Camp Intifada: Students for Theocratic Authoritarianism

american thinker​​​

By Clarice Feldman 

    I’m old. So old that I still believe that classic Western liberalism is the best system for assuring prosperity and peace, and authoritarianism, particularly of a theocratic nature, is a disastrous governance style. Watching the encampments and riots on college campuses, I see that too many young people have missed this lesson and instead support violent, barbaric, theocratic authoritarianism. I think these participants are not representative of a majority of students or voters and that the weak responses of some universities bode ill for their futures. Moreover, I think the Administration’s failure to act on the side of Western civilization is seriously damaging President Biden’s reelection prospects, indeed, the prospects for the Democratic party itself. In the absence of a federal response, private litigation is likely to prove particularly damaging to those who have funded and encouraged or tolerated these campus outrages.

    Several lawsuits are in the works. At least three have already been filed. The most significant was a suit filed in Virginia this week alleging that the National Students for Justice in Palestine coordinated with Hamas, an organization federally listed as a terrorist organization, to orchestrate these campus attacks. The suit claims that NSJP “has effectively become the campus arm of Hamas” and is “directly aiding and abetting the terror group on American colleges” and “facilitating the conditions necessary for Hamas to continue carrying out acts of terror and the holding of hostages, including American nationals.” If successful, the lawsuit would permanently shut down NSJP and American Muslims for Palestine, a reincarnation of a previous outfit that provided material support for Hamas.

    The complaint suggests that the defendants in the case just filed are carrying on in the same ways of the Holy Land Foundation before HLF, along with five of its leaders, were found guilty in a federal court at Dallas of providing material support to Hamas. They were convicted and sent to prison for, in two cases, 65 years. At the time, the assistant attorney general for national security said that the sentences “should serve as a strong warning to anyone who knowingly provides financial support to terrorists under the guise of humanitarian relief.”

    The Sun asks Mr. Ostrovsky: What happens if SJP is determined to be a terrorist arm of Hamas? “The ramifications would be extraordinarily wide-ranging,” he says. “First and foremost, it would shut them down once and for all. They would not be allowed to operate in the United States, including campuses. They could not fundraise. It would be illegal to be affiliated with them. There are many other consequences, but there [sic] are a few of the main ones.”

    Two significant lawsuits related to these campus outrages are directed at Northwestern University. In the first, brought by three students, the university is charged with breach of contract.

    “...alleging that the university violated its duty to abide by its own policies by allowing a climate of antisemitism on its campus.

    Attorneys from the Chicago-based Much Shelist, P.C., who brought the suit in Cook County’s circuit court on Wednesday, wrote in the filing that the plaintiffs “expected Northwestern to fulfill a modest core promise it made to them and all other similarly situated, tuition-paying students: the conduct of your student peers and faculty will be governed by rules, and — once you enroll — you will be free to safely move about and avail yourself of our beautiful campus in accordance with those rules.”

    “Rather than conduct the business of the campus in accordance with the clear rules of conduct that everyone signed up for,” the attorneys wrote, “Northwestern ignored those rules, opting instead to facilitate, encourage, and coddle a dystopia cesspool of hate in the school’s lush green center, Deering Meadow.”

    In the second suit against the school, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) charges that it violated Title VI, contending that the university’s concession to the protestors to award nearly $1.9 million in full-ride scholarships, faculty positions, and student-organization space to Palestinian students and staff violates Title VI’s prohibition against discrimination.

    Vic Bernson, Vice President and General Counsel for YAF, stated, “What Northwestern is doing here is completely pathetic. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the infantile DEI mindset in action: those committing illegal acts and spewing antisemitic bile are justified, so let’s not challenge them but instead give them everything they want and they’ll go away. But it never works that way, does it? Appease awful people making awful demands, and they’ll always respond by demanding even more. This is pure cowardice and lunacy, and YAF will fight back with every fiber of our being.”

    Additional Background: On April 29, 2024, University officials entered into an agreement with anti-Israel demonstrators occupying a space on campus called Deering Meadow. The officials involved in the agreement are University President Michael Schill, Provost Kathleen Hagerty, and Vice President Susan Davis. Under the agreement, the University promised to provide the “full cost of attendance for five Palestinian undergraduates to attend Northwestern for the duration of their undergraduate careers.”

    The agreement also provides “funding two faculty per year for two years,” with the provision that these faculty will be “Palestinian faculty.” Finally, the University promises to “provide immediate temporary space for MENA/Muslim students.” MENA is an acronym for “Middle Eastern and North African” individuals.

    Our Legal Grounds: As a recipient of federal funds, the University is subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “on the grounds of race, color, or national origin.” By providing nearly $1.9 million in scholarships, two faculty positions, and “immediate temporary space” based on an individual’s status as Palestinian or MENA, the University is intentionally discriminating against non-Palestinian or non-MENA individuals on the grounds of race, color, or national origin.

    As the United States Supreme Court recently held in a case applying Title VI, race and national origin may never operate as a “negative” or a “stereotype.” Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard Coll., 600 U.S. 181, 218 (2023). Discrimination in favor of Palestinians or MENA individuals is, in turn, discrimination against individuals not within those categories and is therefore illegal under federal law. [/quote]

    I think it safe to assume that more lawsuits will be filed against more colleges and universities in the coming weeks.

    Wretchard T. Cat is correct: not every university response has been identical.

    One of the encouraging things about the university response to pro-Hamas protesters has been its variety depending on the state, socio-economic composition of the student body, degree of eliteness etc. of the campus. This indicates a learning response, and adaptive strategy. This is why American society is much more resilient than it might seem. Subsidiary decision making is much more effective than a centralized state response. This is not immediately obvious but quite significant. The responses of the individual colleges, including the ivies, have been far less canned than the protesters, who dress alike, sound alike and think alike. Faced with the frat boy attack, Harvard's 3 foot fence, the water sprinkler defense they could find no answer.

    Nevertheless, too many of the affected colleges and universities have failed in their mission to protect a safe learning environment for their students. The reasons are many, including reliance on foreign donations, particularly from Hamas-supporting Qatar, faculty rolls stuffed with anti-American and anti-Israeli ideologues, the DEI staff and humanities departments’ opposition to Jews and Israel, the large number of full-freight paying foreign students who do not share Western values, and the always present faculty and administrative psychological inability to handle conflict.

    Still, it seems clear to me that the continued Camp Intifada ruckus and outrageous behavior are seriously damaging not only the Administration’s planned student debt relief but also the president’s reelection and the fate of his party. Rasmussen Reports notes that Trump has widened his lead over Biden by ten points (46% to 36%), and the plan to have Trump jailed on one of the numerous baloney cases recedes even further. (Among other things, Judge Aileen Cannon this week unredacted material in the Mar-a-Largo documents case showing prosecution coordination with the White House, DoJ, and NARA, and the Jack Smith team was forced to a tardy admission it had tampered with the evidence.)

    My favorite senator, John Kennedy, nailed it when criticizing the President’s response to anti-Israel demonstrations on American college campuses.

    JOHN KENNEDY: It should not go unnoticed that President Biden has the ability to stop all of this on a dime. All he's got to do is call the college presidents and say, look, if you don't get control of your campuses, I'm going to withhold your federal money. The president hasn't done that. The moral of the story is you're never... too old to suck. The reason he hasn't done that is because of politics. CNN just came out with a poll. It said that 52% of likely voters in America will not vote for President Biden under any circumstance, any circumstances... They would vote for the guy who salts the fries at McDonald's before they would vote for President Biden, and the White House knows this, so they're scared to alienate the not insubstantial, Hamas wing of the Democratic Party.

    What you allow is what will continue. If you allow… these jackwagons on the college campuses to continue to do what they're doing, they're going to continue to do what they're doing.

    The College Democrats of America have stated their support for the anti-Israeli protestors.

    As if to underscore the Administration’s cluelessness and incompetence, the Department of Education called a high-level conference on antisemitism on Friday, only notifying participants at the last moment that far-left groups that supported the campus protests had been invited to participate. The Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation of North America, Hillel International, the Orthodox Union, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations withdrew, as they should have. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, White House domestic adviser Neera Tanden, and other senior officials who were representing Biden in this “outreach” are responsible for this perfectly predictable public-relations pratfall.

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