Classrooms of Challenge And Academic Nightmare

As a college level instructor, I have the unique opportunity to contribute a generous portion of my knowledge and experience to ever present hordes of hungry minds with impatient goals. Understanding the volatility of this environment is the key to success, both of the students, and to accomplishing my personal goals.  Adherence to a strict code of academic honesty has been, and always will be, the number one rule of behavior in my classes. What that simply means is, personal opinions and tainted presentation of the material, has no place in the classroom or anywhere on campus, particularly when the goal of the instructor is a hidden political agenda. This behavior is tantamount to incitement. Not only is it unethical, but in direct violation of faculty conduct.

Universities across the country, and around the globe, are routinely caving in to, not just individual instructors, but whole campus organizations. The effort is the de-legitimization of Israel and the removal of Israel as a nation.

Witness this article in the New York Independent Sentinel Dec 2014, referring to harassment of Jewish students at multiple New York and California universities:

“Given the anti-semitic and discriminatory nature of the BDS movement, graduate student instructors who choose to use their classroom as a platform for advancing the goals of the BDS movement cannot help but create a hostile and threatening environment for many Jewish and pro-Israel students.  We therefore call on each of you to issue a public statement affirming your commitment to strictly enforcing the Regents Policy on Course Content and to ensuring that Jewish and pro-Israel students are provided with a safe and non-discriminatory learning environment.”

This was an attempt by policy makers to create ‘awareness’ of the suppressive environment on college campuses across the U.S. While I applaud the effort, the situation has grown only worse. The Regents’ committees at 22 universities in the U.S. only acknowledged the problem and did not follow up. Active student harassment and bullying of Jewish and pro-Israel students not only continues, but active incitement by instructors who support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) narrative, do so openly and unabashedly right in the classroom.

The  environment of “hungry minds” and “impatient goals” is compromised, sometimes beyond repair.

Here is what has been done to date. Adam Milstein of the American-Israel council writes:

We’ve formed a task force aptly named the “Campus Maccabees” — led by philanthropists Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, and me — which will organize a nationwide movement to fight anti-Semitism and the hate groups that attack Israel. We will defend Jewish students and the Jewish state on American universities and beyond.

We believe that this new task force will be a game changer in this fight, coordinating the work of the very best pro-Israel organizations in unprecedented ways. We will move the battle against Israel’s enemies from defense to offense, from passive to proactive. We will reveal the baseline anti-Semitism of this Movement, expose its desire to eradicate the State of Israel, and give our students the tools to defeat it.

Also there is this:

On June 24, the U.S. Senate took an important step to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement by voting overwhelmingly in favor of fast-track trade legislation that includes bipartisan provisions, authored by U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, that discourage BDS activity in trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. 

The legislation passed the House earlier and now is headed to the president to be signed into law. The anti-BDS provisions originally were included in Roskam’s bill, H.R. 825, the U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, introduced earlier this year.

J U F News of Chicago 6-26

The U. S. Congress has also gotten into the act and just this last week sent a bill to the President known as ‘Anti-BDS trade bill’. It is not known as of this writing if has been signed into law.  After reading this bill, it speaks eloquently of the relationship of America and Israel in the arena of global trade, but falls short of serious consequences for those that support the boycott of Israel. Time will tell how effective this really is.

The steps shown above, while supportive, lack the ‘offensive’ approach recommended by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely this week.

Lots of committees,  seminars, awareness events, organized meetings, discussion groups, and politicking.  Lots of Monty Python Flying Circus stuff. It has been said that bureaucrats and diplomats may have different jobs, but they both accomplish the same end result….. prolonging a crisis!

I seldom complain about anything unless I have a solution.  So how do we go about ‘going on the offensive’? Use our best asset.

Get tough with the rule of law. Sue! Start taking individual instructors or whole universities to court. Sue for hate speech. Sue for incitement.

Use it!

Sue their pants off. Flood the court system with lawsuits against academic hate mongers who incite vulnerable student minds with non-sense and distort the ethics of the classroom into a personal agenda of anti-semitism. Sue them and sue them again. Not all of the cases will stick, and some may even cross the line of free speech, but’s a chance worth taking. A major offensive such as that does work. Reversing Mexico’s ‘Zionism is racism’ vote at the UN 1972.  Beating back PepsiCo’s boycott of Israel in the late 70’s. to name a few. When Jewish communities act as one under the ‘rule of law’, much can be accomplished.

If the tenure of established unethical instructors can be shattered, if a few careers are lost, we might restore some sanity to the campuses and the classrooms of America. The haters will continue to hate but they won’t be able to bring into the classroom.

About the Author
Mitch is currently retired and an adjunct instructor at Western Iowa Technical Community College Sioux City Iowa USA.