Monday, June 20, 2011

Yale gets the antisemitism center it wants

Down with YIISA, long live the new Yale Program for Antisemitism. YIISA director Charles Small will be replaced by Maurice Samuels, an expert in 19th century French antisemitism.

Perhaps the new center will do pretty much what the old one did. But I sincerely doubt it.

There's no political difficulty in studying 19th century, or 12th century, or 20th century antisemitism - at least much of the 20th century. But I doubt that the new program will explore Muslim or left-wing antisemitism. That would probably be denounced as 'advocacy' - although just what anyone is advocating is still a mystery to me.

More precisely, those topics are forbidden because any respectable scholar soon uncovers the genocidal ideology behind groups like the PLO and Hamas that requires exterminating the Jews (not just the Israelis). The scholar will also discover that those views are shared, across the famed Sunni-Shiite divide, by the rulers of Iran.

Charles Small thought this problem was critical and worthy of scholarly examination; we shall see if Maurice Samuels agrees with him. Or, to be more precise, if Yale lets him do so. And we'll see if the donors who supported YIISA will contribute to the new center.

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