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Defending Antisemites, Rutgers President Takes Aim at The Algemeiner

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President of Rutgers University, Robert Barchi. Photo: Wikipedia.

After weeks of dogged Algemeiner coverage of antisemitism at Rutgers University, we expected that the school’s president, Robert Barchi, would respond. But when he finally did, it left us astounded.

Speaking over the weekend at a town hall event sponsored by the student government, Barchi dedicated the first part of his remarks to the series of antisemitism scandals plaguing his campus. The first story related to Jasbir Puar, a women’s studies professor who has written a book accusing Israel of injuring Palestinians “in order to control them.” The second concerned Professor Michael Chikindas, who called Judaism “the most racist religion in the world,” and accused Jews — and not the Ottoman Turks — of perpetrating the Armenian genocide. The third called attention to the employment at Rutgers of Mazen Adi, an adjunct professor who formerly served as a UN spokesman for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and who has accused Israeli officials of trafficking children’s organs.

President Barchi rightly noted that the controversies facing the three members of his faculty staff originated with exposés published by The Algemeiner – but his goal wasn’t to offer a vote of thanks to Shiri Moshe, our reputable journalist who brought these vital issues to the public attention. Instead, his intention was clearly to disparage, undermine and delegitimize our reporting. And on what basis? On the basis that the stories had originated in a Jewish newspaper.

He referred to The Algemeiner, incorrectly, as “a blog out of New York, which is the follow-on to what was a Yiddish-language newspaper that folded 10 years ago.” And then, later in his speech, he advised students to “keep in mind when you hear things and those things get picked up by another newspaper, there is very often a back-story to it.”

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“Trace it back to where it’s coming from and ask why is it coming from there and what’s going on,” he insisted, “and you may often get a little different perspective on those happenings.”

In fact – shamefully — Barchi spent more time praising the Rutgers employees in question than he did explaining to students why their views are deeply problematic. He celebrated Puar as “a well-respected scholar.” He lauded Chikindas’ teaching record as “actually very strong,” and he defended Adi ­– who was a spokesman for the Syrian regime’s UN mission in 2014, when Assad first used illegal chemical weapons – as having “not said or done anything in his academic life here that would be actionable.”

Barchi was vociferous in his defense of the free speech rights of those who have offended Jewish sensibilities by propagating the worst antisemitic and anti-Israel lies. One wonders, however, if he would have taken the same approach if another minority group had taken offense. I doubt it.

From his remarks, it would appear that Barchi has little concern for the students who are required to sit through the classes of, undertake assignments from, and have their papers graded by this cast of bigoted characters. Consider for a moment how difficult this must be for a Jewish student. As a newspaper, it’s our responsibility to shine a spotlight on this troubling state of affairs, and we will not shy away from doing so.

Barchi’s deplorable attempt to deride The Algemeiner only encourages us to redouble our commitment to covering antisemitism on American campuses. Students attend university to learn how to think and how to judge, not to be regaled with grotesque conspiracy theories dressed up as scholarship, as they are in some classes at Rutgers. And now that it is known that the university is under such poor management, Barchi should rest assured that we will be paying even closer attention to the Rutgers campus.

Dovid Efune is the editor-in-chief and CEO of The Algemeiner.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • It’s probably dictated by Saudi Sheikhs

  • We get it from the left and the right. It’s all the left and part of the right, which is why I stick with the right.

  • Dani

    Back to Stormfront with you, bigot.

  • Justice5775CE

    The Jew hate at Rutgers is vile as is Barchi’s intellectual dishonesty and slander of AJ, which would do well to sue.

  • Pete Cook

    Something similar occurred with the Canadian government-funded broadcaster CBC last decade. On a panel show on CBC TV, the CBC president, Tony Burman, stated that only Jews had complained about CBC’s coverage of Israel. A few years later, Mr. Burman had been appointed managing director of Al Jazeera English

  • Toby

    He has shown his anti-semitic true colors. The complete opposite of what a college president should be.

  • Ruven Golan

    move to Israel – stop worrying

  • Ruven Golan

    what to Jews want with Barchi & Rutgers. anti-semitism has been here all the time, just hidden.
    The stronger those uppity Israelis the more anti-semitism will rise.

  • Ruven Golan

    Americans don’t want to face reality, even more so Jewish Americans

  • AussieDave

    Actually, Israellycool exposed Chikindas, but details

  • mirabelle18

    Good work, Algemeiner!

  • AreaMan

    At this point it is reasonable to look into the background of Robert Barchi himself. He may be only interested in preserving his job, which is normal, but he might have a history of bigotry. Pre-judging him would be significant error.

  • Killing Independent George

    Breeding and cultivating a new generation of anti-Semitism.

  • Eli F.

    Jew-Haters and Deniers stick together! No surprise here….

  • Human Man

    In essence, Robert Barchi is saying we don’t need to listen to what the Algemeiner says; they’re just a bunch of Jews. You have an anti-Semitic president presiding over faculty making outrageous statements about Jews. I want to know what the university trustees are going to do.

  • mitchell_james_kaplan

    Keep up the good work, David. Let us never be cowed, despite the discomfort in speaking truth.

  • Ron

    As a graduate of Rutgers, I am appalled at the position president what’s his name is taking with these active and dangerous antisemites.

  • Edward Brandwein

    Amazing at how free speech on campus becomes sacred when the speech is anti-semitic.

  • Kwitcherbellyakin

    They are so lame, they beg the question; Are they still a top rank place to send a Jewish kid? They have run off several professors and one was a rabbi. They are contemptible.

  • Ita

    What about the facts and the merits. What qialifies her as a professor? What is her degre, her publications, her peer reviewed research. What academic proofs support her opinions, statements, teachings. Time for some hard facts backed up by some rallies and protests to the higher authority.
    Remember Rutgers is a NJ state school. NJ resisents taxes support the institution. Also what jewish individuals and institutions donate to Rutgers?

  • Ibn Q Rassooli

    Is it a wonder that American students LAG behind Chinese and Indian students in achievements when they have presidents and administrators who aid and abet the very enemies of Freedom who are invariably MUSLIMS and Leftist Fascists who are indoctrinating young minds with Anti American and anti freedom mind sets

    Robert Barchi has neither shame nor honour defending the three named despicable ‘professors’

    One should also blame the parents who pay exorbitant fees to have their children uneducated or the administration that supports them with tax payers money

    IQ al Rassooli
    Kafir & Proud!