The persecution of Dr. Nussbaum at Mount San Jacinto College for being pro-Israel
(Continued from last week)
“My opponents’ campaign was so insidious, that not one day would pass without a student or faculty member asking me why I was attacking my colleagues; why I was bullying the Amnesty International advisor; why did I hate Palestinians, etc. Even those friendly to me called me a “trouble-maker”. Between February and April, I made two formal complaints of workplace harassment, and I had had two private phone conversations with my college President, who swore he had my back, that my opponent was “bat-shit crazy” and “out to get” me. He later denied all of this in a deposition. He and HR promised they took my complaints seriously and that an independent investigator had been assigned. Nothing was done.”
What the hell is going on?
Anti-Israel Brownshirts are employing a new tactic on American campuses, one that is eerily similar to the recent up-close-and-personal stoning of individual Israelis by Palestinian mobs.
In both cases, these attacks are characterized by a lynch mob mentality in which a horde attacks one or two individuals.
The difference is that the attacks in Israel target random individuals. On campus, highly competent, often beloved professors in areas unrelated to the Middle East– but who are known supporters of Israel–are carefully targeted.
This is precisely what happened earlier this very year to tenured Philosophy Professor Andrew Pessin at Connecticut College. And it also happened to tenured Sociology Professor Denise Nussbaum at MSJC at about the same time.
Both professors have been accused of “racism,” “Islamophobia,” “hate speech,” and defamed as supporters of “ethnic cleansing.” These false allegations were spread globally over the internet and locally in college media.
Pessin critiqued Hamas’s war against Israel last summer; Nussbaum questioned the wisdom of inviting a known anti-Israel, non-academic, highly incendiary outside speaker to discuss Israel-Palestine.
In both instances, women launched the smear campaigns. At Connecticut College, a hijab-wearing student of Bangladeshi origin launched the ideological lynch mob; at MSJC, an Iranian Mathematics Professor led the charge. Both women were highly aggressive, persistently hostile, and tactically expert in propaganda warfare. They used clearly identified buzz words calculated to evoke sympathy, fear, anger, and hatred–words such as “Israeli Nazi soldiers,” “Israeli apartheid,” “persecuted Palestinians,” “persecuted indigenous people,” etc.
According to Professor Nussbaum, the Iranian professor had her husband sit at important meetings and “glare,” non-stop, for long periods of time, a tactic which disconcerted, intimidated, and disoriented everyone. She also began a four month smear and whisper campaign against Nussbaum, claiming that Nussbaum opposed academic freedom, believed in censorship, opposed free speech, and had threatened the Iranian by promising to “rally Jews” against her.
In both cases, the college administrations supported the lynch mobs, not the attacked target. This is eerily similar to the way in which the global media supports the Palestinian stoners and stabbers as “resistance fighters.”
In Professor Pessin’s case, the administration hastily arranged a series of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel events—and provided no support for Professor Pessin when he began receiving hate mail and death threats. They did not reach out to him in sympathy when he took a medical leave and, to the best of my knowledge, six months later, they still have not done so.
In Professor Nussbaum’s case, the college is treating her as a whistle-blower and retaliating against her. After the college failed to investigate her charges (mentioned above), she filed a Claim of Notice against the District. (Professor Pessin also has a legal suit pending).
As previously noted, the College hired the same lawyer to defend both itself and Vargas. It took MSJC five months to finally get around to interviewing Vargas after he assaulted Nussbaum on school premises. And then, according to Nussbaum’s lawyers, Ken and Robert Rose, the person “supervising this presumably ‘independent and impartial’ investigation was representing Vargas at the interview.”
Having to take a medical leave was painful for Professor Nussbaum but, like Professor Pessin, she had to do so. Nussbaum gritted her teeth and returned this fall only to face hell.
“In general, my colleagues and administrators now look the other way when I walk by. Like I don’t exist. I am a pariah. No one wants to get involved. I was one of the most powerful faculty members on campus. If this could happen to me it could happen to anyone. Some faculty members and students asked me why I hated (the Iranian attacker), and why I opposed free speech and academic freedom.”
A colleague with whom she has “worked for years,” now calls her “the trouble maker.” When questioned, this colleague admitted that she had heard “something” about “my trying to keep a peace activist from coming to campus.” Nussbaum then explained to her who Miko Peled (the invited speaker) really is. Her colleague’s response? “Well, I have a Palestinian student….”
Nussbaum’s union President “was actively lobbying for (my) abuser at our graduation ceremony when the entire faculty was present but I wasn’t. This woman had been a friend, she has been to my home. She admitted that while she had been present, she did not see what happened. Others told her that ‘it was no big deal.’”
This semester, the Administration has been actively undercutting her teaching schedule and her responsibilities as Chair of her Department. “No administrators, including my Academic Dean have communicated to me since my first complaint of harassment.” (This was the problem long before she brought a lawsuit; in fact, as previously noted, just such non-communication and non-action is one of the reasons she was forced to sue).
Her Administration did not pursue her complaint; then, the Campus Police lied to Nussbaum’s attorneys, saying that Nussbaum had not wanted to take the matter any further. Now, according to Nussbaum, her Dean is changing her program without telling her and writing to her associate faculty members without including her. “It is unheard of. No one, not a single person in administration at the school has ever, once, contacted me to offer support or information.”
Nussbaum, like Pessin, is being shunned. Without due process, they have been found guilty of politically incorrect Thought Crimes. The craven crowd believes that even if the allegations are false, that such professors deserve to be driven out.
The long and toxic propaganda campaign against Israel led to suicide killers and stabbers in Israel who wantonly murdered innocent civilians—but who were still viewed as “freedom fighters.”
The results of this same campaign may also be seen on American and Canadian campuses. Crack-pot views are being treated as scholarly; real scholars are being successfully damned as racists—and harassed off campus and out of the academic world.
We should all be very worried about this.