Since schools, including universities and colleges, are working largely online with their students with very limited in-person events, is the gathering and collaborating sinister powers the propagate anti-Israel, anti-Zionism and as a result, Anti-Semitism at all at bay during these difficult times?
Remote, virtual, or in-person, the virus of hate seems to spread in any venue, unfortunately.
For an example of sly bias and agenda, on Harvard University’s school of divinity website, professors have their biographies posted. Likely, most professors wrote their own bios for posting.
The biography of Rami Younis, a Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative Fellow in the 2019–20 session, says, “He is one of the founders of the Palestinian activist group Khotweh, which was active on the issues of home demolitions and Palestinian identity in Lyd and Ramle, mixed Jewish-Arab cities in occupied Palestine. ”
Lyd and Ramle are Israeli cities, well within the Green Line and not in the territories. Thus, this is implying that all Israel is a colonizing occupier. The bio also notes that Younis is a “Palestinian member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi,” implying, or one could then infer, that all Arab citizens of Israel are Palestinian.
At the University of Windsor, in Ontario, Canada, a fraternity was discovered to be behind an antisemitic chat room.
DePaul University in Chicago is having a month-long celebration of Palestinians including honoring many terrorists upon whose hands is much innocent blood.
Stanford University’s Professor Palumbo-Liu, nicknamed Stanford’s most “radical professor” is a self-professed supporter of the anti-Semitic BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction), has been appointed a “free speech on campus” policy maker.
However, on the flip side,
The University of Toronto, about which I have reported on a few times in the last few years, has had a history of antisemitic events and Jewish students experiencing overt hostilities on campus. The University of Toronto has launched an Anti-Semitism Working Group to examine and address anti-Semitism on campus – and to ensure the university is an inclusive and welcoming place for Jewish members of its community.
The working group will review the processes and practices in place to address anti-Semitism on the universities three campuses and develop a framework to support the university’s response to the issue. It will recommend ways to improve education about anti-Semitism and responses to anti-Semitic incidents, as well as propose new programs and initiatives to eliminate anti-Semitism on-campus.
What are steps to be taken? If we all understand The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Antisemitism and apply it equally throughout society, I think this would be a tangible step in providing a frame work and context for identifying antisemitism and then discovering tangible ways to combat it. By keeping this definition in the public conversation, it will also, in my opinion, help ordinary folks be able to not just recognize antisemitism when they encounter it, but keep a context by which beyond recognizing it, folks will be repelled by it.
At Northeastern University in Boston, The Student Government Association has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, becoming one of the first large private universities in the United States to do so.
New York University has also adopted it, perhaps not as willingly, as part of a settlement with the US department of Education.
Remember that the US Federal Governmental ready recognizes the IHRA definition.
Meanwhile, overseas, the UK the Labour Party, who just recently purged itself of its most outspoken antisemitic member, Jeremy Corbyn, is taking steps to revive its moral fabric including (under Keir Starmer’s leadership) working to eradicate antisemitism within the movement. In taking steps to reject antisemitism and antisemitic views in society noting that universities have a clear role to play. The Union of Jewish Students reported earlier this year that only 1/5th of UK universities had adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. Seventeen planned to discuss adoption at a formal meeting – and some have since adopted the definition – but a further 80 reported no plans to take action.
The Labour party wants to change this!
This is a cross-party issue as well. The Office for Students – the regulatory body for UK universities – has announced that it will explore what practical steps can be taken to ensure wider adoption of the IHRA definition across universities because failing to identify antisemitism consistently and effectively within universities, by failing to adopt the definition, is a disservice to education as a whole and to the students, faculty, staff and even the communities in which these universities exist.
The European union is encouraging all who have not yet adopted it to adopt it to adopt it!
If you have not read it, please Google “International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism” and give it a good study. It is the most specific and focused working definition upon which society can effectively identify, judge, and combat this form of systemic hate and bigotry.
This is real progress!
Shavua Tov. Have a great week.