|Israel Resource Review
||15th Febuary, 2007
Strange Happenings at Hillel
The Hillel Foundation exists on campuses all across the United States. Its purpose, of course, is to provide a place on campus where Jewish students can mingle, socialize and, of course, do Jewish" things. When it comes to Shabbat dinners, or Hebrew lessons, or Israeli folkdancing, Hillel is the place to be.
Hillel runs a "big tent" that includes all points of view, sort of like academic freedom with blinders on. For years it has been reported to Hillel leaders that groups like the International Solidarity Movement held seminars at US campuses where they discussed infiltrating Hillel with members of their Palestine Solidarity Movement to destroy Israel by using Jewish facilities to propagandize and work against the existence of Israel and, frankly, to sucker young Jews into aiding the enemy. Hillel's reaction wa s to silence dissent whenever possible, not correct the problem.
The Hillel at Berkeley is a prime example. On the UC Berkeley website can be found a permanently affixed video of a "refuseniks" conference held with the co-sponsorship of Berkeley Hillel and the Students for Justice in Palestine. When these "refuseniks" were investigated, they turned out to be radical Israeli expatriates who hadn't lived in Israel for over 20 years and never returned to Israel anyway for anything.
Last August, Hillel co-sponsored with the Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley a resolution through the UC Berkeley student senate that called for "peace and the end of the Israeli occupation."
Hillel at the University of Michigan voted to allow the Muslim Students Association on campus to use its facilities for meetings. The MSA, funded by Saudi Arabia, is also behind the national divestment movement. That "big tent" should be called the Tent of Chelm.
Now for the case of Hillel at CUNY, the City University of New York during "Israeli Apartheid Week." It started legal proceedings to stop the event as anti-Semitic and an attack on Jews, which it was. A week ago the administration denied the event was taking place on campus, saying it required a reservation a month in advance. Then it happened.
An attorney contacted the Hillel director at Hunter College at CUNY and asked her if some students would sign onto the lawsuit as plaintiffs to stop the event.
Her reaction was to refuse to cooperate with him and she announced to the students within earshot that she "forbids" (really!) any students from cooperating. When some other CUNY students decided to protest the event peacefully and asked fellow students at Hillel to join them, the students in the IAC at Hillel said they would only protest by playing Israeli music outside the event and serving Israeli food.
The Arab students at CUNY started their conference by screening a film that claimed IDF soldiers abuse Palestinian paraplegics and other disabled Arabs.
When four Jewish CUNY students turned up wearing kippahs to sit in on the event that had sixty people in attendance, the Hillel director called for additional security backup.
A swarm of CUNY security guards, showed up immediately as the Jewish students sat down inside. One of the CUNY students asked the Arab panel at the conclusion of the film if they supported terrorism. They refused to answer. He asked a second time. Then the Hillel director told the security guards to throw him out even though the questioner was neither violent nor disruptive. A guard finally threw him down the escalator steps the rest of the way in front of seven witnesses. The student, who had originally offered to walk out peacefully, had to be rushed to the hospital wearing a neck brace in an ambulance.
A lawsuit seeking an injunction from the Israel Apartheid Week event at CUNY had specified the event would pose a danger to Jewish students, and now that is exactly what happened to one of them.
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