Would you let David Duke teach a class on African-American history? How about Anita Bryant starting an LGBTQ studies program? Beyond incomprehensible—the makings of a Saturday Night Live skit. But this is no laughing matter. This insanity is a reality, and your children are being indoctrinated.
George Smith despises Israel. The University of Missouri (Mizzou) biology professor has called the creation of the Jewish State “a shameful chapter in Jewish history.” Smith finds humor in Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli citizens. When Sderot (Israel) resident Noam Bedein came to Mizzou to discuss the nearly 13,000 rockets Hamas has fired, killing and injuring the people of Sderot, Smith showed up and distributed fliers that mocked the attacks—justifying terrorism because the average Palestinian has to “go through a checkpoint every time he has to take a sh*t.”
But in their infinite wisdom, university officials at Mizzou felt that Smith’s decades-long history of denouncing the Jewish State and its right to exist did not disqualify him from being a fair and objective lecturer on Israel’s history. They also saw no need for him to have any formal education or expertise in Middle East studies. Mr. Smith, a scientist, was approved to teach … wait for it … Perspectives on Zionism.
Your eyes are not deceiving you. A class about Zionism, the belief that the Jewish people have a G-d-given right, affirmed by international law, to a country of their own and that that country belongs in the biblical Land of Israel, will be taught by a completely unqualified faculty member who calls the establishment of Israel the “Palestinian Holocaust.”
However, leave it to the students to see through a college’s progressive agenda and academic malfeasance to right a wrong.
As reported by JNS.org, Perspectives on Zionism, which was scheduled to be taught by self-proclaimed “post-Zionist and Nakba [catastrophe] Jew-in-law” George Smith, was nixed due to no enrollment, according to a June 10 announcement.
With Israel under siege on college campuses, often in the form of blatant anti-Semitism, don’t tell me no students were interested in this course. Students associated with pro-Israel organizations such as Christians United for Israel, StandWithUs and Students Supporting Israel sprang into action and educated their peers on the absurdly offensive nature of this course.
Where the Mizzou administrators failed, the students prevailed.
In keeping with the new tradition in academia of excusing anti-Semitism and the delegitimizing of Israel under the banner of “progressive thinking,” the University of California, Riverside was comfortable with blatant anti-Semites teaching a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Student Tina Matar, who heads the UCR chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, an organization dedicated to the elimination of Israel, was teaching the course. The course’s faculty sponsor was English professor David Lloyd, founder of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
This class was so blatantly one-sided that the non-partisan Verity Educate, a nonprofit group that analyzes the accuracy and objectivity of classroom curricula, determined that the course’s “written material, particularly Dr. Steven Salaita’s ‘Israel’s Dead Soul,’ raises extremely serious questions about whether the course itself contributes to anti-Semitism.”
Billed as seeking to “contextualize” ISIS’s formation and actions, the two professors engaged in nonsense that should have incited the audience to question how they ever were awarded degrees.
The offensive nature of this course was part and parcel of the epidemic of anti-Semitism that has engulfed the 10-school UC education system in recent years, from Holocaust imagery appearing on campuses, to a Jewish student’s religious identity becoming an issue disqualifying her from serving on student government.
To say UCR timing in conjunction with their asinine judgment was abhorrent may be an understatement.
But it’s not just anti-Semitism and disdain for Israel being promoted by academia. Apparently beheading Christians, throwing gays off buildings and turning women into sex slaves is also hunky-dory.
As my colleague and professor emeritus, Abraham H. Miller, wrote last week in The Washington Times:
“If you want to understand why academicians are often society’s court jesters, then the program titled, ‘ISIS – An Historical Perspective,’ presented at the University of California, Santa Barbara last month, would have gone a long way toward providing an explanation.
“Up to bat in defense of Islamic extremism and to absolve the Islamic State of the brutality that daily lacerates the sensitivities of civilized human beings were assistant professor of history Sherene Seikaly and her colleague, professor Adam Sabra.
“Billed as seeking to ‘contextualize’ ISIS’s formation and actions, the two professors engaged in nonsense that should have incited the audience to question how they ever were awarded degrees.”
Ms. Seikaly and Mr. Sabra are in good company when it comes to excusing terrorism and blaming America. Earlier this month, Drexel University in Philadelphia gave an honorary degree to Noam Chomsky. The MIT linguistics professor (emeritus) has embraced, literally, the Iranian terror group Hezbollah and has called the principles of Hamas as “preferable to the policies of America and Israel.” Hamas charter calls for the annihilation of the Jewish State and Jewish people.
“That’s the reason they’re called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked, “because they lessen from day to day.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By the way, your kid’s tuition payment is due next month.
Paul Miller is executive director of the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. Follow him on twitter @pauliespoint.