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.

Read more at Hedgehog Review

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

 

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict