What passes for student education.

By Ted Belman

I attended a six hour educational seminar at Hillel House at the U of Toronto. It was titled Drown out the hate: EDUCATE and was sponsored by the main Jewish establishment organizations. Its intent was to prepare the students to combat the upcoming Israel Apartheid Week.

Unfortunately the students weren’t interested. Less than fifteen showed up.

Amir Gissin, Israel’s Consul General, addressed the audience and talked about Israel branding. In case you are wondering, the brand is “passion, ingenuity and fusion”. Amir spoke well and is a credit to Israel and our community.

The best speaker was Meagan Buren, The Israel Project. She was well prepared and her message was focussed and sharp. No matter what the issue, students were told to stress that Israel was a democracy and wanted peace. This should be Israel’s response to the Palestinians who say “occupation” in every sentence.

The most dangerous speaker was Prof Derek J Penslar who described himself as a leftist Zionist. (What’s that?). He was the opening speaker. He started by saying Israel was a racist state. Later on he said Israel committed atrocities on the Arabs, or something to that effect, in the ‘48 war. He advised that students come to university to become educated. He, as a professor, does his best to be objective and to deliver the unvarnished truth. But it is not the truth.

His message undermines rather than educates. Students must first be wedded to Israel emotionally before they are asked to understand both sides. What he and 80% of all such professors do is to deliver the message that there are two sides, that there is right and wrong on both sides. In so doing they deliver an approach of even handedness and moral equivalence. With this approach they undermine values such as patriotism and nationalism. Students are thus gutted and have nothing to stand up for except relativity and moral equivalence. A local activists, complained about his racist state remark and he said “its people like you that I fear”. And this guy is the Director of the Jewish Studies Program and the one chosen by the Jewish establishment to prepare our kids for the propaganda war.

Then Benjamin Pogrund, a prominent South African human rights activist who made Aliya, denied the charge that Israel was an apartheid state. He mentioned in passing of his friendship with Desmond Tutu and referred to his disagreement with him on Israel; just a minor disagreement mind you. He also said that if he was asked if Israel was aparthied and had to answer in a quick sound bite he would say Israel was an “occupier”. Huh. In the course of his remarks he mentioned Akiva Eldar with respect and specifically mentioned an article he wrote about Israel’s “land grab”.

Another speaker, Jordan Kerbel, with the CJC, went to the mat for the CBC advising it was not biased against Israel. Few Jews would agree with him.

To make matters worse Hillel invited Yariv Oppenheimer, the founder of Peace Now, to speak. Why him? Aaargh.

What this program should have been about was arming the students to stand up to the propagandists otherwise known as hate-mongers. They must be taught the justice of Israel’s cause. They must be taught that the purpose of Israel Apartheid Week and Boycotts of Israel is not to protect the “poor Palestinians” but to destroy Israel.

Shame on the Jewish establishment. It is throwing in the towel rather then girding for battle.

February 4, 2008 | 8 Comments »

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. Hello Jonathan.
    I read your questions & would like to be of some help if I may.
    You must understand that what is happening is essentially a fix,an inside job.It’s a case of collusion between the IslamoFascists & their touts,the Marxist intelligentsia who infest the universities.You cannot overcome these bottom dwelling vermin by yourselves,you need help.I would strongly recommend contacting David Horowitz @ FrontPage mag.com,he can get you plenty of reinforcements to help the cause.
    As for your 2nd question,this is much more complicated.I suggest you read the works of George Orwell,Eric Hoffer,Steven Pinker’s Blank Slate & perhaps Ortega y Gasset,among others.You should also learn about the Cultural Marxists(Gramsci,Odorno,Marcuse,)study their tactics & agendas; much will become clear to you.You may ask why am I stressing the leftys & not the Moslems? I feel that the Marxists are the brains of the operation,the Moslems are merely their strong arm goons: without the head the Moslems are very limited.

    P.S. Good Luck & Happy Hunting

  2. I agree but I would urge you to look at the other side. Three Muslim Law students from Osgoode Hall have brought MacLean’s to the Human Rights Commission (see page 17 of Saturday’s Sun) and one U of T political science student has led an anti-Israel march down Yonge st. (see the Sunday Sun p. 30.) I, of course, have 2 questions. 1. Why are the Muslim students politically successful and the Jewish ones not? 2. Why are the Universities completely failing society in teaching their students how to limit the free speech of the majority and how to support potential Islamic dictatorships while trying to destroy a democracy?

    Isn’t it time to confront U of T – not only for the particulars of things like anti-apartheid week but for generally not teaching its students to appreciate and stand up for our democratic system. The essence of a university was to teach young people to clearly think. It seems that the U of T has utterly failed to do this.

  3. Hello Ted,
    I read your post & I am sorry to say that most of the players in this plot don’t come out looking good.Most of these characters are Yuppies morphed from Shtetl Jews 3,4 OR 5 generations removed.These secular Shtetl Jews,aside from the Zionists & other radicals, were a thoroughly beaten,demoralized group who wanted only to flee Europe & the Rabbis.There was a new man created by the Enlightenment,the Universal,International Everyman;that’s what they wanted to become.They became International Everyman with a slightly Hebraic flavor(for instance they ate bagels & lox when they could afford to,but not in front of their gentile associates who might laugh at vulgar East European eating habits!)This thoroughly neurotic nation suceeded,through hard work & sacrifice,in gaining material prosperity.They paid a terrible price,they gave up their traditions,their spiritual heritage in a mad dash to assimilate in the Christian world.In place of Judaism they threw together a hodge/podge of Humanistic clich’es & vague,warmed over truisms & accepted wisdoms which amounts to little more than post- modern paganism(they became herd creatures in the service of the Democratic Party)
    .Their children & grandchildren are pampered little dandies from suburbia more interested in themselves & their careers than in the fortunes of the Jewish people.These Reformed Jews in the universities know very little about Israel & the Jews & care even less. They don’t know because they were never taught,their elders taught them Socialist dribble;if they even bothered to teach them that!
    They believe whatever nonsense the anti-semites tell them,being completley ignorant of the history of the Jews & Israel.G.K.Chesterton once said that “someone who believes in nothing is capable of believing anything”.These kids have no Jewish past to draw wisdom from,being devoid of knowledge of their cultural & religious heritge;how can they be expected to defend a cause they know nothing about!
    As one pundit said “the Islamic cause may be deficient in virtue & reason but at least it is something,& you can’t counter something with nothing”!

  4. To me this is further proof that Jews – both those in Israel and those here – are political cretins and idiots who really do not know what they are doing. They vote for Olmert in Israel, Democratic in the U.S. and Liberal in Canada – all of which are obviously against Jewish interests, but favour something called pluralism which was good for Jews in 1800. The holding of a pro-Israel meeting with mostly anti-Israel speakers is further proof of the need for a complete change in the Jewish establishment and Jewish thinking processes.

    That being said, congratulations to you and Rochelle for attending the meeting and expressing your indignation.

  5. A friend writes to a Toronto establishment -person.

    I am sorry you did not attend the Hillel education day on Sunday …

    Prof. Derek Penslar, Director, Jewish Studies Program, UofT was the first speaker and the first thing he mentioned was how he tells his students “Israel is a racist country” and when I said “Canada is a racist country” his replied saying it’s people like me that he fears the most. He also spoke of the atrocities committed by Israel towards the Palestinians in 1948…etc…(he failed to mention any other perspective)

    He said we should not dismiss the works by those who criticize Israel and read their work because they make valid points. He told the students who were in the room on Sunday, that he understood a commitment to take his course is not always possible but cordially welcomed them during his office hours to come and speak with him privately.

    The audience who attended on Sunday were there because they care about being a counter-voice to Israel Apartheid Week… How could our Jewish leaders, choose this person and others who made statements about “Israel’s land grabs” and defending the CBC as completely unbiased (Adrienne Arsenau as being one of the most fair minded journalists he has ever known…etc)

    Of the 8 speakers, Only Meagan Buren from the Israel Project gave the students something worthwhile. She only spoke about how to stand up in defense of Israel when there are unjust accusations of apartheid…etc

    As a Jew living outside of Israel, I do not think I have the right to publicly spread my opinions about “land”. Democratic Israel gives her people the freedom to vote and they must live by the consequence of their decisions. I do have the right to counter the lies which are now being spread to High School Students during this “hate fest” week.

    As a direct response to Israel Apartheid Week, Hillel has invited the founder of Peace Now (Yariv Oppenheimer). It is on Wednesday, February 6 at noon Croft Chapter House, UC room #183. Please attend.

    A little something about Peace Now and who supports them:

    ….. oh…and the “leaders” of Hillel do not support the protest on Monday at Ryerson which will speak out against suicide bombings, Hamas and Hezb’ALLAH…, maintaining that they do not want to bring attention to their programs.. When I told them that exponentially the Israel Apartheid Week has grown over the past 4 years from 4 cities to 20 cities involving several campuses, their response was that there is nothing to worry about and this does not compare to the 1930’s and the anti-Jewish propaganda of that time. We have not reached that point, I agree, but what’s stopping it?

  6. The good news is that only 15 students showed up to be brainwashed and/or confused by Hillel, with its obviously incompatible pro-Israel messages. The rest is all bad news.

  7. Wow. That is VERY Depressing, but unfortunately not surprising. Jews try so hard to be fair and see the other person’s point of view that they see illusions and then forget they are Jews and Jews have right to life and self-determination. We are not our own worst enemies, but it seems we are always competing for that title.

  8. Why would Hillel House want a propagandist to tell them how to combat anti-Semitism and terrorism in Israel?

    Why do universities stack their halls with Jews for Palestine?

    Is it any wonder that students are confused and want to hide their heads in the sand and avoid the topic altogether?

    Participating in Israel advocacy is a real pain in the ass. There are a cacophony of too many voices and too many opinions. There is too much navel gazing and no consensus on the basics such as the existence of Israel and agreement about Israel’s proud place in the world – fighting for its life in a neighborhood stacked with terror states armed, dangerous and wanting blood. There is also no agreement on how much time and support, if any, to give to matters concerning Israel vs. local initiatives.

    Why are Jewish groups indulging in dialogue when they don’t understand and are too insecure to stand up for what is right; unconfident in their own broad spectrum of positions and views.

    One thing that we can say for the Islamic jihadists – they know what they want, they know how to get it, and they won’t stop until the job is done.