Moonlighting: Non-Specialists in the News
Anti-Israel Pro-BDS Professors Organizing Antifa Campus Network [incl. David Palumbo-Liu]
The anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is notorious for campus violence and disruption directed at Israelis and pro-Israeli students and faculty.
We have featured dozens of incidents of shout-downs and disruptions of events, including physical acts of intimidation. Many of these incidents are discussed in our post, With campus shout downs, first they came for the Jews and Israel.
In an extremely dangerous development, anti-Israel pro-BDS faculty are organizing a nationwide campus Antifa network.
Given that college campuses have been central to activism by the so-called alt-right, is it time for a campus-based countermovement? Scholars behind the proposed Campus Antifascist Network, or CAN, think so.
"The election of Donald Trump has emboldened fascist and white nationalist groups nationwide, on campus and off, and their recent upsurge requires antifascists to take up the call to action once again," reads an invitation to join the group, posted on social media this week by David Palumbo-Liu, the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor and professor of comparative literature at Stanford University....
Network co-organizer Bill Mullen, a professor of American studies at Purdue University, on Wednesday called CAN a "big tent" that "welcomes anyone committed to fighting fascism."
"We are diverse in our political points of view but unified by our fight against fascism," he said. The idea is "to drive racists off campuses and to protect the most vulnerable from fascist attack."
And of objections made by some that Trump is not a fascist? Palumbo-Liu said that is "literally an academic argument in the worst sense of the word. We need to pay attention to what is happening, not the labels that we feel are most fitting." ....
Since Charlottesville, the network has jumped to 200 members and 1,000 followers on its Facebook page, Mullen said. Antifascist branches are being formed on campuses and the group is preparing teach-ins and self-defense materials for faculty and students who may meet with white supremacist protesters.
The network has been endorsed by writers Junot Díaz and Viet Nguyen, as well as graduate student unions. In addition to faculty members, graduate students and some undergraduates have joined.
According to the Inside Higher Ed article, they claim they are not seeking violence, but the wording of their responses is ambiguous:
Mullen said CAN's approach to protests will be to protect those most vulnerable to attack and "to build large, unified demonstrations against fascists on campuses when they come."
Asked specifically about the possible use of violence, Palumbo-Liu said antifa activists include those whose tactics CAN would reject. "We would advocate self-defense and defense in various forms of those who are being threatened by fascists, but not violence," he added, saying his group can't control the antifa label or who ascribes to it.
Palumbo-Liu and Mullen, the organizers of the campus Antifa network, are two of the most aggressive anti-Israel pro-BDS faculty members in the country. They each have long histories of demonizing Israel and supporting the academic boycott of Israel.
Palumbo-Liu, who was once dubbed Stanford's Most Radical Professor, was featured in a post we did about the dangerous blockade of the San Mateo Bridge by anti-Israel protesters, Anti-Israel activists caused car crashes on San Mateo Bridge.
. Palumbo-Liu expressed pride that some of this students were involved:
This fits a pattern of anti-Israel activists co-opting and hijacking other movements, something we explored in If you are surprised #BlackLivesMatter joined war on Israel, you haven't been paying attention.
Under the leadership of anti-Israel, pro-BDS faculty, expect the campus Antifa network to be re-directed against Israel, Israelis and Jews. We've seen this in Chicago, where Jewish symbols were banned at an LGBT event, and Jewish LGBT groups have been attacked.
Yesterday, before learning of this campus Antifa network, I warned that I expect violence on campuses this semester.
Antifa has been weaponized, expect violence on campuses this year directed at anyone in the center or right of center https://twitter.com/LegInsurrection/status/897775546645577729 ...
We have seen what Antifa is capable of in Berkeley, Seattle, Portland and elsewhere.
The teaming of the BDS and Antifa movements is the single most dangerous development I have witnessed in the many years I have been covering campus BDS. Antifa will give BDS even more muscle to intimidate and threaten those who oppose the BDS agenda.Note: Articles listed under "Moonlighting: Non-Specialists in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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