The Anti-Zionist College Ploy
Hillel, the world’s largest campus organization for Jewish students, has become embroiled in a row over its guidelines for debate and discussion about Israel. It began with the decision by the Harvard University Hillel not to host a lecture by Avraham Burg, the former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, because of the cosponsorship of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, a group explicitly committed to the destruction of Israel as an independent state. This resulted in a flurry of condemnation among Jewish liberals—one commentator, Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center, went so far as to accuse Hillel of violating the second commandment by encouraging “idolatry of the State.” Then, most dramatically, a group of Jewish students at Swarthmore seceded from Hillel in a gesture of protest, relaunching themselves as an “Open Hillel.”
About the Author
Ben Cohen is a writer in New York. He contributes frequently to Commentary’s blog.