President Skorton Responds to Cornell’s #2 Spot on List of Top 10 Most Anti-Semitic Campuses

Cornell anti-Israel

Image via The Cornell Review

Jew Hatred on Campus recently publicized their list of the list of the ten most anti-Semitic college campuses of 2014, on which Cornell is ranked #2. The Cornell Review was the only media outlet on campus to write about this disgrace to the University. In a surprising followup to this case, David Horowitz, the founder of Jew Hatred on Campus, recently published an exchange of emails between himself and Cornell President David Skorton concerning the University's placement on the list. 

In the following images, the ellipses take the place of text that was cut out in order to make each letter one page long in a font size that is readable. Those interested in reading the entire exchange can view the emails here.

Horowitz Letter 1

Horowitz Letter 2

Horowitz Letter 3It is interesting to note that Skorton’s language mirrors the email Vice President of University Relations Joel Malina sent the Review regarding the topic. In particular, Malina used the same exact word–“disservice”–to describe Horowitz’s list and criticism of Cornell.

Readers can expect the Review to be the only campus media outlet to continue covering this story.

7 Comments on President Skorton Responds to Cornell’s #2 Spot on List of Top 10 Most Anti-Semitic Campuses

  1. David Breznick // March 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm //

    Bravo David Horowitz.

    Bravo The Cornell Review.

  2. A problem we have always had and always will have is balancing promoting free speech rights with condemning hate speech. Evidently Cornell is no different than the rest of society. One incident of hate speech against any group is one incident too many. At the same time, asking the university to divest itself of certain investments can hardly be stretched to be included as “hate speech”. Calling for boycotts is a long honored peaceful approach to politics and should not be misconstrued. Being opposed to the current leadership of Israel is hardly the same thing as anti-Semitism. Just as being opposed to Mr Obama cannot be construed as anti-Americanism.
    I see two issues here. Number 1. What is the mission statement of the SJP? If it calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, as Mr Horowitz claims, then I agree with him that it should not be considered a legitimate campus group.The first thing to find out is what the mission statement says. I presume every student group has to submit some kind of form regarding the purpose of the group. Should be easy to locate.
    A second issue is the same issue I have with some claims of US minority groups. That is the question of evidence versus emotion. Is there any evidence of institutional discrimination against Jews on Cornell’s campus? Have there been Nazi symbols painted on the doors of Jewish lodgings? Or have Jewish places of worship been desecrated? Are there obvious or subtle ways in which Cornell has made it clear that Jews are second class citizens at Cornell? If so, they should be exposed.
    It seems to me that charges of racism or anti-Semitism, in order to be taken seriously, need more than an “incident”. Especially when those rare incidents have been dealt with by the authorities, as Dr Skorton has indicated. Mr Horowitz, in is last letter, describes a “rash of incidents”. yet, the incidents he cites are 1. calling for a peaceful economic boycott and 2. some idiots telling . Not a “rash”. Hardly a compelling or overpowering case for institutional anti-Semitism. Any more than a group of students yelling racist chants is a case for institutional racism.
    I suppose the good news is that if Cornell, based on one incident of yelling, is one of the most anti-Semitic campuses in the USA, there is nothing for American Jews to be concerned with. A pretty good indication that anti-Semitism is dead on campuses all across America. That is good news.

    • If you read my original article about the list, you’ll see I write that many Jewish students on campus do not feel there is an anti-Semitic atmosphere. That, of course, is good.

      However, this doesn’t change the fact that SJP is an anti-Semitic organization. I don’t care how many times their members scream at my face about how some of them are in fact Jewish; it makes no difference. SJP supports BDS (Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions), which is a movement whose end-game is the destruction of Israel. The Palestinians who originated BDS have said that this is what BDS aims to do, so this is not hyperbole. Furthermore, the chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is also another way of saying they want to eradicate Israel. The “river” refers to the Jordan River and the “sea” is the Mediterranean, in between which conveniently lies the Jewish state. SJP does not seek a two-state solution, it seeks a one-state solution where there are no Jews in the Holy Land, and if it follows the command of its leaders in Hamas, no Jews anywhere.

      Imagine if some other group of students wanted the University to divest from China and destroy the Chinese state because it wants Tibet to be its own country–“to be free.” And imagine this group supporting terrorists that kill innocent Chinese and screaming profanities at Chinese individuals on college campuses.

      In sum, if you call for the end of the Jewish state and the eradication of the Jewish people, that’s anti-Semitic.

  3. David Breznick // March 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm //

    Several University of Oklahoma students were singing racist chants. They were summarily expelled.

    I don’t know if any Cornell students were spewing anti-Israeli or anti-Jew speech. But if any were, then they deserve the same treatment as the University of Oklahoma students.

    • Agreed. Anti-Semitic chants aimed an ethnic group cannot be tolerated. Anti-government chants aimed at a government must be tolerated. We should not confuse the two.

      • David Breznick // March 21, 2015 at 5:18 pm //

        “Israeli” refers to citizens of Israel, not the nation of Israel. Just a clarification, in case there was any confusion.

        Once again:

        I don’t know if any Cornell students were spewing anti-Israeli or anti-Jew speech. But if any were, then they deserve the same treatment as the University of Oklahoma students.

  4. Actually, there is quite a difference between being “anti-Semitic” and opposed to the actions of the current government of Israel. The idea that anyone who criticizes the government of Israel somehow is anti-Jewish shows a very simplistic understanding of a very complex situation. In his diatribe Mr Horowitz indicates that criticism of Israeli policy is tantamount to anti-semitism. that would be akin to saying that criticizing the policies of Mr Obama are tantamount to racism. Foolish, of course. Playing the race card doesn’t work.
    In addition, Mr makes a very serious charge against Cornell. A charge of racism or anti-Semitism must be based on data collection. President Skorton demolishes the claims easily and with facts. All Horowitz offers are accusations and hyperbole. He should apologize. Casting a broad brush of racism (which is what anti-Semitism is) against an entire university is outrageous. Basing this claim on a few students who may have been shouting goes beyond silly. It is intentionally misleading. The man has an agenda and evidence be damned. If that is his modus operandi then everything he writes and says is open to question. Bill O”Reilly?
    Regarding the SJP. They seem to want to alter the way the university makes investments in order to divest from companies that make money and pay taxes in Israel. That is a completely legal and peaceful approach to the situation. Divestment does not call for violence or the end of the Israeli state. To suggest that is simply untruthful. It does call for Israel to abide by various UN resolutions guaranteeing rights to Palestinians.It does not call for violence. In fact, it is an attempt to use economic pressure to solve the issue, rather than supporting violence.
    Nowhere in the literature or statements I found on line does the SJP call for the destruction of Israel or deny Israel’s right to exist as a state. It does, however, call for a Palestinian state. (And it explicitly opposes racism, colonialism, Islamaphobia and Anti-Semitism, among other things .)Which is reasonable. After all, the land we now call Israel WAS the homeland to Palestinians until they were forcibly evicted. Just as the Jews were without a homeland for many years, the Palestinians have not been reduced to the same condition of statelessness. You can’t take back history. But two wrongs do not make a right. The continual rejection by Israeli leaders of a two state solution only kicks the can down the road.
    The idea that a group of students should be unable to express these viewpoints is anti-American and anti-intellectual. Those who try to shut down discussion and debate are to be ignored. That is not how we do things in America. Let both sides make their cased and let people decide who has the better case.
    Congratulation to President Skorton for not being intimidated by Horowitz.
    As Alan Dershowitz has written: “Freedom of speech means freedom for those you despise, and freedom to express the most despicable views. It also means government cannot pick and choose which expressions to authorize and which to prevent.” Evidently , President Skorton agrees.

Comments are closed.