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In the years since our founding, Legal Insurrection has covered anti-Israel activism on our nation's campuses. Though expressions of anti-Zionism on campus are often the work of radical student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), behind many such groups and their anti-Israel messaging stands faculty support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
For a recent example, see the latest attempt by a small minority of faculty to pass a BDS resolution at the American Historical Association's annual meeting in American Historical Association Rejects Anti-Israel Resolution for the 4th Time.

Last week, we reported on the disruption of Israeli Hen Mazzig's talk by Vassar College Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in Vassar President: It was anti-Semitic to shout at Israeli Jewish speaker “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free”. In a breath of fresh air, Vassar president Elizabeth Bradley issued an admirably strong condemnation of SJP's behavior, stating that shouting "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free"—a call for the extermination of Israel and the subjugation of Israeli Jews—at an Israeli Jewish speaker was anti-Semitic:

Legal Insurrection has long tracked and opposed the spread of anti-Israel curricula at the university level, and has documented efforts to push that political activism into high school and elementary schools. Our research and litigation exposing anti-Israel activism in a third-grade class in Ithaca received national attention, VIDEO: Activists manipulate third-graders into hating Israel. One of the most audacious anti-Israel propaganda efforts is taking place right now in California, through the proposed California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC). As described below, Legal Insurrection joins over 80 groups in opposing ESMC and urging California educational authorities to revise the curriculum to remove clear politicization designed to imbue young students with hatred of Israel.

In recent posts we have discussed how anti-Israel faculty at some universities and colleges have gone rogue. Knowing that their institutions reject the academic boycott of Israel, these faculty members impose the boycott on students to deprive students of educational opportunities to study on approved programs in Israel.

In December 2013, the American Studies Associations passed an academic boycott of Israel, part of the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The ASA boycott, which is the subject of ongoing litigation, was undertaken by anti-Israel faculty who methodically took over key ASA committees and National Council. Though only about 20% of the ASA membership voted for the boycott, that was enough given low participation rates in the voting.

One of the most important developments in the academic boycott of Israel took place a couple of weeks ago. A professor at the University of Michigan, John Cheney-Lippold, agreed to write a recommendation letter for a student, Abigail Engber, but later refused when he found out the letter would be used for the student to apply to a study abroad program in Israel.

For many years we’ve been documenting anti-Israel activity on U.S. university and college campuses, typically part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and carried out by student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. In these prior posts we’ve described many instances when this Israel-related activism has crossed over the line into blatant anti-Jewish animus, including at schools as diverse as Vassar, Oberlin, and University of Illinois.

Oberlin College faces serious financial challenges, resulting from a variety of factors, particularly a decline in enrollment. The "social justice" turmoil of recent years at Oberlin, the focus of local and national media coverage and mockery, likely was a contributing factor, as we pointed out in September 2017, Radical fallout: Oberlin College enrollment drops, causing financial problems:

U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker in Tallahassee has ruled that Florida's process for restoring voting rights to convicted felons violates both the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The implications of the ruling, however, may not be so far-reaching since the judge hasn't yet decided on a specific remedy. The Order (pdf.) is embedded at the bottom of this post.

The Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee just voted 12-11, on a straight party line vote, to advance the nomination of Kenneth Marcus to become Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, the press office of Chair Lamar Alexander has confirmed. The vote took place after an determined assault on the nomination by anti-Israel activists. In such position, Marcus would lead the DOE Office for Civil Rights, a position which has a huge impact on higher education. It was the Obama-era OCR that imposed the disastrous "Dear Colleague" letter eviscerating due process in campus sexual assault tribunals. The Office also deals with issues of discrimination.

The New School, a liberal Manhattan-based university, has garnered considerable controversy over a program on antisemitism that’s currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 28. The program is titled Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice and it is designed to promote a book by Jewish Voice for Peace of a similar name. Criticism of the event has been almost entirely focused on the university’s “misguided invitation” to Linda Sarsour and the “absurdity” of this self-identified anti-Israel firebrand and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement “poster girl” being asked to discuss the nature of contemporary anti-Jewish hatred and how best to tackle it.

For a number of years we’ve been documenting anti-Israel activism on U.S. college campuses, carried out by student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. In these prior posts we’ve described many instances when this virulent anti-Israelism has crossed over the line into blatant anti-Jewish animus, including at schools like Vassar, Oberlin, University of Illinois and at various California colleges and universities.

There is a mini-firestorm that has erupted slowly over the appointment of Professor N. Bruce Duthu to be Dean of the Faculty at Dartmouth College. The first flames appeared in late March 2017 at the Dartblog, run by Dartmouth alums. After noting Duthu's alleged lack of academic and professional qualifications for such a position, Joseph Asch '79 wrote:
Finally, and of greatest concern, is the man’s politics. He signed the American Studies Association petition urging the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) directed at Israeli universities.... Additionally he is listed as an author of the Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions by the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association....

Two violent attacks campus speakers have gained widespread media attention in recent months -- the attack on Milo Yiannopoulos' appearance at UC-Berkeley, and Charles Murray at Middlebury. Less violent, but still disruptive, attempts were made to shut down Rick Santorum and Michael Johns at Cornell, Christina Hoff Sommers at Oberlin, Georgetown and elsewhere. and other conservative speakers. Finally, there is widespread condemnation even from the left, particularly after Middlebury.

What’s happening to Jewish and pro-Israel students on many American universities and colleges from coast to coast is horribly ugly. On “hotspot campuses” the problem is only getting worse. “Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus”, a new 70 minute documentary recently released by the organization Americans for Peace and Tolerance, chronicles the rampant anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activism prevalent on many of America’s institutions of higher learning. We featured the film’s trailer in a recent post and the movie premiered in NYC on November 30. Last week, I had the opportunity to watch the film in its entirely. In this follow-up post, I review the documentary’s central themes and take-home messages.
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