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“Cornell really needs to get a handle on the poisonous ideology which has now inflicted campus”

“Cornell really needs to get a handle on the poisonous ideology which has now inflicted campus”

“… where everything is viewed through a racial lens. And Jews on campus get put into the demonized white category. And that’s what you see in the anti-Israel movement on campus. They organize around race….”

I appeared for an interview on NTD News with Kevin Hogan last week, on the subject of the threats against Jewish students at Cornell.

For background, see these posts, media coverage, and interviews:

Here is the NTD interview:

Transcript (auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)

Hogan (00:00):

Next we hear from a professor at Cornell University about the anti-Semitic threats leveled against students. He points to what he calls poisonous ideology as the cause. Take a look. Professor Jacobson, thank you for your time today. Is Cornell University doing enough to address these threats against Jewish students?

WAJ (00:19):

No, it’s not, it’s not addressing the underlying problems. It addressed a threat by a student. It called the police. The police investigated. That’s great. I’m glad they did that.

But how did the student get radicalized at Cornell? Based on the threats he posted, he got radicalized by the racial sort of narrative and racialization of everything that takes place on campus under the rubric of diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you look at his threats, he talked about settler colonial and all those sort of things that have now become deeply embedded at Cornell. So no.

I sent a demand to the Cornell Board of Trustees, an open letter to them two weeks ago, saying, do three things that address the underlying problem.

One is halt these new DEI initiatives until you can understand how it is feeding anti-Jewish sentiment on campus.

Two, adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Association working definition of antisemitism, which recognizes that criticism of Israel is fair like any other country, but when it goes to the extreme and the excess and treats Israel differently than other countries, it becomes antisemitic. And that’s what you’re seeing happen at Cornell now. And that’s the, the fever on the campus.

And then the third thing is you’ve got to take this issue away from the current senior administration because they helped create the problem. The board of trustees needs to appoint an independent commission to look into these problems on campus.

Hogan (01:56):

Have you gotten any response from those three things?

WAJ (01:59):

No. And I know that media multiple times have reached out to Cornell for comment on my proposal and Cornell has declined to comment every single time.

Hogan (02:09):

So what needs to happen more in an immediate sense right here? Of course you’re addressing some of the underlying issues.

WAJ (02:15):

I think the Cornell administration needs to send a message that the gross demonization of Israel, which should be considered antisemitic when it is in excess, the way that it is now, is antisemitism. And that it should deal with that the way it would deal with anything else. That it would demonization of other groups on campus that violates the student code. I’m all for free speech, but Cornell has student codes and if they’re going to enforce it for one group, they should enforce it for all groups. They want have a wide open, free speech campus? Great. But you can’t regulate speech that you like and then punish speech you don’t like, which is what Cornell does now.

Hogan (03:00):

Professor Jacobson, these students are leaving campus, they’re afraid to sleep in their rooms. Do they have any resources to help them complete their coursework while dealing through all this?

WAJ (03:10):

I don’t know what Cornell is offering to them, but that really is, you know, a bandaid. That’s a fix. And certainly if there’s any support that can be given to students, I’m in favor of that.

But I think Cornell really needs to get a handle on the poisonous ideology which has now inflicted campus where everything is viewed through a racial lens. And Jews on campus get put into the demonized white category.

And that’s what you see in the anti-Israel movement on campus. They organize around race, they organize what they call ‘students of color’ against white Israel. And that is a poisonous atmosphere. This administration seems to be oblivious to it. And it’s not enough after there is a problem, after a student who, from all accounts, has no prior history of this, gets radicalized on campus and repeats these talking points that you hear all the time on campus, the administration needs to wake up.

Hogan (04:10):

Professor Bill Jacobson and also the founder of the Legal Insurrection. Thank you so much for your time.

WAJ (04:16):

Great. Thank you.


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Original source: Twitter link.

Cornell’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine — that called on Cornell to “recognize the Palestinian right to resistance and contextualize the violence as a direct response to decades of Israel’s occupation.”

SJP Outreach Chair Sadeen Musa ’25,
SJP President Malak Abuhashim ’23,
S.A. LGBTQIA+ Liaison-at-Large Karys Everett ’25
sponsored the resolution titled:

“Acknowledging Palestinian Suffering Under Israeli Apartheid.”

It recognized the “tragic loss of life on both sides” and referred to Hamas’s attack as “a direct response to over 75 years of illegal occupation, settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid governance endured by Palestinians.”

The Cornell Daily Sun:

Professor, you do good work but I’m afraid Cornell is lost–it doesn’t appear they have the slightest interest in addressing the poisonous atmosphere they’ve fostered all these years

    It’s too late. Education in the United States – all “education”, from pre-K through post-doc – has become nothing more than Leftist indoctrination.

      venril in reply to Rusty Bill. | November 6, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      A family friend who has a bachelors in Anthropology from a while back decided to test the waters for a run at a masters, and so signed up for a few classes at a smaller California college. She said everything was tied to the usual woke stuff, white supremacy, colonialism, etc. They were doing little more than pushing marxist ideology. That was just a couple years ago. Decided it wasn’t worth the money or time.

      M Poppins in reply to Rusty Bill. | November 8, 2023 at 12:16 pm

      I agree – and it’s been that way for the past 100 years

Like all blood cults, they cannot leave easily. They gain mental reinforcement by watching the Palestinian and Muslim western civilization haters we have let in our midst bully the authorities. Sterilize the FBI and Police departments. Make the Capital Police into a bunch of pansies…turn Garland into a Islamic agent….all of this is before us. Wray is under his desk asking for someone to find a MAGA person he can kill in a morning raid…

At this point, if you choose to spend time and money applying to Cornell or Penn or Harvard or Michigan then you have really lost the plot — you’d be acknowledging that you d not understand the whole point of college.

If you are 18 and reasonably bright, then you must find peace with the current reality: The world has changed.

Accept reality and move on. You still have many , many attractive options.

    The Real Truth in reply to N.G.. | November 9, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    I would not allow a child of mine to attend ANY of those Pro-Palestinians-supported
    schools ! They are very dangerous for any person who disagrees with their ignorant
    beliefs. I would like to see funding pulled from those Schools as well !

Shirley Temper arrested? Twitter link.

The grammatical (i.e. in form only based on the form of the accusation) rebuttal to poisonous ideology is remedial ideology. Everything depends on the dose, which one it is.

See Plato’s Pharmacy in Derrida’s _Dissemination_.

JackinSilverSpring | November 6, 2023 at 9:54 am

DIE = Division, Intolerance, Exclusion.
SJP = Students for Jewish Pogroms.

Why would they change anything. This is the outcome they were working toward.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Martin. | November 6, 2023 at 12:11 pm

    True, but I think some of the architects are aghast at the turn their work has taken, and are now afraid of the backlash they’d suffer (having built “cancel culture” into their program of radicalization) if they criticize the monster they created.

      Martin in reply to DaveGinOly. | November 6, 2023 at 2:11 pm

      The people who are aghast are mostly the “useful idiots”. They were so sure of their righteousness that they never bothered to examine where they were really going.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to DaveGinOly. | November 6, 2023 at 5:30 pm

      I tend to disagree, Those running what we incorrectly refer to as institutions of higher education have worked diligently and knowingly for this very end, and for the end of our unique American Social Contract. Any claims by those architects at surprise or disgust at what they have wrought will be as credible as the claims of the SS-Totenkopfverbände that they did not know what was happening what was happening inside the wire before allied troops liberated the camps.

      Subotai Bahadur

        in my experience, dealing with arts departments in academic institutions across the country, I have to say that the majority are empty-headed, semi-literate useful idiots.

freespeechfanatic | November 8, 2023 at 8:28 am

Any article or essay or exhortation about what the Left “needs” to do has departed from reality at the outset. The Left “needs” to do exactly what it is doing and will not ever change. The proper phrasing should be what WE need to do to STOP the Left.

I can’t see an Israeli flag lapel pin on the good Doctor – like that I now wear..