So what’s the first thing I read after writing that? Jason Linkins in the Huffington Post on Brandeis and the fallout thereof.

Here’s a thing that happened in the immediate wake of Brandeis’ decision to put the kibosh on Hirsi Ali’s planned appearance: The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol started typing stuff. Here’s what he came up with:

As Lori Lowenthal Marcus notes, Brandeis University has in recent years bestowed an honorary degree on Tony Kushner, who called the creation of Israel as a Jewish state “a mistake” and who attacked Israel for ethnic cleansing and for causing “terrible peril in the world.” Brandeis has also honored Desmond Tutu, who compared Israel to Hitler, attacked the “Jewish lobby” as too “powerful” and “scary,” and complained of the “Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust.”

As it happens, Tony Kushner is one of my favorite playwrights. So you can only imagine how excited I am that one of the (logical and predictable) after-effects of this Brandeis flap is that Kushner now has got a target painted on his back.

Quite, and so does Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She already did but Brandeis renewed the paint and added flashing warning lights.


  1. says

    I think one of the most important take-aways from Jason’s piece is his thought on the “core-values” catchphrase that Brandeis used to couch its cowardice in the seemingly intellectual response. As Jason writes:

    … the alleged “core values” that the university cited in its statement might have been a useful thing upon which everyone could have reflected. “Core values” are supposed to steel us, arm us with courage and provide us with a foundation to argue our point of view. If “core values” truly exist, then so too should the desire to engage with people who don’t share those values. Otherwise, “core values” is just marketing.

    I heartily agree. Brandeis is not one to speak brazenly of “core values”.

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