GW Students Petition To Remove Interim Dean Due To BDS Support

BDS_Movement_logo424px-George_Washington_University_seal.svgWe have been discussing the rising intolerance for free speech and academic freedom at colleges and universities from course material to social media postings to political speech to jokes.  As speech codes and microaggression rules are enforced, various groups are calling for the silencing or removal of those with opposing views.  The latest is at my school where pro-Israeli students are calling on the university to reconsider the appointment of anthropology and history professor Ilana Feldman as the interim dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs. The sole reason is that they disagree with Feldman’s support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The effort is being assisted by Canary Mission which maintains of list of any academic and student that it considers to be anti-Israel as well as GW for Israel.  The Canary Mission criticizes Feldman for her criticism of Israeli security actions and the conditions of Palestinian areas. It declares “Ilana Feldman is an activist in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Feldman’s scholarship has demonized Israel and camouflaged the detrimental effect of Palestinian terrorist groups on Palestinians and Israelis.” The students insist that Feldman is  a “fervent supporter” of the BDS movement, and “[w]e find it highly problematic that the university selected an individual who has worked to hinder international dialogue and exchange to head ESIA.” 

The students want Feldman canned simply because she holds an opposing view. There is no evidence that Feldman has ever imposed her views on other faculty or students. Moreover, she has no authority to unilaterally adopt a BDS position for the faculty.

Having opposed speech codes and microaggression rules for many years, this response is unfortunately neither unique nor surprising.  There is a diminishing respect for free speech and academic freedom.  There was a time when those were the touchstones of the educational academy.  Ironically, some of the BDS supporters on campuses have been advocates for silencing others in the imposition of speech codes and barring speakers.  It is equally ironic that those who oppose this boycott movement want to effectively block or boycott those intellectuals who hold opposing views.  This move shows how speech intolerance is like Saturn . . . it eventually devours its own.

Here is the petition.

 

67 thoughts on “GW Students Petition To Remove Interim Dean Due To BDS Support”

  1. The students would be much better served if they instead spent this time bettering their studies for their future than fool’s errands such as these. It’s a total waste of time. Why not take an elective on small business accounting or a technical skill that has general applicability?

    As an employer reviewing stacks of resumes, all things being otherwise equal, if I saw two candidates with one having a course in retail marketing and the other listed that they participated in some political events and did nothing extra academically the former would always get the job. The former offers a wider skill set, the latter presents the possibility of a never-ending headache if hired.

    1. If these are students studying in the School of International Affairs they’re looking for careers in the State Department or one of the so-called intelligence agencies. Accounting not in high demand, I should think.

  2. Thank you for keeping classical liberalism alive like Bill Maher. I am a bit to the right sometimes but I am going to defend your right to speak until my last breath.

  3. The latest is at my school where pro-Israeli students are calling on the university to reconsider the appointment of anthropology and history professor Ilana Feldman as the interim dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs.

    This calls for public debate.

    GW’s pro-Israeli students and interim dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and BDS supporter need to debate the merits of their positions in the public square before impartial judges.

    Freedom of speech/thought trumps censorial thugs – always.

    1. Personanongrata – I think fisticuffs in the square at high noon. Let’s see how tough these guys think they are.

  4. 14 million Israelites or “Semites” or “Jewish” people in the world.

    This segment represents .002% of the world’s population.

    Either:

    A. Entomophobia is universal and incurable

    or

    B. “When E.F. Hutton Talks, People Listen!”

    1. I fully support Jews as much as any other racial/religious demographic.

      Unfortunately for people who think that Jews/Israelites/whatever you want to call them, need to figure out how to either get along with their neighbors (as abhorrent as this sounds to Israel-firsters) or to move to Texas to be closer to all the demographic center of American Zionism, the heart of SBC country.

      Think about this fact. No, really, I mean it, just think about it for a moment: if “Anti-Semites” exist as defined by Israel-firsters, by definition there must exist “Anti-Gentiles.” For every single so-called Anti-Semite there may exist the exact same number of Anti-Gentiles, the latter just as hateful and virulent as the former.

      I await the ridiculous lie/accusation that the above statements prove I want to “fire up the ovens.” This is the ridiculous state of debate with Israel-firsters. You either need to shed blood and treasure to maintain modern Israel’s borders or your name is Mengele.

      How do Israel-firsters think Gentiles should react to the founders of modern Israel, who stated point blank that they would righteously bring nuclear winter to all earth’s inhabitants rather than give up their land?

      Jews “require” modern Israel for their security? Over 50% of today’s Jews say “No thank you,” rather choosing to live somewhere else.

      Americans are just as responsible to maintain Israel’s borders as we are to raise again ancient Rome and repopulate the area with Rome’s descendants.

      1. Unfortunately for people who think that Jews/Israelites/whatever you want to call them, need to figure out how to either get along with their neighbors (as abhorrent as this sounds to Israel-firsters) or to move to Texas to be closer to all the demographic center of American Zionism, the heart of SBC country.

        There is absolutely nothing Israel can do about the hostility of their neighbors. You know that.

        1. Who cares? Is that America’s problem? Where in our laws does it say it’s America’s problem? (crickets). This is circular reasoning. Israel does not and shall not and never shall make amends w/its neighbors because Daddy Warbucks (the biggest military in the world) is Israel’s protector. Why should they? They suffer nothing by not getting along with their neighbors except to further propagate the victim meme (one of the richest nations extant, nuclear armed, violating many to all of its original agreements Re. the West Bank, is an alleged “victim.”

          Then-new Israel publicly promised they would bring nuclear winter to all the earth if someone took away their new Israel land, and the world blessed that. Would you similarly bless West Bank Palestinians if they were nuclear armed?

          Truman and the LON/League of Nations created Israel by threat of force. Do you deny that? No living American is currently legally, ethically, or morally responsible for the act of Truman and the LON. The current state of Israel’s neighbor’s feelings Re. Israel existed prior to 1948.

          Fix this now by making Israel the 51st state. Unfortunately, that can/shall never happen because Israel is a theocracy, who now plans to make this a requirement for citizenship: To declare allegiance to Israel being a Jewish religious state forever. Israel needs to do that because its Arab neighbors increase as a ratio of citizens.

          How is it anything but illegal race hatred (by American standards) that male Palestinians are prohibited from Israel citizenship? Israel’s alleged morality is a thin veneer under which is a thick load of hypocrisy and laws blatantly illegal in the US, it’s BFF.

          Do you notice that Israel’s race hatred is illegal here, and goes against everything this nation believes in? Do you give a crap about that? Of course you don’t!

          I proposed an alternative: move Israel to be near their BFF, the Southern Baptist Convention in Texas. Others have proposed other locations for Israel more amendable to its potential neighbors.

      2. In the 9/11 episode, the Saudi principals were run by Mossad and ignored by American/Five Eyes Intel, facilitating the downing of the Twin Towers and untouched Building 7 (by controlled demolition) obtaining the desired result of rolling the U.S./Allied military into the ME for, what, 20 years now.

        Kudos to Mossad. It’s like Jujitsu or is it Judo, one employs leverage. 14 million Israelites/Semites/Jewish People run the 7.5 billion-person world.

        You gotta love it. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s my name, Mr. Joiner.

        My only question is whether Jesus liked the Hebrews or not – I mean he may have changed his mind up there on that Roman cross, which was compelled by the Hebrew Sanhedrin and after Jesus violently upended the Money Changers at the Hebrew Temple.

  5. Rabbis and other Jews against Israel and Zionism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKplabTRuak

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14bsxdg

    Google has 640k hits for the search term “Rabbis against Zionism.”

    Flame suit fully engaged for the most useless, timeworn, over used, “anti Semite” epithet, defined as, “NOT someone who hates Jews, but rather someone hated by certain Jews.”

    The irony is lost on those favoring the “Anti-Semite” epithet that all or most of the persons referred to in the 640k Google hits are “Jews” or “Semites” who just happen to hold “wrong” social and political views.

    Distantly related: I’ll metaphorically “bet” $5 to donuts that 90% of those students wanting to fire the subject Dean are crypto-Zionist quasi-Christian Southern Baptist Conference members. That or persons who, or related to persons who financially benefit from the annual $5B US tax dollars given to Israel, one of the richest nations extant, which money comes back to the US to buy US made weapons of war.

    The point is it should not be up to US taxpayers to pick military winners anywhere in the world. The problem is that it looks to US citizens and the world like it is the job of the US to pick winners and losers in the ME, which perception has caused uncounted loss of US life and tax dollars for nothing but more of the same insanity as each decade passes since 1948 when the US and the League of Nations invented modern “Israel” by threat of force.

    Nations come and go and lines on maps change all the time. Google “10 once influential countries that ceased to exist.” If Israel ceased to exist today the security of the US would not materially be changed in any way. Nothing in the Constitution requires US taxpayers to insure the existence of Israel. America thrived for 1.7 centuries prior to Israel.

    The ratio of Americans who turn away from classic “Christian” churches (in the Protestant realm, the SBC is the largest by far; the SBC is a branch of Zionism by definition of the SBC’s pro-Israel bylaws) is a threat to the MIC and pro-Israel US forces. The SBC prohibits self-described non-Zionist members.

    The fact that Americans turn away from classic Christian teaching (which is Zionist controlled) is a threat to Israel. Young Americans are not raised in and steeped in pro-Israel brain washing, which leads to growing threat to Israel like the BDS movement.

    .

    1. “Rabbis” against zionism? they make lots of noise, but they are a small fringe group who are not taken seriously as Rabbis. A long beard does not make someone a Rabbi.

      1. Hal,

        This is an interesting topic and it may have more substance to it than you suspect.

        Zionism is a secular movement. It caught on with many rabbis long after it began. Naturei Karta are one small sect of haredim who are very vocal in oppposition to the state of Israel. However, there are many many other religious jews who reject zionism and are in fact exempt from service in the Israeli armed forces.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exemption_from_military_service_in_Israel

        1. Mr. Kurtz:

          There are many religious Jews who reject zionism and do not serve in the armed forces. The overwhelming majority of such Jews prefer to keep the current state of Israel to being ruled by the Palestinian authority, Jordan or any of their other enlightened neighbors. These aren’t suspicions of mine. I spent a bit more than a year in Israel while i was in college and while there I met and became friends with a few members of the Neturei Karta movement, in addition to many other Jews who are not affiliated with Neturei Karta and also reject zionism. I know who the Neturei Karta are and the protesters in these videos represent only a portion of Neturei Karta, which is a very small sect. The Jewish protesters in the video want to go back to a non-existent idyllic period before there was a state of Israel when Jews living in Israel lived in peace with their Arab neighbors. See Hebron progrom 1929. I offer no theological opinion on zionism or the State of Israel, but the idea that that can unscramble the egg, dismantle the state of Israel and just live in peace is absurd.

      2. “Not taken seriously,” by who, Hal? You and your Israel-first anti-gentile friends? Yes, let’s leave it to Hal to define what is and is not a Rabbi! Is this a comedy act, Hal?

        Hal’s circular definition: “All Jews and all Rabbis must believe in and support Zionism.” So now, if you are a Jew/Rabbi who denies Zionism, you are not a Jew/Rabbi!

        1. I am Jewish, which you probably realized. I am not a Zionist. I don’t have a death wish. I don’t wish death on my coreligionists from their peace loving neighbors. I have studied in leading Yeshivos in Israel and the United States. I know what a Rabbi is and I know what a great Rabbi is. These people are (barely) useful idiots. I guess you are also a leading expert on Rabbis.

      1. So say Israel-firster Anti-Gentiles: American Gentiles either must kill, give treasure to, and die for Israel, or they promote mass-Jewish genocide. There is no alternative.

        That is the definition of an Anti-Gentile, a Gentile hater.

        $5B in American treasure annually, with which Israel buys advanced weaponry, thus making the American MIC very happy and satisfied. It is impossible to remove the financial quotient from this debate.

  6. The BDS movement’s MO is targeting, smearing, suppressing, protesting,demanding change to their views and vilely harming Jews and supporters of Israel. At U of M, a staff member denied writing a recommendation for a student who wanted to go to a study abroad in Israel. If a BDS supporter like her can target others, she should be able to take it. It’s time to tell the playground bullies like her and BDS to back off. You can’t trust her not to try to impose her agenda on others ..because that’s exactly what BDS always does.)

    1. More anti-gentile/Israel-first baloney: portraying nuclear armed, ultra-rich Israel, with Uncle Sam in both its pockets (the most powerful military extant) as a “victim.”

      Does Palestine finance US Congresscritters to visit them for support, with expense paid luxury vacations for their entire families, like Israel does? Hahahah

      Can not Israel-firsters ever roll out a new schtick?

      1. Good old Israel shooting school children, bombing buses and restaurants. Sorry, I meant the peace loving people you are supporting.

        1. Hal, You are a smart guy, no sarcasm. And you know that I said not one letter of support for any god forsaken Palestinian Muslim murderer. The fact that you have to lie and make up stuff proves you have no argument so you make up a straw man to beat up.

          I just simply don’t want the USA to chose winners anywhere. And 99.9% of every American action is in support of Israel and against Palestine, something you apparently call fair and balanced.

          Israel is the most hated nation extant. Israel did that on its own. Furtther, most of earth’s population views the US as the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism. It doesn’t matter if you or anyone else agrees or disagrees or thinks most of the world is nuts. Perception is reality.

          We now know with the highest level of certainty that Saudi Arabia, our BFF, financially sponsored 911. Yet we are still in bed with Saudi Arabia, and the biggest reason is that the “royal family” of SA (like it’s King Arthur’s Court over there) is in bed with Israel.

          Now the SA government annually beheads more people than all Islamic terrorists. And we’re in bed with the SA government.

          it’s comical how stupid it is to be lectured to by Israel firsters about how bad it would be for the US to support Palestinians, which I don’t support by the way.

          The USA is today in bed with the most evil, blood thirsty, ravenous, ugly scum of the world, the SA government. There is nothing in the world an Isalemic terrorist might do that the SA does mot do almost every day, with our support.

          Google the war crimes the SA governmentl commited in Yemen, all or almost all with USA made weapons. we happily sold them.

          1. The common abbreviation/shorthand is KSA, which has the added advantage of highlighting that said country is NOT a democracy.

  7. I agree with you, but this is intended as payback for the BDS supporters targeting supporters of Israel on campus. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but sometimes payback is in order just to teach a lesson. That is the story of Trump. He is a very flawed person, but he fights back and his supporters are tired of being dumped on.

    1. Yeah, poor white people of average higher income and less education than Hillary voters.

      Resentment is key to the block though, no doubt. It’s the party of Rush and Trump and they all deserve each other.

      1. sure sure Trump supporters are just a bunch of poor uneducated white crackers

        but here’s a story about a U of M student named Cathy Zhu who got in trouble for supporting Trump and they called her a racist and blackballed her as a beauty contestant. can’t make stuff like this up!

        https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/07/19/kathy-zhu-miss-michigan-world-america/1775246001/

        “A Michigan pageant contestant and fan of President Donald Trump was stripped of her title for what she calls discrimination against her conservative political views.

        Kathy Zhu, a University of Michigan student, was dismissed Thursday as a Miss World America pageant participant when the organization described the content of her social media as “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate.” according to a letter from the pageant that she posted on her Twitter account.

        Zhu is a well-known political commentator and online figure, amassing approximately 80,000 followers in her Instagram and Twitter accounts combined.

        “I have seen this happen before,” Zhu told the Free Press on Thursday. “It is just not okay to be prejudiced against people who just have a different political view as you.”

        Miss World America did not respond with comments despite repeated attempts to contact her.”

  8. There were proponents of free speech in America when the German Nazis sent after the Jews. We had the German American. Bund in America. Now we have Nazis all over the world and many in America. Their assumed facts are that Arabs living in Israel are “Palestinians” and need their own country in the Israel borders.
    Most Arabs in Israel do not believe that notion.
    The Three Stooges dealt with such BS back when they were on movies and television. Curly:. “Hotzie, totzie. I smell a Nazi!”

    1. Go to Google and look up the stories on the German American Bund.
      The BDS is Springtime for Hitler in Germany!

  9. Professor, what are the qualifications for being the dean of arts and sciences? What are the real qualifications, not the bogus qualifications the David Bensons of this world offer (when they deign to respond to such questions at all).

    Whatever the usual practice of institutions, it’s doubtful that faculty-qua-faculty have much insight that would induce them to make better decisions about budgetry than the institution’s bursar would make. Also, I’ve known of institutions where the position she holds was one which incorporated a confusion of roles – where the dean was expected to be simultaneously something akin to a manager and a union steward.

    One thing the dean of arts and sciences acting in committee can do is review decisions over hiring and promotion and over the rotation scheme governing the installation of department chairs. Which is to say, you need someone trustworthy in that position. Trinity College at Duke University was ruined by the appointment of William Chafe as university provost in 1995. His project was stacking the faculty with gross social ideologues like himself.

    One thing that’s a red flag here is her discipline. There should be a strong bias against drawing on a non-quantitative discipline for the position of dean of arts and sciences, especially one drawn from ruined fields. Sociology and anthropology are ruined fields. The only people from those fields who ought to be passing on faculty hires and promotions are inveterate number crunchers or archaeologists too old to be doing field work.

    This Feldman wench is neither, of course. A GoogleScholar search turns up scores of articles by this woman, mostly in scholarly or pseudo-scholarly venues. What you see is as follows:

    1. She has never in her life done any work in the realms of archaeology, palaeoanthropology, physical anthropology, animal behavior, or linguistics.

    2. She has never done fieldwork among primitive populations.

    3. She has not, in her fieldwork, attempted to explore family life, religion, or folk art.

    IOW, she isn’t an anthropologist. She’s a walking argument for firing half the anthropology faculty, because what they’re actually up to is turfing out the lesser side of the sociology department. Nearly all of her published work is about the Arab populations of the West Bank, Gaza, and others on the UNRWA dole. What she writes is a species of opinion journalism. You’ve take a person whose scholarly chops might well be in the bottom 10% of George Washington’s faculty, and you’ve put her in charge. That’s a fine example of faculty wire-pullers flipping the bird at the institution’s stake holders.

    While we’re at it, BDSholes have one object: making it possible for Arabs to kill Jews and steal their property. She’s a moral degenerate in that respect, not representative of a ‘perspective’.

    You’re forever defending the prerogatives of professors and lawyers. And you are almost always wrong.

    1. Huh? I’ve never commented on the qualifications for a dean. I have known several and never understood why they performed that role.

      CalTech doesn’t have any deans, not by that title.

  10. Around 1200 years ago, Persia was a center of learning and high culture. However, Palestine was an outlier of so-called Arabian culture from time out of mind, unimportant.

    Now the one Palestinian that I have known was intellectually indistinguishable from most of the similarly trained Isrealian scientists and engineers. His parents had displaced to a Persian Gulf country; he was aiming for US citizenship.

    Yet, Isreal produces fine science and engineering. I don’t want to see that come to an end. And neither should you.

    1. There is no such place as Palestine. It was the name of a Roman province which disappeared in Late Antiquity. The British mandatory slapped the label on a collection of Ottoman subprefectures they assembled in 1920, a political and geographic assemblage dissolved in 1948. The resident Arabs, examined in sum, had no common features which distinguished them from adjacent Arab populations. You had Bedouin in the Negev, the Transjordan, and the Sinai, each with an affiliation to a lineage and all speaking vernacular on the same spectrum of spoken Arabic. You had sedentary Arabs loyal to their localities and their lineage who spoke a vernacular on the same spectrum as that of similar people in Beirut or Damascus or the countryside around those places.

      1. This is absurd x XXii. You are clearly anti-Semitic as if you use the same logic Israel was formed in 1948, hardly a country at all.

        1. Israel is populated by Jews, who are quite distinct from every other people in this world. They were so in 1948 and they are so today. The territories in question were a temporary dependency of Britain. For 50-odd years prior, that territory was partitioned between a menu of Ottoman provinces. For several centuries prior to that, it was partitioned between a different iteration of Ottoman provinces. Before that it was part of the Mamluk sultanate, the Seljuk Empire, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Crusader states, the Omayyad caliphate, and the Byzantine Empire. The unit which most resembled Mandatory Palestine in its boundaries was the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. Oops.

          1. Absurd is saying the Palestinian people dont exist. The aren’t there and shouldn’t be part of any discussion. The world should just ignore them until they fade away.

            1. Arabs who live in the area certainly exist. There was no ‘Palestinian’ self-understanding at all prior to 1922 and such wasn’t the mode among those Arabs until about 1968.

              It doesn’t matter what you discuss or do not discuss. We are aware from public opinion research and from observing the political class therein that that population is too refractory to come to any sort of settlement with anyone and they don’t care to marshal their human capital to accomplish improvement in their material condition. Nothing you can do about that. When they’re ready to deal, they may get a deal. No one of sense is holding their breath.

      2. Palestine existed under the Roman Empire and persisted under Byzantium. Once the Arabs took over they called it whatever they did. Then the Persians, then the Turks. Absurd is saying something that is literally true about the status of the location under Islamic rulers. This is true and relevant, but not the only factor. and here is a link to what the Muslims called it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilad_al-Sham

        The word “Palestine” remained relevant in the Western world, the Christian world if you can call it that, by virtue of culutral Christian memory. Moreover, there was an in-between time, after the loss of control by the Byzantines and the regaining of control by Britain and the renaming “British mandate of Palestine.”

        That in between time was the short lived “Kingdom of Jerusalem,” adminstered by Christians after some conquests made during the Crusades. The territorial maps delineating that Kingdom are an interesting comparison to modern day co-located states.

        I gather today one of the names the various Islamic extremists use for Western elements in the region is “crusaders” and that it roughly like us calling them Jihaadis. Anyhow, nobody ever much mentions this historical interlude, even people as well versed in history as Absurd, so i throw it out there.

        For my part I have no problem with the Arabs of that region calling themselves Palestinians. A people who decide to call themselves something and can organize a sufficiently strong state to gain legal recognition among the nations are entitled to make their own name. Israel is one such example. Kosova is another.

        Do I like Kosova? No I think that’s just part of Serbia. But there are enough gun toting Albanian muslims backed by NATO to give the place its own name. Fine, I am not going to waste a lot of time arguing about it.

        Do I like Palestine or Israel? I am an American. They can sort out their own destiny. it is not mine to decide. But it looks to me like they have a shared destiny, it seems to me, whether they like it or not.

        I am going to be thinking about American interests in the region most of all. It seems to me that while there is a lot to criticize about Israel, it generally has been cooperative with American interests in the region, a strategic partner if you will, somewhat more than Palestine. but, just as I would say about Syria, it may not be an American partner, but America does not need to be constantly at war or trying to marginalize it either. I would like to see more stability come to the region. Does BDS add to stability or subtract from it? I’m not sure but when I look at the BDS advocates, I see people who I generally do not like. I will try and keep an open mind about the issue but the company they keep is questionable.

        For example, I hear the BDS advocates constantly crying “apartheid” and “racism” which to me marks them as likely foolish whiners of the worst sort. I figure about 95% of the time someone is crying racism it is garbage.

        1. Do I like Kosova? No I think that’s just part of Serbia. But there are enough gun toting Albanian muslims backed by NATO to give the place its own name.

          The Kosovo Vilayet was an Ottoman province acquired by Serbia in 1913. Over the period running from 1913 to 1945, internal provincial boundaries were modified several times. The Kosovo region was delineated at the latter date. Within those boundaries Albanians have been a majority in the territory for four generations and by 1990 made up about 90% of the population therein. They were subject to escalating abuse by the Serbian government from about 1987 onward. Ibrahim Rugova’s political organization was anything but gun-toting.

          Thomas Fleming ruined his magazine peddling easily discreditable tripe about the area. I see you’re one of his marks.

        2. While we’re at it, modern Albanian dialects are attested as early as the 15th century and are thought by linguists to have been in formation since late Antiquity.

  11. “The students want Feldman canned simply because she holds an opposing view. There is no evidence that Feldman has ever imposed her views on other faculty or students. Moreover, she has no authority to unilaterally adopt a BDS position for the faculty.”

    Just how silly is this comment by PT. Plenty, I say.
    So, why not remove her? The other side would have (& have had, not @ GWU) campus wide demonstrations to get a facility member who openly condemns BDS. Yes, I do believe in equal rights. So, stop this crap and get rid of her.
    Words have consequences, don’t ya know?

  12. Ilana Feldman can hold any damn fool, racist opinion she wants and that doesn’t qualify or disqualify her from being the interim dean of the International Affairs Department. What disqualifies her from the job is if the students who comprise the school’s client base won’t pay tuition dollars or make donations via their parents if Prof. BDS is installed in this high profile job. Ultimately in the private sector it’s about the marketplace and whether this person helps or hinders the school’s missions —- one of which is to stay afloat financially. The biggest problem with the left leaning institutions of today isn’t they forget that fact. More power to our petitioning students, they’ve got First Amendment rights, too and neither theirs or IIlana’s are implicated in this scenario. Maybe you could argue for academic freedom here but I think that goes Hand-in-hand with the students’ rights to choose who they will pay to teach them..

    1. Mespo, you’re fine comment presupposes that most students research their teachers. How many students sign up for a class knowing the views of the professor? How many will sign up for a class that supports or refutes their viewpoint? How many students will have their views swayed by a professor who disagrees with their views? The Constitutional, libertarian, legal minded, and conservative viewpoints could be in trouble with heavy-handed liberals controlling all of the important institutions, but whenever a group of “old people” pound young people over the head with their views, there is always going to be a certain segment who rebel under the “old people don’t know what they’re talking about” umbrella.

    2. Ilana Feldman, BDS anti israel actvisit, is she or is she not Jewish? May I venture a guess: yes?

      I asked one of my Jewish lawyer friends if a Jew could be antisemitic.

      he said: “of course! usually they are the worst!”

      I said….. Karl Marx? Yes! Lev Bronstein? yes! Noam Chomsky? Yes!

      Then I squinted and asked, “Saul of Tarsus?”

      He hesitated and laughed, Yes, yes, yes, obviously!

      We had a good laugh over it

  13. I’m not sure that not advancing someone to an apparent administrative position based on their views is an encroachment on free speech. Doesn’t it require some ability to form consensus among faculty and possibly represent the larger entity to the public and other scholars, all of which could be hindered by an possibly inflammatory position?

    Just asking, I don’t know the particulars.

  14. A fair argument could be made that the BDS movement seeks the end of Israel since one of its goals is “ending military trade and free-trade agreements, as well as suspending Israel’s membership in international forums such as UN bodies and FIFA.” If Israel is unable to engage in military trade then it will be seriously weakened in a part of the world where Israel’s neighbors are committed to its destruction. If Israel is denied participation in international forums then increasing isolation surely will follow, an isolation we are unwilling to inflict on many murderous regimes that should be isolated. An argument also could be made that BDS is a grave danger to world peace since Israel will not go quietly into the night, not a people whose parents and grandparents endured the holocaust. If any of this is true, it seems to me that the students at GW have legitimate cause for their protest.

  15. Just as our Revolutionary founding fathers understood, sometimes the principle is more important than the existing situation. I support the removal of anyone who espouses such a partisan and tainted view as those supporting the BDS movement. I would rather that the University would have had the wisdom to have not appointed such an untempered radical to such an important position.

    1. Ilana Feldman can hold any damn fool, racist opinion she wants and that doesn’t qualify or disqualify her from being the interim dean of the International Affairs Department. What disqualifies her from the job is if the students who comprise the school’s client base won’t pay tuition dollars or make donations via their parents if Prof. BDS is installed in this high profile job. Ultimately in the private sector it’s about the marketplace and whether this person helps or hinders the school’s missions —- one of which is to stay afloat financially. The biggest problem with the left leaning institutions of today isn’t they forget that fact. More power to our petitioning students, they’ve got First Amendment rights, too and neither theirs or IIlana’s are implicated in this scenario. Maybe you could argue for academic freedom here but I think that goes Hand-in-hand with the students’ rights to choose who they will pay to teach them..

        1. mespo – you want the alums to have a voice in administrative affairs? I know that there are GW alums lurking here. What do you think, it is your school? When my school does something I think is idiotic, I call the office of the President and leave a message I am sure he doesn’t listen to.

          1. The only legitimate authority for all but an odd minority of private institutions would be a board elected by alumni resident in state. Almost no private institutions have this governance model. They should be forced to adopt it unless they have an alternate body of stakeholders at the ready.

          2. Mespo – Paul is talking about me. 😉

            You have heard of the abominable snowman, but have you heard of the abominable GW grad?

            At you service. Haha

            1. Being serious, jokes aside, bad ones at that…Haha. It is only me laughing here.

              Anyway, she is the “interim” dean, waiting for a “permanent” dean to take over the position.

              What is the problem? Do the students not understand that the appt. it is not forever? I would ask them that, first and foremost, and see what they say.

              I am with Darren Smith (above) on this one. As an undergraduate in college, I did nothing but study, and hang out with friends. We never concerned ourselves with the politics of faculty position. Sure, we complained about certain professors, or lauded others on RateMyProfessor.com, but that was about it. I don’t think we ever tried to get anyone canned or fired.

              But then, years later, I went back to graduate school, and was rather surprised at some students. Just a small gap, and what a difference.

              And y’all thought the Gen Y-er were a pain. Lol. Welcome to the i-Gen/Gen-Z-er crowd.

                1. The link below, not above. Not trying to select out any specific professor. Though, I do find some of the comments rather hilarious and amusing.

                  And no, I never took the time to rate any professors in grad school (undergrad, yes), but I would go look through them, see what others had said on the website.

                  Although now, not too many reviews, probably bc the school prevents this with an internal survey/rating system that only can be accessed while being a current student.

    2. Alma, our founding fathers have nothing to do with this discussion. And it’s hard to grasp why you even brought them into it.

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