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Campus Calumnies


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Note to readers: In 1999 and again in 2001 the Monitor compiled an “Enemies List”of those media types deemed most hostile to Israel. Readers were encouraged to make their feelings known, and the feedback was such that additional columns were needed to accommodate all the nominations and comments.

This year we take a different tack: As per the suggestions of a number of readers, the Monitor for the next few weeks will be compiling a “Friends List” of pro-Israel media people. The list and its inevitable follow-ups will be published in July.

In the meantime, let us know who you think should be included. Nominees can be reporters, columnists, talk-show hosts or television pundits, and they don’t have to be nationally known; if you live outside a major metropolitan area and there’s a pro-Israel columnist or radio personality in your neck of the woods who deserves wider recognition, please let us know.

This week the Monitor lends its platform to HonestReporting.com, a website that does an excellent job of keeping tabs on anti-Israel bias in the media. As college students across the country pack away their books (we speak, of course, of those students who actually read) and head home for the summer, it seems fitting to focus on the phenomenon of rising anti-Israel sentiment that characterized the past year in academia.

What follows is a condensed version of an article that HonestReporting posted on its site a few weeks back:

“College campuses across America have been heating up with pro-Palestinian rallies, and an increasing number of verbal and physical attacks on Jewish and pro-Israel students have been reported.

“The New York Times reported that ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ has joined forces with other campus movements, including sweatshop opponents, affirmative action supporters, environmental groups, and supporters of a living wage.

“At the University of California at Berkeley, a brick was thrown through the Hillel windows, Hillel property was spray-painted ‘Hate Jews,’ and a rabbi’s son was beaten up, requiring stitches to his head. On Holocaust Remembrance Day, anti-Israel groups held a large demonstration in the center of the Berkeley campus. One Jewish student took the microphone and proceeded to recite the kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, for Palestinians killed by ‘Israeli terror.’

“College newspapers may help foment this atmosphere. The following are some of the worst examples of recent college coverage:

“RUTGERS’ DAILY TARGUM: ‘Students Rally Behind Palestinian Cause,’ by Chris Lang (April 5). The Rutgers paper quotes an Arab student claiming that the Israeli government went into an all-female hospital and randomly selected 30 women, called them terrorists and executed them.’

“Though this represents pure fabrication, and the Rutgers Daily Targum allowed the claim to stand unchallenged..

“UCLA’S DAILY BRUIN: ‘U.S. foreign policy unfairly holds Iraq, Israel to different standards, policies. Bush should view both Hussein, Sharon in similar light,’ by Hakam Al-Samarrai (April15). Al-Samarrai claimed that Israel and Iraq have violated U.N. laws, ignored U.N. resolutions, and been accused of violating international laws, humanitarian and otherwise…. Both Israel and Iraq have leaders, Prime Minister Sharon and President Hussein respectively, who have been accused of ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people.’

“DAILY FREE PRESS, BOSTON UNIVERSITY: In April, a group of student organizations at Boston University used the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day to publicize what they considered to be Israeli aggression against its Arab population.

“These students labeled Israel an oppressive apartheid state and even went so far as to justify the recent spate of suicide bombings.

“One of the student protesters was quoted in the school paper as follows: ?What’s the difference between civilian terrorists and soldier terrorists? One side is using conventional weapons against civilians, and the other side is having to use themselves as bombs.’”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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