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Vassar removes Wall of Truth raised to protest anti-Israel campus climate (Updates)

Vassar removes Wall of Truth raised to protest anti-Israel campus climate (Updates)

A Day after Vassar President condemns campus anti-Semitism, Pro-Israel Wall of Truth defaced by anti-Israel students.

NOTE: Literally seconds after this went live I received a message that Vassar had taken down the Wall of Truth which is the subject of this post after it was defaced by anti-Israel students.  The title and text of the post has been adjusted accordingly.

Vassar College has been a hotbed of anti-Israel agitation by Students for Justice in Palestine and supporters, as documented in the following prior posts:

The situation is so bad that a self-avowed left-wing Daily Kos Diarist and Vassar alumna/us wrote a stinging rebuke, Anti-Semitic Times at Vassar College:

I graduated from Vassar two years ago and I am a proud left winger, but I just can’t be down with the Students for Justice in Palestine group at my alma mater. The group is full of filthy anti-Semites, who are spectacularly ignorant about everything from Nazi propaganda to Israel’s defense of itself…..

At Vassar, even for me, the unhinged left wingers could be too much….

Vassar has become a reactionary, ignorant, illiberal place full of unlettered bigots. No longer will I aid those values with donations.

The Vassar Conservative-Libertarian Union (VCLU), which sponsored my speech at Vassar, decided that it was time to protest before students left campus for the summer.

VCLU erected a Wall of Truth to counter the many defamatory and false allegations made against Israel.

(Wall of Truth at Vassar College, May 2014, feat. Alec Ferretti and Julian Hassan)

(Wall of Truth at Vassar College, May 2014, feat. Alec Ferretti and Julian Hassan)

The Wall of Truth specifically was placed in the same location that Vassar SJP puts its misnomered “Apartheid Wall” during Israeli Apartheid Week:

Mock Wall Vassar Israeli Apartheid Week

Julian Hassan of VCLU told me on the phone this afternoon that when VCLU put up the Wall of Truth he was confronted by administrators telling him to take it down because it was putting the campus on edge, and that there was not proper permitting.  Some students also went to administrators complaining that the Wall of Truth was biased and should be taken down.

Hassan said that he refused, insisting that if SJP had the right to picket classes and to erect a wall making false claims against Israel, VCLU had the right to put up the Wall of Truth in protest. Hassan emphasized that part of the protest was against faculty who VCLU feels have treated pro-Israel students unfairly. Hassan emailed the following statement:

We are protesting the climate of fear at Vassar College and the members of the faculty who willfully fuel the fire by teaching biased courses year after year. A faculty chair who led the February 28th open letter called for a boycott [see here] of our May 5th lecture “The Case for Israel and Academic Freedom” and berated us when asked to endorse an event invitation to their department’s students. We can no longer allow the Vassar community to turn a blind-eye to the indoctrination that is happening in place of a liberal arts education.

Julian Hassan ’14
President, Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union

Nonetheless, at approximately 3 p.m. today Vassar administrators took down the Wall of Truth.

Updates to follow.


The Wall of Truth was defaced by anti-Israel students before it was taken down:

Vassar Wall of Truth May 2014 - Defaced

This is a photo of security taking down the Wall of Truth after it already was defaced:

Vassar Wall of Truth May 2014 being taken down

Update 8:05 p.m.:  I was sent the photo below which the sender asserted was a student defacing the Wall of Truth.  I hope that Vassar administrators will identify the person and determine what he was doing to the Wall of Truth. Here is how the person who took the photo explained the situation:

This was located in The Retreat which is a cafe style campus dining area located in the College Center. The poster just kind of appeared, there was no one there to explain it and there was no note on it to identify where it came from.

There were a number of students (about 10) crowded around and I sat down at a table in front of the poster to hear what people were saying. I have attended a few of the talks on campus about the Israel-Palestine issue so this has been something that I’ve been following to some degree.

The boy in this photo was using markers to cross out the word “truth” on the poster and immediately before him someone (I’m unsure whether or not it was the same boy) wrote the “racist bullshit” comment. There was also a written comment that said “this is not a conversation.”

There were two professors who were looking at the poster but they did make any comments besides voice their confusion as to where the poster was coming from.

The students were saying a number of things. Some declared the poster to be full of lies, that it was propaganda justifying the violence Israelis have used against palestinians and voicing their disgust that the poster said the conflict is not an apartheid. I even heard one student say “the Nazi propaganda that the SJP posted was online…this is totally different…it’s literally occupying The Retreat”

Vassar Wall of Truth being defaced May 2014

Vassar Wall of Truth Myth 6 defaced May 2014

Vassar Wall of Truth Myth 4 defaced May 2014


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Humphrey's Executor | May 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Is there a link to the text of these displays?

Howard Roark | May 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Animal Farm is playing out once again in an institution that deceives itself into believing it is a protector of rights and free-thinking. Instead Vassar chooses to take the side of those who demand conformity of thought and feel threatened by any diversity of opinion despite the facts.

How to spot petty fascists? They make a claim based on made up facts and when confronted with the correction they talk about your facts hurting their feelings.

Grown-ups accommodate facts, even the inconvenient facts, children demand that you cater to their feelings despite what the facts dictate. Too many institutions teach new ways to demand others respect your feelings rather than imparting knowledge and wisdom.

Emperor Penguin | May 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Screw you Vassar…Your cowardice sickens me.

All speech is free, but some is more free than others. Some of my co-religionists know how to respond – if speech is only free backed by violence, then one may need to supply same. Of course, the papers will only show it on your side, and you will be the only ones arrested.

Bet you Vassar had anti-Jewish quotas in the old days.

LukeHandCool | May 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I’ll bet if they had named it “The Wall of White Jewish Privilege,” it would have stood for centuries, a Mecca for every anti-Semitic lefty loon around.

This is Bullturd.

I’d put it back up. Double standards are one thing, but this is way beyond that.

You wanna be on TV talking to Meghan Kelly, don’t you boys?

This needs more attention.

Worse comes to worse you plead circumcisions beyond your control.

stevewhitemd | May 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Agree. Put it back up. Handbill sized signs plastered to a backing are cheap. Make lots of copies. Each time it’s torn down put it back up.

Perhaps also find an off-campus location and put up a 2nd copy (get permission of the property owner, of course).

And at the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time the administration seeks to tear down the wall of truth, you and your friends join hands, circle the sign and refuse to be removed. Make them call the police and arrest you. Then make sure you go to court and explain it all (see how the Left did such things with South African embassies for an example).

Of course, a letter to Vassar alumni would be great.

There’s all sorts of things you can do if you borrow some of the Left’s tactics and use said tactics right back at them.

You have the pictures. Use them to make a video, and let it go viral.

It costs $61,140 (plus textbooks and personal expenses) to go to this ‘institution’! I can’t imagine the student’s parents (and the taxpayers) are getting any value for their money, considering the ‘ignorant, illiberal’ climate.

The place would make a good shopping mall.

    mzk in reply to Chicklet. | May 16, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Given Kelo, it would be wonderful if the States decided they needed them for shopping malls.

    mzk in reply to Chicklet. | May 16, 2014 at 5:40 am

    Is that total, or annually? From their website, they appear to have a lot of financial aid. It also is no more female than the average college; if I wee a male passed over for the job of President, I would sue.

There’s nothing easy about “freedom of speech”. The concept is simple enough, but making it happen can involve courage, determination, and work. And that means that it is not really a good job for administrators.

When the campus is dull, unexciting, “non-threatening”, etc, administrators believe that they’ve done their jobs. And often, they’re right. If the roofs don’t leak, the trash collectors don’t go out on strike, the chem lab doesn’t catch fire, the rats don’t escape from the bio lab, nobody gets food poisoning in the cafeteria, and few of the library books are stolen, they can congratulate themselves on how smoothly things are running.

But this is one of the situations in which they’re wrong. But they won’t agree. Appeals to principle probably won’t work; they’re interested in smooth administration, not in principle. Unfortunately, the only way to move them the right way is to be annoying. And stay that way.

From the news this morning, it’s like one step forward, then three steps back.

I graduated from Vassar two years ago and I am a proud left winger, but I just can’t be down with the Students for Justice in Palestine group at my alma mater. The group is full of filthy anti-Semites, who are spectacularly ignorant about everything from Nazi propaganda to Israel’s defense of itself…..

Put a sock in it, KosKid. What is happening at Vassar (and elsewhere) is the logical result of your progressivism. Your decision to worship race, class, gender, and sexual orientation, and holding that the collective is everything while the individual is nothing, has created this anti-Semitic monster. Just own it.

    Trollstein in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | May 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    New York is about the only place left where people can be liberal/leftists and have any level of support for the Jewish Nation. Back in the 1950s and 1960s Israel was a leftist cause and seen as a liberation movement, with supporters such as Jane Fonda, Eugene McCarthy and even (Arab-American) Ralph Nader. Nowadays in places like Seattle or Vermont, you might get back-sass, just for claiming to be lefty and not condemning Israel. Orwellian for sure.

I am wondering where the parents are. If one of my kids were at Vassar, I’d be making a lot of noise.

Vassar versus Truth. Vassar tears down “Wall of Truth”. Palestinians against Truth.

How appropriate.

Juba Doobai! | May 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Fight. Film the administrators explaining why pro-Israel students cannot counter lies, and why pro-Israel students do not have the same free speech rights as SJP thugs.

Ironically, I do not especially like Israelis but I nonetheless support their cause, because I have studied the historical and legal situation in great detail and have concluded that they hold the stronger moral and legal positions. Not to say that its perfect, just definably better then the Arab side, In fact, I can’t remember the last time I heard a ‘Pro-Palestinian-Arab’ say anything in their favor, which was 100% accurate and true. The best they can do is about 80% (on a good day). Sometimes its 20% true and even (at times) zero%. The only thing they have going for them is that many people are only too happy to believe these fabrications. If Israel did not exist, the Arabs would have to build it, just so they might have one solitary thing to agree on.

    Trollstein in reply to Trollstein. | May 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    PS> Clarification: The Israelis in Israel might be more likable. The ones here in the US I have found to be high-maintenance and often disloyal. BTW: my father’s family lived in Jerusalem for many centuries, until around 1870. I am very culturally Jewish but not religious. In fact, Jew-haters often hate me most of all, because I see through their sh*t and take none of it.
    Now, the Palestinian-Arabs who think they are somehow different then the tens of millions of other Sunni Arab/Muslims of that region are just flat delusional. They started this war half a dozen different times and are almost completely responsible for their own miserable situation, which they prefer, so long as they can blame it on Jews.

      DMS in reply to Trollstein. | May 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      That’s an interesting story about your family leaving Jerusalem around 1870. Be great to hear more details — why they left? Where’d they go to? etc

        Trollstein in reply to DMS. | May 17, 2014 at 9:27 am

        Realizing that there were four branches at that point in history, my father’s father’s family were Sabras and part of the pocket of Jews who lived there through (most probably) the days of King Herod and before. They moved to Macedonia for reasons not entirely known but back then, it might have simply been that someone bought their home in Jerusalem and that was enough money to relocate with.
        Many people have mistaken ideas about the exact history of the Jerusalem area, and/or, a mistaken historical context. The Turks had implemented laws to prevent Jews (and only Jews) from moving to or buying land anywhere in Palestine. This was not done to protect the street-level Palestinian-Arabs. It was done to protect the wealthy Arab and Turkish land-lords. So when we hear the words “self determination”, it was a PR smoke-screen, much the way that today, Ronald McDonald sells our children heart disease, acid-reflux and diabetes.
        The proof of this fact can be found by studying the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Several delegations showed up uninvited, from various places including Asia and Africa, demanding their own ‘self determination’ from European colonization. They were excluded from the proceedings, which were devoted to ‘self determination’ for the mainly Arab populations of the Mid East [Read: Standard Oil of New Jersey and BP].

Re: Last picture after 8:05 update

Written in by hand: “Genocide is the mass killing of a population. Not this (arrow pointing to sentence ‘It is genocidal because it obliterates the Jewish state.’)”

Wow. College students don’t even know the definition of “genocide.” They think it only applies to the actual killing of a population.

The correct definition of genocide:

Genocide is the systematic destruction of all or part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group via the (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; or (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

So, imposing conditions that obliterates the Jewish state of Israel is GENOCIDE.

    tom swift in reply to rokiloki. | May 17, 2014 at 11:43 am

    A tendentious claim.

    The word is a political football, long subject to haphazard redefinition. But the many definitions I’ve seen have invariably involved actual deaths of individuals. That’s real, honest-to-gosh, pyramid-of-human-skulls-type deaths, not figurative or allegorical deaths. Destruction or elimination of clubs, movements, factions, parties, leagues, organizations, professions, unions, societies, nations, or cultures don’t qualify. The point on which the definitions vary involve just who is doing the killing, exactly why they are doing it, and what factor or condition qualifies the victims for inclusion in some exclusive category or group.

    So far as a useful definition of “genocide” goes, your (b), (c), (d), and (e) are novelties. It’s not a legitimate criticism of “college students” as a population that some of them don’t share your particular – and peculiar – definition of the word.

Empress Trudy | May 17, 2014 at 7:11 am

What’s the over and under on Vassar openly calling for an ethnic cleansing of Jews…from Vassar? This term year is nearly over so I’m sure they’re flocking to Gaza for the summer. But when they come back in the fall? My bid is Kol Nidre there will be a ‘student vote’ to kick out all Jewish students enrolled at Vassar and tear up their records so they can’t transfer. Vassar administration will of course stroke their chins, mutter something and let it pass anyway. The Brandeis Hillel will cheer and jump on their own railcar as it were.

Territorial sovereignty is a different premise then private land ownership. The Arabs and their supporters like to use these terms interchangeably, as it suits their instant position. Vassar is a high-end institution and should be teaching its students informative and accurate history, political science and international law. Even the pro-Israeli position (posted on the “Wall of Truth”) is not entirely 100% accurate, although a quantum measure better then the pro-Arab propaganda. The United Nations did not “create Israel”. The “Partition Plan” (UNGAR 181) was called a ‘plan’ for a very good and valid reason. The U.N. had no authority (under its own Charter) to create, delete or modify sovereign borders. However, there were no less than seven international treaties and conventions which legitimately and lawfully established the rights of the Jewish people to a “National Homeland” consisting of the Western portion of “Palestine” (the Turkish province—not the sovereign nation). In chronological order: Paris Peace Conference (1919), Treaty of Versailles (1919), San Remo Peace Conference (1920), Treaty of Sevres (1920), League of Nations Mandate on Palestine (1922), Lodge-Fish Resolution (1923) and the Anglo-American Treaty (1924). Some people argue that the Treaty of Sevres was never ratified but: 1) There is no provision contained within the treaty for subsequent rejection by the Turks (making final acceptance mandatory) and 2) the subsequent LON Mandate speaks of “Palestine” as “formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire”. Some people also point to various “White Papers”, etc., such as “Sykes-Pecot” but territorial sovereignty is the legal equivalent of a birth of a child. Once done, it can not be squeezed back into the proverbial mother’s womb. The newly born territory can either be taken away by force, or, by other legal measures (which are few in number). The Arabs have done neither of those things and right now, prefer to reverse and re-cast history as their entire ‘cause-of-action’.
Even the U.N. Security Council (which I submit is merely a consort of thieves anyway) has no jurisdiction under the Charter of the United Nations to create, delete or modify sovereign borders, period. The U.N. was NOT set up to be a legislative branch. The UNSC has some ‘martial law’ powers but is not a legislative branch either. It is supposed to intervene only in matters which are deemed to pose a ‘threat to world peace’.

I can’t say that this surprises me. Over 30 years ago as a student at Vassar I wrote a paper on antisemitism among students on campus. I could see this coming way back then. Although I am pleased to see that President Hill suspended the club status of SJP and initiated an investigation, I am withholding all contributions to Vassar pending the outcome of the investigation and appropriate action by the administration. I am especially saddened that SJP has the support of some faculty at Vassar. I hope that in addition to suspending the SJP, these faculty members are also sanctioned.

    Trollstein in reply to rxpc. | May 19, 2014 at 7:44 am

    Traditional right-wing antisemitism is a different phenomenon then typical left-wing antisemitism. Olden style right-wing antisemitism is merely a mixture of nationalism and superiority complex, while more modern left-wing antisemitism uses a set of warped rationalizations, namely that the Israel is the main threat to world peace and by creating a ‘straw-man’ named “Zion”, the conclusion is that anyone who does not agree is part of the problem. Since most Jews would not agree, that makes most of the entire culture culpable in the eyes of the ‘new’ antisemite.