Thursday, May 02, 2024

Pro-Palestinian protesters attacked at UCLA, hundreds arrested in New York at encampment

Groups of protesters have clashed overnight at a pro-Palestinian camp at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) — while 280 people have been arrested at similar encampments in New York.

More than 1,000 people have so far been arrested across the United States amid growing protests that have spread to Australian universities.

Witness footage from UCLA, verified by Reuters, showed people wielding sticks or poles to hammer on wooden boards being used as makeshift barricades to protect the pro-Palestinian protesters before police were deployed to the campus.

As student rallies have spread to dozens of schools across the US in recent days expressing opposition to Israel's war in Gaza, police have been called in to quell or clear protests.

The student protests in the United States have also taken on political overtones in the run-up to the presidential election in November, with Republicans accusing some university administrators of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic rhetoric and harassment.

On Tuesday, UCLA officials announced that the encampment was unlawful and violated university policy. UCLA Chancellor Gene Brock said it included people "unaffiliated with our campus", though he provided no evidence of the presence of outsiders.

Footage from the early hours of Wednesday morning showed mostly male counter-demonstrators, many of them masked and some apparently older than students, throwing objects and trying to smash or pull down the wooden and steel barriers erected to shield the encampment.

Some screamed pro-Jewish comments as pro-Palestinian protesters tried to fight them off.

"They were coming up here and just violently attacking us," said pro-Palestinian protester Kaia Shah, a researcher at UCLA.

"I just didn't think they would ever get to this, escalate to this level, where our protest is met by counter-protesters who are violently hurting us, inflicting pain on us, when we are not doing anything to them."

Police said they had responded to a request from UCLA to restore order and maintain public safety "due to multiple acts of violence" within the encampment.

Broadcast footage later showed police clearing a central quad beside the encampment.

On Tuesday night local time, New York police arrested dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators holed up in a building at Columbia University and removed a protest encampment that the Ivy League college had sought to dismantle for nearly two weeks.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said that about 170 of the 280 arrested at Columbia University and City College have received summonses.

The remaining 100 or so cases will be making their way through the court system, with the earliest arraignments later Wednesday afternoon and into the evening local time.

It is not yet known how many of those arrested were students and how many weren't affiliated with the colleges, he said.

New York mayor Eric Adams told reporters that the occupation of the building at Columbia was led by people not affiliated with the university.


Jewish students rally at University of Melbourne

Hundreds of pro-Israel supporters, many draped in Israeli and Australian flags, have gathered at The University of Melbourne.

The group is calling on educational institutions to make its campuses a safe place to be for Jewish students.

Zionist Federation of Australia chief executive officer Alon Cassuto opened the rally.

“We know that students don’t feel safe to be who they are and celebrate who they are,” he told the crowd.

“And since October 7 … anti-Semitism around the world has been on the rise.

“We’re here to say that the past seven months are not something we’re prepared to tolerate any longer. Our campuses have to be free of hate.”

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students president Noah Loven said he would not give the pro-Palestinian encampment any oxygen.

“We don’t want to lean into what they want. So we’re here to stand proud as your students and to stand together for peace,” Mr Loven said.

“In response to the troubling trend that has taken root in our academic institutions across Australia and New Zealand … Jewish students, my peers, have increasingly become targets of fear intimidation, and harassment.”

Protesters were holding signs that read “keep hate off campus” and “stand together against anti-semitism”.

Groups of police officers were stationed around the parameter of the event.

Jewish students say they are in fear of being intimidated and harassed on campus.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students has voiced concerns and decided to take action after hearing reports of Jewish students avoiding their universities

The union is calling for a roundtable with Education Minister Jason Clare, state education ministers and vice chancellors, and are also demanding that universities implement policies that prohibit hate speech on campus.

It also demands that universities require students to show their student identification “to ensure that external extremist actors do not hijack our campuses”.

The union’s Victorian branch president Holly Feldman said she had friends at Columbia University in the US who have been harassed for being involved in Jewish life.

“The situation continues to escalate and Jewish students are distressed,” Ms Feldman said.

“It’s simply not safe for many Jewish students on campus at the moment, and it’s unacceptable that many feel they cannot attend their lectures and classes in person without fear of intimidation, harassment and violence,” Mr Loven said.

“This is not an issue of free speech – it is of vilification and the endorsement of terror.

“Some of these extreme groups are crossing the line.”

The protest, to take place on Thursday afternoon, is in response to student activists camping out at Australian campuses, including at the University of Melbourne.

Thursday will mark the eighth day members of Uni Melb for Palestine have camped out on the campus’ south lawn.

Students at the University of Sydney, University of Queensland and Australian National University are also holding their own camps.

Australian Palestine Advocacy Network president Nasser Mashni has shown his support for the Melbourne outfit by attending and giving a speech, and in Sydney, Greens Deputy Leader Mehreen Faruqi also addressed students camped out.

The new wave of protests take inspiration from university encampments across the United States, which on Wednesday saw a heavy police presence descend on Columbia University to forcibly clear protesters out.

Uni Melb for Palestine issued a warning to students ahead of the Jewish student-led protest to “not engage with agitators or Zionists at all” and to “not divulge information/details of comrades to cops or security”.

The group are hosting a “teach in” event which will include speeches from Melbourne Law School senior research fellow Dr Jordana Silverstein and a Jewish anti-Zionist student who will discuss “Palestinian liberation from an anti-Zionist Jewish perspective”.

Zionist Federation of Australia chief executive officer Alon Cassuto said he was concerned about the welfare of Jewish students on campus and voiced his support for the demonstration.

“We warned universities last year about the manifestations of antisemitism on campuses, but the situation has gotten worse since that time,” Mr Cassuto said.

“There has been a collective absence of leadership, with appalling and intimidatory behaviour being ignored in the hope that it will go away. Instead, in the face of inaction, it’s gotten worse.”

He claimed that Jewish students are scared to complain “for fear their marks will be affected” which has resulted them to stay away from campus.

“Societal cohesion requires community and political leaders to publicly and strongly call out and push back on those seeking to undermine that cohesion,” the ZFA leader said.

“Anti-Semitism under the guise of political discourse is still antisemitism. We must be vigilant and clear in our opposition to any form of hate on our campuses.”


Top French university loses regional funding over pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel protests

The Paris region authority sparked controversy Tuesday by temporarily suspending funding for Sciences Po, one of the country’s most prestigious universities, after it was rocked by tense pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel demonstrations.

“I have decided to suspend all regional funding for Sciences Po until calm and security have been restored at the school,” Valerie Pecresse, the right-wing head of the greater Paris Ile-de-France region, said on social media on Monday.

She took aim at “a minority of radicalized people calling for antisemitic hatred” and accused hard-left politicians of seeking to exploit the tensions.

Regional support for the Paris-based university includes 1 million euros ($1.07 million) earmarked for 2024, a member of Pecresse’s team told AFP.

On Tuesday, the university’s acting administrator, Jean Basseres, said he regretted the decision.

“The Ile-de-France region is an essential partner of Sciences Po, and I wish to maintain dialogue on the position expressed by Mrs. Pecresse,” he told French daily Le Monde in an interview.

In an echo of tense demonstrations rocking many top United States universities, students at Sciences Po have staged a number of protests, with some students furious over the Israel-Hamas war and ensuing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

France is home to the world’s largest Jewish population after Israel and the US, as well as Europe’s biggest Muslim community.




Wednesday, May 01, 2024

The Biden Administration Has Redefined ‘Sex.’ What Does That Mean for Schools?

The Biden administration now says that “sex” means “gender identity.” So, what does this mean for K-12 teachers?

In a new regulation released last week, the Biden administration changed the definition of “sex” in a crucial civil rights law that was originally designed to protect women. Title IX of the Civil Rights Act says that schools cannot discriminate against individuals based on sex, which gave women better access to higher education and athletics.

But the Biden administration has swapped “sex” for “gender,” which will allow biological males access to females’ bathrooms, locker rooms, sports competitions, etc.

K-12 educators around the country are wondering what to do next, because this rule would have major implications for school facilities and athletic teams.

Washington wants schools to change their harassment policies, too, because the new rule says individuals could face charges of harassment if they address someone according to his or her sex instead of “gender” choice.

Our advice to educators: Wait.

The Biden administration’s rule violates numerous administrative laws and constitutional free-speech provisions, not to mention women’s civil rights. The rule goes into effect Aug. 1, and we forecast a long, hot summer of litigation that will stall and should ultimately overturn this rule.

The rule violates state laws that protect women’s athletics and prohibit men from competing in women’s sports. Louisiana Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley has already issued a letter to school officials in his state saying the rule violates their state’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which keeps single-sex sports just that—for individuals of one sex to compete with each other: girls’ soccer for girls, boys’ basketball for boys, as schools have operated for generations.

“This rule runs contradictory to the entire foundation of Title IX,” Brumley wrote to teachers and principals. “The Title IX rule changes recklessly endanger students and seek to dismantle equal opportunities for females.” The lead education officials of Oklahoma and South Carolina have sent similar letters to educators in their states.

The rule also ignores research that finds health professionals do not know enough about the long-term effects of drugs and medicines being used to alter human bodies, including the biological functions of children. Earlier this month, England’s National Health Service released a report that the Times of London called “the world’s biggest review into the contested field of transgender health care.”

The release, called the Cass Report, found that scientists “have no good evidence” on the long-term outcomes from puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and surgeries that alter reproductive organs.

Young people in particular may feel “an urgency to transition,” the Cass Report said, but “young adults looking back at their younger selves would often advise slowing down.” The report’s authors said the effects of so-called gender interventions “needs to be better understood.”

The Independent Women’s Forum, an advocacy organization, has already announced its intent to sue the administration. The new rule “turns Title IX on its head through extra-statutory regulations,” the group said in a news release.

Public opinion sides with Brumley, the Cass Report, and the Independent Women’s Forum. A 2023 survey of Americans found that 55% of respondents said it is “morally wrong” to change your gender, an increase of 4 percentage points from 2021. In the same survey, 69% of Americans said that “transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender.”

Americans do not like watching videos on social media of middle-school girls getting thrown down by a boy in a basketball game or of a high school girl having her teeth knocked out while playing field hockey. Nor do any parents want their daughters to share a locker room with a boy.

The Biden administration is violating civil rights law and ignoring research and public opinion. School officials would do well to wait before changing school rules—both to see what happens in court and to protect students and teachers from this harmful policy.


The Problem Is Academia

The explosion of violent and shockingly antisemitic protests on college campuses is just the latest in a series of self-inflicted black eyes for higher education in the United States. In March last year, a group of students at Stanford Law School shut down a talk by federal Judge Kyle Duncan, screaming vulgar epithets and refusing to allow him to speak.

In October, the presidents of Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania embarrassed themselves in congressional hearings convened to ask about combating antisemitism on their campuses. Penn President Liz Magill resigned immediately thereafter. Harvard’s President Claudine Gay survived that controversy but resigned a few weeks later when multiple instances of plagiarism in her research were exposed.

This week, protests have erupted not only at Ivy League schools like Columbia, Harvard and Brown but the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas, Emory University and elsewhere, causing enormous disruption. Jewish students at Columbia left campus, after which the administration announced that classes will be hybrid (in-person and virtual) for the remainder of the semester. USC has canceled its public commencement ceremony. Dozens have been arrested on multiple campuses.

Americans are understandably asking, what’s the problem in academia?

I’ve worked as a professor and administrator at multiple institutions since 1991. Despite its historic strengths (and there are many), there is a great deal wrong with our system of higher education. A comprehensive list is impossible given space constraints, but here are some issues that have contributed to the damaged culture in academia.

— Academia is dominated by one political perspective. A 2017 article from Inside Higher Ed cited a study showing that just over 9% of faculty surveyed identified as “conservative.” A more recent article from the American Institute for Economic Research points out that this trend has worsened in the past few years, with the number of faculty who identify as “far left” more than doubling. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the disciplines where leftist ideology is most monolithic — up to 80% — are the humanities and social sciences; subjects all students are exposed to, regardless of their majors.

— Standards for publication contribute to the proliferation of nonsense. Faculty are required to publish significantly more than was the case decades ago. Candidates for tenure are evaluated not only for publishing in “A” journals but for the number of times their work is cited by other scholars. While this can demonstrate serious and groundbreaking work, it also incentivizes taking radical or inflammatory positions for the sake of getting attention. (On the internet, this is called “clickbait.” We’ll call this practice “citebait.”)

In 2018, scholars Peter Boghossian, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay revealed another consequence of the “publish — a lot — or perish” culture. The three crafted multiple papers with deliberately absurd theses — calling for “feminist astrology” or arguing for the existence of “rape culture” in dog parks — and several were accepted for publication. (In a disturbing display of defensive embarrassment, Boghossian’s employer, Portland State, accused him of “academic fraud” and commenced a disciplinary investigation. He resigned in protest.)

— Research is captured by politics and money. When headlines proclaim that “most researchers agree,” readers may assume scientists with competing ideas duked it out, and the theory with the most proof prevailed. That isn’t necessarily true. A 2019 article in medical news journal Stat revealed that research into alternative theories about the causes of Alzheimer’s was thwarted by “experts” who didn’t want their theories challenged: Scholars’ papers weren’t published, their grant applications were rejected, speaking engagements were denied, faculty candidates were denied tenure. This has happened in other disciplines as well, including nutrition, climate change and gender dysphoria. Dissenters from the orthodoxy are dealt with harshly.

— Tenure is a big part of the problem. The “third rail” in any discussion about academic policies, tenure is supposed to promote diversity of viewpoints, encourage scholarly exploration and protect faculty from retaliation. In practice, however, as noted above, it has contributed to publishing “churn” and been used as a weapon against scholars whose work challenges or repudiates prevailing viewpoints.

It has also insulated faculty who espouse societally destructive ideologies from any accountability. It’s one thing to posit a controversial theory of particle physics and be proven wrong. It’s altogether different to defend a political philosophy like Marxism — as many professors continue to do. By way of comparison, if a company or industry produced a product that killed 100 million people, it’s safe to say there would be some blowback. Why should faculty be able to preach doctrines like collectivism, moral relativism or the nonexistence of truth without being called to account for the consequences?

Tenure also gives arguably undeserved credibility to “theories” that often amount to little more than the authors’ worldviews. Those viewpoints make their way into corporate boardrooms, government regulations and K-12 education policies, foisted onto an unsuspecting public that has had little to no opportunity to evaluate their merits.

Even before last year’s congressional hearings or the protests about the Israel-Hamas war, the constant drumbeat of academic scandals (Varsity Blues, sexual assault at Michigan State, skyrocketing tuition) had already produced calls for more oversight. Here in Indiana, our governor signed a bill last month designed to promote “intellectual diversity” and “free inquiry,” and changing the criteria for tenure at our public universities.

Faculty are concerned that such oversight could be abused. But the universal lesson here is to govern yourself or be governed. Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson opined in an interview earlier this year that higher education “cannot be reformed from within.” Whether or not he’s right, American colleges and universities have for decades hidden behind “academic freedom” when confronted with the socially destructive behavior that seems to be the aftermath of terrible ideologies. The general public has grown weary of it.

In academia, as elsewhere, a few bad apples create problems for everyone else. Most doctors don’t commit malpractice, most teachers don’t sleep with their students, most business owners don’t commit fraud. Similarly, most faculty are people with deep interest in their subject matter and sincere concern for the education and well-being of the college students they teach. But, unlike the other professions noted above, ours has not been willing to root out the bad actors — or indeed had any real mechanism for doing so.

If we don’t do it ourselves, it will be done for us.


Sydney University pro-Palestine camp shows topsy-turvy world of warriors for radical chic

Like children with matches in a summer bushland tinderbox, the pro-Palestinian protesters at our universities seem to have no idea about the lethal forces that are their playthings. Islamist extremism, anti-Semitism, Arab grievance, Jewish defiance, great power politics and social cohesion in Western liberal democracies like our own are all in the mix.

These are tensions not easily grasped or resolved by undergraduates looking for the revolutionary cause of their era. When they bandy around terms like “Israeli genocide” and “apartheid state” or talk about a colonial power usurping the rights of an Indigenous people you know that facts, history and context have no place in their considerations.

Politicians of the left in the US, Britain and here do little to chastise or correct them because they are in the ugly electoral game of courting the ever-growing Muslim vote, holding off ever more radical leftist rivals, and appealing to the young and impressionable. National values and interests play second fiddle to the spineless mathematics of political power.

At Columbia University in New York City, which has led the way in what has become a global campus campaign, Jewish students this month were advised to stay away from classes, and now the whole university has switched to a remote learning model. Even one pro-Palestinian protester, Linnia Norton, seemed shocked at the hatred they had unleashed, telling a reporter; “There were people outside of campus one time with signs that said, ‘Death to all Jews’ – that is awful and nobody should be having to experience that on their campus.”

The Students for Palestine protesters at the University of Sydney are unashamedly derivative, posting on Instagram that they have been “greatly inspired” by the movement at Columbia. They have chanted “Intifada, intifada”, cheering on Palestinian armed uprisings that have visited terrorism on Israel repeatedly since the 1980s, taking thousands of innocent lives.

Whatever your view of Palestinian aspirations and the Israeli government, no rational approach to this issue should ignore the human reality. It seems incomprehensible that these privileged students could see the Hamas atrocities of October 7 last year and the horrible war they were designed to trigger and use those events not to condemn and campaign against Hamas but to advocate the terror group’s agenda.

On Anzac Day, after bathing in the warm and reassuring camaraderie of the dawn service at Bondi, I went to the Sydney University students’ “occupation” site to see for myself. From a distance, the whole thing looked like topsy-turvy world to me. These are students who promote and enjoy sexual liberation, gender equality, embracing of gays, bisexuals and transgender people, imbibing of alcohol, and no doubt free expression, democracy and individual rights; how could they offer comfort to the Islamist extremist terror group Hamas, which would readily throw them off a rooftop on any of those counts?

And yes, like topsy-turvy world, this mob inverts logic and consistency. This is a movement that deliberately targeted Anzac Day for “glorification of war” while it refuses to condemn Hamas for instigating and continuing a war with unspeakable barbarity against civ­il­ians. The protesters do not even denounce Hamas for the way it deliberately triggered war: slaughtering 1200 people, including babies, women, teenagers and the elderly, while taking nearly 250 hostages for raping, torture and murder, with about 130 unaccounted for more than six months on.

As I walked into Sydney’s tent city I saw a sign scrawled on the walkway declaring this was the “Gaza camp”. There were Palestinian flags, tents emblazoned with “From the river to the sea” (the obliteration of Israel as a slogan), a stand for Socialist Alternative with a copy of Introducing Marxism on display, and a lot of young people milling about in Palestinian keffiyeh – clearly this lot had skipped the unit on cultural appropriation.

Unusually for people running a demonstration, they were very shy. I asked two women why they had “from the river to the sea” on their tents and they denied knowledge or responsibility for the tent daubing – I am certain if I had stuck around they would have denied it three times before the cock crowed.

Another group of students told me they would speak with the ABC or SBS but not with The Australian, and when I asked them why I saw no posters or banners calling for the release of hostages they broke eye contact and scattered without response.

When the protesters gathered for an open-air meeting, in keeping with their “people’s movement” schtick, they said they could not speak freely while I was watching and asked me to leave. Before leaving I posed the hostage question again – they offered no answer.

Why are the hostages conscientiously unremembered as a political inconvenience? Like the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, these protesters want to wipe away October 7.

It troubles me that young students can turn their backs on a family such as the Bibas family. I witnessed videoed brutality and terror from October 7 that I would dearly love to unsee, but a video of the Bibas family, without overt violence, haunts me like no other, and should haunt the free world.

On the morning of October 7 last year at kibbutz Nir Oz, Shiri Bibas, 32, is seen holding her two beautiful red-haired boys, Kfir, 9 months, and Ariel, 4. (We’ve since learned Shiri’s husband Yarden had been dragged off bleeding from the head and is believed to be dead; Shiri’s parents later were found murdered). In the video Shiri appears to be uninjured but is surrounded by Hamas terrorists telling her what to do and where to go, and she is confused and terrified, clutching her boys. Her blameless terror and fear for her boys are a violation of humanity.

This mother and her boys remain unaccounted for, with some reports suggesting they were alive early this year, and Hamas claiming they were killed later by Israeli attacks. So cowardly and depraved is this abomination that the best we can hold any slim hope for is that this woman and her two boys somehow have endured almost seven months of horror.

The only person at the university who would engage in a meaningful discussion with me was Josh Lees. He is not a Sydney University student but clearly had a leadership role at the camp.

Lees is an organiser of the Palestinian Action Group and a writer for Red Flag, the newspaper and website of Socialist Alternative which claims to be the nation’s “largest Marxist revolutionary group”. So much for student autonomy.

“What’s your view of Hamas?” I asked Lees. “It’s not about Hamas, we’re opposing the genocide in Gaza,” he diverted.

And so it went, repeatedly, with this professional activist refusing to condemn Hamas or its bloodcurdling terrorism. After five unsuccessful attempts for a view on Hamas I switched to asking about his view of what Hamas did on October 7. “My view is that nothing that happened on October 7 can possibly justify a genocide that’s been taking place,” he said.

I persisted, suggesting the point was not what the events did or did not justify but more simply, did he have a view about 1200 people massacred and up to 250 taken hostage. “You wanna ask me about something that happened six-and-a-half months ago?” he deflected.

“One human being to another,” I implored. “Do you have no view about what happened on October 7?” Silence. “You can’t find it in your heart to condemn the atrocity that occurred on October 7?” Nothing.

Eventually he muttered in rhetorical tone, “Israel can defend itself, but the Palestinians can’t?!” This was a sickening characterisation of the October 7 bloodlust as self-defence.

The conversation was abhorrent and pointless. Pushed on hostages Lees claimed Israel had 10,000 hostages – facts do not matter on this campus.

These protests at some of our most prestigious universities are deeply disturbing and metastasising across our public debate. Sydney University trumpets three values of “trust, accountability and excellence” and it champions diversity, yet it tolerates a protest demonising Jews and Israel, and encouraging armed uprising by Islamist terrorists against a liberal democracy.

This, while the Islamist extremist threat re-emerges on our shores, pointed among the young. And the type of Islamist society promoted by Hamas and like-minded groups is the most brutally intolerant version known to humankind – anathema to the claimed values of any university or Western democracy.

Columbia University proclaims its mission cannot succeed without “thoughtful, rigorous debate” that is “free of bigotry, intimidation and harassment”. But right now Jewish students and staff are being physically intimidated and blocked from attending classes, so that most are too fearful to attend.

The Sydney students chant “Intifada” and “Revolution” on social media and claim Israel is “murdering tens of thousands of people”.

The university says it wants all its students to be able to express their views and it has beefed up security as a precaution – vice-chancellor Mark Scott seems to have switched from the staff-run collective model at the ABC to a student-run collective on campus.




Tuesday, April 30, 2024

What Lies Behind Student Pro-Hamas, Anti-Israel, and Anti-Semitic Uprisings?

It is a modernized version of Marxism, with its hate-based need for oppressors and the oppressed

The sudden uprising of university students across North America in support of Hamas and allegedly about the welfare of Palestinians does not result, for most students, from close ties with people on the other side of the world.

Of course, there is in North America a small minority of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim students who are strong advocates based on their ethnicity and religion. But the vast number of student protesters have no such personal ties. Why have they set aside their studies to take up activism?

We know that the reason for the uprising is not that the student activists have studied deeply the history and politics of the Middle East, the history and theology of Islam and Judaism, and how international relations more broadly influence the region. Few of the students are majoring or minoring in Middle Eastern history and current affairs, Islamic history and theology, or Jewish history and theology. We know because of the many students chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free [of Jews],” a large number cannot name either the river or the sea. How many of the students could identify Israel or Gaza on a map is uncertain.

If ties to or knowledge of the region are not behind the fevered advocacy for Hamas, what is? One factor that is undeniable is the highly organized, well-funded Muslim lobby, sponsors of Students for Justice in Palestine, and other Palestine and Islam advocacy groups, which have branches in universities across the land. Their partisanship and relentless lobbying have no doubt influenced student opinion to some degree. However, most students do not identify as Palestinian and Muslim, so their engagement on these bases is not strong. Something else must be at work.

By far, the dominant ideology in universities is the far leftist conception of “social justice,” generally defined and implemented as “diversity, equity, inclusion.” This is not a student invention but a policy imposed from the highest level, the Biden administration in the United States and the Trudeau government in Canada. Universities have had this far left ideology and its implementation imposed on them by government fiat. But most universities were far from reluctant, because almost all academic staff and administration officials were children or grandchildren of the 1960s’ cultural revolution, who either self-identified as Marxists or accepted Marxist analyses and policies.

“Social justice” is based on Marxist class conflict analysis. In this view, society is not many individuals and groups competing and cooperating over space and time, with relationships changing according to circumstances. Rather, the only important relationships in society are based on the conflict between classes, one class being the oppressor and exploiter, the other class being the exploited and oppressed victim. Classical Marxism framed class conflict in terms of economic classes, but that formulation never took hold in North America. The new, revised North American Marxism can be labeled “cultural Marxism,” because it identifies classes as based in sex, race, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, and religion. What is critical is that the classes of oppressors and victims be identified.

In this cultural Marxist view, males made up an exploiter class, “the patriarchy,” while females were deemed to make up an exploited victim class. Likewise, the black, brown, and indigenous races, “BIPOC,” were oppressed and exploited races, and evil “whites,” remarkably including Asians and Jews, made up the oppressor class. Similarly, “cis” heterosexuals were deemed to be oppressors of LGBT. The oppressor classes are charged with systemic prejudice and discrimination against the victim classes. In this scheme, all individual differences of members within these so-called “classes” are erased.

The evidence supporting this scheme is stunningly slim. Not only have the laws supporting prejudice and discrimination been eliminated, but new laws forbidding prejudice and discrimination have been passed and implemented and, by now, have long been on the books. The alleged evidence put forward by activists as decisive is disparate results in education, income, and office. If any category is not represented at the level of its percentage of the general population, that is taken as proof of prejudice and discrimination. The many other possible reasons for statistical disparities—differences in preferences and choices, differences in motivation and achievement, differences in capabilities—are ignored or denied in spite of the overwhelming evidence of the impact of these factors. The influence of regional, local, and ethnic culture is totally disregarded.

“Social justice” is put into practice under the labels “diversity, equity, inclusion,” which do not mean what they seem to at first appearance. For example, “diversity” means only members of oppressed classes, not men, not whites, not “cis” heterosexuals, and so these people are excluded, not “included.” Ads for university positions today specify only BIPOC or LGBT or those with a disability; heterosexual white males without disabilities are excluded from consideration. For example, females dominate universities as the overwhelming majority among students, professors, and administrators. Did you notice that the Ivy League universities in the news, because of student uprisings, all have female presidents?

As well, do not imagine that “diversity” in universities means diversity of opinion and thought; in fact views other than “social justice” and DEI are forbidden, and expressing such thoughts can result in punishment or banishment. DEI officers and offices, of which most universities have many at every level, act as political commissars suppressing ideological dissent through guidance and imposing penalties.

“Equity” is another matter entirely. It means the same results for everyone. This is the extreme ideal of Marxism: absolute equality. So any situation that produces a disparity of results is ipso facto deemed illegitimate. And here is the justification: All disparities are regarded as the result of prejudice and discrimination. So the traditional criteria of academic life in particular and public life in the West—achievement and merit—must be disregarded as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic. This explains the puzzling classing of Asians and Jews as “white,” for the first time ever. Asians and Jews are high achieving, even more so than whites, and in the “social justice” view, that must be the result of their imposition of racism, sexism, etcetera, etcetera. The policy result is that programs aimed at high achievement, e.g., advanced courses in math and science, must be terminated, and measures of achievement, such as SAT and GRE tests, must be deemed racist, and so on, and terminated.

What does all of this have to do with Israel? Well, if Jews are white oppressors, then Israel must be also. The “social justice” analysis of the Israel-Palestine conflict is that Israelis (but presumably not the many Israeli Arab Muslims and Christians) are white oppressors, and the Palestinian Arabs are BIPOC. Has anyone who has been to Israel and seen the two populations said this? The reality is that there is great racial overlap in the two populations: half of Israelis were from Jewish populations in Arab countries where they lived for many centuries before being forcibly expelled, and the genetics of the two populations overlap considerably. This transfer of American race obsession to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is absurd. And this is not even to consider the Arab slave raiding in Africa and their disdain for their black slaves.

The other Marxist claim, Leninist this time, is that Israeli Jews are imperialists who have colonized the indigenous Arab Palestinians. Canadian professors are big on this alleged colonial oppression of indigenous peoples. One of my McGill colleagues was much loved by students for his championing of indigenous Canadian “First Nations” against the wicked European invaders who built Canada. (The history of slavery practiced by the indigenous “First Nations” is not told as part of this story.)

My colleague was also a great champion of the “indigenous” Palestinians. When I suggested that the Jews were the indigenous population, he refuted that by saying that “indigenous” means who was there when Westerners arrived! I asked if the Romans counted as “Western,” because when the Romans invaded the Holy Land some decades BC, there were only Jews there. The Romans fought the Jews and finally defeated them after a century and a half, exiling many and changing the name of the country to Syria Palestina, so they did not have to hear Jewish place names, such as Judea and Samaria. No, my colleague said, the Jews just left to find trading opportunities. (Jews seeking money, of course.) In reality, the “indigenous” Arabs first came to the Holy Land in the seventh century AD as Muslim invaders from Arabia, as the initial step in their conquest of the great Islamic Empire. Muslim theology and policy has always been Islamic supremacism, with non-Muslims treated as subordinates, slaves, or worse.

The campus uprisings do not concern themselves with historical facts. It is clear (to them) who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, and morality means supporting the good guys and attacking the bad guys. Repeatedly, we have heard, “We are Hamas,” “From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free,” “Genocide in Gaza,” “Israel go to hell,” “The only solution is intifada revolution,” and “10,000 more October the 7th.” To the demonstrators, Israel is the evil, racist oppressor of innocent Gazans and Palestinians. So, too, with Jews, who are evil oppressors of BIPOC, LGBT, women, the disabled, and Muslims generally. Israel is the Jew of nations, and Jews are the individual manifestations of Israel. That is why we also hear “Zionist pigs,” “get off of campus,” and “go back to Poland.”

Many commentators have lamented that demonstrating students are not in class, and others are not allowed to go to class. But quiet campuses with students learning are not the solution; they are the problem. For what almost all universities teach is cultural Marxism, which is as well the official university policy. The students have not failed to learn; they have learned too well the false and destructive lessons of “social justice” and DEI. The students have been corrupted in corrupt universities, which have abandoned the search for truth in favor of the Marxist revolution.

This does not end with Israel, Palestine, and the Jews. America, Canada, the West, capitalism, democracy, and individual freedom are all in the crosshairs of Marxism and Islamic supremacism. Today, the red-green alliance controls North American universities. Students are chanting “Death to America.” Be warned.


Student Sues Toronto Metropolitan University for ‘Pervasive Antisemitism’

The statement of claim filed on April 23 says that Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) has had “ongoing and pervasive antisemitism” toward Jewish students, staff, and faculty since Oct. 7, 2023, the day that Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, leading to an escalation in tensions and military fighting in the area.

The student, Nicole Szweras, has Israeli citizenship and her mother was born there, according to the statement.

“Israel is a fundamental part of her Jewish identity, like so many Jewish people throughout the world,” the court document says.

While listing several complaints to make the case that the school has been inactive in the face of anti-Semitic actions on campus, the claim says TMU has a contractual obligation to provide a safe space for students to complete their studies.

“TMU’s failure to apply, or its inadequate application of, its own policies and procedures expressly prohibiting such conduct has led to a poisoned antisemitic learning and working environment for the Plaintiff,” the document says. “TMU’s actions and inaction have breached duties of care owing to, breached its contract with, and have discriminated against the Plaintiff.”

Some of the concerns raised by Ms. Szweras include inflammatory social media posts and events by TMU groups and organizations funded by the student union.

The document notes that the school issued two statements in the weeks following the Hamas attack, saying there would be no tolerance of anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim rhetoric or racism but failed to define what that entailed.

“It quickly became apparent that such statements were simply token platitudes that were not acted upon, ineffectually acted upon, or unequally acted upon by TMU,” the statement said.

Ms. Szweras said that some anti-Semitic slogans became commonplace around the school, including “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and the use of the word “Intifada.”

“TMU is fully aware that these Antisemitic Violence-Inciting Slogans are repeated by TMU community members in rallies, posters, signs, and graffiti throughout TMU and in TMU buildings,” the court document said, claiming that “no meaningful or effective actions have been taken by TMU” regarding the slogans since Oct. 7, 2023.

The lawsuit includes examples of letters signed by students or staff that, among other things, claim Israel has no right to exist, and stand in solidarity with “all forms of resistance,” including the Oct. 7 attack. Jewish students also expressed concern over a law professor at the school who “berated the State of Israel, to the point that several Jewish students left the class in tears.”

Ms. Szweras claims in her lawsuit that TMU has done nothing to curb these actions on campus.

In one instance, a military-style knife was left on the lectern of a Jewish contract lecturer, the statement of claim says. TMU’s alleged inaction led to the instructor requesting not to hold in-person classes and exams.

Ms. Szweras said when she and others held a silent protest, called the Silent Protest for Peace & Humanity on campus, they were surrounded by other students who attempted to intimidate them, while security did nothing to stop the behaviour.

“One of the accosting TMU students was heard saying ‘next time on campus you won’t be together’ – a clear threat to the participants’ safety,” the statement of claim says.

“TMU security was needed to escort Nikki [Nicole Szweras] and the other participating students to the Hillel office while the harassing TMU students followed.”

On Nov. 29, 2023, at a protest held on TMU, someone displayed a swastika on a sign. While TMU issued a statement about the incident saying they asked the Toronto Police to investigate the incident, and were investigating it themselves, Ms. Szweras says that no update has been provided.
“Without such update to the TMU community, Nikki and other Jewish TMU community members she is aware of were left with the continued unmistakable impression that no action was to be taken by TMU in this regard other than mere platitudes.”

The document says that the lack of follow-up has “fostered an atmosphere of antisemitism and fear” for Jewish TMU community members.

Other examples listed in the claim include a rally in March 2024 where TMU students were walking around campus with signs that said “Zionism Off Our Campus.”

The statement says Ms. Szweras and other Jewish members at TMU saw this as a call for Jews to be removed from campus, and are unaware of any action TMU took with regard to the incident.

“This incident deeply affected Nikki, leading her to question her place in the world that tolerates this rhetoric,” the statement of claim said.

She said that when political statements were posted in the workplace, Ms.Szweras and her friends felt “ostracized” and eventually, “Student-Staff simply ignored Nikki altogether.”

Around Nov. 16, 2023, a defamatory email about Ms. Szweras was circulated among other student-staff in the area where she worked, the document says. However, it was not emailed to her directly, her statement says.

“Nikki had to ask TMU about the complaint as TMU did not advise her of it. In response, TMU advised Nikki that they were investigating the complaint, but TMU refused (at any point in time) to tell Nikki what the substance of the allegations in the complaint were – violating the TMU Conduct Policies.”

The situation made Ms. Szweras uncomfortable and she told TMU, who said she did not have to return to work and they would still pay her, the statement says.

She later saw a social media post celebrating the individual who sent the complaint email as “best employee,” the statement says.

TMU wrote to Ms. Szweras on Dec. 6, 2023, indicating it had determined the incident was one of differing political views between co-workers, according to the document.

“Nikki was surprised because at no time had TMU ever asked Nikki what her political opinions were or told Nikki how TMU surmised what her opinions were. Again, actions or opinions were being projected on to Nikki because she is Jewish – this time by TMU.”

She raised these concerns during a Dec. 11 meeting with TMU staff, but said that no action was taken by the university.

In January 2024, following the December break from school, Ms. Szweras noticed that she was not scheduled to work, but other co-workers had been scheduled, the statement says. She said that she then had her access to the online work schedule revoked.

As a result of her experience, Ms. Szweras says in her claim that she gets anxious when she has to go to campus and tries to avoid it. She also says her academic work has suffered, and she takes care not to wear or display any Israeli-identifying objects, including removing stickers from her laptop.

“The environment and the incidents described above have had a profoundly negative impact on Nikki’s dignity, mental health, and wellbeing,” the statement says.


Columbia University begins suspending Nazi activists after they refused to disband from New York campus

Columbia University has begun suspending pro-Palestinian activists after they refused to disband an encampment of tents on its New York campus, after the Ivy League school declared a stalemate in talks seeking to end the polarising protest.

University president Nemat Minouche Shafik said in a statement that days of negotiations between student organisers and academic leaders had failed to persuade demonstrators to dismantle the dozens of tents they set up to express opposition to Israel's war in Gaza.

The university sent protesters a letter on Monday morning warning students who did not vacate the encampment by 2pm (local time), they would need to sign a form acknowledging their participation would result in suspension and be ineligible to complete the semester in good standing.

"We have begun suspending students as part of this next phase of our efforts to ensure safety on our campus," said Ben Chang, a university spokesperson, at a briefing on Monday evening.

In an earlier statement, Dr Shafik said Columbia University would not divest assets that support Israel's military, a key demand of the protesters. Instead, she offered to invest in health and education in Gaza and to make Columbia's direct investment holdings more transparent.

Protesters have vowed to keep their encampment on the Manhattan campus until Columbia meets three demands: divestment, transparency in university finances and amnesty for students and faculty disciplined for their part in the protests.

Pro-Palestine protests sweep US colleges

Student protests in the US over the war in Gaza intensify and expand, with a number of encampments now in place at colleges including Columbia, Yale, and New York University.

"These repulsive scare tactics mean nothing compared to the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians. We will not move until Columbia meets our demands or we are moved by force," leaders of the Columbia Student Apartheid Divest coalition said in a statement read at a news conference following the deadline.

Hundreds of demonstrators, many wearing traditional Palestinian keffiyeh scarves, marched in circles around the exterior of the encampment chanting, "Disclose! Divest! We will not stop, we will not rest."

Dr Shafik faced an outcry from many students, faculty and outside observers for summoning New York City police two weeks ago to dismantle the encampment.

Even though more than 100 arrests were made last week, students restored the encampment on a hedge-lined lawn of the university grounds within days.

Since then, students at dozens of campuses across the US have set up similar encampments to demonstrate their anger over the Israeli operation in Gaza and the perceived complicity of their schools in it.

The pro-Palestinian rallies have sparked intense campus debate over where school officials should draw the line between freedom of expression and hate speech.

Some pro-Israel counter-demonstrators have accused the other side of engaging in anti-Semitism.




Monday, April 29, 2024

Communist Pro-Gaza Students Chase Jacob Rees-Mogg After Speech at Cardiff University

Conservative MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg was hounded by student protesters waving communist and Palestinian flags after giving a speech at Cardiff University on Friday evening.

The former minister was escorted to a vehicle by a group of security guards, with protesters shouting, drumming, and pressing placards against the window, footage shared on social media show.

The protest was organised by socialist Welsh Underground Network and societies including Cardiff Communists, Socialist Students, Lecturers Against Genocide, and Cardiff Geen Soc.

MPs criticised the protesters, saying their behaviour was “unacceptable” and “shrill intimidatory idiocy.”

Sir Jacob was invited to Cardiff University by the college’s Conservative and Unionist Association.

Following the event, he was filmed being bundled into a security vehicle, as one protester draped himself over the car’s bonnet before being pulled away by guards.

Protesters were filmed waving placards, a Palestinian flag, and two Revolutionary Communist Party flags.

They were also shouting with megaphones and drumming. One protester could be heard shouting “Tory [expletive].”

Ahead of the event, Cardiff Communists shared a poster on Instagram, calling on students to “unite against imperialist politicians” on campus.

Welsh Underground Network said it demands that “no politicians be allowed to speak on campus for the wellbeing of all students and faculty” in a poster shared on X, formerly Twitter.

After the incident, the group wrote that protesters had “managed to block the doors, shutting them inside for several houes [sic],” and doubled down on their hostility against Sir Jacob.

“Mogg left under a barrage of our anger, anger at his zionism, anger at his cruelty to the working class, anger at his very existence,” the X post reads.

The group added, “No zionist politician should be able to walk our streets in peace, they shouldn’t be able to open their mouths without being shouted down.”

Commenting on the protest, Sir Jacob said, “It was a legitimate and peaceful if noisy protest.

“The Cardiff University security team was exemplary in allowing a lawful protest while keeping everyone safe.

“Universities ought to be bastions of free speech and as both the protesters and I were able to give our views without fear or intimidation the proper traditions of adversarial debate were upheld.”

Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden posted on X that he’s sure Sir Jacob “will have taken it in his stride but no elected politician should have to put up with this shrill intimidatory idiocy.”

Jo Stevens, Labour’s shadow Welsh secretary, said she’s “concerned by footage of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s treatment by protesters in Cardiff.

“I disagree with him on almost everything, but we cannot accept a culture of intimidation in our politics,” she said.

“The right to lawful protest is sacrosanct, but harassment and intimidation is unacceptable.”

The incident came after the Office for Students published draft free speech guidance for universities on what they should and should not do.

Gearing up for its new power to police free speech on campus, the OfS has warned universities against cancelling speaking events, and said they should resist pressure to fire or penalise staff or students over their speech and provide timely support to them.

According to the Cambridge Independent, The new Revolutionary Communist Party was launched across the UK on April 6.

The Leninist party also said on Thursday that it’s “organising on campuses across the country” to “kick capitalism out of education.”


New York School Spending Led All US by Record Margin in 2021-22

Public elementary and secondary school spending in New York hit a new record high of $29,873 per pupil in 2021-22, according to the Census Bureau’s latest annual school finance data—inching closer to fully twice the national average of $15,633 amid a significant post-pandemic decline in pupil performance.

Inflated by a massive increase in state “foundation aid,” New York’s preK-12 per-pupil spending was up $3,302, or 12.4 percent, which was the biggest increase of any state in dollar terms. In percentage terms, New York’s increase ranked fifth highest in a year when total U.S. per-pupil spending rose 8.9 percent, which the Census Bureau described as the largest nationwide percentage increase in 20 years.

The education spending gap between the Empire State and the rest of the country has more than quadrupled since 2000, as shown below.

With total public school enrollment sinking to levels unseen since the early 1950s, New York’s per-pupil spending is sure to rise comfortably above $30,000 in 2022-23. New York’s latest school property tax report cards, covering districts outside the state’s five largest cities, point to spending levels of nearly $32,000 per pupil in 2023-24.

The Census Bureau’s annual Elementary and Secondary Education Finance data for 2021-22 reflect a continuation of several long-standing patterns in New York school spending as compared to education finances in other states:

New York’s high spending level was driven primarily by instructional salaries and benefits—which, at $20,533 per pupil, were 120 percent above the national average of $9,348, the census data show. New York’s spending in this category (i.e., money in the classroom) exceeded the total per-pupil school spending of all but five other states and the District of Columbia.

In the category of “support services,” which measures the bureaucratic overhead of central district and school building administration, New York ranked sixth with spending of $8,762 per pupil, which was 54 percent above the national average.

However, if New York had only spent the national average in the support category, it still would have ranked first in overall per-pupil spending among the 50 states—undercutting any claims that New York’s high spending is due simply to the administrative costs of maintaining nearly 700 school districts.

Relative to personal income, New York’s elementary and secondary education spending of $56.49 per $1,000 ranked third, slightly behind Alaska and Vermont, 38 percent above the national average by this measure.

Excluding charter schools, New York’s public elementary and secondary schools had 2.37 million pupils and spent $76 billion on current operations in 2021-22—exceeded only by California, which spent about $93 billion on a public school system with 5.35 million pupils. Public schools spending in Texas, with 5 million pupils, was $16 billion lower than in New York. Florida schools had 2.8 million pupils but spent $32 billion, less than half the New York total.

New York City’s spending of $35,914 per pupil topped all of the nation’s 100 largest school systems. Los Angeles, second only to New York City when measured by enrollment, spent $21,940 per pupil, and Chicago spent $21,050.

As shown in the comparative table below, New York State also continues to spend considerably more than neighboring northeastern states with similarly powerful public education lobbies and high living costs. On a per-pupil basis, New York’s public school expenditures in 2020-21 were 22 percent higher than Connecticut’s, 19 percent higher than New Jersey’s, and 36 percent higher than Massachusetts’.


Australia: Financial Help for Uni Students on Placement Floated

Financial help might be offered to university students completing unpaid placements as part of their degrees, as unions warn failure to provide support will result in greater workforce shortages.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the federal government was considering relief for people with university debts and students undergoing required practical placements in their courses.

“We are looking at both of those things for the budget,” Mr. Chalmers told reporters on April 22.

Students studying nursing and teaching are among those required to complete unpaid placements to finish their degrees, and can be left struggling to pay bills especially during the cost of living crisis.

Last week, the prime minister suggested Labor was looking to reduce the rate of student debt indexation to stop money owed growing by more than four per cent in 2024.

Higher Education Loan Program (Help) debts are indexed to inflation, which resulted in a 7.1 percent jump in people’s debts in 2023.

Mr. Chalmers said the government acknowledged that students were under pressure.

“If we can afford to do something to help on that front, that’s obviously something we'll consider as we finalise the budget,” he said.

The Universities Accord report, released earlier in 2024, recommended the Commonwealth ensure student loans did not outpace wage growth.

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association assistant general secretary Michael Whaites said he strongly recommended paid placements for nursing and midwifery students.

They must carry out up to six months or 800 hours of unpaid clinical work in NSW, which carried immense financial pressure and at times placed students in poverty, he said.

“Failure to address this will continue to contribute to the workforce shortages that currently exist in nursing and midwifery, and this is untenable if we are to continue to deliver high quality health care in our health systems,” Mr. Whaites said.

“We hear a lot of stories of people having to ultimately drop out because they’re just not able to maintain the full amount of unpaid work, which can be as much as six to eight weeks in their final year of study, which is devastating after already having undertaken more than two years of study.”

The budget will be handed down on May 14.




Sunday, April 28, 2024

New Title IX Rules Erase Campus Due Process Protections

On Friday, the Biden administration unveiled final Title IX regulations, nearly two years after the administration proposed dramatic changes to how colleges handle sexual assault allegations. The new rules largely mirror proposed regulations released last year and will effectively reverse Trump-era due process reforms.

According to the final regulations, accused students will lose their right to a guaranteed live hearing with the opportunity to have a representative cross-examine their accuser. This is accompanied by a return to the "single-investigator model," which allows a single administrator to investigate and decide the outcome of a case.

Further, under the new rules, most schools will be required to use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard, which directs administrators to find a student responsible if just 51 percent of the evidence points to their guilt. Schools are also no longer required to provide accused students with the full content of the evidence against them. Instead, universities are only bound to provide students with a description of the "relevant evidence," which may be provided "orally" rather than in writing.

This is a stunning rollback of due process rights for accused students. Under the new regulations, a student can be found responsible for sexually assaulting a classmate because a single administrator believed there was a 51 percent chance he had committed the assault, and this conclusion can be reached without ever allowing the accused student to know the full evidence against him or providing a hearing during which he could defend himself.

The rules also represent a continuing partisan tension in education policy. Following President Barack Obama's 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter, which first mandated campus sexual assault tribunals, regulations have flip-flopped consistently along party lines. In 2020, the Trump administration introduced broad due process rights for accused students while prohibiting schools from taking many cases that occurred off-campus. Today's reforms mark the third major change to Title IX regulations in as many presidents.

"Justice is only possible when hearings are fair for everyone. So today's regulations mean one thing: America's college students are less likely to receive justice if they find themselves in a Title IX proceeding," the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) said in a Friday statement. "When administrators investigate the most serious kinds of campus misconduct, colleges should use the time-tested tools that make finding the truth more likely. But the new regulations no longer require them to do so."

So far, the new rules have been met with widespread praise from victims' rights groups.

"Students who experience sexual violence or discrimination shouldn't have to weigh our safety against our ability to go to class or participate in campus life," said college student Emily Bach in a press release from Know Your IX, a campus sexual assault awareness group. "The Biden Administration's updated Title IX rule will make sure that students who experience harm can come forward and seek support without jeopardizing our ability to graduate on time or get a degree."

But contrary to what many victims' rights activists say, due process rights for accused students are essential, not contrary, in treating campus sexual assault as a pressing issue. College sexual assault victims should be taken seriously—but taking their accusations with the gravity they deserve also means providing those they accuse with the right to defend themselves in kind.

Even if Title IX hearings don't have the gravity of criminal proceedings, they have the potential to upend accused students' lives. Students have been expelled, had their degrees revoked, or even been deported after being found responsible for a Title IX violation.

If we want university investigations into sexual assault allegations to maintain any sheen of legitimacy, we can't entrust the power to inflict such severe penalties to a single administrator working behind closed doors. Instead, we need a process that puts due process front and center—any other system quickly becomes shamefully untrustworthy.


Restore Order and Crush the Campus Jihadist Thugs

In his 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, President George Washington reached a stirring conclusion: “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Washington is rolling in his grave right now at Mount Vernon.

Jews are so “afraid” at Columbia University that an Orthodox campus rabbi recently urged students to “return home as soon as possible.” The situation at many purportedly “elite” universities is dire, as jihadist mania supplants Black Lives Matter as the vogue, faux-moral cause rotting the minds of impressionable Gen Zers.

Hamas’ useful campus idiots are, at best, blithering morons. They do not realize that Zionism — the Jewish people’s national liberation movement in their ancestral homeland — is the quintessence of the very “anticolonialism” and “indigenous people’s rights” they claim to champion. They are clueless about international law and how the doctrine of uti possidetis juris establishes that Israel has the best legal claim to Judea and Samaria (i.e., the West Bank). They know nothing about warfighting; John Spencer, head of urban warfare studies at West Point, has demonstrated that Israel’s combatant-to-civilian death ratio in Gaza since the war began is “historically low for modern urban warfare.”

Why let inconvenient facts get in the way of the thrill one feels for supporting a chic social justice movement … er, genocidal terrorist organization?

The activism now upending Columbia, Yale, Harvard and other morally bankrupt institutions is done in explicit support of a U.S. State Department-recognized foreign terrorist organization . Keffiyeh-wearing mini-jihadis at Columbia recently chanted “We are Hamas!” and “Long live Hamas!” Other agitators at Columbia called for Tel Aviv — a liberal secular city that will remain in Israeli hands under any possible future settlement with the Palestinian-Arabs — to be “burned to the ground.” At the University of Michigan (where my speech in November was shouted down by a pro-Hamas mob), student Hamasniks distributed a pamphlet that says “Freedom for Palestine means Death to America.”

Give them credit for the candor.

It gets worse. At Yale, a Jewish student was stabbed in the eye with a flagpole and was rushed to the hospital. At Columbia, a Jewish parent described her husband picking up their freshman daughter to remove her from the jihadist-infested campus grounds as akin to “refugees fleeing a war zone.”

This is completely unacceptable.

Jewish students have the same basic Title VI rights as everyone else. Those rights must be enforced. Much of the organized conduct now setting these campuses aflame also runs afoul of federal laws that ban, on the one hand, material support for terrorism on the one hand and, on the other hand, conspiracy to deprive individuals of their constitutional rights. Furthermore, much of the insanity now unfolding on campus under the guise of “speech” is not, as I recently argued in an Intercollegiate Studies Institute-hosted debate in Cambridge, Massachusetts, actually speech. Impersonating Hitler Youth by clamoring for Jewish genocide is not protected speech under any private university’s code of conduct. Displaying the Palestinian flag, moreover, is not an act of “speech” at all; it is conduct indistinguishable from waving a Nazi swastika.

Where are elected officials to protect Jewish civil rights, administrators to suspend and expel miscreants, and prosecutors to press charges against jihadists? Incidentally, Students for Justice in Palestine, the outfit organizing much of the campus mayhem, is surely overdue for a massive terror financing prosecution a la the Holy Land Foundation trial of 2008.

The basic formula for fighting back against Hamas’ useful campus idiots is simple: suspend, expel, arrest, prosecute and, as appropriate, deport the abominable mini-jihadis.

It is also well past time to send in the National Guard. What we are dealing with right now on college campuses is a sprawling — systemic, one might say — conspiracy to deprive Jewish students of basic equal rights. The Hamas supporters today are the spiritual, functional and legal descendants of Orval Faubus at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. President Dwight Eisenhower was correct back then to send in the 101st Airborne Division to secure civil rights. That is needed once again.

It is perhaps fitting that it is now Passover on the Jewish calendar. At our Seders earlier this week, we read in the Haggadah: “This is what has stood by our fathers and us! For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!”

It has always been thus.

But for now, order must be restored on campus by any means necessary.


The Marxists Come Out at George Washington University

The Boston Police Department arrested more than 100 pro-Palestinian protesters Wednesday evening at Emerson College, the Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed.

Students have been protesting since Sunday and created an encampment in an alleyway partially owned by the college despite being warned that they were in violation of city ordinances, according to CBS News Boston. Police made a total of 108 arrests and broke up the encampment after warning protesters again to leave the area, a Boston police spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“108 arrests, four injured officers—three minor, one more serious. All non-life threatening,” the spokesperson said. “No protesters in custody have reported injuries at this time. Protesters will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court.”

The department did not elaborate on whether the protesters had been released or what they were being charged with. The school has not made a statement on the arrests, but classes were canceled Thursday, according to CBS News Boston.

The administration urged protesters in a statement Wednesday to abide by city laws and clear out the encampment, according to an announcement to the school.

“Most notably, the commissioners expressed that the tents occupying Boylston Place Alley violate city ordinances prohibiting tents in a public right of way,” the announcement reads. “They also noted alleged violations involving blocking pedestrian access to the alley, public noise violations, and ongoing reports of fire hazards posed by blocking doors and hydrants. These are not Emerson College rules, but laws and ordinances enforced by the city and the commonwealth.”

The college also noted that it had received reports that there had been “targeted harassment and intimidation of Jewish supporters of Israel and students, staff, faculty, and neighbors seeking to pass through the alley” from protesters and that this behavior was “unacceptable,” according to the school’s announcement.

Pro-Palestinian protests have been erupting across the country following the arrest of nearly 100 students at Columbia University who were protesting the school’s ties to Israel. Groups at Yale, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among others, have started encampments, calling for the universities to meet their demands to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel over its war with Hamas.

Hamas launched an attack on Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,200 people and taking more than 250 hostages, including Americans.

Emerson did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.