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Academic Freedom Win: Israel Boycott Supporter Ilana Feldman Will Not Be Dean at George Washington U

Academic Freedom Win: Israel Boycott Supporter Ilana Feldman Will Not Be Dean at George Washington U

You can have academic freedom, or you can have a pro-BDS Dean, but you can’t have both.

https://www.facebook.com/ilana.feldman/posts/10207945756019830

Ilana Feldman, a professor of anthropology at George Washington University (GWU), recently was appointed Interim Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at GWU.

There was an immediate firestorm of controversy, since Feldman is a supporter of and longtime activist leader of the academic boycott of Israel, which is part of the larger Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

As we have documented, BDS was launched at the openly anti-Semitic Tehran and Durban Conferences in 2001, a repackaging of the Jewish Boycotts of the 1920s and 1930s, and the Arab League Boycott of Israel. BDS was a rebranding meant to appeal to western liberals, framed in the language of social justice. Part of that repackaging was to claim BDS started in 2005 as a call from Palestinian civil society. BDS supporters in the West mosly are ignorant of the history of BDS.

Feldman Will Not Be Considered For Permanent Dean

Feldman’s pro-BDS background, which involves a commitment not to treat Israelis (and by implication, supporters of Israel) fairly, went against the requirements needed for the senior administrative post of Interim Dean or permanent Dean.

GWU acknowledged the criticism, and issued a statement  reiterating its rejection of BDS:

May 18, 2020

We have listened and heard the concerns from some members of our community about the appointment of Dr. Ilana Feldman as interim Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and personal views she has expressed about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The university’s policy on the BDS movement is very clear – GW does not support divestment or other actions called for by BDS. While the University supports academic freedom for all, members of the administration – including those in an acting or interim capacity – are required to comply with all University policies or actions, including those on BDS, and foster an atmosphere that allows all voices to be equally heard.  As vice dean, and now as interim dean, Dr. Feldman has and will adhere to all of our policies and specifically committed to adhering to GWU’s policy regarding freedom of expression.

The University also prioritizes the safety and security of everyone in our community. We do not tolerate discrimination in any form, including anti-Semitism and racism. We believe in an inclusive and robust community that respects all points of view.  These values are intrinsic to the GW community.

We have begun our search for Dean Brigety’s successor and will keep the community posted.

Sincerely, 

M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

The university also circulated an all-campus email which read, in part (emphasis added):

Dear GW Community:

We have listened and heard the concerns from some members of our community about the appointment of Dr. Ilana Feldman, current vice dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs, as interim dean following the announcement of Dean Reuben Brigety’s coming departure. The concerns revolve around personal views that Dr. Feldman has expressed about the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The university’s policy on BDS is clear and unambiguous, as has been the setting of expectations with Dr. Feldman: GW does not support divestment or other actions called for by BDS. While the university does support academic freedom for all, members of the administration – including those in an acting or interim capacity – are required to comply with all university policies, including the policy on BDS, and foster an atmosphere that allows all voices to be equally heard. Dr. Feldman has also specifically committed to adhering to GW’s policy regarding freedom of expression.

To be clear, the university does not tolerate discrimination in any form, including anti-Semitism and racism. We also believe in an inclusive and robust community that respects all points of view.  These values, which at times can come into tension with each other, are intrinsic to the GW community.  We acknowledge that tension, but also insist on taking the opportunity to reaffirm our values; and we believe there is no better way to do so than by the appointment of a new dean who embodies the best of what the Elliott School has been and will be as we look to the future.

We thank all who have written and called to contribute to this important conversation, and invite you to engage in the process of identifying a new dean for the Elliott School, which is already underway….

We are working to identify a search firm to aid in the process of identifying potential candidates. We anticipate that the search committee will be charged at the beginning of June, with interviews to be conducted early in the fall semester. Dr. Feldman will not be a candidate for the permanent position. We appreciate her service during this interim period….

Sincerely,

M. Brian Blake
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Feldman’s Deep Boycott Activism at AAA

Why all the fuss about Feldman?

Part of it is her support for BDS, but a larger part of it was that she was a leader of the academic boycott movement, a visible and vocal advocate pushing for the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to adopt the academic boycott. That effort ultimately failed, but not for lack of trying.

For almost a decade we have reported on and investigated the efforts of anti-Israel university faculty to coopt professional organizations to implement the academic boycott of Israel. Among the major associations we have written extensively about are the American Studies Association, American Historical Association, and Modern Language Association.

But of all the associations we have covered, the fight at the American Anthropological Association was the nastiest, dirtiest, and most vituperative. You can read our prior posts, some of which were by a graduate student using a pseudonym for fear of retribution from pro-BDS faculty, detailing the history of anti-Israel activism at AAA:

The AAA boycott effort ultimately failed a membership vote, barely.  According to the announcment by the AAA leadership, the results were: 2,423 members opposed to boycott against 2,384 who voted in support.

What made the AAA boycott effort worse than the others?

It was an intangible bitter quality that was lacking even at the American Studies Association, the only major American faculty organization to adopt the boycott. There were no happy warriors in the AAA boycott push. Perhaps it was frustration among advocates who thought BDS was on the verge of breaking through, only to see defeat in a short period of time at AHA, MLA, and AAA.

One of the leaders of the AAA boycott effort was Feldman. Her activism started long before the 2015 AAA effort and 2016 vote.

Even in 2006 and 2012, Feldman was involved in anti-Israel efforts aimed at Anthropology faculty. She helped write a handbook for faculty by the AAA’s Taskforce on Middle East Anthropology about how to boycott Israel while using a claim of academic freedom as a shield. That is one of the ultimate ironies of the academic BDS campaign: The claim of academic freedom is used to justify depriving others of academic freedom.

In 2014, Feldman co-authored a piece advocating for anthropologist participation in BDS:

https://anthroboycott.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/why-anthropologists-should-boycott-israeli-academic-institutions/

Feldman was also quoted in a report of the AAA 2014 business meeting where people gathered to defeat an anti-boycott resolution:

Ilana Feldman of George Washington University said that 25 years of working in Israel/Palestine “gives me the information I need to know that boycott is the right action we need to take to stand in support of Palestinians.”

She was part of a panel and roundtable discussion about the boycott at the 2014 AAA meeting:

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11155.html

And in the 2014 section report for the Middle East Section of the AAA, which reveals that Feldman was elected president of the section for 2015, the section has already begun discussing boycotting Israel and establishing the “task force” to investigate it.

She was part of a panel and roundtable discussion about the boycott at the 2014 AAA meeting:

https://aaa.confex.com/aaa/2014/webprogram/Session11155.html

And in the 2014 section report for the Middle East Section of the AAA, which reveals that Feldman was elected president of the section for 2015, the section has already begun discussing boycotting Israel and establishing the “task force” to investigate it.

The 2015 BDS AAA resolution itself was co-introduced by Feldman.

https://anthroboycott.wordpress.com/the-resolution/

Feldman was one of just seven faculty members who “managed” the effort through a group called Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, which used the shorthand #AnthroBoycott hastag. Antroboycott circulated a petition signed by ovcr 1000 people agreeing to a Statement pledging to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

As part of the social media effort, Feldman and others posted images holding pro-boycott posters:

https://www.facebook.com/ilana.feldman/posts/10207945756019830

[Ilana Feldman Facebook]

https://www.facebook.com/pg/AnthropologistsForJusticeinPalestine/photos/?ref=page_internal

[Anthropologists for Justice in Palestine Facebook]

The effort received a boost from publicity generated by Marc Lamont Hill:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEi7oIpypjS/

Academic BDS Is Anti-Academic Freedom

The AAA boycott pledge closely tracked the language and concepts of the BDS Academic Boycott. The BDS academic boycott guidelines have expanded a little over the years, but the core concepts remain true now as when the AAA, led by Feldman, considered the boycott.

I wrote about those academic boycott guidelines in detail in connection with the ASA boycott in 2014. The guidelines are sweeping, rejecting a myriad of normal academic interactions. The quote excerpt below is quite long because you really need to see how expansive the academic boycott guidelines are to appreciate how damaging it is to the academic system as a whole and the free exchange of information and ideas:

Academic Boycott Guidelines

Inspired by the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa as well as the long tradition of civil resistance against settler-colonialism in Palestine, the PACBI Call [4] urges academics and cultural workers to comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions as a contribution to the struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid, by applying the following:

1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;
2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;
4. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.”

* * *

….PACBI urges academics, academics’ associations/unions and academic institutions around the world, where possible and as relevant, to boycott and/or work towards the cancellation or annulment of events, activities, agreements, or projects that promote the normalization of Israel in the global academy, whitewash Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinians rights, or violate the boycott. Specifically, the Palestinian academic boycott against Israel applies to the following events, activities, or situations:

1. Academic events (such as conferences, symposia, workshops, book and museum exhibits) convened or co-sponsored by Israeli institutions. All academic events, whether held in Israel or abroad, and convened or co-sponsored by Israeli academic institutions or their departments and institutes, deserve to be boycotted on institutional grounds. These boycottable activities include panels and other activities sponsored or organized by Israeli academic bodies or associations at international conferences outside Israel. Importantly, they also include the convening in Israel of meetings of international bodies and associations.
2. Institutional cooperation agreements with Israeli universities or research institutes. These agreements, concluded between international and Israeli universities, typically involve the exchange of faculty and students and, more importantly, the conduct of joint research. Many of these schemes are sponsored and funded by the European Union (in the case of Europe), and independent and government foundations elsewhere. For example, the five-year EU Framework programs, in which Israel has been the only non-European participant, have been crucial to the development of research at Israeli universities. European academic activists have been campaigning for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement since 2002; under this Agreement, Israeli and European universities exchange academic staff and students and engage in other activities, mainly through the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus schemes [5]. It should be noted that Israel is in violation of the terms of this Agreement, particularly of the second article [6].
3. Study abroad schemes in Israel for international students. These programs are usually housed at Israeli universities and are part of the Israeli propaganda effort, designed to give international students a “positive experience” of Israel. Publicity and recruitment for these schemes are organized through students’ affairs offices or academic departments (such as Middle East and international studies centers) at universities abroad.
4. Addresses and talks at international venues by official representatives of Israeli academic institutions such as presidents and rectors.
5. Special honors or recognition granted to official representatives of Israeli academic institutions (such as the bestowal of honorary degrees and other awards) or to Israeli academic or research institutions. Such institutions and their official representatives are complicit and as such should be denied this recognition.
6. Palestinian/Arab-Israeli collaborative research projects or events, especially those funded by the various EU and international grant-giving bodies. It is widely known that the easiest route to securing a research grant for a Palestinian academic is to apply with an Israeli partner…
7. Research and development activities in the framework of agreements or contracts between the Israeli government and other governments or institutions. Researchers in such projects are based at American, European or other universities. Examples include the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), an institution established by the US and Israeli governments in 1972 to sponsor research by Israelis and Americans, and the “Eureka Initiative,” a European inter-governmental initiative set up in 1985 that includes Israel as the only non-European member.
8. Research and development activities on behalf of international corporations involving contracts or other institutional agreements with departments or centers at Israeli universities.
9. Institutional membership of Israeli associations in world bodies. While challenging such membership is not easy, targeted and selective campaigns demanding the suspension of Israeli membership in international forums contribute towards pressuring the state until it respects international law. Just as South Africa’s membership was suspended in world academic–among other–bodies during apartheid, so must Israel’s.
10. Publishing in or refereeing articles for academic journals based at Israeli universities. These journals include those published by international associations but housed at Israeli universities. Efforts should be made to re-locate the editorial offices of these journals to universities outside Israel.
11. Advising on hiring or promotion decisions at Israeli universities through refereeing the work of candidates [7], or refereeing research proposals for Israeli funding institutions. Such services, routinely provided by academics to their profession, must be withheld from complicit institutions. [footnotes omitted]

As can be seen, the academic boycott of “institutions” actually is a wholesale boycott of individuals. Universities are not just buildings, they are people. If you boycott the institution, you are boycotting the people who work at those institutions. As we also have seen in the real world, individual Israelis are targeted despite the claim that the boycott only is of institutions.

The guidelines now are even worse, with the introduction of the concept of “anti-normalization,” meaning no positive interactions with Israeli students and faculty because that would normalize Israel:

In the Palestinian context, normalization refers to any activity that creates the impression that Israel is a state like any other and that Palestinians, the oppressed, and Israel, the oppressor, are both equally responsible for “the conflict”. Far from challenging the unjust status quo, such projects contribute to its endurance and are intellectually dishonest and should be boycotted. However, a joint Palestinian/Arab-Israeli project is not boycottable if: (a) the Israeli party in the project recognizes the comprehensive Palestinian rights under international law (corresponding to the 3 rights in the BDS call); and (b) the project/activity is one of “co-resistance” rather than co-existence.

Academic boycotts are widely recognized as contrary to academic freedom. They deprive students and faculty of educational and research opportunities at American universities, not just at Israeli universities. It is for this reason over 250 university presidents rejected the ASA boycott (the first at a major faculty organization) and to this day reject academic boycotts, as does the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the leading faculty group protecting academic freedom.

Feldman’s BDS Effort Continues

After the 2016 AAA vote failure, Feldman gave an interview with the anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada. The resulting piece tried to spin the failure as entirely due to “outside interference” and also as a manifestation of “Israel’s weakness in combating the BDS movement”. Feldman also approvingly noted faculty pledges to continue with the boycott individually.

“Despite our disappointment with the results of the vote we should not let today’s outcome obscure the tremendous gains the movement for solidarity with the Palestinian struggle has achieved within the AAA,” Ilana Feldman, a member of the organizing collective Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions and a professor at George Washington University, told The Electronic Intifada.
Feldman noted that 1,300 anthropologists have pledged to adhere to the academic boycott of Israeli institutions in their own professional capacity.

https://www.facebook.com/AnthropologistsForJusticeinPalestine/posts/1748008552142278

https://archive.vn/wip/HwzWj

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/charlotte-silver/full-might-israel-lobby-ekes-out-razor-thin-win-anthropology-vote?fbclid=IwAR0Ueo6jDo2fd9_kl2bgI_ii5tPCjRPkflDkI24sSL1Kd-2Tq5e6s2RYZUI

The Electronic Intifada article ends as follows:

Ilana Feldman told The Electronic Intifada that the AAA boycott collective will evaluate the actions as they are more fully developed.

“We continue to believe that boycott is the most effective action that the AAA as an organization and anthropologists as individuals can take in defense of Palestinian rights,” Feldman said.”

Feldman has been part of continuing the AAA effort to demonize Israel. The AAA issued another report called the AAA MPAAC Committee for Human Rights 2018-2019 Monitoring Report on Israel-Palestine. The report explains itself. All of the “advisory” faculty are anti-Israel, pro-boycott, and instrumental in advocating for the AAA’s involvement in BDS.

Feldman helped pro-boycott academics in the American Historical Association advocate for that association to adopt the boycott (it failed). A paper by E. Nathalie Rothman and Andrew Zimmerman of the AHA described their efforts to enact the boycott within the AHA (Emphasis added):

The idea for this special issue grew out of a panel we organized for the annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) in 2016 on the comparative history of boycotts. At that time a number of national academic associations, including the American Studies Association (ASA), the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), were considering resolutions responding to the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). We thought that the AHA should have similar discussions.

…For our panel at the AHA we assembled a group of scholars who were experts in the history of boycotts. Matt García presented on the grape boycott by the United Farm Workers in California in the 1960s, Julie Holcomb analyzed the boycott of sugar by British antislavery activists in the nineteenth century, Jon Soske considered the sports boycotts of apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, and Ilana Feldman outlined the campaign for a BDS resolution in the AAA.

…The next two reflections on the BDS movement, by Ilana Feldman and Amro Sadeldeen, present an illuminating tension. Both recognize BDS as the most important current movement for justice in Palestine, and both consider it from the perspective of “coresistance” to the Israeli occupation. Feldman highlights how adhering to the Palestinian call for BDS allows international scholars to follow a Palestinian lead, resisting with, rather than on behalf of, the oppressed.

The Merging of Academics and Activism Makes BDS Supporters Inappropriate For a Dean Position

Law professor David Bernstein recognizes the incompatibility of a pro-boycott Dean and academic freedom:

Feldman’s appointment puts into stark relief something I have been thinking about for some time—is being a supporter of academic boycotts of Israel consistent with holding an administrative position such as being a dean? …. I think the answer is no….

The problem currently is that BDS supporters are being appointed to deanships, department chairmanships, and so on, without any inquiry by their universities as to whether they will implement academic boycott policies.

Asaf Romirowsky notes how Feldman’s type of scholar-activism is all too prevalent:

She is a case study of a scholar-activist who has now been given authority by the university administration to extend her own sphere of influence beyond the classroom….

The bigger picture surrounding the Feldman kerfuffle is the broader state of academia that continues to produce vapid pro-Palestinian polemics under the thin guise of scholarship. Scholar-activists want to be seen as successors to the late Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, the leading proponent of academia’s Palestinianization and a key creator of its ruling intellectual paradigm, postcolonial theory. In that context, Said equated academics who support American foreign policy with 19th-century European intellectuals who, he alleged, propped up racist colonial empires.

A core premise of postcolonial theory is that it is immoral for a scholar to put his/her knowledge of foreign languages and cultures at the service of American power. Said’s major work, Orientalism, blamed all of the troubles of the Middle East on the West, stemming from a “trifecta of evils”—imperialism, racism and Zionism. While Orientalism often ignored evidence that ran counter to its thesis, it is still the canonical text in the academic field of Middle Eastern studies. Feldman exemplifies this.

The correlation of identity politics and propaganda among younger pro-Palestinian scholar-activists who devote their time to misinformation rather than actual inquiry and research has also spread to other disciplines. One result has been the transformation of classrooms and campuses into places where only one narrative is offered and only one opinion is acceptable.

I think you probably get the point.

Feldman’s anti-Israel activism and scholarship completely merged. This is not uncommon among BDS supporters. Their academic reason to be is to advocate one-sided, ahistorical narratives about Israel in which there is one pure perpetrator, and one pure victim.

I’ve never met Feldman, but I have a sense of her from reading her writings and watching her videos. She is an honest advocate for BDS, meaning she’s a true believer.

There is no way Feldman could be expected to abide by GWU’s anti-BDS policies. It would be asking Feldman to deny who she is, to be a fake in the position. For Feldman to accept such restrictions would be for her to admit her life work was a fraud, that she didn’t really mean all the things she said about the necessity of boycotting.

The concern about putting a BDS activist in a position that requires non-discrimination and the promotion of academic freedom is that whatever the agreement to abide by university policies, there would be an under-the-radar boycott. What Feldman describes to the Electronic Intifada as “adher[ing] to the academic boycott of Israeli institutions in their own professional capacity.”

There’s a lesson GWU and other universities need to take away from this episode. You can have academic freedom, or you can have a pro-BDS Dean, but you can’t have both.

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Comments

I’m not Jewish, and so I don’t understand liberal Jewish academes, and the way they turn on themselves.

    tphillip in reply to maxmillion. | May 27, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    If you think of them as “Leftist first, Jewish second” their behavior becomes a lot more understandable.

      maxmillion in reply to tphillip. | May 27, 2020 at 8:23 pm

      No, that’s the superficial analysis. It goes much deeper than that. In this, it’s one’s very identity that’s, not just being walked away from, but being militantly attacked, and by themselves.

      The best analogy I can give, it’d would be like a black American adopting and advocating the pro-slavery and anti-civil rights side of the 13th and 14th Amendments.

        Tom Servo in reply to maxmillion. | May 28, 2020 at 8:14 am

        I would call it “Reform Movement First, Jewish Second”.

        The Reformed Movement in Judaism is deeply apostate, and needs to pass away. This disease isn’t exclusive to Judaism; inside Christianity, the same thing is seen in denominations such as PC-USA, the ELCA, and the main body of Episcopals. All are dying from the same cause, they care far more for political virtue signaling than they do for their supposed faith.

      Barry Soetoro in reply to tphillip. | May 29, 2020 at 3:48 am

      “If you think of them as “Leftist first, Jewish second” their behavior becomes a lot more understandable.”

      Don’t forget anti-American, anti-European, and anti-White, all vying with Leftist for first place.

      The dystopian nature of the majority of American jewry was obvious after the vast majority voted for the clearly anti-Israel, pro-Islamist Obama in 2012, and even Neocons covered up his constitutional ineligibility from 2008 to present.The

      That said, BDS is stupid, but attempting to label it anti-Hebraic is a tyrannical suppression of free speech. You’d think high verbal IQ Ashkenzim could easily ridicule BDS without having to resort to ad hominems.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to maxmillion. | May 27, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    I’m a Jew. Non-practicing and I abandoned the cultural aspects of it long ago because I couldn’t understand it either.

    Zumkopf in reply to maxmillion. | May 27, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Self-loathing turned outwards. Think “The Graduate” with survivor guilt. They come from a long line of people oppressed and worse, but they themselves haven’t been. They get into top universities despite Affirmative Action, so feel undeservedly privileged. They want to expiate that guilt, so turn it on their co-religionists who also survived and thrived despite constant hostility and attacks. They have the same disdain towards Orthodox Jews in America. More simply put, “Look at me! I’m one of the good Jews! Not one of those Jews who stand their ground and rise and strike first! Not one of those selfish insular Black Hats! I validate your suffering (because I haven’t suffered myself)!”

    Because they’re neurotic messes, that’s why.

    Why do you think they pursued the ‘careers’ that they did?

    Leftist first, Jew second. But first in line to be murdered when the lunatics they empower take over.

    Happens every time.

    WestRock in reply to maxmillion. | May 28, 2020 at 7:18 am

    I am also an MOT (member of the tribe) and have been intrigued by this phenomenon for decades. I recently bought the Norman Podhoretz book “Why Are Jews Liberals?” but it’s not an easy read. It’s more like a cross between a reference and history book, but I’ll keep at it.

    From personal experience I believe it comes from fear, survival, and nurture. Anti-Semitism has been around for a while. Growing up in the 60’s/70’s in the northeast it was common knowledge that “you Jews killed Jesus” and the Pope changing that didn’t undo years of sermons and catechism classes. When you are young and haven’t learned to defend yourself the fight or flight response to “are you at Jew? Jews killed Jesus” becomes “NO, I’m not a Jew!” And there are countless more examples. Listening to stories of neighbors and classmates explaining how “I had to Jew ’em down” while buying a car or a stereo, calling all of us cheap “Penny Jews” and explaining how we rule the world and the banks. You can’t fight everyone, and more importantly we are not always identified as the enemy, the Jew. We don’t have horns or a certain skin color. We are like spies who have infiltrated the other camp, and we listen to their plots and propaganda.

    The net result of this can be thinking like “I didn’t ask to be born as a Jew, it’s not my fault.” And it can also lead to rebellion or even sabotage. Jews hating Jews.

    You can’t really understand unless you were born and raised a Jew in the right or wrong place and time. Books like “Black Like Me” and Eddie Murphy’s SNL skit “White Like Me” give a glimpse of what it’s like to be different but undetected. Like imagining being of a different race or culture and blending unnoticed and experiencing a high background-radiation-level of hatred and prejudice.

    Am I a Jew? It depends if I am in an alley and up against a wall and outnumbered. And whether I am ready to fight to the death. Who knows.

    Yuckster in reply to maxmillion. | May 28, 2020 at 8:20 am

    The analogy would be that many/most of Hollywood studios in the 1930’s were owned/controlled by Jews {It was a brand new industry in the late 19th/early 20th century that was open to all}.

    Ironically, these film studio’s were not aggressive at opposing Hitler or even American anti-semitism, as they hid their religions from the public because they were ashamed? or simply wanted to fit in as “true Americans”?

    It took Daryl Zanuck of 20thFox, who was Protestant, to push forward the production of “Gentleman’s Agreement,” the 1947, Oscar-winning film about subtle, insidious anti-Jewish prejudice. Many Jewish film-makers has previously passed on the subject.

Have had the good fortune to backpack & climb on 5 continents over the past 30 years, and the “universal” nature of the prejudice against two groups has always stood out: Jews and Homosexuals.

I’ll add that of all the League of Nations mandates established after WWI – former German and Ottoman Empire territory in the Middle East, Africa and Oceania – only the territory that became Israel is subject to this level of “scrutiny”.

None of the former African or Oceania mandates have ever been called illegitimate, or are still struggling to have their authority and borders accepted.

Tanzania is not described as illegitimate. Samoa’ authority to govern their nation is not challenged. Lebanon has not been consistently pressured to concede territory and alter their borders. All are former League of Nations mandates too.

Most of the former League of Nations mandates are comprised of multiple ethnic groups.

And many of the people who identify as Palestinian also believe that territory that became part of Jordon belongs to them too.

Jordon has not had to defend itself from coordinated military attacks by it’ neighbors, is not routinely “punished” by groups founded to support all nations, does not have it’ economy subject to BDS movements, or have to defend it’s citizens from terrorist groups funded by Western nations.

And the sole reason that Jordon is not subject to the same “scrutiny” is that it is not a Jewish state.

Lastly, the fact is there was never a Palestine nation or government that was overthrown by the WWI allies, the British, the Israelis, or the Jordanians. It was the German and Ottoman empires that were defeated; yet only the former League of Nations mandate governed by Jews is expected to suffer the consequences of an ethnic group who will not accept that they did not get their way.

Well I am, and all I can say in response to all too many such articles I’ve read in recent years is to reiterate:

If Hitler were non-white, Jews would be fighting for first place in line for the gas chambers.

Well now . . . if she’s unsuitable for the job of permanent Dean, she should also be unsuitable for the job of Interim Dean. Yet she was appointed anyway. By somebody who’s still there and will doubtless try something similar again. They always circle back to the notion that “academic freedom” means that they have to keep fruitcakes on faculty, including BDS types; and from there it’s just a tiny jump to putting them in charge.

“Academic freedom” became a talking point about eighty years ago, when it was intended to inhibit schools from firing blatant propagandists Communists. It’s been unquestioned for so long that everyone now assumes that it’s a reasonable state of affairs, though as always on the farm, some animals are more “free” than others.

    Virginia42 in reply to tom_swift. | May 28, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I’m curious as to why an anthropologist was put anywhere near the levers of power for the School of International Relations. They aren’t even close to being in the same field. Somebody liked her politics.

Ban the Badthink! Just like they do to anyone who supports Trump or conservative or libertarian ideas.

And I love the Orwellian term “Academic Freedom”.

You don’t know IF she would use her position improperly but say “I think she couldn’t resist it”. What about her is different than a Jewish judge trying someone accused at Charlottesville or having social media opposing Israel?

I guess LI has descended into supporting “thought crime” and deplatforming and disemploying those who engage in wrong thoughts – but no actual acts in context.

They came for the BDS supporters, and I applauded…

    Milhouse in reply to tz. | May 28, 2020 at 7:56 am

    A person who openly campaigns against academic freedom can’t be put in a position where she’s in charge of upholding it. It’s exactly like putting an open white supremacist in such a position.

Anything that thwarts Palestine and Palestinians is a good thing.

If there is anything good about GWU, I am not aware of it, it has always been a garden of leftist promulgation.

Ah well, if the paying customers get what they are looking for, then good for them, that’s how things are supposed to work in a competitive marketplace.

For my money, a college degree that costs more than a beginner home is probably not the best way to start off the first four years of young adulthood.

I guess my first question would be: Why would anybody study Anthropology in the first place?

Certainly not to get a job but maybe if they are prescient enough maybe to become a SJW or Anti-Semite someday.

I have a good friend who almost got a degree in Anthropology after almost bankrupting herself with Student Loans – she finally saw how stupid that was and got an actual job.

LOL

SeekingRationalThought | May 27, 2020 at 10:24 pm

C’mon guys. These are anthropologists. It not like they represent an academic discipline. These are people who couldn’t make it in gender studies.

    With any luck at all, the COVID scare will eliminate a lot of the schools that supported this nonsense, and put enough pressure on the rest of them that they drop their Departments of Virtue Signaling Nonsense.

Till we take back our educational system, the madness will continue until it destroys us. And SOON.

Until we take back our political party, we stand zero chance of taking back our educational system.

Starve the GOP, and donate solely to Trump Pacs.

The “Palestinians” have suffered from a progressive (i.e. monotonic) leadership ever since they joined their neighbors to wage social justice on Israel and forced a failed democratic purge in Jordan, the second state.

I am really surprised, pleasantly so, that GWU has backed down and reversed its decision to appoint this woman interim dean of a major school division. For several reasons, this may have been more easily accomplished at GWU than at many other schools, but still its quite an accomplishment for the good guys. Yasher Koah!

Not only wrong, but naive and uninformed. There are better ways to support the Palestinian people (as distinguished from the Palestinian movement.) The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem provides hospitals and schools in the area. Supporting them would have been positive and helpful; she chose negative and hurtful. What a lack of thought! What a knee-jerk, reactionary choice.

harleycowboy | May 28, 2020 at 11:13 am

Oh SNAP!! She just got boycotted. KARMA RULES!!!!

TennesseeRedDog | May 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Given the fact that there never has been a palestinian nation, language or culture, this is all rather… academic.

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