Swarthmore College Hillel to Open Doors to Anti-Zionist Speakers
On Monday, the Swarthmore College Hillel Student Board passed a resolution opening its doors to anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian speakers and groups. The student board posted the resolution on its Facebook page. It read:
Swarthmore Hillel declares itself to be an Open Hillel; an organization that supports Jewish life in all its forms; an organization that is a religious and cultural group whose purpose is not to advocate for one single political view, but rather to open up space that encourages dialogue within the diverse and pluralistic Jewish student body and the larger community at Swarthmore; an organization that will host and partner with any speaker at the discretion of the board, regardless of Hillel International’s Israel guidelines; and an organization that will always strive to be in keeping with the values of open debate and discourse espoused by Rabbi Hillel.
It is fair to say that Rabbi Hillel would not have been a fan of using funding gathered from pro-Israel Jews to hand over to anti-Israel advocates. The group said it would work with Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Israel extremist organization. Swarthmore Hillel is acting in contravention to Hillel International, its sponsor organization, which states openly:
Hillel will not partner with, house, or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice: deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders; delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel; support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel; exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.
Hillel International CEO Eric Fingerhut sent a letter to the school Hillel telling them that they cannot violate Hillel policy and retain the Hillel name:
I hope you will inform your colleagues on the Student Board of Swarthmore Hillel that Hillel International expects all campus organizations that use the Hillel name to adhere to these guidelines. No organization that uses the Hillel name may choose to do otherwise.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.