Anti-Israel Student Groups Make Inroads at McGill and Tufts

April 7 2022

The Students’ Society at McGill University in Montreal recently voted to adopt a “Palestine Solidarity Policy,” proposed by the student club Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. At the Tufts University campus in Massachusetts, meanwhile, Students for Justice in Palestine launched a “Justice Through BDS” campaign, publishing a manifesto in the campus newspaper. Richard Cravatts details of these and other actions by student groups, as well as their pernicious effects on university culture.

At McGill University, anti-Israel sentiment is already so endemic that the university’s student newspaper, the McGill Daily, refuses to run any content that is pro-Israel or defends Zionism or the Jewish state. And a 2021 editorial, seeming to speak on behalf of the whole student body, denounced Israel’s purported “colonialism, imperialism, and genocide in all forms”; condemned “McGill’s Zionist involvement, which is reflected in their continued investment in Israeli and international businesses located on occupied Palestinian land”; and claimed that the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is nothing short of apartheid.”

A small core of radical students, obsessively agitating against Israel, Zionism, and the many alleged predations of the Jewish state, have infected not only McGill’s press but also, apparently, its student government, pushing through the latest in a string of anti-Israel resolutions meant to slander, defame, and delegitimize Israel and its supporters on campus. It also calls for the McGill community actively and resolutely to participate in boycotts against and divestment from campus-related businesses allegedly involved in any way with Israel.

On the Tufts University campus in Massachusetts, students have been consistently harangued by anti-Israel activism similar to that on display at McGill, orchestrated by Tuft’s chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine. In March, for example, the group announced its own version of a proposed boycott of Israel-linked businesses, organizations, and sponsors. The group called “on students to show their support for Palestinian liberation through personal choices—namely, refusing to buy products or participate in groups that enable and normalize Zionist settler colonialism.”

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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