There is a piece by Leila Beckwith this week on the Opinion page of the Los Angeles Jewish Observer about the intimidation Jewish students face on University of California and California State University campuses. To quote Ms. Beckwith:
She writes about protest by "Jewish faculty at the University of California and Scholars for Peace in the Middle East" and an open letter to Governor Schwarzenegger and an online petition. The letter, in part, states:
The petition is simply to ask Governor Schwarzenegger to, in Ms. Beckwith's words:
I encourage everyone who is reading this to follow the links in this blog entry and read the letter for yourself and join the over 2,800 people from all over the world who have signed this petition. Whatever your feelings about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel I would hope that you are willing to stand up against intimidation, anti-Semitism, and bigotry in all its forms.
The sad fact is that what we are seeing in California isn't an isolated case. Conditions at Columbia University in New York were so bad it led to the making of the film Columbia Unbecoming. To quote the Columbia Unbecoming website:
Too often, individual professors drive animus toward Israel and pro-Israel viewpoints on campus by using their positions to promote a narrow political agenda that clashes with free and open inquiry. Sometimes such animus is directed at students who dissent from the professors' political point of view.
Those of us who value higher education need to stand up for intellectual honesty and an approach to all conflict, not just the Arab-Israeli conflict, that looks at all sides of an issue, not just the side that is politically fashionable.