Monday, November 21, 2005

Not quite protected class 

The Chronicle of Higher Education (temporary link; permanent link for subscribers) reports that the US Commission on Civil Rights has heard testimony about the increasing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias on college campuses.
"Anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism are systemic ideologies in higher education," said Gary A. Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, a San Francisco-based group, at a hearing before the commission. Those ideologies, he said, "find their expression in the classroom and outside the classroom, producing what we consider to be an environment of harassment and intimidation of Jewish students."
And this seems to come from faculty of the left, such as this fellow.
What areas of research or activism are you currently most engaged with?
I am currently researching African and PanAfrican history and theory, especially in East Africa; as well as forced resettlement of Bedouin in Israel; and issues of Jewish whiteness as a variant of whiteness in general. I am actively working on Palestinian solidarity at the moment, ...
But why? From the CHE article,

At a news conference the day before the hearing, Mr. Tobin said that "anti-Israelism is framed in the politics of race."

"Jews and Israel are white, colonial, Western oppressors," he continued. "Palestinians are brown, indigenous, colonized people." So "in this paradigm, Jews are racist," as is anyone who supports Israel. Therefore, "anti-Semitic language is legitimate because you're combating racism," he said. "That's how it plays out."

This might explain our history of attacking people who try to defend Israel's right to self-determination.