May 17, 2006
The Strange Partner of Brandeis UniversityBy Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Brandeis University has created a special relationship with the Arab Palestinian al—Quds University, a partnership which it says will 'make the world a better place.' This is a pathetic gesture, one which blinds the recognition of evil.
Al—Quds University honors the murderers of Israelis and Americans. Brandeis continues working towards 'bridging cultural divides' even though the murderous intent seething on the al—Quds side of the bridge continues unabated. The long relationship of these sister universities has done nothing to change the final solution envisioned by the "partner."
Al—Quds University is a breeding ground for terrorists whose goal is to murder and maim as many Jews as possible. It is also a place where those who achieve this goal are honored not only by the students, but officially, by the university administration, as heroes.
Pro—Israel advocates critical of Brandeis's evil twin have focused on Sari Nusseibeh, president of al—Quds and longtime friend of Brandeis president Jehuda Reinharz. It is unclear whether Nusseibeh still publicly praises homicide bombers or calls Israel a 'racist, Zionist entity,' or whether he will again help another country direct its scud missiles at Israel (clear evidence exists that Nusseibeh has done all these things.) But it is the malevolent atmosphere at al—Quds that renders Brandeis's continued relationship with it a form of assisted suicide for the Jewish people.
A wall—sized poster of the recent Tel Aviv homicide bomber in his shahid outfit, the al—Quds dropout who killed himself and eleven others, hangs in one of the al—Quds buildings. An American teenager, Daniel Wultz, died on Sunday as the result of this twisted creature who is, literally, the poster child for heroism at al—Quds University. Perhaps only students are responsible for draping their campus with a shrine to Jewish deaths. But it is not only al—Quds students who glorify the homicide bombers.
How absurd for the leaders of both universities to pretend that the chasm between Arab Palestinians and Jews — whether Israeli or otherwise — is being narrowed by this Partnership. Even now, al—Quds formally honors and glorifies murderers. It is the university itself, not the students, who name courses and whole 'academic' centers after mass murderers.
For example, al—Quds offers a 'human rights and democracy' course named in honor of Wafa Idriss, the first Arab Palestinian female homicide bomber. Would Brandeis affiliate with a Christian university offering a course named after someone who killed himself and others while bombing an abortion clinic? I hope not; indeed, I know it would not.
But most damning of all is the Al—Quds Abu—Jihad Center for Political Prisoners. Arab Palestinian political prisoners, of course, are those terrorists who have been caught. The official university website explains that the Center is named for Khalel Al—Wazir. His nickname, Abu—Jihad, means 'father of the holy war.'
Who is this man, honored by al—Quds the way Brandeis honors the scholars and philanthropists whose names grace buildings and research centers on its campus?
Abu—Jihad, a co—founder of Fatah, was its military strategist and the second—in—command to Yassir Arafat. Abu—Jihad helped form the Shabibah — the Fatah Youth Movement. The Shabibah formed the nucleus for the first 'intifada.'
In his role as head of commando (i.e. terror) operations in Israel, abu—Jihad was responsible for the deaths of dozens of Israelis.
Abu—Jihad is also linked to the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Ironically, there is another Brandeis connection to the Munich massacre. Playwright Tony Kushner, vituperative critic of the Jewish state, is being honored this year on May 21st, at the Brandeis commencement. Kushner wrote the screenplay for the movie 'Munich.' Neither Abu—Jihad's role in those murders, nor that of everyone's favorite moderate Mahmoud Abbas, is included in his screenplay, though both were involved.
Abu—Jihad, the al—Quds University Center namesake, murdered more than Israelis. In March of 1973 Abu—Jihad helped kidnap and murder U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and Charge d'Affaires George Curtis Moore, in Khartoum, Sudan.
Just a few hours on the internet revealed the al—Quds University connection with the murder and maiming of Jews and Americans, and the glorification of those endeavors. Al—Quds' support for terror appears on its website in sections printed in English. Just imagine what lurks in those sections that are only in Arabic.
Why did the Brandeis administration fail to conduct just a little research before committing itself to marrying this monster? And what if it did?
An explicit and existential threat hangs over Israel and the rest of the civilized world. But Brandeis blindly follows its own path built on the 'Jewish traditions of scholarship, community service and social justice.' Unfortunately, Brandeis is ignoring another one of those important and heretofore obvious Jewish traditions — that of Jewish survival.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus graduated from Brandeis University in 1980.