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Universities Surrender to Pro-Hamas Demonstrators

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2024
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by David Lewis Schaefer
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AMAC EXCLUSIVE

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By now, the pro-Hamas demonstrations that have swept American universities have become so disruptive and even violent that many university officials who initially bent over backward to avoid doing so have finally started calling in local police to break them up and restore order. But some schools, including Brown, Northwestern, and Rutgers, have taken another, more alarming path – caving to the demands of disruptive students and rewarding their militant activism by reaching an “agreement” with the leaders of the encampments and unlawful demonstrations.

The agreements these schools signed on to constitute outright appeasement of those who have violated rules designed to secure academic freedom and the good order of the learning process. Like the appeasement of Hamas terrorists (perpetrators of one of the most horrible assaults on a civilian population since the Holocaust), the university settlements will generate more extreme activity in the future – led not only by radicalized professors, but by professional protest organizers and self-proclaimed anarchists who see their lawlessness rewarded.

At Brown, the university reached an agreement with student organizers on April 30 to disband the pro-Hamas encampment on campus through the end of the school year. In return, administrators agreed to bring the protestors’ demands for “divestment” of university funds from Israeli firms, and perhaps from American corporations doing business with Israeli entities, to a vote later in the year. Specifically, the “deal” authorizes students to meet with the university’s governing board “to present their argument for divesting Brown’s endowment from ‘companies enabling and profiting from the genocide in Gaza.’”

While asserting that “Brown has always prided itself on resolving differences through dialog, debate, and listening to each other,” university president Christina Paxson observed that “the devastation and loss of life in the Middle East has prompted many to call for meaningful change, while also raising real issues about how best to accomplish this.” She expressed appreciation for “the sincere efforts” of Brown students to “prevent further escalation.”

Paxson notably avoided mentioning how the “devastation and loss of life” in Gaza resulted from an unprovoked terrorist attack by Hamas, taking no issue with the claim that it is Israel’s response, not the Hamas assault, that constituted “genocide.”

On April 29, Northwestern University officials also announced an agreement with students and faculty protesting the Gaza war, outlining a plan intended to allow demonstrations to continue while preventing the chaos and occasional violence that has engulfed other campuses across the country. While the tent encampment is gone, the school will allow peaceful demonstrations to continue until June 1.

Northwestern’s announcement is more specific in its concessions to protestors than Brown’s. According to the agreement reached by President Michael Schill with the “Northwestern Divestment Coalition,” the university “will fund two visiting Palestinian faculty members each year and provide scholarships for five Palestinian undergraduates throughout their undergraduate careers. It will also provide and renovate a community building that can be used as a gathering space for Middle Eastern, North African, and Muslim students.”

Regarding divestment, specifically the demand that Northwestern publicly disclose its investments and “withdraw its money from any funds profiting off the [Gaza] war,” university officials have pointed out that as a private institution, the school is not required to provide detailed financial statements, and that it has its money in index funds that make it difficult to remove investments in a single company.

President Schill nonetheless agreed to reestablish an “Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility” and ensure that it will include representatives from students, faculty, and staff, and also pledged that the administration will answer questions about specific holdings within 30 days of any such request. Like President Paxson, Schill celebrated the “hard work of students and faculty” working with the administration “to help ensure that the violence and escalation we have seen elsewhere does not happen here at Northwestern.”

Most revealing are the remarks of random student demonstrators about the agreement, as quoted in the Chicago Tribune. As one senior, Jordan Muhammad, put it, “These tents might come down, but we don’t have to go anywhere.”

“We’re going to not stop fighting,” she added, “until we get a free Palestine.” (Her definition of a free Palestine was notably left open: would it run “from the river to the sea,” i.e., eliminating the Jewish state entirely?)

In the spirit of Muhammad’s remarks, the so-called Northwestern University Divestment Coalition announced that “as a student movement that is composed of direct stakeholders in this institution, we are exercising power where we hold it.” The coalition added that having “built a strong foundation… for generations of NU activists to come,” it considered the agreement “a prime moment to take stock, recharge, plan, and build power.”

In other words: it’s all about power, and they’ll surely be back for more.

Not every group on campus shared the enthusiasm of President Schill or the Divestment Coalition for the agreement. In particular, Northwestern Hillel, the university’s Jewish center, observed that the encampment had reflected “a disturbing and quickly escalating trend of antisemitic rhetoric and actions both nationally and on our own campus.” Several Jewish students took issue with signs near the encampment, including a Star of David with a red slash through it and another depicting Schill, who is Jewish, with devil horns added. The Daily Northwestern also reported that “Death 2 Israel” had been spraypainted on a building over the weekend. (Imagine the consequence if similar images or slogans had been directed at other ethnic or religious groups.)

“Like other universities, we have seen a rise in antisemitism,” Schill acknowledged to the Faculty Senate after announcing the agreement. “This sort of thing needs to be condemned by all of us.” But in a letter to the campus community, imitating Joe Biden, Schill hedged his bets by also condemning (unspecified) “anti-Arab and anti-Muslim incidents” that had allegedly occurred on campus over the preceding weekend. The acts were “fueled by demonstrators who are not affiliated with Northwestern” and could not continue, he pledged.

Longer term, funding the appointment of two visiting Palestinian faculty plus scholarships for five Palestinian undergraduates – to say nothing of the new “community building” reserved for Muslims – can only feed the extreme partisanship displayed by campus activists. Does anyone expect that the new faculty will be selected for their ability to offer a “fair and balanced” view of Middle Eastern politics, or that the students will be admitted based on academic merit rather than their ethnicity and radicalism?

As egregious as Northwestern’s agreement with the protestors is, the capitulation of Rutgers University is even worse.

On May 2, Rutgers administrators also issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) requiring protestors to remove tents and other belongings from the mall they had occupied. Rutgers has been the scene of rampant anti-Semitic activity (despite its large Jewish population) since long before the October 7 attack. But that attack became the occasion for a far more extreme, threatening, and violent series of actions, as I know from a family member who was intimately, but usually unsuccessfully, involved in trying to mitigate them.

Highlights of the MOU between administrators and protestors who constituted the “Gaza Liberation Zone” include the following: creating an “advisory council for Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian Life” to “serve as a taskforce in leading ongoing conversations and convening faculty taskforces” on such matters as divestment from any firm or corporation materially participating in, benefitting from, or otherwise supporting the state of Israel’s settler colonialism, apartheid, and genocide of Palestine and the Palestinian people”; “terminat[ing] a partnership” the University had established with Tel Aviv University,” replacing it with “a long-term educational and collaboration partnership with Birzeit University, Ramallah, Palestine”; “accept[ing] at least 10 displaced Gazan students” with full financial support for four years’ enrollment; agreeing “in all future communications related to Israeli aggressions in Palestine” to use the term “Palestine” (rather than “Gaza” or “Middle East”); and having the university president issue a statement “acknowledging the ongoing genocide against Palestinians, its impact on the Palestinian community at our university, and advocating for a ceasefire.”

As at Northwestern, Rutgers’s MOU calls for hiring “additional professors specializing in Palestine studies and Middle East studies,” along with “a senior administrator who has cultural competency in and with Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian communities.” Not a word, of course, about the October 7 attack. And although pro-Hamas protestors had resorted to such vicious anti-Semitic propaganda as the blood libel, the Rutgers administration has spurned requests for mandating campuswide training on the evils of antisemitism.

While the Rutgers MOU does not guarantee the precise fulfillment of all the protestors’ demands, it is clear that any significant retreat will generate a return to encampments, violence, and threats to Jewish students in particular. More generally, the MOU is an assault on the whole notion that a university exists for the sake of the open-minded pursuit of knowledge by means of reason, rather than for the sake of advancing anyone’s partisan agenda – let alone one that entails eliminating all of one’s self-proclaimed foes.

Scariest of all – and reminiscent of the way that the Nazis rapidly transformed the German university system as soon as they took power – is the administration’s shameful, self-abasing willingness to adopt extreme, misleading, and morally corrosive language (“colonialism,” “apartheid,” “genocide,” etc.)

I know of no more cowardly incident in the history of American academia. As for the administrators themselves, the image this self-abasement brings to my mind is that of the pompous, middle-aged professor who allows himself to be reduced to total, public humiliation in the classic 1930 German film “The Blue Angel,” owing to his mad infatuation with Marlene Dietrich. (Well, at least he was a slave to love, of a sort, rather than fear.)

May Rutgers, its administrators and faculty, along with the entire American university system, not suffer the professor’s fate.

David Lewis Schaefer is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at College of the Holy Cross.

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Sue
Sue
17 days ago

So they reward those that violate the rules. They might as well get rid of the ruled and any standards they have . If you don’t stand firm then you stand for nothing. I hope the students that were displaced by all this evil commotion get their tuition back. They need to be reimbursed for loss of education. Glad these “administrators” were not my parents. I wouldn’t waste my money on those institutions

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
17 days ago

…and they call January 6th an “insurrection”? We need to “divest” tax money to these for-profit, billion dollar corporations called “college”.

Phillip Nagle
Phillip Nagle
17 days ago

As a Northwestern alumnus, I am embarrassed by the spineless reaction of the administration. NU President Schill has failed to show any leadership and must go. Whatever else there is about him, he does not have what it takes to be a university president.

Max
Max
17 days ago

Those universities and colleges that bend and bow to the demands of the Left, need to be boycotted and the support of such institutions withdrawn, and their students need to find a better institution that will be fair to all entrants, regardless of ethnicity and nationality.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
17 days ago

Defund & scrap Ivy Leagues ALL

Dan W.
Dan W.
17 days ago

This morning (5/7), authorities at the University of Chicago asked the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to remove the protestor’s encampment from school grounds.

The grounds were peaceably cleared within a couple of hours.

Elaine
Elaine
17 days ago

This is not “Freedom of Speech” by these young people, it is an ideology by a religious group and for a country that is not the USA.
We do not need to have young people who are not working or paying taxes making these kind of decisions by unlawful and illegal means. They are on private property and stopping others from attending classes, it is a form of extortion and blackmail.
If the decision makers bend to this kind of force, they need to go to class and study our historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These professors and teachers need a serious review of what they should be teaching the students and how much funding they get from the Federal Government.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds them!

ruck95
ruck95
15 days ago

“I’m not media trained”, “I’m not authorized to speak to the press”
There is something very dark and sinister brewing, when multiple kids at these “protests” spout the exact same verbiage, over and over. Like robots.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
13 days ago

Our government needs to find out who is funding these people and send them to prison. There is big money with all the people on the different colleges doing nothing but to just cause trouble and hate many not even from the schools time to find out who is funding this and if the schools let them there pull all federal funding for that school.

Steve
Steve
15 days ago

Get ready – unless GOP takes full control of Congress – TCJA expire in 2025 and HUGE tax increases are coming!!!
commoncts.blogspot.com/2024/05/get-ready-unless-gop-takes-full-control.html

GT Patriot
GT Patriot
15 days ago

Why do we have a National Guard if we do not use it to quell these riots ?
Is it just to give a guy something to do one weekend each month ?

GT Patriot
GT Patriot
16 days ago

When I was at Georgia Tech in the late 60s the administration did not kiss my derrier.
They told me to get it done or leave.

GT Patriot
GT Patriot
16 days ago

Organizations such as crowdsondemand.com and CrimeInthe.com run these riots.They are professionals
The students know nothing which is why when they are asked by the tv networks why they are there they have no answer. These Columbia students need to stay in college for at least 10 years because the ones we see on tv know nothing.
Sad, really

Denise
Denise
16 days ago

Once upon a time in a saner America, fire engines with really big hoses were effective. If these budding terrorists are not stopped in a way that will leave an “imprint”, can’t help but anticipate another BLM year of destruction, death, burning of business, homes, cars … people…our cops have been marginalized, our troopers, sheriff’s deputies. Good friend of some years was head of the swat team and came to our church to help our security team protect it’s people and grounds. My swat team friend was a career cop, dedicated his life to “protect and serve”. He retired at 50 because of how marginalized our cops have become…he hadn’t planned to.
What will replace those who’s lives were pledged to “protect and serve”? Frankly it’s a bit scary to think about.

A Voter
A Voter
17 days ago

I have no sympathy for the universities struggling with this problem. For the most part they created and encouraged these idiots. Reap what you sow, dipwds.

uncleferd
uncleferd
17 days ago

Seems so amazing that kids who previously never lived anywhere but their Mom & Dad’s house are now self-appointed political “experts” who punish their learning institutions with vandalism and sit-ins… because they don’t agree that Israel is unsafe with Hamas right next door.
Per the old saying….
“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which is least known.”

anna hubert
anna hubert
17 days ago

Did the leaders of these institutions abdicated or surrendered to the mob? If so why are they still there? They’ve abandoned their responsibilities In the army it would mean a severe disciplinary action

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
17 days ago

These are schools of learning. Protest and demo’s. have no place on campus . Hamas and Iseral have nothing to do ith Coll4ge’s. Take the Demo’s somewhere else. Also I would like to see a breakdown of who is acutaly a student, and whomis getting paid by Soris. Kyle L.

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