature that I experienced upon visiting Israel. I wanted to expose Israel – creative, multi-ethnic, inclusive and sometimes messy – to my friends and peers. Artists 4 Israel was the perfect vehicle. I wanted to use art as a platform to engage in meaningful and constructive conversations, that would help others develop a better understanding about a country that is too often wrongly criticized and misrepresented.


I wanted students to learn about Israeli culture and that it is a democracy with respect for all minorities – especially its 20 percent Arab population – who have full rights (including serving as the presidents of academic institutions, members of the Supreme Court and the Knesset). Soon enough, this event – one that so desperately tried to set aside political differences to share our common desire for peace – attracted negative attention from angry anti-Israel students on campus. They unfurled banners, elicited hateful slogans, and physically trapped us behind their sheets. Some of these individuals even interviewed us, before putting away their note pads and joining the crowd.


These same students reported about the event in the school newspaper, The McGill Daily. The biased article distorts our goals and further misrepresents Israel. As pro-Israel students on campus, we never imagined that an art exhibit intended to convey coexistence, diversity, culture and peace would become a flashpoint for an anti-Israel demonstration. Given the open-minded and safe-space approach taken, maybe now it’s time to question the real motives.


We can’t deny the facts: if the mural had been brought by any other culture club on campus, it would have never seen the opposition that it was subjected to. Various organizations present events to share their cultures, and introduce the community to some of the wonderful differences that make McGill so unique. In early November, the McGill Mexican Student Association (MMSA) brought an event to celebrate El Dia De Los Muertos, which had a great turnout and highly positive response.


So how did we get to a point that when pro-Israel students bring an event to campus – even in the most peaceful of scenarios – they can’t display a flag that brings us so much pride in representing our democratic values, without experiencing such strong opposition and backlash? The facts are that in the McGill Daily article (which touts itself as representing the voices of students), the art installation about Tel Aviv graffiti was labeled as an “insensitive concept and erasure of Palestinian voices.” To me, this is beyond belief.


The fact is that the violent silencing and blocking of this event is what should be considered insensitive, and an erasure of Jewish and Israeli voices. The protesters were unhappy about the fact that “Palestinian people, along with any Palestinian flags or symbols, were entirely absent from the event.” Yes, that is absolutely correct. This was a display about Israel. It was not designed to be a political statement. It was a display of the art of Israel’s streets. Seriously? Comparing an art exhibit to what they call “an apartheid wall” is ridiculous. Once again, it distorts and misrepresents, and in the end was simply their effort to deny Jewish and Israeli students the right to free speech in sharing their perception of Israel with their fellow students.


This experience shed light on a very upsetting reality – their problem is with the sheer presence of Israel, and not the dialogue or message it tries to promote. The fact that they protested a display calling for peace just because it had something to do with Israel is precisely this type of intolerance that hinders efforts to resolve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians on the ground. 


We are no longer talking about political disagreements, given that this installation negated this. The issue is much more worrying. Now, we are talking about a fundamental disrespect for a difference of opinion. It is precisely this type of intolerance that results in these ugly attempts to silence any voices except those of McGill Students in Solidarity with Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR). We object strongly to the kind of partisanship that would result in the views of only one group being heard – and we object strongly to the characterization of this article, which seems to condone this kind of intolerant, and borderline racist behavior.                                   



UNIVERSITIES STRIVE FOR DIVERSITY IN EVERYTHING BUT OPINION                                                 

Philip Carl Salzman

Inside Policy, Nov. 14, 2016


My seminar students at McGill University told me that you can't say anything at this university without being accused of being sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, fascist, or racist, and then being threatened with punitive measures. They felt silenced by the oppressive atmosphere of political correctness. Nothing significant — sex, religion, relationships, public policy, race, immigration, or multiculturalism — could be discussed. Only the acceptable opinions could be expressed without nasty repercussions.


It is generally held today in the West, if not elsewhere, that diversity is a good thing. Diversity in origin, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual preference is now regarded as not only desirable, but mandatory. Universities strive to increase their physical diversity. The currently accepted theory in Western academia is that physical diversity reflects diversity of experience and thus an enriching diversity of viewpoint.


McGill's committee on diversity proposed that we no longer define excellence as intellectual achievement, but as diversity. Their view is that a university populated by folks of different colours or having different sexual preferences is by virtue of this diversity "excellent."


However, among this excellent diversity, what is not encouraged or accepted is diversity of opinion. Only politically correct views are welcome. On the very first day in last year's seminar, students challenged my assignment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel on the grounds that "she is a controversial figure." These students felt that university was not a place to explore controversial issues, but only to repeat what everyone agrees with. Several students dropped out of the seminar saying that they disagreed with Ali's politics. They were apparently unable to tolerate ideas with which they disagreed.


Ali is a critic of Islam. To my students that is a violation of strict cultural and ethical relativism, which dictates that criticism of other cultures and religions is unacceptable. That Ali was an insider who had grown up in a Somali Muslim family, gone to Islamic schools, lived in Islamic communities and countries, and had at one time been rigorously observant, cut no ice with my students. Although they themselves were largely ignorant about Islam, they insisted they would not accept Ali's account as authoritative. Many of the students, notwithstanding their unfamiliarity with Islam, made an effort to defend it. What they were really defending, of course, was political correctness — in this case, upholding relativism by rejecting criticism of a foreign culture.


Ali's criticism of Islam focuses on the treatment of women, their second-class status (receiving one-half of a male share of inheritance, and their court testimony worth half that of a male), the forced marriages, polygamy, the requirement of obedience to men, doctrine-justified beatings of wives, and so on. One might have thought that these concerns would be of interest to women — and cultural anthropology these days is dominated by women. The sex ratio in my classes is usually around seven females for every male; in last year's seminar, there were 21 women and four men. The ratio of female to male professors also increases from year to year. Almost all would identify as feminists. My female colleagues are militant feminists who prefer to hire other female feminists. But their feminism stops at our borders. They, like the stalwarts who man the national feminist organizations, would never criticize other cultures for their treatment of women, and certainly not Islam. Cultural and ethical relativism trumps even feminism.


Blocking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from visiting Concordia University in 2002, shouting down Ishmael Khaldi, Israel's first Bedouin diplomat who spoke last year at the University of Windsor, the abuse of pro-Israel students at York University — these are par for the course at institutions infamous for Israel Apartheid Week. Canadian departments of Middle Eastern Studies and university speaker panels on the Middle East commonly represent only the Arab and Palestinian narratives, excluding any neutral or pro-Israel speakers.


No less than Infidel did, I shocked my students with my views of anthropology and of the world. My students repeatedly told me that they had never heard opinions such as mine at university. I was told that I was "out of the mainstream." This did not surprise or frighten me; I have been an anthropologist for over 50 years, have long been a tenured full professor, and have observed closely the development of my field. Classic liberal political views such as mine are unusual among the many Marxists and fellow travellers in the social sciences and humanities…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link


Philip Carl Salzman is a CIJR Academic Fellow


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic Links


Academics Are Spreading Anti-Israel Message At Universities Everywhere (Audio Recording): Asaf Romirowsky, Pundicity, Dec. 7, 2016—Renowned academic and author Dr. Asaf Romirowsky joined WIBC Morning Host Tony Katz to lend his expertise on an issue that Tony has addressed repeatedly – the anti-Israel movement known as Boycott, Divestment, and Sactions, or BDS.

Revisiting CUNY’s Flawed Antisemitism Investigation: Manfred Gerstenfeld & Leah Hagelberg, Algemeiner, Dec. 2, 2016—The recent official investigation into antisemitism at the City University of New York (CUNY) was so lacking in professionalism that we believe it requires a more focused analysis. This is particularly necessary because antisemitism both in its classic and its anti-Israel forms is also manifesting itself at a number of other American universities.

"Hate Spaces" Film Exposes Campus Intolerance: Noah Beck, IPT News, Dec. 13, 2016—A new documentary, "Hate Spaces," exposes the epidemic of campus intolerance favoring Muslims and anti-Israel activists over Jews and Israel supporters when it comes to free speech, academic freedom, and protection from abuse.

Jewish Students Must Realize That SJP Is About Hate, and Only Hate: Yaakov Menken, JNS, Dec. 15, 2016—When students from Toronto’s Ryerson University Hillel proposed to their Student Union that the school participate in the broader Canadian Holocaust Awareness Week, they did not anticipate the jeers, snickers and eventual walkout staged to prevent a quorum from approving the motion. Nor did they anticipate that this hateful behavior would be led by members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). In this respect, their shock is itself surprising.





Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 



(Please Note: articles may have been shortened in the interest of space. Please click link for the complete article – Ed.)


In Canada, Teaching Zionism, One Student at a Time: Alexandra Markus, Israel Campus Beat, February 11, 2013—Five years ago, Concordia University professor Frederick Krantz noticed a lack of preparedness among Jewish students when faced with the growing anti-Zionist fervor he witnessed on his campus. “Zionism was becoming a negative term and we at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) wanted to do something about it,” he said, “so we started the Student Israel Advocacy Program


Hartman: King of No-man’s Land: Amotz Asa-El, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 11, 2013—Having contrasted between two schools of Jewish thought, the medieval one which said God can take no human form, and an earlier one that said God could possess “an emotional interior,” David Hartman took sides. The earlier school, he explained, allowed him “to cite God’s shift from being a figure of complete and total authority to a figure who works in concert with human beings.”


Yemen's Forgotten Christians: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2013—When one thinks of Yemen—the impoverished Arab country that begat Osama bin Laden, and is cushioned between Saudi Arabia and Somalia, two of the absolute most radical Muslim nations—one seldom thinks of Christians, primarily because they are practically nonexistent in such an inhospitable environment. Most tallies, in fact, suggest that Yemen's entire non-Muslim population is less than one percent.


Egypt’s ‘Christian Winter’: Brian C. Stiller, National Post, Feb 11, 2013—Sectarian domination was not what Egyptian protesters and self-described revolutionaries had in mind when they drove President Hosni Mubarak from office during Egypt’s Arab Spring in 2011. But to underestimate religious sectarianism in the Middle East is to misunderstand one of its core realities.


On Topic Links


A Day in the Tortured Life of Middle East Christians: Theodore Shoebat, Front Page Magazine, Feb. 13, 2013
Christians -The Forgotten Victims of the Arab Spring: Ghaffar Hussain, The Commentator, Dec. 12,  2012

Muslim Persecution of Christians: December, 2012: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, February 6, 2013



Alexandra Markus

Israel Campus Beat, February 11, 2013


Five years ago, Concordia University professor Frederick Krantz noticed a lack of preparedness among Jewish students when faced with the growing anti-Zionist fervor he witnessed on his campus. “Zionism was becoming a negative term and we at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) wanted to do something about it,” he said, “so we started the Student Israel Advocacy Program (SIAP), a year-long seminar with college faculty for the public, to give them facts and data about Jewish and Zionist history, the Arab-Israel conflict and the rise in propaganda.”


Krantz, a professor of liberal arts and humanities who completed his PhD at Yeshiva University on the history of anti-Semitism, is the director of CIJR, a 25-year-old organization that is connected with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The SIAP is one of its many outreach projects.


“Frequently, Jewish students, even those who went to Jewish schools, don’t know much history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, so when they are confronted with highly propagandistic Arab students, professors and speakers, they are not prepared,” Krantz noted. SIAP aims to change that by building upon participants’ knowledge of Jewish and Middle East history, their rhetorical skills and their ability to debate and organize on campus, through seminars and workshops. The program stresses the importance of mutual support among Israel supporters.


“Our overarching goal is to provide students with the truth about the history of the conflict, facts that allow them to dispute the assertions which are made on campus,” Krantz said, adding, “we try to not only teach these skills, but provide participants with the psychological confidence to put them to good use.”


Faculty from three of Montreal’s four universities work together to lead seven workshops each year. Enrolment in the program largely consists of college and university students, but a small contingent of older participants also enrols each year. Generally, 15-20 people complete the program annually. Krantz estimated that approximately 40% of program participants are non-Jewish: “Some of these non-Jewish kids become the most sincerely committed Zionists in the groups we have educated over the years, which has been very satisfying for us,” he said.


Laura Ariza Pena Corea, 24, who studies public policy at Concordia University and is not Jewish, completed the program two years ago. She hails from Colombia, a predominantly Catholic country with a small Jewish population. “When I came here, I made some Jewish friends and expressed an interest in learning more about the history and culture, so I was referred to the program,” she explained.


Krantz emphasized that the program aims to impart facts rather than opinions, giving participants enough background and history to make informed decisions as to their views on issues related to the conflict. Ariza agreed, saying, “I’m more informed, so when I hear people talk about it, I know the two sides of the coin.”


Several participants have gone on to be successful pro-Israel advocates. Hillel Neuer, who heads UNWatch in Geneva, is an alumnus. The program’s remarkable success has pushed it to think bigger. “We’re being imitated now,” Krantz said with satisfaction. “People want to do something similar in Toronto at York University and in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba.”


In the meantime, graduates of the program continue to make positive change in their communities, armed with a new determination to combat ignorance. “A lot of people are brainwashed for such a long time,” Ariza said. “They don’t really know the story…. This program exposed me to a whole new perspective.”


(Please Note: Professor Krantz obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University and did his post-graduate work at Yeshiva University – Ed.)

Top of Page




Amotz Asa-El

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 11, 2013


Having contrasted between two schools of Jewish thought, the medieval one which said God can take no human form, and an earlier one that said God could possess “an emotional interior,” David Hartman took sides. The earlier school, he explained, allowed him “to cite God’s shift from being a figure of complete and total authority to a figure who works in concert with human beings.”


The philosophical debate notwithstanding, Hartman himself personified the theologian who shuns total authority and seeks concert with human beings. In the Israel of 1971, where he arrived after having already been an established rabbi in Canada, this theology was a novelty. In a society firmly divided between observance and secularism, with very little sprawling – let alone flourishing – between them, Hartman was a relentless builder of pathways, bridges and tunnels between both ends of this no man’s land.


A disciple of modern Orthodox sage Joseph B. Soloveitchik who lent religious meaning to Israel’s establishment, and an admirer of Conservative thinker Abraham J. Heschel and his quest for “a passionate engagement with God,” Hartman was difficult to classify within the established denominations of Judaism.


Cynics questioned his claim to Orthodoxy, but in fact his challenge to Orthodoxy was neither Reform’s nor Conservatism’s to Judaism. If anything, it was reminiscent of early Protestantism’s to Catholicism, as Hartman’s celebration of a Jew’s “covenantal” relationship to God encouraged seeking personal paths to divinity, rather than intermediaries, whether of religion’s charismatic or intellectual modes.


Unwilling to accept the religious dichotomies on which Israel was founded, particularly the implicit assumption that Judaism was the exclusive business of the observant, Hartman suspended bridges between observant and secular Israelis, between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews, and between Jews and non-Jews, in addition to upholding the bridge on which he was born and raised, the one that hangs between Jerusalem and Babel.


That is why in the institute which he founded and his son Donniel now heads, one can see scholars from varied faiths poring jointly over a chapter in Psalms and a verse in Isaiah, and rabbis of different denominations matter-of-factly discussing a page in the Talmud or a clause in Maimonides’s Guide for the Perplexed, while on another corner of campus IDF colonels explore with professors of Jewish thought the boundaries of battlefield morality, and several rooms away from them other scholars are writing textbooks on Judaism for secular schools. There is no such place in all of Israel, and actually also no such place beyond it.


Even so, the Israel that David Hartman leaves today is closer to his spirit than the one where he landed 42 years ago. Today’s Israel is one where secularists in Tel Aviv flock to all-night Judaic studies on Shavuot, while in Jerusalem, Orthodox women increasingly assume liturgical roles that once were exclusive to males.


Today’s Israel is one where the secular son of a famous secularist crusader arrives for his own stint in politics flanked by two rabbis, one modern Orthodox and the other ultra-Orthodox, while the leader of an Orthodox party publicly shakes women’s hands and makes no secret of having once abandoned observance for several years.


Increasingly, secular-born Israelis seek paths to their heritage while religious-born ones seek critical religion, just like Israelis raised on overly Talmudic Judaism seek its more emotional versions, and vice versa. Surely it is early to judge the extent to which this Zeitgeist of experimentation, exploration, tolerance and cross fertilization is David Hartman’s inspiration. There can be no arguing, however, that it is molded in his image.


The writer is a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.


Top of Page




Raymond Ibrahim

Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2013


When one thinks of Yemen—the impoverished Arab country that begat Osama bin Laden, and is cushioned between Saudi Arabia and Somalia, two of the absolute most radical Muslim nations—one seldom thinks of Christians, primarily because they are practically nonexistent in such an inhospitable environment. Most tallies, in fact, suggest that Yemen's entire non-Muslim population is less than one percent.


A new Arabic report , however, discusses the existence of Christians in Yemen, and their plight—one that should be familiar by now, given the situation wherever Christian minorities live under Muslim majorities. Unofficial statistics suggest that there are some 2,500 indigenous Christians in the nation, practicing their faith underground even as hostile tribes surround them. According to human rights activist, Abdul Razzaq al-Azazi, "Christians in Yemen cannot practice their religion nor can they go to church freely. Society would work on having them enter Islam."


He added that, as in most Muslim countries, "the government does not permit the establishment of buildings or worship places without prior permission," pointing out that Roman Catholic officials, for example, are currently awaiting a decision from the government on whether they will be allowed to construct a building and be officially recognized by the government in Sana.


A convert to Christianity from Islam—an apostate from Islam whose life is forfeit and who naturally prefers to remain anonymous, going by the pseudonym, "Ibn Yemen" (Son of Yemen)—expressed his fear of increased pressure on Christians, especially since the "Islamists now represent the dominant political faction, following the Arab Spring and the protests that brought the fall of President Ali Abdullah Saleh." He added that even though the old regime "was not Islamist, Christians were still subjected to persecution and scrutiny by the police apparatus under that regime. Authorities did not allow us to practice our religion openly or allow us to build a private church, all because of Islam's apostasy law. What do you think it will be like now that the Islamists are in power?"


Accordingly, and as another Christian interviewed in Yemen indicated, Christians pray underground in the members' houses on a rotational basis—as in the days of Roman persecution of Christians, when the Christians worshipped underground in catacombs. Along with Yemen's indigenous Christians, there are also between 15,000 and 25,000 non-native Christians living in Yemen, mostly refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, where the persecution of Christians is often even worse than in Yemen, especially Somalia, where Al-Shabaab ("the Youth") behead Muslim apostates to Christianity on a regular basis. Such Christian refugees from Africa often change their names to Muslim names to avoid harassment in Yemeni society.


Some Christian organizations and institutions do exist, mostly foreign ones, including the American Baptist Mission, which runs Jibla Hospital and a Church which provides services to orphans, the poor, and imprisoned women. These organizations work primarily to serve the community, not to facilitate Christian worship. Another study confirmed the previous existence of five churches in the southern city of Aden, three of which were Roman Catholic, one Anglican, and the fifth of unidentified affiliation: three of those five churches, which were built during the British occupation of southern Yemen, were neglected and left to crumble; the fourth became the property of the government; and the fifth was turned into a health facility.


The story of Yemen's Christians seems like a microcosm of the story of the Middle East's Christians in how it conforms to the current pattern of oppression for Christians under Islam: things were better for Christians—for religious freedom in general—in earlier eras under Western influence. As the Muslim world, which for a while was Western-looking, continues turning East, to Islam, and as the demands of Sharia Law [The Way] return, so does hostility to non-Muslim worship and apostates—as the "Arab Spring" has brought about wherever Islamists have come to power.


    Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


Top of Page




Brian C. Stiller
National Post, Feb 11, 2013


Sectarian domination was not what Egyptian protesters and self-described revolutionaries had in mind when they drove President Hosni Mubarak from office during Egypt’s Arab Spring in 2011. But to underestimate religious sectarianism in the Middle East is to misunderstand one of its core realities. After forcing out Mubarak and electing Mohamed Morsi last June, revolutionaries are back on the streets, this time with cries of “Leave, leave, Morsi.”


As I walked toward the presidential palace in Cairo after Friday prayers, now the centre of protest, I passed families, with children in tow, seemingly not wanting to miss the historic showdown between the power of the mob and police. Soon the festival-like atmosphere turned into Molotov tossing, police in riot gear lobbing tear gas, and in the end, a man shot in the head by the police.


Many factors have converged to create this ongoing backlash. The economy is in tatters: 25% of Egyptians live on $1 a day, while another 25% make $2 a day. There are 45 million Egyptians under 30, and 90% of them are unemployed., providing an ideal breeding ground for unrest and protest. European powers are reluctant to provide financial aid until the social unrest abates.


And yet, looming in the background of every public debate, is religion. The U.S. recently, and European powers historically, have to their discredit blinded their eyes to the fundamental nature of the Middle East. The pressure between the Islamic majority and the Christian minority, but long-established, other faiths is reaching a boiling point.


The Coptic Orthodox were in Egypt long before Islam arrived. Once one of the central branches of Christianity, today, the Coptic Church, along with evangelical Protestants, constitutes 15% of Egypt’s population. Yet it has been this group, especially the Coptic Orthodox, that have felt the heavy hand of Mubarak’s police (or their absence) when attacked by extremists. People have been fired or denied educations, or even harassed and killed, on the basis of their Christian faith, which they are required to declare on official government documents.


Christians and Muslim moderates had high hopes after Mubarak was ousted. They hoped for a modern, progressive Egypt. It hasn’t happened. Morsi stacked the committee to write the constitution with Muslim Brotherhood members and Salafists (fundamentalists) and rushed the draft to a referendum. Christians and moderates were dismayed to see the lack of meaningful protections of religious freedom. But the constitution passed.


I asked Dr. Sameh Maurice, minister of Al-Dubara Church next to Tahrir Square, where the revolution might lead and what Christians expected from the future. During the revolution he had opened his church as field hospital and centre for dialogue between moderate Muslims and Christians. He has since become a leader in Egypt’s Christian community.


He offered two possible scenarios. The first, of course, is that moderate forces win out and that Egypt’s religious minorities are allowed to live in peace. But the other seems more likely. “Many Christians in the rural area today are being persecuted,” Dr. Maurice told me. “Homes and fields and shops are being taken. In cities it is not that bad. But outside of them, Islamists take by violence and guns and the government does not protect Christians. If the Islamists take over fully, we expect persecution to move into the cities. The economy will collapse, people will starve.”


“If that comes, the church will go underground and be oppressed. If the [moderates prevail], we will bring truth and love to the people of Egypt. But we are working to prepare ourselves for either scenario.” Indeed. The Arab Spring has become a Christian Winter. Egypt faces an exodus of its Christian population similar to those that have already been seen in other Middle Eastern states in the grips of Islamist governments. This will be tragic for Egypt. Not only do Christians control almost a third of business, they are well educated, trained as professionals. They contribute greatly to Egypt’s economic and social well-being.


It will be a tragedy if Egypt’s Christians are forced to flee after 1,300 years of largely successful co-existence with their Muslim neighbours. And it will be a tragedy felt even by those who would drive them from their homes.


Brian C. Stiller is global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance.

Top of Page




A Day in the Tortured Life of Christians in the Middle East: Theodore Shoebat, Front Page Magazine, Feb. 13, 2013—Twenty churches have been destroyed, abandoned, or damaged, and one hundred Christians have been murdered, in Syria. This is only going to get more and more severe as Islamic fundamentalism continuously conquers the Middle East.


Christians – The Forgotten Victims of the Arab Spring: Ghaffar Hussain, The Commentator, Dec. 12,  2012—The world is increasingly realizing that the Arab Spring also has a dark under-belly. As well as ushering in nascent and fragile democracies, popular uprisings in the MENA (Middle East, Europe, North Africa) region have unleashed previously suppressed reactionary forces.


Muslim Persecution of Christians: December, 2012: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, February 6, 2013—As usual, the month of Christmas saw an uptick in Christian persecution under Islam, in a variety of forms, from insults to murders. 



Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.



Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org