Tag: Hillel

A Response to Michael Kazin on BDS and Campus Activism (Updated)

Writing in The New Republic today, Michael Kazin issues a sharp attack on the BDS movement, particularly the recent vote of the American Studies Association (ASA) to boycott Israeli academic institutions. (That decision is now being voted upon by the wider membership of the ASA.) Kazin levels two charges against the boycott movement. First, it is inconsistent: why single out Israel when there are other human rights violators like China and Russia that could just as easily be targeted for an academic boycott? Second, it is ineffective: the boycott movement is “quite unlikely to change anyone’s minds or, for that matter, Israeli policy.” It is a form of theater, professors playing politics. Kazin contrasts the boycott movement of self-righteous, divisive, […]

We Are an Open Hillel (Updated Again)

Hillel is one of the rabbis in the Jewish tradition most associated with the spirit of questioning, argument, and debate. Indeed, so intense and multiple were his disagreements with Shammai that a saying emerged from their disputes: “The one law has become two.” So it seems entire appropriate for the Jewish students of the Swarthmore College Hillel to have adopted the following resolution, declaring themselves to be an “Open Hillel.” The backdrop to this resolution is the decision two weeks ago of the Harvard Hillel not to allow an anti-Israel speaker on its premises. That decision was in keeping with Hillel International’s policy of refusing to work with or or to host anyone who opposes the State of Israel, including […]