Earlier this week, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was almost prevented from speaking at Princeton University after left-wing Jewish students claimed her work “causes irreparable damage to the prospects of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Meekly genuflecting to this preposterous claim, Princeton Hillel, no less, abruptly canceled her invitation. The day was saved by Chabad, which provided a venue in which Hotovely could speak. Hillel officials subsequently apologized for this disgraceful episode, adding that this was “an isolated incident.”
Well no, it isn’t. I had an identical experience earlier this year when Berkeley Hillel, which had invited me to speak, disinvited me on the grounds that they couldn’t guarantee my safety. Similarly, it was Chabad which provided a “safe house” where I could speak to Berkeley’s Jewish students.
For years now there have been problems with “open Hillel,” a student-led movement which seeks to advance groups promoting anti-Israel agendas in mainstream Jewish campus life. It’s part of the twin phenomenon whereby pro-Israel students increasingly feel threatened and intimidated, while more and more Jewish students are frighteningly ignorant of both Judaism and the Middle East and are correspondingly hostile toward Israel.