Latest update: July 14th, 2014
You have in your possession a treasure trove of my research, published and unpublished manuscripts, interviews, course curricula, and worldwide civil rights activism from the early 1960’s on. Duke acquired my papers in 1992 and I have continued to hand over materials ever since. Other important acquisitions that followed mine include those of Kate Millett, Alix Kates Shulman, Merle Hoffman, Robin Morgan, and others.
I am also one of 107 signatories to a letter recently sponsored by the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies addressed to Secretary of State Colin Powell on behalf of the Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, (HR 4230), which would have the United States monitor and combat anti-Semitism world-wide.
Other signatories include current and former Senators, Congressmen, Ambassadors, theologians, and educators including the Reverend Dr. Joseph Hough, Jr., President of the Union Theological Seminary, Dr. Harold W. Attridge, Dean of the Yale University Divinity School, Dr. Maxine Clarke Beach, Dean of the Drew University Theological School, Sister Rose Thering, author James Carroll, and R. James Woolsey, Jack Kemp, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Cynthia Ozick, Richard Perle, and Gary Wills.
I understand that Duke University will be hosting a Palestinian Solidarity Movement (PSM) conference. I also understand that you and certain faculty members believe that doing so constitutes your commitment to free speech and academic freedom. Ironically, Duke will be supporting a group (which is also known as the International Solidarity Movement), which does not believe in free speech or democracy and which endorses violence, mass murder, Jew-hatred, and homicidal-suicide terrorism.
But, you might say, America prides itself on extending its civil rights, including that of free speech to racist groups and to their hate speech. Let me respectfully suggest that, post 9/11, America may no longer do so without risking grievous consequences both in terms of lives lost and truth abandoned.
President Brodhead: Would you proudly host a Nazi Party or Ku Klux Klan conference in the name of academic freedom? Given your commitment to the First Amendment, would you still allow the meeting to take place behind closed doors with no press allowed? I understand that this is what the Palestine Solidarity Movement conference planners have demanded. As you know, a free and vigorous press is one of our protections against tyranny. What issue cannot bear the cleansing light of scrutiny?
But why is Duke giving any intellectual credibility to what is bound to be a hate-fest? Under President Rudenstein, Harvard, which like Duke is also a private institution, resolved that it would not allow any hate-speech conferences. The Harvard Divinity School also returned United Arab Emirate monies from the Sheikh Zayed Foundation no doubt earmarked for such purposes. Perhaps Duke can consider doing this as well. The PSM/ISM are precisely the kinds of groups that European governments, beginning with Germany, have begun to monitor in terms of their terrorism potential. Why is Duke granting them an aura of intellectual respectability?
In my view, the masked and hooded members of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Fatah, and the al-Aqsa’s Martyrs Brigade (which the PSM and their allies support) are far more dangerous than the Nazis or the Klan ever were. Their terrorism against civilians, especially in Israel, but also worldwide, is both state-sanctioned and trans-national. Their propaganda against Jews and Israelis is based on doctored footage, photo-opportunity journalism, and sophisticated post-Orwellian lies.Dr. Phyllis Chesler
About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of sixteen books including “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003, 2014), “Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015 (2015), and “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013), for which she won the National Jewish Book Award in the category of memoirs. Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com. A version of this piece appeared on IsraelNationalNews.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.
If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.
- 19 Dead, 45 Wounded in Stabbing Attack in Japan [video]
on July 26, 2016 12:50 AM
- Syrian Refugee Suicide Bomber a ‘Soldier of ISIS’ in Germany
on July 26, 2016 12:16 AM
- 2,000 Pro-Sanders Supporters March as Democratic National Convention Begins
on July 26, 2016 12:00 AM
- Nat’l Security Chief Heads to Washington Defense Memorandum of Understanding
on July 25, 2016 10:21 PM
- Mahmoud Abbas Hopes to Sue UK Over 100-yr-old Balfour Declaration
on July 25, 2016 10:02 PM
- IDF Appoints Orthodox Officer to Command Education Corps
on July 25, 2016 9:20 PM
- Syrian Mortar Lands on Israeli Side of the Golan
on July 25, 2016 7:21 PM
- Shooting Medic to Prosecutor: ‘They Threw Me to the Dogs Because of their Fear of the Media’
on July 25, 2016 5:06 PM
- Statue of Egyptian Official Found at Tel-Hazor
on July 25, 2016 4:12 PM
- Putin to Arab League Summit: ‘Status Quo on Palestine Unacceptable’
on July 25, 2016 1:56 PM
- Defense Minister Liberman Attacks Predecessor’s Public Conviction of Hebron Shooter
on July 25, 2016 12:45 PM
- Down Rabbit Hole with Anti-Israel Conspiracy Crowd after Nice, Munich, Tweets
on July 25, 2016 11:47 AM
- 2014 Gaza War Parents Demand Investigation of Operation’s Conduct, High Losses
on July 25, 2016 9:48 AM
- Syrian Bomber Kills Self, Wounds 12, in Fourth Muslim Attack in a Week in Southern Germany
on July 25, 2016 8:33 AM
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Quit DNC
on July 25, 2016 3:18 AM