Yale Shuts Down Study of Anti-Semitism

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At a time of increasing—and increasingly complex—anti-Semitism throughout the world, Yale University has decided to shut down the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, YIISA.  Founded in 2006, YIISA is headed by a distinguished scholar, Charles Small, with an international reputation for serious interdisciplinary research.  The precipitous decision to close YIISA, made without even a semblance of due process and transparency, could not have come at a worse time. Nor could it have sent a worse message.

I recently returned from a trip abroad—England, Norway, South Africa, among other countries—where I experienced the changing face and growing acceptability of anti-Semitism. Sometimes it hid behind the facade of anti-Zionism, but increasingly the hatred was directed against Jews, Judaism, Jewish culture, the Jewish people and the very concept of a Jewish State (by people who favor the existence of many Muslim States).

In England, a prominent and popular Jazz musician rails against the Jewish people, denies the Holocaust and apologizes to the Nazis for having once compared the Jewish State to Nazi Germany, since in his view Israel is far worse.  In Norway, a prominent professor openly criticizes the Jewish people as a group and Jewish culture as a collective deviation.  In Johannesburg, the university severs its ties with an Israeli university, while in Cape Town a newspaper headline welcomes me with the following words: “Dershowitz is not welcome here,” and an excuse is found to cancel a scheduled lecture by me at the university.

Throughout my visits to European capitals, I hear concern from Jewish students who are terrified about speaking out, wearing yarmulkes, Stars of David or anything else that identifies them as Jews.

In the United States, and particularly at American universities, matters are not nearly as bad.  There are of course some exceptions, such as at several campuses at the University of California where Muslim students have tried to censor pro-Israel speakers and have been treated as heroes for doing so, while those who support pro-Israel speakers are treated as pariahs.  The same is true at some Canadian universities as well.

One university that has been a model of tolerance, up until now, has been Yale, where Jewish and pro-Israel students feel empowered and comfortable, as do Muslim and anti-Israel students.  Perhaps this is why the Yale administration had no hesitancy in dropping YIISA.  It can easily defend itself against charges of bias by saying, “Some of my best organizations are Jewish!”  But this is no excuse.

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  • kblink45

    What is YIISA's funding status? Many western universities, especially in America and England, have made deals with Saudis to set up business and Middle-East studies programs that are worth billions.

  • Marty

    yale could be America's first enclave of dhimmitude. It won't be the last. The saudis are buying off the academy with billions of dollars from oil and natural gas revenues. The way to end this is to terminate the saudi regime by recognizing that the royal family is composed of degenerate and loathsome wahabists who insist on practicing slavery, pedophilia, and the serfdom of women. saudi arabia is not a country, but a (dysfunctional) family estate. It supports nothing but terrorism, brutality toward its own citizens, and anti-semitism. The saudis are turning mosques in America into anti-American bases and using our freedoms to destroy us. The United States has the ability to cause the disintegration of saudi arabia and that would be a benefit for all of humanity.

    • scum

      And yet it's the Right that's always been in bed with the Saudis and the oil money. Hence bin Laden, who opposed an American military presence there.

  • elvisbarry


  • Old Yalie

    Instead of only bemoaning Yale's action, Prof. Derschowitz should persuade Harvard's administration to pick up the Institute and re-establish it in Cambridge.

    • http://findalismonkeyinthemiddle.blogspot.com Findalis

      Harvard is just as bad.

      It is the plan of the left to first destroy Israel, then eliminate the Jewish people.

      We Jews are being blamed by the left for every ill, every problem in the world. Eliminate the “Jewish Problem” and everything from Global Warming to Terrorism will immediately end.

  • Ms. Billie Spaight

    This is downright STUPID to cancel this program. I wish it were online or here in NYC. Anti-semitism is a disease that just won't go away. I don't understand why people don't value all the wonderful things that Jews bring to society. New York has so many Jews and they have made it a culturally rich place to live in. Everywhere Jews go, the quality of life improves radically. We should have a JEWISH APPRECIATION program teaching all about the contributions over the centuries that Jews have made in this world.

    • Hans

      Dumb, culture is just a substitute for social oppression and the jews are good at distorting reality to the detriment and to the extent where people immerse themselves into passive arts. You just don't know how evil you are. Jews are noxious social parasites intent upon control of money and people. Jews are a virus spreading discord throughout the world. Jews need to commit mass suicide so that the world can be free again.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Hans from the bottom of my shoe you get the nitwit of the month award.

      • MixMChess

        Please Hans, if you hate Jews so much, put your money where your mouth is. Please boycott all Jewish produced goods, your cell phone, your computers boards, your medicine… The world will be free once we're rid of people like you.

  • zsqpwxxeh

    Why it's one of our favorite trolls! Welcome back, scum. Thanks for visiting our pond.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    This is hardly surprising, such a thing being spawned in one of the erstwhile great Ivy Halls of Academe, having been taken over as it has by mindless (literally) minions of leftist Fascism. These quaint folk fancy themselves as beneficent protectors of openness, tolerance, free speech, dissent, open debate, and all around compassion – especially for the downtrodden. The problem is that how they envision themselves is completely at odds with how they act. When confronted with someone who says something they do not like they quickly respond not with reasoned argumentation, but with vitriolic nastiness, and frequently with downright viciousness.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    A significant element of their collective insanity is that in lieu of introspection, self examination, and careful consideration of their beliefs, they resort to a malevolent sort of projection where their own faults and perversions are ascribed to their opponents. Make no mistake, these are the same people – the EXACT same people – as Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Castro, and too many others who piled up the bodies in their respective countries all in the name of the "greater good." When they are out of power they are merely irritating and humorous. When they are in power they are scary and dangerous.

  • mrbean

    In Canada, you can get kicked out of university for derogatory comments about Muslims, but Muslims are openly preach hate speech against Jews and nothing happens.

  • Rochelle Owens


  • michiganruth

    yes. I know exactly how you feel.

    I always tell my lefty friends, "and when Tel Aviv is a burning hole in the ground people like you will say "Oh WOW! they were serious. we didn't think they'd really do it. we are SO sorry, guys! turns out–you were right." and then, of course, it'll be too late.

  • Pacliberal

    As a half Jew, Catholic Jew; I would like to give my thoughts as a ultra liberal….the fact of the matter…. is that human nature is fragile, and the human mind, is in a constant state of tension, in which the person can either go insane or sane.

    As a pacifist, I am familiar with group psychosis; a shrink studies madness on and individual basis.

    Most, of the modern day forms of antisemitism is created by official governmental workers; in my gut this is my belief.

    The good news…. is even if they do have billions of dollars from oil dictators, man is generally wired to live in peace.

    If it was me in charge of the country of Israel, I would triple the budget of the Mossad, to go after the governmental sponsored Palestinian rights terrorists groups.

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