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In what is yet more evidence that universities have become, as Abigail Thernstrom has described them, “islands of repression in a sea of freedom,” Toronto’s York University witnessed a near riot of some 100 pro-Palestinian Israel-haters, as police had to be called to usher Jewish students to safety after they had been barricaded inside the Hillel offices and were “isolated and threatened” by the physically and verbally aggressive demonstrators.
York, one of Canada’s largest universities, has a sizable Jewish student population, but that has not served to diffuse what has become an increasingly volatile, and distressing, problem on its campus, one that raises issues about what is acceptable behavior and discourse at universities worldwide.
Universities, of course, have well-articulated regulations that supposedly define student behavior and place limits on speech and actions that might shatter what administrators like to refer to as the “civility” of the campus community. York’s own student code of conduct, for example, specifically prohibits “threats of harm, or actual harm, to a person’s physical or mental wellbeing,” including “verbal and non-verbal aggression…verbal abuse; intimidation; [and] harassment” – all of which were clearly violated by the demonstrators’ physically intimidating protests.
More troubling is the invidious language used at this event, mirroring a surge of unbridled Jew-hatred manifested on campuses, as well as on city streets, worldwide since Israel’s defensive incursion into Gaza.
Parroting the morally incoherent and factually defective exhortations of Israel-haters elsewhere of “Zionism equals racism!” and “Racists off campus!” the York mob, members of both the York Federation of Students and Students Against Israeli Apartheid, demonstrated once again that what is positioned as “intellectual debate” on campuses about the Israeli/Palestinian issue has devolved into something that is not really a conversation at all. Rather, it is something more akin to an ideologically-driven shoutfest in which a new version of pro-Palestinian brownshirts, employing a revisionist history in which the dark-skinned, third-world Arabs are the long-standing victims of white, European, colonial Zionists, have escalated the debate far beyond discussion of borders, refugee status, and the rights of both Jews and Arabs to self-determination, statehood, and peaceful coexistence.
So supporters of the cult of Palestinianism apparently no longer feel even a bit uncomfortable voicing what is actually on their minds when the subject of Israel comes up: when the York Hillel students were trapped inside locked offices, surrounded by an increasingly violent and aggressive mob, the intellectual “debate” that day included such invidious and raw slurs as “Die Jew – get the hell off campus.”
The most vicious anti-Semites have of late been able to conveniently inoculate themselves from what had become socially unacceptable in the modern age – hating Jews – by artfully masking any anti-Semitism on their part by stating, “Oh, no, it’s not Jews I despise, only the oppressive, genocidal, and racist policies of Zionism and Israel.”
But even that concern for appearing to be politically correct has now, too, vanished. When students are calling for the death of fellow students based on their religion or political inclinations, something more serious and troubling is going on here that cannot be easily dismissed as part of the back and forth in the “marketplace of ideas” that universities are so fond of facilitating.
But craven college administrators, who in their zeal to achieve “diversity” and “multiculturalism” have relieved campus victim groups of any responsibility for their noxious or morally reprehensible views, regularly fail to condemn the behavior of favored groups on campus while publicly denouncing, punishing, or distancing themselves from the opposing voices coming, for instance, from conservatives, Christians, Republicans, or pro-Israel groups or faculty members.
Imagine for a moment that during the latest incident instead of Hillel, another of the University’s student organizations, the Trans Bisexual Lesbian Gay Allies at York, had held a press conference in the student union to give their views on, say, gay marriage, a topic over which there can be, and are, many viewpoints. Imagine further that counter-protestors, inflamed by what they felt was an assault on their Christian faith, angrily barricaded the TBLG Allies in their offices, pounded violently on the walls and screamed out “Death to Sodomites.”
Assuming that such a counter-protest would even have been allowed to occur on campus, does anyone doubt the extent of denunciation and condemnation that would have issued forth from an apoplectic administration and faculty if this hateful speech and behavior took place? Is there any doubt the counter-protestors would be de-funded, sanctioned, or punished into silence or prevented from further demonstrations or the ability to express their opinions on campus again?
About the Author: Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., author of “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews,” is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.
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The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.
Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof
What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.
Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.
The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.
Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US
No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?
For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.
Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation
Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.
Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers
Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem
Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.
The multiculturalism that animates the hate-Israel crowd is sprinkled with code words of oppression
Jews do not fare well on campuses these days, particularly in the context of the debate over Israel.
The cynical, and historically and factually inaccurate, view has meant leftists frequently denounce Western democracies as imperialistic, racist, militaristic oppressors.
What was unique about the MLA’s and the ASA’s approach was the breathtakingly Orwellian notion that not only was Israel itself guilty of the many alleged transgressions assigned to it by its libelers, but a boycott against Israeli academics was warranted because the academic establishment itself is complicit in Zionism’s excesses and a core element of the bemoaned occupation, oppression, and denial of Palestinian self-determination.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-double-standard-for-campus-free-speech/2009/02/25/
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