In the Name of Equity, a College Decides That It Has No Room for a Jewish Student Group

A self-described “liberal feminist,” Anna Keating thought she would be a good fit for the role of Catholic chaplain in a small, progressive liberal-arts college. But she eventually discovered that the school’s adoption of what has come to be called “antiracism” created an environment inimical to any Catholic—or Jewish—student activities, and perhaps to religion altogether:

The drive to eliminate “whiteness,” masculinity, and “heteronormativity” on college campuses has made entire religious traditions suspect, particularly those that are absurdly lumped together as part of “Western spirituality”—despite the inconvenient fact that the majority of the world’s one billion Catholics are neither white nor Western, or that Judaism includes African and [Middle Eastern] and other non-European peoples.

Most people certainly don’t think that leveling group difference means tinkering with the religious demographics of an institution. But college administrators made it clear to me that members of certain religious groups were overrepresented on campus. This was why the college wanted to get rid of chaplaincy programs. . . . Inequity, [in the understanding embraced by campus administrators], means any difference among ethnic groups that isn’t reflected in the racial demographics of the United States.

How does this relate to religion? I didn’t think that it did. But [my supervisor] decided that because Jews—being a tiny percentage of the U.S. population—are overrepresented in higher education generally, and at the college where I worked in particular, antiracism in this instance required that the number of Jewish students be reduced. Moreover, because there were 60 students at Shabbat and only a handful of Muslim students on campus, the Jewish group should not exist.

In the hermetically sealed world of campus progressivism, the fact that all of this sounds more than a little anti-Semitic is mostly ignored. So is the idea that religion may have something to offer that wellness programs, for example, cannot. And that is precisely what the administration planned to replace the chaplaincy program with.

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Read more at Hedgehog Review

More about: Academia, American Religion, Anti-Semitism, Secularism

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror