Files of Fact and Fiction: Academia vs. Israel
The flier (of a food label for Palestinean Children Meat - Made in Israel ) seen here appeared on the campus of San Francisco State six years ago. It, without much imagination, was a spin on the blood libel, and it created quite the stir. At the time, the Second Intifada was in full swing and creating a tidal wave of anti-Israel attacks on a few American campuses. SF State achieved the early ignominy, followed shortly by Berkeley and Columbia University. UC Irvine, during the past few years, moved to the front of the class and has become synonymous with anti-Semitism….
But in today’s Jewish Journal, I assessed the situation at Irvine, which has improved since Michael Drake took over as chancellor, and cast it into the context of the broader academic landscape.
Elsewhere the M.O. for attacking the Jewish state has evolved since anti-Israel campus activism first exploded onto the scene in 2002 during the Second Intifada. It has since taken root in academic departments and been emboldened by the outspoken criticism of a former U.S. president. Although many college campuses appear to have dropped the vitriol and the confrontational protests over Israel, the attacks on the Jewish state have moved deep inside the Ivory Towers.
For this story, I spent two days at UCI in May, on the first and last days of Palestinian Awareness Week, which this year was dubbed “Never Again? The Palestinian Holocaust.” Despite the improvement Jewish community leaders and student leaders say has occurred, much of which I take at face value, what I saw and hear from Amir Abdel Malik Ali, a rabid critic of the “Zionist Nazis” and Oakland mosque leader regularly invited to Irvine, was disturbing:
“The fall of the American empire, brothers and sisters, means the fall of Zionism, the fall of apartheid!” Malik Ali said in typically fiery oratory. “American empire is going down just like other empires have gone down. So you have to make preparations. Joe and Jane Six-Pack are going to realize that, no, Am