web analytics
November 20, 2014 / 27 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Desmond Tutu’

Brandeis Caves to Pressure, Withdraws Honor to Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

In a complete collapse of rectitude, Brandeis University’s president Fred Lawrence issued a statement on Tuesday evening, April 8, announcing the withdrawal of women’s and human rights champion Ayaan Hirsi Ali as a recipient of an honorary degree from the school at this year’s commencement.

For two days Muslim students and supporters raged against the decision to honor Ali because, they claimed, she is Islampohobic.

Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. In 1992 she escaped an impending arranged marriage to a relative, running to the Netherlands, where she learned the language and established a life. She rose to become a member of the Dutch parliament, where she worked to further the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society.

In 2004, Ali made a film with her friend, Theo Van Gogh. That film, “Submission,” is about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures.

After “Submission” was aired on Dutch television, an Islamic extremist murdered Van Gogh who was enraged by the portrayal of Islam.  A letter pinned to his body contained a death threat to Ali. She eventually fled Holland and Ayaan Hirsi Ali now lives in the United States.

Ali evolved from being a devout Muslim to one who questioned her faith, to ultimately and resolutely rejecting it.

“I left the world of faith, of genital cutting and forced marriage for the world of reason and emancipation. After making this voyage I know that one of these two worlds is simply better than the other. Not for its gaudy gadgetry, but for its fundamental values.” That is a quote from Ali’s book, “Infidel.”

Ali has been extremely and indeed harshly critical of the Islamic world in which she suffered, both as a child in Africa, and also as a hunted creature, in Holland, from the angry immigrants who brought with them to Europe a profound inability to accept criticism of Islam.

And now, here in America, Ali is still being hounded by those who refuse to live by the standards of the West, of tolerance, of robust confrontations, but ones not knife-edged with intimidation.

The Facebook Page denouncing Ali and the decision to honor her at Brandeis’s 2014 Commencement decried her for her “hate speech.” The Muslim Students Association claimed that honoring her “is a direct violation of Brandeis University’s own moral code as well as the rights of all Brandeis students.”

Most chillingly, while the students acknowledged Ali had experienced “terrible things in her life,” their bottom line was “we will not tolerate an attack at our faith.”

And so they 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.

Brandeis University president Fred Lawrence echoed the students (and a large number of faculty members, including the Women’s Studies professors) in his statement:

Following a discussion today between President Frederick Lawrence and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s name has been withdrawn as an honorary degree recipient at this year’s commencement. She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.

Commencement is about celebrating and honoring our extraordinary students and their accomplishments, and we are committed to providing an atmosphere that allows our community’s focus to be squarely on our students. In the spirit of free expression that has defined Brandeis University throughout its history, Ms. Hirsi Ali is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.

In other words, Ali’s decades of devotion to helping women enslaved by misogynistic practitioners of the Muslim faith – who dominate the governments of Muslim countries – was neutered by the pronunciamento by students that they “would not tolerate an attack on [their] faith.” And in still other words, on American campuses criticism of religion – which has been a fixture of campus life – is no longer permitted. What words, what thoughts will be deemed unacceptable next?

Fatah May Choose Mass Murderer Barghouti as VP to Trigger his Release

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned by Israel in 2002, is serving five life sentences for his role in multiple terrorist attacks within Israel. He is one of the legendary leaders of what is widely known as the Second Intifada, in which more than a thousand Israelis were killed and many thousands were injured.

But Barghouti is a very charismatic figure. Some call him the “Palestinian Mandela.”

The Fatah Central Committee, of which Barghouti remains a member, is probably aware that “President” Mahmoud Abbas’s term officially ended nearly five years ago. Abbas will have to be replaced at some point by someone who is elected and not just serving as a matter of inertia. And despite Abbas’s frequent claims that he will not run for re-election and his coy, semi-regular “threats” to withdraw from public office, the real problem for Fatah is that if there is an election, Hamas will be the likely victor.

If Hamas wins the next Arab Palestinian election, they will win not just in Gaza, but in the area referred to as the “West Bank.” At least one major reason that would be a terrible result for Fatah members is because all that delicious foreign aid money would dry up.

Enter Barghouti.  Or, rather, exit Barghouti.

At least that is the hope.

A new committee was formed in South Africa to campaign for Barghouti’s release from prison.  That committee, launched earlier this week, includes the anti-Apartheid activist Desmond Tutu.

This group issued a declaration, referring to Barghouti as “the most prominent and renowned Palestinian political prisoner, a symbol of the Palestinian people’s quest for freedom, a uniting figure and an advocate of peace based on international law.”

Barghouti clearly is a symbol, but surely reasonable people may quibble about whether he is a symbol of the Arab Palestinians’ quest for freedom and an advocate for peace.

Nonetheless, it is said that Barghouti’s popularity transcends merely the Fatah party, and extends even beyond Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In 2006, when Hamas and Fatah split, Barghouti was in the forefront of reunification efforts. While those more brazen advocates of violence support Barghouti, yet Barghouti is still a member of Fatah, thus allowing the western aid spigot to remain open.

Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, believes her husband has not yet been a part of any of the prisoner swaps because she thinks the “old guard” of Fatah fears Barghouti’s political power.  But it may be that the old guard is finally realizing that Abbas cannot keep up his long running tap dance, and without new blood Fatah is doomed.

Or maybe others in the party see the handwriting on the wall, and are prepared to allow Barghouti to take his place in the limelight in order to ensure the steady flow of western aid.

A delegation of Fatah officials is scheduled to visit Barghouthi in the Israeli prison, according to the Arab Palestinian media outlet, Al Quds.

Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a member of Fatah’s central committee, said “We have intensified our efforts to design a practical plan which puts pressure on Israel to release Barghouti.”

“If Barghouti is appointed as Vice President to Abbas, and with sufficient international, Palestinian and Arab pressure, then the Israelis must release him, being as he would be a senior Palestinian official.”

Will the West embrace Marwan Barghouti, convicted mass murderer and darling of the Hate Israel crowd, as a legitimate candidate for office, and then force Israel to release the elected leader of the Arab Palestinians?

Sounds like a plan. One likely to succeed.

Note: Barghouti’s role in numerous terrorist activities leading to the deaths of Israelis and others is not in dispute, but this article has been changed to remove the suggestion that his convictions were for two suicide bombings. H/T DG.

Why Carter at Cardozo Evokes Fond Memories

Monday, April 8th, 2013

I am a proud graduate of the Cardozo School of Law, and I support the right of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution to bestow the International Advocate for Peace Award upon former US president Jimmy Carter. And I do not agree with the so-called “Coalition of Concerned Cardozo Alumni” who asked Cardozo Alumni to “to condition any continued support of Cardozo, be it financial or otherwise, on the cancellation of this event” (although I respect their efforts).

From the outset, a clarification is needed: the law school, as such, is not granting Carter the peace prize. Nor is the administration. Rather, it is the the Journal of Conflict Resolution — a student publication with a long history of honoring problematic public figures. This is a very important distinction: there are a lot of student-run journals (think of it as a type of club) on the Cardozo campus, and they enjoy the autonomy to run events such as this one.

When I was at the law school, the very same journal awarded Desmond Tutu the very same prize. Back then, there was this nice girl named Melissa, and she had formed the first pro-Israel club in the 25 years of Cardozo history. It was called CHAI: Cardozo Heightening Awareness for Israel – and she asked me to be the Vice-President of the club.

Tutu

The very same journal awarded Desmond Tutu the very same prize.

Soon after, Tutu, the Holocaust denier was about to show up on campus. Melissa and I put up posters all over campus with Tutu’s quotes. In 1988 he alleged that Zionism had “very many parallels with racism”, and regarding the Holocaust he said: “But who pays the penance? The penance is being paid by the Arabs, by the Palestinians. I once met a German ambassador who said Germany is guilty of two wrongs. One was what they did to the Jews. And now the suffering of the Palestinians.” And, of course, who can forget his lamenting of “the Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust” and his classic anti-Semitic fear-mongering: “the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful,”

We tried to shut down the event, but were rejected on the ground of academic freedom. Melissa and I then asked the administration for the right to organize a protest on campus. Our beloved Dean David Rudenstine told us that we may protest, but only outside the building.

I said to him: “Dean, Yeshiva University and Cardozo Law are private schools. They were established by the Jewish people so that our children would no longer be kept out of higher education. Now an anti-Semite is coming to our private school, established by our people precisely because of people like him — and I am the one who is going to be kicked out of the building?”

Dean Rudenstine relented. We had an amazing protest in the lobby of the law school, with placards detailing Tutu’s opinions. As Tutu walked by he was booed by many students who had joined CHAI’s loud and proud protest. Tutu had egg on his face, and I am not certain that the prize he received from the Journal of Conflict Resolution was worth the embarrassment for him. He certainly did not look happy.

Now Jimmy Carter is about to get that prize, and he is, indeed, a manipulative, long time anti-Israel agitator. In my class on Conflict Resolution at Cardozo, I read about how Carter bullied Prime Minister Begin at Camp David to give up on Israel’s vital security needs. Like Tutu, Carter equates Israel’s policies to the South Africa’s Apartheid regime, conveniently forgetting that Israel is actually the country most under threat of annihilation by the real racists of the Jihad. Carter also fails to mention that Israel is the shining star of freedom in the whole Middle-East and, instead, he embraces Hamas. In short, Jimmy Carter is to be reviled by lovers of Israel and lovers of freedom and peace of worldwide, and it is shocking that he should be honored by anyone claiming to be a Journal of Conflict Resolution at Cardozo.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/eye-on-zion/why-carter-at-cardozo-evokes-fond-memories/2013/04/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: