Season Finale
The Brandeis Brief
June 2014
The Spring semester is ending with a burst of anti-Israel activity on many American university campuses, often tinted with anti-Semitism. This issue of The Brandeis Brief discusses four institutions that have been on our minds lately: Vassar College, New York University, San Francisco State University, and the University of California at Los Angeles. The Brief also updates you on some especially pernicious recent debates, such as whether it is appropriate to assign students to debate whether the Holocaust occurred and whether "anti-Semitism" means what The Electronic Intifada says it means.  Once again, we thank all of you who support the Brandeis Center's continuing efforts to defend Jewish college and university students against resurgent campus anti-Semitism.

Brandeis Center Presses Vassar College to Hold Student Group Accountable

Steven Isaacson, Brandeis Center Blog
Vassar College
Vassar College


The Brandeis Center has urged Vassar College President Catherine Bond Hill to take disciplinary action against the college's chapter of SJP, Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP recently posted Nazi propaganda poster on their Tumblr page. The Center made it clear to President Bond Hill that this incident at her school is a step backwards in efforts to achieve civil discourse. This incident at Vassar comes just days after its chapter of SJP posted other anti-Semitic material on its Tumblr page.


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Pro-Palestinian Anti-Semitism at Vassar

Petra Marquardt Bigman, Brandeis Center Blog
SJP Vassar
Vassar College, which describes itself as "a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college," has recently attracted a lot of attention because of the energetic activism of so-called "pro-Palestinian" groups like Vassar's Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP has posted anti-Israel material in coordination with the BDS movement on its Tumblr page which depicts propaganda that suggests any so-called "illegal action" by Israel is justified by the Holocaust.

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Brandeis Center Urges NYU to Discipline Students Who Shoved Mock Eviction Notices into Students' Dorm Rooms


The Brandeis Center and The Lawfare Project urged New York University President John Sexton and his administration to "firmly and forcefully" discipline the students who shoved inflammatory materials into students' private rooms at two New York University dormitories. The two independent national civil rights organizations had been approached by NYU undergraduate students who were concerned about an atmosphere of intimidation and harassment in which mock eviction notices were under the dorm room doors of Jewish students.


Brandeis Center Joins AMCHA Initiative Urging Investigation into Misuse of California Taxpayer Funds to Support Professor's Meetings with Terrorists
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi


The Louis D. Brandeis Center joined with the AMCHA Initiative in demanding an investigation into the misuse of taxpayer funds on a San Francisco State University professor's trip to the Middle East to meet with persons who are affiliated with terrorist organizations. The two civil rights organizations and others called on UC officials to "investigate this matter immediately, and to make public the results of [their] investigation."   


Debating the Holocaust
Harold Brackman, Brandeis Center Blog
Oxford Union Society
An assignment, designed by teachers and approved by an administrator at Southern California's Rialto School District sought to improve critical thinking skills of 2000 eighth graders by having them debate whether the Holocaust really happened or instead was "a plot" to falsify history. Now, Charles C. W. Cooke has made a case in the "National Review" that pressure to change the assignment was a symptom of narrow-minded political correctness, and that an opportunity has been missed to allow young teens to develop argumentative skills.

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Brandeis Center Lauds University of California Statements on Civil Discourse
The Brandeis Center lauded public statements by University of California President Janet Napolitano and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Chancellor Gene Block on the importance of civil discourse. Both statements were highly critical of efforts by the UCLA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine to tarnish student government leaders who have traveled to the State of Israel. Members drafted several pledges that force students to swear they have never and will never travel to Israel on a trip sponsored by three well-known pro-Israel groups, including the Anti-Defamation League. 


Polls Apart: The ADL's First Survey of "Global Anti-Semitism"
Harold Brackman, Brandeis Center Blog

Such eye-popping ADL findings as that 26 percent of the world's population qualifies as "anti-Semitic" (i.e., agrees with at least 6 of 11 core anti-Semitic attitudes) and that 35 percent has never heard of the Holocaust are receiving blanket media coverage. The ADL pollsters may need to reconfigure their methodology to capture a new era when more weight must be given to how increasingly threatened Jews especially in Europe feel and when anti-Israelism is no longer the hellhound's tail but is now the rabid bite of "the new anti-Semitism."
The Sound And Fury Over "Race"
Harold Brackman, Brandeis Center Blog
Nicholas Wade
When I was six years old, my parents taught me not to say "the baddest word in the world." Not being exactly Victorian prudes, the word they had in mind was not "sex." But it was closely related and started with an "f." Today, that word in politically correct circles starts with an "r." Of course, you can talk about race all you want-many do ad nauseam-as an indicator of economically unjust conditions or as a "social construct."


Ali Abunimah's Orwellian Definition of Anti-Semitism
Petra Marquardt Bigman, Brandeis Center Blog
Ali Abunimah
Veteran anti-Israel activist Ali Abunimah is touring US campuses to hawk his published book "The Battle for Justice in Palestine." As anyone even vaguely familiar with Abunimah's prolific writings at his Electronic Intifada blog will know, his idea of "justice in Palestine" requires doing away with the world's only Jewish state. Abunimah made it abundantly clear that he not only regarded Zionism as "one of the worst forms of anti-Semitism in existence today," but that he also equated Zionism with Nazism.


In This Issue
New Fellows
AMCHA Initiative
Debating the Holocaust
ADL Report
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The Louis D. Brandeis Center is a nonprofit organization supported by individuals, groups and foundations that share our concern about Jewish college students.  Contributions are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  To support our efforts to combat campus anti-Semitism, please contact us at
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Can We Help You? 

The Louis D. Brandeis Center stands ready if we can help you to combat anti-Semitism in higher education. Please contact us if you are a student or professor who needs our help.  We are also available to provide technical assistance to university administrators who are interested in achieving legal compliance and best practices for eliminating campus anti-Semitism.