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September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘sari nusseibeh’

Clever PR Move: Al-Quds University Offers Course on Hate Speech

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

In early November, a rally vilifying Israel and glorifying jihad and martyrdom took place on the campus of Al-Quds University. Following articles about this appearing in various media outlets, there was a public outcry, particularly amongst those in some ways affiliated with American universities that have academic relationships with Al-Quds.

After his initial clumsy public relations move to quell the outcry fizzled, Al-Quds University president Sari Nusseibeh has now moved on to a more subtle form of what still appears to be faux contrition. Al-Quds University, home of the Abu-Jihad Museum, named for one of the most notorious Jew/Israeli/American murderers of all time, will be offering a course this summer on “Hate Speech and Racism.”

Still, this effort is a far more masterful public relations move than Nusseibeh’s original “Blame The ‘Jewish extremists’” for making a big deal about an anti-Israel hate-theater performance on his campus which took place on Nov. 5.

In a move that clearly surprised Nusseibeh, the presidents of two American schools with long-time close links to Al-Quds were not satisfied with his offensive statements and finger-pointing (at Jews!).  As Brandeis President Fred Lawrence said, Nusseibeh’s public response was “unacceptable and inflammatory.”

Because of the rally and Nusseibeh’s response to criticism about it, both Brandeis and Syracuse universities severed their ties to Al-Quds. Brandeis also removed Nusseibeh from the board of advisers of its Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

SPECIAL SUMMER COURSE ON HATE SPEECH ONLY APPEARS IN ENGLISH VERSION WEBSITE

In a move that might be lauded as nearly brilliant by westerners, and a sell-out by his own constituency if word gets out, this coming summer the Al-Quds University will offer a summer course on “Hate Speech.”

In a posting on the English version – and only on the English version – of its website, Al-Quds announced that in June and July of 2014, Al-Quds will be offering a course on Hate Speech and Racism.

Of course nothing at all about the summer course on Hate Speech appears on the main, Arabic language version of the Al-Quds University website. And once you get past the perfectly reasonable-sounding title, a few alarm bells may go off.

For one thing, the course on Hate Speech and Racism which Al-Quds University is offering this summer not only does not appear on the Arabic website for the school, the course will be taught in English.  Given that the vast majority of Al-Quds University students speak Arabic, this program appears to be geared for a special audience, not its regular students.

The Nov. 5 rally that started the whole kerfluffle (which actually was simply a repeat of a similar Jew- and Israel-hating rally which took place on May 10 at Al-Quds University) was held entirely in Arabic.  Do you get the sense that the Hate Speech course is not really directed at the people who glorified martyrdom and trampled on the Israeli flag?

There’s more that should raise the eyebrows of a jaundiced Al-Quds/Nusseibeh watcher.

The announcement of the course refers to the “anti-Israeli para-military” rally which sparked the disruption between Al-Quds and the two American schools.  But the language used still seems to place the onus of blame on the “American Jewish sources” which were “critical” of the rally.

There is no mention in the course description of Nusseibeh’s offensive response to Brandeis President Fred Lawrence which blamed “Jewish extremists” for starting a “vilification campaign” against Al-Quds.  The language is softer, but the blame remains squarely on the Jews. Nusseibeh’s “unacceptable and inflammatory” response to the original situation has softened in tone, but not in spirit.

Abbas Honors Al-Quds U ‘Hero’ Responsible for Most Dead Jews

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

The acting leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has awarded the Star of Honor to the arch terrorist known as Abu Jihad, as reported by Palestinian Media Watch on Dec. 11. The PA isn’t the only Palestinian Arab institution to honor this mass murderer. So does the former partner of Brandeis University: Al-Quds University.

Abu Jihad, whose nom not de guerre was Khalil Al-Wazir, was responsible for the murder of 124 Israelis. He was  a co-founder of Fatah, he was its military strategist and he was the second-in-command to Yassir Arafat. Abu-Jihad helped form the Shabibah – the Fatah Youth Movement. The Shabibah formed the nucleus for the first “intifada.”

Abu Jihad is significant not only for the many Israelis whose lives he cut short, but also because he was involved in some of the most heinous murders, including the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered, and the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 38 civilians were murdered, including 11 children.

It was not only the number of Israelis Abu-Jihad murdered that makes him so special to the Palestinian Arab leaders. Abu-Jihad also was responsible for the torture and murder of two American diplomats in Khartoum, in 1973.

He was part of the team that kidnapped, tortured and then murdered two American diplomats, U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and Charge d’Affaires George Curtis Moore, in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1973.

Those diplomats were kidnapped in order to force a trade in which the U.S. would release prisoner Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian Arab who murdered American Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. The deal went bad and the diplomats were murdered.

In the ceremony marking the posthumous awarding of the Star of Honor to Abu Jihad, Abbas signed a decree describing the esteem in which Abu Jihad, mass murderer of athletes, children, and American diplomats:

in recognition of his honorable national role and his history of struggle as one of the founding leaders of the Palestinian revolution, and out of great appreciation for his high position and significance in the defense of Palestine as a country, a nation, and a cause. He was the model of a true fighter and devoted leader [and] through his commitment and contribution he left his mark on the history of the Palestinian revolution and the PLO.

But the honorifics bestowed on Abu Jihad’s widow and the glorification of his murderous past is not limited to the Palestinian Arab leader Abbas.

BRANDEIS FACULTY REPORT WHITEWASHES AL-QUDS UNIVERSITY LONG HISTORY OF HONORING TERRORISM

The Palestinian Arab university, Al-Quds, the one from which Brandeis University recently severed its ties, also glorifies the mass murderer Abu Jihad.  It is at Al-Quds University that the Abu Jihad Museum, originally known as the Al-Quds Abu-Jihad Center for Political Prisoners, is located.

Arab Palestinian political prisoners, of course, are those terrorists who have been caught. The official university website explained that the Center is named for Khalel Al-Wazir. His nickname, Abu-Jihad, means “father of the holy war.”

Abu Jihad is honored by al-Quds University in the way Brandeis honors the scholars and philanthropists whose names grace buildings and research centers on its campus.

But you’d never know this based on the Al-Quds Brandeis Partnership Report authored by several Brandeis faculty members, including Daniel Terris, and released on Monday, Dec. 9.  That report does its best to exonerate Al-Quds University president Sari Nusseibeh in particular, and the university in general.

The Report whitewashes the Nov. 5 demonstration at which Al-Quds students trampled on pictures of the Israeli flag while attired in full military regalia, and sang songs extolling the beauty of martyrdom, and ignores the fact that this demonstration was almost an exact replica of one that took place in the spring, on May 10, as shown in this YouTube video. The excuses offered for the fall demonstration ring particularly hollow given it had already happened before.  And it is just plain hard to ignore the many other ways in which terrorism is glorified at Al-Quds. But the Terris Report manages that feat.

The Terris Report, astonishingly, pooh-poohs the language used by Nusseibeh in his public response to the Nov. 5 demonstration, in which he begins by blaming “Jewish extremists” for inciting criticism against his university. It was that language that Brandeis President Fred Lawrence described as “unacceptable and inflammatory,” and which led to the disruption in the Al-Quds-Brandeis relationship.

It is useful to line up the Nusseibeh statement and its characterization in the Terris Report. One might conclude, based upon its treatment, that the Terris Report was written on behalf of the Al-Quds administration, rather than as an objective factfinding report prepared by Brandeis faculty for the Brandeis administration.

The Terris Report concludes with a call for bravery.  But the bravery this Report calls for is the bravery to overlook the repeated glorification of murderers – murderers of Jews, murderers of Americans, murderers of children – because hey, it’s a tough neighborhood.  “Supporting the Al-Quds University administration in these efforts will take courage on the part of Brandeis University.”

They continue:

We recognize that abhorrent speech events happen on all college campuses, including our own, but these events do not at all speak for the university as a whole; and that universities are charged with the challenge of education students for a civil society in which such acts will not recur. It is thus crucial to exploit such student events as opportunities involving heightened attention to the salience of the values of tolerance rather than as occasions for rupturing a longstanding institutional relationship.

Not surprisingly, there is no mention anywhere in the Terris Report of the longstanding honors paid to Arab mass terrorists at Al-Quds University, in particular the murderers of children, athletes, diplomats or American teenagers.

That would probably require too much courage.

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 U Severs Ties with Al Quds over Defense of Pro-Nazi Demo

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence posted a public notice on Monday, November 18, suspending – effective immediately – a longstanding sister university relationship between Brandeis and Al-Quds University.

Al-Quds students or supporters had paraded in the Al-Quds courtyard in paramilitary gear, raising the Nazi salute and trampling on drawings of Israeli flags.

It must have been particularly painful for an academic like Lawrence to find himself forced to stand on the precipice straddling “two of our most cherished values – values that appear to be in conflict: a robust respect for free expression and a culture that values civility, decency, and dignity.”

Most Brandeis students with whom The Jewish Press spoke, were glad that President Lawrence suspended the relationship.  In fact, most were not even aware that there was any relationship between the two institutions.  It was the media firestorm about the Nazi-like parade that ignited the concern.

HAD AL-QUDS PREVIOUSLY BEEN A PEACE-LOVING SISTER UNIVERSITY?

But there have been not just red flags, but flashing lights and sonic booms that should have alerted the willfully  blind administration of Brandeis University from the get-go that Al-Quds was not brimming over with desire to be besties with an American university with vaguely Jewish ties.

For example, in April of 2006, a huge poster was hung in one of the al Quds buildings to honor Sami Salim Hammad, a former Al-Quds student, who blew himself up in Tel Aviv, killing 11 people – including an American teenager – and ending his own life.

Al-Quds offered a ‘human rights and democracy’ course named in honor of Wafa Idriss, the first Arab Palestinian female homicide bomber.

And Al-Quds is home to the Abu Jihad Museum. The museum is named for Khalil Al-Wazir, whose “nom de guerre,” abu Jihad, means “father of the holy war.”

Abu Jihad is linked to several of the most horrific incidents of Jewish terror in modern memory, including the Munich Olympics (11 murdered) and the Coastal Road Massacre (38 dead, including 13 children).

Abu Jihad’s bloodlust was not limited to Israelis. He was part of the team that kidnapped, tortured and then murdered two American diplomats, U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and Charge d’Affaires George Curtis Moore, in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1973. Those diplomats were kidnapped in order to force a trade in which the U.S. would release prisoner Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian Arab who murdered American Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

Abu Jihad is lovingly referred to on the Al-Quds website as “the prince of the martyrs of Palestine.”

But a new Brandeis president, Fred Lawrence, finally pulled the plug after students at Al-Quds, in full black military regalia, including black flags, raised their hands in the Nazi salute, while trampling over drawings of Israeli flags. Well, actually, no, it wasn’t then that Lawrence pulled the plug, he was still willing to give al Quds the benefit of the doubt until hearing an explanation directly from Al-Quds officials.

INITIAL BRANDEIS RESPONSE

Six days after the Al-Quds “Nazi Parade,” Lawrence wrote on his blog, Brandeis First, that he was told the Nov. 5 activities were “led from people outside the university and this was an unauthorized demonstration. The administration of Al-Quds University assures us that threat of violence implied by the demonstration are not acceptable on their campus and the University administration is conducting a full investigation.”

By Nov. 15, Lawrence came out with an unequivocal statement that, yes, free speech is important, no doubt about it, but

we may defend the right to free speech, and still be clear that some art is flawed, and that some words and actions, especially those espousing violence, are abhorrent. And we should be willing to say so.

Lawrence explained to the school community and the public that he conveyed his concerns to Al-Quds president Sari Nusseibeh, and requested that Nusseibeh issue an unequivocal condemnation of the demonstrations to be published in both Arabic and English.  And then Lawrence awaited comment from the head of his partner school.

RESPONSE FROM AL-QUDS

Sunday evening, Nov. 17, the response arrived. It was not what Lawrence was expecting.  It was not a diplomatic response distancing itself from what Lawrence had described as actions “clearly expressing hatred and steeped in vitriolic anti-Semitism.”

Instead, the response turned the concerns raised by Lawrence and others who were, as Lawrence said he was, “outraged” by the demonstration, and….wait for it…the blame was placed on the Jews!

The response was written in Arabic, addressed to the students of al Quds University.  President Nusseibeh sent President Lawrence the English translation.

The statement from Al-Quds, rather than an apology or a bland distancing of itself from the demonstration, goes in the opposite direction.

The Al-Quds statement blamed “Jewish extremists” with starting “vilification campaigns” in order to discredit the reputation of the “prestigious” Al-Quds University.  It is the Al-Quds community, according to the published statement, which is subjected to “extremism and violence” and are “denied our rights under occupation.”

And if that wasn’t enough of a kick in the teeth for Brandeis, Nusseibeh also made clear what it is that he and his community find so offensive about the Nazis.  Describing the students at Al-Quds on Nov. 5 as having engaged in a “mock military display,” Nusseibeh again seized the victim card:

These occurrences allow some people to capitalize on events in ways that misrepresent the university as promoting inhumane, anti-Semitic, fascist and Nazi ideologies.  Without these ideologies, there would not have been the massacre of the Jewish people in Europe; without the massacre, there would not have been the enduring Palestinian catastrophe.

Ah, yes, Nazism was a blight on world history because, and only because it caused what the Palestinian Arabs call “al Nakba,” the “catastrophe”: the re-birth of Israel.

Nusseibeh rails on as if he were addressing the United Nations about some alleged effort by the state of Israel to humiliate Arabs, steal their lands, and keep them under subjugation, rather than discussing the request by an American university president to explain outrageous anti-Semitic acts on the campus of a sister university:

As occurred recently, these opportunists [the Jewish extremists] are quick to describe the Palestinians as a people undeserving of freedom and independence, and as a people who must be kept under coercive control and occupation.  They cite these events as evidence justifying their efforts to muster broad Jewish and western opinion to support their position. This public opinion, in turn, sustains the occupation, the extension of the settlements and the confiscation of land, and prevents Palestinians from achieving our freedom.

BRANDEIS BREAKS IT OFF

Even for a school that held on to a relationship with a Palestinian Arab university steeped in homicidal hatred for Jews and the Jewish state, this went too far.

Giving him due credit, Lawrence did not mince words.

Unfortunately, the Al-Quds statement is unacceptable and inflammatory. While Brandeis has an unwavering commitment to open dialogue on difficult issues, we are also obliged to recognize intolerance when we see it, and we cannot – and will not – turn a blind eye to intolerance. As a result, Brandeis is suspending its partnership with Al-Quds University effective immediately.

“The decision to sever the relationship between Brandeis and Al-Quds is long overdue,” Brandeis sophomore Dor Cohen told The Jewish Press late Monday evening. “Refusing to condemn the Nazi-esque parade is completely contrary to the ideals our academic institutions are founded upon.”

Cohen commended Lawrence on his swift action, although the politics major said he believed the relationship between the two universities was “highly incomprehensible” to begin with.

Brandeis senior Rafi Abramowitz was incensed by Nusseibeh’s statement.

“Until the statement was issued, we had no idea whether the Al-Quds administration backed the students, but for them to call what happened a ‘smear campaign by Jewish extremists’ is very telling,” Abramowitz said.  The business major was very appreciative of the action taken by Lawrence.  He just wished that a forceful denunciation of the Nov. 5 activities had come sooner. “He should have come out immediately and said: ‘this is not what our partnership is about.’”

Still, Abramowitz had only good things to say about Lawrence as president of the school. “President Lawrence has a great presence on campus, he comes to services, he invites students to his home for dinners, he goes to games.”

Abramowitz was also glad that the school refused to continue its relationship with Al-Quds, given the demonstration and the Nusseibeh’s statement. “People have begun to think that Brandeis represents that mentality of liberalism that tolerates abuse of Israel.  Most students are either positive to very positive in their feelings about Israel.”

When Empowered Undergrads Ignore a ‘Victims’ Malevolence

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The young woman who wrote the article, “The Problem with Band-Aids,” is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her article appeared in Penn’s highly regarded newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, on September 8.  The subtitle of O’Conor’s article is: “From Palestine to Penn/ When Talking About Dialogue, Empowerment and Reform Does the Rhetorical Work of Oppression and Injustice.”  At Penn, Clarissa O’Conor focuses on Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and Modern Middle East Studies.

But O’Conor, who presents herself as an advocate for those who are disempowered, is fed up with what she claims is the oppressive force behind the term “empowerment.” This fall O’Conor is studying at al Quds University, in a place she calls, without quotation marks, “Palestine.”

In this article, O’Conor explains why Penn, which apparently gives her college credit for studying at al Quds, and Bard College, which  created at al Quds “a small honors college at which Palestinian students can earn a dual-degree with American accreditation,” earn her contempt.

Why?

“Especially at Penn, we like to ‘empower’ people.  We have all sorts of organizations and initiatives to do this.  We really like to ‘empower’ communities and women,” she writes, but O’Conor is above all that.  She disdains the Western efforts to empower her comrades in “Palestine.”

Bard’s program is going about things in a contemptible way, O’Conor contends.  You see “the discourse of empowerment makes us feel good about putting a Band-Aid on something while avoiding actually questioning our role in systematic racism, oppression and injustice.”

You’ve probably guessed it by now: O’Conor thinks that Western efforts to “swoop in and empower” the Arab Palestinians, ignores that what oppresses them is the “worldwide systems of white supremacism and colonialism in which we are complicit.”  That’s you and me.  Also her.

O’Conor crams in all the invective she can into a college newspaper op-ed.  She describes the “26-foot-high Apartheid Wall” built by Israel which is a “settler-colonial apartheid state whose modus operandi is and always was policies of ethnic cleansing, displacement and systematic racism.”  And O’Conor thinks places like Penn and Bard and, indeed, all universities and the U.S. government itself should cut all ties to Israel.

So, rather than yawn about an undergraduate thinking and writing like an undergraduate, here’s the part that should…empower you readers.

It is not a surprise that an undergraduate from the middle of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania knows little to nothing about the history of the Middle East.  But why is a school like Penn giving credit to a student to be spoon fed hatred?

Here is a more interesting question: why is it that someone who holds herself out as a defender of the oppressed has no problem aligning herself with the brutal, murderous history and affiliations of the university she so proudly attends?  And again, why would Penn and schools like it countenance such an association?

Al Quds University is a place where terrorists are honored not only by the students, but officially, by the university administration, as heroes.

Let’s pick a few discrete moments through al Quds history, and see whether it is an institution worthy of Ms. O’Conor’s protection, and whether the many installments of her pleas on its behalf – her blog “From Palestine to Penn” appears every other Tuesday in the Daily Pennsylvanian – are trustworthy sources of information for the collegiate, as well as the wider, community. (No less an actively and acidly anti-Israel media source than Mondoweiss eagerly laps up her content.)

So we’ll start at the top.  The current president of the school, Sari Nusseibeh, is generally considered to be a moderate, but there is certainly evidence to the contrary.  This evidence includes his praise of homicide bombers; calling Israel a “racist, Zionist entity”; and helping Iraq direct scud missiles at Israel during the first Gulf War.

For those disinclined to count Nusseibeh as a promoter of violence, there’s much better evidence about where al Quds stands on the issue of the sanctity of human life.

For example, there’s the case of Sami Salim Hammad, an al Quds dropout who carried out a homicide bombing in Tel Aviv during Passover, on April 17, 2006. In this bombing, 11 innocent people were killed, including a 16 year old American, Daniel Wultz.  While it is true that Hammad dropped out of al Quds, that didn’t stop the students there from claiming him as their own.  Immediately after the bombing, once Hammad’s “martyr’s video” was released, they hung a huge poster of Hammad in one of the al Quds University buildings.  They were so proud of their “shahid.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/when-empowered-undergrads-ignore-a-victims-malevolence/2013/09/12/

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