Zionists Attack Northeastern University
Located in Boston, Northeastern University is a four-year college and graduate school offering degrees in law, political science, African American studies, and various other fields. The school seems to be generally well thought of, and is even involved in a research program to develop high-resolution images of human brain activity. But recently the university, or more specifically some of its faculty members, has come under attack by Zionists.
This of course is not new. Faculty members who criticize Israel have found themselves targeted at one university after another in America. Norman Finkelstein is probably one of the more famous cases in point, but he is not by any means the only one. Attacks at Northeastern have focused in the main on Denis Sullivan, professor of International Affairs and director of the school’s Middle East Center for Peace, Culture and Development; Economics Professor M. Shahid Alam; and Berna Turam, who also teaches in the International Affairs program.
On July 5, 2013 the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) wrote a letter to the university’s president, Joseph Aoun, calling for Sullivan’s and Alam’s dismissal, and also complaining about a campus student group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), whose activities—along with classroom comments made by the professors cited—are said to be causing Jewish students at Northeastern to “feel unsafe and uncomfortable.”
The issue has received considerable coverage in the Jewish newspaper, The Algemeiner—this of course would be the same Algemeiner which just a couple of months ago published some fairly rancid accusations made by an official with the Simon Wiesenthal Center against musical entertainer Roger Waters.
In an October 4 article, the Algemeiner reports on “allegations of rampant anti-Semitism” on the Northeastern campus, and also airs an official response from the university that apparently was thought to have been issued in an insufficiently prompt manner:
Boston’s Northeastern University responded on Friday to allegations of rampant anti-Semitism from students by faculty on campus, after The Algemeiner pressed the school on why it hadn’t answered a formal letter from three months ago from the Zionist Organization of America, which helped the students make their case.
Also, it appears that Jewish students at the school have been videotaping classroom lectures—whether openly or clandestinely isn’t specified, but the 12-page letter to Aoun makes reference to “three separate and very disturbing videos,” and accuses faculty members of making “false and demonizing accusations against Jews and Israel.”
Of the three professors, Sullivan seems to have aroused the most ire. The ZOA letter devotes a full two and a half pages to his alleged misdeeds, including the following:
In one course, Professor Sullivan was promoting a so-called “one-state solution” to the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict. In effect, he was calling for the elimination of the Jewish State of Israel, to be replaced by another Arab state. A Jewish student in the class raised her hand an asked a legitimate question—what this “solution” would mean for Jews living in Israel. Instead of answering the question, Professor Sullivan personally attacked the student, as the rest of the class snickered. Understandably, the Jewish student felt unable to defend herself against her professor. She was so traumatized by the attack that she began crying in class and had to leave the room. This Jewish student was an international affairs major with a concentration in the Middle East. But she ended up changing her concentration because of the anti-Israel climate in the department.
Another female student—apparently also suffering from anti-Semitism-induced traumatization—“no longer wears a Star of David on campus, nor does she make it known that she is Jewish.”
The ZOA accuses the SJP of “vandalizing” the university by posting “anti-Israel stickers all over the campus,” and also speaks of the vandalization (for three years straight) of a campus menorah during Chanukah season. The damaging of the menorah is not specifically blamed on the SJP, but the student group is taken to task for disrupting a pro-Israel event as well as for posting “hateful falsehoods about Israel that cross the line into anti-Semitism” on a law school bulletin board.
But from the Zionist perspective, perhaps the gravest sin of all was that committed by Professor Alam—who apparently has counseled his students not to be too intimidated should they happen to be accused of anti-Semitism.
One professor not only has made false and demonizing accusations against Jews and Israel, but has also bragged about how students are now too intimidated to speak up and challenge his views. In a lecture delivered on April 10, 2012, M. Shahid Alam, an economics professor, accused “Zionist partisans” and “partisans of Israel”—code for Jews—of “trying to shut out the daylight, the daylight of truth about Zionism, about Israel and the hostility of these two and their crimes against humanity, the war crimes. Their brutality, their massacre, their ethnic cleansing.” Alam also outrageously told students in his lecture that Israelis’ “whole life depends upon defending lies. They have to defend lies.”
In addition to demonizing Jews and Israelis to students at Northeastern, Alam bragged about the hostile environment in his classes, where pro-Israel students are now afraid to speak up: “If there are one or two people who want to say something, they don’t because they can sense that they will get no support from the class.” Alam also embraced claims that he is anti-Semitic and encouraged students to follow in his footsteps: “You know we should really laugh away accusations of anti-Semitism. It has now become laughable. And there may come a time when you wear that label as a mark of distinction.”
A Jewish student, apparently in class at the time Alam made the remarks, reportedly was so “horrified” by the professor’s comments he wrote a letter to Aoun and other university officials, a portion of which is quoted by the ZOA. “I sat painfully listening to Professor Alam insinuate, that students should be proud to be called anti-semitic,” the student wrote. “I had never in my life, ever, experienced anti-semitism first hand until this past year when I witnessed Professor Alam and Professor Sullivan display an age old hatred against the Jewish people.”
As for the ZOA’s letter to Aoun, it is signed by Morton A. Klein, national president, and Susan B. Tuchman, director of the Center for Law and Justice. Moreover, it contains what could be construed as a not-so-thinly veiled threat against the school (emphasis included):
All these problems raise the question of whether Northeastern University is complying with its legal obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We have enclosed a policy letter issued in October 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR has made it clear that schools receiving federal funding must remedy a hostile environment for Jewish students and ensure that the hostility does not recur, pursuant to Title VI. If a school fails to comply with Title VI, then it risks losing its federal funding.
In a brief written statement issued last month, the university speaks of its “incredible diversity” and its commitment to “academically rigorous” standards, commenting also on its efforts to ensure a proper learning environment for all students.
If any member of our community feels marginalized for any reason, the university has a range of offices and avenues where grievances can be heard and resolved. This includes a dedicated Office of Diversity and Inclusion, our extensive student affairs operation, and the university ombudsman. We encourage members of the Northeastern community to take advantage of these many resources, which include the opportunity for confidential discussions.
Specific concerns presented by members of the Northeastern community are swiftly and thoroughly investigated. This is vital to maintaining a productive and enlightened learning environment.
However, unsubstantiated allegations made by third parties are not sufficient for Northeastern—or any university—to launch internal investigations. Pursuing unsubstantiated allegations is just as irresponsible as ignoring legitimate concerns.
“Dismissing the reports in our letter as ‘unsubstantiated’ allows the administration to avoid the real issue, about whether Jewish students are being subjected to a hostile learning environment and what must be done to remedy the problem,” Tuchman commented to the Algemeiner by way of response. “Northeastern’s reaction is just another slap in the face for students and their concerns.”
The videos mentioned above were produced by a 501c-3 organization called Americans for Peace and Tolerance. Whether the organization is affiliated with the ZOA, I do not know, but the video below follows closely the subject matter contained in the ZOA letter. “In many academic institutions around the US, Israel has become the subject of relentless criticism and outright demonization,” the narrator comments at the beginning. Could anything the Jewish state have done possibly account for these negative feelings having been aroused in such large numbers of people? The narrator doesn’t seem to think so. His video focuses almost exclusively on what he narrowly views as anti-Semitism, tendering, like a devalued currency, an official definition of “the new anti-Semitism” issued by the US State Department.
“Alam promotes the anti-Semitic conspiracy notion that a mostly Jewish elite group of neoconservatives sought to place American power in the service of Israel”—one almost has to laugh at an attempt to portray what is so obvious to so many people as being nothing more than a conspiracy fantasy. On the surface what we find here is a coordinated attack upon a university, similar to so many we’ve seen in the past, but looked at from a slightly different angle, the video and the ZOA letter can also be viewed as signs of a growing desperation, as an effort to stave off the rapidly accelerating disintegration of Israel’s “legitimacy” as a nation and the increasing recognition and awareness of its criminality. Compare the relatively benign statements made by the Northeastern University professors in the above video with the the racist, and in some cases outright genocidal, comments quoted in the video below:
If the people at the ZOA were intellectually honest, instead of harping solely upon comments by Sullivan and his colleagues would they not at least have acknowledged that a number of statements of a deplorable nature have been made by prominent Israelis, including officials of the Israeli government? And would this not have supplied some context, maybe even helped people to understand and make sense of the “relentless criticism and outright demonization” the poor Jewish state has had to suffer? I wonder why they left that out? Perhaps it just slipped their minds.