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Anti-Israel pro-BDS profs organizing Antifa campus network

Anti-Israel pro-BDS profs organizing Antifa campus network

The teaming of BDS and Antifa is the single most dangerous development I have witnessed in many years

The anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is notorious for campus violence and disruption directed at Israelis and pro-Israeli students and faculty.

We have featured dozens of incidents of shout-downs and disruptions of events, including physical acts of intimidation. Many of these incidents are discussed in our post, With campus shout downs, first they came for the Jews and Israel.

In an extremely dangerous development, anti-Israel pro-BDS faculty are organizing a nationwide campus Antifa network.

Inside Higher Ed reports, Campus Antifascist Network (h/t Cam Edwards on Twitter):

Given that college campuses have been central to activism by the so-called alt-right, is it time for a campus-based countermovement? Scholars behind the proposed Campus Antifascist Network, or CAN, think so.

“The election of Donald Trump has emboldened fascist and white nationalist groups nationwide, on campus and off, and their recent upsurge requires antifascists to take up the call to action once again,” reads an invitation to join the group, posted on social media this week by David Palumbo-Liu, the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor and professor of comparative literature at Stanford University….

Network co-organizer Bill Mullen, a professor of American studies at Purdue University, on Wednesday called CAN a “big tent” that “welcomes anyone committed to fighting fascism.”

“We are diverse in our political points of view but unified by our fight against fascism,” he said. The idea is “to drive racists off campuses and to protect the most vulnerable from fascist attack.”

And of objections made by some that Trump is not a fascist? Palumbo-Liu said that is “literally an academic argument in the worst sense of the word. We need to pay attention to what is happening, not the labels that we feel are most fitting.” ….

Since Charlottesville, the network has jumped to 200 members and 1,000 followers on its Facebook page, Mullen said. Antifascist branches are being formed on campuses and the group is preparing teach-ins and self-defense materials for faculty and students who may meet with white supremacist protesters.

The network has been endorsed by writers Junot Díaz and Viet Nguyen, as well as graduate student unions. In addition to faculty members, graduate students and some undergraduates have joined.

According to the Inside Higher Ed article, they claim they are not seeking violence, but the wording of their responses is ambiguous:

Mullen said CAN’s approach to protests will be to protect those most vulnerable to attack and “to build large, unified demonstrations against fascists on campuses when they come.”

Asked specifically about the possible use of violence, Palumbo-Liu said antifa activists include those whose tactics CAN would reject. “We would advocate self-defense and defense in various forms of those who are being threatened by fascists, but not violence,” he added, saying his group can’t control the antifa label or who ascribes to it.

Palumbo-Liu and Mullen, the organizers of the campus Antifa network, are two of the most aggressive anti-Israel pro-BDS faculty members in the country. They each have long histories of demonizing Israel and supporting the academic boycott of Israel.

Palumbo-Liu, who was once dubbed Stanford’s Most Radical Professor, was featured in a post we did about the dangerous blockade of the San Mateo Bridge by anti-Israel protesters, Anti-Israel activists caused car crashes on San Mateo Bridge.

. Palumbo-Liu expressed pride that some of this students were involved:

Mullen also is one of the most aggressive BDS faculty activists, well known for his BDS activities at Purdue.

This fits a pattern of anti-Israel activists co-opting and hijacking other movements, something we explored in If you are surprised #BlackLivesMatter joined war on Israel, you haven’t been paying attention.

Under the leadership of anti-Israel, pro-BDS faculty, expect the campus Antifa network to be re-directed against Israel, Israelis and Jews. We’ve seen this in Chicago, where Jewish symbols were banned at an LGBT event, and Jewish LGBT groups have been attacked.

Yesterday, before learning of this campus Antifa network, I warned that I expect violence on campuses this semester.

We have seen what Antifa is capable of in Berkeley, Seattle, Portland and elsewhere.

The teaming of the BDS and Antifa movements is the single most dangerous development I have witnessed in the many years I have been covering campus BDS. Antifa will give BDS even more muscle to intimidate and threaten those who oppose the BDS agenda.

[Featured Image: BDS protester, San Francisco, July 2014]


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All the lefties have been given a pass by the media, the academies, the left wing mayors, and the Democrats. This has emboldened them. Expect the worse.

    HamiltonNJ in reply to puhiawa. | August 18, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Yeah, lots of college campuses are going to burn this Fall, thanks to the MSM’s newest heroes, the Antifa.
    But it will be amusing to watch the media dig a deeper hole by trying to convince us the Antifa are the good guys..

Law enforcement is the best tool to break these band of thugs.

Every level of LEOs needs to be put on notice, and if one fails or refused, they need to be relieved of the duty by a higher authority.

Because the Black Bloc is organized and mobile, the FBI will have an important role.

Anyone with a mask should be arrested, photographed, and put in a nation-wide computer system. This is organized crime in every sense. It’s time to break it.

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | August 17, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Exactly. Treat this like MS-13.

    But the problem is that while conspiracy to commit crimes is illegal, mere advocacy is not. So you have to catch them either actually committing a crime or actively planning one, not merely talking about it.

      The government only needs to prove that there was a criminal agreement by which the group was going to try to commit the criminal act(s). It can be hard for people to understand that it’s actually the agreement to commit a crime that makes conspiracy illegal. the government must additionally prove that at least one of the defendants did something in furtherance of the conspiracy which is called an “overact.”

      alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | August 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Question: If there is a consistent history of violent attack by these groups but no “agreement” prior to these attacks can conspiracy be applied?

      As I understand it… BLM is a movement without “leadership” so that any violent action can not result in RICO laws being used. Antifa is also a “movement”.

      It will take undercover FBI, informants and court ordered monitoring but with today’s technology this should be daunting…. if government wishes. Didn’t Holder refuse to prosecute “our people”?

    Gunstar1 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2017 at 1:36 am

    “Every level of LEOs needs to be put on notice, and if one fails or refused, they need to be relieved of the duty by a higher authority.”

    The problem with that is that these events are happening in places where the Chief of police is appointed by the Mayor or the town council. These are most often Democrats who agree with the position of antifa. So either the Chief already agrees to stand down on such protests, or they are ordered to do so.

    Just look at the cities where such events have already occurred and note who the leadership is. Nothing is going to happen when the “higher authority” agrees with those breaking the law.

      puhiawa in reply to Gunstar1. | August 18, 2017 at 2:49 am

      In Alabama they stopped it in a day. It is against the law for two adults to walk together with a mask. So they simply walked up to Antifa, ripped off the masks, photoed them, fingered them, asked for their licenses and cited them for a $25 fine, to be in court in a couple weeks.

        Dave in reply to puhiawa. | August 18, 2017 at 11:46 am

        It is illegal in Virginia to wear a mask in public. Charlottesville PD did nothing to halt the Antifas. Actually, they did nothing at all to keep the peace. What they did do is guide the Unite protesters from the park into the waiting arms (armaments, literally) of the Antifa/counter-protesters.

      Ragspierre in reply to Gunstar1. | August 18, 2017 at 7:15 am

      No, let me clear this up.

      If campus police refuse to take all actions to stop violent (within the law), they need to be supplanted by the next higher level of LEO authority (i.e., sheriffs) on up to the feds in extremes.

      This has to happen very quickly, so it requires aggressive leadership from state governors and the DOJ.

      As I envision this, the leaders of a community are going to be very important players here, too. That will, in turn, mean that local people are going to “inspire” the whole deal from the grass roots.

      We know how to do this. We’ve done it before in slightly different ways, and the tools are mostly already in place.

Encourage more students to join the Antifa.
Maybe the school will set up a table at the campus job fair!

Now that Antifa is squarely anti-Israel which means they are against the Jews, Antifa is basically stating that they are siding with the Muslims and declaring the Muslims ideologically superior.
Antifa, the organization that hates racism so badly that they condemn every American, no matter how great their accomplishments, had they ever owned slaves. So bad is their condemnation that they seek to erase every memory of every person who was ever a slave holder. No more statues, no more streets or schools named after them, nothing, for in their eyes nothing is worse than slave owners. For Antifa, nothing a slave owner ever did is worth remembering, emulating, supporting, or anything else.
Muhammad was a slave owner. In fact, Muhammad not only was a slave owner, but he was an imperialist who conquered a great many people and enslaved large numbers of them. Muhammad was also a mass murderer for, when he conquered villages and such, he killed those who refused to convert to Islam. Worse still, Muhammad created Islam which is a religion that enshrines slavery as a tenet of their belief system along with murdering those who refuse to convert once conquered.
How can Antifa support the Muslims over the Jews? Perhaps they can do so if they are willing to accept overwhelming amounts of hypocrisy while lying to all their members who remain utterly ignorant of the most basic history. Even then…..

Nazis and the KKK were scary once, decades ago. This marriage of Antifa and BDS is scary NOW, today.

And looking to someone else — e.g., law enforcement — to protect you from them is a fool’s errand. What will you do when they come to the campus where your kid, or even you, attends college? Going to wait for a cop who will be given orders to stand down because his politically correct bosses don’t want to appear insufficiently “tolerant”?

Antifa/BDS will become our own home-grown version of ISIS.

    Ragspierre in reply to Piper Scott. | August 18, 2017 at 7:52 am

    So, let me ask; are you going to put up with that? IF you have any connection with an American campus, are you going to let that happen (that being violence and intimidation)?

    Nobody has suggested you individually (or your kid) rely on LEOs for protection, any more than everyone in their everyday life. But we have a civil society with a great deal of plain old effective resources to fight and defeat movements like this. We’ve been doing it for literally over a century.

    Another tool that needs to be leveled at the Ivory Tower is termination when collusion in any violent behavior is shown, and that would not mean a criminal charge with its high bar of evidence. That could come from well-crafted legislation, as needed. Professors pay. Administrators pay.

    Let’s retain our composure. We have all it takes, and we just need to direct it effectively. This is why we have laws and law enforcement.

My oldest daughter graduated two months ago from the poster child for campus disruption, The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.

Law enforcement AT ALL LEVELS was impotent in protecting anyone because the political leadership at Evergreen, in Olympia and at the state level was too impotent due to self-imposed political correctness to do anything.

We’ve seen pretty much the same thing happen at every college or university disruption across the country for the past several years. Police are ordered to stand down or hang back or not even show up by their POLITICAL bosses.

Looking to state legislatures for a fix is like watching a little stream in anticipation of it creating the next Grand Canyon. Nobody has that many millions of years to wait.

Your “solutions,” aside from running seriously afoul of the First Amendment, due process and traditional academic rules of tenure, are a bureaucratic response to the fire raging NOW: Let’s form a committee, study the question, formulate some proposals, put them out for public comment, re-draft the proposals, put them out for more comment, study them for a few years and then after the place has been burned to the ground forget the whole thing because there’s no point to it since it’s only a pile of ashes now.

The laws already exist. But POLITICAL authorities refuse to enforce them because they’re afraid of being criticized for being insufficiently tolerant.

If you think campus authorities with their deer-in-the-headlights attitudes are going to all of a sudden grow a spine to defend anyone’s rights, least of all free speech, you are looking for unicorns.

Each of us is our own and only consistently reliable first line of defense against any threat to us. We all must learn to be situationally aware, know how to appropriately respond and completely understand all the risks involved.

    Ragspierre in reply to Piper Scott. | August 18, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I agree with your last paragraph.

    The rest is self-defeating bilge.

    Here in Texas, we have and will set the example.

    Milhouse in reply to Piper Scott. | August 18, 2017 at 11:10 am

    1. Why would any sane person attend Evergreen? It’s not as if a respectable college suddenly turned into a sewer. You and your daughter were on notice what sort of place it was since probably before she was born. A school that is proud of such an alumna as St Rachel the Pancake is no place for anyone to seek a serious education.

    2. There are no first amendment or due process problems in firing employees who is credibly shown to have colluded in violent behavior. There is no need to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. As for “traditional academic rules of tenure”, what of them? The law doesn’t give a **** about them. As far as the law is concerned it’s an employment contract like any other, and terminable on such grounds. Let the fired professor sue, and show by the preponderance of the evidence that the university didn’t have enough evidence of criminality.

      Piper Scott in reply to Milhouse. | August 18, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Attack me as you will, but leave my daughter alone. You have no idea why she chose to attend Evergreen — I do. Her reasons were good and sufficient and NONE of your business.

      Typical of truth-by-the-tail-on-a-downhill-grade types you are ignorant of the things about which you write. There are beaucoups First Amendment and Due Process issues involved in parsing the difference between speech and action, especially when it comes to public-sector employees. And the standards of proof are still high enough such that it will be a contested, lengthy and EXPENSIVE process before it’s all sorted out.

      Additionally, as for tenure at colleges and universities, the law does give a shit about it because the law protects it except for extraordinary circumstances or financial exigencies. You cannot simply fire a tenured academic who does something you don’t like.

      Any attempt by a legislature to abolish tenure would be met by vigorous opposition from professors of all ideological persuasions to the point where a state could end up with faculty-less colleges and universities.

      For your further edification, tenure at private institutions isn’t subject to governmental regulation.

      Yours is a typical “tough guy” approach: A lot of posturing, swaggering and bravado but not a lot of actual understanding of how the system works. Sound and fury signifying nothing.

      And your grammar is atrocious, so there’s that, too.

      If it was as easy as you claim, why aren’t schools doing it your way? The answer is it isn’t and they’re not about to. So go back to the drawing board with your crayons, and try again.

Awesome. They’re organizing people who believe in class diversity (i.e. deny individual dignity), selective-child (i.e. deny intrinsic value, human evolution), and redistributive change, presumably because the “Jews” have too much.