Opposition to Anti-Semitic Conference at University of Michigan
An anti-Semitic conference at an American university is arousing groundswells of objections. The University of Michigan has agreed to allow a three-day "Palestinian Solidarity" conference to be held on its grounds, beginning this coming Saturday. The conference supports campaigns to urge university and corporate divestment from Israel, and its web site condemns Israel for "occupation," "colonization," and "apartheid," and claims that "racism and discrimination are inherent in Zionism."
Pro-Israel groups have organized opposition to the conference, including a "Shabbat Against Hate" at the University of Michigan this weekend with Rabbi Avi Weiss. In addition, buses will be leaving New York on Saturday night to hold a counter-demonstration.
The Detroit News newspaper, in a Sep. 29 editorial, described the conference as "a student workshop that expresses tacit support for terrorism and has as its mission the destruction of Israel," and asked, "Should forums that espouse hate and push to the very edge of inciting violence find a warm spot at a public university to grow their detestable ideals?" University of Michigan President Mary Coleman said recently that the conference "represents the views of the organizers and not the University of Michigan," and said that she does not support divestment. Richard Dorfman, co-founder of Michigan Student Zionists, has sued the University of Michigan for "endangering the security of students on campus by allowing the incitement of violence by these speakers."