Sunday, December 11, 2005

The fight for Israel at Princeton

An exasperated post on Israpundit detailed what happened when the Walid ShoebatFoundation tried to put on an event at Princeton, and the reaction of the local Jewish students when Princeton applied pressure to stop the event taking place. Disclaimer: I wasn't there,I know little about the WS Foundation, I don't normally read Israpundit, and I have only read the linked account.

But it doesn't surprise me.

On every turn, we face several almost impossible hurdles in defending Israel and Jewish rights on campus:

1. Our enemies are politicised; we are not. As simple as that. Jews are educated to see Israel/Judaism as 'feel-good' items. The political context - day-by-day more important -- is a traumatic shock to many of them.
2. Young students at any University are going to find it incredibly difficult to stand up to University pressure, and to peer pressure. Where were the Princeton Faculty? And where was the Hillel rabbi?
3. Contrary to popular belief, we are not very powerful.
4. Jewish leadership still believes that we will protect ourselves by ingratiating ourselves to political leadership. Given point (3), they may be right, but it is a fatally short-term approach.
5. Local Jewish student leadership is very, very varied, and does not always consist of knowledgeable, proud, intelligent students.

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