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You have in your possession a treasure trove of my research, published and unpublished manuscripts, interviews, course curricula, and worldwide civil rights activism from the early 1960′s on.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.
About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of fifteen books including “Women and Madness” (1972), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003), and her latest, “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013). Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com.
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Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves
The British government assured Anglo-Jewry that it is attacking the rising levels of anti-Semitism.
Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.
Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians
Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists
In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site
Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”
The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps
Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.
How many sites that tell you to check your politics at the door have 10,000 likes?
In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.
While we recognize the Republican Jewish Coalition is hardly a non-partisan outfit, a snippet from a statement the group released is worthy of note:
Few of the volunteers were experienced sailors, (Greenfield had been in the Merchant Marine). Few were Zionists.
My good colleague Kay is wrong about the early demise of conspiracy theories and blood libels against the Jews.
“I am surprised those Zionists are not outside protesting,” says one woman.
“Miral” is a film that has garnered an inordinate amount of media attention. In interviews, the director, Julian Schnabel, defends his right to tell the Palestinian “narrative” for what he claims is the first time. He seems not to know that many others before him have specialized in this particular line of work.
Our beloved, miraculous Jewish state is under siege.
It was assumed that the ceaseless persecution of the Jews in exile would cease once we again had our own sovereign homeland, our own army, navy, and air force.
In 1947-1948 I lived in Boro Park where, against parental and rabbinic advice, I joined a Zionist group. By 1950 I was packing machine-gun parts for Israel in a home not far from the Young Israel. But what I did as a child does not compare to what my friend and colleague David Gutmann did for love of Zion at that very time on the dangerous open seas.
Reality has become somewhat Scandinavian. It grows dark early and it is bitterly cold here in New York City and over a good portion of our fair land. Our Prince of Peace (The Norwegian Nobel, not the noble variety) is not yet asking whether “to be or not to be.” Perhaps he is not entirely convinced that “that is the question.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/true-speech-versus-free-speech/2004/11/10/
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