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Free Speech As Sword and Shield

February 2010 Contents

Free Speech As Sword and Shield

Texas is the national battleground for curriculum & textbooks

Report: College Endowments Suffer Huge Declines

February Articles of Interest

Free Speech As Sword and Shield

Kenneth L. Marcus
Ken Marcus, Director
Anti-Semitism Initiative

This month, pro-Israel speakers have been seriously heckled, disrupted or canceled at Oxford, Cambridge, UCLA, Irvine and York. On February 1, at York University counter-protesters slapped two Jewish students, one on the face and one in the arm, as 50 counter-protesters yelled anti-Semitic and anti-Israel epithets at the Jewish students who had gathered to raise awareness about Hamas. Two days later, Oxford students greeted Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon with shouts of "Itbah Al-Yahud" ("kill the Jews"). On February 7, the Cambridge University Israel Society canceled a talk by distinguished Israeli historian Benny Morris when protesters accused him of "Islamophobia" and "racism.” Immediately afterwards, Cambridge University’s Islamic Society invited a Hamas supporter, who has praised suicide bombing, to give a speech in which he called for the destruction of the Jewish state. The next day, at UCLA School of Law, Palestinian advocates disrupted a lecture by Israeli diplomat Daniel Taub. On that same day, hecklers disrupted a lecture by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California at Irvine.

Read the full column

The Quad is a monthly publication of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR). It includes updates on research and publications; alerts about items in the news; original commentary by scholars; and news about our partners.

The Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR) is an independent non-profit dedicated to the growth and security of the Jewish community.

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New York Times analysis confirms Texas as the national battleground for curriculum and textbooks

Texas K-12 Social Studies Revision Showcases America's Textbook Battles

Texas is currently revising its social studies curriculum. Because it is the largest state adopting textbooks on a statewide basis, its decisions will determine course and textbook content for students around the country for the next ten years. IJCR's Dennis Ybarra, co-author of The Trouble with Texbooks, is focusing his K-12 efforts to counter anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in this important venue.

Read How Christian Were the Founders? by Russell Shorto, The New York Times Magazine, Feb. 14, 2010

Report: College Endowments Suffer Huge Declines

IJCR Research Scholar Lynn Munson said little evidence exists showing schools with huge endowments are using their wealth to help more students attend college, increase their undergraduate class sizes or deepen research commitments.


Read Report: College Endowments Suffer Huge Declines by Lynne Munson, Associated Press, Jan. 27, 2010

February Articles of Interest

Higher Education

Campus Distress: A Week of Uncivil Discourse on Campus
By Samuel M. Edelman, The Cutting Edge News, Feb. 15, 2010
Samuel Edelman chronicles five alarming incidents that occured in a single week on both sides of the Atlantic this month, calling for an end to attacks on the expression of views in the university as the "market place of ideas."

Free Speech for Me, Not for Thee
By Richard Cravatts, Orange County Register, Feb. 11, 2010
Of the many intellectual perversions currently taking root on college campuses, perhaps none is more contradictory to what should be one of higher education's core values than the suppression of free speech.

Double Standard Watch: Rights of the Speaker Versus 'Rights' of Disruptors
By Alan M. Dershowitz, The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 18, 2010
Freedom of speech does permit the right of audience members to express views different from a speaker, so long as they obey reasonable rules and do not prevent the speaker from expressing his or her views.

World

Ontario Legistlature Condemns Israel Aparteid Week
By JTA Staff, Feb. 9, 2010
All 30 members of the 107-seat provincial legislature who were present on Feb. 25 voted for the resolution that denounced the campus event that kicks off March 1 at universities and colleges in 35 cities around the world. "The use of the phrase 'Israeli Apartheid Week' is about as close to hate speech as one can get without being arrested, and I'm not certain it doesn't actually cross over that line," said Conservative legislator Peter Shurman.

Anti-Israel Bias Infects Medical Journals
By Barbara Kay, Pajamas Media, Feb. 4, 2010
Because of the long ancestry of their journals and the reflexive respect they command, British medical journals are looked up to as role models but they allow ideology to trump accuracy and objectivity and give encouragement to insalubrious elements in other research entities.