Patterico's Pontifications


Judea Pearl Renounces NYU Alumnus Award After Anti-Israel Group Is Honored

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:36 pm

[guest post by Dana]

New York University’s Students for Justice in Palestine organization will be honored with the President’s Service Award tonight in New York. The group posted the announcement on their Facebook page last week:

We are thrilled to announce that we have been selected to receive a presidential service award at NYU. Despite the pushback we have received from our institution, we agree that we have made ‘significant contributions to the university community in the areas of learning, leadership, and quality of student life.’ Anyway, New York University, divest from Israeli apartheid. Xoxo.”

Vigorously opposing the the selection of SJP for the award is Judea Pearl, noted alumnus and father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl:

Turing Award winner Judea Pearl has renounced his status as a distinguished alumnus of New York University, following the school’s decision to award its Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter — which orchestrated an ongoing boycott of Zionist student clubs — for “extraordinary and positive impact on the University community.”

Pearl, who graduated with a doctoral degree from NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering in 1965, was granted a Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Polytechnic Alumni Association during a campus lecture in 2013 and is currently a chancellor’s professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also leads a foundation named after his late son, journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed by Islamic terrorists in 2002 while on assignment in Pakistan.

Pearl explained why he is protesting the selection of SJP:

“In the past five years, SJP has resorted to intimidation tactics that have made me, my colleagues and my students unwelcome and unsafe on our own campus,” Pearl wrote in a letter to NYU President Andrew Hamilton. “The decision to confer an award on SJP, renders other NYU awards empty of content, and suspect of reckless selection process.”

Pearl attempted to discuss his concerns with university officials, but given the condescending response, it’s clear his complaints fell on deaf ears:

Pearl stated that his efforts to engage with university officials over these concerns “have been met with platitudes about ‘free speech’ despite the fact that the US State Department now includes, in its definition of discrimination, intimidation based on race, religion and ethnicity.”

“Mr. President, I have been in academia for close to 50 years, and I know the difference between free speech and campus norms,” he continued. “Entrusted with the mandate of maintaining a climate of learning and mutual respect, your office should distance itself from the SJP selection and explain to the campus why such distancing is necessary. In the absence of a corrective action by your office the academic standing of this university is begging for other voices to call out the Orwellian character of (SJP’s) award.”

Pearl tweeted:

How can you tell when your university administrators are embarrassed by their own words? When they start lecturing you on “free speech” — the ultimate blanket for inaction or lack of courage…

From university spokesman John Beckman:

The President’s Service Award is annually granted to more than 50 extra-curricular clubs and 100 individuals, which are selected by a group of student affairs staff members and a student representative.

“While many in our university community disagree with the SJP, we will continue to defend the rights of our students and others to express their opposing views,” the official asserted.

As a reminder, here is an example of how members of SJP made an “extraordinary and positive impact on the University community, including achievements within schools and departments, the University at large, local neighborhoods, and NYU’s presence in the world.”:

Upon learning that SJP would be honored with a Presidential Service Award, NYU student organization Realize Israel posted this statement on their Facebook page [in full]:

It has come to our attention that on April 4th, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced that they had been selected to receive the NYU President’s Service Award. We are outraged that the University would award an organization that has spent the last several years making Jewish and pro-Israel students feel unwelcome and unsafe on campus.

The NYU President’s Service Award is given to individual students or student organizations that have had “an extraordinary and positive impact on the University community” and that promotes “learning, leadership, and quality of student life at New York University.” SJP’s actions toward our community reflect none of these values.

Over the past year, SJP has led a boycott of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations by 50+ NYU “student groups.” Members of SJP defaced Israel’s flag and physically assaulted pro-Israel students for openly celebrating their identities, and members of SJP brought forward not one, but two one-sided and factually inaccurate anti-Israel resolutions to the Student Government Assembly through a non-transparent, unbalanced, and undemocratic process.

By presenting the NYU President’s Award to SJP, not only is our university condoning violence and discrimination against members of the NYU community, but it is declaring that this type of behavior represents the ethos of our university.

We are conducting an investigation to determine who selected SJP to receive this award and are committed to dialogue with those who made this decision so that they understand the severity of the situation and the repercussions of their actions on the NYU community.

We also believe it is high time that the administration put an end to this endless cycle of intimidation, and we plan to voice our concerns about the systemic anti-Semitism perpetuated by anti-Israel activism that is plaguing our campus.

Coincidentally, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace activists were co-hosting an event at NYU featuringBDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti , but Barghouti found himself denied entry to the U.S. today. Contrary to protests that “this is only the latest in a series of attempts to suppress Palestinian voices,” the reason for not allowing Barghouti into the U.S. seems pretty darn reasonable:

In 2007, Barghouti founded, and runs to this day, a Ramallah-based umbrella group called the BDS National Committee that serves as the leading group organizing and promoting BDS outside the United States. The reason Barghouti was barred from entering the U.S. is not because he advocates BDS or Israel’s destruction. There is no speech issue here at all.

The reason he was barred is because the group Barghouti runs includes five U.S.-designated terrorist organizations in its membership: Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, and the Popular Front – General Command.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


14 Responses to “Judea Pearl Renounces NYU Alumnus Award After Anti-Israel Group Is Honored”

  1. Unsurprising all around.

    Dana (7d6d05)

  2. yikes, I happen to catch part of a mighty heart, the film version, of mariannes tale about the experience in Pakistan, they were oblique enough not to show the footage, yes barghouti is a terrorist turned political activist, like the recently departed rasma odeh

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. You would think this would get Trump some Jewish votes, but it won’t.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  4. BTW, I only count 4 groups.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  5. Jewish attitudes to Trump are already set.
    The Orthodox support Bibi, and therefore are ecstatic over Trump’s lovefest with Bibi, not to mention Bibi’s embrace of the GOP during the Obama years. They don’t seem to understand that this ensures the Democrats will become anti-Israel, and the long-term dangers inherent in that.
    The nonOrthodox are horrified by his administration’s treatment of migrants, and the input of energy Trumpism has given to white identity and right wing antiSemitism.*

    The problem is that both views are validated by Jewish history.

    *And it’s not imaginary. Witness this by popular among Trumpniki Ben Garrison.
    If you didn’t read the accompanying explanation you would not realize Garrison is portraying a hook nosed Amerindian, not a hook nosed Jew. And it’s not the first time an antiSemitic trope has shown up in his cartoons.

    Kishnevi (82cec7)

  6. But in the spirit of fairness to Mr Garrison

    Kishnevi (82cec7)

  7. I can only call all of this xenophilia. The Western self hatred, while ignoring any negative thing done by a non-Western culture. Just like the press did with Stalin in the 30s.

    Simon Jester (9d3cf3)

  8. Dana, campuses are insane these days, regardless. Ask Patterico about the fun time I am having.

    Simon Jester (9d3cf3)

  9. The lone ranger and tonto are surrounded by hostle indians. The lone ranger turns to tonto and says looks like we are in trouble now. Tonto answers what you mean “WE” whitey! Conservatives say we when they mean them. keep this in mind always you and me don’t make WE!

    lany (02d351)

  10. Trade schools are the future of America not 4 years of how to become a social justice warrior instructed by some self absorbed commie with a teaching degree. I am not saying this about you Simon Jester as I believe you do whats correct.

    mg (8cbc69)

  11. Mr M wrote:

    You would think this would get Trump some Jewish votes, but it won’t.

    Republicans have been thinking for years now, long before Mr Trump got into politics, that, finally, they’d start to pick up more support from Jewish Americans, but it never seems to happen.

    The New York Times published an essay by Shmuel Rosner, Why Israel Still Loves Netanyahu.

    (Binyamin) Netanyahu may be cynical but he doesn’t rig elections. He wins fairly, often against great odds, including, this time, the coming indictments against him and an understandable fatigue with his decade-old leadership, not to mention various other inter- and intraparty squabbles. But he seems to have succeeded again this time for the same reason he has dominated Israeli politics for most of the past 25 years: because when it comes to Israel’s national security, he is a leader with strategy and vision. And that is what many voters want.

    In the mid-1990s, during his first term as prime minister, Mr. Netanyahu rejected the assumptions underlying the peace process with the Palestinians. At the time this was considered daringly right wing. Today, it is considered common sense in Israel, including by Mr. Netanyahu’s political rivals. Likewise, Mr. Netanyahu was one of the first politicians to recognize Iran as the main threat to Israel’s survival, and fought fiercely in international forums to get the world’s attention to this problem. Today, this view is also widely appreciated across the Israeli political spectrum.

    The list goes on: In 2005, he warned that withdrawing Israeli troops from Gaza would end in disaster — and it did. He successfully resisted eight years of the Obama administration’s pressure to offer concessions to the Palestinians. He quickly forged an alliance with President Trump that has already proved to be of great benefit to Israel. In two years, Mr. Trump has moved the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, withdrawn from the nuclear agreement with Iran, recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and on Monday, designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

    Blue and White tried to make this election a referendum on Mr. Netanyahu. Its campaign focused largely on the prime minister’s personal failings, the corruption accusations against him, and exhaustion with his leadership. But in Israel, security trumps all other issues. (A poll ahead of the election found voters rated security as their No. 1 concern.)

    The real difference? In Israel, the lives of of the Jews are nailed to their spines, where in the United States, they aren’t. It’s far too easy in the US to have sympathy for the poor, pitiful Palestinians, where the Israelis know that the Palestinians — at least, the important ones — don’t want peace, but still think they can achieve victory, still think that eventually they can drive the Jews back into the sea. In the US, Jews have been swayed by the same idiocy as other liberals, thinking that the Palestinians would happily live in peace beside Israel, if only given the chance. That Ariel Sharon had the Israelis evacuate Gaza, to do with it as they would, and instead of becoming the peaceful, prosperous beach resort it could have become, it remained nothing but a poverty-stricken haven for terrorists, is something our media never reports.

    And thus, with Jewish Americans being very heavily urbanized, they tend to buy into the liberal culture of the cities, and as long as the Democrats aren’t saying outright that Israel should be destroyed, Jewish Americans are still comfortable voting for Democrats.

    Not that it matters. Jewish voters in the US are concentrated in only a few states, and with the exception of Florida, Jews suddenly becoming Republicans would affect very little change. But in the Sunshine State, they could turn Florida from purple to solidly red.

    The Dana who isn't Jewish (10ea9e)

  12. There’s a lot of daylight between defending someone’s right to free speech and handing out trophies for physically assaulting people. The the administrators at NYU don’t know that, it does not speak well for the college.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

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