A Culture of Pride

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

There are several ways to approach today’s problems of campus unrest. The first is to treat them not as a challenge to the current moral order, but rather as a “moral panic” that will eventually burn itself out. That phrase, used a couple of times in this series, describes a phenomenon that emerges in most […]

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What can BDS Teach Us About the Culture Wars?

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

Many who criticize outrageous forms of behavior on college campuses, from “micro-aggression” to “safe spaces,” warn (either out of fear or glee) that once students who have been sheltered from challenging ideas and conflict enter the “real world,” they will quickly discover what it’s like to encounter an obstacle without “daddy” there to intervene. While […]

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Culture of Victimhood

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

The concept of a “Culture of Victimhood” will be familiar to most people who have observed or participated in debates over behaviors seen on college campuses (and elsewhere) over the last several decades. The notion of establishing victimhood as a means of social control has been applied to a variety of situations, from debates over […]

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Culture of Dignity

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Culture Wars

Among those covering or participating in the fight against BDS and similar propaganda campaigns on college campuses, I’ve always been one of the least enthusiastic for the tactic of turning to college administrators to solve the problems supporters of Israel (and Jews in general) face at more and more schools. Perhaps this reflects my preference for […]

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Reward and repetition are two of the best ways to ensure certain types of behaviors continue.   And if such motivations are in place long enough, behavior becomes permanent as rewards harden into entitlements and repetition becomes habit. We’re seeing something like this play out in the latest iteration of what Ruth Wisse urges us to […]

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As the “Knifing Intifada” preludes yet another round of Palestinian violence that will once again be blamed on the victims, it might seem an odd time for a fiction review (the first on this site, I believe – unless you count coverage of the Hampshire divestment hoax). But Howard Jacobson’s 2014 Novel J (or J […]

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Beyond Chutzpah

Last week, many of the organizations behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions “movement” decided to take time away from shouting pro-Israel speakers off various stages, bringing their political opponents up on charges within student government, and trying to get Israelis (although just the Jewish ones) banned from participation in scholarly discourse through academic boycotts to […]

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Betrayal – Bassem Tamimi in Ithaca

Just when you think Team BDS can’t behave more appallingly, they somehow manage to find a way to scrape beneath the barrel. Years ago, the fellow named Ron Francis – the guy behind three years of divestment campaigning in Somerville, MA – decided to make up for his failure to drag the Arab-Israeli conflict into […]

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BDS Overreach

Commentary Magazine recently ran a piece about the bad month just experienced by the forces of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. My regular reader will be familiar with the three stories cited as examples of the BDSers shooting themselves in one-another’s feet: their Matisyahu/Sunsplash fiasco, the immediate rescinding of a boycott motion in the capital of […]

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Discerning God’s Will at the Society for Biblical Studies

Israel’s friends on college campuses have gotten used to boycott advocates scheduling their events and votes during Shabbat and the Jewish holidays.  But apparently, church-based anti-Israel partisans have begun to realize the advantages of holding their programs during the holiest days on the Jewish calendar. Data point one (OK, it’s my only one right now […]

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Well August vacations coupled with the fact that kid #2’s Bar Mitzvah is just five days away has kept posting a little light this month.  But an interruption that’s been unfolding over the last week or so has shed light on one of the most valuable assets many of those involved with fighting against anti-Israel […]

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