The screed Shaul Magid offers in Tikkun Magazine (November 30, 2017) defending the recent panel on “Antisemitism and the Struggle for Social Justice” held at the New School on November 28, 2017, staffed by Linda Sarsour, Rebecca Vilkomerson, and others, is an exercise in vapid self- and in-group-justification. The panel retailed the same position as does the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) in its edited collection On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice (Haymarket Books, 2017). This position is that – regarding antisemitism today – the great danger is not so much the threat antisemitism poses to Jews but the threat that Jews employ the charge of antisemitism to silence others. As Maggid suggested last year in an independent talk at Brown University, it is a way of controlling and deforming the Jewish conversation
Member Writings and Interviews
As a liberal Jewish long-time writing professor at The New School, I’ve always been proud of our legacy: how the university’s founders provided refuge to German-Jewish scholars Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt and other brilliant Europeans fleeing Nazism. So I feel betrayed that Tuesday, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program is sponsoring a panel entitled “Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice,” featuring the hatemonger Linda Sarsour.
An Open Letter to the University of Michigan Central Student Government from Victor Lieberman, Raoul Wallenberg Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Asian and Comparative History
Since 2002, student activists have tried to pass anti-Israel divestment resolutions at the University of Michigan. This month, they succeeded on a 23-17 vote of the university’s Central Student Government. But opponents of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement should not be demoralized by this result.
On Wednesday, November 15, the Student Government Association (SGA) of the University of Maryland, College Park decided not to support a resolution that accused Israel of various violations of human rights and which called for the University of Maryland, College Park to divest from a range of American companies investing in Israel.
Once again, a student group at the University of Michigan has put forth a resolution to the Central Student Government asking the university Board of Regents to divest from several companies “that violate Palestinian human rights.” This is the eleventh resolution in 15 years; all preceding attempts have been voted down or failed. Nevertheless, a vocal minority chooses again to force this issue, and the whole campus must therefore enter once more into the land of futile effort and escalated inter-group division.
For the following reasons, we the undersigned members of the faculty write to oppose “A Resolution to Promote Human Rights by Divesting from Companies that Profit from Investments in Palestine,” which the University of Maryland SGA will vote on next week.
In the living room of our daughter’s home hangs a 4-by-6-foot Jewish flag designed by her paternal great-grandfather, hastily sewn from blue and white material in his Montreal dry-goods store. In November 1917, on receiving news that the British government had just given its support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, Nathan Black strung the flag across his storefront and closed for the day. “Haynt iz a yontev,” he told his workers: “Today is a holiday.”