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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

FIRE News: FIRE Releases Its Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus

Dear Mr. Levy:

Having just celebrated its sixth anniversary, FIRE proudly announces the publication of its Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus. This newest and final installment in FIRE’s series of Guides to Student Rights on Campus explores the many ways that universities go beyond censorship of the spoken word and attempt to dictate even what students and professors may and may not think. The Guide also advises students and other members of the campus community on how to resist these Orwellian tactics. For more information on the Guide and how to obtain a copy, please read below.



David French, President
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
601 Walnut Street, Suite 510

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone: 215-717-3473; Fax: 215-717-3440




FIRE Releases Its Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus


PHILADELPHIA, November 9, 2005—Today the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) celebrates the release of its Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus. The Guide, written and edited by distinguished legal scholars from across the political and ideological spectrum, is available free to college students on FIRE’s website,


ACLU President Nadine Strossen has hailed the Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus as “both groundbreaking and empowering.” Paul K. McMasters of the First Amendment Center says that the Guide “should be required reading for college officials and faculty everywhere.”


The Guide’s authors are Jordan Lorence, a First Amendment litigator and senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, and FIRE cofounder Harvey A. Silverglate, a well-known Boston civil rights attorney and member of FIRE’s Board of Directors. Lorence and Silverglate emphasize in the Guide that students have the right not only to speak freely, but also to believe according to the dictates of their consciences. As they point out, “After all, the freedom to speak is a dead letter if one lacks the freedom to think, to believe, or disbelieve…. Over one’s inner mind, conscience, and self, no one has coercive power.”


The Guide also cites several ways that colleges and universities deprive students and professors of their freedom of conscience. Some of these methods include:


·        Mandatory “diversity training” like that imposed recently at Washington State University;

·        Speech codes mandating certain attitudes, such as the one FIRE defeated in court at Shippensburg University;

·        The use of nondiscrimination policies to ban organizations with dissenting viewpoints, especially religious groups, as in FIRE’s recent case at Princeton University; and

·        Punitive impositions of psychological counseling, one instance of which FIRE recently quashed at the University of New Hampshire.


A distinguished group of legal scholars, selected from across the political and ideological spectrum, serves as the Board of Editors to FIRE’s entire series of Guides to Student Rights on Campus. The political and philosophical diversity of the Board demonstrates that campus liberty is not a matter of partisan politics, but rather of the rights and responsibilities of free individuals in a free society.


In addition to Strossen and McMasters, the Board of Editors includes noted constitutional scholars Vivian Berger of Columbia Law School, T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, Edwin Meese of the Heritage Foundation, Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute, and Jamin Raskin of American University’s Washington College of Law.


FIRE’s Guide to First-Year Orientation and Thought Reform on Campus is the fifth and final volume of FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus. The series also includes FIRE’s flagship publication, the Guide to Free Speech on Campus, as well as the Guide to Due Process and Fair Procedure on Campus, Guide to Student Fees, Funding, and Legal Equality on Campus, and Guide to Religious Liberty on Campus.


College students can order paperback copies of all the Guides—and anyone can download an electronic copy—free of charge at They are also available to the general public at a nominal cost at or


FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at



David French, President, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

Greg Lukianoff, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, FIRE: 215-717-3473;



FIRE's work is made possible by the generosity of our individual supporters. Please click here to make your tax-deductible contribution.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Israel Campus Beat - November 6, 2005

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Prepared for the Israel on Campus Coalition and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
November 6, 2005    

Israel Marks Rabin Assassination
Israelis have begun to mark the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Official commemorations will be held in 10 days' time, on the anniversary according to the Jewish calendar. Last Thursday, Israeli President Moshe Katsav lit a memorial candle at a ceremony with the Rabin family members. Black balloons also formed the number 10 in the square where Rabin was killed during the peace rally. (BBC News) Read More.
    See also Rabin's Legacy: In His Own Words
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's last address to the Knesset, 5 October 1995 (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israeli Defense Chief Vows Non-Interference in Palestinian Elections by David Gollust
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz says Israel will not interfere with Palestinian parliamentary elections in January, but also does not want to see radical factions like Hamas in a new parliament. He spoke after Washington talks last week with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. (VOA News) Read More.
Michigan State: Provost Approves Study Abroad to Israel by Melissa Domsic
Students and faculty will be able to go to Israel with MSU study abroad programs this summer — five years after the university canceled them because of violence in the area. Provost Kim Wilcox signed a letter Wednesday announcing the reinstatement of faculty-led study abroad programs in Israel. Kenneth Waltzer will lead the Jewish Studies Program at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem this summer. (State News) Read More.
Family Donates Organs for Peace by Khaled Abu Toameh
The family of a Palestinian boy who died of his wounds on Saturday has agreed to donate his organs to save the lives of Israeli patients. Ahmed Isamil Khatib, 12, of Jenin, was shot in the head on Thursday by IDF soldiers who mistook him for a gunman because he was carrying a plastic rifle. Khatib was transferred in critical condition to Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where he died on Saturday. (Jerusalem Post) Read More.

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On the Anniversary of Rabin's Death: On the Same Page, Ten Years On by Akiva Eldar
Sharon's map of "settlement blocs" looks as if it was lifted straight out of Rabin's last speech in the Knesset. (Ha'aretz) Read More.
Hitler from Tehran by Ze'ev Schiff
Those European leaders who suggest that Israel get used to the idea of life in the shadow of an Iranian nuclear bomb - and who offer as an example Western Europe, which faced the threat of Soviet nuclear arms - should take into account that the Soviet Union never threatened to wipe any country off the map. Iran finances Hizballah and supplies it with thousands of rockets that threaten northern Israel, and it also bankrolls Islamic Jihad and urges Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israel. In addition, Tehran is making an intensified espionage effort to identify targets in Israel. (Ha'aretz) Read More.
Israel Will Do What It Needs to Survive - "World Opinion" Be Damned by Ed Koch
Last week, the recently-elected president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told the world that Israel "must be wiped off the map." Who will come to Israel's aid? I fear that no nation will. Israel has the right to self-defense under UN Charter Article 51, as does every other UN member country. Must Israel wait until Iran's nuclear bomb is launched against it or should it act now to defend its people? (Jewish World Review) Read More.
Link Ma'ale Adumim to Jerusalem by Efraim Inbar
Ma'ale Adumim serves as the linchpin in establishing an effective line of defense along the Jordan River Valley against aggression from the east. Building a Jewish-populated corridor to Ma'ale Adumim would prevent the division of Jerusalem and secure the only safe route via which Israel could mobilize troops from the coast to the Jordan Valley in case of emergency. The city also holds strategic importance in controlling the only highway from the Mediterranean coast to the Jordan River Valley along which Jews can travel with little interference from Arab population concentrations. (Jerusalem Post) Read More.
What Your Kids Are Learning about Israel, America and Islam
In thousands of public school districts across the United States, without ever knowing it, taxpayers pay to disseminate pro-Islamic materials that are anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. Often bypassing school boards and nudging aside approved curricula, teaching programs funded by Saudi Arabia make their way into elementary and secondary school classrooms. Expert analyses of these materials have found them to be full of inaccuracies, bias and proselytizing. (JTA) Read More.

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Brown: For Some International Students, Military Service Requirements Await Back Home by Aiden Levy
There are 579 international students from 28 countries studying at Brown who could be subject to military conscription. Alexander Leyzer '05, a visiting student from Beersheba University in Israel, served as a military instructor for new soldiers. The economics and engineering concentrator was also in charge of operating a sophisticated missile defense system for the air force during his years in the Israeli military, although he never had to deploy the system. (Brown Daily Herald) Read More.
Carnegie Mellon: PeaceMaker Game : Real-Life Challenges Become Virtual by Nicole Hayward
Think of a challenging video game with violence. Now think of a dangerous, real-life situation. Put them together, and you have PeaceMaker, a video game that dares you to tackle one of the toughest situations in the world: the conflict between the Arabs and Israelis. PeaceMaker is a current project at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment and Technology Center. (Tartan Online) Read More.
Chicago: Pro-Israel Posters Defaced for Fifth Straight Year by Abby Seiff
Last weekend marked the fifth consecutive year when posters advertising an upcoming Chicago Friends of Israel (CFI) event were found defaced. The posters announced a talk to be given by Michael Barone, senior writer at U.S. News and World Report. When CFI members arrived at Cobb to refresh the supply Sunday evening, they found the posters torn and defiled. The repetition of these episodes has also raised larger questions about the role of the University in dealing with such attacks. (Chicago Maroon) Read More.
    See also Chicago: The Battle for Hearts and Minds, A Look at Israel Activism on Campus by Jonathan Hirsch (The College Zionist)
Cornell: The Voice of Ben-Gurion by Ben Birnbaum
Alon Ben-Gurion '82, grandson of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, lectured in Uris Auditorium last week. Ben-Gurion spoke about the legacy of his grandfather and his dream of developing the Negev Desert, which comprises more than half of the State of Israel. "My grandfather always had a dream. He said, 'Yes, 60% of Israel is a desert. But with science and the Jewish brain, we can turn that place green. We can settle it; we can solve the water problem; we can build cities there; we can get people to work there.'" (Cornell Daily Sun) Read More.
Harvard: Dershowitz Discusses Middle East by Cormac A. Early
Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz called last week for a renewed effort to achieve peace in the Middle East after Yasser Arafat's death, in a discussion of his book The Case for Peace organized by Harvard Students for Israel. At the well-attended event, Dershowitz argued that "this is a time for Israel to be extremely generous." He said that Israel's strategic interests, along with moral imperatives, demand a rapid resolution of the conflict with Palestinians. (Crimson) Read More.
Illinois: Jewish Journalist Speaks to Campus About Israeli-Palestinian Coverage by Erin Renzas
University students, faculty and community members gathered last week to hear Yossi Klein Halevi speak on "Media Coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." "There is no conflict on the face of the earth...more subject to more systematic scrutiny than the Arab-Israeli war," Halevi said. "The problem is that what has happened to many a shift that has been made from a journalistic quest for truth at the ethical basis of the profession to a shift toward a quest for justice," Halevi said. Advocacy journalism is ethical, provided the author and the media organization make it clear that it is biased. (Daily Illini) Read More.
Portland State: Op-Ed Author Says, 'I Didn't Know What I Was Doing' by Paul Haist
The Portland State University student whose opinion article in the campus daily newspaper, the Vanguard, sparked outrage among Jews and others for alleged anti-Semitism, racism and considerable factual error about Jews and Judaism told the Jewish Review that "it was a bad article" and "it was totally my fault." Caelan MacTavish said he planned to take steps to address his admitted shortcomings. "I'm going to go to some of the organizations that wrote into the Vanguard, the Jewish Student Union, and I'm going to start going to their meetings and educating myself." (Jewish Review) Read More.
Seattle: Ambassador Highlights Importance of the Middle East by Rob La Gatta
Ambassador Thomas Pickering wants to make it clear that everyone in the United States should be much more concerned with what is happening in the Middle East than just how it affects their monthly gas bill. Pickering, who was at Seattle University on Oct. 26 for a World Affairs Council Forum, posed possible solutions for the problems stemming from the Middle East. (Spectator) Read More.
Swarthmore: SATO Sponsors Palestine/Israel Week by Mara Revkin
Facing an atmosphere of declining interest in the Palestine/Israel conflict, Students Against the Occupation hosted a series of events in observation of Palestine/Israel Week last week. Some students expressed concern that the week's events promoted a uniquely Palestinian perspective and did not adequately represent the Israeli position. "The Jewish student organization should enter into the dialogue to ensure that more than one view is expressed," Alexandra List '09 said. "I understand that [the Jewish student organization] Ruach has historically taken an apolitical stance, but I think there needs to be some form of Jewish response if all sides of the argument are to be presented equally." (Phoenix Online) Read More.
Syracuse: iFest Celebrates Reinstatement of Israel Study Abroad Program by Dan Trester
Until recently, studying abroad in Israel through Syracuse University was banned by the Department of International Programs Abroad. But last week, the ban was lifted, allowing a second iFest to be held. iFest, formerly known as Israel Fest, is a four-day event intended to create awareness about studying abroad in Israel. During the four days, representatives from the Ben Gurion, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities will be available to answer questions. Aside from the free food, the highlight of iFest is the performance of Shotei Hanevua, or The Fools of Prophecy - Israel's No. 1 band. (Daily Orange) Read More.
Tufts: Ten Years Later, Israeli Filmmaker Remembers Rabin by Anthony McGovern
"We come together to mark this year, and this time, with remembrance and discussion," Rabbi Jeffery Summit said as he introduced filmmaker Michael Yohay last week. Yohay spoke on the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Yohay spent time around Rabin and shared some anecdotes. These ranged from light-hearted remarks - Rabin was a poor dancer but an excellent soccer player, he was shy around woman and was never able to tie a necktie - to a description of Rabin's uncompromising stance on peace. "He had zero tolerance for those who didn't agree with the peace process," Yohay said of Rabin. (Tufts Daily) Read More.

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Boston: Let's Keep Israel on the Map by Tara Stroll
I've been waiting to hear Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas or other Arab leaders condemn Ahmadinejad for his remarks, but I'm not holding my breath. If Abbas was at all interested in the peace process that has the ultimate goal of two democratic states, one Israeli and one Palestinian, coexisting side-by-side in peace, he might have said something about how calls for Israel's destruction are, at the very least, not constructive toward that goal. And if Muslim religious leaders who support the peace process and condemn hatred really exist, why aren't they speaking up? (Daily Free Press) Read More.
UC Irvine: A Student Journalist Travels by Sona Patel
One hundred fifteen-degree weather, a camera, a notebook and dozens of Ein Gedi water bottles were all I needed to experience Israel. But the scorching hot weather didn't stop us from visiting almost every holy site sacred to three of the world's largest religions. Jerusalem is a truly fascinating place for those interested in reliving stories from the Holy Bible along with places that were once locations of intense turmoil like the Golan Heights. (New University Paper) Read More.
UCLA: Jerusalem, City of Dreams by Joel Abramovitz
My journey to Jerusalem began simply enough. I had visited Israel in the summer of 2000, after my sophomore year of high school. I, like the other 160 participants, came home mesmerized. I was determined to go back. Then the Arab terror war broke out two months later and the world suddenly got a whole lot more complicated. The University of California suspended its Education Abroad Program (EAP) to Israel in early spring of 2001. I took a leave of absence from UCLA for two quarters, and enrolled directly in Hebrew University's Rothberg Overseas program for the spring semester of 2005. After I came home, I had to re-register at UCLA. (The College Zionist) Read More.
Central Connecticut State: Why Israel? by Dr. Moises F. Salinas
As I was fastening my seat-belt on the miniscule seat of the cramped IsrAir flight, I felt a tight knot on my stomach. It was probably related to going on sabbatical to Israel, an emotionally drenching experience, not because of any religious or security connotations, but because it is a country I love and the one I would like, one day, to move back to and raise my children in. The only place in the world in which you can flirt and "pick up" a person in the bus or in a bar for a romantic date, while being fairly certain that they are Jewish. No need for J-Date. Prof. Salinas teaches at Central Connecticut State University. (Jewish Ledger) Read More.
Yeshiva: Why Israel's Pullout from Gaza Will Fuel the Conflict for Years to Come by Gadi Dotz
Why should the PLO or Hamas negotiate with Israel when they can achieve their goals quite effectively through persistent violence? The unilateral nature of Sharon's plan will do nothing to foster the growth of democratic institutions and will instead create a terrorist state right on Israel's border. The danger of Katyusha and Qassam rockets being fired on major Israeli cities will only grow as a result of the retreat from Gaza. (The College Zionist) Read More.

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Williams College: Senior Yariv Pierce Named 2005 Rieser Fellow
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has selected Yariv Pierce '06 from Demarest, N.J. as one of three students to receive a 2005 Leonard M. Rieser Science, Technology, and Global Security Fellowship. Pierce used the prize money to study water shortage in the Middle East, focusing on the increase in water needs resulting from population growth in the region. Pierce's research was undertaken while studying at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat, Gan, Israel, and included interviews with regional experts on water shortage. (iberkshires) Read More.
Hebrew U: 'Good' Bacteria Could Save Patients from Infection by Deadlier Ones
Can it be that the stress on the use of antiseptics and antibiotics in hospitals is actually putting patients at a greater risk of suffering fatal bacterial infection? Yes, argues Mark Spigelman, a visiting professor at the Sanford F. Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine. (Science Daily) Read More.

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Muhlenberg: Mule Men Set to Host Israeli Basketballers
The Muhlenberg College men's basketball team will play an exhibition game against the Israel at Heart select team in Memorial Hall. The Israel at Heart organization in conjunction with the men's basketball team at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, is sponsoring a basketball tour at NCAA Division III colleges in the New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington areas. (Allentown Morning Call) Read More.
Tennis Star Shahar Pe'er Joins the IDF by Frankie Sachs
In an event that she described as more exciting than playing Maria Sharapova, tennis star Shahar Pe'er was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces bright and early last week. The 18-year-old's appearance at the IDF Induction Center outside Tel Aviv created quite a stir, with the IDF spokeswoman assigned to the event commenting that even the Chief of Staff's visits don't receive as much press attention. (Jerusalem Post) Read More.

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Israeli Designer Yigal Azrouel Follows His Passion by Stephanie L. Freid
The professionally great-looking - from Natalie Portman to Sarah Jessica Parker to Lenny Kravitz - have stepped out in Yigal Azrouel's body-contouring creations, and magazines like Vogue, Interview, and Harper's Bazaar regularly splash his designs across their pages. Considering his sophisticated fan base, it comes as a surprise to learn that this master cutter is completely self-taught. Azrouel did not attend design school or enroll in formal education back in his hometown of Ashdod. (Israel21c) Read More.
York: Student Places Second in Canada-Israel Committee's Advocacy Poster Competition by Carolyn Blackman
Sheera Minkowitz, 19, a student at York University, spent a year studying in Israel and said that when she came home she realized how little people really know about the country. "All we know is what people see in the media - a war-torn country. I felt safe and at home there, and I want people to know that Israelis have the same values as us." Her poster titled Spot the Difference depicts two families enjoying a picnic. The only difference is that there is an Israeli flag and an El Al plane flying in one picture and a Canadian flag and an Air Canada plane flying in the other. (Canadian Jewish News) Read More.
The Louise T Blouin Foundation Launches a Presence in the Middle East and Announces Support for a New Cultural Dialogue Between Israel and Palestine
In partnership with the film school of Tel Aviv University and the Royal Jordanian Film Commission, the Foundation's first investment in the project "4 Generations" will provide support for the development of a television series which tells the story of Israeli and Palestinian people over the 20th Century. The series brings together both Israeli and Palestinian writers and historians. (PR Newswire) Read More.
Be'er Sheva, Israel's Chess Capital, Hosts World Championships by Nir Hasson
When Israel was chosen to host the World Team Chess Championships, it was only natural that Be'er Sheva be the host city. Jerusalem and Ashdod tried to get in on the action, but in the end everyone understood that just as Tel Aviv hosts basketball championships, so Be'er Sheva should host chess championships. The best chess teams in the world are represented in the tournament, which started last week, including Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, the U.S., Cuba, the Republic of Georgia, China (with men's and women's teams) and Israel. (Ha'aretz) Read More.

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Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of the Rabin Assassination

What Have We Learned?
by Jonathan S. Tobin

  • With each passing year Rabin's transfiguration from general/politician into secular saint is further solidified in Jewish culture. A lifetime of military and political achievement - as well as mistakes - has been boiled down to him being remembered solely as a martyr for peace.
  • Predictably, Rabin's death has become an all-purpose metaphor of the dangers of out-of-control dissent and violent rhetoric. Even more to the point, as has been the case in Israel, Rabin's murder has come to serve as a political hobbyhorse for certain Jewish political agendas.
  • Just as the death of John F. Kennedy allowed some to foolishly spin tales about what might have happened in Vietnam had he lived, so too, does Rabin become the fulcrum on which every possible Oslo scenario unfolds.
  • Rabin's passing, coming as it did just as Oslo began to unravel, allows dreamers of every political complexion to similarly use his murder as a metaphor for all that subsequently went wrong for Israel.
  • In the mythology of the Jewish Left, it was Rabin's murder that cut short the peace process. According to that narrative, had Rabin lived, he would have been able to lead Israel's people to accept peace and his strength would have ensured that the Palestinians did the right thing too.
  • If there is anything that we should have learned from Arafat's behavior in the years after Rabin's murder, it is that he was always uninterested in the sort of peace that Rabin advocated. In the end, the impressive achievements as well as the complex and often contradictory policies of Yitzhak Rabin will remain for historians to pick over. (Jerusalem Post) Read More.
  • Commemoration vs Denial
    by Yoram Peri

  • Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin there are those who wish to commemorate the slain leader and those who wish to minimize his image and erase the memory of the murder.
  • The struggle between the two camps is not only about the meaning of the assassination, the image of the victim and his legacy, or the appropriate patterns of commemoration. It is a unique struggle over shaping of Israeli society. The Rabin assassination was the direct result of the fierce culture war being waged in our society. The assassination did not lower the intensity of that war, but on the contrary, heightened it.
  • Therefore it will not be the last one. The assassin may have been a religious nationalist, but those who attributed the assassination to the friction between Right and Left, or Orthodox and secular, were very wrong.
  • The struggle is between two cultures, the metro and the retro. Those who belong to the metro culture tend to define themselves as "Israelis," while those who belong to the retro camp define themselves first of all as "Jews." The former want Israel to be part of the family of nations. The latter believe that we should be "a people that dwells alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." (Jerusalem Post) Read More.
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