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What’s behind The American Jewish Divide on the Iran Nuclear Deal?

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Council of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations (CPMAJO) Pres. Stephen M. Greenblatt, Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein with Secretary of State John Kerry , Manhattan, July 24, 2015. Source: CPMAJO and Times of Israel

Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew up to New York to brief  skeptical leaders of major American Jewish organizations on the Administration-backed Iran Nuclear Agreement announced on July 14th. This followed Thursday’s presentation before a truculent Senate Foreign Relations Committee Iran nuclear  review with Kerry, Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. A provocative question by Senate panel member, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, prompted Kerry to issue a warning to Israel not to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. Kerry was also caught touting J Street propaganda suggesting that former Israeli security officials from Shin Bet and Mossad considered it a good deal. As reflected in a Times of Israel (TOI) report on Kerry’s briefings, American Jewish leaders expressed concerns about his inability to answer their questions.

However, a poll released Thursday by the Los-Angeles based Jewish Journal  suggested that virtually half of American Jews backed Obama on the Iran nuclear deal in contrast to less than 28 percent of  all Americans. Thus, confirming the deepening American Jewish divide over support for Israel discussed at length in Ambassador Michael Oren’s memoir, Ally. The TOI article on the Manhattan briefings by Kerry to American Jewish leaders noted the results of the Jewish Journal– sponsored survey:

According to the [Jewish Journal] survey, 49 percent of American Jews support the deal and 31 percent oppose it. Among all Americans, 28 percent support the deal and 24 percent oppose it.

Jewish Journal survey of American Jews on Iran nuclear deal

L.A. Jewish Journal survey of American Jews on Iran nuclear deal, July 23, 2015.

The Times of Israel reported comments from participants in the briefings by Kerry:

Among the issues raised were reports of provisions to shorten the embargoes on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles and secret accords dealing with inspections at Iran’s Parchin military base and the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s past nuclear activities.

“It was a very interesting exchange,” one attendee told the Times of Israel. “We spoke rather frankly and he gave his assessment. Some of the things we agree with and some of the things people disagreed with, but that is the nature of this debate.”

“People remained concerned. He filled in some blanks and on some issues people still feel quite differently,” the attendee added. “Whether you agree with his answers or not, it was an important exchange.”

The meeting with Conference of Presidents involved more than 100 participants from a wide range of Jewish groups including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), incoming Anti-Defamation League Executive Director Jonathan Greenblatt, Yeshiva University President Richard Joel, and representatives of the Jewish Federations of North America. AIPAC is vehemently opposed to the agreement. It has launched a massive lobbying campaign in a bid to see it stonewalled by Congress, which is currently reviewing the terms of the deal.

Let’s look at the nuances of the Jewish Journal Iranian nuclear deal survey findings:

The LA Jewish Journal Survey asked respondents’ views on “an agreement … reached in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons.” Almost half – 49 percent of American Jews – voiced support, and 31 percent opposed. Jews differ from the national population. Of all respondents in our national survey, only 28 percent support the deal, 24 percent oppose and the rest (48 percent) “don’t know enough to say.”

[…]

As a group, Jews hold these supportive views of the agreement, notwithstanding their mixed views regarding its outcomes. Asked whether “this agreement would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons over the next 10 years or so,” only 42 percent are somewhat confident or very confident, while 54 percent are not so confident or not confident at all. A slim plurality believes the agreement will lead to more rather than less stability in the Middle East (46 percent versus 41 percent), but a wider margin believes the deal will make Israel more endangered (49 percent) rather than safer (33 percent), almost the same as in the U.S. survey (48 percent versus 32 percent respectively).

But even with their misgivings, Jews overwhelmingly think that, in retrospect, the idea of the U.S. conducting negotiations with Iran was a good one (59 percent) rather than a bad one (19 percent).

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Shoshana Bryen, The Jewish Policy Center

Shoshana Bryen of the Jewish Policy Center in our 1330amWEBY interview in a forthcoming August 2015 New English Review article commented about the American Jewish divide:

In the Jewish community there is an element that believes any deal is better than no deal. The President said, “Please think of the alternative to this deal.  Think of it,” he said. Clearly, he was leaning in the direction that without the deal, there is war.  There is a group of people in the Jewish community that thinks you must do anything you can, to prevent war.  Anything, everything.  If you give up sanctions and accept demands its okay, because you’re not having war. There’s another group of people in the Jewish community, that says, if you give up everything, you’re going to end up with war anyway, but from a less advantageous position.

Ted Belman of the Jerusalem based blog Israpundit was “shocked” by the L.A. Jewish Journal survey findings pointing to the Shmuel Rosner Journal article, The growing divide between Jewish Americans and Jewish Israelis

Rosner opined:

The Jews of Israel oppose the agreement with Iran. The Jews of America support it. The just-released LA Jewish Journal survey turns an assumption into a fact: The two largest Jewish communities cannot agree on a major world development that could significantly change the state of the Jewish state.

Israel will discover today — much to many Israelis’ surprise (because they don’t much understand American Jews) — that it cannot count on the majority of American Jewry to fight the battle against the agreement alongside it. A majority of American Jews will discover today that amid all the noise made by opponents of the deal, not much has changed for them as a group: They support President Barack Obama; they vote Democratic; they approve of the agreement. American Jews are just like Americans, as sociologist Steven Cohen, who oversaw the survey, writes: They are all skeptical about the deal, but their politics dictate the way they ultimately see it.

My response to Belman was The Jewish Journal publishers hew to a reform movement precept-to repair the world. Shmuel Rosner is a left-wing Israeli journalist who made career of viewing American Jews through that lens including opposition to Bibi and the settler movement. If you look at who consulted on this survey – the West Coast Reform seminary of UAHC- there are likely two biases in both framing questions and population sampling. The first is support for J Street among the reform movement leadership and seminary academics. There are 600 members of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet largely drawn from the Reform movement pulpits in the U.S.  The second is the liberal reform readership of theJewish Journal editions across the U.S.  Increasingly, it seems liberal Jews view Israel as alien to their assimilationist values. That meme comes through in Michael Oren’s memoir.Ally.

Essentially, the Reform movement in the U.S. has returned to its traditional pre WWII anti- Zionist roots.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

What does Rep. Eric Cantor’s Primary Loss in Virginia Really Signify?

Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s hopes to replace House Speaker John Boehner were crushed with his defeat by Randolph Macon Economics Professor David Brat by 11 points, 56% to 45% in Virginia’s Tuesday primary. After the stunning upset victory in suburban Richmond, Virginia’s 7th Congressional District by Republican challenger David Brat, a self-styled Tea Party libertarian, Republican Party leaders are confounded about future prospects. They are concerned about House contests and national mid-term and Presidential elections in both 2014 and 2016. Long term Virginia 7th C.D. incumbent Republican and US House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor has no choice but to resign forcing the House GOP majority to elect a new leader. Because of the immigration issue raised in this defeat of Cantor by Tea Party upstart Brat this could be a further warning to House Speaker John Boehner that he might face similar prospects in his home district in Ohio this November. The Wall Street Journal in its report on Cantor’s upset loss to ‘underfunded’ Brat commented:

Mr. Cantor’s defeat marked an unexpected and staggering turn in this year’s primary-election season, overturning the building narrative that Republican Party leaders and allied business groups had trampled the GOP’s tea-party wing, which has fought to push the party to the political right.

Mr. Cantor’s defeat could reshape many areas of policy in Congress, foremost the prospects for immigration legislation. Many Republican leaders say the GOP won’t make gains with the fast-growing Hispanic population unless it helps to liberalize immigration laws and grant legal status to some illegal immigrants. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) has said he wants to take up the issue, but opposition from conservatives in his ranks has stalled the effort.

In his largely under-the-radar campaign, Mr. Brat, 49 years old, primarily sought to cast himself as more conservative than Mr. Cantor on immigration policy. He also criticized the GOP leader’s alliance with business groups and his record on fiscal issues, particularly his votes to raise the federal borrowing limit, casting Mr. Cantor as part of a leadership team that he argued had grown disconnected from its constituents.

While many are shocked about the Brat primary victory that dethroned House Majority leader Eric Cantor, we do not believe it was because he is Jewish. Rather, it is reflective of the extreme polarization of both parties. Democrats who recently were polled to determine if they were moderate versus liberal, skewed towards liberals. In January 2014 the Gallup organization released findings of self-identification in more than 13 polls taken in 2013 of 18,000 Americans. Their report confirmed this trend:

Americans continue to be more likely to identify as conservatives (38%) than as liberals (23%). But the conservative advantage is down to 15 percentage points as liberal identification edged up to its highest level since Gallup began regularly measuring ideology in the current format in 1992.

On the GOP side, the traditional country club business moderates that we were occasioned to see in prominence as party leaders over the period from the 1940’s through the Reagan, Bush I and II eras have been diminished by the rise of the Tea Party and libertarian grass roots movements.  That is reflected in the ironic confrontation in the November Henrico Virginia Congressional District race which is now between two professors at Randolph Macon University., Brat, a self styled tea Party libertarian, versus Democrat candidate, Jack Trammell, who styles himself as “liberal progressive”. Given the 7th CD voting preferences heavily skewed to conservative Brat might represent the district in the next Congress. As to why Cantor lost, look no further than the comments of David Wasserman of the Cooke Report quoted in this USA Today article on Cantor’s defeat:

Cantor’s leadership position, unwillingness to prolong last October’s government shutdown, far-fetched attacks on Brat, and stylistic clash with Virginia’s gun-owning, very conservative 7th (district) all played a role in the ‘perfect storm’ of base anger that engulfed him.

In a warning sign of Tea Party discontent in Cantor’s Richmond-based district, activists booed and heckled Cantor during a party convention in May. Cantor had invested nearly $1 million into the primary, running television ads and sending mailers attacking the underfunded and little known Brat.

Former Connecticut US Senator Joe Lieberman was upended in a highly partisan primary in August 2006 in the Nutmeg state.  As a Connecticut resident then, many of us were appalled to find that a minority of registered Democrat voters nominated Ned Lamont, scion of a wealthy Greenwich family; many were progressives, virulently anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian. That energized involvement of a number of us in the Lieberman Independent campaign and resulting victory in November 2006.  A majority of those who elected him were Republicans and a distinct minority were union members, what pollsters called conservative lunch bucket Democrats.  That was an indication that the progressives had taken over local Democratic politics.  See my Israpundit post, August 10, 2006.

Unlike the Lieberman example, Cantor can’t run as a ‘sore loser’ Independent candidate in Virginia. And even if he could, he would lose because of the polarized Conservative electorate who didn’t appreciate his moderate views on immigration and other issues.  The defeat of Cantor may possibly lead in the next Congress to overturning current House Speaker John Boehner.  Polarization at the extremes of both parties has vaporized bi-partisan resolution of major public policy issues perhaps reflected in the low approval ratings of Congress. More ominously it may presage the emergence of an autocratic executive branch of our government relying on executive orders.   That could translate to a majority of Independents and moderates in the country being turned off, not voting and both Congressional and Presidential race outcomes determined by activist minorities.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review. The featured photo is courtesy of the Associated Press.

Why the US Accusations Against Israeli Intelligence are Wrong

For the past two days there are have been a spate of articles triggered by  Newsweek contributing editor, Jeff Stein, who wrote a Spy Talk column with accusations alleging that Israeli Intelligence are operating in the US is at “alarming levels,” “Israel won’t stop spying on the US”. Stein’s accusations:

U.S. intelligence officials are saying—albeit very quietly, behind closed doors on Capitol Hill—that our Israeli “friends” have gone too far with their spying operations here.

According to classified briefings on legislation that would lower visa restrictions on Israeli citizens, Jerusalem’s efforts to steal U.S. secrets under the cover of trade missions and joint defense technology contracts have “crossed red lines.”

This despite a long term valued collaboration by US defense intelligence agencies with Israel. Stein’s anonymous sources appear to paint all Israelis as potential spies.

Stein’s allegations were immediately slammed by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and an Israeli Embassy official in Washington. The Jewish Press noted:

First of all, these are malicious accusations. . . I would not agree to any spying on the United States, not in any form, directly or indirectly.

Israeli Embassy spokesperson Aaron Sagui also flatly denied the charges, telling Newsweek, “Israel doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period. We condemn the fact that such outrageous, false allegations are being directed against Israel.

The Stein accusations come amidst strains in the relations between the Administration and Israel over the collapse of the failed final status agreements with the Palestinian Authority. This was reflected in Ynet interviews with an unidentified “senior US official” many believe to be former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk. The Ynet reports suggested that the US might impose its own terms on both the PA newly unified with Hamas and Israel.

Moreover, tensions between Washington and Jerusalem have increased over the latter’s criticism of the P5+1 talks with Iran over curtailment of its nuclear program. That may be part of the agenda that National Security Advisor Susan Rice brought yesterday for discussions with the Netanyahu government. Those intelligence red line accusations may be behind the tightening of visas for visiting Israelis. This sudden swirl triggered by the Stein  piece in Newsweek has led to an unidentified senior Israeli diplomatic official suggesting in a Ynereport that the accusation may have been “tainted by a whiff of anti-Semitism.” That is reflected in Stein’s Newsweek Spy Talk column interviews with former CIA officials resurrecting the rogue Israeli intelligence operation involving imprisoned American spy Jonathan Pollard.

Jeff Stein appears to be touting a line perpetrated by a former FBI intelligence director, David Szady, back in the middle part of the last decade that there was an Israeli mole or moles borrowing into our national security establishment based on the Pollard conviction for spying. Just recall the FBI sting operation against former Defense analyst Larry Franklin at DoD used against the two former AIPAC senior staffers. Rosen and Weissman were falsely accused. A Federal Judge dismissed the wrongful prosecution brought as a result of Szady’s false accusations. I wrote about this eight years ago in an Israpundit article: “Are we all Jonathan Pollards, now?”

An AFP article, based on Stein’s Newsweek column cites unidentified former Congressional aides in his report said:

. . .  a congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony “very sobering … alarming … even terrifying”, and quoted another as saying the behavior was “damaging.”

“No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do,” said a former congressional staffer who attended another classified briefing in late 2013, according to Newsweek.

It said that briefing was one of several in recent months given by the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the FBI and the National Counterintelligence Directorate.

The former congressional staffer said the intelligence agencies did not give specifics, but cited “industrial espionage—folks coming over here on trade missions or with Israeli companies working in collaboration with American companies, [or] intelligence operatives being run directly by the government, which I assume meant out of the [Israeli] Embassy.”

Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and go far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, Britain and Japan, counter-intelligence agents told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees,.

“I don’t think anyone was surprised by these revelations,” the former aide was quoted as saying.

“But when you step back and hear … that there are no other countries taking advantage of our security relationship the way the Israelis are for espionage purposes, it is quite shocking”.

A 2011 Los Angeles Times op-ed by Robert D. Blackwill and Walter B. Slocombe, “Israel: A True Ally in the Middle East” noted:

Counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation is deep and extensive, with the United States and Israel working to advance their common interest in defeating the terrorism of Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups, and preventing nuclear proliferation in the region. There are joint Special Forces training and exercises and collaboration on shared targets.

This intimate relationship reinforces overall U.S. intelligence efforts by providing Washington with access to Israel’s unique set of capabilities for information collection and assessments on key countries and issues in the region. Such was the case, for example, when Israel passed to the United States conclusive photographic evidence in 2007 that Syria, with North Korean assistance, had made enormous strides toward “going hot” with a plutonium-producing reactor.

Slocombe was Undersecretary for Defense Policy at the Pentagon during the Clinton era, while Blackwill served as a diplomat during several Republican Administrations. Their comments in the Los Angeles Times report was drawn from a paper published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. A Tablet article cited  the authors’ views  in the paper at the time on the extensive Israeli contributions to US national security:

The paper offers chapter and verse on Israeli contributions to the U.S. national interest. They include: Israeli counter-proliferation efforts, such as the 1981 bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility and the 2007 attack on Syria’s secret nuclear facility at al-Kibar; joint military training exercises, as well as exchanges on military doctrine; Israeli technology, like unmanned aerial systems, armored vehicle protection, defense against short-range rocket threats, and robotics; missile defense cooperation; counterterrorism and intelligence cooperation; and cyber defense. Blackwill and Slocombe conclude that the alliance is in fact so central to U.S. national interests that U.S. policymakers should find ways to further enhance cooperation with Jerusalem.

Fast forward to 2014. Stein’s Spy Talk column indicates that something sinister is going on in the Washington intelligence community. That Israel, globally recognized  as an acknowledged leader in high tech in both civilian and military applications, needed  to spy on US industrial developments. Doesn’t square. Stein’s anonymous sources on Capitol Hill and in the FBI, CIA, State Department and Homeland Security may be reflecting the Administration’s pique at Israel’s asserting its sovereign right to defend the Jewish nation. A Jewish nation with Jihadist threats ranging on all of its borders seeking its destruction.

RELATED STORIES: 

American Intelligence in Disarray
Report of Israeli spying shows depth of incompetence

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Brandeis Cancels Honorary Degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali at 2014 Commencement

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Tuesday evening Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence rescinded an honorary doctorate that was to be conferred on Somali American women human rights advocate and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the June 2014 Commencement.  He succumbed to outcries of Islamophobe and Fatwas from the Waltham, Massachusetts campus Muslim Students Association chapter supported by a letter signed by 86 members of the university’s Near Eastern and Judaic studies faculty.

Ali is currently embroiled in the lambasting by CAIR of the Clarion project film, Honor Diaries.   Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch political figure was  colleague of the late Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam by a Dutch Moroccan. She wrote the script for the short film, Submission about the oppression of women under Islamic Sharia doctrine.  Ali is the author of the acclaimed biographies, Infidel and Nomad.  She has been a vigorous opponent of political Islam’s totalitarian oppression of women’s human rights, and culture espousing female genital mutilation and honor shame killings.

Honor Diaries trailer:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9WijI2U7dKY[/youtube]

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, US correspondent for The Jewish Press, herself an honored graduate of Brandeis, Class of 1980, declared in an email:  “there is no justice for Hirsi Ali” at her alma mater. In her Jewish Press article, on this latest example of dhimmitude at Brandeis, she noted the campus furor that forced the decision of President Lawrence:

The Brandeis students issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Marcus noted:

The Facebook Page denouncing Ali and the decision to honor her at Brandeis’s 2014 Commencement decried her for her “hate speech.” The Muslim Students Association claimed that honoring her “is a direct violation of Brandeis University’s own moral code as well as the rights of all Brandeis students.”

Most chillingly, while the students acknowledged Ali had experienced “terrible things in her life,” their bottom line was “we will not tolerate an attack at our faith.”

And so they issued a fatwa: the invitation to Ali had to be rescinded. The school newspaper, The Justice (yes, the irony!) ran both a “news article” and an editorial denouncing the decision to give Ali an honorary degree.

Brandeis University president Fred Lawrence echoed the students (and a large number of faculty members, including the Women’s Studies professors) in his statement:

Following a discussion today between President Frederick Lawrence and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ms. Hirsi Ali’s name has been withdrawn as an honorary degree recipient at this year’s commencement. She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.

Commencement is about celebrating and honoring our extraordinary students and their accomplishments, and we are committed to providing an atmosphere that allows our community’s focus to be squarely on our students. In the spirit of free expression that has defined Brandeis University throughout its history, Ms. Hirsi Ali is welcome to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.

In other words, Ali’s decades of devotion to helping women enslaved by misogynistic practitioners of the Muslim faith – who dominate the governments of Muslim countries – was neutered by the pronunciamento by students that they “would not tolerate an attack on [their] faith.” And in still other words, on American campuses criticism of religion – which has been a fixture of campus life – is no longer permitted. What words, what thoughts will be deemed unacceptable next?

This on a campus in leafy Waltham, Massachusetts established by secular Jewish interests in furtherance of one of America’s leading Supreme Court justices, Louis Brandeis. Brandeis was  a vigorous defender of free speech under the US Constitution,   He commented  in a 1913 Harper’s Weekly article saying , ”sunlight is  said  to be the best  of disinfectants”.

Marcus also noted the hypocrisy of a member of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department, posted on the Facebook page by Prof.  Bernadette Brooten, requesting withdrawal of the honorary doctorate for Ali, “a group of 86 faculty members has signed a letter to President Lawrence, asking him to rescind the invitation.”

Marcus noted that Brandeis had conferred honorary doctorates on anti-Israel Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tony Kushner (2006) and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2000). Tutu is an alleged anti-Semite who supporting the notorious Durban I and II UN Human Rights Conference accusing Israel of a Nazi –like occupation of the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, denying Palestinian statehood.

The withdrawal by force majeur of Muslim Students and supporting Brandeis faculty is the latest in a series demonstrating dhimmitude at the suburban Boston campus.  In a June 2006 Israpundit post, “Dhimmitude at Brandeis”, we wrote about the controversial honorary degrees conferred on Kushner and Jordan’s Crown Prince Hassan:

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Honors graduate of the Brandeis Class of 1980,  finally got her message out in an American Thinker article about the mindless and dangerous Brandeis partnership with al Quds University: “The Strange Partner of Brandeis.“ On top of this was the cancellation of a controversial Palestinian children’s art exhibit at Brandeis.

President Reinharz on the other hand was feeling the brunt of all this accumulated criticism when he cataloged his and the Brandeis University woes reflected in a letter exchange with Brandeis faculty captured in a Ha’aretz weblog commentary:

“As you may know, the university (i.e. the president’s office) has been under a steady barrage of complaints these last months… because of my defense of (1) Dr.Khalil Shikaki, a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, against uninformed allegations that he is a supporter of terrorists, (2) Al Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh… (3) Al Quds University itself in the face of the uninformed allegation… and (4) Mr. Tony Kushner, one of this year’s honorary degree recipients, who has been accused by some as being an enemy of Israel…”

As regards the taqiyyah in Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan’s acceptance speech at the 2006 Commencement, we wrote:

That was a backdrop to the sinuous sophistry spread by Prince Hassan of Jordan about religious universalism capsuled in his remarks about the “dear Moishe dear Ibn” correspondence of Maimonides and ibn Rushd in his Brandeis commencement address.

[…]

Prince Hassan persisted in misinforming his Brandeis commencement listeners that somehow, Maimonides, Averroes and St. Thomas Aquinas were intellectual “buddies.” A fiction. This all smacks of dhimmitude, the field of study pioneered by Bat Ye’or author of “Eurabia” concerning the subjugation of all infidels under the Islamic Shariah laws. All Brandeis trustees had to do to complete this transformation was to pay the jizya or “poll tax.”

So, if Muslim taqiyyah isn’t bad enough there is the EUrabian anti-Zionist mindset of students at the Brandeis Middle East Studies Crown Center program.

When the atrocities and barbarities of Islamofascist Ba’athist leader and monster, Saddam Hussein was discussed students said in rebuttal, “how can you chastise Saddam Hussein, when we have the monster Sharon.” This is moral equivalency of the most abysmal sort and patent pro-Palestinian propaganda.

In a controversial Brandeis student newspaper column by Matt Brown in April [2006] he complained about the university being “too Jewish.” This gave rise to accusations of “self loathing” by the Jewish community in a recent Boston Globe article entitled “A Question of Culture” by staff writer Sarah Schweitzer. I guess Brown would complain if Brandeis was a Jesuit university, right?

Our conclusion in the Israpundit 2006 post on the prior Brandeis Commencement episode seems prescient given what occurred last night with the withdrawal of the honorary doctorate for Hirsi Ali:

Perhaps the Brandeis trustees should change its name to something nondescript like Dhimmi U to complete the transformation. Then wouldn’t the late Supreme Court Justice, the iconic Louis Brandeis, whom President Reinharz referred to in his commencement exercise comments as “a Zionist and a proud Jew,” spin in his grave.

RELATED STORY: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “They Simply Wanted Me to be Silenced”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.