JUSTICE - No. 68

44 No. 68 JUSTICE hearing the other side. He opposes academic, intellectual, or pedagogic “safe spaces” which “segregate students from ideas that make them uncomfortable, to create a place where minds will not have to wrestle with expressions and concepts and opinions that might disturb” (p. 71). Stern believes colleges should require students to read things they won’t like and hear things they don’t want to hear. “The purpose of an education IS TO BE DISTURBED. How else does one learn to wrestle with difficult and challenging concepts?” (p. 70, capitalization in the original). Because “students from the Right and the Left, and pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel, seem eager to censor perspectives with which they disagree,” he asserts that “there should be courses . . . on the history and importance of free speech and academic freedom.” He correctly sees a significant threat to “the academic world and our democratic politics,” because “too many of today’s college students think that they have a right to be sheltered from disturbing ideas” (p. 191). As a Jew, a Zionist, and a longtime expert on fighting antisemitism, Stern argues that campus supporters of Israel must intellectually engage with their opponents.10 He notes, however, that supporters of Israel exaggerate antisemitism on college campuses, citing a Brandeis University study that concluded “Jewish students are rarely exposed to antisemitism on campus”11 (p. 121). However, Stern also notes that on some campuses “proIsrael Jewish students may feel marginalized, dismissed, or vilified, sometimes with antisemitic tropes” (p.121). Stern reminds Jewish lawyers, jurists, and legal scholars that those who value the rule of law need to stand up to intolerance within our community and outside our community. Eventually both sides must talk to each other – both in and outside of Israel. Twelve years after the Israeli official I described at the beginning of this review simply refused to discuss – among pro-Israel fellow Jews – the possibility that his government should talk to the PLO, Yitzhak Rabin sat down with Yasser Arafat. As I was writing this review, the Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Bennett and Crown Prince Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates “became the first leaders of their respective countries to meet.”12 The implication of Stern’s book is clear: if Begin, Rabin, and Bennett could sit down with Sadat, Arafat, and the leader of the UAE, then pro-Israel and proPalestinian academics and students can sit down and talk as well. n Paul Finkelman, Ph.D., is the Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of History at Gratz College in Philadelphia. During 2017-2021 he served as President of the College. He is author of over 100 law review articles and about 50 books. His most recent major book is “Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court” (Harvard University Press, 2018). 10. Along these lines is the very useful essay by Steven Lubet, of Northwestern University Law School, who castigates progressives for not calling out antisemitism among some of their allies, or mildly excusing it; he also notes, however, that conservatives tolerate antisemitism and Islamophobia within their political discourse. See Steven Lubet, “How American Progressives Normalize Anti-Semitism,” THE HILL, Dec. 15, 2021, available at https://thehill.com/ opinion/civil-rights/585871-how-american-progressivesnormalize-anti-semitism 11. https://bir.brandeis.edu/bitstream/handle/10192/35232/ LimitsofHostility.pdf 12. Lahav Harkov, “Historic first meeting: Israeli prime minister meets Emirati crown prince,” THE JERUSALEM POST, Dec. 13, 2021, available at https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/ bennett-on-first-israeli-pm-trip-to-uae-we-are-neighborsand-cousins-688598

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