A POISON IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL:

Yale University's Pro-Israeli, Anti-Islamic Conference

"Skull & Bones" seems normal within the larger context

by Stephen Lendman
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Badly needed are efforts to expose and denounce anti-Islamic rhetoric, actions and persecutions of people for their religion and/or ethnicity, but don't expect Yale to hold it or discuss it in classrooms.

On August 25, Yale University ended a three day global anti-Semitism "crisis" conference promoting the notion that Israeli criticism is "anti-Semitic," no matter how justified.

Boola boola, for shame, mighty Yale displaying the same type anti-Islamic hatred virulent throughout America, raging daily in headlines over the proposed New York City Islamic cultural center, falsely called a mosque, but does it matter?

What matters is racism, hate-mongering, and persecuting Muslims for political advantage - on display at Yale for a three day propaganda hate fest. Imagine what's taught in its classrooms.

The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA)

Calling itself "dedicated to the scholarly research of the origins and manifestations associated with antisemitism globally, as well as other forms of prejudice, including racisms, as it relates to policy," YIISA presented its PDF graphic "Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity" conference, at a time the supposed "crisis" is more rhetoric than reality.

Yet its mission statement states:

"Anti-Judaism (or) Antisemitism is one of the most complex and, at times, perplexing forms of hatred, (emerging) in numerous ideological(ly) based narratives and the constructed identities of belonging and otherness such as race and ethnicity, nationalisms, and anti-nationalisms." In modern globalized times, "it appears that Antisemitism has taken on new complex and changing forms that need to be decoded, mapped and critiqued."

What's needed is debunking the relationship between legitimate Israeli criticism and anti-Semitism and notion of a serious anti-Jewish crisis when none, in fact, exists.

Last October 29, Reuters reported that:

"Anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States are at a historic low, with 12 percent of Americans prejudiced toward Jews, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey found," based on September 26 - October 4 polling with a plus or minus 2.8% margin of error.

ADL said its level matched 1998's as the lowest in the poll's 45-year history. Yet in his 2003 book, "Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism," national director, Abraham Foxman, said he's:

"convinced we currently face as great a threat to the safety of the Jewish people as the one we faced in the 1930s - if not a greater one," contradicted by Cato Institute research fellow Leon Hadar (in the January 2004 Chronicles), saying that public opinion polls "indicate (racial and religious forms of) anti-Semitism (have) been in steep decline in most of Western Europe." The same holds for America, putting a lie to Yale's "crisis" and need for a conference to hawk it.

Badly needed are efforts to expose and denounce anti-Islamic rhetoric, actions and persecutions of people for their religion and/or ethnicity, but don't expect Yale to hold it or discuss it in classrooms.

YIISA stacked its conference with pro-Israeli zealots, omitting voices for sanity and the right of Palestinians to live free of occupation in their own land or in one state affording everyone equal rights, an apparent blasphemous notion at Yale and many other US and Canadian campuses, firing even distinguished tenured professors for supporting the wrong religion or people too vigorously.

Opening conference remarks were made by YIISA Director, Dr. Charles Small, Yale's Deputy Provost, Frances Rosenbluth, Rabbi James Ponet, director of Yale's Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life, and Aviva Raz Schechter, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Combatting Antisemitism.

They all, of course, presented one-sided, pro-Israeli views, underscoring the notion that Israeli criticism is anti-Semetic, when, in fact, it's principled, honest and more needed now than ever to expose and halt an Israeli/Washington partnership to conquer, divide and control the Middle East by force, stealth, deceit, intimidation, occupation, and political chicanery, common tools used by rogues and imperial marauders.

Hebrew University Professor Menahem Milson was the first of several keynote speakers. He's also Chairman of the extremist Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), whose board and advisors include a rogue's gallery of pro-Israeli right-wing zealots, including:

Its board of advisors includes:

Other YIISA presenters included (among others):

Noticeably absent were notable figures from the Palestinian community as well as US truth and justice scholars and analysts who base their views on facts YIISA wants suppressed. There was no James Petras, Ilan Pappe, Jeff Halper, Joel Kovel, Norman Finkelstein, Rashid Khalidi, Phyllis Bennis, Uri Avnery, Neve Gordon, Nurit Peled-Elhannan, Ramzy Baroud, or any of the thousands of equal justice advocates listed on a so-called "Shit List," including this writer given three unsympathetic paragraphs.

Instead, numerous speakers discussed provocative topics, including:

Final Comments

On August 25, Mondoweiss co-founder Philip Weiss discussed the conference, quoting Charlotte Kates (writer, organizer, and National Lawyers Guild Middle East Subcommittee Co-Chair) saying:

the people invited "who attack Palestinian scholars' academic freedom find conferences such as this to be perfectly acceptable and legitimate."

Weiss added that it's not "possible to understand this conference without understanding the prominence of Zionist donors in prestige institutional life." He also quoted journalist/author Ben White, specializing in Israeli/Palestine issues, saying:

"What is the role of Yale/academia in this kind of exercise?" It's particularly galling and hypocritical that "fighting anti-Semitism - an anti-racist struggle - is being openly appropriated by far-right Zionist groupings, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lobbyists like the NGO Monitor, and Orientalist 'Arab/anti-terror experts."

It's especially disturbing that Yale lent its name to a three day hate fest, supporting:

Shamefully, presentations excluded discussions about Islam's common roots with Judaism and Christianity, its tenets based on:

Also not addressed was the right of Palestinians to live freely like Jews. Yale apparently disagrees, why students against hate and bigotry should enroll elsewhere to be taught truths excluded from Yale's curriculum.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on August 29, 2010.