by Richard H. Shulman

Part 1: Panoramic View of Campus Anti-Zionism

Note: Side remarks are in [] brackets.

Anti-Zionist organizations on North American campuses set up events stacked against Israel, whose destruction they promote. Then someone protests that the planned event is part of jihadist or leftist attempts to destroy Israel and that the venue implies university endorsement. [Destroy the Jewish state, and the victorious Muslims would, as threatened, expel or slaughter millions of Jews. The event is a tactic in a religious war.]

Not a Matter of Academic Freedom: The university reacts by defending the event as academic freedom not to be censored or by pretending not to have known. But do the universities really believe in academic freedom? Not on their campuses, which they have allowed Muslims and leftists to politicalize.

If an event were planned to eliminate the Palestinian Authority [P.A., which is not a state and has no legal standing beyond the autonomy Israel granted and could rescind for Arab violation of the autonomy agreement], don't you think the university would bar the event? It would not call such an event an expression of academic freedom.

When Zionists hold an affirmative program that brings in a prominent speaker, anti-Zionists shout the speaker down, usually without the university protecting the speaker's free speech or seriously disciplining the abusive students.

Jewish Studies Programs in Catch-22: Sometimes a college Jewish Studies program is brought into the fray. Jewish Studies programs are scholarly and specialized. Their professors usually are not versed on the Arab-Israel conflict. They are no match for experienced anti-Zionist activists who bring up arcane points [and who lie about them].

"Jewish Studies at American colleges and universities are almost wholly apolitical in the sense that they were created and are maintained — largely by the Jewish community rather than the institutions themselves — as means for placing serious scholarship and teaching about Jewish history and culture into the academic environment. Individual faculty members have a wide range of political viewpoints, most of which they keep to themselves. The programs often offer courses on Zionism and Israel, not as institutional endorsements but as serious treatments of important historical and cultural phenomena. In fact, most such courses take pains to be "fair," unlike many of their counterparts in political science or history departments, which privilege the 'expertise' of Norman Finkelstein, Edward Said, Noam Chomsky and others [who were biased, phony, and not expert on the subject].

Exploiting the popular misconception that Jewish Studies teachers are knowledgeable about the Arab-Israel conflict, event-planners sometimes invite those teachers to send a representative. If one comes, he is a lone voice shouted down and later harassed by colleagues and activists. Packed audiences and Kangaroo courts do not offer "balance."

"Promotion and tenure, grant money, leadership roles in departments and colleges, and the ability to get along on a daily basis, are often shaped by attitudes toward Israel. The BDS movement turns these undercurrents into an outright litmus test." Again, not a display of academic freedom, but of harassment and discrimination. Understandably, most Jewish Studies professors do not come. In that case, event-planners blame the Jewish Studies program for the ensuing imbalance. Catch-22.

Rationalizing Mass-Murder: At Brooklyn College, a recent boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) event featured "professional" Palestinian Omar Barghouti and anti-Israel academic, Judith Butler. In that quasi-academic environment, students and faculty heard calls for the destruction of Israel. The presentation feigned intellectual discussion of a "one state 'solution,'" which means eradication of Jewish sovereignty and lives.

Who Censors Whom and For What?: Complaints about the one-sidedness and borderline antisemitism were decried as censorship. [But censorship lay in the one-sidedness. Antisemitism is not academic freedom but war on the Jews.]

Some City Council members opposed our taxes supporting an anti-Israel rally. Mayor Bloomberg [as usual] defended holding the event, but condemned its content and denounced the protestors. [So what does he stand for? Hold a Nazi-like event, but don't be fascistic?]

One can't expect much fairness, when most faculty members are not activists, except for those in the social studies departments, who are anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionist Jews speak out against Israel, while most of the rest are cowed or uninterested. Problem is, human rights have been distorted into its opposite, and the opposite is the basis of political correctness, which rules on campus. Administrators lack courage to buck this. Politicians are unwise about this. They mistake anarchy and hatred for academic freedom. And so Barghouti and Butler speak at one campus after another without much opposition. They must be exposed (Alexander H. Joffe, The Algemeiner, 2/8/13


University Complicity: Student groups may use university (and therefore some public) funds for some of their events. That does mean some university complicity in jihadist events.

Totalitarians: The totalitarian antisemitic movements, Islam or at least Radical Islam, Bolshevism, and Nazism, are based on prejudice to the point of violent hatred. They have persecuted Jews. They may seem to discuss the issue as if academic, but it is rationalization for psychotic emotion, not intellectual.

Early Stage of War: Antisemites can't start out calling for genocide. First they campaign for respectability. Then, at least the Islamists and leftists among them, they try to stifle criticism of them as intolerant. They then try to make the Jewish people or State seem detestable. Then they seek to destroy the Jews and/or their State. This is a war of aggression and violence, perhaps starting by stealth; these certainly not intellectual points of view. Some leftists may think this is intellectual, but this is anti-intellectual, dishonest propaganda. Anti-Zionism is a form of, and an outlet for, antisemitism.

When a movement enshrines deceit, as Islam does explicitly and the Left does implicitly, and when its doctrines are based on lies, as theirs are, they should not be considered as intellectual movements but as military auxiliaries.

Treat as Enemies of Civilization: They should not get respectability. Subversion like theirs is dangerous. I don't approve of censorship, but since those totalitarian movements are enemies of civilization, we should not give them footholds for subversion. We wouldn't in a formal declared war. We shouldn't in the current war.

Recover Freedom and Initiative: We need to insist upon academic scholarship for college posts, not bring in Arab and leftist activists who abuse the classroom to indoctrinate and agitate and make jihad. We should be careful about admitting foreign students who come to wage jihad against the whole country and particularly against Israel. Administrations should enforce decorum, so there really is academic freedom. We need to educate politicians, including Mayor Bloomberg whose reign, incidentally, is known for an imperious quality that makes him a peculiar champion of what he mistakenly calls academic freedom.

Let universities wake up! Brave the Left and political correctness. Give scholarship a chance. Expose the subversive agenda, history, and methods. Make the populace aware of the P.A. record of violence, oppression, and deceit.

Total War: Remember, we are at war. We did not start it. Radical Islam started it. The Left or Far Left and other antisemites are complicit in it. This war is a total war. The enemy wants to take our lives, our freedom, or both. We need to take defensive measures besides police actions and drones. We should stop treating the various fronts of jihad as isolated. The enemy is not just terrorism, which is a method of war. The enemy is an ideology that utilizes terrorism, war, and propaganda. If our only defense is police action and drones, we cannot win. Least of all can we win when the universities largely are on the side of our enemies, the media helps keep our people uninformed, and the President misrepresents and blunders. Mayor Bloomberg is an opinion-maker, but who makes his opinions?

Part 2: A Specific Example. Abuse of Jews' Academic Freedom at Northeastern U.

Jewish undergraduates and law students have been complaining to Northeastern University about harassment by professors who indoctrinate classes in false anti-Israel claims and insult and threaten the grades of students who present the facts and logic. Videos document their situation.

Many Jewish students feel unwelcome and threatened. They steer away from the offending professors' courses. Some conceal their Jewish identity or transfer to other colleges. Theirs is not the only college abusing Jewish students.

For a long time, the Northeastern ignored the complaints. Recently it suspended Students for Justice in Palestine, for disrupting last April's Holocaust Remembrance Day. The organization earlier had posted stickers all over campus, including on a Jewish donor's statue, calling Zionism racism. Not long after that, Jewish menorahs were vandalized. Actually, Zionism is the Jewish national liberation movement.

First the university ignored the vandalism. Then it deplored it merely as vandalism. Since a Christian nativity scene nearby was not vandalized, the university should have condemned the vandalism of the menorah as antisemitism. The university did respond appropriately to hate mail sent to a black professor as "racism," etc.. Why not when Jews are the victims?

In a letter, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) reminds University President Joseph E. Aoun that schools receiving federal funding are required by the Civil Rights Act to ensure that hostility towards students of a particular religion must be remedied. What the State Dept. defines as antisemitism occurs at the university.

Professors are supposed to use their classrooms to educate. At Northeastern some professors use classrooms to indoctrinate their bias against Israel. They distort and lie about the Arab-Israel conflict. They encourage hatred of Israel and of the Jewish people.

Denis Sullivan, Director of the Middle East Center requires one-sided, anti-Israel readings. Some of those readings are by Israelis, but still are anti-Zionist. Prof. Sullivan violates the University's policy of assuring academic freedom of the students.

Northeastern University's professors promote anti-Jewish, anti-Israel agendas under academic freedom banner. Tenured professors indoctrinate students, and encourage further meetings with anti-Semites. (

Prof. Sullivan promoted a "one-state solution," which means turning Israel into an Arab state. A Jewish student asked what would happen to Jews there. Prof. Sullivan personally reduced that student to tears. She dropped her international affairs major.

In another class, Prof. Sullivan falsely accused Christian pro-Zionists of being antisemites who want Jews to move to Israel, to rid Christian neighborhoods of Jews. [The original Christians for Zionism were idealistic; the modern ones do not live among many Jews but respect Zionism as following God's wish.] When a Jewish student from the Bible belt challenged this nonsense, the teacher mocked him.

Prof. Sullivan also claimed that the blue strips on Israel's flag represent the Nile and Euphrates Rivers. He explained that the flag symbolizes Israel's desire to incorporate all that area. [Israel withdrew from Sinai, southern Lebanon, and Gaza. But the Arabs claim Israel. Which side then is expansionist?] Another lie against Israel — the blue stripes are taken from the Jewish prayer shawl.

In class, Sullivan made a case for Hamas being given legitimacy. He asked for a paper on the lecture. A Jewish student correctly described Hamas the way the U.S. government does, as a foreign terrorist organization. She opposed giving it legitimacy. Prof. Sullivan threatened her with a poor grade unless she rewrote it to reflect his pro-Hamas views. But Hamas calls for murder and the destruction of Israel. He denied her freedom of opinion [and elevated his lies over her facts].

Guest speaker Dr. Husam Zomlot, coordinator of the P.A. bid for UN recognition, blamed Israel for lack of peace. His whole talk was one-sidedly anti-Israel and false propaganda. A Jewish student challenged his position. Prof. Sullivan ridiculed the student for that. When the student asked Dr. Zomlot why then did the Palestinian Arabs refuse all the offers of statehood, Dr. Zomlot characterized the question as offensive.

Another guest speaker was the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Gomaa. Gomaa declared that Israel slaughters babies. [No, Arab terrorists have.] None of the University representatives present condemned that antisemitic falsehood [blood libel]. Instead, Provost Stephen Director thanked Gomaa for his "thoughtful, stimulating presentation."

For some balance, a Jewish student wanted to bring in Dr. Daniel Pipes, whom The Washington Post described as "perhaps the most prominent U.S. scholar on radical Islam." Prof. Sullivan disparaged Dr. Pipes. Point is, no contrary views allowed. [Must American universities turn into madrassas?]

There there's Prof. Berna Turam, also of the international affairs department. She justified "honor killings" of females. A Jewish student challenged her views. The professors and other classmates laughed at the student. Later, Prof. Turam yelled at and mocked that student when presenting her research paper. She kept calling that student "Rachel," though told that's not the student's name. The student dropped that class.

Economics professor M. Shahid Alam accused Zionists and partisans of Israel of lying to defend Israel's war crimes and crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing. [The Arabs commit war crimes abd crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing. Israel does not.] Prof. Alam bragged that pro-Israel students are afraid to speak up in his class. He urged students to follow his example and laugh off accusations of antisemitism.

A graduate who wrote to the University about this antisemitism got a reply from Michael Armini, Sr., V.P. for External Affairs, justifying Alam's comments as "academic freedom." But it is not academic freedom to deny Jews' academic freedom. Neither is bigotry a proper part of college education. Nor is promoting a private agenda. [Nor is constant lying. The Arabs are behaving as Nazi activists did at pre-Hitler colleges.]

A Jewish student who shared a university-owned apartment was threatened with death by her roommate, who screamed that she was "such a Jew." Some of the threats were recorded. After the Jewish student's room was vandalized and her money stolen, a campus detective said nothing could be done, despite the videotaped proof.

"Northeastern's Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) should have reviewed the police reports to determine whether a violation of the Code of Conduct could have occurred. See

But OSCCR never acted, even though a number of offenses had been committed against the Jewish student under the Code of Conduct, including abuse (verbal, harassment, bullying), breaking and entering and/or theft, endangering behavior, and vandalism. Northeastern made no effort to hold her attacker accountable. The Jewish student left Northeastern and is planning to complete her education elsewhere.

After Mr. Aoun said he welcomed diversity and all groups should feel welcome, a Jewish student spoke up at an event organized to build civility on campus and to hear from students. He described the discrimination against Jewish students in classes, ridiculed for their faith and beliefs. Interim Dean Uta G. Poiger responded by questioning the allegations' veracity. No compassion or interest was shown.

ZOA suggests that the University condemn antisemitic incidents as such, train faculty to address them, educate students about antisemitism, enforce the Code of Conduct to protect Jews' rights, hold wrongdoers accountable, investigate the conduct of the offending professors up to and including termination, review course materials for integrity rather than propaganda, and publicly post this new policy. ZOA offers its help (ZOA 12-page letter, 7/5/13, with more details).

Editor's Note: For additional material on Antisemitic professors at Northeastern U., see Ilya Feoktistov and Charles Jacobs, "ZOA officially protests bullying of Jewish students by anti-Semitic profs at Northeastern University," August 20, 2013, available at

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at Parts 1 and 2 were written as separate essays, the first (Part 1) was submitted July 16, 2013 and the second August 11, 2013.

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