Sunday, January 9, 2011
[By Lee Kaplan, of StoptheISM.]
I wrote a few weeks ago about how Bard College President Leon Botstein was permitting a Hamas support group called the International Solidarity Movement to operate on his college campus to train activists to go the Middle East as a human shield support arm for known terrorist groups like Hamas.
Botstein, instead of closing down the campus group, the first one of its kind in the US on a college campus, he decided to defend it as part of the free exchange of ideas. But Bard-ISM engages in lies and deception as part of the ISM playbook, and does more than just propagandize Bard's students. The "campus club" trains activists to assist terrorist murderers such as are found in Hamas. Some of Bard's trainees were involved with the Gaza flotilla boats.
Now further information is emerging about the judgment of Bard's president which could be the harbinger of more ruinous effects on American postsecondary education across the nation.
Leon Botstein, Bard's President, who promotes himself as a progressive educator and musician and who incredibly uses the memory of his relatives who died in the Holocaust as a kind of excuse for his support of such anti-Semitic movements on his campus, has been teaming up with billionaire leftist philanthropist George Soros to create a new educational paradigm with such a program that could spell disaster for college curriculum in America.
Since Botstein considers himself an educational "progressive", he has voiced the idea that students in America should bypass high school and go straight to college. Actually, such a "progressive" idea would probably make sense to Botstein who wants the curriculum and educational system of the totalitarian world to carry equal weight with a US college degree. Many high school students can't read and are open to indoctrination, so why not speed them up to these same faults at the collegiate level? If you've ever wondered how some Arab college students flew jetliners into the World Trade Center, understand they had a lifetime of indoctrination in the classroom against the US and Israel that inspired them to do so.
In keeping with Botstein's sick and twisted idea that he is promoting "peace" by allowing students to be trained and funded on campus to join the Hamas flotillas to enter Gaza in support of Hamas, and to send "activists" to the West Bank to interfere with anti-terror operations of the IDF, Botstein now intends to have a Palestinian "university" that has open educational and organizational roots with Hamas to contribute curriculum to a program that will be recognized as part of the American college educational experience. Thanks to Botstein's penchant for supporting Palestinian groups that attack the notion of a Jewish state, that curriculum will be given equal weight with what is taught in America and applied toward an American college diploma.
With funding help from Soros, Bard college has come up with a new academic program that will award dual college degrees from Bard University and Al Quds University in the Palestinian Authority. Half the program will be dedicated to turning out "teachers" who you can bet will be turning out the false history and political garbage of the totalitarian Palestinian Authority, not what US teachers usually teach.
This dual degree program with Bard isn't just limited to Al Quds University in the Palestinian Authority but is intended to be also offered in conjunction with "another Palestinian college" in the West Bank. Those other colleges, such as Bir Zeit University and Al-Najah are known Hamas bastions also. The student groups that ran for control of student government at Bir Zeit ran on a ticket of Hamas murdering more Jews than its terrorist club opponents with displays representing Israeli buses blown up. Meanwhile, An-Najah ran a museum exhibit on campus representing the Sbarro Pizza Parlor bombing by Hamas replete with blood splattered display and body parts, all in praise of the Arab "martyr" who carried out the mass murder.
Don't forget also, that once such a dual program is accredited in the US, Botstein's support of these terror-bases-cum colleges in the Middle East can also enjoy subsidies from the US taxpayer via Title IV funding of the National Education Act.
"Is this really so bad?" you might ask. "Won't this promote peace between Arabs and Israelis? Won't this uplift the Arabs and make them more like us and to like us as a people and culture?"
Well, guess again...
During the Cold War, immigrants to America who managed to escape the Soviet Union and enroll in American universities found that units for courses they studied in the humanities frequently could not be articulated for credit for degrees here in the US. The logic that followed most college administrations back then was that courses in history and political science taught in totalitarian communist countries could not be regarded as education, but rather indoctrination taught in the mindset of the totalitarian regime where such courses in the humanities were taught.
Assisting in Botstein's pet project we have Sari Nusseibeh, the President of Al Quds University and a good buddy of Bostein's. Starry-eyed leftists like Bottsein like to coo over Nusseibeh as being an educated Palestinian with whom "peace" can be achieved.
Nusseibeh has chosen to not support the academic boycott of Israel and has spoken out against suicide bombings. But what people don't know is he has said his opposition is not because he thinks these things are wrong, but because they are not effective it achieving Palestinian irredentist goals developing enough antipathy against Israel in the outside world's view.
Nusseibeh allows Hamas and other terror organizations and their leaders to have a presence on the Al Quds campus. The Hamas Charter, of course, calls for the destruction of all of Israel and the eventual annihilation of all the world's Jews.
Nusseibeh himself was caught during the First Gulf War spotting by telephone for Saddam Hussein's SCUDS to be dropped on the heads of Israelis. Caught in the act, he was sentenced to about ten months in prison, then deported. He was allowed to return to Jerusalem as the President of Al Quds University by an Israeli government that was leftist in its thinking and irresponsible in its actions regarding the safety of the Israeli people. Aryeh Elded, a member of Israel's parliament who read the arrest report stated that Nusseibehn should have received ten years of hard time for what he did.
But none of this matters to Botstein, who cites as the reason we should all trust his judgment is that he is a conductor emeritus for the Jerusalem symphony. You see, he really loves Israel he says, while at the same time claiming Judea and Samaria is a political name (only 2,000 years old) for what should legitimately be called the West Bank (invented in 1948 by the Arabs for the Western press. Botstein loves Israel so much he'll help the Arabs deport all the Jews out of the "West Bank."
Palestinian infiltration into the American university and college system is nothing new. The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (passia.org) began a project even under Arafat that took young Arab students with a good command of English and trained them to then go under scholarship to an American college where their job was to get into the campus newspapers and organize anti-Israel propaganda on campuses, usually by creating chapters called Students for Justice in Palestine or a similar name. Today if you visit most major campuses there are mock checkpoint displays and tabling accusing Israel of being an apartheid state when it is the only state in the region that does not practice apartheid. To date, this has been mostly just propaganda. But Botstein by allowing the first chapter of the International Solidarity Movement on a US college campus, a group that literally trains not only Arabs but American anarchist students in how to enter the Holy Land to act as human shields and to assist in interfering with anti-terror operations of the Israeli army.
When I confronted Botstein about this, he tried to justify it by citing the assorted SJP chapters across the country. One can be certain that if Botstein allows the ISM Chapter on his campus to continue conducting business as usual, other campuses will follow suit and allow similar training chapters of the ISM on their campuses. This same monkey-see-monkey-do attitude will also occur as fallout with Bard's dual Bard-Al Quds diploma program.
Just as with soviet curriculum during the Cold War, curriculum in the humanities from Al Quds, particularly history and political science will no doubt contain the latest propaganda narratives of the Arabs that they indoctrinate their own people with. It is not unusual to find Arab PhD's at Arab universities in the West Bank who teach that Israel's Jews never came from the Holy Land. World history will also be taught with an eye of propaganda against not only Israel but the US and the West in general. Democracies will be the villains of the world who "oppress" the poor colonialist Arabs.
"It's already happening in US universities," you say? Well, not quite. However, anti-Semitic myths like the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion that are taught as fact in Middle Eastern Universities will creep into American curriculum andr courses that teach same will be accredited toward earning that American dual degree. There is no guarantee that all courses from the Middle Eastern colleges that go toward a US diploma will be thoroughly monitored for historical accuracy. Articles like the Hamas Charter can and will be taught in subtle ways that do not even identify it to students as a terrorist instrument.
Before any such "dual degrees" should be allowed in the college sphere, Palestinian colleges should be proven to be part of modern democratic society, not a continuation of totalitarian society where such colleges and their curriculum only bolster the propaganda of dictatorship.
President Botstein of Bard prefers putting the cart before the horse; instead of teaching the Arab world American educational concepts of research and actual proof as practiced over here, that is American and democratic values, he will be importing the same cesspool of education that exists in the Arab world into the American college classroom and providing cover for Hamas activists to invade the college campuses of America.
Our students and future generation deserve more.
Send Leon Botstein an email [Be polite. -MS] about this: President@Bard.edu.