LDB authors are active in a wide range of research publication. These opinion pieces are some of the most recent contributions in areas relevant to LDB's mission." The following opinion pieces may illuminate issues of interest to LDB readers, although they do not necessarily reflect the views of LDB.
Free Speech on Campus and the Spirit of Louis Brandeis
May 6, 2013
I was pleased earlier this year when Ken Marcus, President of the Brandeis Center, asked me to guest blog for the Brandeis Center regarding my recent book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, and my work as President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
When I think about the historiography of modern anti-Semitism, I think of two odd bookends: the historian Martin Jay—whose claim to fame is a book on the Horkheimer-Adorno Frankfurt School, but whose more recent jag is the claim that Jews themselves (because of Zionism, etc.) are the primary cause of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism and Albert Lindemann whose “Esau’s Tears” (1997) argues that Jews (because of their “pushy” entry into the professions, etc.) were the primary cause of pre-Holocaust anti-Semitism.
Employment Tribunal Sanctions Anti-Semitism
Having just finished reading the lengthy judgment in the case of Ronnie Fraser v The University and College Union, I want to comment briefly on the Employment Tribunal’s response to the allegation of anti-Semitism in the UCU; and to the claim that Israel is a non-contingent aspect of Jewish identity.
Where Was The President When He Was Supposedly In Israel?
March 22, 2013
What a week it has been for Jerusalem. The President of the United States arrived, transformed the King David Hotel into his (and his entourage’s) home away from home, and then began a series of meetings and visits – to the official residences of President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, to the Jerusalem Convention Center, to Mount Herzl, Yad Vashem, and to the grave of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. All of these sites are in Jerusalem. But are they in Israel?
If you can’t Recognize Hate Speech, the sunlight can’t penetrate
March 22, 2013
This week the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI), an Australian Charity which I have the privilege of leading as its CEO, released my major new report into Hate Speech on Facebook. OHPI seeks to facilitate a change in online culture so that hate in all its forms becomes as socially unacceptable online as it is in “real life”. This post provides an over view of OHPI’s new report and its real impact, which extends far beyond exposing specific examples of hateful content.
Among anti-Semitism scholars, nothing clears a room faster than the question of whether Jew-hatred is unique. One school of thought says that it is uniquely evil, qualitatively distinct in both severity and character. Let us call all them the Exceptionalists, because they argue that anti-Semitism is a singular phenomenon.
Troy's Moment: Should America Go Into Opposition?
February 1, 2013
This week, Israel ruffled feathers at the United Nations by becoming the first nation to withhold cooperation from the U.N.'s Universal Periodic Review of human rights practices. Israel had already informally notified the U.N.'s "Human Rights Council" that it would "delay" its participation. On Tuesday, it declined to attend the Council's session on this report.
LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus argues that we must combat anti-Semitism, reguardless of its utility for Israel advocacy, because it is the right thing to do. As it turns out, however, Israel advocacy cannot succeed if we do not do so.
Maybe you feel like 2012 flew right by. But if you are only one year old, it feels like it lasted a lifetime. The Louis D. Brandeis Center launched in February 2012, so we are in the latter camp. It has been a long year for us, but it has largely been a good one. To be sure, we have seen some tragedies this year.
LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus explains why college administrators need not choose between censorship and do-nothingism when it comes to offensive campus speech. In this column, he favorably reviews Greg Lukianoff's new book, "Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the Ed of American Debate."
Israel and the Campus: The Real Story”…Not Quite
December 7, 2012
A recent report by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), “Israel and the Campus: The Real Story,” presents what seems to be a blockbuster finding: only 3% of American universities report any anti-Israel activity. Yet we know that a vastly larger percentage of Jewish students are being impacted by anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism.
‘I’m Offended’: Politicizing Food to Demonize (Once Again) Israel
November 19 2012
LDB Director Richard Cravatts (Simmons/SPME) describes a recent controversy at Harvard Business School which sheds disturbing light on attitudes towards Israel and the Jewish people on some college campuses.
Criticism of Israel or Hate Speech? The Boundaries of Academic Free Speech
September 21, 2012
No sooner had the California State Assembly voted on and passed House Resolution 35 (HR 35) that calls upon California public universities to “increase their efforts to swiftly and unequivocally condemn acts of anti-Semitism” than the University of California Students Association (UCSA), a system-wide student organization with representatives from each campus
California’s First Amendment Follies
September 12, 2012
Jewish advocates are often unfairly misrepresented as trying to suppress speech that is critical of Israel, especially on university campuses. Sadly, this trope has great resonance in many circles, because it echoes age-old stereotypes in which Jews are seen as all-powerful, conspiratorial and controlling.
Aristotle, Alarmism and the Fight Against Campus Anti-Semitism
June 10, 2012
Wisdom is often found at the Aristotelian mean. In the debate over campus anti-Semitism, alarmists are too often pitted against quietists. The former see danger behind every corner, while the latter don’t see it until it is too late. In fact, the Jewish community can only succeed if it takes more measured and less polarizing positions on what is happening in American higher education.
Jewish Americans should be concerned about the recent verdict in the Italian libel case that involves parliamentarian Fiamma Nirenstein. In 2008, cartoonist Vauro Senesi published a caricature of Nirenstein that depicted the Jewish-Italian politician, in classic anti-Semitic fashion, as a hook-nosed monster wearing a Star of David together with fascist symbols. When journalist Giuseppe Caldarola accused Senesi of anti-Semitism, Senesi sued.
The organized Jewish community in the US has just cast a big vote of confidence for civil rights lawsuits to protect Jewish students. This is surprising because recent indications were that it would go the other way.
Do Jewish students deserve the same federal civil rights protections as African Americans, women and the disabled in the nation’s schools and universities? The official answer now is in the affirmative, and in principle, that seems only just and fair.
Over the past few weeks, anti-Israel activists have trumpeted their right to engage in offensive, even hateful anti-Israel speech during the so-called “Israel Apartheid Week” or “Hate Week.” Insisting on their own freedom to indulge in anti- Israel speech, college activists staged high-profile if unevenly attended events around the world, most notably at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania.
What to do about Israel Apartheid Week
February 28, 2012
University campuses are now bracing for the annual onslaught known as “Israel Apartheid Week,” or “Hate Week.” In the United States, this coordinated ideological assault lasts from Feb. 26 to March 3. In Europe, it begins the week before, and elsewhere the week after.
Jews are Like the Canary in the Coal Mine
February 20, 2012
Still reeling from Yale’s decision to shutter his center for the study of anti-Semitism, Charles Small warns that the West is disregarding one of the fastest-growing threats to its core system of values — hatred of Jews in the Islamic world
After meeting with Rutgers University officials last December, New Jersey Jewish leaders may say they feel better about the campus being safe and welcoming for Jewish students (“Rutgers brass offer assurances to Jewish leaders,” Jan. 26). But the facts compel a different view. Rutgers has never addressed several serious incidents that have harmed Jewish students.
The Campaign Against Campus Anti-Semitism
January 31, 2012
Just over a year ago, the Jewish community won an important victory against campus anti-Semitism. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) agreed, for only the second time, to extend civil rights protection to Jewish college students.
"There is a critical need for an organization such as the Louis D. Brandeis Center to give students and faculty who suffer harassment and intimidation a place to fight back against administrative silence in the face of hate and bigotry.”
Samuel Edelman, Ph.D.
Former Executive Director
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
If you are concerned about anti-Semitism on your campus, or if you seek advice about best practices, contact us.
Alan Gura, Esq. Alan Gura is a founder and partner in Gura & Possessky, PLLC. Previously, Mr. Gura served as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Oversight; as Deputy Attorney General for the State of California; and as an attorney with Sidley & Austin.