About six months after Andrew Pessin posted — on his Facebook profile — a defense of Israel during its 2014 war against Hamas, the once popular Connecticut College philosophy professor was subjected to an academic smear campaign.
Ismael Khoufaify, Director of Advocacy of the Governance Council of Minority & Marginalized Students at New York University, recently had a rough week. Swastikas had again been discovered in a campus building; someone in the dining halls marked Black History Month by serving watermelon kool-aid; some pro-Israel students expressed polite disagreement at a Jewish Voice for Peace anti-Israel hatefest. Khoufaify wrote on Facebook: “The last few days have sent me spiraling into a deep state of reflection. In the last week our NYU community has gone through hell and back. From swastikas, to kool-aid, to Zionism.” For Mr. Khoufaify, Nazism, racism, and Zionism were equally egregious.
At the United Nations this week, a large group of Israel-supporters convened to “Build Bridges, Not Boycotts” at an “International Summit” sponsored by the Israeli Consulate — and a dozen major organizations — whose purpose was to help train “Ambassadors Against BDS.”
More than one speaker at the highly publicized event suggested that the meeting was “historic.” At the very least, it was impressive, particularly in its scale: 1,500 attendees — including celebrities, politicians, business leaders, heads of major organizations, and even international recording star, Matisyahu, whose moving rendition of his song “Jerusalem” left not a dry eye in the house — all meeting right in the lion’s den (some would say), in the “Hall of Shame” that is the United Nations (as one speaker did say).