Brandeis University has developed with Al-Quds University, a Palestinian educational institution in eastern Jerusalem, whose website denies the Jewish historical connection with Jerusalem and promotes other historical falsehoods. The Brandeis’ International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, which has coordinated Al-Quds visitor’s programs, includes on its advisory board Al-Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh, someone who is often presented as a Palestinian moderate but, has actually demonized Israelis, praised jihad fighters, justified the killing of so-called Palestinian “collaborators” and been arrested by Israel. This plus the below are among the reasons why last year, Daniel Pipes called on the University’s Donors to withhold their monies until the school changed their ways:
By WILLIAM MAYER and BEILA RABINOWITZ August 27, 2008 – San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – Brandeis University, “America’s first Jewish-sponsored university,” is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Over the last few years the liberal educational institution has drawn unwanted attention and severe criticism [not to mention loss of funding through donations] due to poor choices made by the university, including the 2005 naming of Khalil Shikaki as a scholar at the school’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies. Mr. Shikaki has some troubling ties and associations; according to the New York Sun:
“Government wiretaps introduced at the trial of a Florida professor accused of operating the American wing of PIJ, Sami Al-Arian, show Mr. Shikaki distributed money in the West Bank for Al-Arian associates allegedly tied to PIJ…He is also the brother of the assassinated founder of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Fathi Shikaki, and a former director…” [source, “Concern Mounts Over Brandeis Professor’s Ties to Islamic Jihad,” http://www.nysun.com/national/concern-mounts-over-brandeis-professors-ties/25980 for additional information regarding Shikaki see, http://www.investigativeproject.org/article/336]
The university has also honored extreme anti-Zionist playwright Tony Kushner, awarding him an honorary doctorate degree and extended in 2007 an invitation to former President Jimmy Carter to discuss his controversial book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” Even with this as background it is still suprising that Brandeis would have initiated a long-term and intimate relationship with the radical Al Quds University located in Jerusalem. It is common knowledge among counter-terror experts that Al Quds is a hotbed of Hamas support and activity to extent that it hosts the Abu Jihad Martyrs Museum, a celebration of Palestinian terrorism. According to a 2007 report by Palestinian Media Watch:
Al Quds hosts student branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad on campus. Campus activities honor terrorists, past and present. Campus activities advocate terror as legitimate “resistance.” Al Quds University property is used for Hamas assemblies. Al Quds administration members join in terror group events on campus. Al Quds university participates in and sponsors off campus activities honoring terrorists. [source, http://www.pmw.org.il/USAID.html]
The university’s original organizing board of trustees included the Grand Mufti of Al Aqsa, Ekrima Sabri, a defender of the practice of child suicide bombing. As described by Brandeis, “the principal goal of the Brandeis/Al-Quds partnership’s Administrative Exchanges is to build Al-Quds University’s administrative capacity. Through a series of personnel exchanges between the two universities, Al-Quds administrators are studying Brandeis operations and developing strategies to strengthen Al-Quds systems and operations. These exchanges comprise three distinct project areas: Administration and Finance, Effective Teaching, and Communications. A fourth project area in Continuing Education began to take shape in 2008.” One of the participants in this program is Mustafa Abu Sway, listed by Brandeis as, “the director of the Islamic Research Center at Al-Quds University. He participates in the Effective Teaching exchange.” He is also a “faculty presenter” at Brandeis’ Shusterman Center for Israel studies. [source, http://www.brandeis.edu/israelcenter/SIIS/facultyIsrael.html] Abu Sway’s curriculum vitae however extends far beyond the above inoffensive description. He is an Associate Professor and former Director of the Islamic Research Center at Al-Quds University. According to the Israeli Embassy, Abu Sway is a Hamas activist. In an article entitled “Hamas in Florida Classroom” Dr. Daniel Pipes reveals that Abu Sway was, “a board member and raised funds for two Jerusalem-based Hamas-related organizations, the Heritage Committee and the Foundation for the Development of Society. The Israeli government shut down both organizations in February 2003.” [source, http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1487] Pipes also noted that he has, “worked with the Palestinian “Charity Coalition” that includes such organizations as Al-Aqsa Foundation of South Africa and France’s Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens. Both are known as Hamas fund-raisers which have had their assets frozen by the American government.” [source, ibid] When Abu Sway was asked, what in your opinion is the difference between the violence of defending one’s rights and terrorism?” Abu Sway replied, “…the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves…Under these conditions. I think that one would only expect that Palestinians would do something about it”. “Now what is the difference between violence and terrorism?…But ultimately , if one targets the military force of the occupier…” [source, http://www.americanmuslim.org/17palestine17a.html, note page has since been removed by AmericanMuslim.org but is available in archived format] In addition to having Hamas activist Professor Abu Sway on their faculty, Al Quds maintains the Abu Jihad Center for Political Prisoners (sic) Affaris,” described on the university’s website as, “the center is named after the code name for Mr.Khalil Al-Whazir one of the founders of the Palestinian National Liberation movement (Fateh) and a martyr of the Palestinian revolution.” [source, http://www.alquds.edu/centers&institutes/acppa.php] Helping to encourage the relationship between Brandeis and Al Quds is the Ford Foundation which has provided funding for the program through 2009.
“The partnership was awarded another grant by the Ford Foundation to carry project activities through December 2009. More recently, activity has focused on effective teaching and learning projects, led by a team of Brandeis and Al-Quds faculty from across disciplines. Brandeis and Al-Quds University faculty are working together on issues of assessment, pedagogy, and curriculum development.” [source, [http://www.brandeis.edu/aqu/en/about.html]]
Brandeis’ outreach to Al Quds is extraordinarily ill-considered, antithetical to everything that Brandeis claims to stand for. This is made especially compelling given the university’s Jewish roots and its motto which is, “Truth even unto its innermost parts.” This exchange has already caused substantial harm, providing undeserved legitimacy to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. It also serves as a conduit, allowing people of the ilk of Mustafa Abu Sway access to the American university system, delivered with Brandeis’ seal of approval. This program has no place at Brandeis or any American university. It must cease.