Holocaust Speaker Too Controversial for Purdue Calumet?

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Another mockery of the free and open exchange of ideas has unfolded in Indiana. Last week, Purdue University Calumet had the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), along with anti-Israel activist Sefi Samuel speak on campus. Yet the university’s history department, in conjunction with the local Jewish Federation, played a role in the cancellation of another speaker, Peggy Shapiro, two weeks ago. Ms. Shapiro is the Midwest director of StandWithUs, an organization “dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues.” She was a special appointee to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and is also the child of Holocaust survivors.

On Jan 24th, Ms. Shapiro was initially invited to speak by Marie Eisenstein, co-chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), a sub-organization within the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana. Mrs. Eisenstein was specifically interested in having Ms. Shapiro speak about the Nazi roots of contemporary anti-Semitism, because she was concerned that “‘traditional’ Holocaust education does not educate individuals about the lingering effects that are still with us today in terms of anti-Semitism,” Eisenstein told FrontPage. “That is, I think the Jewish community does a wonderful job of Holocaust education and we always tie it to other genocides that have occurred since that time, but we do not educate individuals that the problems faced during the Holocaust have continued to confront world Jewry, manifested by different countries and people than what occurred in the 20th century, and that this is something that affects both Jew and non-Jew.”

Ms. Shapiro accepted the invitation the following day, informing Eisenstein that she had “spoken on the topic in my capacity as President of the Association of Children of Holocaust survivors and as Special Appointee (years ago) to the US Holocaust Memorial Council.” Many venues were considered for the event, but Purdue University Calumet on March 26th became the agreed upon location and date.

Soon after, however, trouble began. On February 8th, Marie Eisenstein wrote to Shapiro, noting that there was “some concern about presenting politically sensitive topics on a campus” and that Michael Steinberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation, was “considering if it might be wiser to hold such an event at the Federation instead.” Mrs. Eisenstein advised Ms. Shapiro that she did not speak for Steinberg, “and if I have misrepresented his concerns, I am sure that he can present it to you more accurately.”

As preparations for the event began to unfold on that end, Mrs. Eisenstein’s husband, Maurice Moshe Eisenstein, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Purdue Calumet, tried to get the history department at the university interested in sponsoring the event. Beginning on February 3rd, a series of email exchanges between Professor Eisenstein and history department head Richard Rupp initially indicated that the department was willing to do so, and Rupp wrote he was also willing to commit $250 towards Ms. Shapiro’s speaking fee. On March 9th, Rupp was contacted by Mrs. Eisenstein regarding a flyer prepared for the event, and Mrs. Eisenstein told Rupp that he could freely disseminate the flyer on campus.

Rupp’s reply was cause for concern. While promising to honor his commitment of $250, he revealed that after he had informed his department of the invitation, the faculty informed him that the event did not have their support. Rupp then said he would remove the line on the flyer indicating that the program would be jointly presented by the history and political science departments, but that the flyer would have the Purdue Calumet Logo.

Why did the faculty in the history department reject sponsoring the event? The minutes of the meeting attended by seven member of the faculty on March 2nd, during which their sponsorship was withdrawn, were vague: “Richard reported that Professor Eisenstein approached the department about sponsoring a speaker on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. After discussion, the faculty decided not to sponsor the event. Richard informed the faculty that the event could go forward without department sponsorship. Richard has already committed $250 toward the event,” the minutes recorded.

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  • aspacia

    No kidding. Unscrupulous academics will target any individuals who disagree.

  • joy52

    Maybe it is time to start another organization on campus so Jewish students have a choice–an organization which would be pro-Isreal and anti-"kill/blame the Jews". This idea is long overdue. Seems like college campuses are dominated by organizations which hold Isreal responsible for ills. The current Jewish organizations provide Jewish students with home-away-from-home religious support and are leftist dominated. A Jewish college student does not have another option on campus. Something tells me if another option were available, then Jewish college students might vote with their feet. I can't believe all Jewish college students are OK with the anti-Semetic and pro-islam tripe being supported by lefty academics.

  • Steve Chavez

    It sounds like Purdue has a problem a ISRAELOPHOBIA PROBLEM!

    $250 speaking fee? Come on! Ahmadinejad, a HOLOCAUST DENIER, was given the red carpet at Columbia University and he spoke FOR FREE! No "mic checks." No disruptions or walk-outs. The only thing that riled up the students was when Ahmadinejad said there "were no gays in Iran." No protests though for stoning of women? Executing NEDA? Arresting Iranian student protesters? But talk about a "gay" and there was mumbling not loud enough though to disrespect their guest speaker!


    • RoguePatriot6


      I heard that. __You know, I try to be objective for the most part but when it comes to the ME and the Israel vs Muslim Arab issue, I can't help but come to the conclusion that the problem with Jew hatred is still amongst us. I'm not just talking about the doctrinal hatred that Islamists have for them either. I'm mainly talking about the apparent hatred for them in this country amongst those so called "icons of acceptance and tolerance", you know those people called liberals.
      I mean, I'm really trying to understand this. How could anyone with an ounce of brain matter in their heads label Jews as the antagonists in the ME or anywhere else. Is it jealousy of their success? Or do they just need someone to blame for their misery or self loathing? (con'd)

    • RoguePatriot6

      It's ridiculous that people would view a country the size of Rhode Island, who's only desire is to be left alone and to exist as a Jewish nation, as the antagonist. Yet we still have these goons who, rather than face the facts, come up with stupid comspiracy theories on how they want to take over the banks, free market and economy and they use this as a basis for their argument. You know, even if it were true, I would sooner trust them with it than I would some people who constantly, voice their hatred for Western Civilization, call me crazy. The real issue in alot of cases is, "whaaaahhh you have more than me…and…and….that not fair, me don't like you". Well, maybe if these same idiots would get off of their fourth point of contact and put the same amount of time in investing their money and education they would have more. Time after time you see the persecution of Jews and Christians by these oxegen thieves in this country as well as others in the ME and people, instead of facing reality, they would rather join the bandwagon on slamming them and come up with the ridiculous claim of "islamophobia" if you have the stones to voice the truth about Islamists (cont'd)

    • RoguePatriot6

      "Phobia" is defined as an irrational fear. "Irrational" is defined as without reason or logic. Now, anyone who hasn't been in a coma for the past few decades, who cannot see any reason to fear Islam and it's zealots who demand that we submit to it, is an idiot. I'm sorry, I hate using that word but to hear, see, and witness what's been going on for the past, just 3 years actually, and not be concerned about Islam and it's quest for world domination you would have to be clinically BRAINDEAD!!! Their is nothing irrational about fearing Islam however there is something very disturbing and irrational about those who appease to it. My case and point, is this administration and their annoying tendency to glue their lips and noses to the backsides of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists alike, HELLO!!!!!, they blatantly voiced their goals of destroying the U.S. What part of "destroy the infidel and Western Socieity" is so hard to understand. Maybe the sound was muffled by their heads being stuck up their American hating backsides.

      What ever the reason, this nation had better wake up.

      • stern

        Great posts, RoguePatriot6, thanks.

  • stern

    Muslims might be offended by a discussion of anti-Semitism? Well, then, Muslims offend me.

    • http://speakingtruthtopower.blogs.com/speaking_truth_to_power_b/ Maurice Eisenstein

      Be careful, I found out that this is "harassing" and they can put in with bad, bad company

      • Schlomotion

        I am surprised that people can actually get paid several hundred, even thousand dollars just to accuse people of anti-Semitism and say they descend from the Nazis. That seems like a fun and lucrative job doing next to nothing.

  • Marty

    This incident reveals the rather despicable and vicious anti-semitism that is apparent several college campuses. It is an irony that institutions of higher learning ignore or distort truth and facts. Much the same occurred during the 1930s as faculty in esteemed places such as Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia wined and dined nazis while simultaneously insisting that the germans were peace-loving. Sound familiar? The same institutions are currently accepting gobs of money from oil-rich autocratic and murderous regimes in saudi arabia and other islamic regimes to portray islam as the (misunderstood) religion of peace. The history faculty members at purdue-calumet apparently do not know much history or, if they do, are willingly becoming tools of a totalitarian ideology that is at least as bad as the nazis in the pursuit of their genocidal goals.

  • Ghostwriter

    I think that they should let Ms. Shapiro talk and Muslims should be invited. They'd ACTUALLY learn something.

  • danseagull


    • David

      Ooooh. We don't want to offend anybody. They may not like us. They may want to kill us. Oooooo, I'm scared

  • Jaladhi

    I wonder how many Muslim students are in these universities who are creating such a havoc in most of them. And the university administrators are such lilly liver cowards to stand upto them. We are cooked!!

  • http://www.nathanielwenger.com NathanielWenger

    Wengerocracy is a form of government where the people watch the ruler entirely amongst their reign. Wengerocracy prevents the leader of a country from covering up unlawful behavior going on.

    Why aren't muslims teaching the importance to instate wengerocracy in Israel?

    Why aren't holocaust survivors teaching the importance to instate wengerocracy in Germany? The holocaust happened. What are you waiting for before you teach the importance to instate wengerocracy in Germany?

  • Nathaniel Wenger

    why didn’t anybody tell me what wengerocracy was before I was treated unlawfully