Monday, November 19, 2012

Be wary of anti-Israel professors, study reports

Be wary of anti-Israel professors, study reports

Students erected a "Gaza graveyard" on the campus of University of Houston in February 2009. About half of reported anti-Israel activities take place during the months of February and March, according to a new study.


Anti-Israel elements are playing the long game at institutions of higher learning, according to a new study that reports on the frequency and effectiveness of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities on American college campuses.

“Israel and the Campus: The Real Story,” a study published at the end of October by The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, found that “colleges remain shockingly ambivalent toward the complaints of students and others about the hostility expressed by students, faculty and visitors toward Jews and their homeland.”

The study found that the most serious problems on campus, vis-à-vis anti-Israel activities, come from faculty, rather than from students.

The study reports: “While the pro-Israel community has focused on incidents outside the classroom, anti-Israel faculty have assumed dominant roles in Middle East studies departments throughout the country. These professors, along with like-minded faculty in other disciplines, habitually abuse their academic freedom and have turned their classrooms into bully pulpits to advance the Arab-lobby agenda.”

On many campuses, the study found, the problem is exacerbated by a lack of course offerings that relate to Israel. Fewer than the number of Israel courses are the number of professors who are qualified to teach them.

Anti-Israel professors aim to indoctrinate a generation of future American leaders to turn their backs on Israel, according to JHV investigations. Without U.S. support, they contend, Israel cannot survive.

Anti-Israel professors often advance their partisan political agendas on campus with impunity. Instances are rare when tenure faculty malfeasance has been punished in some way, the AICE study reports.

Investigations into anti-Israel activities on U.S. campuses revealed that they are not part of a well-funded and organized network that promotes delegitimization of the Jewish state. Rather, two groups – the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine – are responsible for most anti-Israel activities on campuses.

The number of anti-Israel student groups (330) is roughly the same as the number of Hillels (363), according to the study. The latter are bolstered by other national pro-Israel organizations that have a presence on more than 270 U.S. college campuses.

The study found that, contrary to some opinions, a strong majority of Jews, including young adults, do positively identify with the State of Israel.

Nearly half of the anti-Israel incidents noted in the study occurred during the months of February and March, a period when anti-Israel activists stage events like “Israeli Apartheid Week” on campuses. Schools in the University of California system witnessed the highest concentration of anti-Israel activities.

However, the study reports that anti-Israel events and speakers gained less attention and participation than did pro-Israel events and speakers on campuses. Anti-Israel propaganda campaigns like BDS – boycott, divestment, sanctions – have proven to be losers, according to investigations.

The AICE study is heavy on recommendations, drawn from evidence, to counteract the problem of campus anti-Israel activities.

“Given the lack of accountability, and the inability to take action against faculty who commit academic malpractice, the best alternative to change the climate on campus and counter politics and propaganda inside and outside the classroom is to offer students an alternative, scholarly education about Israel,” according to the study.

Among its recommendations, the study lists the following as effective tools: 

Pre-collegiate education on Israel and Zionism

Building and promotion of Israel studies courses

Wider distribution of resources

More monitoring of anti-Israel activities and survey research

Proactive discussion about Israel

Holding universities accountable

Growing study abroad programs in Israel

Enhance Birthright Israel programs and experiences 

Campuses with the most reported anti-Israel events for 2011-2012
University of New Mexico: 39
Harvard University: 26
University of California L.A./Berkeley: 18
University of Maryland: 18
University of Pittsburgh: 17
Columbia University: 16
UC San Diego: 16
UC Riverside: 15