Was Fordham Right to Ban a Pro-Palestinian Club?

Fordham University did what no other university administration has done to date. It rejected a student request, which had been accepted by the student government, giving official club status to Students for Justice in Palestine. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has well over 100 chapters on U.S. campuses. SJP has led campus efforts, greatly … Continue reading Was Fordham Right to Ban a Pro-Palestinian Club?

How Anthropology Was Corrupted and Killed

The knock against anthropologists used to be that they were all relativists.  Not anymore.  Many anthropologists today are hardcore moral absolutists.  The members of the American Anthropological Association are busy voting (until May 31) on a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The proposed resolution jumps off in its first sentence in universalist language, claiming that … Continue reading How Anthropology Was Corrupted and Killed

Profs Go to the Mattresses Against Israel

Decades ago, American professors largely stuck to teaching their subjects and kept their political passions separate from their academic work. Read, for example, Alan Kors’ account of a graduate school experience of his, where a decidedly leftist professor rebuked the class for just writing what they thought he wanted to hear and assigned the students … Continue reading Profs Go to the Mattresses Against Israel

BDS: Jew-Hating Propagandists on the March

The anti-Semitic Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel keeps reaching for—and finding—new depths of indecency.  Among the deepest descenders into this abyss is Jasbir Puar, an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers.  Professor Puar recently garnered national attention for her address at Vassar, February 3, “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters.”  The talk has … Continue reading BDS: Jew-Hating Propagandists on the March

A Setback for BDS

The movement to impose a boycott on Israeli universities, to get colleges to divest from Israeli companies, and to impose other sanctions on Israel—the BDS movement (boycott, divest and sanction)—was launched in 2005 by a collection of Palestinian organizations.  Over the last decade it has gathered significant support in American higher education, but the enthusiasm of … Continue reading A Setback for BDS

An Anti-Semitism Controversy at Stanford

Molly Horwitz, a junior at Stanford University, is running for a spot in Stanford’s student senate. In the course of her campaign, Horwitz, a Latina and a Jew, sought the endorsement of Stanford’s Students of Color Coalition (SOCC) and was granted an interview. During the interview, Horwitz claims, she was asked this question: “Given your … Continue reading An Anti-Semitism Controversy at Stanford

Steven Pinker on the Boycott Israel Dispute at Harvard

Steven Pinker, an experimental psychologist and prominent public intellectual, has written an important letter concerning the latest controversy over Israel at Harvard University, where he is based. Such controversies are notuncommon there. First, some background. SodaStream, an Israeli company that makes a popular home carbonation system, has been an object of the boycott, divestment, sanctions … Continue reading Steven Pinker on the Boycott Israel Dispute at Harvard

Student Workers Vote to Support the Israel Boycott

The UC Student-Workers Union represents “over 13,000 student-workers across the University of California system.” They are affiliated with the United Auto Workers. The union exists to bargain with the University of California concerning “salary, benefits, workload, grievance procedures, fair hiring processes and other issues.” On Wednesday, the union announced that its members had voted, 1411 … Continue reading Student Workers Vote to Support the Israel Boycott

Anti-Israel Activist to Students: What’s to Discuss?

In his fine essay in The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel, Russell Berman of Stanford University, says this of the boycott Israel movement in academe: “a hatred of knowledge and of reasoned argument pervades its prose.” I thought that characterization over the top until I read this account of a panel on Palestine at … Continue reading Anti-Israel Activist to Students: What’s to Discuss?

Stanley Fish Looks Postmodernly at Academic Freedom

Whatever their ostensible subjects, Stanley Fish’s books tend to be about Stanley Fish. His new one, Versions of Academic Freedom, extends the conceit. Which is not to say that the book is only a “Version of Stanley Fish.” It is also a succinct, well-informed, and often elegant essay.  Fish’s great talent is compression.  In this … Continue reading Stanley Fish Looks Postmodernly at Academic Freedom

Wow—Three Academic Groups Dislike Israel

“As employees in institutions of higher learning, we have a particular responsibility to oppose Israel’s widespread and systematic violations of the right to higher education of Palestinians… As anthropologists, we feel compelled to join academics around the world who support the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions. In responding to the Palestinian call, we … Continue reading Wow—Three Academic Groups Dislike Israel

Salaita and the Missing Trustee Oversight

A few weeks ago, I commented on a recent report shepherded through by Benno Schmidt, chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees, on the need for a heftier trustee role in university governance. (I co-signed the report and strongly endorse its conclusions.) The report covered considerable ground, but some of its most thought-provoking recommendations involved … Continue reading Salaita and the Missing Trustee Oversight

Salaita and Academic Freedom

The Steven Salaita case at the University of Illinois continues to engender controversy. The three most perceptive commentaries came from FIRE and Steven Lubet. In comments with which I entirely agree, FIRE condemned the public statement of Illinois chancellor Phyllis Wise, who justified the revocation of Salaita’s offer on the grounds “we cannot and will … Continue reading Salaita and Academic Freedom

Why is Brandeis a Haven for Anti-Israel Rhetoric?

Just as a new conflict breaks out between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East, the professoriate’s bias against Israel is resurfacing in novel, ugly ways. The Washington Free Beacon has exposed an anti-Israel listserv at Brandeis University, where faculty members expressed concerns about Israelis harvesting organs, referred to the President of Brandeis and his wife … Continue reading Why is Brandeis a Haven for Anti-Israel Rhetoric?

The BDS Bullies Take Over

Over the past year, I’ve been invited to speak at over 150 college campuses around the U.S. about my experiences as a commander in the Israeli Defense Forces. I’ve spoken at the University of Washington, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Georgetown, NYU, Columbia, Swarthmore, and many more. I looked forward to meeting and talking with students who … Continue reading The BDS Bullies Take Over

Redwashing, Pinkwashing, and Hogwash in Beirut

Thanks to the American Studies Association’s recent vote for an academic boycott of Israel, the field of American Studies has been under a microscope. Prior to the boycott resolution, perhaps no one would have noticed the conference on “Transnational American Studies,” sponsored by the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of … Continue reading Redwashing, Pinkwashing, and Hogwash in Beirut

ASA and the Politicization of Academe

The membership of the American Studies Association (ASA) on December 15 voted by a two-thirds majority to endorse a boycott of Israeli universities.  Minding the Campus has provided good coverage of both the events leading up to this vote and its immediate aftermath.  David Bernstein at George Mason and Jonathan Marks at Ursinus College have kept a close watch on the … Continue reading ASA and the Politicization of Academe

A Watered-Down Boycott Resolution on Israeli Institutions

From the bowels of academia comes news that the National Council of the American Studies Association has voted in favor of boycotting Israeli institutions. The boycott resolution goes to the full membership for an up or down vote. The National Council’s vote has been hailed as a huge victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions … Continue reading A Watered-Down Boycott Resolution on Israeli Institutions

Israel and Campus Boycotts

On two issues a chasm exists between the academic mainstream and views outside the campus walls. The first, of course, is using racial and ethnic preferences in faculty hiring procedures and (except for Asians and Asian-Americans) in elite university student admissions. A virtual article of faith in the academy, the use of racial preferences attracted … Continue reading Israel and Campus Boycotts

Gays Bash Israel for ‘Pinkwashing’ (Protecting Gays)

Tablet has a typically superb exposé by Jamie Kirchick of the “pinkwashing” conference, held late in the spring semester at the CUNY Graduate Center. I had previously written about the concept; the “pinkwasher” theorists allege, without evidence, that Israel uses its generally positive record on gay rights to obscure its allegedly evil treatment of the … Continue reading Gays Bash Israel for ‘Pinkwashing’ (Protecting Gays)

With Massad, Columbia Gets What It Deserves

Columbia professor Joseph Massad has made the news yet again. Small wonder: his recent essay in al Jazeera, entitled “The Last of the Semites,” linked Zionism to Nazism and claimed that all of the good, anti-Zionist Jews perished in the Holocaust,  Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg congratulated al Jazeera for having “posted one of the most anti-Jewish screeds in recent … Continue reading With Massad, Columbia Gets What It Deserves

The Academic Boycott of Israel Comes to America

The Association for Asian American Studies just made news by becoming the first American academic organization to support a boycott of Israeli universities. In case you were wondering, the AAAS did not also call for a boycott of any other Asian universities located in countries with less-than-stellar human rights records. They seemingly believe that Israel is … Continue reading The Academic Boycott of Israel Comes to America

‘Pinkwashing’–More Anti-Israel Agitprop at CUNY

You’d think that after the recent debacle at Brooklyn College, anti-Israel fanatics would give CUNY a break. Guess again. The CUNY Graduate Center has scheduled for this spring a conference on “pinkwashing.” For the uninitiated, “pinkwashing” is the almost comical claim that that the Israeli government highlights its record on gay rights to detract attention … Continue reading ‘Pinkwashing’–More Anti-Israel Agitprop at CUNY

Israel and the Problem at Northeastern

During Chanukah, two students defaced a Menorah at Northeastern University, and Northeastern’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) led an ugly anti-Israel/pro-Hamas rally in Copley Square. One observer noted “the virulence of the chants and messages on the placards… suggest that more sinister hatreds and feelings… were simmering slightly below the surface.” Such sentiments suggest … Continue reading Israel and the Problem at Northeastern