A few weeks ago, I proudly wrote about two of our current students who stood up for Israel at the Model UN (Click HERE to read this post). In this post, I want to commend one of 2014 TCW graduates, Billy Schwartz, who attends Queens University in Kingston, ON for doing something similar.
Billy is a film student who just completed a first year undergraduate film course taught by Dorit Naaman, an Israeli-born Jewish professor. At first he was excited to be taught by a professor with whom he shared a common bond. Then he discovered that despite her heritage she was virulently anti-Israel. Billy did not remain silent. Below is something Billy wrote to alert the university and the public what is going on in at least one lecture hall at Queens University.
In this week’s vodcast (video podcast) Professor Naaman talks about how the Jews in Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” (2009; See the trailer HERE) were unjust war criminals and that the Nazis are the victims of the Jewish brigade’s “illegal war crimes.” The professor then compares the Jewish brigade to a pack of Roman gladiators. Her views become even more obvious when she raises the argument that Shoshana, the protagonist of the movie, was equivalent to a suicide terrorist. Professor Naaman illustrates her argument by drawing on the example of when, in March 2002, Hamas – a radical Islamic terrorist organization – carried out a suicide bombing attack at a supermarket in Jerusalem that killed an innocent 17-year old Israeli girl along with an innocent Israeli man.
Professor Naaman put this example side-by-side with the conclusion of “Inglorious Basterds.” At the end of the movie, Shoshana, a young woman who is secretly Jewish and had escaped the murder of her entire family years earlier, burns down her cinema to kill a large number of Nazis at an organized event inside the theatre. The fact that the professor equates innocent Jewish civilians with the evil that caused the death of 60 million people in 6 years is disgusting and utterly offensive.
The video proceeds to display two clips from a Palestinian film that depicts martyrdom in terror attacks against Israel. The vodcast ends (and thus concludes the term) with Professor Naaman telling the viewer that we should not follow the “labels that society has set” in clearly regard to what society labels as terrorism, evidently placing the Arab-Israeli conflict in this precise context.
Professor Naaman seems to believe that her dispositions towards the Jewish state allow her to twist a curriculum in favour of her own ideals, and to emphasize those very concepts every single week. As an educator of hundreds of young minds, most of whom most likely know very little to almost nothing about the countries in the Middle East, especially Israel, it is unacceptable to say anything about the conflict at all. Professor Naaman says in the video that the society we live in tends to label and twist certain ideologies. The irony of the situation is that she is doing exactly that. A close friend of mine recently pointed out to me that “the impact that a college prof can have on a large group of students to inspire hatred and violence is huge.” If someone were to have only listened to Professor Naaman and had come in to the term with having no prior knowledge about the topic, they would formulate an understanding that Israel is an oppressive, tyrannical and unjust state. In reality, Israel is truly the single beacon of human rights and true democracy in a vast region where freedom does not exist.
Billy concludes by saying “As a proud Jewish student at Queen’s University, I will continue to remain outspoken about these issues at all times.” As Head of School at TanenbaumCHAT, I am proud that we are graduating a generation of students who have the courage and knowledge to stand up for Israel.