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Betrayal at Brandeis By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, May 08, 2006

Brandeis University began in 1948, according to its mission statement, “under the sponsorship of the American Jewish community” in order to “embody its highest ethical and cultural values.”  In this age of the ascendancy of the academic Left, it is in danger of becoming the polar opposite of those noble aspirations: a useful idiot of the global jihad. First there was the appointment of Khalil Shikaki a senior fellow at its Crown Center for Middle East Studies, and the flat refusal to consider the evidence linking Shikaki to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Now comes an honorary doctorate to be awarded to playwright Tony Kushner on May 21.

Kushner thinks that “it would have been better if Israel never happened,” and that its founding was a “mistake.” He has echoed the most outrageous fantasies of Palestinian propagandists, denouncing Israel for “ethnic cleansing” and declaring: “The biggest supporters of Israel are the most repulsive members of the Jewish community and Israel itself has got this disgraceful record...Israel is a creation of the U.S., bought and paid for...There are lots of beautiful little orange groves and olive groves which the Palestinians had before the Jews were there, and some very attractive European-looking cities, too...” Kushner has decried “the deliberate destruction of Palestinian culture and a systematic attempt to destroy the identity of the Palestinian people” -- without, of course, mentioning that that national identity was invented in the 1960s in what turned about to be an extraordinarily successful ploy to adjust the paradigm of the Arab-Israeli conflict with the newly-minted Palestinians as the underdogs.


Meanwhile, Brandeis Goldfarb Library featured a propagandistic exhibition of children’s paintings called “Voices from Palestine,” including depictions of bloodied Palestinian children and a PLO flag in the shape of Israel, suggesting that all of Israel belongs by right to the Palestinians. Adverse publicity compelled the Library to close the exhibit Wednesday, after four days of a scheduled two-week run. Yet the day after the Library closed the exhibit, protestors came out at Brandeis; one carried a sign reading, “Shut Down the Israeli Apartheid Terror State/From the River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free.” Another read: “END Repression of Palestanian [sic] Children” -- a particularly brutal irony in light of the culture of murderous hatred into which Palestinian children at the youngest ages are plunged by their parents.


These are the “highest ethical and cultural values” of the American Jewish community? Brandeis has clearly lost its way: it has come full circle from the robust and fervent Zionism of Justice Louis Brandeis. It has imbibed so deeply the Left’s iron dogma of relativist multiculturalism that it has become just another academic conduit for the propaganda and disinformation that dominate the discussion about Israel in today’s universities.


The bitter irony is that Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz and the others responsible for hiring Shikaki and honoring Kushner, as well as the protestors at the University last Thursday, no doubt believe that all this demonstrates their commitment to justice. Those at Brandeis who are responsible for all this probably deplore the Israeli “apartheid” state, but they never address (except to explain away) the relentless terror attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinian mujahedin or the overall climate of terror that made the infamous “apartheid wall” necessary. They do not examine the root causes of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and so believe that it can by various concessions on the part of Israel. They, like so many others in Europe and America, labor under the delusion that they can win peace with the jihadists through concessions and negotiated settlements.


They don’t have any idea of what the new rulers of “Palestine,” the Islamic Resistance Movement or Hamas, make quite plain in the Charter of their movement: that the conflict between Muslim Arabs and Israel is not ultimately about “stolen land” or nationalistic yearnings. If it had been, the Palestinian Arabs would have accepted the state offered them by the UN partition plan of 1948. Instead, it is just one front of the global jihad effort to establish the hegemony of Islamic law not just over what is now the State of Israel, but over the entire world. Hamas, the Charter says, “will spare no effort to bring about justice and defeat injustice, in word and deed, in this place and everywhere it can reach and have influence therein.” In this context justice equals Islamic rule: Hamas states that “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.”


The jihad ideology stipulates that Muslims must strive to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order over the world, offering non-Muslims conversion to Islam, subjugation as inferiors -- dhimmis, or protected (or guilty) people -- under Islamic law, or war (cf. Qur’an 9:29; Sahih Muslim 4294, etc.). What the befuddled Leftists of Brandeis don’t seem to realize is that this imperative does not stem from outrages committed by the infidels, although such outrages, whether imagined or real, are used as pretexts to stir up support for the jihad at hand. If Israel dismantled the wall tomorrow and withdrew to the 1967 borders, the Palestinians would not be placated.


If Israel gives up part of Jerusalem, peace will not come. The Palestinian mujahedin and their allies will have fresh demands. And Jerusalem itself will become more dangerous and uncomfortable for free people who believe in the equality of rights of all people. If, as Kushner and the Brandeis protestors evidently hope, Israel eventually disappears before the jihad onslaught, the warriors of jihad will not be placated, and peace will not come to the earth. New pretexts will be found to stir up the faithful to fight on until Islamic law reigns supreme over the entire world.


That’s why Brandeis’ hiring of Shikaki, honoring of Kushner, and displaying of Palestinian war propaganda are all in service of victory not only for the Palestinians, but for the global jihad. Brandeis has betrayed the principles on which it was founded; it is also abetting those whose ultimate goals involve the imposition of a draconian system that would deny equality of rights to women and religious minorities, and would dismiss the cultural monuments and intellectual achievements of the Judeo-Christian West as jahiliyya -- so much ignorance and trash. In that respect, Brandeis officials have not only betrayed its Jewish and American identity, but even its status as a University.

No one who loves genuine freedom, and who respects Judeo-Christian values, should hesitate to call them on these betrayals.

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Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.

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