The Conflict over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate
The Conflict over the Conflict chronicles one of the most divisive and toxic issues on today’s college and university campuses: Israel/Palestine.
Some pro-Palestinian students call supporters of Israel's right to exist racist, and disrupt their events. Some pro-Israel students label pro-Palestinian students terrorists, and the Jews among them traitors. Lawsuits are filed. Legislation is proposed. Faculty members are blacklisted and receive death threats. Academic freedom is compromised and the entire academic enterprise is threatened. How did we get here and what can be done?
In this passionate book, Kenneth S. Stern examines attempts from each side to censor the other at a time when some say students, rather than being challenged to wrestle with difficult issues and ideas, are being quarantined from them. He uniquely frames the examination: our ability to think rationally is inhibited when our identity is fiercely connected to an issue of perceived social justice or injustice, and our proclivity to see in-groups and out-groups – us versus them – is obvious. According to Stern, the campus is the best place to mine this conflict and our intense views about it to help future generations do what they are supposed to do: think. The Conflict over the Conflict shows how this is possible.
- Imprint: New Jewish Press
- World Rights
- Page Count: 296 pages
- Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.0in x 9.3in
“In a smart, personal, and engaging book, Kenneth S. Stern, director of Bard College’s Bard Center for the Study of Hate, takes us on a tour of today’s American campus Israel/Palestine debates in the context of a full-throated argument for free speech.”
Mira Sucharov, Canadian Jewish Record
Paul Scham, Editor of the Israel Studies Review and Research Associate Professor of Israel Studies at the University of Maryland
"This book is a must-read: Kenneth S. Stern fearlessly analyzes the political and emotional turmoil over the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, perhaps the most complex and inflammatory problem of our time, with extraordinary care, concern, and insight. He is an intellectual hero."
Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
"Fluent and well-informed, this is an unusual blend of memoir and political analysis. Never does Stern boast of his accomplishments, and never does he deny the complexity of Israeli and Palestinian affairs. This is a candid, fascinating, and thoughtful portrait of Jewish communal, free-speech, and university-based controversies certain to continue for the foreseeable future."
Steven J. Zipperstein, Daniel E. Koshland Professor in Jewish Culture and History, Stanford University
"Stern covers a lot of ground with respect to the ‘conflict over the conflict,’ and he does so with a nuanced, learned approach, and with honesty and sincerity."
Raja Khouri, Founding President, Canadian Arab Institute
Author InformationKenneth S. Stern is the director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate and an attorney and award-winning author. For twenty-five years he was the American Jewish Committee’s expert on antisemitism, and he was also the lead drafter of the “Working Definition of Antisemitism.” He has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States and testified before Congress, and he is a frequent guest on television and radio. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Forward.
Nadine Strossen is a professor at New York Law School, past President of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a leading expert on constitutional law and civil liberties. Her acclaimed 2018 book, HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship was selected by Washington University as its 2019 “Common Read.”
Table of contents
1. Thinking about Thinking
2. Zionism and 1948
3. Free Speech and Academic Freedom
4. Durban and Its Aftermath
5. The Academic Boycott of Israel
6. Stopping and Chilling Speech: Heckler’s Veto, Legal Threats
7. The Antisemitism Awareness Act
8. Blueprint for Rational Campus Discussions on Israel and Palestine
Subjects and Courses