Colleges enable a culture that calls for Israel’s destruction

Written by on May 8, 2019

Last month Jewish students of New York University filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. The complaint asserted that the NYU branch of the organization of Students for Justice in Palestine created a hostile anti-Semitic atmosphere at the university.

Members of the NYU Students for Justice in Palestine were recently in the news for harassing Chelsea Clinton on the NYU campus. They accused her of facilitating the New Zealand mosque attack with her criticism of the anti-Semitic twit of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

That same month, the NYU Students for Justice in Palestine group was awarded the NYU President’s Service Award. It is given annually for “commitment to civic engagement” and promotion of “quality of student life at New York University.” NYU President Andrew Hamilton was notably absent from the award ceremony on April 17.

On May 2, the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis voted to boycott the NYU satellite campus in Israel over Israel’s policy of selectively barring entry to Palestinians. The department will continue business with the NYU campus in the United Arab Emirates, the country that denies entry to Shia Muslims, including some of NYU’s own professors. It also has no problem with the NYU campus in China, the country that has put over 1 million Muslims in the Uighur minority in internment camps.

Last month, Jewish students at Emory University woke up to fake eviction notices informing them that their suites were “scheduled for demolition in three days.” The fliers were posted by Emory’s Students for Justice in Palestine to protest demolition of Palestinian homes by Israel. They used the official stamps of the Emory Office of Campus Life.

Emory’s vice provost Paul Marthers explained that the notices were “posted as a part of a communication campaign by a student organization concerned with human rights in the Middle East.” College President Claire Sterk further assured the faculty and the students that “Emory’s commitments to creating an environment where all members of the community feel safe and protected and to upholding free speech and vigorous debate remain unquestioned.”

The anti-Semitic, anti-Israel rhetoric on college campuses is largely associated with the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. It equates the Jewish state to the South African apartheid of the past and denies it the right to exist. The boycott of Israeli academic institutions has been endorsed by a number of U.S. academic organizations. Among them are the American Studies Association, Association for Asian American Studies, and Association for Humanist Sociology.

Students for Justice in Palestine aggressively propagandizes the BDS movement on college campuses. Their calls have been answered by a number of student organizations. Formal resolutions calling for the boycott of Israeli universities have been passed by the Student Associations at George Washington University and University of Minnesota, CUNY Doctoral Students Council, and NYU Student Government Assembly.

College administrators generally oppose the BDS movement and condemn anti-Semitism. However, their effort to walk the tightrope of political correctness diminishes the effect of the statements they make. Many academic departments, especially in humanities, openly support BDS. They view it as a human rights movement, failing to understand that BDS is calling for the destruction of Israel, home to 6.7 million Jews and 1.7 million Arabs.

Instead of enabling the culture of anti-Semitism, these departments may want to consider programs that bring the warring sides together. Such programs do exist. Malta Conferences, organized by Chicago chemistry professor Zafra Lerman, bring together Muslim and Jewish students and academics from the Middle East. The initiative is supported by many professional and academic organizations. It has been extraordinarily successful in developing contacts between people separated by hate and intolerance for generations.

Last month, Muhammad Abdul-Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League based in Mecca, expressed “great sympathy with the victims of the Holocaust” that he characterized as “an incident that shook humanity to the core.” He accepted an invitation of the American Jewish Committee to sponsor his visit to Auschwitz.

Would he be welcome at New York University?

Eugene M. Chudnovsky is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York and Co-Chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientists.

Source: Washington Examiner – Beltway Confidential

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