Yeshiva University, Gay Rights, and the Dangers of Imposed Inclusion

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a much-awaited ruling on universities’ use of affirmative action. But the admissions policies discussed in this decision have become only part of a broader regime on campus that goes by the label Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Tal Fortgang explores the last element in the trio, and distinguishes between a salutary and a destructive interpretation of its meaning, and the latter’s effect on religious institutions:

Collaborative inclusion applies to all kinds of people who may lack access to education, jobs, or other goods, whether they face barriers because of their race, sex, disabilities, or something else. It encourages building ramps next to the stairs, letting Jews join the tennis club, and treating your gay colleagues as equals. Crucially, though, it does not ask institutions to change their most important constitutive characteristics.

Under the guise of collaborative inclusion, which is rooted in values of equality, opportunity, and dignity, a second model often sneaks by. Let us call this one imposed inclusion. . . . It subordinates the value of individual achievement to equality of outcome and fails to recognize the good in institutions that must exclude people or ideas that will not advance their mission. The core tenet of imposed inclusion is that if any kind of participation produces or perpetuates inequalities, it has not gone far enough.

It is the latter vision that has led a New York court to demand that Yeshiva University, an Orthodox school, give funding and status to a club for homosexual and transexual students:

YU would have been able to countenance a collaborative inclusion approach. It has affirmed its policy of welcoming gay students as equal members of its community. By all accounts, it is committed to treating all its students, no matter their identities, with respect, and providing access to its unique fusion of Jewish tradition and modern higher education. That is, unless you change the definition of “respect” and “access” to include a requirement that the school endorse ideas and behaviors it considers contrary to its mission of religious education. And YU insists that allowing the club would be doing just that.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Freedom of Religion, Homosexuality, Yeshiva University


The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7