Friends Seminary Plays Bait and Switch on Anti-Semitism

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Friends Seminary invitee Gilad Atzmon

The Friends Seminary of New York, which invited the notorious anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, to one of its classes, and assigned its students to read his hate-filled writings, has now backed out of an agreement to invite me to the school to talk to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism.  The Headmaster of the Friends Seminary, a school which is supposed to be committed to honesty and integrity, has broken his solemn promise to me, and to members of its own community, to allow its students to hear both sides of an issue which really has only one side:  namely, the illegitimacy of bringing hate mongers into high school classrooms.

After I exposed the original invitations to Gilad Atzmon—who justifies the burning down of synagogues as a “reasonable” response to Jewish efforts to “control the world”—the Headmaster of the school agreed to several things.  First, he would speak at an assembly to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism;  second, he would assign my essay to the students who were assigned Atzmon’s essay; and third, he would invite me to address the students.  He has now broken each of these promises.

Students who were at the assembly have confirmed that the speakers only made things worse.  The teacher who invited Atzmon talked about what a great musician he was.  The Headmaster was defensive about how his words were manipulate and justified bringing Atzmon based on Quaker principles.  Apparently the word anti-Semitism was never once mentioned during this meeting.  My article was not assigned to the students; a citation was sent to them saying that I wanted students to read its content.

When I wrote to the Headmaster complaining about these breaches, they used my letter as an excuse for canceling my appearance.  The real reason was almost certainly pressure from hard-left members of his faculty and others.

Let’s be clear what this means.  The school was unwilling to cancel Atzmon’s appearance, even after learning that he was a virulent anti-Semite who questions the Holocaust but believes that it may be true that Jews kill Christians to use their blood for religious purposes.  But they have canceled my appearance because they didn’t like the tone of a private letter that I wrote to them that was critical of the Headmaster’s failure to comply with his promises.  I ended my letter with the following words:  “Please assure me that I am wrong about my judgment about you.  I really would like to see this move forward in a positive direction, but you are not helping.  The ultimate sufferers are your students, who are being taught the wrong values that will serve them poorly in college and in life.”

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  • UCSPanther

    I wonder when they are going to invite David Duke to give a speech. If they give a platform to a loser like Atzmon, giving one to a washed up klanner may not be that far off…

  • Suzanne

    Wonderful and true article. Thanks to the author.

  • Choi

    America's Colleges and Universities are CESSPOOLS of JEW-HATRED.
    The more prestigious the school,the WORSE they are.
    It seems as if the "Friends Seminary" is the College Prep for those who plan on attending the sewers known as American Academia.
    And ,the parents who spend HUGE money in tuition are the ENABLERS of these whackos who BRAINWASH the next generation(s).

  • Jade

    Dear Quaker anti-Semites: Up thine!!

  • FedUp

    Over the years I've disagreed with Professor Dershowitz on many issues, but in this case he is not only right, but justified as well, to up the ante with the Friends School. And as for the raging anti-semite Atzmon, how the school could grant a forum to a guy who preaches blood libel against the Jews, is beyond me.

  • tyyyre

    Please fax or call this POS:
    Bo Lauder
    Friends Seminary
    222 East 16th Street
    New York, NY 10003
    (p)212.979.5030
    (f)212.979.5034

  • stern

    "Now they have crossed the line from preaching anti-Zionism to tolerating anti-Semitism."

    There is NO line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and it's about time we made that clear to everyone who masks their Jew-hatred with pious utterances about being "anti-Zionist". Zionism is the 2,000+ year longing of the Jewish people for a homeland of their own. There Muslim and Christian countries in abundance, but only one Jewish country – and to deny Jews that right, for any reason whatsoever, is nothing more nor less than anti-Semitism.

    I am not saying that criticism of Israel and its policies is illegitimate. Israel is as open to criticism as any other country in the world. But denying the country's right to exist is hateful and hate-filled. It must stop now. We must stop condoning it.

    • maturin20

      "There is NO line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism"

      That would only be true if you were the ultimate broker of where linguistic lines may be drawn and where they may not. Clearly, since we all have our own verbal centers and access to dictionaries and mass media, no one is going to be able to draw for everyone else a hard limit as to where a distinction may be legally drawn. The best you can do is form an enclave that shuns people if they use words in a taboo fashion, but the caveat is you will become a very small fringe group.

      • stern

        If you say you are anti-Zionist, you mean that you are against a homeland for the Jewish people. It's as simple as that – and it is anti-Semitic, period.

        • maturin20

          Not necessarily. One might simply oppose rabid modern day Zionist expansionism but endorse the 19th Century treatise by Herzl as originally presented. It's not really simple at all, since when we desire to win we complicate the issues as needed. Do you mean to imply that you have exclusive control over punctuation when you use the word "period?"

          • stern

            And here we have it: "rabid modern day Zionist expansionism".

            Please explain how you can claim "expansionism" when Israel is shrinking. Gaza is no longer under Israeli control, nor is the majority of the West Bank – and Israel has repeatedly offered land swaps to compensate for the so-called "settlement" blocs.

            But no, anti-Semites claim "expansionism", "colonialism" and other tripe.

            You are an idiot, no matter how smart you think you sound. Period.

  • maturin20

    This sounds a lot like Woodsmall's attempt to blackmail and connive his way into a University-sponsored verbal feud with Imam Griggs. By all rights, Gilad Atzmon should file a restraining order against Dershowitz for organized stalking. If Atzmon tries to play saxophone in Scotland, Dershowitz is trying to get the horn smacked out of his hand. If Atzmon wants to speak at a seminary, Dershowitz is right there demanding duelling time and accusing the financial officers of dishonesty. In a more enlightened age, Jews did not feel they had a right to hijack discussions at non-Jewish churches, nor were they given carte blanche to do so. I ask you: If an anti-zionist demanded equal time to verbally duel Charles Jacobs or Robert Spencer at a Synagogue, would they bend over and acquiesce? I DOUBT IT.

    • stern

      The not-so-subtle difference is that Charles Jacobs and Robert Spencer are not perpetuating the oldest hatred of all, a hatred that has led to millions of deaths over thousands of years. Atzmon is a vicious and contemptible anti-Semite, and to have young, impressionable minds poisoned by him is beyond the pale. By choosing his path in life, Atzmon has opened himself up to a constant stream of criticism – and it is more than well deserved.

      Never again has to truly mean NEVER AGAIN.

      • maturin20

        I do not subscribe to this idea that anti-semitism is the King of Hatreds. That implies that Jews are the oldest people on earth, when in reality, they were 150,000 years late to the scene. Anti-semitism is as banal as any other race hatred or bigotry. Nothing special about it or it's victims. It is all very tedious. Certainly people have the right to criticize Atzmon, but as Israeli Nationalists are fond of saying, nobody has the right to demand a venue.

        • stern

          Your arguments are ridiculous. I did not say that Jews are the oldest people on earth – and I challenge you to provide evidence of any hatred that is older than anti-Semitism. It goes back more than 2,000 years and has led to the deaths of millions, starting with the Roman destruction of Judea, through the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian pogroms, the Holocaust and the ongoing quest of the Arab world to eradicate the Jewish state and every Jew both in it and elsewhere.

          I wish you were right and that I could agree with you that anti-Semitism is banal, but my dead antecedents stand as proof that is the most deadly and long-lived hatred.

          • maturin20

            The hatred of various Australopithiscenes against the Afarensians undoubtedly antecedes antisemitism. After that, probably the hatred of Cro-Magnons against various Neanderthals fighting over cave space and piles of ochre is older than the hatred of Catal Huykians vs Natufian hunter-gatherers, which is older than the oldest canard about Israel being the longest and most oppressed people in the world. Boring. Utterly boring, this claim to be the heavyweight champion victim of global oppression.

          • stern

            I agree, you are getting boring. From ridiculous arguments, to absolute nonsense.

          • stern

            Oh, and I am so pleased that you are bored by the deaths of my family. So, if it's so boring to you, what are you doing here, making it even more boring?

          • maturin20

            The deaths of your family are not an accomplishment. Why do you tout them so much? Is it some kind of guilt trip? Did I kill your family?

          • stern

            Sick and delusional.

          • maturin20

            In other words, no. I did not kill your family. I just wanted to be clear, because it seemed like in an analogue to the slavery blame game, like you were trying to white guilt me.

    • alan g

      Maturin20, would you sit by while some Ahole is talking smack about you to your kids? So, get real.

      • maturin20

        No, but nor would I meddle in his unrelated desire to blow woodwinds overseas, nor would I try to barge my way into a seminary to prevent him from exercising his First Amendment rights per invitation.

        • stern

          but he's not just blowing woodwinds. He's fanning the flames of anti-Semitism, which you would know if you had done the simplest bit of research on Google. Atzmon is a vicious anti-Semite and his views should not be imposed on young minds.

          • maturin20

            I must point out the similarity here with Dershowitz and Woodsmall's arguments. When you disagree with an Israeli Nationalist, he accuses you of being unread or intellectually dishonest. It may enlighten you to know that counting antisemitisms is not a bona-fide field of research.

    • Wallace Brand

      It appears he didn't demand a right to debate Atsmon. He asked and was promised such a right. Than Giggs reneged. He has the right to remind him of his broken promises. Why do you put up a straw man instead of sticking to the facts?

      • maturin20

        He set himself up as a straw man. It's a traveling show.

  • BobM

    Poor Mr. Dershowitz… the only reason he’s so upset by all this is because of his support of Israel. For that I admire him, and yet he is so intellectually bankrupt when it comes to so many other liberal causes, such as Abortion, AGW, etc. These same tactics are used to argue that abortion is only about a women’s right to choose and not about the life of a baby. Alan you sleep with this people every day ans yet you’re shocked at their tactics to lie and deceive. It just shows what a shallow man Dershowitz really is. So although I feel for the Jews of Israel, your anger is this matter is unmoving. Time and time again you’ve happily stood by as the same people trashed Christians, Conservatives, and anything not in alignment with liberal dogma. Yet now we are to believe you have some sort of moral integrity? Yes I’m sure you can easily dismiss this as to totally different issues, but we all know your relative morality is as inconsistent as it gets.

    • Secular Jew

      Dershowitz is a Jew who thinks for himself. He does not kowtow to totalitarian Christian ideologies. I applaud him.

    • Wallace Brand

      Dershowitz is a good lawyer and a pro-zionist. That makes him right under several different views that support the right of the Jews to exclusive political rights to Palestine. These include, 1. The rights granted in 1920 at San Remo, in trust, to be exercised when the Jews had a population majority. These were rights under International Law. 2. The rights of the Jews under the Anglo-American Convention of 1923 which made the San Remo Agreement treaty law and therefore the domestic law of the US and the UK.. 3. The rights to Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, based on facts occurring after 1948 in the opinions of Steven Schebel and Julius Stone, acclaimed International Lawyers. These are summarized on the Internet at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/25/danny-ay… 4. Israel announced its independence in 1948 and held its territory against all invaders by force of arms with its own blood and treasure. This is the traditional way of acquiring sovereignty. 5. Under canon law, Israel was granted to the Jews by God. But he is misguided on the two state solution. There is a one Jewish state solution under International Law that he hasn't thought of. That would be a state with a continued Jewish majority population so that a Jewish democracy with western values could continue in the Middle East. The two state solution recommended by Dershowitz would needlessly give away Jewish and Christian heritage at Rachel's Tomb, The Tomb of the Patriarchs and many Christian sites in Bethlehem. When Jordan was controlling the West Bank, Jews and Christians were barred from these sites. Everyone can go there now but for some of them outside the protective fence Israel has constructed, you need an armed guard to protect you against terrorists.

      • Wallace Brand

        Sorry, Anglo American Convention of 1924.

  • Rybbe

    Thank you Mr. Dershowitz for revealing yet another campus anti-Israel atrocity. We have to keep these stories in the spotlight because these people revel in the fact that they are living in an isolated, protected fairy tale of campus life. When folks like me find out about the hell they are creating, we can then keep the exposure progressing. These administrators are like cockroaches, they hate the spotlight shined on them so let's keep it shining!

  • PAthena

    The anti-Israel (anti-semitic) position of Friends is an old thing which I encountered over 40 years ago at the Friends Meeting House in Cambridge, Mass. See also Guenter Lewy, Peace and Revolution.

  • Secular Jew

    It is no surprise that quaker or friends institutions behave this way. Sects don't change their spots. Unfortunately,there are quite a few ultra-orthodox Judaic sects with views that are similar to Atzmon's and they seem not to be considered anti-semitic.

    • stern

      Actually, sects like Naturei Karta are considered anti-Semitic and their so-called "Rabbis" have been excommunicated. There's a very simple test. A prime tenet of Judaism is to love your fellow Jew, no matter what. These sects call for the destruction of Israel, which makes them, quite simply, non-Jewish.

  • Sashland

    With Friends like this…
    they're going to give Quakers a bad name.

  • sashland

    delusional rant at best..

  • stern

    Boy, do you ever have it right, sashland. For a moment there, I thought I was talking to a fairly rational being, but clearly that was not the case.

  • maturin20

    Just look up:

    U.S. Officials: Israel Terrorists Behind Iran Bombings