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March 09, 1984 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-03-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

40 Friday, March 9, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Top - Song

MONTREAL (JTA)
Claudine Arbusman of
Paris, France has been
awarded the top prize in the
fourth annual Jewish song
festival sponsored by the
Jacobson Foundation of
Halifax.

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Holocaust Parallel in Stony Brook Dube Case

By REV. FRANKLIN
LITTELL

National Institute
on the Holocaust

PHILADELPHIA — The
Dube case at the State Uni-
versity of New York at
Stony Brook raises again
the question of where the
modern university is going.
An article in the New York
Times Magazine (Nov. 6)
concludes that the univer-
sity has become so
politicized . . . that its revi-
val as an educational in-
stitution is doubtful in this
generation."
Dube is a black from
South Africa who has been
pumping political prop-
aganda into his classes, ex-
pressing a political line
which is, among other
things, anti-Semitic.
As we have often noted,
the contribution of the mod-
ern university to Nazism
and its murderous 12 years
of empire was massive. In
fact, without the trained
technologists — lawyers,
doctors and theologians, as
well as engineers and
chemists — the Third Reich
could not have functioned at
all. The Holocaust would
never have occurred.
The failure of the great
German universities can
be assessed in two ways.
First, there was the in-
dispensable contribution
of university-trained men
and women to the Nazi
machine and its
enterprises. Second,
there was the failure of
the great German univer-
sities — before the Nazis
took them over, among
the best in the world — to
prevent the infiltration
and corruption of "the
republic of learning" by
persons unfit to be
entrusted with the cus-
tody of young minds.
There is no reason here to
raise questions about
SUNY Stony Brook's posit-
ive contributions. Rather,
the Dube case raises the
question: To what are the
administration and faculty
committed to maintaining
the integrity of teaching,
the academic discipline,
which are essential if aca-

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demic freedom is to be more
than mere license.
Unhappily, as so often the
case where anti-Semitism is
involved, it has been left
largely to the Jewish de-
fense agencies and press to
raise the questions about
Dube. Yet anti-Semitism is
only the occasion for a con-
frontation: the basic issue is
broader. Will the professors,
like the professors at
Northwestern in the Butz
case and the professors at
the University of California
at San Diego in the Buchner
case, flunk their post-
doctoral exams?
Professors do not always
wash out in a crisis. The
university at Gottingen,
West Germany has recently
cancelled the degree of an
active Nazi alumnus. The
university at Vancouver,
British Columbia has re-
cently removed from the
classroom a professor whose
criminal record during the
Third Reich was discovered
and exposed.
Which direction will
the professors at Stony
Brook take? — the easy
way of surrendering
academic discipline and
integrity, or the hard way
of responsibly maintain-
ing academic standards?
The lazy had it easy with
Butz and Buchner: both
had tenure. The Dube
case is more simple to
handle: Dube does not yet
have it and is presently
up for tenure review.
Ernest Dube has taught
in the African Studies De-
partment at Stony Brook.
He holds a PhD from Cor-
nell University. Prior to
coming to the U.S. he served
four years in prison for his
activities in the African Na-
tional Congress, an organ-
ization once led by the great
Chief Albert John Luthuli,
but subsequently infil-
trated and captured by the
Communists. Today the
ANC strongly -supports the
PLO and other terrrorist
movements.
The documentation of his
ideological line comes from
his syllabus for a course on
"The Politics of Race." In
this course the topic was:
"Three forms of racism and
how they have manifested
themselves: Nazism in
Germany; apartheid in
South Africa; Zionism in Is-
rael."
Among 12 possible topics
for term papers were these:
"Zionism is as much racism
as Nazism was racism" and
"Reactive racism (Dube's
term for Zionism) is as bad
as any other form of ra-
cism."
The published bulletin
described the course as
an analysis of "the role
race plays in national
policy formulation in the
U.S.," and no reading as-
signments were given on
Zionism at all. Thus
Dube's propaganda was
the students' only source
of information on the
subject.
Because of protests, the
university's president took
note of the problem and re-
ferred the matter to the

executive committee of the
Faculty Senate. The com-
mittee, as stated by its lib-
eral Jewish chairman (the
same things happened with
Butz at Northwestern), de-
livered "an exoneration of
Dube." The president and
full Senate then acted to
uphold the committee find-
ings, all levels babbling of
"academic freedom."
Following this, the Afri-
can Studies Department re-
leased to the newspapers a
bitter attack upon a visiting
Israeli professor (a dean at
Ben-Gurion University),
who was one of those raising
the initial question as to
Dube's course. The prop-
agandistic nature of the
course (and apparently of
the department as a whole)
is indicated by phrases in
the press release such as
"Israeli imperialism and
Zionist outrages against the
Palestinian people," and at-
tacks on a critic for "the
kind of name-calling that
seeks to hide the intellec-
tual shallowness of his own
arguments," etc.
Upon pressure from the
outside (including New
York Governor Cuomo and
the Anti-Defamation
League), Stony Brook's
president issued a state-
ment condemning the equa-
tion of Zionism and racism.
When it was urged that the-
Dube case be thoroughly in-
vestigated, the executive
committee of the Faculty
Senate stone-walled, with
the chairman stating the
case had been investigated
"carefully" — a patent
falsehood, since the only
person heard had been Dube
himself.
As Prof. Rael Isaac of
the City University of
New York has pointed
out in a careful review of

the case, what is sac-
rificed here is truth. Aca-
demic freedom, like the
academic discipline
which creates a preserve_
within which the pursuit
of truth may flourish, is
not an end in itself: it
exists for the sake of
truth.
Is there a place in the
dialogue of the "republic of
learning" for proponents of
the teaching of contempt
and terrorism? That the
Stony Brook African
Studies Department does
not respect the rules of the
dialogue is evident.
On another occasion a
prominent professor in the
department, LeRoi Jones
aka Amiri Baraka, in a
campus meeting proclaimed
that "Israel is a running dog
for U.S. Imperialism." In
Columbus Circle or on the
street corner, in an open
political debate, such a
statement might be false
but privileged. In the aca-
demic community, like
Dube's propaganda, it is out
of order.
The problem is that the
professors, many of whom
are doubtful about the im-
portance of truth anyway,
simply float with the spirit
of the times. Right now it is
a la mode to attack America
and be titillated by ter-

rorism. But how can the
senior members of the
academe, after the experi-
ence of the great univer-
sities of the Weimar Repub-
lic, be so sure that the infil-
trators and disloyalists of
today's faculties will not
comprise the terrorist gov-
ernments of tomorrow?
- The Holocaust is, in a
fundamental sense, just as
serious a credibility crisis
for the amoral modern uni-
versity as it is for a degen-
erate Christendom. And the
professors are just as back-
ward as the churchmen in
honestly facing the implica-
tions of that truth.

Druze Warning
for Lebanon

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Shaikah Amin Tarif,
spiritual leader of Israeli
Druze, urged the Druze
community in Lebanon not
to permit the infiltration of
anti-Israel elements into
their ranks or into the terri-
tory they control in Leba-
non.
Addressing visitors to his
home village of Julis in
Galilee last week, Tarif said
Israeli Druze regard them-
selves as an integral part of
Israeli society and any
harm done to Israel would
be regarded as harming the
Druze community.

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