Monday, February 24, 2014

The Question of Open Tent Within Hillel

Hat tip JJ

Asaf Romirowsky of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East has written a piece in the Jerusalem Post concerning the internal battle within Hillel as to how open they wish to be when it comes to  those Jews who do not support Israel. It is a real issue on college campuses where Israel is under constant attack from groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim Students Associations, left-wing faculty and others. Sadly, the above groups have Jewish allies like Jewish Voice for Peace and J Street (though the latter insists it is pro-Israel).

As diverse and fragmented as the American Jewish community is, nobody could expect every Jewish college student to be pro-Israel and not all are.That is fine. Yet, it has to be pointed out here that not only does Israel face an existential  threat, but Jews worldwide do as well,. not just those in Israel. European Jews, for example, are getting out in droves.

Far be it for this Gentile to lecture Hillel on this issue though I agree wholeheartedly with Romirowsky. It is an internal matter for them to decide within their own chapters. But when certain Hillel leaders advise community members not to come to campus for public events in which Israel, and sometimes America and Jews as people are vilified, and oppose those voices (peacefully, of course) then they become part of the problem. But that is a subject for a separate article.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

To exclude bona fide Jewish individuals from a Jewish organization because they do not

a) support the Zionist movement, or,

b) even if supportive of Israel, do not support the current policies of the current Israeli government, would be an act of narrow-minded bigotry.

Now an organization dedicated, not to uniting all Jews, but to supporting Israel, might well take a different tack. It might admit Christians who were pro-Israel, and exclude Jews who were not. But it would not be a Jewish organization. It would be a pep band for Israel.