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May 2, 2016 6:48 am

University of Missouri Sponsors Antisemitism

avatar by Daniel Swindell

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University of Missouri. Photo: website

University of Missouri. Photo: website

Something has gone wrong when a major university permits an entire academic department to disseminate antisemitism. That the department in question is a “Peace Studies” department makes it even worse.

Since 2014, the Peace Studies Department (PSD) at the University of Missouri (MU) has hosted four very disturbing events, one every semester. Just last week, for example, PSD teamed with a community group called “Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation” (MMFR) to cosponsor the screening of the viciously anti-Israel film, “The Zionist Story.” The people who introduced the film explicitly called for the replacement of Israel as a Jewish state with a bi-national state, which everyone knows means an Arab-majority state. According to the widely publicized US State Department definition of antisemitism, of course, calling for the destruction of Israel qualifies as antisemitic.

PSD and MMFR, as well as MU itself, all know this full well, given other recent events at MU. In 2015, a swastika was drawn with human feces in a residence hall. The incident prompted a letter from 36 organizations calling on the university to acknowledge and address the problem of campus antisemitism. The letter-writers explicitly expressed their concern regarding “the departmental sponsorship and implicit ideological endorsement of virulently anti-Israel events,” mentioning both PSD and MMFR by name. Moreover, they urged the university to “formally adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism,” precisely because of the clause that deems calls for the destruction of Israel to be antisemitic.

Note that advocating for the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza or in the West Bank is rightly not deemed antisemitic. Yet despite having this option available to them, PSD and MMFR never sponsor events that advocate for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but only events that call for the destruction of Israel.

Wondering about this, before the recent screening of “The Zionist Story,” I sent a letter to Jeff Stack, a director of MMFR, noting that all three of the speakers they’d sponsored since 2014 had called for the destruction of Israel.

UCLA professor Saree Makdisi, for example, argued in a November 2014 lecture that Israel should be replaced by a binational state, asserting that “all that has to happen is to remove the borders.” MU biology professor George Smith, in an April 2015 lecture, refused even to acknowledge the existence of Israel, referring only to “Palestine,” while arguing that “Zionism is doomed.” And, finally, David Sheen, a Canadian journalist who now lives in Israel and focuses on publicizing alleged Israeli racism toward African immigrants, explicitly stated in a November 2015 talk that he did not support the two-state solution for the conflict.

In light of this record, it seemed pretty clear to me where MMFR stood on the issue, so in my letter to Mr. Stack, I quoted the State Department’s judgment about denials of Israel’s right to exist and asked him point-blank: “Does MMFR recognize the U.S. State Department definition of antisemitism?” I also asked if his group would advocate for the destruction of Israel yet again at the upcoming screening of “The Zionist Story.”

Mr. Stack responded that he was too busy to answer the questions.

It didn’t take long to find out the answer, however. MU professor George Smith introduced the film, referring to Israel not as a democracy but as a “Jewish ethnocracy,” and explaining that “Palestinian Christians all support the resistance to the occupation, and to the Jewish ethnocracy. The question is, do the Jews have the right to sovereignty over this land?”

You’ll easily guess that his answer was “no.” He moreover argued against the two-state solution, calling it unjust to the Palestinians. Why? Because “if we established a Palestinian state alongside Israel, this would leave out the Palestinian Israelis, leaving no settlement for them.” A Palestinian state alongside Israel would somehow be unfair to Israeli Arabs, in other words. The only solution? The destruction of Israel and its replacement with a bi-national — that is, Arab majority — country.

So MU, PSD and MMFR are fully aware of the State Department definition of antisemitism, yet carry on publicly violating it semester after semester. MU is a major public institution that surely receives federal funding, and yet it permits one of its academic departments, in the name of “peace studies,” to repeatedly call for what could surely be only the violent overthrow of the lone Jewish state in the world, not to mention the only democracy in the region. MU at least had the decency to condemn the antisemitism of the swastikas last year. It is time for it stand up and condemn the repeated, and ultimately much more dangerous, antisemitism being promulgated by one of its own departments.

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  • Joel

    We’re all adults here, so let’s not fool ourselves as to where this is all leading. No, not to another Holocaust, but to WW III, which will result in a totally different paradigm on every level imaginable. Are you ready? I hope so because the outcome will be glorious beyond all comprehension. Shalom Hamoshiach

  • We are seeing the same thing here in the UK, where antisemitism is taught to young people as “struggle against oppression” etc. Just a few years ago, I remember quite clearly that there was actually generally apathy to the situation in the Middle East. Today, there is overt hostility towards Israel, and Jewish people around the world. Which is why more people cannot afford to underrate the scale of the brainwashing and indoctrination that is happening right now and need to speak out against it.

  • Paul Cerar

    Are you joking? Peace Studies Departments of free-world universities have always been fronts for fascism and treason! Peace Studies at universities kissed the anus of the Communist Soviet Union during the Cold War, and they are now kissing the anus of the Fascist Russian Empire! If they existed during World War Two, they would have kissed the anus of Nazi Germany!

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Think what would happen if this same department did something like that about Blacks.

    There would be tens of thousands of blacks being bussed in by black organizations; there would be demonstrations and picketing and threats and the professor and his department would be closed down and the Univ. of MO would pay a hefty contribution to a black cause.

    What happens when it’s Jews?

    NOTHINIG-NOTHING-NOTHING and our haters know this. Our so called Jewish leaders are wealthy and that’s all they are; they’re also so pathetically weak and want nothing to do with coflicts or confrontations.

    History repeats itself every day for the Jews not the black for whom the Jews died for and paid for since they founded the NAACP in 1909 in response to the lynching of blacks in the South.

    Being wealthy without strength and power is a formula for disaster as the Holocaust has proven.


  • nat cheiman

    Indeed. What has gone wrong is that there are too many muslims in America

  • John Train

    Add Brooklyn College Political Science Department to your list

  • SteveHC

    Perhaps petitions to the US Dept. of Education and various other relevant agencies requesting the cessation of federal funding to this bizarre organization that for inexplicable reasons refers to itself as a “university” might be of some usefulness.

  • Judith Levine

    There are no Palestinian Israelis. Arabs who are citizens of Israel are Arab Israelis. (Or just Israelis.) Palestinians have chosen not to become Israelis. Universities should be places where lies are naught taught as facts, where teaching that destroying a whole people is an acceptable solution to a problem, and where introducing factual information is considered to almost a criminal act if it comes from the maligned group.

    I understand that everyone is not on the same page and that differences of opinion need to be heard. But this is not anything like that. This is an outright campaign of hate, of demonization, and the call for destruction of an entire country and its people. If the situation was reversed it would still be wrong. I continue to hope that the University of Missouri will stop allowing these individuals to stain the good name of this institution.

  • Ellen Marks

    Good article, and very sad. Peace Studies professors are often holier-than-thou, often ignorant, and usually cowards. Anti-Semitism is a safe route for cowards to take. I’ve met my share of them, unfortunately.

  • Yale Rodman

    What do i think: Obama, who is the architect of the current anti-Israel atmoshere, his State Department which refuses to enforce its own definitions of anti-semitism and hate language, and the University of Missouri, which is not a center of “higher learning” deserving of Federal funding, can all go to hell.

  • Lena

    The entire mideast and half of Africa were colonized by Arab jihad after the advent of Islam in the 7th century CE. Arabs have an indigenous homeland in part of the Arabian peninsula. In all the Jew hate on campus, no one ever brings up the history of Islam, a world domination, convert or die political ideology. All but one Arab state was colonized with jihad, annihilating whole peoples, cultures, languages.

  • enufizenuf

    If it’s to be a fight between Jews and leftist university professors and their arab buddies, then let it be a real fight, not one of words. It’s them or us, people.

  • Ron Ruff

    This University is beginning to reap the results of trending so far left that the students have come to run the actual university.Tuition paying students and their parents are leaving or not matriculating to the point of a drop in enrollment of 5+% this year and expected greater numbers in the coming year.
    This pendulum will begin to sway back as common sense and finances dictate better administration of this University and others.
    Don’t expect the Feds to enter this realm even if they are spending your tax dollars on these Universities; it fulfills their agenda.

  • carole bolotin

    So what, if anything, is being done to combat these evil purveyors of anti-Semitism? The only publication that has disseminated these circumstances, is yours!!! Any “Jewish” organizations, such as ADL, World Zionist Congress, I’m assuming that they are aware of these events and, if not, should be notified!!! Thank you so much for making me knowledgeable of what is happening and I will convey these ongoing situations to everyone that I know who cares and SHOULD care, whether Jewish or not!

  • Rita Crespi

    WTF is going on in our institutes of higher learning? Teaching anti-Semitism? What’s next…..having signs on bathrooms, “white only” or wanted ads that say “Irish Need Not Apply” or like Arthur Godfrey’s Hotel that had a sign No Jews or Dogs! We are in the 21st Century, we have made leaps and bounds in medicine and science and we are returning to a time of hatred of your neighbor for being a different race or religion or nationality! SHAME ON THESE SCHOOLS for allowing this. I hope that every decent alumni who contributes to them STOPS their donations until they adopt a civilized and acceptable behavior. I also think the government should withdraw and financial aid to a school that teaches their students HATRED instead of TOLERANCE.