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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Brandeis Caves to Pressure, Withdraws Honor to Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The Brandeis students issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a "news article" and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.


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Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali



And this is a new trend. All manner of people have received honorary degrees from Brandeis, many of whom have been critical of other religions, particularly of Judaism and of the Jewish State.

Need one really trot out the many people who have received honorary degrees from Brandeis, a school founded by the Jewish community as a way to get around the strict quotas on the number of Jews who could attend high quality schools.

People such as Tony Kushner, who flatly stated that the creation of Israel as a Jewish State “was a mistake,” who regularly accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and of savagery and who blames the existence of the state of Israel for the “terrible peril in the world.” Kushner received an honorary degree in 2006.

Then there is Desmond Tutu – a man widely revered for the work he did on behalf of South Africans, but who also is a rank anti-Semite. Tutu has compared Israel to Hitler, attacked the “Jewish lobby” as too “powerful” and “scary,” he has sanitized the gas chambers of the Holocaust which he said made for a “neater death” than one under Apartheid, and he complained of the “Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust.” He also insists that Jewish Holocaust victims should forgive the Nazis. Bishop Tutu received his honorary degree from Brandeis University in 2000.

The school administration buckled under to the Brandeis contingent of an increasingly entitled and belligerent faction on U.S. campuses who believe diversity, tolerance and justice only apply to positions and people whose views are consistent with their own. This goes not only for the students, as Bernadette Brooten, a Brandeis professof in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department explained on the Facebook page denouncing Ali, “a group of 86 faculty members has signed a letter to President Lawrence, asking him to rescind the invitation.”

Facebook post by Brandeis Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department prof. Bernadette Brooten.

Facebook post by Brandeis Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department prof. Bernadette Brooten.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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