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In With the New

New Yale anti-Semitism program to focus on scholarship, not policy

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Yale University. (CanWeBowlPlease/Flickr)

Maurice Samuels, a Yale French professor and the director of the university’s new program on anti-Semitism, told Haaretz he would be addressing both historical and contemporary anti-Semitism. “We are not going to shy away from any topic because it’s too dangerous or political,” he said. “We’ll be addressing anti-Semitism in the modern world, including the Muslim world.” (Perhaps due to the widespread media attention the initial closure garnered, Yale moved quickly to replace the institute it claimed had been routinely reviewed and shut down.)

Last month, James Kirchick reported in Tablet Magazine on the fallout former director Charles Small faced after his “Global Anti-Semitism: A Crisis of Modernity” conference last August. His program was shuttered in June, following high-profile complaints from Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s ambassador to Washington, among others.

Ultimately, plans for the new program seem to emphasize scholarly exploration, with the likely goal of quieting former claims that the institute wasn’t academic enough. (In June, Deborah Lipstadt, author of Nextbook Press’ The Eichmann Trial, suggested that a shift toward advocacy and away from scholarship had cost the institute supporters.) “Our goal is not to affect policy,” Samuels said, “but if scholarship can produce an understanding that advocates and politicians can use to oppose anti-Semitism, I think that’s totally valid.”

Yale Gives Anti-Semitic Studies a Second Try [Haaretz]
Related: No Haven
Earlier: What Really Happened at Yale

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Yale was uncomfortable with the legitimate exploration of Arab/Moslen antisemitism period. That someone from the PLO, which spreads their own brand of antisemitic hate mongering throughout the Palestinian Authority didn’t like the attention this topic was given, should have been a clue to Yale that they were on the right track. Instead the baloney charge of “islamaphobia” was leveled at this political correct crowd at Yale so they caved in to the haters. Or at least the charge gave them a good excuse to end the program.

As far as Deborah Lipstadt is concerned, nice, interesting book. But that is all it is, a book written by an academic. Sorry if I do not think she (or any other professor) gets to decide how society should view the world and the issues facing the Jewish people nor the question of their survival. As nice as it is to discuss the history of antisemitism it would be nice to spend some real time discussing how to keep those Jews who are alive today basically that way. (Oh yeah I forget that those in the Ivy world have decided that antisemitism is the Jews own fault for wanting to be Jewish or deciding that Israel has a right to exist, and not some pathological ignorant psychotic hatred…my bad.)It seems that she along with other capitulators to the Yale decision have learned nothing from the history they teach. The only thing the Jews of Europe received for ignoring the Nazi hatred was 6 million dead Jews. The only thing we will receive from ignoring Moslem and Arab antisemitism and its strength/influence worldwide is alot more dead Jews. But then again its nice to go to parties in an Ivy tower and think you are too smart to be concerned about such things.

By the way you also forgot the part of the story that included the complaint of “racism” by our friendly neighborhood Saudi billionaire who suddenly found money to give to Yale after they closed down YIISA. Convenient for you to skirt that particular part of the story.

Lipstadt is right, Yale’s job is to research antisemitism and enlighten our understanding of it. Anti-Semitism is changing rapidly and we need to stay on top of it. Sadly, despite all the noise generated, there are very few scholars making progress on this.

For a real taste of anti-Semitism, read “Jacob’s Courage.” Europe has experienced inbred anti-Semitism for dozens of generations. As Jews were pushed away from Israel under Roman occupation, the Diaspora became European Jewry. Christianity (the Crusades, Reformation, the Spanish Inquisition & English Expulsion) resulted in repeated genocides against Jews. The 20th Century Nazi extermination of European Jews was just a new, industrialized example of rabid anti-Semitism. From generation to generation, the commonality of European society was to punish, isolate, enslave and destroy Jews.

Charles Weinblatt
Author, Jacob’s Courage

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In With the New

New Yale anti-Semitism program to focus on scholarship, not policy

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