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My debate challenge to Vassar pro-boycott faculty

My debate challenge to Vassar pro-boycott faculty

I challenge any or all of the 39 Vassar faculty who signed a letter defending the academic boycott of Israel to debate me on May 5.

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, has been the focus of an intense debate over the academic boycott of Israel, and a campus climate of anti-Israel hostility. See my prior posts:

The accuracy of my reporting was confirmed by two Vassar professors who were the subject of anti-Israel attacks:

An important piece of the puzzle was a letter defending the academic boycott of Israel signed by 39 Vassar Professors.  That faculty letter led to charges by Fairness to Israel, a group of alumni, parents and others concerned at to what was happening at Vassar, that

“faculty and student supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel have hijacked campus discourse and imposed an anti-intellectual atmosphere in which professors are ranting activists, not scholars, and students who disagree with the prevailing “progressive” ideology are intimidated into a deafening silence.”

The head of Jewish Studies at Vassar, who signed the pro-boycott letter, disputed the Fairness to Israel charges, to which Fairness to Israel didn’t back down.  Vassar’s President has weighed in on the situation with a vague statement in support of civil discourse.  The NY Daily News had a scathing editorial.

Based on what I observed as an outsider, there didn’t seem to be any pro-Israel faculty voice on campus willing to take on publicly the BDS movement and supportive faculty.  Even Hillel was silent, since it’s now an “Open Hillel” including anti-Zionists.

So I began to look for someone to sponsor a talk and/or debate by me at Vassar to present the pro-Israel side.  The Vassar Moderate Independent Conservative Alliance (MICA) agreed to do so, as a debate challenge from me to the 39 Vassar professors who signed the pro-boycott letter.

Vassar Israel Debate Event Flyer

The event will take place on May 5 starting at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Any or all of the 39 Vassar faculty members are welcome to debate me.  All I insist on is equal time cumulatively.  If none of the 39 Vassar faculty agree to debate, I will give a lecture on why the academic boycott of Israel should be opposed.

There will be a tendency to want someone to “win” the debate.  That’s not the point.  By simply hosting this challenge and debate, the Vassar campus wins.

UPDATE: Anti-Israel Vassar student group focuses on race of crowd at my speech.


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Good on ya, ‘Fessor…!!!

Breitbart their buttocks…!!!

LukeHandCool | April 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Now that’s the way to do it!

If you’re not going to have a LI Summer Convention in Las Vegas, this is the next best thing.

Make sure to contact the local TV News and invite them, too.

I’ll see if I can get into contact with old classmate Jimmy Lennon, Jr.,_Jr.

They like a circus? Give ’em a circus and shove it down their throats.

“It’s Show Time!”

will this be streaming? if so I would like to help spread the word and show it.

By simply hosting this challenge and debate, the Vassar campus wins.
well said.

Excellent, I hope that the MICA will send individual letters to each of the 39 Vassar professors so it can be unambiguously documented as to who is on the record as being willing to debate and discuss their ideas in true academic fashion. Kudos to Professor Jacobson for fostering dialog.

    Bruno Lesky in reply to RuthC. | April 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Good idea re: documenting response.

    By “fostering dialog” I take you to mean something like “providing facts and moral context leading to conclusions about right and wrong.”

    Not as per Vassar Pres. Hill recent p.c. statement that encouraged the exchange of diverse — equally defensible — viewpoints.

Moderate Independent Conservative Alliance? Which is it: Moderate, Independent, or Conservative? Applaud what they’re doing, though.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to MTED. | April 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    It is all three, in alliance. (?)

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to MTED. | April 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I woulda went with SWAP – Students Who Ain’t Progressive

    julianvassar in reply to MTED. | April 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I am the president of MICA. It is a ten year old organization with an unfortunate name. Thankfully, yesterday we had the name of the organization officially changed to the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union (VCLU). Oddly, but predictably, including the word “moderate” in the title turned it into a moderate progressive group for some years. The name change will keep it marketed to the center-right.

Henry Hawkins | April 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm

You are stepping into the snakepit. Take some muscle for protection. I suggest Branca.

LukeHandCool | April 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Far be it from me to offer suggestions, but a Branco cartoon along the lines of One vs. 39 would be a nice promotional tool.

Leftists hate debating.

It’s that whole equal time thing. They don’t get it. They believe they should take all the time they need to chant all their clever rhyming slogans, and then be able to shout down any dissent.

That’s the leftist idea of debate in a free society. Once they take full power, of course, it’s off to the gulag for you if you dissent.

My dear Professor,

They will not have a debate with you. They will try to shout you down.

But you know that, right?

Brilliant brave move. (Wish I could be there in the cheering section.)

Careful now. Exposing the tender and precious young things, that are putting themselves or their parents in significant debt to attend Vassar, to diverse ideas could actually lead to educated, thinking graduates.

Who knows, perhaps some faculty members will reach way back and remember when they were open to ideas instead of dogma. Who knows…..

I’m glad you threw down the gauntlet. The “running, ravaging spirits” of these Philistines of Gath believe that they can defy historical truth with hate-laced threats to exclude Israel from their ‘land’.

If you don’t think ‘like’ these Philistines they turn against you. Dichotomy and debate scares them. Synthesis – their synthesis of relativism – is demanded. I’m glad you are standing up to them.

Debating, as you already know, is an excellent way to get the facts aired and not the bumper sticker feelings.

Don’t forget to bring your slingshot and a couple of smooth stones for the Goliath in the room.

Get that Goliath right between the eyes. He’ll fall right over, on that night or one day soon. And pray a lot.

My unfortunate prediction:

This debate will not happen.
Both student and non-student protestors will get in, possibly assisted by faculty members, and they will scream and shout until the Professor leaves. Security will follow instructions and stand idly by watching but doing nothing. If the Professor continues to try and speak the leaders will storm the stage and take the microphone from him.
No one shall be punished.

    HUTCH68 in reply to JohnC. | April 21, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I wish you were wrong JohnC, but think your assessment is correct.

    Too bad, it would be a pleasure to watch Professor Jacobson clean the floor with these fools…

      Juba Doobai! in reply to HUTCH68. | April 22, 2014 at 8:03 am

      That’s why they won’t debate. They fear he will mop the floor with them, plus they fear, even more, that education might happen.

Humphrey's Executor | April 21, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Can someone tell me what “cardboard notions of civility” are.

    julianvassar in reply to Humphrey's Executor. | April 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I am a Vassar student. It means that they have fists and intend to use them. The leftists worship force. They believe only fists matter. Fists are not made out of cardboard. It is an old fallacy though that has been disproven the world over.

    “All the armies in the world can’t defeat an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

BannedbytheGuardian | April 21, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Toytown. Are you sure this is not Disneyworld ?

Some will attend just to see famous conservative law professor William “wild bill” Jacobson on stage eating live babies, torturing African Americans and jabbing a homeless person with a sharp stick. Who knows, maybe he will even oppress someone right before their eyes in real time.

Fabulous interview on Mark Levin, prof!

You were excellent! Congrats.

Professor. You win, and academic freedom wins every time there is a debate with the free exchange of ideas. We all win in a marketplace of free ideas. Boycotts of academic institutions are just a shallow excuse for promoting tyranny, no matter the excuse.

David R. Graham | April 21, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Our host runs to the sound of the guns, moves to contact. Thank you! What a man! Ein mensch! Thank you! God be with you for victory!

Interesting reading the list of 39 signatories. Most are in Humanities, Sociology and Behavioral Studies. Only one is in Computer Science, and none in Physics, Math, or Chemistry. So I guess if you think rationally, you don’t sign such garbage.