And so, as I feared, by the end of the first week in June, 2011, Yale University shut down the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA). They gave the initiative, which has been housed at Yale since 2006, until July to clear out.
The Palestinianization and Stalinization of the American professoriate coupled with the likely prospect of funding from the Arab world made this outcome inevitable — as did the non-stop diet of Big Lies about Israel and Jews in the mainstream media, at the United Nations, and in international human rights reports.
Only last year, there were bitter and very public complaints the Palestinians and their supporters made in response to YIISA’s best-ever conference on contemporary global anti-Semitism, which was held last August. And why? Because the scholars gathered by YIISA from at least five or more continents dared to focus on the Muslim and Islamist face of genocidal anti-Semitism.
The YIISA global conference, in which I was privileged to participate, was utterly unique in focusing not only upon the politically correct view of anti-Semitism as a Christian, Western, and European phenomenon, but also on its current and lethal incarnation in the Islamic and Islamist worlds. I, and a lonely and demonized handful of others, had been writing and speaking about this for the last eight to ten years, but this was the first time that voluminous, in-person evidence was brought to bear on this reality.
In the past, I was a single voice crying out. Here, at Yale, my voice was joined by others who had facts, experience, analysis, details and no small amount of drama. I was especially moved by the testimony of the Argentinian prosecutor of Iran’s terrorist plot against Argentina’s Jews, Professor Alberto Nisman. The terrorist mastermind of this heinous plot escaped justice when President Ahmadinejad appointed him Iran’s Minister of Defense. I had not known this. The information was chilling.
The existence of YIISA gave my evolving work on Islamic gender and religious apartheid and on the contemporary betrayal of both the Jews and the truth by Western intellectuals, including feminists, a home, a point of gravity, a place where my work could be both appreciated and critiqued; a place where I could meet and speak with serious scholars whose work I was either already familiar with or came to know courtesy of YIISA. This initiative is invaluable and does not exist anywhere else in the United States. It is a tragedy that Yale decided to shut it down.
In doing so, Yale has rendered racism respectable, has contributed to the academic isolation of scholars of contemporary anti-Semitism, and snuffed out truth-telling, genuine dissent, free speech, and academic freedom. This will be a permanent stain on Yale and on American academia.
Yale insists that the pre-existing study of dead Jews and of Jewish texts at Yale is sufficient proof that they are not anti-Semitic. Yale also insists that the initiative has not borne the kind of academic fruit to justify its continuation. Excuse me? According to Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post:
Deputy Provost and Political Science Professor Frances Rosenbluth served on the faculty committee that reviewed YIISA’s performance and concluded that the university should close the center. In recent years Rosenbluth appointed Judge Richard Goldstone and Iran-regime apologists Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett to serve as senior fellows at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Last September the Leveretts brought their students to New York to hold a seminar for them with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Unlike the YIISA conference, the move did not stimulate any significant controversy at the university.
Glick’s point speaks for itself. Or, as Orwell taught us, not all pigs are equal.
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