Photo Credit:
Dr. Denise Dalaimo Nussbaum

{Originally posted to FrontPage Mag website}

Dr. Denise Dalaimo Nussbaum, Chair of the Sociology Department, distinguished author and professor, is suing the Governing Board of Mount San Jacinto Community College for 9.5 million dollars for “assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, gender discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, violation of constitutional and statutory rights of free speech and political activities, retaliation, tortious interference with law enforcement investigation, and breach of fiduciary duty.”


I think she should sue for more—far more—since this long-time tenured professor now faces a potentially dangerous and hostile work environment.

Her crime? She is a Zionist and proud of it. More importantly, she is a great believer in objective truth. This is currently out of fashion on so many American campuses when the subject of Israel, Palestine, and Islam are discussed. Dr. Nussbaum is also a feminist—and this figures in this story as well. Her love of truth, love of Zion, and love of freedom for women and minorities are anathema to those who have attacked her.

What is going on?

Pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel Brownshirts are growing more and more aggressive on North American campuses. They support “hate speech” and “blood libels” but in the name of “free speech.” They claim “academic freedom” to do so. But they behave in absolutely uncivilized ways.

They glare, stare, yell, march, chant, intimidate and bully, even as they conduct intense internet and campus-wide smear campaigns. They interrupt, challenge, and walk out on outside speakers who hold “false” ideas. If a faculty member shares such ideas, the Brownshirts create a hostile, even a dangerous work environment—all the while accusing their (usually) single opponent of having done so.

Such Brownshirts (students, faculty, administrators), are both actively and passively involved in destroying, one by one, all those who hold “false” ideas. They advance on—or refuse to stop such an advance on—the “politically incorrect” professor like a swarm of killer bees. For years, I have called this phenomenon Gaza on the Pacific or Gaza on the Hudson. Otherwise good people fear them and do not want to get involved.

I have been writing about this danger for fifteen years now; as I feared, matters have worsened. Senior, competent, beloved professors are being forced to flee for their lives by mobs of vicious haters, often led by one or two Islamists who are always, always “pro-Palestine” and “anti-Zionist.”

For example, in 2002, a riot took place at Concordia University in Montreal. Dear friends were bruised, knocked down and beaten bloody. This is hardly constitutes a free exchange of ideas.

Also in 2002, at San Francisco State, students had to walk a hostile gauntlet attacking Israel and Jews. Posters read: Zionism=Racism and Jews=Nazis. At one point, Jewish students had to be escorted by campus police away from a hostile, near-rioting mob.

In 2003, I experienced one of the earliest near-riots in academia in America when I told the truth about Islam and Israel at a free-standing conference that had rented space at Barnard. I had to be hustled out for my safety. I wrote about that experience in these pages.

In 2009, at York University, another pro-Palestine/anti-Israel riot took place. Nora Gold fictionalizes this in her award winning novel Fields Of Exile. Her heroine is badly wounded in just such a riot—because she is known as being pro-Israel.

In 2011, while Charles Small was not physically assaulted, he was psychologically and verbally assaulted by those who forced him out of Yale, actually who punished him, for daring to tell the truth about contemporary Jew-hatred in both the Islamic world and in the West.

In 2015, Philosophy Professor Andrew Pessin had to take a medical leave of absence due to the swarm of vicious propaganda that circulated against him on campus as well as the death threats—all because he was known to be pro-Israel. This campaign was led by a pro-Palestinian religious Muslim female student.

Early this year, Dr. Nussbaum, became the next, known victim of a similar four-month campaign in which she was bullied, harassed, shunned, shamed, turned on by her colleagues, betrayed by her own administration—and physically assaulted by a more junior faculty member. Unbelievably, infuriatingly, her administration is now paying for her attacker’s lawyers.

How and why did this happen?

Observing due process, Dr. Nussbaum persuasively objected to the lecture invitation extended to a known non-academic Israel-hater, Miko Peled, an Israeli Jew. She went through channels. Most of the involved faculty agreed with her. But two, perhaps only three faculty members who wanted Peled to speak bypassed all appropriate channels and used their own faculty “turf” to pay him $2,500.

Peled’s March 23rd speech consisted of a series of inflammatory, ahistorical, out-of-context Blood Libels. Dr. Nussbaum herself did a content analysis of it.

In Miko Peled’s speech on March 23, 2015, he made more than a dozen references to “Israeli occupation” and “Israeli occupiers;” 19 references to “ethnic cleansing (of) Palestinian refugees”; depicted Israelis as “racists” nine times and as “oppressors” 17 times. Peled compared Israel to “South African Apartheid” five times; and portrayed Hamas as “resistance fighters” nine times—but called Israelis “terrorists” three times. Peled “demonized” Israel constantly, referred to Jewish “conspiracies” resorted to “double standards” as a way of “deligitimizing” Israel. He did not mention the Holocaust or the historical fate of Jews in Muslim countries.

Here are just some of Peled’s statements. According to Dr. Nussbaum:

Peled described “Gaza as an open air prison” (with no mention of Egypt). “They have no clean water, are food deprived, no power, no sewage.”

Is Peled unaware that Israel left Gaza? And that Egypt has taken pro-active steps against Hamas which rules Gaza?

“Israel dropped millions of tons of bombs on Gaza.” (No mention of the terror tunnels and the constant rocket barrage launched from Gaza into southern Israel).

“There has never really been a threat to Israel from Gaza … EVER. So what’s the problem? Why are they attacking on a regular basis?”

“My theory is, that the threat from Gaza is not to Israel’s security, it is to Israel’s legitimacy.”

“Now, these are Palestinian children living in a refugee camp. No more than minutes away drive from a city where you would never dream to see something like this…You will never see Israeli kids looking like this, living like this. No electricity, no sewage, no running water, no healthcare, no proper nutrition, nothing at all. No possibilities. The only reason there are 4 million Palestinians living like this, most of them children, is because Israel keeps them like this. Every dollar of our tax dollars that goes to Israel KEEPS THEM LIKE THIS! We are all participating in this crime of keeping these kids living like this when we support Israel.”

“Recently in Gaza, this summer, Israel bombed and killed over 2,000 innocent civilians … but it was ok morally, because Hamas is in Gaza, and Hamas is some sort of a devil. So it’s okay to kill children. The Israeli story always ends up morally on top.”

“The vast majority of Palestinian prisoners have never been charged with acts of violence … they are not terrorists, they are political prisoners.”

“If Israel does not like rockets flying out of Gaza, Israel the occupier, Israel the oppressor has the ability to stop it right now, and it’s had that ability for decades. We can’t blame the oppressed for resisting. We can’t. It’s wrong. If you want to see an end to the resistance you have to call on the oppressor. You have to call on the occupier.”

“Two-state solution is code for doing nothing.”

“If we accept the Jewish State, if we accept the State of Israel, we have to accept this racist, oppressive reality.”

“We have to realize that speaking out against Israel is not anti-Semitism. It is anti-Colonialism. It is anti-racism, it’s not anti-Semitism. There are countless of Jewish people who oppose the State of Israel and speak like I do. And it’s important for people to get involved.”

“Supporting Palestine is supporting justice. Free Palestine will be good for Palestinians and Israelis. I encourage all of you to get involved; I encourage all of you to get active on this issue; I encourage all of you to study about the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement which is going on, which has helped South Africa and now it’s helping Palestine and just see what you can do. A free Palestine will help Israelis AND Palestinians.”

You may “like” Dr. Denise Nussbaum’s Facebook page here.


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Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D is an emerita professor of Psychology, a Fellow at the Middle East Forum, the author of thousands of articles, four studies about honor killing and sixteen books, including “The New Anti-Semitism,” “An American Bride in Kabul," and “Living History: On The Front Lines for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015.” She archives her articles and may be reached through her website: