On Dec. 19, 2013, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed written by University President Michael Roth denouncing the recent American Studies Association’s (ASA) resolution to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. One section of Roth’s article, in which he encouraged others to speak out against the ASA resolution, has elicited significant backlash from students and alumni.
“As president of Wesleyan, and as a historian, I deplore this politically retrograde resolution of the American Studies [Association],” Roth wrote in the article. “Under the guise of phony progressivism, the group has initiated an irresponsible attack on academic freedom. Others in academia should reject this call for an academic boycott.”
In response, a number of University alumni published a petition questioning Roth’s statement and listing the omissions they observed in his condemnation of the ASA resolution.
“[Roth’s] editorial did not address the academic freedom of Palestinian scholars and students, who are routinely denied access to teaching, travel, and free speech,” the alumni petition reads. “It also did not address the academic freedom of American scholars who work with Palestinians, or who speak and write in support of BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions], although that freedom is now under threat in New York State and beyond.”
The petition describes Roth’s involvement in divestment rallies and boycotts when he was a student at the University and questions his current actions in light of his past beliefs. It goes on to denounce the claim that Roth’s statement encompasses the beliefs of the student body and the University alumni.
“President Roth does not speak in our names when he calls on academics to reject the boycott without first informing themselves of the issues and familiarizing themselves with the intellectually rigorous and democratically accountable manner in which the ASA, together with a growing number of academic organizations, reached their decision,” reads the petition.
The petition has been signed by over 150 alumni, including many who are members of the ASA. Evan Weber ’13, one alumnus who signed the petition, described the formation of a group of concerned alumni after recent events at the University.
“There was a spurt of organizing by alumni/ae around the Administration’s reaction to de-gendering of bathrooms by trans* student activists and their allies,” Weber wrote in an email to The Argus. “After seeing how effective alumni/ae response was in potentially weakening the ultimate sanctions for the students, several alumni/ae decided it would be useful to start creating a sort of ‘progressive’ alumni organizing community to respond to campus issues and support student activism.”
Anwar Batte ’13 was another alumnus who signed the petition.
“Signing onto this statement seemed like a small but significant way to counter President Roth’s defense of the military occupation of Palestine while reminding the Wesleyan community that wealthy corporate heads like our President and Board of Trustees don’t speak for all of us—and never will,” Batte wrote in an email to The Argus.
Weber echoed Batte’s rejection of Roth’s opinion as a representation of the University’s values.
“Just as President Roth notes that ‘not all those in academia agree with ASA’s action,’ not all ambassadors of the Wesleyan brand disagree with their action and I think it’s unfair of President Roth to leverage his association with the University to make his point,” Weber wrote. “I signed the letter because I think it’s important that alternative voices are heard as well.”
On Jan. 4, University parent and UCLA professor Robin D. G. Kelley published an article in opposition to Roth’s op-ed titled “Defending Zionism Under the Cloak of Academic Freedom.” It was published on mondoweiss.net, a website that covers news surrounding American foreign policy in the Middle East. Kelley’s article names some of the same inconsistencies in Roth’s argument as the alumni petition.
“I did expect a more considered and intellectually honest disagreement from the president of Wesleyan University—a world-class institution with a long and distinguished record of teaching (and doing) social justice, grounded in an internationalist, humanist vision of liberal arts education; a school to which I gave nearly a quarter of a million dollars of my hard-earned academic salary so that my daughter (class of 2012) could learn what it means to be an informed, critical, engaged citizen of the world,” Kelley wrote in the article.
Some alumni who signed the petition agreed with parts of Roth’s stance, but resented the way in which he presented his argument.
“I can’t say that I support the boycott itself,” Mickey Capper ’13 wrote in an email to The Argus. “I do find it embarrassing, though, to read an op-ed from my alma mater’s president that seems more interested in using big words to strike a firm stance than addressing the central issue (Palestinian intellectual freedom) thoughtfully. I stand by my signature condemning Roth’s repugnant procrastination from drafting an actionable plan to return to a need-blind admissions policy.”
Capper amended that it is unclear whether or not the ASA boycott will allow increased access to academic institutions in Israel.
“Both sides of the argument claim they are fighting for academic freedom, but it’s hard to know whether the constraints on Israel’s academic institutions will result in more flexibility for Palestinian academics,” Capper wrote.

  • Anonymous

    “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking
    anti-Semitism.”

    – Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvard University 1968.

    • Ariel Sharon

      TEN QUESTIONS TO THE ZIONISTS
      BY RABBI MICHAEL DOV WEISSMANDL ZT”L
      DEAN OF NITRA YESHIVA AND AUTHOR OF MIN HAMETZAR
      (Published by the author in 1948 and reprinted many times)

      1.IS IT TRUE that in 1941 and again in 1942, the German Gestapo offered all European Jews transit to Spain, if they would relinquish all their property in Germany and Occupied France; on condition that:
      a) none of the deportees travel from Spain to Palestine; and
      b) all the deportees be transported from Spain to the USA or British colonies, and there to remain; with entry visas to be arranged by the Jews living there; and
      c) $1000.00 ransom for each family to be furnished by the Agency, payable upon the arrival of the family at the Spanish border at the rate of 1000 families daily.2.IS IT TRUE that the Zionist leaders in Switzerland and Turkey received this offer with the clear understanding that the exclusion of Palestine as a destination for the deportees was based on an agreement between the Gestapo and the Mufti.3.IS IT TRUE that the answer of the Zionist leaders was negative, with the following comments:
      a) ONLY Palestine would be considered as a destination for the deportees.
      b) The European Jews must accede to suffering and death greater in measure than the other nations, in order that the victorious allies agree to a “Jewish State” at the end of the war.
      c) No ransom will be paid4.IS IT TRUE that this response to the Gestapo’s offer was made with the full knowledge that the alternative to this offer was the gas chamber.5.IS IT TRUE that in 1944, at the time of the Hungarian deportations, a similar offer was made, whereby all Hungarian Jewry could be saved.6.IS IT TRUE that the same Zionist hierarchy again refused this offer (after the gas chambers had already taken a toll of millions).7.IS IT TRUE that during the height of the killings in the war, 270 Members of the British Parliament proposed to evacuate 500,000 Jews from Europe, and resettle them in British colonies, as a part of diplomatic negotiations with Germany.8.IS IT TRUE that this offer was rejected by the Zionist leaders with the observation “Only to Palestine!”9.IS IT TRUE that the British government granted visas to 300 rabbis and their families to the Colony of Mauritius, with passage for the evacuees through Turkey. The “Jewish Agency” leaders sabotaged this plan with the observation that the plan was disloyal to Palestine, and the 300 rabbis and their families should be gassed.10.IS IT TRUE that during the course of the negotiations mentioned above, Chaim Weitzman, the first “Jewish statesman” stated: “The most valuable part of the Jewish nation is already in Palestine, and those Jews living outside Palestine are not too important”. Weitzman’s cohort, Greenbaum, amplified this statement with the observation “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe”.There are additional similar questions to be asked of these atheist degenerates known as “Jewish statesmen”, but for the time being let them respond to the ten questions.

      These Zionist “statesmen” with their great foresight, sought to bring an end two two-thousand years of Divinely ordained Jewish subservience and political tractability. With their offensive militancy, they fanned the fires of anti-Semitism in Europe, and succeeded in forging a bond of Jew-hatred between Nazi-Germany and the surrounding countries.

      These are the “statesmen” who organized the irresponsible boycott against Germany in 1933. This boycott hurt Germany like a fly attacking an elephant – but it brought calamity upon the Jews of Europe. At a time when America and England were at peace with the mad-dog Hitler, the Zionist “statesmen” forsook the only plausible method of political amenability; and with their boycott incensed the leader of Germany to a frenzy. And then, after the bitterest episode in Jewish history, these Zionist “statesmen” lured the broken refugees in the DP camps to remain in hunger and deprivation, and to refuse relocation to any place but Palestine; only for the purpose of building their State.

      The Zionist “statesmen” have incited and continue to incite an embittered Jewish youth to futile wars against world powers like England, and against masses of hundreds of millions of Arabs.

      These same “statesmen” heedless push the world to the brink of another total war – revolving entirely around the holy land.

      http://www.nkusa.org/aboutus/zionism/judaism_isnot_zionism.cfm
      http://www.jewsnotzionists.org/differencejudzion.html
      http://www.truetorahjews.org/

      • Anonymous

        Wackjobs of the world unite.
        You, Ariel, are one of the united, but good news: They make meds for “united” people like you. You should have no problem getting prescriptions.

      • Ariel Sharon

        Zionist responsibility for the Holocaust is threefold:

        a. The Holocaust was a punishment for disrespecting The Three Oaths (see Talmud, Tractate Kesubos p. 111a).

        b. Zionist leaders openly withheld support, both financially and otherwise, to save their fellow brothers and sisters from a cruel death.

        c. The leaders of the Zionist movement cooperated with Hitler and his cohorts on many occasions and in many ways.

        President Roosevelt convened the Evian conference July 6-15 1938, to deal with the Jewish refugee problem. The Jewish Agency delegation headed by Golda Meir (Meirson) ignored a German offer to allow Jews to emigrate to other countries for $250 a head, and the Zionists made no effort to influence the United States and the 32 other countries attending the conference to allow immigration of German and Austrian Jews.
        [Source]

        On Feb 1, 1940 Henry Montor executive vice-President of the United Jewish Appeal refused to intervene for a shipload of Jewish refugees stranded on the Danube river, stating that “Palestine cannot be flooded with… old people or with undesirables.”
        [Source]

        It is an historical fact that in 1941 and again in 1942, the German Gestapo offered all European Jews transit to Spain, if they would relinquish all their property in Germany and Occupied France; on condition that:
        a) none of the deportees travel from Spain to Palestine; and
        b) all the deportees be transported from Spain to the USA or British colonies, and there to remain; with entry visas to be arranged by the Jews living there; and
        c) $1000.00 ransom for each family to be furnished by the Agency, payable upon the arrival of the family at the Spanish border at the rate of 1000 families daily.

        The Zionist leaders in Switzerland and Turkey received this offer with the clear understanding that the exclusion of Palestine as a destination for the deportees was based on an agreement between the Gestapo and the Mufti.

        The answer of the Zionist leaders was negative, with the following comments:
        a) ONLY Palestine would be considered as a destination for the deportees.
        b) The European Jews must accede to suffering and death greater in measure than the other nations, in order that the victorious allies agree to a “Jewish State” at the end of the war.
        c) No ransom will be paid
        This response to the Gestapo’s offer was made with the full knowledge that the alternative to this offer was the gas chamber.

        These treacherous Zionist leaders betrayed their own flesh and blood. Zionism was never an option for Jewish salvation. Quite the opposite, it was a formula for human beings to be used as pawns for the power trip of several desperadoes. A perfidy! A betrayal beyond description!

        In 1944, at the time of the Hungarian deportations, a similar offer was made, whereby all Hungarian Jewry could be saved. The same Zionist hierarchy again refused this offer (after the gas chambers had already taken a toll of millions).

        The British government granted visas to 300 rabbis and their families to the Colony of Mauritius, with passage for the evacuees through Turkey. The “Jewish Agency” leaders sabotaged this plan with the observation that the plan was disloyal to Palestine, and the 300 rabbis and their families should be gassed.

        On December 17, 1942 both houses of the British Parliament declared its readiness to find temporary refuge for endagered persons. The British Parliament proposed to evacuate 500,000 Jews from Europe, and resettle them in British colonies, as a part of diplomatic negotiations with Germany. This motion received within two weeks a total of 277 Parliamentary signatures. On Jan. 27, when the next steps were being pursued by over 100 M.P.’s and Lords, a spokesman for the Zionists announced that the Jews would oppose the motion because Palestine was ommitted.
        [Source]

        On Feb. 16, 1943 Roumania offered 70,000 Jewish refugees of the Trans-Dniestria to leave at the cost of $50 each. This was publicized in the New York papers.
        Yitzhak Greenbaum, Chairman of the Rescue Committee of the Jewish Agency, addressing the Zionist Executive Council in Tel Aviv Feb. 18 1943 said, “when they asked me, “couldn’t you give money out of the United Jewish Appeal funds for the rescue of Jews in Europe, I said NO! and I say again, NO!…one should resist this wave which pushes the Zionist activities to secondary importance.”
        On Feb. 24, 1943 Stephen Wise, President of the American Jewish Congress and leader of the American Zionists issued a public refusal to this offer and declared no collection of funds would seem justified.
        In 1944, the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People called upon the American government to establish a War Refugee Board. Stephen Wise testifying before a special committeeof Congress objected to this proposal.
        [Source]

        During the course of the negotiations mentioned above, Chaim Weizman, the first “Jewish statesman” stated: “The most valuable part of the Jewish nation is already in Palestine, and those Jews living outside Palestine are not too important”. Weizman’s cohort, Greenbaum, amplified this statement with the observation “One cow in Palestine is worth more than all the Jews in Europe”.

        And then, after the bitterest episode in Jewish history, these Zionist “statesmen” lured the broken refugees in the DP camps to remain in hunger and deprivation, and to refuse relocation to any place but Palestine; only for the purpose of building their State.

        In 1947 Congressman William Stration sponsored a bill to immediately grant entry to the United States of 400,000 displaced persons. The bill was not passed after it was publicly denounced by the Zionist leadership.
        [Source]

        These facts are read with consternation and unbearable shame. How can it be explained that at a time during the last phase of the war, when the Nazis were willing to barter Jews for money, partly because of their desires to establish contact with the Western powers which, they believed, were under Jewish influence, how was it possible one asks that the self-proclaimed “Jewish leaders” did not move heaven and earth to save the last remnant of their brothers?

  • Anonymous

    “Criticism of Israeli government policy is not in and of itself
    necessarily anti-Semitic. But what else can we call criticism that selectively
    condemns only the Jewish state and effectively denies its right to exist, to
    defend itself while systematically ignoring or excusing the violence and
    oppression all around it?”

  • Anonymous

    While I find it highly questionable that “not a single Israeli academic
    institution has petitioned their government to protect the Palestinian right to
    education,” perhaps that is because they are too busy giving those
    students an education (including building the very Palestinian universities
    that didn’t exist until the start of the dreaded “Occupation”).

    And the accusation that Palestinians students are “forced to remain
    silent or face persecution” would be news indeed to that Tel Aviv
    University graduate student Omar Barhouti who has not only benefited from being enrolled in a world class Israeli university (a subject he would rather not
    discuss or have discussed) but is also free to travel the globe as leader of
    the BDS “movement” calling for the very school he attends to be
    shunned.

    This is type of hypocrisy (one which applies to the author of this piece
    much more than those she criticizes) that is not just personal but
    institutional within a BDS “movement” which devotes limitless time
    and energy into demonizing Israelis (including Israeli academics) but cannot
    seem to find a moment to help those Palestinians they claim to care for so
    much.

    • Isaiah

      Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

      1. Borat is afraid to fly “in case the Jews repeat their attack of 9/11”.

      a. The Holy Zohar: 3 High Places shall fall down, and the Palace of Strength shall fall on the month of Elul.

      The Holy Zohar at the ‘Balak’ Parasha (Page 212) talks about many matters that are supposed to happen at the latter days. Among other things the Zohar tells us that in the Hebrew month of Elul (which is the 6th Hebrew month according to the Biblical count), within 25 first days of the month, 3 high places will fall in one city.

      The terrorist attack on the US came on Elul 23rd (within the first 25 days…), and it made the two highest towers, the WTC (World Trade Center) twin towers, collapse. Later in the same day WTC7, the 47 storey tower near the twin towers, also collapsed. And we see that that three high places in the same city fell-down on the same day, during the first 25 days of Elul, as the Zohar predicted almost 2000 years ago. Amazing!

      2. “My name a Borat. I come from Kazakhstan. Can I say first, we support your War of Terror! May we show our support to our boys in Iraq! May U.S. and A. kill every single terrorist! May George Bush drink the blood of every single man, woman and child of Iraq! May you destroy their country so that for the next thousand years not even a single lizard will survive in their desert!”

  • Anonymous

    If people are concerned about human rights, I’d be a lot more concerned about the Arab World’s treatment of…
    …women
    …gays
    …Christians
    …and Arabs too.

    • Patriotism

      Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, with blunt vexation at the Jewish-Israeli hold on the United States, said:

      “I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing any­thing down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don’t have any idea what goes on.”

      British MP, Tom Dalyell, echoed these sentiments when he proclaimed, “A Jewish cabal have taken over the government in the United States and formed an unholy alliance with fundamentalist Christians.”

      University of Chicago Professor, John Mersheimer, and Harvard academic Stephen Walt, felt the perilous wrath of the Jew lobby. A vicious smear campaign was launched against them after they published a study exposing the insidious influence of Israeli lobby groups — principally theAmerican-Israel Public Affairs Committee — entitled, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”.

      • Jay

        Your usage of classic anti-semitic slurs like “a Jewish cabal” and “the Jew Lobby” make clear that you despise not only the current Israeli government but also Jews in general. The classic anti-semite sees Jewish power lurking everywhere, sees conspiracies everywhere (the “Jewish cabal” in “unholy alliance with fundamentalist Christians”).

    • Patriotism

      Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, with blunt vexation at the Jewish-Israeli hold on the United States, said:

      “I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing any­thing down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens certainly don’t have any idea what goes on.”

      British MP, Tom Dalyell, echoed these sentiments when he proclaimed, “A Jewish cabal have taken over the government in the United States and formed an unholy alliance with fundamentalist Christians.”

      University of Chicago Professor, John Mersheimer, and Harvard academic Stephen Walt, felt the perilous wrath of the Jew lobby. A vicious smear campaign was launched against them after they published a study exposing the insidious influence of Israeli lobby groups — principally theAmerican-Israel Public Affairs Committee — entitled, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”.

  • DavidL

    Incredibly long winded article. TLDR.

  • DavidL

    Incredibly long winded article. TLDR.

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