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The Olive Tree Initiative: A Fig Leaf for Anti-Semitism?

Posted By Leila Beckwith On January 3, 2011 @ 12:00 am In FrontPage | No Comments

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Visit American Thinker [2].

A fig leaf is a device intended to conceal something regarded as shameful or indecent. At the University of California at Irvine (UCI), the administration uses the Olive Tree Initiative [3] (OTI) to provide an illusory cover for the administration’s lack of will to address the existence of anti-Semitism on its campus; its lack of resoluteness to condemn anti-Semitism when it occurs; its laxity about enforcing University of California policies to combat anti-Semitism. But for those with a discerning eye, the fig leaf actually reveals the shame it was intended to conceal.

As described in “A Blind Eye to Campus Anti-Semitism [4]” by Kenneth Marcus, September 2010,

…during the first years of the 21st century, the virus of anti-Semitism was unleashed with a vengeance    in Irvine, California. There, on the campus of the University of California at Irvine, Jewish students were physically and verbally harassed, threatened, shoved, stalked, and targeted by rock-throwing groups and individuals. Jewish property was defaced with swastikas, and a Holocaust memorial was vandalized. Signs were posted on campus showing a Star of David dripping with blood. Jews …were called “dirty Jew” and “fucking Jew,” told to “go back to Russia” and “burn in hell. “

Many of the incidents during the period described by Marcus began in an anti-Israel guise.

In 2007 in an effort to ameliorate this intolerable situation, a small group of students of different ethnic and religious identities formed the Olive Tree Initiative.   Its stated goal was “to promote dialogue and discussion regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict.”  The Initiative became an integral part of the UCI Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, with a salaried director, and faculty from the School of Social Sciences.  Under OTI auspices, there have been 3 trips to Israel and the West Bank, as well as more than 70 forums on and off campus.

To continue reading this article, click here [5].


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://frontpagemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/oti.jpg

[2] American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/

[3] Olive Tree Initiative: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/%7Ecpb/Olive%20Tree%20Initiative.html

[4] A Blind Eye to Campus Anti-Semitism: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/a-blind-eye-to-campus-anti-semitism--15510?page=all

[5] click here: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/the_olive_tree_initiative_a_fi.html

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