Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Berkeley’s Swastika Problem: Are America’s Liberal Colleges Breeding Anti-Semitism?

From neo-Nazi graffiti at Berkeley to the grilling of a Jewish student at UCLA, anti-Semitism is on the rise at liberal schools thought to be bastions of political correctness.

Disturbing  03.19.15   Emily Shire
The grilling of student Rachel Beyda over whether she was unqualified to join the UCLA’s student judicial board, merely because she is Jewish, shocked people with its blatant display of anti-Semitism at one of the nation’s most liberal schools.
“Given that you're very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?” Fabienne Roth, a member of UCLA’s Undergraduate Student Association Council, asked her. After Beyda left the room, another member of the council opined, “I don't know. For some reason I am not comfortable. I just don't know why. I can definitely see she's qualified. I am just worried about her affiliations.” 
The remarks made during her questioning are disturbing, as is the fact that these undergrads appear to be oblivious to how anti-Semitic they sound. (The council passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism last week in response to the uproar over Beyda’s confirmation, after the writing was already on the wall, as it were.)

What’s even more frightening is that Beyda’s case was nothing new, a run-of-the-mill example of the suspicions and hostility directed toward the Jewish community at some of the most socially progressive campuses across the country.

Read the full story here

Monday, March 23, 2015

American Campuses: Cause For Alarm?

Pro-Israel Jews across the spectrum agree that concern is warranted, but differ on what constitutes anti-Semitism.

03/03/15     Doug Chandler      Jewish Week Correspondent
A student at the University of Ohio recalls the heated moments when she and three of her classmates were arrested last September while protesting the fiercely anti-Israel rhetoric of a fellow student, the president of the Student Senate.
A young woman at the University of New Mexico worries about grade reprisals from professors who routinely denounce the Jewish state and don’t like her pro-Israel views.
Other students recall the appearance of swastikas on a Jewish fraternity house (at Emory University last fall), fake eviction notices slipped under the dorm-room doors of Jewish peers (at New York University last spring), and the refusal of some Palestinian students to engage in any sort of dialogue with pro-Israel classmates.
Those and other scenes make up the meat of a new documentary, “Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus,” screened at a special showing last week at the 92nd Street Y. Presented by Jerusalem U, a pro-Israel group that seeks to promote Jewish education and identity through film, the documentary was followed by a panel discussion that included Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International, and three of the students who appear in the work.
Read the full story here

Vassar to host April 7 talk on Middle East conflicts

POUGHKEEPSIE >> An expert on Arab and Turkish politics, as well as U.S.-Middle East policy, will give a talk called “The Middle East and Us: How Did it Get So Bad?” on April 7.
The talk, by Steven A. Cook, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Villard Room of the Main Building at Vassar College. The event is free and open to the public.
Cook is the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also is the author of “The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square,” which won the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s gold medal in 2012.
Cook also currently writes the blog “From the Potomac to the Euphrates.”

Cook is a Vassar alumnus, class of 1990.  Read more here