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Monday, November 18, 2013

Brandeis cuts ties with Al Quds University (UPDATE x2)

Last week we reported this story, where Brandeis University tried to justify the Fascist-style Islamic Jihad rally on the campus of its partner Al Quds University

After another few days of pressure from Tom Gross (who broke the story) and Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon who repeatedly tried to get statements from Brandeis officials, Brandeis finally reacted properly:

Brandeis University President Frederick Lawrence announced today that Brandeis has suspended its partnership with Al-Quds University effective immediately. Brandeis will re-evaluate the relationship as future events may warrant.

The decision stems from recent events at Al-Quds University, including a campus demonstration on Nov. 5 and a statement about the demonstration, which the president of Al-Quds University issued last night.

The Nov. 5 demonstration on the Al-Quds campus involved demonstrators wearing black military gear, armed with fake automatic weapons, and who marched while waving flags and raising the traditional Nazi salute. The demonstration took place in the main square of the Al-Quds campus, which was surrounded by banners depicting images of “martyred” suicide bombers.

Immediately after he received reports of the demonstration, President Lawrence contacted Al-Quds President Sari Nusseibeh and requested that he issue an unequivocal condemnation of the demonstrations. President Lawrence also requested that the condemnation be published in both Arabic and English.

Last night (Nov. 17), President Nusseibeh sent an email to President Lawrence with an English translation of a statement posted in Arabic on the Al-Quds web site.

Unfortunately, the Al-Quds statement is unacceptable and inflammatory. While Brandeis has an unwavering commitment to open dialogue on difficult issues, we are also obliged to recognize intolerance when we see it, and we cannot – and will not – turn a blind eye to intolerance. As a result, Brandeis is suspending its partnership with Al-Quds University effective immediately. We will reevaluate our relationship with Al-Quds based on future events.
The Al Quds letter is something else:

My Dear Students of Al-Quds University,

The university is often subjected to vilification campaigns by Jewish extremists with the purpose of discrediting its reputation as a prestigious academic institution with a unique, humane calling: to strive to instill noble values in its students; to spread the spirit of democracy and openness toward other world cultures; and to present the genuine face of the Palestinian people, calling for peace against the extremism and violence to which we ourselves are subjected as a people denied our rights under occupation.

These extreme elements spare no effort to exploit some rare but nonetheless damaging events or scenes which occur on the campus of Al Quds University, such as fist-fighting between students, or some students making a mock military display. These occurrences allow some people to capitalize on events in ways that misrepresent the university as promoting inhumane, anti-Semitic, fascist, and Nazi ideologies. Without these ideologies, there would not have been the massacre of the Jewish people in Europe; without the massacre, there would not have been the enduring Palestinian catastrophe.

As occurred recently, these opportunists are quick to describe the Palestinians as a people undeserving of freedom and independence, and as a people who must be kept under coercive control and occupation. They cite these events as evidence justifying their efforts to muster broad Jewish and western opinion to support their position. This public opinion, in turn, sustains the occupation, the extension of settlements and the confiscation of land, and prevents Palestinians from achieving our freedom.
This letter is insane. No one said anything close to what is claimed, and the letter downplays the antisemitic and terror supporting march as merely a "mock-military display" which is just as objectionable as fistfights on campus. (And there have been several such Islamic Jihad demonstrations on campus, all done with Al Qud approval. They are hardly "rare" nor are they rogue.)

Notice also how, while Al Quds downplays the Holocaust, calling it a mere "massacre" as if a hundred or so Jews were killed. But that is not the worst outcome of Nazi ideologies; no, the worst is that the genocide of Jews caused the Nakba in the sick minds of the leaders of Al Quds.

UPDATE: I had written that the letter says nothing about respecting other groups or religions, however it does have some language that does call for that.

UPDATE 2: I cannot find either the English or Arabic announcement on Al Quds' home page.