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‘It Contributes to a Feeling Among Many That Universities As a Whole, Have Lost Their Moral Compass’


The president of Rutgers University has generated a fury over his defense of three faculty members who issued widely condemned comments about Jewish people and the state of Israel.

President Robert Barchi

President Robert Barchi was condemned by the American Jewish Committee just this week for seeming to support a professor who shared “anti-Semitic” communications on social media.

Such is the world of academia today.

The Algemeiner has the story:

The president of Rutgers University in New Jersey is facing increasing criticism for his defense of three faculty members who made widely condemned remarks about Israel and Jews.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) on Monday sharply rebuked President Robert Barchi for failing to openly condemn professor Michael Chikindas, who shared “anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic” posts on social media; Jasbir Puar, who repeated discredited allegations that Israel mines the organs of Palestinians; and Mazen Adi, who served for years as a spokesperson for “the murderous Assad regime.”

“President Barchi’s unyielding defense of the professors on free speech grounds is inexplicable,” said Rabbi David Levy, who heads AJC’s New Jersey office. “Respect for academic freedom does not compel silence in the face of faculty bigotry.”

In a town hall last week, Barchi defended the free speech rights of Chikindas, Puar, and Adi, saying the former’s postings — which included claims that Judaism is “the most racist religion in the world” — are “repugnant” but “constitutionally protected.”

Barchi also called Puar — who has reportedly expressed support for “armed resistance in Palestine,” and claimed Israelis and Jews “thoroughly hijacked the discourse of trauma through exceptionalizing Holocaust victimization” — a “well-respected scholar.” He similarly defended Adi, who also accused Israeli officials of harvesting children’s organs while serving as a Syrian diplomat at the United Nations in New York between 2007 and 2014, and who — according to a former student who spoke to The Algemeiner on condition of anonymity — defended Palestinian terrorism in class as a legitimate form of “resistance” to Israeli “occupation.”

The AJC noted that it had “engaged in direct talks with senior officials at the highest levels of the Rutgers administration” for weeks, and previously wrote a letter to Barchi urging the university to condemn Chikindas, Puar, and Adi.

“President Barchi’s written response to our letter is deeply disappointing, as he continues to avert openly confronting anti-Semitism on campus,” Levy said. He challenged Barchi’s argument at the town hall that painting swastikas on a university building is protected speech under the First Amendment, noting that it ignored the potential violation of New Jersey hate crime statutes.

“Jews know how valuable our freedoms and civil rights are, and we do not wish to see anyone else’s rights infringed upon,” Levy added. “Nevertheless, we are puzzled why President Barchi has consistently spoken up to defend these professors, rather than castigate them for their bigotry.”

The AJC statement also condemned Barchi for having “verbally attacked” The Algemeiner during the town hall.

“The Algemeiner should be applauded for exposing this bigotry, and its reporting should have encouraged the Rutgers administration to immediately make clear its institutional opposition to this hate,” Levy said. “It is incumbent upon the University to use its own free speech to condemn vociferously these shameful acts.”

The AJC’s statement comes on the heels of calls by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) for Barchi’s resignation.

The Rutgers president has “repeatedly defended anti-semitism,” CAMERA’s international campus director Aviva Slomich said on Thursday, and “has expressed anti-Semitic rhetoric of his own, making disparaging remarks about The Algemeiner, the Jewish newspaper which has provided extensive coverage of these anti-Semitic incidents.”

“President Barchi’s continual defense of these anti-Semitic faculty members, in addition to his own apparent prejudice, leave no other option other than Barchi stepping down immediately to allow Rutgers students the justice and safety they deserve,” Slomich added.

Dory Devlin — a spokesperson for Rutgers — rejected the criticism leveled at Barchi, saying on Monday that the president “has publicly stated his strong support for our Jewish students and his disgust at anti-Semitic words and actions.”

“Anti-Semitic comments, materials and posts on social media are antithetical to our university’s principles and values of respect for people of all backgrounds, including, among other groups, our large and vibrant Jewish community,” Devlin told The Algemeiner. “Such comments do not represent the position of the University.”

“Rutgers’ position on free speech is clear: All of the members of our community, including faculty and staff, are free to express their viewpoints in public forums as private citizens,” the spokesperson added. “Yet at Rutgers University we also strive to foster an environment free from discrimination, as articulated in our policy prohibiting discrimination.”

Rabbi Yosef Carlebach, who heads Rutgers’ Chabad House, told The Algemeiner earlier this month that while Rutgers was generally a friendly place for Jewish students and faculty, over the years administrators has used “the freedom of expression line to give license to absolute wrong.”

The Jewish campus group Rutgers Hillel similarly said this month that while they “certainly believe in free speech and academic freedom,” they were concerned that Chikindas, Puar and Adi each “gives voice to traditional racist, anti-Jewish tropes.”

The “hiring of such professors has brought national shame and embarrassment to our university, with negative media coverage across the spectrum, from NPR to Fox News,” Hillel added. “It contributes to a feeling among many that universities, as a whole, have lost their moral compass.”

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  • Suresh

    When saudi/qatar/OIC has been pumping 200 Million to buy out colleges/politicians and Media to shill for Islam what do you
    expect ?

    Left/Liberal/Feminazis suck. Dems/Bernie socialist utopia has collapsed

  • spfoam1

    Our universities, as a whole, never had a moral compass, and have advocated the elimination every last shred of Judeo/Christian morality for at least 50 years. They seem to be pursuing a totalitarian police state, to replace a generally self governing population.

    • Patti York

      PARENTS who have been dumping millions of dollars into these schools, trying to buy the best futures for their kids are the exact reason why all of this nonsense is happening.

      • Mark Steiner

        Yes. Who said that “adult” children have a right or are entitled to parent-funded ed-ju-ma-cation?

        Go out and work, squirt. Pay for your own education. Get responsible, and stop whining.

        • Ron Cole

          I have a neighbor millennial that borrowed over 100,000.00 for its legal education – and flunked the bar three time.
          It could only find a job as a legal secretary at a minimal wage and it whining about its totally predictable plight.

          Had it gone into an honorable trade such as plumbing and skipped the worthless six years in college it would be way ahead.

          • Mark Steiner

            I would have suggested the military, but with all the diversity sensitivity training going on, how can you learn to apply combat operations?

            So … send them to the oil patch in ND, have them roughneck in “worm’s corner” with pipe dope and diesel-based drilling fluid, and find out why NoDaks say “-40F. keeps out riff-raff”.

          • Achmed

            Hi, Ron. He/she was simply emulating Mrs. Clinton. The day that she sat for the DC Bar, well over two thirds passed. She was In the unfortunate very small minority (flunkers, or is it flunkies?). However, as stupid as Hillary is/was, she was smart enough to not take the DC Bar exam again. Down to ahrkansaw … where she could “git it rigged”.

  • Liatris Spicata

    In response to situations like this, my question is why am I compelled to support, through compulsorary taxation, such mockey of learning?

    I would tend to disagree with spfoam in that I think there are a fair number of colleges that have not lost their moral compass, which, I suppose, is necessary to pursue “diversity”. These institutions are largely not funded by government.

  • Halal Bacon

    They didn’t lose it, this falls under “what harm can it do” they sold their compass…

    The academic targets of Islamic finance are specific and form part of a distinct agenda.

  • Dennis

    My personal view of all of what is referred to in this article is very simple. When speech promotes or approves of violent conduct it is not protected free speech. I have no problem with critical views being expressed, as we all still retain the right to determine that those views are unmeritorious and therefore wholly reject able, but I believe that I could never countenance any speech that proposes, promotes, suggests that violence be acted out. Therefore, to the extent that these speakers suggested terrorist and violent conduct based on their misstatements that Israel is an occupier, or that Israel is being falsely accused of heinous acts involving the sale of organs, I, for one, believe that those comments make the words spoken as constituting speech that has no protection and these speakers should be subject to a consequence that fits their comment, like removal from the faculty.

    • Achmed

      Hi, Dennis. Those moslems (the vilest of ALL creatures) have the right (how does one grant rights to subhuman vermin?) to believe and state that drivel. However, the university (small “u” intentional) has the right to fire them for expressing such. Had a faculty member, that was a human being, stated that moslems are the vilest of ALL creatures, and there is but one salvation for humankind .. that all of them should be put to the sword … I am quite certan that Rutgers would have decried that comment and terminated that human being for making that statement, albeit a true one.

  • Ron Cole

    With the exception of Hillsdale College I fear that most if not all
    are lost; and have become Enemies of Christianity, our Constitution, the Family, Sanity and especially our Warriors.

    • Mark Steiner

      Hillsdale still stands tall. The balance of almost all Christian universities is Warrenism, contemplative spirituality, New Age “doctrines” and experience, false Bible versions and abandonment of the whole counsel of God. Marvel not why America is under judgment.

    • robert v g

      Noticeably absent in your blurb are Jews.What happened,forget what article is about?

  • AlgorithmicAnalyst

    The darkness of ignorance has invaded our universities.

  • Mahou Shoujo

    Academia is no longer academic, it is merely a convenient place for misfits, mental indigents and chronic theoretical dorks to postulate theory, resting on the accomplishments of Universitys, back when they were actual centres of learning and scholarship. To call them madrassas and diploma mills is generous.

  • ties

    America is in it’s last days with perversion and the love of money and war….

  • Robert Batchelor

    I wonder if the President would be so willing to support these professors if they were condemning Islam instead of Judaism?

  • Edgar Cooper

    This University President, as I’ve found with many so-called “highly-educated people”, has no understanding of the concept of Free Speech. So-called Free Speech in any society has boundaries. If not it just becomes chaos and also excuses its advocate from using any reason, intelligence and accountability. The University President’s definition and application of Free Speech is irresponsible, ignorant and actually contrary to the intent and purpose of the original term.

  • Steve

    Now let’s see what the multiculturalist sentiments would be for a little discussion about the muslamics and non-assimilation to the West. The president would probably be on the phone to call in antifa.

    Here’s a great link and worth a look. Its a documentary about malmo sweden and what some people are going through including a professor gorn adamson who has written about the way multiculturalism is exploited by the left not intending to end up in a place where one would expect it to be. It has undertones of some totalitarian regime with shades of 1984.

  • Merchantseamen

    Well….goes o show you the barachi guy is a bigot himself. No use arguing with an idiot. Call for a lecture of Conservative Jew to refute these “professors claims”. See how that fly’s, they may have a hemorrhage.

  • robert v g

    Too bad for Jews,who vote overwhelmingly for Dems. Then the Dems.favor the lib.-type speech going on at schools.

  • Jack

    ….hmm, it (is) common knowledge that one must FIRST (possess) something in order to have lost it – right??

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