Last week Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life canceled a planned speech by Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely—a member of the Likud party and an ally of Benjamin Netanyahu—in response to objections from anti-Zionist groups. (It later apologized for its action.) Jonathan Tobin comments:
One of the [frequently heard] complaints about the organized Jewish community is that it is silencing criticism of Israel. Left-wingers paint a dismal picture of a Jewish community in denial about Israel’s sins and determined to squelch debate about the peace process or controversial issues like settlements. . . .
[But it was the] Alliance for Jewish Progressives—a campus left-wing group—[that] ginned up an indictment of [Hotovely] as some sort of extremist because she had dared to call out the Palestinian Authority for its attempt to erase Jewish history and ties to Jerusalem. They claim anyone who supports the Jewish presence across the Green Line or in parts of Jerusalem is, by definition, a racist. They were also upset that the [Center for Jewish Life] had refused to sponsor appearances by anti-Zionists or those whose presentation consisted of slanders of the IDF for its efforts to halt Palestinian terror. . . .
The lesson here is that the conventional wisdom about the plight of critics of Zionism is a myth. On campuses, it is those who speak up for the Jewish state who are often the ones being shut up. The atmosphere at many, if not most institutions of higher learning is one of intense hostility to pro-Israel advocates. . . .
Instead of crying crocodile tears about Israel-haters being silenced, it’s time for Jews to face up to the way the rising tide of anti-Semitism sweeping across the globe has spread to our shores. That is a grim reality about which we dare not be silent.
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