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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘David Horovitz’

Did Palestinian Media Fabricate ‘Israeli Attack’ on University?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

In what threatened to become a public battle between two university presidents vying to prove each one’s constituency as the true victim, Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al Quds University, cited what appears to be a completely fabricated news report, one that he would have to know was fabricated. That article described the Israeli army’s “vicious incursion” on Nov. 17, during which Al-Quds students were shot.

Nusseibeh complained that the Brandeis University president “did not express sympathy” for the plight of his university. The president of Brandeis University refused to engage in such a media debate.

Al-Quds University has been the subject of many news articles recently.  Brandeis University, founded in 1948 as a refuge for Jews who were largely shunned elsewhere, began a sister university relationship in 2003 with Al-Quds University, the Palestinian Arab university located in eastern Jerusalem.

The relationship continued for many years, despite numerous examples of Al-Quds University being an institution that honors terrorists who murdered many Israelis, other Jews, and Americans.

However, when a large group of Arabs were photographed during a Nov. 5 demonstration at the Al-Quds campus in paramilitary gear, with arms raised in what resembled a Nazi salute, trampling on pictures of Israeli flags, and honoring suicide bombers, the Brandeis administration finally called for an explanation.

Brandeis’s relatively new president, Frederick Lawrence, contacted his counterpart, Al-Quds University president Sari Nusseibeh, whom he asked to denounce the demonstration, and to do so in both English and Arabic.  Instead, the response Nusseibeh posted on the Al-Quds website and sent to Lawrence, attacked “extremist Jews” for “exploiting” a situation and daring to criticize and delegitimize Al-Quds University.

That was the last straw for Lawrence and for Brandeis University.  The formal relationship between the two universities was suspended by Brandeis on Nov. 18 – not irrevocably, but certainly for the near future.

Because Nusseibeh was the one who issued the insulting statement – truly a slap in the face to President Lawrence as well as anyone else who had sought an explanation for a sister university publicly condoning Israel and Jew hatred – on Nov. 21, Brandeis also removed Nusseibeh from the board of advisors of the Brandeis International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

There were some who were highly critical of Brandeis for disrupting the relationship between the schools, especially those who believe with all their might that the relationship might blossom into closer relations and better understandings between Jews and other Americans and Arab Muslims.

But the president of Al-Quds seemed stunned by Brandeis’s strong-willed response.  An article appeared in the Times of Israel in which Nusseibeh suddenly claimed that he condemned the Nov. 5 demonstration.  But because the public response on the Al-Quds website and its translation which was provided to Brandeis’s Lawrence by Nusseibeh himself was so utterly lacking in contrition, and instead blamed “extremist Jews” for essentially overreacting to something that was unimportant, Lawrence stood firm and refused to undo the separation.

NUSSEIBEH THEN TURNS ON BRANDEIS PRESIDENT

Nusseibeh was not content to simply bide his time and wait until he would likely to be welcomed back into the bosom of Brandeis University, or to some other American universities eager to claim kinship with a real, live Palestinian Arab university.

Nope.

Instead, as reported in the Times of Israel, Nusseibeh then reached out again to its editor in a long email, arguing that Brandeis’s Lawrence had “gone overboard” in response to the Nov. 5 demonstration at Al-Quds.

In what way did Lawrence go overboard?

Well, in addition to suspending the relationship between the two schools and suspending Nusseibeh from the Center for Ethics board, Nusseibeh suggested Lawrence mischaracterized the letter Nusseibeh addressed to his students in response to the demonstration. He wrote that Lawrence “had chosen to read my letter to students as ‘inflammatory.’” In part, Nusseibeh went on, because Lawrence “will not accept that there are such people as ‘Jewish extremists.’”

Brandeis Removes Al Quds’ Nusseibeh From Ethics Center

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

In a move reinforcing the basis for its decision to sever ties with Al-Quds University, Brandeis University issued a statement on Thursday, Nov. 21, that Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University, will be removed from his position on the Advisory Board of the Brandeis International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

Ellen De Graffenreid, senior vice president for communications of the Waltham, Massachusetts Brandeis University, read a statement to The Jewish Press:

President Lawrence has decided that Brandeis University’s suspension of its partnership with Al-Quds University requires that Dr. Nusseibeh not be a member of the Board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public life. As with the suspension of relations between the two universities, Brandeis will re-evaluate this issue as events may warrant.

BACKGROUND

Nov. 5 Nazi Demo at Al Quds

As has already been widely reported, on Nov. 5 there was a demonstration on the Al-Quds campus that included banners depicting images of “martyred” suicide bombers and Nazi-style salutes.  Once Brandeis officials verified the facts, President Lawrence communicated directly with Nusseibeh and asked that he “issue an unequivocal condemnation of these demonstrations in both Arabic and English.”

Instead, as we reported, the official statement issued by Al-Quds and communicated in English to Lawrence by Nusseibeh, was, in Lawrence’s words, “unacceptable and inflammatory.”

In fact, Nusseibeh refused to either take responsibility for the offensive demonstration, or to distance himself or Al-Quds from it.

What he did instead was blame “extremist Jews” for seizing on the demonstration and starting a “vilification campaign” against Al-Quds. The statement was also critical of the Nazis solely because what they did ended up creating what the Palestinian Arabs refer to as “al Nakba,” that is, the catastrophe: the creation of the State of Israel.

But the official sister university relationship between the two universities was not the only official connection Nusseibeh has to Brandeis.

REMAINING CONNECTION BETWEEN BRANDEIS AND NUSSEIBEH

The Jewish Press contacted Brandeis University administration officials on Tuesday, Nov. 19, the day after the Jewish-sponsored school announced it had severed ties with Al-Quds.

The question to which we sought an answer was whether the person who issued the insulting official Al-Quds statement which led to the “divorce” between the two schools would remain officially affiliated with Brandeis University.

The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life is a Brandeis project which “seeks to develop responses to international conflict and injustice by offering innovative approaches to coexistence, strengthening the work of international courts, and encouraging ethical practice in civic and professional life.”

The Center for Ethics was launched in 1998.  It has three components, in one, Brandeis undergraduates work abroad in NGOs for eight to ten weeks in the summer.  A second component brings together practitioners in the coexistence and conflict field from around the globe to share best practices and develop cooperative projects. A third project was to bring in “distinguished visitors.”

The first “distinguished visitor” brought to Brandeis as part of the Center for Ethics was Sari Nusseibeh.

Nusseibeh and former Brandeis president Yehuda Reinharz have been described as close friends.  Nusseibeh became a member of the Center’s international Advisory Board.  Other members include Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Thomas Buergenthal, former Judge of the International Court of Justice and several jurists and dignitaries from countries such as India, Mauritania, Hungary, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

The Chair of the Center is Justice Richard J. Goldstone (yes, that Goldstone).

PUSHBACK ATTEMPT BY NUSSEIBEH

Based on the length of time it took the University to respond to questions regarding Nusseibeh’s status at the Center for Ethics, it appeared that the answer to the question posed by The Jewish Press – would Nusseibeh remain officially affiliated with Brandeis University – was not clear-cut.

And then on Nov. 20, a media account in the Times of Israel was issued with the curious title “Al-Quds university head condemns Nazi-style demonstration on campus.”

The editor of the Times of Israel, David Horovitz, wrote that he sat with, and asked Nusseibeh point blank, whether Nusseibeh condemned the Nov. 5 demonstration, “Nusseibeh said yes.”

But Horovitz apparently neglected to ask Nusseibeh if that statement was correct, why he issued a public statement blaming “Jewish extremists” and “Jewish opportunists.” Why was Nusseibeh’s statement of contrition only made in private, to a Jewish reporter for a Jewish publication?

The Times of Israel article quotes Nusseibeh: “Needless to say, the event on the campus by this small group — trampling on Israeli flags and behaving as though sympathizing with Nazi or fascist ideology — in no way represents our university values, and we are constantly trying to prevent this kind of thing from happening.”

That statement by Nusseibeh and his prior, official response to the incident don’t match up.

And even in the Times of Israel article, Nusseibeh’s words harken back to the tone of the original public statement.

The Al-Quds president pivoted and suggested that it was the decision by Brandeis which will “strengthen those on the other side who call for boycotts of Israeli universities. It will be picked up by the people who say there is no future in these cooperations [with Israeli institutions]. We have been trying to say it is possible. Yes, there are obstacles but we try to overcome them. We can only overcome them by working together.”

“Hopes for peace” Nusseibeh told Horovitz, “rest on people from both sides who try to hold the reins and steer the whole situation toward ultimate reconciliation, and not allow extremist actions on both sides to blow up the whole thing.”

That’s actually a quote from Nusseibeh.  He’s lecturing Brandeis University on not allowing “extremists” to blow up their good relationship, instead of lecturing the extremists not to blow up anything.

Daniel Mael, a Brandeis junior from Massachusetts was reached mid-day Tuesday afternoon by The Jewish Press.  Upon hearing that Brandeis had chosen to also sever the connection between the school and Nusseibeh, Mael was extremely pleased.

“I told President Lawrence when I saw him at the FIDF dinner in Boston Tuesday night that I was proud of what he and his staff had done,” Mael said.

“I feel this is an appropriate response.  I personally found President Nusseibeh’s statement [on Nov. 18] to be extremely offensive, and this is a necessary course of action.”

 The suggestion by Nusseibeh that the Nov. 5 demonstration was  “inconsistent with the human values we try to teach” at the university and “misrepresented who we are and what we stand for” does not reflect a litany of anti-Israel and pro-terrorist activities at Al-Quds through the years, including naming courses and school buildings after terrorists.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/brandeis-removes-al-quds-nusseibeh-from-ethics-center/2013/11/21/

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