Anti-Israel academic boycott turns ugly at Vassar
Heavy racial overtones as Israel class picketed, Professor forced to walk protest gauntlet, Jewish students heckled and mocked.
Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, has been in the headlines this year because of anti-Israel agitation related to Hillel. But that’s only part of the story, and the only part to receive mainstream media attention.
In fact, several events coincided leading to an ugly, racialized and anti-Israel eruption on campus in early March which has not received any mainstream media attention, although it was covered at the pro-Israel Commentary Magazine and Louis Brandeis Center, and previously at the anti-Israel Mondoweiss website.
I began looking into these events several days ago, and have had extensive conversations with the two Vassar professors who were the target of anti-Israel rage. I also have obtained documentation not previously published.
What transpired was anti-Israel vitriol directed at Professors and students taking a course that involved travel to Israel and the West Bank, an intimidating protest outside a classroom, and a campus forum in which the Professors and Jewish students were belittled, heckled and mocked in such crude ways that it left even critics of Israel shaken. Yet the Vassar administration has done little in response, and would not comment for this report.
The bigger story is that these events at Vassar reflect how the American Studies Association academic boycott of Israel has emboldened anti-Israel students to cross previous lines of academic respect and freedom. The “anti-colonial” and other rhetoric focusing on Israel’s supposed European roots, inaccurately used by the boycott movement to demonize Israel, has injected a racial context to the protests (as at U. Michigan) which is boiling over but only in one direction — towards supporters of Israel.
This incident also reflects on what it means to “Open” Hillel and to diminish the place on campus where pro-Israel students are welcome.
“Open Hillel” and Faculty Letter Supporting Boycott
The Vassar Jewish Union is affiliated with the Hillel International organization.
Vassar is one of only two schools, the other being Swarthmore, to declare its branch of Hillel an “Open Hillel.” That designation means that the college branch would not honor Hillel’s international policy of not hosting groups hostile to Israel’s existence or in favor of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement.
At the time, Vassar
Jewish Student Union Assistant Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life Rabbi Rena Blumenthal expressed concern about what the “Open Hillel” designation would mean for pro-Israel students on campus:
Blumenthal, however, remains somewhat apprehensive for students, saying, “I do have a concern that some students who are supportive of Israel may misunderstand the Open Hillel stance to mean that their voices are not equally valued. I do hope that VJU will make it clear that being an Open Hillel means being open to all voices along the political spectrum of this complex issue.”
The Open Hillel effort at Vassar was led by Jewish Student Union President Naomi Dann, who co-signed a letter in support of the ASA boycott of Israel, along with the co-President of Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP is an anti-Israel group active in pushing the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, denying Jewish national aspirations in Israel, and advocating the claim that Israel is a “settler colonial” state:
SJP at Vassar is active and aggressive on campus, building a mock wall for “Israel Apartheid Week,” among other things:
At the same time, there was a vigorous faculty reaction to the statement issued on January 2, 2014, by College President Catharine Bond Hill and Dean of Faculty Jonathan Chenette announcing that Vassar rejected the academic boycott of Israel passed by the American Studies Association.
That Vassar statement, one of over 250 by university presidents and similar in tone, was very neutral on the merits of the Middle Eastern dispute, and focused exclusively on academic freedom:
Recently several academic associations, including the American Studies Association, have called for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Vassar College is firmly committed to academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. We are opposed to boycotts of scholars and academic institutions anywhere in the world, and we strongly reject the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. We endorse the statements opposing the boycott issued by the American Association of University Professors, the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities, and the President of the American Council on Education.
Vassar’s commitment to academic freedom not only leads us to reject the call for a boycott, it helps ensure that our faculty and students may pursue their academic interests wherever they may lead, engage in unconstrained discussions, and express their views freely.
Nonetheless, 39 Vassar faculty members signed a strongly worded open letter condemning Israel, dated February 28, 2014 and printed in the Student Newspaper on March 1, 2014:
…. We cannot afford to be passive about the considerable violence and brutality that the Israeli state has inflicted and continues to inflict upon the Palestinian people and other minoritized populations, particularly as the United States financially, militarily and diplomatically supports the Israeli state, and thereby contributes to the ongoing occupation. Even the ardent supporters of Israel cannot deny the ongoing systematic dispossession of Palestinians, the destruction of their homes and livelihood, the expansion of illegal settlements beyond the 1967 borders, and the general humiliation and hardship Palestinians must endure as walls, checkpoints, apartheid legislation, and control of movement deny Palestinians self-determination, freedom, and basic human rights. While Palestinians have been fighting for their freedom since their dispossession in 1948, the world has remained largely silent with regard to this humanitarian crisis….
Among the signatories was Joshua Schreier, Associate Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies, who supports the academic boycott of Israel and considers Israel (added — comparable to) an Apartheid state:
Associate Professor of History and current director of the Jewish Studies program Joshua Schreier is the instructor for a course at Vassar called “The Roots of the Palestine-Israel Conflict”.
Schreier explained that his stance on whether or not to boycott Israeli academic institutions has changed over time.
He wrote in an emailed statement, “Originally, I was instinctively against it. Recently, I have heard far more reasoned, substantiated and detailed arguments in favor of the boycott.”
He proceeded, writing, “The second, explicit question is whether Apartheid South Africa and contemporary Israel are comparable. Before anything, let me say clearly that I would never say the two countries are the same. This being said, it is hard to deny that both counties maintain (or maintained) hierarchies based on race or, in Israel, what is often called “nationality.”
SJP cheered the faculty letter, stating that it marked a turning point on campus.
International Studies 110 becomes target of academic boycott
While the Open Hillel push, Israel Apartheid Week, and faculty letter were moving forward, Professors Jill Schneiderman (Professor of Earth Science and Geography) and Rachel Friedman (Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Studies) were getting ready for their International Studies 110, International Study Travel.
This semester the course was focused on a trip to the Jordan River Watershed and Surroundings in Israel and the West Bank, as described by Schneiderman at her personal blog:
I’m about to embark on a two-week journey with 28 Vassar students to the Jordan River valley and its surroundings. I was motivated to propose and teach such a course because from my perspective as an earth scientist, I understand how daily and future access to clean water in ample supply is one of the key issues about which people in the region fight. It is also a problem on which Arabs, Jews, Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis have worked together with integrity and compassion….
Our trip will take us from the headwaters of the Jordan River near the border with Lebanon down to the shrinking Dead Sea and through the bone dry Arava valley. With assistance from Friends of the Earth Middle East and EWASH (Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene in the occupied Palestinian territory), along the way, we’ll meet with Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians to learn about their perspectives and efforts with regard to the basic human right of ready access to clean water.
In late February, Friedman arrived at Kenyon Hall on campus for her regularly scheduled class.
As she entered the lobby of the building, near her class, Friedman was confronted with a line of SJP students holding posters and passing out flyers demanding that students not participate in the class and not go to Israel on the class trip.
I spoke with Friedman at length about the incident.
As Friedman describes it, protesters were lined up side-by-side across the lobby such that Friedman and the 28 students in her class had to push through the line to get to the classroom. While not physically blocked, Friedman described that this required her to physically cross the protest line, as the protesters created a space to walk through as she approached.
The protesters made loud ululating sound similar to what is traditional among women in some Middle Eastern countries. (Audio example here.)
The protesters carried posters with slogans urging students to drop the class. While Friedman doesn’t have photos of the posters, Friedman recalls wording similar to “It’s not too late to drop the class,” “Indigenous Palestinians don’t want you to take the class,” and wording regarding oppression of Palestinians.
Here’s a copy of the flyer handed out as students entered the class:
Friedman said that she was “shocked” and “in 17 years at Vassar never experienced anything like this.” She said she “couldn’t believe protestors crossed over into [the] space of classes.” Even though the protesters didn’t enter the classroom itself, they imposed themselves physically in the pathway to the class.
Friedman considered these physical actions to be a “new kind of transgression.” Friedman felt that the protest was “dangerous” from an academic perspective, and “crossed a line that no other protest crossed.”
She said she would not have minded if the protest took place outside of the classroom vicinity and in a way that did not impose on those entering the class. SJP frequently leaflets and has a table set up in the student center, and Friedman said she doesn’t mind that.
The protesters continued to make noise as class started, but eventually quieted down and left. The students in her class looked “shell shocked” according to Friedman.
The class spent about a half hour talking about what had happened. Student comments during that session included that they “felt unsafe,” “bullied” and “harrassed.” Some other students felt that their “intelligence was insulted” by the protest.
Friedman asked the class what they wanted her to do. The consensus was to hold a “mediated discussion” with the protesters so that all student voices could be heard.
Open Forum Turns Toxic
After the class Friedman contacted senior administrators to inform them what had happened, and to express her concern. Friedman did not seek any sort of disciplinary sanction, only the “mediated discussion” the class requested.
According to Schneiderman, accusations of racism were made (added — based on the professors complaining) because SJP claimed that the protesters outside the class were “of color.” SJP also accused them of “greenwashing,” a term we have discussed here before where anti-Israel groups claim Israel uses its strong environmental record to cover up supposed crimes against Palestinians.
While SJP later would claim that the protest caused the course to include more areas of the West Bank, Friedman denied that, indicating that more areas were included once a State Department travel warning for those areas was removed. Until then, the school would not let the class travel to those areas, but it always was the intention to fully expose the students both to Israel and the West Bank.
Friedman was told that a dialogue session would be organized with the protesters, so that she and they could express their views to each other civilly. That meeting never took place.
Instead, and much to her surprise, Friedman received an all-campus email from the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence announcing that there would be a campus-wide forum to discuss the ethics of her class travel.
From: Luis Inoa [_____]
Date: Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM
Subject: [Students] The International Studies Trip and Student Protest, Monday 5:30 to 6:30
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
The Committee on Inclusion and Excellence presents:
The International Studies Trip and Student Protest at Vassar
Join us for an open discussion about the International Study Travel trip to Israel and the response from students. Representatives from the Dean of Students office, the International Studies Program and Travel class, and Students for Justice in Palestine will kick off a conversation on the ethics of the travel trip, the rights of students to protest on campus and other related issues.
Monday, March 3rd
5:30 to 6:30 pm
Multi-purpose Room, College Center
Friedman was shocked, particularly by the reference to the “ethics of the travel trip.” Friedman told me: “Since when do other faculty members get to challenge the ethics of another class?”
When she expressed that view to administrators, including the CIE administrators, Friedman was told her that “this thing happens with or without you.” She and Schneiderman felt they had no choice but to attend the forum.
Shortly thereafter, however, the title and description of the forum was altered in a second all-campus email:
The Committee on Inclusion and Excellence presents:
The Ethics of Student Activism and Protest at Vassar
Join CIE for an open conversation on the ethics and possibilities of student activism and the rights of students to protest on campus. This open dialogue, while not limited to, will include a conversation about the International Study Travel trip(s) and responses from students. Representatives from the Residential Life office, the International Studies Program, Travel class, Students for Justice in Palestine, and J Street will kick off the conversation.
Monday, March 3rd5:30 to 7 pm
Multi-purpose Room, College Center
The campus forum was held on March 3.
Schneiderman wrote a blog entry describing the anti-Israel atmosphere:
… I was knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to vilifying anyone who dares set foot in Israel.
Phillip Weiss, a harsh critic of Israel who runs the Mondoweiss website, attended the forum at the invitation of Friedman and Scheiderman According to Weiss, Kiese Laymon, an African-American writer and English professor, led the meeting, saying he wanted a dialogue about activism–“not to be guided by cardboard notions of civility.” Friedman also remembered that phrase being used to open the meeting
Weiss descibed the hostile atmosphere, as follows in part (emphasis added):
I was at the March 3 meeting that so upset Schneiderman, and it was truly unsettling. Over 200 students and faculty jammed a large room of the College Center, and torrents of anger ripped through the gathering. Most of them were directed at Israel or its supporters. Two or three times people shouted at one another. Several said they felt bullied. Schneiderman and another leader of the trip, Rachel Friedman, an associate professor of Greek and Roman studies, looked shocked.
As Schneiderman said in her blogpost, rage against Israel was the theme….
…. the spirit of that young progressive space was that Israel is a blot on civilization, and boycott is right and necessary. If a student had gotten up and said, I love Israel, he or she would have been mocked and scorned into silence. Or bedevilled by finger-snapping—the percussive weapon of choice among some students, a sound that rises like crickets as students indicate their quiet approval of a statement.
I left the room as soon as the meeting ended. The clash felt too raw, and there was a racial element to the division (privileged Jews versus students of color). Vassar is not my community, and I didn’t want to say anything to make things worse.
Both Friedman and Schneiderman said that Weiss’ description of the forum hostile environment was fairly accurate in substance and tone, although they disagreed with his characterization of the trip to Israel elsewhere in his article.
Friedman described it to me as “not an open forum, a trial.” Schneiderman called it a “very toxic atmosphere,” and that the anti-Israel element was “argumentative and belligerent.” Schneiderman said that this belligerency reflected what she perceived to be a general breakdown at Vassar of willingness to engage in dialogue “where thoughtful people can disagree” and a tendency to see complicated issues “as clear cut.”
The room was full, with approximately
2000 200 students, most of whom were anti-Israel.
Friedman described how “Jewish kids sho spoke were heckled” and drowned out with a finger snapping noise and loudly laughed at. I asked how she knew they were Jewish, and she said that they self-identified as such in response to the crowd. One student stated: “I felt anti-Semitism before in my small town and never thought I would again until now.”
Friedman agreed with Weiss’ characterization of the racial element. The issue of her class trip and the protest “became very racialized,” and most of the hostility at the forum came from “students of color.”
There were administrators present at the forum taking notes. The Dean of Students and Acting Dean of the College were present.
Friedman and Schneiderman left a few days later on their trip, and only returned a few days ago.
Is Vassar a Place for Pro-Israel Students?
As of my conversations this week with Friedman and Schneiderman, they were not aware of any administrative response to what happened.
The President of Vassar did not respond to two emails, copied to communications personnel, requesting comment on the forum specifically and the anti-Israel climate on campus in general.
The Rabbi Blumenthal of the Jewish Students Union also did not respond to a similar email.
Clearly there is a major problem at Vassar, with an out-of-control anti-Israeli hostility emboldened by SJP and some faculty.
Now that Hillel is “Open” to people who hate and want to destroy Israel, there is no organized place for pro-Israel students, Jewish or otherwise, a concern expressed early on by
the Vassar Jewish Student Union Rabbi Blumenthal.
With high school students about to receive acceptance letters and make decisions about where to attend college, one has to wonder whether Vassar is a place for pro-Israel students.
[Note – there were a few wording changes after publication, as noted in the post.]
I finally received a response from Vassar, at about 4 p.m., about 3 hours after I forwarded them this post. The email was from Jeff Kosmacher, Director of Media Relations & Public Affairs. Here is the email in full:
Mr. Jacobson:Your post needs correcting:
1) “At the time, Vassar Jewish Student Union Rabbi Rena Blumenthal expressed concern about what the “Open Hillel” designation would mean for pro-Israel students on campus”
— Rabbi Rena Blumenthal is in fact Assistant Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. The Vassar Jewish Union is a student organization.
2) “The room was full, with approximately 2000 students, most of whom were anti-Israel.”
— That would be 200, not 2000. Vassar only enrolls 2400 students, and our largest venue, the Chapel, only seats 1000.
— As to your contention “most of whom were anti-Israel,” what is your source? I was actually in the room.
The “2000” number was just a typo. Thank you for catching that. It has been corrected to 200. Rabbi Blumenthal’s title has been clarified. My sources for the description of the room atmosphere were those people mentioned and quoted in the post itself. It would have been nice if you responded to my prior emails so that I could have included your side of the story.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Not to worry, Fans of Israel. President B. Hussein Obama has vowed to go directly to Vassar from Europe. Yep, the brave and morally courageous Infantile Majesty promises to quell the Heat and anti-Semitism and deliver a breathtaking address on the Greatness of the Jews in History.
Further, he promises that,”If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.”
Lunar Green Cheese, anyone??
Alternate Headline: VASSAR GETS UGLIER!
(if such a thing is possible.)
Somebody needs to take some of the choice excerpts from the following document, and directly ask the “Students for Justice in Palestine” if they support it. The results should be published in the school newspaper.
So, who has the nerve to ask?
Then, some real scholars might want to compare the content of that document to this one:
and tell us whether the Hamas Covenant actually comports with the fundamental principles of Islam espoused in that more recent, more scholarly document.
Reading this unabridged charter of Hamas is like reading Mein Kampf. It is honest about intent, unassuming in expression of objectives and unequivocal in projection of scope.
Anyone who is surprised about future positions or actions of Hamas and the PA is a fool or, worse, complicit.
“The Committee on Inclusion and Excellence”
Thank God it isn’t
“The Committee on Exclusion and Mediocrity”
Or things would not be so inclusive and excellent.
Could have been worse, it could have been the Comité De Salut Public. I expect that in a few years most campuses and lib run cities will have one.
I was wondering about this, and decided I can’t remember a time during my (pretty long) life when Vassar was NOT a toxic sewer of some of the worst in Collectivist “thinking”.
That sounds so very “Prime of Miss Jean Brody.”
Right, it was always a den of communist anti-Americanism.
If anything, such attitudes have spread since the end of the Cold War as there are no current Soviet atrocities to inconvenience faculty myth-making.
And as long as we continue to write these incestuous leftist faculties what amounts to blank checks of subsidies direct and indirect, they will feel free to mock and disdain the cultures which enabled their comfort.
Get the federal government out of the business of higher education altogether, let students pay the full cost of their indoctrination and let colleges support their leftist enclaves out of current revenues or their endowments.
Then let them do as they wish, until the money runs out. Then sell off the assets for some more useful projects.
These anti-Israel Jews are the newest iteration of Torquemada, The great Spanish inquisitor born of Jewish parents. This is the result of Jewish parents denying their progeny a proper Jewish education, believing serving bagels and lox will sufficiently keep their children Jewish.
The first letter of the handwriting on the wall is warning American Jews to prepare to leave the USA, as the earliest phase of no longer being safe and welcoming to Jews is being displayed.
“Jews are like everyone else, only more so.”
And Santayana’s famous saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” pertains to Jews, like everyone else, only more so, with lots of exclamation marks!!!
“Jewish Student Union President Naomi Dann, who co-signed a letter in support of the ASA boycott of Israel …”
“Among the signatories was Joshua Schreier, Associate Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies, who supports the academic boycott of Israel and considers Israel (added — comparable to) an Apartheid state …”
When self-destructive character traits manifest in Jews, it seems that it’s not that they cannot remember the not-so-distant past, but that they choose to ignore it as one long historical aberration—repeated over and over and over again. Wishful thinking can feel very pleasant, but in this case wishful thinking is very dangerous.
Santayana’s quote should be remembered in its entirety:
“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.”
These children, and that’s an insult to real children, who, with few exceptions, harbor no premeditated ill will towards others, are savages. There are a few obvious great books they need to read as non-Jews (and self-destructive Jews would do well to read them, too).
These children are supposedly there to learn, not run the asylum.
Where are the adults? Worst case scenario, of which you are no doubt completely aware: You make a stand and it ends up costing you your cushy job. I understand that fear. But as a police officer knows that performing his job as is required can end up costing him his life … is that so bad?
If I’m ever put into the position where I have to choose between doing something seriously bad or losing my job … well, there are many areas in this country/world, where the cost of living is very cheap and where I could relocate with my family (even though they wouldn’t be too happy about it).
You incur a certain amount of risk when you take on a job. With a store clerk, it’s the risk of losing a crappy job. But there are lots of crappy jobs available.
That’s Low Risk.
With a police officer, it’s the risk of losing your life.
That’s High Risk.
With a comfortable, high-paying job, like a university administrator, it’s the risk of losing that nice house and comfortable existence, and uprooting the family to move to cheaper environs.
Medium Risk. You are cowards.
In other words, higher education.
LukeHandCool (who is proud to say he has found his son recently reading The Diary of Anne Frank and 1984 on his own, not as assigned reading from a class at school. Luke’s son also told Luke recently that he bit a pop-tart into the shape of a gun during lunch at school to see if there’d be any repercussions … and, luckily, his friend broke it before any school administrators saw it. Kids.)
Why don’t these anti-Israel student groups ever get arrested for hate crimes?
Because the authorities either support them or are cowards.
Be careful what you wish for.
Eliminating these anodyne forms of protest will deprive other students of the opportunity to hone and practice their courage.
Cry about “microaggression” and then engage in overt aggression.
Call for tolerance and then be intolerant.
And too many ignorants line up behind these people who act in ways that refute all they claim to be about.
What a sad story.
I have heard of Vassar, but I know nothing about it. So I googled it and a link of this LI came up, close to the top. I suggest anyone offended by anything related to Vassar file a lawsuit, that is how the left does it.
This is my song!
I don’t care about reality!
I shape the reality!
It has been proven times again and again as being wrong?
I am ridiculous?
This is my song!
Blame Israel- Boycott Israel
United world hypocrites’-who are you for real?- bellow is your mirror
(you see the 3 famous monkeys: see nothing- hear nothing-talk-nothings)or nonsence
Compare between Palestine-Arabs+Iran and between Israel
!!!!!!!!! PALESTINE !!!!!!
You support the Palestinians that contribut to world culture the followings:
1:Educational:-hate- Palestineschool’s curriculum and official TV channels
promote mass hate teaching and preaching. Funded by western countries.
2:Scientific:- death- How to improve the suicide belts to kill maximum civilians
3: Cultural- demolish- :How to destroy archeological treasures dating 3000
years ago of the Jewish independence and culture in Israeland get UNESCO blind eye and silence.
4:Crimes against humanity- Hide among civilians, dressed civilian,
commit terror against civilians, use of children for terror attacks and still
get international immunity.
Use of ambulances and international press symbol for terror activities.
5:Nontolerance–Christian population dropped from about 140,000 in 1967 to 51,000
!!!!! You don’t hear-don’t see -don’t speak and don’t act against the above !!!!
**** **Boycott the defending Israel! ******
!!!!! Arabs+ Iran status !!!!!!
1:In Lebanon: By law Palestinians cannot work in over 50 professions.
2:In Saud Arabia:
Deny:Women equality-human rights-religious freedom-fund hate preaching and teaching of infidels worldwide
Gays are executed-Teachers of Bahai religion are hanged-husband can kill his
adulterous wife without punishment-a woman is punishable by death.
Punishing by death sailing land to Jew
5:Christians in Arab states:
*Christians now make up 5% of the population,down from 20% in the early 20th century mainly because emigration due ethnic,religious persecution and
6:Millions flee away from Muslim countries.Not a single person immigrates to
7: Internet usage:
Homemade bombs free guidelines used by terrorists worldwide.
Hate indoctrination free articles and books of all non Muslim cultures.
Masking Islamists agenda by laying to infidels in all languages- the truth
Islamist over all agenda is published in Arabic and Iranian languages>
!!!You don’t hear-don’t see -don’t speak and don’t act against the above!!!!!
*****boycott the defending Israel *******
!!!!!!!!! Israel !!!!!!!:
1:Al-Jazeera about IDF.
“”why the Syrian army,Hezbollah and other Islamic military groups
cannot be more humane like the Israeli. “”
2:Israeli doctors fixed the reversed ventricles-a 4-year boy – his father said,
“We always heard in the Arab media how children from the Gaza Strip and
the West Bank were receiving medical treatment in Israel.”
Palestinians and Hisbula are firing rockets targeting Israel hospitals.
3: Israel provided medical treatment in Israeli hospitals to 700 Syrians.
Israel provided food and winter closes to Syrian villages nearby Israeli
What the so called human rights organization and boycotters have done?
Many words however little help
4: Teaching Arab children to love reading.Israel’s Education Ministry has launched a national program to encourage pre-school children in Arab communities to read.Maktabat al-Fanoos (“Lantern Library”)will deliver 4 free books to over 45,000 children in 1,750 kindergartens to bring home and read with their families.
5: Christians Israel:
Israel is the one country in the Middle East where the Christian population has
grown from 34,000 in 1948 to more than 155,000 in 2014.
6:Illegal work infiltrators from Muslim countries in Israel demonstrate demanding permanent visa in Israel>
They don’t want to be returned to any of the Muslim countries
7:””The best ethics papers and debates on terror issues are inIsrael””
Ref: BBC ethics program, Beyond belief
“”WHERE ELSE WOULD MEMBERS OF AN ENEMY CONDUCTIONG
A NOT STOP WAR OF DISTRUCTION AND TERRORISM GET SUCT TREATMENT? ISRAEL HAS NOT MODIFIED ITS HUMANTARIAN””
9: Internet usage:
Academic degree people can get by free tuition over internet.
Founded by Israeli Shai Reshef.
University of the People is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free,
accredited online academic institution opening access to higher education
globally for all, despite financial, geographic or societal constraints.
Students listed from 141 countries.
!!!You don’t hear-don’t see -don’t speak and you act against the above!!!!!
*****However you promote –boycott the defending Israel *******
******* Although the above facts the boycotters support the Palestinian ******
!!!!!!! Mirror-mirror tell me who are the unmasked boycotters!!!!!!!
Thank you for this. I wish that one thumb could multiply by 100.
Another anti-Israel Jew named Blumenthal? Is she kin to Max or just co-naive.
Never again… until some future time.
Doesn’t it warm your heart and make you confident in America’s future to see the intelligent, tolerant and civic-minded individuals our Progressive institutes are producing?
My approach is to generally demand they demand the extermination of all Jews everywhere, occasionally breaking out in cheering for same. Typically the reaction one gets is more or less the same thing you would get at the annual Klan rally at the state capitol. My only point is not that they’re Jew hating Nazis, which is obvious. No it’s only to get them to stand up with the courage of their own convictions and admit it.
This is beyond disturbing, Professor. The blatant anti-semitism is roiling; will it boil over, spread to other campuses, given this outrageous eruption of hate?
Are the women professors safe, or feeling safe? Will the students who attended the class trip be persecuted and bullied, just for trying to further their education and reach out in peace to learn more about basic needs and peaceful coexistence in the region?
And, finally, will you do a follow-up post to let us know how the administrators respond, on how things unfold?
I look forward to that follow-up. And I pray.
Stop being so pusillanimous.
“Freedom of expression must include the license to offend”
I’m beginning to think that we’ve become too ‘civilized’ for our good, or even our own survival. These Israel haters, precious snowflakes all, have never actually had to risk physical repercussions for their actions. I’m not trying to sound like a barbarian, but if they thought the odds were better than 50/50 of having their shouts and assaults met with actual battery (or even just arrests and jail time), I wonder how many would be quite as enthusiastic in their attacks on those they disagree with?
“Vassar is one of only two schools, the other being Swarthmore, to declare its branch of Hillel an “Open Hillel.” That designation means that the college branch would not honor Hillel’s international policy of not hosting groups hostile to Israel’s existence or in favor of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement.”
Jew-hating Jewish BDS supporters likely think they will escape the Islamic fires when the caliphate comes. Sorry guys, the Islamic tree does not distinguish between pro- and anti-Israel Jews. It just says, look there’s a Jew behind me, come and kill him.
I suppose, next, they will be required to wear yellow six pointed stars on their clothing. Seig Heil.
As a journalist who has written about the infamous BDS boycott vote by the American Studies Association, I think it is incumbent upon the 39 Vassar professors to put up or shut up on the topic of the “destruction” of the homes of Palestinians. They need to say exactly what they are talking about. Is it the destruction of homes of terrorists? Or do they allege the destruction of homes in East Jerusalem belonging to Palestinians who are not involved in terrorism?
If the latter allegation, they should know that—just like every Western democracy—Jerusalem has strict zoning laws and building codes that ALL of its residents (Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc.) are required to adhere to. If they don’t, they hurt public planning and the city’s ability to provide services—AND they endanger their own neighbors’ safety. Jerusalem’s mayor has instituted councils led by Arab mukhtars who join with municipal employees to work with residents to see if there is disagreement or differing land claims so that the city can then seek to retroactively legalize illegal structures. Not long ago, for a Forbes article I published, I interviewed Stephan Miller, a former advisor to the mayor and a former spokesperson for the city.
“There are hundreds, if not thousands of cases involving illegal structures that are brought into the court system,” said Miller. “One can criticize Israel until you are blue in the face, but you can’t say those courts are unfair; they are extremely democratic and liberal.”
“Imagine a case,” he continued, “of a home where there’s a fire and children couldn’t get out because there was no fire escape, or the building material was highly flammable and it goes up in flames very quickly—all because residents didn’t follow the zoning codes? We would ask how did we let such a structure be built?”
(No doubt, Israel’s harshest critics—perhaps even some Vassar professors—would turn this around and accuse Israel’s Jews of letting unsafe structures collapse as a new form of ethnic cleansing?)
“Only in an extreme case are houses demolished in predominantly Arab neighborhoods,” he added, “and it’s rare that one is demolished that was ever inhabited due to Israel’s squatter laws.” (Such laws protect squatters who have been in an illegal building for a certain number of days; the case must then go through a legal process that could take years to resolve.)
“Sometimes it’s an illegal store being built on land that is zoned for residential use or a park or a road,” says Miller. “I remember one case of a shed being built illegally to house horses. The [Arab] neighbors were very happy to have the structure demolished.”
Israel’s enemies like to categorize all structures as “homes” because it’s a more powerful visual. But it’s deceiving and a long way from the truth. Perhaps there are some cases where Arab homes have been improperly demolished. I invite the 39 Vassar professors to stop hiding behind inflammatory generalities when speaking to their audiences and when writing letters. Name specific examples and cases, please. Then we can move through them—one by one. You owe it to academia to do so. You owe it to your students, and you owe it to their parents. Finally, you owe it to all Israelis and Palestinians. Let’s go.
That this is happening at Vassar is not really a surprise but imagine if you were pro-Israel and paying mega bucks your daughter there.
I have to admit that I have never understood the why of Jews being anti-Israel. I used to think it was a position among the Orthodox and they had religious reasons but now it seems like more Jews are for a Palestinian state than for a Jewish one. Is it just self hate?
You are asking an excellent question and a big one.
And it is weird: Jews like Phil Weiss. Weird.
I certainly don’t have any idea for sure but my hunch is some sort of desire to be super moral and ethical etc etc. Not to accept being “human” and “normal” and full of human frailties but somehow getting some idea somewhere that they have to be more advanced in an evolutionary way. Some unrealistic expectations which are way way out of wack.
Let me tell ya. I’m a Jew and I can tell you with some authority: it ain’t true.
We are just human and screw up like everyone else.
That’s why I can accept that Israel is not perfect. Can’t be. Made of humans. Phil Weiss can’t accept that? I don’t know. Between him and his therapist and I hope he has one.
I accept it for me.
Maybe Phil Weiss et all haven’t accepted that they are in fact born in original sin. 🙂
This is what the brown shirts were doing in Germany in 1931. Vassar has disgraced itself and any and all Jewish students thinking of going to Vassar should read this.
Here is one thing we can do. Get online with the campus newspapers where these things are happening. Find the news or opinion write ups on them. Add your comments to the reader thread. Emphasize the brown shirt tactics. Keep in mind, however, that we are appealing to the non-committed college student who is reading it. Save the insults and inflammatory rhetoric. These students are looking for reasoned discourse and will react positively if we appeal to human rights and rejection of anti-semitism and brown shirt tactics.
Vassar needs a visit from Ben Shapiro.
The student-written Vassar Misc. article (3/26/2014 by Prados )is a shoddy piece of reporting in its discussion of the March 3, 2014, public forum of the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence (CIE)
The article totally ignores a widely known “Open letter in defense of academic freedom” authored by 39 other Vassar faculty members on March 1, 2014. This was a statement from members of the Vassar College’s Faculty in response to the Vassar administration’ (and many other colleges’ administrations’) condemnation of the American Studies Association Resolution of 12/4/13.ttp://miscellanynews.org/2014/03/01/opinions/open-letter-in-defense-of-academic-freedom-in-palestineisrael-and-in-the-united-states/
In this piece, the professors, including Chairman of Jewish Studies Jonathan Schrier, accept the “call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until Israel’s government ends its systemic discrimination and human rights violations against Palestinians, respects the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, and fully complies with its associated obligations under international law.” The Vassar Professors favor “the boycott of Israeli academic institutions because they have been directly or indirectly complicit in the systematic maintenance of the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory as well as the continued domination and dispossession of Palestinians, and because they have not condemned discriminatory policies and practices against Palestinian scholars and students. ” Finally “Palestinian civil society–within the nation-state of Israel, in the occupied West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem, and in the Diaspora–along with many Jewish Israeli and non-Israeli allies, have called for this academic and cultural boycott as part of the larger campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).”
Running the March 3 meeting on Inclusion and Excellence were Timothy Koechlin, Senior Lecturer in International Studies and Urban Studies and Zachariah Mampilly, Associate Professor of Science, both of whom signed the letter advocating BDS.
There was no coverage of the following aspects of the meeting.
1) There were professors in charge of this meeting bviously supported BDS. There were no professors who spoke out against BDS.
2) This meeting was much more about the right to protest, rather than an investigation into the blatantly anti-Israel stance throughout the Vassar Campus and the intimidation of Jewish students. The language used at this meeting included repeated uses of unchallenged phrases such as Israel colonialism, Israel Apartheid, Palestinian victimhood, Palestinian oppression, checkpoints, barriers, trampling on minority rights, destruction of Palestinian homes. Refugees, right of return, the Nakba, the abuse of Palestinian children, Zionism buying political power. torture by the IDF, and basically all the tropes and libels of Germany in the 1930s with regard to the Jews. Nothing was started about the Jewish 4000 year ties to the land, the enemies that surround and attack Israel, the 850,000 Jewish refugees from the Arab nations in 1948, the question as to whether why there were true “palestinians” prior to their invention in 1963, Islamic States that provide no civil right to Jews, the inability for Israel to find a peace partner, and the repeated threats by Palestinians and other Islamists to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
3) The article portrays Schneiderman and Friedman as neutral trip leaders. The Trip to the Middle East was never described as a trip to Israel, but is purposefully (and politically correctly) termed Water and Justice–a visit to the Jordan River Valley. The group did not meet with any Israeli academics, engineers, scholars or officials, while sleeping in Palestinian refugee camps and meeting with Palestinian NGOs to discuss the withholding of water to the Palestinians by the Israelis (the water libel). There was no attempt to learn about or visit the Israeli desalinization effort, which is probably the answer to all the water problems of the world.