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March 9, 2017 3:05 pm

PBS Panel Discussion on BDS: University Students Indoctrinated to View Jews, Israelis as ‘Bad,’ Palestinians as ‘Victims’

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Jonathan Haidt, Dan Senor and Frank Bruni on the 'Charlie Rose' show. Photo: Video Screenshot.

Jonathan Haidt, Dan Senor (center) and Frank Bruni on the Charlie Rose show. Photo: Screenshot.

Identity politics are leading to the indoctrination of university students to view Jews and Israelis as “bad” and Palestinians as “victims,” a prominent American social psychologist warned on Monday.

Jonathan Haidt — professor of ethical leadership at NYU’s Stern School of Business — made this assertion during a panel discussion on PBS‘ “Charlie Rose,” with guest moderator Dan Senor — co-author of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle — and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

The “old idea of education,” Haidt said — of encouraging students to consider various perspectives — has been replaced with a “totalizing perspective,” according to which “all social problems get reduced to [a] simple framework.” This, he said, has been detrimental to discussion on the issue of Israel.

Senor said that the BDS movement on college campuses has succeeded in moving disagreements about the Jewish state beyond “those who support one policy on Israel and those who oppose one policy on Israel.”

“Now those who are hostile to Israel, or US policy towards Israel, are joined by almost like a coalition of all these different factions who know nothing about the issue, but they all lock arms,” he said, referring to the concept of intersectionality — according to which various minority groups identify with and support one another — which is popular among anti-Israel groups.

Bruni noted that pro-Israel students are more frequently opting to keep their views to themselves, something one “shouldn’t have to do.”

The panel discussion took place during Israeli Apartheid Week, a series of anti-Israel events at universities around the world during every February and March.  

Watch the conversation below (minutes 19:30 to 22:10):

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  • D4x

    March 29 UN ANTI-BDS conference -will it be ‘news’?
    Will Algemeiner stop my comments for no reason?

  • UR

    The concept of intersectionality is not as defined – it’s about designing public policy so as to meet the specific needs of people who straddle different heads of identification upon which policy is standardly designed. Thus, an African American woman will be poorly served if policies are designed to meet the experience of need of African American men and non-African American women respectively – intersectionality demands that racial and feminist policies be designed so as to reflect the intersectional experience of such women (Kimberley Crenshaw first coined the phrase and this is a potted version of her thesis). The way intersectionality has been used to mainstream Israel demonization is a perversion of what was once a compelling thesis; just as the “old idea of education” has been bastardized, as described in the article.

  • Efram Paul

    They’re just getting around to noticing?

  • Reb_Yaakov

    Being an educated person means being open-minded, having respect for educated opinion and legitimate authority, and examining the evidence from all sides. The very nature of ideology is that it becomes worshiped like an idol that bids its adherents to follow its dogma in a one-sided way without regard for objectivity. The irresponsible news media also promote this phenomenon, labeling everyone as either pro-Israel or anti-Israel but never pro-truth. A Jewish mindset protects against this kind of faulty thinking.

    Seeing everything in black and white, all or none terms is a common malady. If we look at the state of Israel, we see the divisive effect this aberrant thinking can have: secular vs. religious, Arab vs. Jewish, left vs. right. It’s time to stop the lashon hara and the sinat chinam and work together for truth, justice, and the Jewish way.