Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Suggests that Israel Cages Palestinian Children

At a recent campaign event sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in Austin, Texas, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (popularly known as AOC) was heckled by pro-Palestinian protesters. In an attempt to defend herself, she said, among other things, “I don’t believe that a child should be in a cage on [America’s] border, and I don’t believe a child should be in a cage in the West Bank.” She did not, however, offer up any evidence of West Bank children being placed in cages. Cortez also claimed that “Palestine is basically a banned word. It’s censored. . . . And we shouldn’t allow people’s humanity to be censored.” Carl Campanille reports on the Jewish community’s response to Cortez’s remarks:

Michael Nussbaum, president of the Queens Jewish Community Council, said that AOC’s inflammatory anti-Israel rhetoric appeals to Jew hatred. “AOC is always asking for the ‘other side’ to understand her positions and that of the DSA and the BDS followers who wish to eliminate Israel from the Middle East map,” he said.

“If you wish to have a real discussion, the Queens Jewish Community Council is willing to engage you in an honest and open conversation,” he added. “We will defend Israel, you will have to defend the indefensible, . . . lies and distortions that spew hate and anti-Semitism.”

He credited her with making an effort recently to have a dialogue with Jewish leaders in the borough.

“But I’m disappointed in the comments she made in Texas. This is not an isolated incident. It’s a continuation,” Nussbaum said. A representative for Ocasio-Cortez issued a statement defending her “cage” remark.

Read more at New York Post

More about: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, American Jewry, Anti-Zionism

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus