A Recent Victory over Students for Justice in Palestine Shows How Campus Anti-Semitism Can Be Beaten

March 11 2021

Last fall, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)—one of the most vicious organizations of its kind—sought to introduce an anti-Israel referendum at Tufts University. Max Price tried to use his role on the student government to combat the effort, with sadly predictable results, as Jonathan Tobin recounts:

Price’s treatment—not just by SJP but also others in student government—was outrageous. Not only was he subjected to profane insults but he was also forced to sit through student-government meetings in which he was questioned about his Jewish background and beliefs. At a Zoom meeting during which the referendum was discussed, he was muted and literally prevented from speaking. The message from the student government and from a university administration that stood by silently as Price suffered these insults was clear: if you are a pro-Israel Jew, you are going to be treated as a racist advocate of white supremacy who must be marginalized, rather than respected and heard.

While this sequence of events is hardly exceptional, Price’s reaction was not. Rather than simply resign from student government, or relent under pressure, he got legal representation from a nonprofit specializing in such matters, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which accused the university of a Title VI violation:

What followed was what usually happens when bullies are challenged. Rather than face a lawsuit or the escalation of this fight into something much bigger than a simple case of successful intimidation, SJP gave up. It withdrew its effort to throw Price out of his student-government post.

Not every student can be expected to be as tough or to suffer the kind of opprobrium to which Price was subjected by BDS supporters. But if we are to end the idea that it’s always open season on Jews who care about Israel on college campuses, then we are going to need more young men and women who can learn from his example.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, Students for Justice in Palestine

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter