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American U. professor: Don’t come to my school – it’s an ‘accomplice to genocide’

It’s also assisting the ‘rise’ of the far right

The latest bit of news in how the Israel-Hamas war is affecting U.S. campuses comes from an American University anthropology professor who’s telling prospective students to stay away from his school.

This is because AU is an “accomplice to the U.S.-backed genocide” of Palestinians and the “rise” of the “far right,” he says.

David Vine (pictured), whose research deals with “inequality, refugees, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, and nationalism” among other things, writes in The Eagle that the real goal of AU President Sylvia Burwell’s new protest policies is “silencing protest against the Israeli government’s atrocities.”

In late January, Burwell announced that student protests are forbidden in all “university buildings, residence halls, dining facilities, or other indoor spaces used for educational activities, events, or university operations.”

She also noted student organizations must be “welcoming to all students,” and that “posters and university-sponsored events” must be “inclusive.” Violations could lead to “los[ing] university recognition” and/or “general disciplinary action.”

I’d be more inclined to take Vine’s (legitimate) concerns about some of these policies more seriously if he, like so many other progressive academics (and students), wasn’t so over the top when it comes to Israel and Gaza:

In imposing policies on the campus that appear to violate the school’s own commitments to free expression, Burwell and her allies at the University are joining national and international efforts by Israel’s supporters to shut down criticism of and effectively enable the Israeli government’s genocidal war against Palestinians.

As a Jew and a human being, I’m appalled that my University would participate in silencing legitimate protest to call for a ceasefire and stop mass slaughter.

OK, how did the current crisis begin? Hamas attacked Israel killing over 1,000 people — which is the equivalent to over 48,000 Americans. Keep in mind what the U.S. response was to just under 3,000 deaths on September 11, 2001.

MORE: UNLV cops shut down Israeli professor’s lecture rather than remove anti-Israel protesters

Second, remember that Israel has been dealing with this sort of stuff for 76 years.

I used to be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause back in college. Yes, like many during their undergrad years I was infected by the progressive virus (no thanks in part to an openly communist professor who was in charge of my study-abroad semester).

But eventually I delved into the topic a bit more. A lot more, actually.

Which brought me to the realization that Israel is the good guy. As imperfect as the original partition plan may have been, like the new Israelis the Palestinians did have their own sovereign state.

So what happened? Well, the Palestinians, along with their Arab neighbors, didn’t want a neighboring Jewish state — so they went to war against it. They lost. They lost again in 1967 (Six-Day War) and again in 1973 (Yom Kippur War).

Here’s two good questions: Why didn’t Egypt and Jordan give the Palestinians the West Bank and Gaza before 1967? Why did the Palestinians persist in terrorist activities during the Clinton administration’s efforts with the Oslo Accords?

I’m not going to rehash the entire history of the region, but in my view any reasonable person should conclude that Israel wasn’t, and isn’t, the villain in the post-1948 story of the Middle East.

Professor Vine seems like a decent enough guy (he donates “all royalties and honoraria from books and speaking appearances” to groups that assist war refugees, according to his faculty page), but unfortunately he falls into the progressives-side-with-the-alleged-underdog-no-matter-how-ludicrous camp.

Israeli scholar Yoram Hazony recently told an audience at Notre Dame that Hamas is “radically evil.” He’s 100-percent correct. And I believe as Hazony: Those who make excuses for Hamas and its actions make me feel as if “we’ve lost our humanity.”

MORE: AU’s Vine supports removal of aerospace/defense chief from Board of Trustees

IMAGE: David Vine/X

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.