Summit on Combatting Anti-Semitism Part 2

Summit on Combatting Anti-Semitism Part 2


John Gore
Let’s move to the next item on our agenda and continue our program today. I now have
the privilege of introducing our next speaker, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Secretary
DeVos was sworn in as the eleventh secretary of education in February 2017. Throughout
her life and her tenure at the department of education, Secretary DeVos been a vocal
advocate for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. She has been a zealous force
for eliminating discrimination against all Americans including Jewish Americans. Please
join me in welcoming to the stage Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Secretary DeVos Thank you so much I appreciate that. Thank
you for all being here for this important discussion today. I wish the subject didn’t
need to be discussed at all. Discrimination against anyone on the basis of their faith
or ethnicity is always wrong. That we have to repeat that refrain today is troubling.
It’s even more troubling that too many young people perpetrate that kind of discrimination.
This administration is committed to stopping it. We stand firmly against the alarming rise
of anti-Semitism. And we acknowledge this reality. Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. When
President Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, it was a historic step toward peace in the
region. And peace in the Middle East begins by recognizing Israel’s right to exist. Israel
is a light to the region, but we all know it’s surrounded by jihadists who embrace evil
and who deny Israel’s existence, and violently work to wipe it off the map. I think of my
own visits to the holy land. They were indelible experiences that have shaped me in many ways,
and visiting my great uncle and aunt in the Netherlands and seeing where they hid dozens
of fleeing Jews behind flour sacks in their bakery during the Second World War also impacted
me deeply. The atrocities of the Holocaust must never again occur. Never again. This
administration is committed to protecting Israel our strong ally in the Middle East’s
only democracy. Israel has a committed friend in the White House and Israel has friends
at the US Department of Education. We’re so pleased to have Ken Marcus as our Assistant
Secretary for civil rights and Reed Rubenstein as our acting general counsel.
Many of you know both men and their long time work against discrimination and anti-Semitism.
One of the most pernicious and prevalent examples of anti-Semitism on campus is the campaign
known as BDS. These campus bullies claim they stand for human rights. But we all know BDS
stands for anti-Semitism. We recently made clear at Williams College that these kinds
of efforts are unacceptable. Students there tried to register a pro-Israel groups but
after much anti-Semitic uproar. The college council denied the group recognition. We negotiated
a resolution agreement with the college that affords the pro-Israel student group the same
rights and privileges as any other student group. There’s another issue vis-a-vis Duke
and UNC. I recently directed an investigation of a conference there that may have been funded
by taxpayers. We’re looking at whether the conference violated grant terms and perpetuated
anti-Semitism. These are just two examples of what the Department of Education is doing
to protect students from discrimination – discrimination based on actual or perceived shared ancestry
or ethnic characteristics – and we are intent on ensuring protection for students across
the country. We’re committed to our partnership with Attorney General Barr in the Department
of Justice on this important issue. I know this discussion will highlight other examples
and offer insights on how to continue combating anti-Semitism on America’s campuses. Faith
is personal, but it doesn’t have to be hidden under a bushel basket to recall scripture.
Americans have fought and died for the right to live their faith in all aspects of their
life. This administration is and always will be committed to ensuring all believers can
live and practice their faith without fear. Thank you I know this conversation will be
useful and important. Thank you very much. John Gore
Thank you Secretary DeVos for those excellent remarks and for your outstanding leadership
at the Department of Education and on these important issues. Our next panel is entitled
‘Anti-Semitism on Campus.’ Our moderator for this panel is Principal Deputy Associate
Attorney General Claire McCusker Murray They will now join us on the stage. Principal Deputy
Associate Attorney General Murray rejoined the Department in 2019 and currently leads
the Office of Associate Attorney General, where she oversees several department litigation
and policy making components. She’s had a remarkable career at the Department of Justice,
at the White House, in private practice, and as a law clerk to both Justice Samuel Alito,
and then Judge Brett Kavanaugh. She has been a staunch advocate of religious liberty during
her time in public service. Claire is uniquely qualified to moderate today’s panel. Earlier
in life clear for spent more than her fair share of time on university campuses. She
is a proud graduate of Harvard College, Cambridge University, the School for the Advanced Studies
and Social Sciences in Paris, and last but not least Yale Law School. Claire the panel
is yours. Claire Murray
Thanks so much for that kind – oh, can you can you hear me? Yes. Thank you for that kind
introduction John I’m so honored to be part of today’s countering anti-Semitism summit
and in particular — I’m so pleased to be moderating this panel on anti-Semitism on
campus — It’s been widely reported I think you can’t sort open the news without seeing
an article about — You know, a student group not being recognized or student not being
given a recommendation to study abroad in Israel that incidents of anti-Semitism on
campus are on the rise — At the very least I think it’s fairly clear from the press that
Jewish students feel under threat on campus in a way that they haven’t in the recent past.
Our panel today will be discussing the state of play. Are we really seeing an increase
in anti-Semitic sentiment on campus or just a rise in reporting? What form is the new
anti-Semitism taking? — As well as looking at what’s behind any increase in anti-Semitism
and what can and should be done in response. That’s sort of a lot of ground to cover in
ninety minutes so without further ado I’d like to introduce our distinguished panelists
— Jonathan Tobin is director- is editor in chief of Jewish news syndicate where he writes
a daily column on domestic politics Israel and Jewish affairs. He’s also a regular contributing
columnist to National Review the New York Post the federalist and Haaretz among other
among many other national publications. For many years Johnathan wrote a column for the
Jerusalem post entitled views from America. Mister Tobin is a graduate of Columbia University.
Alyza Lewin is co-founder of Lewin and Lewin a Washington DC litigation law firm. Among
her many high profile cases in twenty fourteen Ms. Lewin argued before the US Supreme Court
in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the case involving whether an American citizen born in Jerusalem
may list Israel as a place of birth on his or her U. S. passport. Ms. Lewin is also president
and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis center for human rights under law. A nonpartisan
advocacy group to advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and to promote
justice for all. Ms. Lewin is a graduate of NYU law school in Princeton University. William
Jacobson is clinical professor of law and director of the securities law clinic at Cornell
law school. He is also currently a contributor to the times of Israel were he blogs about
topics related to BDS and the boycott of Israel in higher education. Before joining the faculty
for now he’s been twenty three years in private practice in Providence Rhode Island. Litigating
business disputes in the securities industry he is a graduate of Harvard Law School and
Hamilton College. Charles Asher-Small is founding director and president of the institute for
the study of global anti-Semitism and policy. A New York based nonprofit committed to fighting
anti-Semitism on the battlefield of ideas. Doctor Small serves on the faculty of Tel
Aviv University and is currently a visiting scholar at Saint Anthony’s College at Oxford
University. His research focuses on contemporary anti-Semitism including the delegitimization
of Israel and notions of Jewish peoplehood. Professor Small earned his doctorate from
St Anthony’s college, his master’s degree from University College London, and his bachelor’s
degree from McGill University. We’ll start by asking each of our panelists to speak for
about eight minutes on a topic related to our larger theme. After those opening statements
I’ll pose a series of questions to our panelists to try to get them in dialogue with one another.
And ask them to comment on current events. Mister Tobin would you like to it to begin?
Jonathan Tobin Thank you. It’s an honor to be here to discuss
how best we can combat anti-Semitism. And it is very encouraging that the department
of justice has chosen to highlight this issue in this manner and we thank them for that.
It is of course a matter of no small irony that college campuses are among the places
in this country where anti-Semitic sentiment has become commonplace and Jews feel the most
threatened by a culture of intolerance. That institutions that are supposed to be strongholds
of independent inquiry in progressive values have become the beachheads on this continent
for the spread of what the state department called a rising tide of anti-Semitism. That
has been sweeping across the globe is shock. But for anyone who is paid attention to the
academic world in the last generation it is hardly a surprise. The reason for this boils
down to one key fact the growing popularity of anti-Zionism and the way that ideology
has been used to legitimize antisemitism and to create a hostile atmosphere in academic
circles and on some campuses where Jews feel not only marginalized but also intimidated
and threatened. Support for the movement to boycott divest and sanction Israel BDS. Has
not only gained a foothold in academia but in many university departments. Opposition
to its discriminatory goal and tactics Marks both dissident academics and students as pariahs
to be shunned shouted down or worse, a situation that is particularly threatened to Jews. In
this generation antisemitism has taken on a new form in which Israel has become the
substitute for anti-Semitic anti-Jewish stereotypes that have been handed down through the ages.
In discussing this problem it’s vital that we clarify some popular misconceptions. What
is anti-Zionism and is it, as many of its less honest advocates claim, separate and
distinct from hatred of Jews? Anti-Zionism is opposition to a Jewish state and is focused
on activism and that advocacy here in the United States and terrorism in the Middle
East. For the elimination of the state of Israel. It means singling out the one Jewish
state on the planet for extinction. And making it the only existing national political entity.
Of the nearly two hundred represented in the United Nations that is the focus of an international
movement to erase it from the map and whose birth. In a post-war world in which various
conflicts gave rise to scores of new nations is considered an original sin which must be
reversed. Just as important is to understand that contrary to the rationalizations put
forward by BDS advocates and other opponents of Israel. Anti-Zionism is not criticism of
Israel or of its current government and its policies. More than seven million Israelis
wake up every morning and proceed to criticize their government just as more than three hundred
million Americans wake up every day and do the same about some aspect of their state.
Local and federal government. that’s life in a democracy. Mere criticism of Israel is
not opposition to the existence of Israel nor is it anti-Semitic. And no responsible
person would claim that it is. But when one seeks to deny the Jews the right to a state
in their ancient homeland? no matter where its borders might be drawn, to deny the legitimacy
to their national movement in a way that no other nationalism is delegitimized, to deny
them the right not merely to sovereignty, but to the right to live in peace there and
the right of self-defense that is not mere criticism, it is prejudice. That must be the
starting point for any discussion of anti-Zionism. What anti-Zionists is seek to do is something
that is unique to one people? And one country. No other people on the planet are treated
in this manner or singled out for opprobrium in the way that anti-Zionists speak about.
And seek to treat the one Jewish state. It is true that not every ethnic group has achieved
sovereign status in their homeland throughout the world. But there is no other example of
an international movement that is dedicated to eradicating an existing sovereign state.
Predicated on the notion that its population not only has no right to exert power over
its territory, but also no right to live in it, as is the case for Jews in Israel. To
oppose anti Zionism and to correctly brand it as a form of anti-Jewish prejudice is not
necessarily to espouse a particular point of view about the Middle East peace process.
The conflict between Jews and Palestinian Arabs which has been going on for more than
a century. Is complex. It is hardly surprising that those who criticize Israel’s stance
on the peace process ignore the fact that Israel has sought several times offer statehood
to the Palestinians in exchange for peace and an end to the conflict, and that the Palestinians
rejected each time. But those who claim that justice is only to be obtained by denying
to the Jews the right to statehood over any part of their country, Tel Aviv Haifa and
not just Jerusalem and the West Bank, over which of these two peoples have contended
when they so readily support many other ethnic national and religious groups, are practicing
a unique kind of bias. Seen in this light anti Zionism and its BDS component, are not
a critique of any Israeli policy or politician. Nor is its purpose shifting Israel’s borders
its purpose is as BDS advocates make abundantly clear in their literature and websites, is
to deny the Jews rights that no one thinks of denying to others. And the term of art
as such it is a form of discrimination and the term of art for discrimination against
Jews is anti-Semitism. While it is possible to make academic critiques of Israel’s right
to exist that can take on an air of legitimate debate. In practice on many college campuses
as well as elsewhere. Advocacy for anti-Zionism illustrates that it is indistinguishable from
traditional forms of anti-Semitism. The arguments from anti-Zionists and their BDS movement
raise wish to reverse not nearly seventy one years of Israeli nationhood, but to erase
thousands of years of Jewish history and faith. They single out Israeli actions and judge
them not merely by double standards applied to no other democracy let alone any other
Middle East country, but seek to maliciously compare it to Nazi Germany. They treat the
one nation that is linked to Judaism as illegitimate while ignoring the connections between faith
and dozens of other sovereign nations. The arguments against Israel and particularly
its supporters here in the United States are also straight out of the anti-Semitic playbook.
Including themes about Jews buying power and congressional support and false accusations
of dual loyalty and committing loathsome crimes. They are rooted in a kind of demonization
of Jews that is all too familiar for students of history. That members of Congress as well
as academics and activists have employed these themes testifies both. To the growth of this
movement and the unwholesome manner in which it has sought to insinuate its ideas into
the national conversation. Moreover, we don’t need to look at the literature of the BDS
movement you know that anti Zionists and the BDS movement. Are steeped in hate wherever
they raise their banners on college campuses or anywhere else anti-Semitic acts whether
in terms of intimidation or even violence always follow. The hijacking of intersectional
ideas in which the struggles of various minorities are seen as linked. Has enabled some academics
and journalists portray the war against the Jewish state as somehow and now it gets to
the struggle for civil rights in this country. But this false analogy which seeks to employ
the language of human rights in order to legitimize anti-Zionist rhetoric is rooted in a falsehood.
It is those who wish to discriminate against the one Jewish state and its people who are
spreading hate not those who seek to defend Zionism which is the national liberation movement
of the Jewish people. Those who spread this form of anti-Semitic hate claim they are promoting
peace. But their position is actually antithetical. To the cause of peace as well as prejudice
because it seeks an outcome that could only be achieved by a genocidal war against Israel
and its people who will not submit to the overthrow of their democratic state or the
ethnic cleansing of their country. And that is true no matter who is spreading this form
of hate whether they are non-Jews or in the case of a small vocal leftist minority, Jews.
Seen clearly there is no doubt that those whose discourse about Israel is anchored in
a movement to destroy it and to demonize its dynast its people. And its diaspora Jewish
supporters are not merely criticizing its government are speaking out in favor of peace
or human rights, but engaging in a form of hate that is inherently anti-Semitic. We must
proceed from this unavoidable conclusion to state that it must be the policy of the United
States. And of decent people everywhere to oppose anti-Semitic agitation and violence
whether it labels itself anti-Zionist or some other set of ideas that masquerades as progressive.
But is actually practicing one of the oldest form of hatreds. Anti-Zionism is not merely
antisemitism operating under a new false front and those who deny this are spreading a big
lie. It is imperative that we not only use the summit as a springboard for action. Against
a noxious form of hatred and it’s troubling reappearance within the life spans of survivors
of the Holocaust. But also to deny its adherence to the cloak of legitimacy with which they
seek to clothe themselves. That is true on college campuses or anywhere else but it is
especially important that we not let those who seek to educate which deny those. Who
go to college the right to do so without being demonized shunned or silenced. Thank you.
Alyza Lewin Good morning. Thank you very much for inviting
me. To participate in the summit it is a true honor to be included on this illustrious panel.
Most people today are able to recognize traditional or classical anti-Semitism the anti-Semitism
that we associate with the swastika or with the Nazis. It’s more difficult however for
many to identify anti-Semitism the type the Jonathan just described the anti-Semitism
that targets Zionism and denies the right of Jewish self-determination. So I’d like
to focus a little bit more on that form of anti-Semitism. It’s not uncommon today to
hear people say I’m not anti-Jewish I’m just anti-Zionist. But is that really possible.
Is it possible to support Jews but oppose Zionists? The answer is no. Why? Because Zionism
is an integral part of Jewish identity. Zionism the yearning and desire of Jews to exercise
their right to self-determination and to reestablish a Jewish homeland in the land of Israel. Is
an inherent ancestral and ethnic Jewish characteristic. Zionism as a political movement may have originated
in the nineteenth century. But this yearning for Zion. The desire of Jews to return to
their ancestral homeland. That is thousands of years old as old as Abraham and the Bible.
To be a Zionist means to support this right of Jewish self-determination in the ancestral
homeland of the Jews. If I celebrate the fact that Jews have returned once again to the
land of Israel. If I celebrate that the Jewish state of Israel exists. Then I am a Zionist.
Those who oppose Zionism deny Jews this right. Judea pearl the father the late journalist
Daniel pearl. Has coined a term for this he calls it Zionaphobia. An irrational fear or
hatred of a homeland for the Jewish people. The international Holocaust Remembrance alliance
(IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism includes as an example of anti-Semitism and I quote
denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination. E.g. by claiming that the existence of a state
of Israel as a racist endeavor close quote. The IHRA definition recognizes that Zionaphobia
denying this fundamental core Jewish belief is de facto anti-Semitism. My maternal grandmother
was a sixth generation Jerusalemite. Her ancestors came to live in Jerusalem in the early eighteen
hundreds not because there was some modern state of Israel. But out of this a deep sense
that as Jews, that was their home. This yearning for Zion is the glue that is kept Jews together
for millennia. For centuries Jews have not only prayed facing Jerusalem but they have
prayed to return to Jerusalem. The [Hebrew] next year in Jerusalem is heard each year
the Passover Seder and again at the conclusion of Yom Kippur for the Day of Atonement. Do
you know that over half of the six hundred and thirteen commandments in the Pentateuch.
Relate to the land of Israel and can only be fulfilled in the land of Israel. The Jews
connection to the land is so strong that for thousands of years wherever Jews have lived
they have prayed for rain. Not where they reside but for rain in the land of Israel.
But Zionism this essential component of Jewish identity is now under attack. Those who deny
Jews the right to self-determination who say Jews do not have a right to a Jewish state
in any borders in the land of Israel. Their criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic even if
it is cloaked in human rights terminology. Because if you do not believe the Jewish state
of Israel has a right to exist then your criticism of Israel is not intended to reform the policies.
Of the government of Israel it is intended to destroy the Jewish state. To accurately
identify anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism we must learn to distinguish between the Zionaphobes.
Those who oppose a homeland for the Jewish people and seek to destroy the Jewish state
on the one hand. And those who genuinely seek coexistence between Jew and Arab on the other.
Groups like students for justice in Palestine and Jewish voice for peace who believe that
the Jews have no right to self-determination. No right to a Jewish state are not interested
in dialog or compromise. Their goal is elimination. Make no mistake about it what is happening
today on campuses and beyond is part of an organized well-funded strategy to marginalize
pro-Israel Zionists and deny them a place in society. When students for justice in Palestine
an organization supported by American Muslims for Palestine held its annual conference last
November at UCLA they posted their goals for the conference on their website? One goal
described SJP’s. Attitude towards Zionism goal number two which was titled and I quote
re-gearing from mythos to action said. Quote. The aim of this theme is to remind us that
Zionism is not an insurmountable force we know that Zionism is ethnic cleansing destruction
mass expulsion apartheid and death. Close quote. The goal went on to say the quote the
reason we can have hope is that Zionism is a human ideology and a set of laws that have
been challenged and can be destroyed. This is a reminder that the successful challenges
to Zionism have come from direct action close quote. According to SJP’s. stated goal.
Zionism can quote be broken down and dismantled close quote. Most importantly however SJP
explained that at the conference they would not just talk theory but rather they would
also quote focus on developing actionable local and regional campaigns. With clear targets
close quote. So I ask you. If you are a student group that equates Zionism with quote ethnic
cleansing destruction mass expulsion apartheid in death. And your group stated goal is to
quote destroy and quote dismantled Zionism. And you plan to develop quote actionable local
and regional campaigns with clear targets. I ask you. Who are your targets? Pro-Israel
Zionists. And what are those campaigns look like. They look like what we saw last year
at New York University when fifty three student organizations representing the entire progressive
community on campus. Pledged not only to support BDS and to boycott Israel. But to also boycott
the pro-Israel student groups on campus. Meaning they said they would not engage with or dialogue
with or co-sponsor events with the pro-Israel students. What message does that convey to
a pro Israel student at NYU? It’s saying to that student. If you want to join our campus
community if you want to be a full-fledged member and demonstrate with us on climate
change women’s rights L. G. B. T. rights. We’ll accept you. On one condition. Check
your support for Israel at the door shed that part of your Jewish identity and you can join
us. That’s no different than demanding that a student stop observing Shabbat or stop keeping
kosher in order to gain admission. It’s comparable to demanding that a Catholic student disavow
the Vatican or a Muslim student shed his or her connection to Mecca. Excluding an individual
in this manner on the basis of his or her identity is discrimination. This discriminatory
conduct is spreading beyond the college campuses not long ago here in Washington DC at the
DC Dyke March organizers of the March informed Jewish participants that they can wear religious
paraphernalia. Such as a kippa or tallit. But items that expressed support for Israel
such as the Jewish pride flag a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the middle were prohibited.
The Dyke March leaders who controlled access to a March designed to celebrate diversity
and inclusion were demanding that Jewish Zionists hide or shed a key component of their Jewish
identity in order to participate. No other group was charged such a high price for admission.
Our laws are designed to protect individuals from harassment and discrimination the law
does not protect you from an opinion you find offensive. In the United States even hate
speech is protected speech. So if we want to effectively utilize our legal tools such
as title six of the Civil Rights Act we must accurately articulate what is happening. As
harassment and discrimination. If we fail to do this we won’t be able to use the tools
in our toolbox. If we permit administrators on university campuses and the general public
to perceive the situation is merely a political disagreement where each side takes offense
at the other side’s position. Then we disable our most potent weapon. Ostracizing marginalizing
and excluding pro-Israel Zionists on the basis of their identity is not a speech issue. It
is racist and unlawful conduct and must be confronted as such. Students must understand
that what they are experiencing is anti-Semitism and that the law can protect them. We have
to teach students and parents how to utilize the law effectively to combat Zion a phobia
and anti-Semitism. We must educate our children so that they don’t ally themselves with groups
that deny Jews the right to self-determination or deny Jews the right to express the Zionist
part of their Jewish identity. It is imperative that the public understand that this denial
is racist discriminatory an anti-Semitic whether it comes from non-Jews. Or Jews. During our
panel discussion I hope to share with the steps of the Brandeis center is taking to
address these issues and change the climate on campus and beyond. Because if we want to
ensure that history does not repeat itself we must recognize that if you isolate and
de humanize Zionists. And claim that they represent society’s greatest evil. Then you
are branding Jews with a virtual yellow Star of David. And then what comes next. Thank
you. William Jacobson
Thank you my name is William Jacobson I’m a professor at Cornell law school I’m also
the founder and chief author at legal insurrection website. Which has covered campus issues specifically
with regard to anti-Semitism and BDS movement almost daily since two thousand and eight
I’m going to discuss today intersectionality. It’s a word that Attorney General Barr mentioned
in his introduction this morning. And it is a very hot topic on campuses. I’m going to
discuss how it was originally formulated how it has developed into the intellectual justification
for the isolation of Jewish students on campus. And Zionist Jews in the progressive movement.
I only have a short time today so there’s a limited amount of detail that I can go into
but I also hope to bring. To this presentation my experiences interacting with students both
on my campus and many other campuses. You’ve heard two very excellent speeches so far presentation
so far. And the big take away that you need from this presentation and the other presentations
is the isolation of Jewish students on campus because that is the goal that is the methodology
and that is the single biggest problem that we face. At the statements that have been
made so far comport with my experiences interacting with students. I started my website in two
thousand and eight and began covering the BDS movement almost immediately. But it really
wasn’t until the two thousand and ten two thousand thirteen time frame that BDS took
off in a serious way. On campuses. And at that time there weren’t many major Jewish
or pro-Israel organizations on the ground in campuses so I often served and my website
served. As a first responder to students who were seeking help and we did that and again
it was that sense of isolation the sense that they were being ganged up on was my big take
away from those interactions — The term. Intersectionality. Is a very loosely
used term nowadays it’s kind of like social justice it’s a buzz word. It has become something
of the Swiss army knife of progressive campus politics and it’s far removed from its origins.
It’s often described in conservative media as victim Olympics the ordering of victim
status based on various identity politics classifications. But that’s only a part of
it and that’s perhaps more the popular press part of it. Intersectionality provides the
intellectual framework and justification for people who would not consider themselves anti-Semitic
or even necessarily seek the destruction of Israel none the less to isolate Jewish students.
The term is toxic it’s become a toxic mixture of racial and identity politics where anti-Zionism
is the unifying feature among many groups who otherwise have very little in common.
It didn’t start this way the term intersectionality is widely credited to a nineteen eighty nine
article by my law school classmate Kimberly Crenshaw. Who at the time was a law professor
at UCLA and recently also is at Columbia? As originally authored the concept of intersectionality
was meant to address the unique problems in her. Perspective that black women faced in
obtaining justice in the judicial system that the sex discrimination laws addressed. Discrimination
against women and the race discrimination laws addressed. The discrimination against
minorities particularly blacks but in her estimation none of those laws and none of
those legal analysis adequately addressed people – in her article black women – who
were at the intersection of multiple identities which were suffering. So in her words she
termed intersectionality as something as a way of looking at from a judicial and discrimination
law perspective. How do better liberate if you will black women from those two forces
of sex discrimination and race discrimination that they uniquely? Suffered that in her words
black men did not suffer and white women did not suffer because they did not have that
intersecting — Identity. Whether you accept this framework or not there’s nothing about
intersectionality as originally framed that involves politics? Or involves Israel. It
was a way of looking at how the courts deal with discrimination against people who are
in multiple classifications of protected groups. Yet along the way intersection alley became
a buzz word divorced from this original meaning. A two thousand seventeen critique in the chronicle
of higher education noted that the word has migrated from women’s studies journals and
conference keynotes into everyday conversation. Turning what was once highbrow discourse into
hash tag chatter. Nowhere has the expansion of and politicization of intersectionality
been more aggressive and destructive than in the anti-Zionist movement including the
Jewish anti-Zionist movement. Anti-Israel academics and activists have seized on intersectionality
as a means of building coalitions of quote unquote people of color. Against Israel which
is portrayed as a white colonialists enterprise with the goal of isolating Jews who support
Israel’s right to exist which of course is the overwhelming majority of Jews. It’s hard
to pinpoint precisely when this happened but certainly the Durban conference and the goal
of bringing race into the attack on Israel terming Israel an apartheid state comparing
it to South Africa. Has turned intersectionality into not just a judicial philosophy or judicial
approach button approach to demonizing Israel and launching the boycott divestment and sanctions
movement against Israel. And you see that terminology used repeatedly. By the anti-Israel
left anti-Israel progressive movement particularly anti-Israel progressive Jews. On campuses
in January two thousand sixteen the Jewish voice for peace student network issued a statement
on intersectionality which read in part we are committed to support. The Palestinian
struggle against Israeli occupation apartheid and racism which is bound up with their analysis
of its intersection with the struggle of students of color. Anti-Jewish bigotry is not equivalent
to the structural oppression experienced by students of color. And this is what you hear
every day on campuses. They put together coalitions of students of color nonwhite student groups
and they try to use that to isolate. Pro-Israel students and Zionist students. We’ve seen
it multiple times at Cornell in two thousand and fourteen there was a B. D. S. resolution
introduced to the student government which didn’t get very far it was tabled before open
discussion. But in two thousand and nineteen that was renewed and the organizers spent
by their own estimation two years building a coalition of students and they introduced.
The resolution — There were twenty or twenty five students representing virtually every
nonwhite identity group on campus who were endorsing the resolution — The boycott resolution
against Israel and it was presented that if you want to be supportive of students of color
you must endorse this and if you object to the BDS movement. You are hostile to racial
minorities and that’s just one example that we’re seeing on campuses there are many others
perhaps we can get into some of those during the discussion and I’m certainly happy to
speak with people. Afterwards thank you Charles Small
Okay thank you very much — Members of the various departments of the US government Special
Envoy Elan Carr distinguish communal leaders from the Jewish community. It’s an honor to
be here. And today I’m going to discuss. A research project that ISGAP is engaged in
ISGAP is the institute for the study of global anti-Semitism and policy. Or an academic research
center — But fell into the subject in an interesting way about seven years ago. I’m
happy to be joined by Michael Bass. Michael Bass is a CPA and was a key figure in the
seven your project that we engaged. In at ISGAP of follow the money. And I worked with
— Michael and our colleague Glen Feder on this project. Elie Wiesel said that we’re
living in a time of great urgency. And then he went on to correct himself and he said
no we’re not living in a great time of urgency. We’re living in a time of an emergency. And
he said this in two thousand and three so from two thousand three to this moment we
know that things are becoming significant. He also always taught that anti-Semitism begins
with Jews but it never ends with Jews that once this form of hatred is unleashed upon
society. It knows no boundaries and attacks not only the Jews. But other part parts of
the population other citizens and the very democratic institutions and practices that
we hold on to tragically. I’m sad to report as my colleagues have also. Referred to that
the universities are actually becoming a purveyor. Of antisemitism the very institution that
is perhaps the most important for the continuation of democratic principles educating the next
generation. Is the space in which antisemitism is being — purveyed. This project came upon
us — In an interesting way. One of the vice presidents of a top Ivy League university
apparently worked for a pharmaceutical company in Cambridge Massachusetts. This pharmaceutical
company in Cambridge Massachusetts was owned by Salam Ahmed bin Mahfouz . A known person
that was not only in favor of the BDS but also had connections to terror. The vice president
of this university actually hired an assistant who worked right here in Washington with none
other than Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi . And for those who study these issues we know of their
connections not only to anti-Semitism and political Islam. Not Islam not Muslims but
political reactionary — Islam political Islam — That they also had connections to terror.
And it was this. Sort of network in this university that not only promoted — Antisemitism and
political Islam and the demonization of the Jewish peoplehood in Israel but also promoted.
Political Islam within the university. Thanks. To this and I started to do research on my
own and then. In a few months worked with Michael Michael Bass — Gave a lot of his
time and energy a lot of these findings are his most these findings are his. And Michael
for seven years has comb through various sources of information all open source from the department
of education and other government branches. Looking at funding. And we can see here. In
this document. That US colleges with Middle East studies departments — Receiving massive
amount of funding from the Gulf states what’s interesting in our research and the most important
element in a research, it’s probably missing, Is that there are many Multinational companies
large corporations in the United States. Domestic companies in the United States are also funneling.
Lots of money billions of money. Into American universities and this is a sort of a hole
that needs to be understood. Here this is a very important document groups like the
Middle East forum and other groups researching the funding. Of US universities by the Muslim
Brotherhood and political Islamists have discovered three hundred million come are now speaking
about one point four million. Our research shows that we have accounted for one point
nine billion dollars going to American universities. And what’s fascinating is the undocumented
report the amount that’s not been reported. That amount is almost three billion dollars
that we found. And given our lack of resources although we try very hard we work diligently.
Given our limited resources to put into this project and our expertise if we can find thrilled
three billion dollars that is unaccountable. Unaccounted for imagine what is going on it’s
interesting at Texas A and M. for example. Their budget they have a report they did not
report over seven hundred fifty million dollars. And their budget and the funding from Qatar
always match up in Michael’s research. The Qatari foundation as we know is run by or
heavily influenced. By. The Muslim Brotherhood in the memory presentation our colleague from
memory he ran a clip that I was going to run. Which shows Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the head of
the Muslim Brotherhood literally calling for all believers all true believers. To finish
the work of Hitler this is where the money is coming from Yusuf al-Qaradawi for example
played an integral role. In founding Islamic studies at Oxford. So imagine how these ideologies
are infiltrating into universities. Here we can see some of the findings here these are
from the universities in Doha city. Based on our research I think it would be a very
fair assumption to show that a ton of funds are coming from the campuses in Doha. Into
the United States of America proper. This is. An extraordinary find. Thanks to the work
of Michael bass. There we go I would like to very briefly I know I’m running out of
time I would like to present some. Other findings for example Yale University received a ten
million dollar gift from Saleh Abdullah Kamel for the Yale Law School. He offered publicly
ten million dollars one hundred thousand dollars has been reported by Yale University to the
department of education. Yale University as only reported approximately two million dollars
even though they received over one hundred fifty million dollars. From the world from
1983 to 2018 – sorry from the Middle East — Very quickly recommendations we argue vehemently
there needs to be an improvement of the reporting mechanisms to department of education. From
guess from foreign sources and also domestic sources tighter controls of who is reporting
and what they should be reporting in in general — Inconsistencies in the department of education
from colleges on foreign operations why did Texas A&M only begin to report. Their donations
in the last two years — Should — Colleges accept anonymous gifts this is legal. The
law says the country needs to be shown the country of origin of the gift needs to be
shown but not the source so it’s very easy for countries or individuals or nonprofit
organizations or governments. To use another country as the origin of their gift to American
universities. We call upon the government to try to use the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism
to conduct academic affairs at the student level the academic level that the administration
level. We call upon all relevant branches of the government all departments with a stake
in the future. Of our education system of the future of our democracy. To engage in
a systematic investigation of the funding of American universities by not only anti-Semitic
sources but anti-democratic sources. We also call for an investigation into the atmosphere
on campus we’re talking about here the administration. What’s taking place in the classroom but
we know from my other colleagues the students for justice in Palestine. Care the Muslim
student association have been disturbing the atmosphere on campus Jewish students are experiencing
antisemitism at alarming rates at much higher rates than women experience — Or witness
sexism and African Americans witness or experience racism the statistics are off the chart and
there’s a huge discrepancy on age older Americans- older Jewish Americans do not experience antisemitism
at the same level. As young Jewish Americans. And we believe in closing that the six point
five billion dollars that this research project at ISGAP through the work of Michael bass
discovered. Has to be the tip of an iceberg and if this is the tip of an iceberg we call
for a proper investigation. Of American universities and the funding and the funders of hate that
is now permeating are our most precious. Institution in our democracy the education system thank
you. Claire Murray
Thank you thank you all of our panelists those were extremely thought provoking comments
and give rise to a number of questions at least for me — Kind of three sets of questions
occur to me one set centers around what is the phenomenon. Once set is where the phenomenon
come from and what the third set is. What can be done so maybe we will turn that first
that first so? A number of the of the comments focused on antisemitism as filtered through
anti-Zionist movement — And you know Ms. Lewin I thought very interestingly contrasted
that with you know what we think of as traditional or classical anti-Semitism so swastikas violence
— discrimination against Jewish students are we also seeing that kind of anti-Semitism
are you — This side of the table is probably well situated talk about that from time on
campus. But I’d love to hear from anyone who has thoughts on whether we’re seeing. That
side of the anti-Semitism two and whether it’s also on the rise.
William Jacobson My experience and observations is that. What
we typically call right wing anti-Semitism things like that are mostly anecdotal on campuses
there might be a swastika painted of course we don’t in most cases know who painted it
— But those tend to be on campus as anecdotal. Whereas the anti-Semitism from the left and
the Islamist anti-Semitism is more systematic more pervasive more organized and more supported
by faculty. A lot of the anti-Zionism on campus is in a lot of the isolation of students on
campuses comes under the leadership of faculty. And that’s just a reality. They are the thought
leaders they are the ones who have a continuing presence on campus. So that in my experience
and not to say that there haven’t been specific. Horrible instances of right wing anti-Semitism
on campuses but that is not the pervasive problem it is more the anti-Semitism masking
itself as anti-Zionism. That is a pervasive problem in my experience and observation.
Jonathan Tobin I’d like to say I think. You know in an earlier
panel which touched on the questions of free speech the problem here isn’t the people come
to campuses and say offensive things about Israel. Or bad things about Jews even. The
problem is when such beliefs whether anti-Zionist BDS. Are institutionalized within colleges
themselves. That takes partly the role of where curricula and faculty are actively promoting
anti Zionism actively. Making Jewish students in classes never mind in in in campus clubs
feel marginalized it’s tough enough as we know in this city to speak truth to power
under any circumstances. It’s unreasonable to expect students to speak truth to power
to the people who control their grades. It just doesn’t work that way. And it also takes
the form of privileging anti-Semitic agitation in form of anti-Zionism. On college campuses
when student groups not merely enact a debate and act BDS resolutions although fortunately
on most campuses those resolutions have been. Defeated. But in the course of discourse where
Jewish students are served with fake eviction notices to highlight what they- you know false
claims about Israeli practices. Where Israeli apartheid weeks and apartheid walls depicting
Israel’s measures of security against terrorism? Are made specifically. To make Jewish students
uncomfortable to make it impossible for them to speak up for Israel and to retain. Their
standing on campus as people of good will. That’s the problem where universities. Prioritize
and allow these events to go forward in a way in which they would not allow other student
groups to be victimized in this way. That’s the problem not speech.
Alyza Lewin Just to build on that — the AMCHA Initiative
actually did a study at one point and while yes there is certainly the more traditional
anti-Semitism on campus which you find is that what resonates with. And impacts the
students the most where they feel the marginalization the hostility the fear the isolation. Is more
in the anti-Zionism context and what’s happening as I was trying to explain is that you have
students for whom this is a part of what it means to them to be Jewish. And what they’re
being told is if you want to belong if you want to be accepted if you want to function
on this campus. You have to either hide or shed that part of who you are. And- People
have an easier time understanding if you for example had a university which had create
a climate where homosexuals felt uncomfortable coming out of the closet because they felt
that they would be. Isolated marginalized ostracized that’s what you have now with Zionists
on campus they feel they can’t live in their own skin.
Charles Small I just wanted to comment I think there’s also
the backing up I think what Tammy Benjamin’s research at AMCHA – demonstrates and now
our research project also I think augments and reinforces your research. Is that we found
the funding from — Of Middle East studies centers at American universities where that
is taking place and with this type of funding that we alluded to hear mention here. Takes
place that where other students for justice in Palestine plus funding foreign fundamentally
study center there is more activities anti-Semitic activity on campus affecting students and
scholars — And I think we also have to realize that the pressure. On not just students. Not
just students finishing degrees or PH these are faculty entering into the university and
trying to get — Permanent positions and then tenure there’s tremendous pressure — Not
to be perceived as too Zionist or too pro-Israel because of the atmosphere on campus and we
call this sort of the red green alliance. The extreme so called left I think that the
left is actually abandoned a left wing agenda but we’ll put that issue aside. But the extreme
green the Islamists and the extreme left have sort of entered into this anti — Semitic
and sort of unholy alliance they’re both opposed to western hegemony. They both opposed Zionism
and American neo colonialism, that’s sort of the rhetoric of this ideology, and they’ll
diametrically oppose to everything else — In this world view they are united in their anti-Semitism
and their anti-Zionism and this gives cover for a lot of difficult — Situations — Atmospheres
on campus and a whole generation learning at the best universities that Israel. Is somewhat
somehow at the very least a problem. To something that needs to either be — Reformed or even
destroyed and this is mainstream education which is fueling — General anti-Semitism.
Claire Murray And what are using in terms of patterns and
prevalence in terms of geography in terms of kinds of schools. Is a small liberal arts
school where you see it more is it is it larger schools that have middle east centers if you
were if you were a parent for example who wanted to send your child or encourage your
child to attend university. Where they were less likely to face and anti-Semitism what
would you be looking? Charles Small
I would say you know what I tell my students that. I’m Jewish because my mother’s Jewish
that’s why I’m Jewish — But when we live in a democracy every generation has to stand
up and not only protect democracy but expand its influence. So I I would say it’s not a
question of finding the safe school I think it’s a question for all the communities
that care about human rights. The rights of Jews the rights of women the rights of gender-identity
people the rights of religious minorities, Christians, cops, Yezidis Kurds. If you care
about. Basic human rights and democratic principles I think we as a generation and we as a society.
Need to stand up and protect our education system because if we lose it. We’re in serious
trouble. Alyza Lewin
The frightening fact is that this is not restricted to certain types of universities and it’s
not restricted to just universities. The dehumanizing of Zionists now is becoming mainstream. And
it is it may have started and we may see it — Really egregiously on the campuses but
it’s moving beyond- that’s what I said we now see it in in our daily lives outside of-
Jonathan Tobin Yeah I I’d like to add that — There’s no
way to restrict this to one kind and certainly there’s a lot of anti-Zionist activity at
my alma mater Columbia you know, other famous liberal arts college with that’s true. But
the problem is is that were ever Middle East studies is taught. Those departments have
become the bailiwick of anti-Zionists who spread some of these negative attitudes. And
these really false ideas about Jews and about Israel. And that’s really tough to combat
so we get to the point and sometimes I think all of us on this panel are asked how do we
prepare. Young Jews to face this kind of dilemma. And yes they have to know the facts they have
to know you know what are myths what are wrong they have to be armed with the information.
But the truth is when faced with this kind of a situation. We have to start with — One
quality that would resonate for those who grew up in the era of the Soviet Jewry movement.
And that is the courage to speak up. That’s the hardest thing it’s hard for people in
general society it’s hard for those of us who even. Do this for a living it’s really
hard for students and yet that is those are the qualities that I think. Those of us who
are involved in this fight have to model. And quite frankly it’s the message that the
United States government the department justice in everywhere has to send out that you have
to have the courage to speak up for what is right. And against hateful stereotypes that
seek to target Jews. Alyza Lewin
Some I’m just going to build oln that and maybe it goes toward your third question which
is one of the things that we are doing at the Brandeis center is we are training our
law students. Because we realize that the undergraduates not only do you need to know
the history the information but you need to understand your legal rights. And undergraduates
don’t understand they don’t know their legal rights and they don’t call lawyers so what
we decided to do is train law students to be able to work with the undergraduates. To
give them that confidence to give them that courage to speak up and we’ve created essentially
a curriculum which gives them a little bit of the first amendment. law it gives them
information about academic freedom and about title six of the Civil Rights Act so that
they can then turn around and go we call it jigsaw our justice initiative guiding student
activists worldwide. And that’s what we do on the student end to try and help the undergraduates
have that confidence and then give them the ability to articulate and describe what’s
happening and the how the discrimination is taking place on campus so that we can then
use. The legal tools we have and we’re also on the administrative side putting together
what we called guidelines essentially guidelines for the university administrators explaining
to them so that they can understand and see and comprehend what’s really happening. On
the campuses that they understand how this is an attack on the Zionists not Jews but
Zionists and how this is isolating and ostracizing Zionists and denying them there a place and
their society on campus. And we are putting together guidelines with actual concrete steps
that universities can take to try and address the situation and one of the first things
that I think they could do was there was. In the lawsuit that was brought against San
Francisco State University by the law fair project they settled that case one of the
first items in the settlement was a requirement that the university issue a statement recognizing
that Zionism is a key part of the identity. Of many of the students on their campus the
truth is all universities ought to be issuing that kind of statement in order to give the
confidence and the courage. To the students on campus to know that they can express that
part of their identity that the university supports them in expressing that part of their
identity and that they shouldn’t feel. Intimidated or that they have to hide or shed that part
of who they are. William Jacobson
And I think that the question was — Where is this most prevalent and I’m not sure there’s
any identifying theme? But it certainly is true that many of most of this activity or
much of the activity takes place. At a relatively small number of lead institutions I so that’s
the good news we’re talking about we’re not talking about out of whatever the two thousand
institutions of higher education we’re not talking about. Nineteen hundred where this
is a problem but where is the problem tend to be the elite ones which form are opinion
makers or opinion shapers — And have it get reported in The New York Times get reported
in The Washington Post have an outsized influence on the greater culture. And just running through
the list of Jewish voice for peace students — Groups who signed that — Two thousand
sixteen statement on intersectionality essentially saying that Jews don’t get to participate
in that — Columbia Vassar — Wisconsin Wesleyan. Berkeley Claremont. UCLA U Chicago U Michigan
— At Ann Arbor — And Illinois Champaign Urbana I mean these are elite institutions
and that’s been my experience it it’s worse in terms of where you’re going to send your
children I get that question all the time — I think you need to look into it and you
need to investigate the campus culture. And you need to see how the administration has
reacted to things — And you need to understand that because if you’re going to send your
child to a small two thousand student school which is — You know. Taken by anti-Israel
fervor there’s not a lot of support systems there and there’s not a lot of places to find
their own space — Whereas if you send them to a larger institution there may be other
communities so I think you need to do your research just like. You would do the research
on which school has the best chemistry department or anything else it’s amazing how much time
people will spend going over those things but won’t look into the culture as it relates
to whether a Jewish student can. Express his or her identity on campus so do your research
but clearly there are some more problematic campuses than others.
Charles Small And I just want to add I agree with everything
but also I think we should have to take note. That the public in intellectual discourse
even now in the United States has shifted. Anti-Semitic tropes that were once unimaginable
that they would be gracing the most — Important sort of media of record or even our most important
institutions in our democracy that those tropes are now being discussed. On a regular basis
the fact that the public discourse has shifted so much in such a short period of time I think
reflects on the issues of education what people are learning in universities. And the threats.
That we now face in the universities and now even in our institutions of government and
in the public debate in the media of record I just came from the United Kingdom. They
are several years I think ahead of us here in the United States but the situation is
grave in the UK. It’s teetering on perhaps a momentous decision in the next six to eight
months of on a new prime minister. That is — Having these views of the in the red green
alliance on his understanding of what Israel is what the Jewish people are and what scientists
are. It’s alive and well in the old. Important democracy and that rhetoric is here. And that
should serve as a tremendous warning to all of us in this room.
Claire Murray So what several people brought up the concept
of administrators and what administrator should be doing to address this problem and if. It’s
not I think an altogether intuitive or easy question just because I think we are in a
place probably where all of the things that. Robust discussion on campus and academic freedom
are important values right and as Ms. Lewin said we don’t have hate speech you know barring
sort of incitement of violence we don’t have hate speech laws in our country. Some in public
universities administrators are state actors right so there are first amendment issues
not to go back to the first panel but in private universities that’s not true. But so how should
an administration be. Deft in addressing these problems is it is it by. Being a speaker in
the debate is it by being a regulator of speech is it by being a regulator of conduct — What
is working and what is not working? Jonathan Tobin
I think what doesn’t work. Is when university administrators. Assume a stance of neutrality
about hate speech directed at Jews on their campuses. That has happened all too often
— We go back a decade what happened at the university of California Irvine which was
a much discussed case the Brandeis institute did get a lot of good work on it. But the
message that came through was that the university. Just washed its hands of incidents that actually
lead to violence against Jews and I might say sadly. The administration of the time
similarly wash its hands of the issue wouldn’t prosecute. Or wouldn’t take it seriously.
We’re not asking them to suppress the speech of those with whom we disagree. We’re asking
them to speak up as they would on any other human rights or issue concerning discrimination
against any other group and say no this is not what our university stands. For this is
opposed to the values of free inquiry and what we’re supposed to be if they fail to
do that. Then then it’s just a green light for things to escalate and that’s why we talk
about events instances where Jewish students feel marginalized shunned. Silenced it happens
you know it starts from the leadership. Alyza Lewin
I think that’s right I think the key is that the university has to start condemning anti-Semitic
— Incidents and speech the way they would condemn racist speech not shut it down right
what is the difference if you were to have. A major demonstration in the public square
— Or you have a major demonstration on campus and it is filled with the most vile racist
anti-Semitic rhetoric what’s the difference legally right the speech equally protected
in both places. But if it takes place in the public square the government actually has
no obligation to say anything about the nature of that speech that’s one of the beauties
of our first amendment is you can say it. And it doesn’t matter if it’s racist. You
can say it — But if it happens on the university campus title six does put certain requirements
on the universities they can’t ignore it and the problem that we’re seeing today is that
they’ll condemn the racist speech but they don’t condemn the anti-Semitic speech. And
part of the problem is because they seem to have a difficult time getting their heads
around what is anti-Semitic speech when it comes to the attacks on Zionism. And that’s
why I think it doesn’t have to be so complicated the key issue the crux of the issue was whether
or not you support the right of Jewish self-determination. That has to be the question that is as Judea
Pearl said Zionaphobia. If it’s Zionaphobia it’s anti-Semitic and that needs to be condemned.
That’s what you need to teach and educate the administrators because once that gets
condemned on campus the way racist speeches condemned on campus your Zionists will feel
a little bit more protected. Charles Small
So I would also like to add the first amendment of course is essential we shouldn’t be squashing
— Freedom of expression academic freedom but just by a show of how many people here
ever read Qutb or al-Banna A few. Qutb and al-Banna are the founding intellectuals of
the Muslim Brotherhood. So if we’re going to protect. The first amendment of the constitution
as we should we have to educate ourselves and become fluent and literate on the mind
of our enemy and what’s at stake. The Muslim Brotherhood and I’m choosing my words very
carefully. Took the protocols of the elders of Zion they took antisemitism which was a
European phenomenon not a phenomenon there was discrimination against Jews in the Islamic
world for sure. But not anti-Semitism which is inherently genocidal and emanates from
Europe. It was imported. By various processes that I won’t go into adopted by the Muslim
Brotherhood they took their version their narrow version of Islam and fused it with
— European anti-Semitism and created this sort of reactionary social movement. It advocates
the extermination of the Jews it takes the protocols of the elders of Zion you’re the
most pernicious forms of European anti-Semitism. At the core of its ideology is not the military
wing it’s not the extremists Yusuf al-Qaradawi in these clips in wake up in a bad mood this
is at the core. Of their ideology. So if we’re going to confront it we have to become fluent
and literate in this ideology and understand how to confront it and I think. The founding
fathers of this nation like Jefferson warned that it’s the citizens need to be educated
to protect the democracy. And I think this is a very much a threat to our democratic
principles and not just to the Jewish community on campus.
William Jacobson In terms of the question about whether. What
role should administrators play I certainly don’t think they should be the regulators
of speech At all I think we should be demanding and it seems to be a lot for administrators
is. Equal treatment. And equal enforcement of whatever rules and regulations they have
you could make the argument that a private institution should be able to regulate student
speech and many. Institutions have speech codes. Whether you’re for that or you’re against
that is one issue but if you are going to have those codes. They should be enforced
not just against people who engage in what would be termed racist speech or homophobic
speech but also an anti-Semitic speech again. You could make the argument that shouldn’t
have those at all but they do. And what we see and what the problem is having made a
decision to have that sort of regulation of speech and conduct. It is not equally and
fairly enforced and that’s where I think the focus needs to be because I would argue that
the administration in a more ideal world should do nothing other than preserve the free marketplace
for ideas on campus. And the free market place for speech one of the biggest problems we
have. Is almost any. Israeli speaker is going to get disrupted and shouted down on a U.
S. campus and many pro-Israel speakers will get shouted down and disrupted. And the schools
need to preserve the ability of pro-Israel students to get their speakers on campus and
they need to enforce their codes which don’t permit in most cases, the preventing others
from speaking so. I think that in a better world we would have administrators. Have fewer
regulations not more but to the extent they do have regulations enforce them equally.
Alyza Lewin I think we need to educate the administrators
to be able to distinguish. The groups that. Genuinely want co-existence and so the dialogue
that needs to be fostered on the campus and courage on the campus is the dialogue like
you were saying. That you see the Israelis engaging in all the time. The dialogue about
the actual policies not the demonization of the Zionists not the xenophobic conversation
which is just denying the Jews their right to their. Self-determination in their ancestral
homeland when she can make that. Distinction then you can and encourage constructive dialogue
on campus as opposed to the type of speech that may be taking place that is anti-Semitic
and that just seeks to ostracize isolate. Zionists.
Claire Murray So why it why now why is there a particular
problem now and I I understand that part of what. People have said is that there are organized
efforts — Whether through funding or through — Particular anti-Zionist movements that
are pushing and certain ideologies and certain actions. Are is there a reason that all that
is happening now is that is that to do with. Current events in foreign policy does that
have to do with — Those are state of religiosity in our country what are there are there or
is it just accidental that things are rising now.
Jonathan Tobin I think this issue is bigger than just campuses
is actually bigger than just what’s going on in this country. We’re talking about a
rising tide of anti-Semitism that is sweeping over the globe we are some seventy four years
since at the end of World War. Two the Holocaust its memory has dimmed clearly in Europe and
elsewhere. Things that were unimaginable a few decades ago. Are now imaginable as we
said. Things that were not. Part of the dialogue and things that you would never expect to
see in the New York Times. Just twenty years ago you see there on a regular basis arguments
things are debatable that didn’t used to be debatable. And part of it is you know it’s
this complex virus the great scholar Ruth Weiss spoke of anti-Semitism being the most
successful ideology of the twentieth century. Because it had more. And attached itself to
a number of ideologies fascism Nazism communism. And then radical Islam. All have company and
now we’re in a moment. When radical Islam is spreading when it has there is this strange
alliance especially in Europe? Between radical Islamists and left wing elites. Who both share
— A hatred for Israel. And create an atmosphere in which Jews are marginalized — Fortunately
we live in a country where that is not mainstream dialogue but the one place where it is mainstream
is on college campuses and that’s why we’re dealing with this issue.
Charles Small And if I can just pick up briefly with what
Jonathan said and that’s very important. I think like the totalitarian movements of the
past where the Jew is the quintessential bogeyman or the other and the focus was to put be put
on the Jew on their business practices how they stick together. You know their culture
their race was focusing on the Jew while the totalitarians. Try to take over and dominate
society. So political Islam is doing the same thing it’s focusing on the Israelis focusing
on the Zionists focusing on the Jew. And while everybody’s looking over here and is afraid
to speak out against it which is problematic in and of itself. While everybody’s focused
on design is this really the true look at what’s happening in the world. You can even
make an argument that contemporary antisemitism’s greatest victim are Muslims. Muslims in the
Middle East who are. Engaged in horrible conflicts — Throughout the region. So everybody focuses
on Netanyahu Zionists the Israelis and the Jews and we’re distracted from the real human
rights catastrophe that is taking place as we speak. So again the totalitarian views
the Jew as a scapegoat while there’s very serious issues to be addressed.
William Jacobson I think the issue of why does it seem to be
getting worse on campuses. Does have to do. In part with our domestic political situation
where – anti conservative anti-Republican and anti-Trump politics on campuses has come
to dominate — And the issue of support for Israel — Has gotten intertwined with that
— I think there’s no denying that — And certainly among the student activist. Groups.
Those two have become intertwined so if you want — To bring everybody together on campus
— You combine — Anti-Israel politics with the anti-Trump politics — And you automatically
have a coalition of you know a large percentage of the student activist groups. And so I think
there is something to that — Whether that’s accurate whether it’s justified is a different
discussion but I think that is a phenomenon that’s going on the campuses where anti trump
politics — Has been exploited by anti-Israel groups as a way of building coalitions and
I think that’s why things do seem to be accelerating in the past couple of years.
Alyza Lewin I do think that this is the reason why now
is that this is the modern evolution of the world’s oldest hatred of anti-Semitism — As
Erwin Cutler said the traditional anti-Semitism sought to deny the chew his place in society
this new anti-Semitism is seeking to deny the Jewish collective. The state of Israel
its place in the society of nations Yossi Klein Halevi at one point. Put it really well
he was talking about how the way anti-Semitism works is that it turns the Jew into the symbol
and this is what I think Charles is saying too everybody here it’s been saying. That
the Jew becomes the symbol of whatever it is that at that point civilization defines
as its most loathsome qualities. So he said that — Under Christianity and before the
Holocaust the Jew was a Christ killer odd during — The Nazis the Jew was the race polluter
— the Jew under communism the Jewish the capitalist and now what we see in our civilization
today well we live in a civilization where. And this is again Yossi Klein Halevi quoted
he says the most loathsome qualities are racism colonialism. Apartheid and lo and behold the
greatest defender in the world today. With all the beautiful countries in the world is
the Jewish state and that’s why we have what’s happening now today.
Claire Murray I’d like to I was hoping end on a slightly
more a higher note that. But maybe the higher note to end on is that there are. Thoughtful
smart people who are thinking about this and who are engaged in the problem and it is not
going unseen — So I’d like to thank all of our panelists for being here today.
John Gore Thank you to Claire and our panelists for
an insightful and thought provoking discussion. We will now break for lunch. Information regarding
kosher options in the area is available on the registration table in the back. Non-kosher
options are available in the justice cafe and escorts are available to assist you. Please
leave yourself enough time to be back in your seats and clear security — At two PM when
we will promptly reconvene at two PM.

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