Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
An editorial in Tuesday’s New York Times provides an important perspective on how Israel is viewed by our country’s liberal elites.
According to the editorial, titled “Litmus Tests”:
One dispiriting lesson from Chuck Hagel’s nomination for defense secretary is the extent to which the political space for discussing Israel forthrightly is shrinking. Republicans focused on Israel more than anything during his confirmation hearing, but they weren’t seeking to understand his views. All they cared about was bullying him into a rigid position on Israel policy. Enforcing that kind of orthodoxy is not in either America’s or Israel’s interest.
Brooklyn College is facing a similar trial for scheduling an event on Thursday night with two speakers who support an international boycott to force Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories. While this page has criticized Israeli settlements, we do not advocate a boycott. We do, however, strongly defend the decision by the college’s president, Karen Gould, to proceed with the event, despite withering criticism by opponents and threats by at least 10 City Council members to cut financing for the college. Such intimidation chills debate and makes a mockery of the ideals of academic freedom….
The sad truth is that there is more honest discussion about American-Israeli policy in Israel than in this country. Too often in the United States, supporting Israel has come to mean meeting narrow ideological litmus tests. J Street, a liberal pro-Israel group that was formed as a counterpoint to conservative groups like the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, has argued for vibrant debate and said “criticism of Israeli policy does not threaten the health of the state of Israel.” In fact, it is essential.
Of course, contrary to what the Times would have its readers think, those of us who oppose the Hagel nomination are not at all interested in enforcing some kind of pro-Israel orthodoxy. Rather, we are concerned that both Mr. Hagel and his defenders on the Times editorial board apparently fail to recognize that Israel faces a stacked deck in the international arena – one fashioned by a virulently anti-Israel bloc of states and its supporters. And this stacked deck has come to dominate the work of virtually all international institutions.
Indeed, can anyone mistake the significance of the recent series of UN actions bending the rules as to the requirements for statehood when faced with applications from the Palestinian Authority? Or of the almost exclusive focus on Israel by UN human rights units despite the horrible carnage committed by other nations?
The Times is also wrong in its fundamental premise concerning the Brooklyn College controversy. Critics of the event have expressed concern that the political science department is a co-sponsor. But there is no “litmus test” we seek – only acknowledgment that academic freedom does not entail conferring an official imprimatur on the boycott Israel crowd.
And for the Times to bemoan, in this context, “intimidation” that “chills debate” is beyond parody. For years now Jewish and other pro-Israel speakers have been routinely shouted down at debates on campuses across the country. That kind of real intimidation sparks virtually no concern in “progressive” circles, but critical reaction to an officially sanctioned one-sided pro-Palestinian presentation at a publicly funded institution has the Times implying that nothing less than the very survival of academic freedom and free speech is at stake.
About the Author:
You must log in to post a comment.
Ahmadinejad may plan to reveal proof that the 2009 elections were rigged if his candidate’s registration for presidential candidacy is not accepted.
With a ‘friend’ like Erdogan, Obama’s policy toward Syria, Iran, the advance of revolutionary Islamism, and the Israel-Palestinian “peace process,” is in serious trouble.
The media loved Obama, but it discovered early on that he did not love it back.
How far the PA will go to present the lie as the truth and the truth as a lie? Its claim that Jesus was a Palestinian is old hat. But now the “resurrection” also refers to “the Palestinian state.”
The progressive consolidation imagines that organization can contain the messier side of man.
The Russian Yakhont missiles already delivered to Syria threaten Israel Navy ships carrying out vital missions in the Mediterranean.
Islamism represents the transformation of Islamic faith into a political ideology.
America could be said to be building a united front against Iran, but at what price?
The Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam.
Palestinian youths from Hebron, though, who met with Israelis near Bethlehem to share their problems and insights have been forced to issue a statement distancing themselves from the meeting.
Benghazi isn’t likely to keep Hillary out of the Democratic field in 2016, but after 2008, she is justifiably paranoid.
The contractors received the land at a bargain basement price, moved the prices up to 1.8 million NIS and pocketed one million NIS per apartment.
Many of my fellow college students are quick to voice their acceptance of their LGBT friends, but they turn up their noses and frown slightly when they speak of a Hasid.
The growing revelations that the Obama State Department watered down public statements on the attack in order to cleanse them of any mention of al Qaeda and terrorism is a travesty.
We must confront Islamist groups with what Prime Minister David Cameron referred to as “muscular liberalism.”
Two recent revelations have raised serious questions about the kind of government President Obama is running.
We were dismayed by the announcement last week from Google that it was changing the name “Palestinian Territories” to “Palestine” across its products. In explaining the action, a Google spokesman said that “We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries…. In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and other international organizations.”
It seems clear that there is a lot more to the current developments regarding Syria than Israel’s bombing some sites there, though staunching the flow of Iranian weapons to Hizbullah through Syria is plainly a significant objective.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent embrace of the Arab Peace Initiative is, to say the least, unnerving. Certainly the response of Arab leaders to his action reflects the dangers for Israel inherent in the plan. President Obama seems to be preoccupied these days with Syria and Iran as well as serious domestic issues and is largely leaving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Mr. Kerry. But the secretary of state seems poised to roil things up without any prospect of real progress.
Syria’s civil war is fast becoming one of the Obama administration’s greatest foreign policy challenges, for the moment even surpassing Iran’s march toward nuclear weaponry in its urgency. Together, both issues have effectively derailed the president’s long-range intention to focus on Asia and the emerging economic and military developments in China and other nations in the so-called Asian Pivot.
The investigation into the Boston bombings is still in its early stages but what seems to be emerging is that the presumed perpetrators were not directly linked to any foreign terrorist infrastructure. Rather, they were individual Americans radicalized by jihadist teachings and guided in their weapons-making by jihadist websites.
During the run-up to the confirmations of Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel, we and others forcefully challenged the latter over statements he had made about Iran and Israel, and were more favorably inclined toward the former.
This week Jews around the world celebrated Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day. Sixty-five years ago on the day before the British mandate over Palestine was set to expire, the Jewish People’s Council, comprised of the political leadership of the Jewish residents of Palestine, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/israel-academic-freedom-and-free-speech/2013/02/06/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: