In late 1974 I was in the process of selecting which college to attend. My choices were very One choice was staying home to attend Nassau Community College (this was appealing because Nassau was a commuter school so my parents would have to buy me a car) or go away to school. But I decided to forgo the car for the opportunity to get out of the house and go away to college.
Why is any of this relevant to the news of Dr. Weinstein? The College I chose was the State University of New York College of Oswego, as a political science major, Dr. Weinstein was not only one of my favorite professors but as I was president of the Hillel (officially called the Jewish Student Union) I worked closely with Dr Weinstein who was our faculty adviser.
According to a recorded message by terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri
“I tell the captive soldiers of Al Qaeda and the Taliban and our female prisoners held in the prisons of the crusaders and their collaborators, we have not forgotten you and in order to free you we have taken hostage the Jewish American Warren Weinstein,” al-Zawahiri said in the 30-minute tape, demanding the release of high-profile terrorists as ransom.esponsibility for the August kidnapping of an American aid worker in Pakistan and refused to release the 70-year-old man until a list of demands are met.”
It was Dr, Weinstein who first taught me what liberalism did to City University. He talked of studying with Hans J. Morgenthau at Brooklyn College when it was know as the “Poor Man’s Harvard.” Once NY City decided College was a God-given right, and everyone was allowed into the school no matter what their grades were, Dr. Weinstein said the school quickly became a sub-standard school.
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I remember how Dr. Weinstein gave me advice when a Palestinian colleague, Dr Faiz Abu-Jabbar verbally attacked me in class when I didn’t accept his anti-Israel rhetoric as truth. And Warren Weinstein was the guy who would invite students over to his house when they were stuck in Oswego for the Jewish holidays.
“The United States condemns kidnappings of any kind and we call for the immediate release of the individual and the prosecution of those responsible,” said spokeswoman Joanne Moore.
In August, the CS Monitor spoke with several Pakistanis who had worked with Weinstein to enhance Pakistan’s dairy and gem trades.
“I am really shocked to hear” of his kidnapping, said Ehtesham Ullah Khan, a gemologist who knew Weinstein. “He was a very nice person and, to me, he made many friends as compared to no enemies.”
Mr. Khan explained how Weinstein helped him set up scholarships for Pakistanis living in tribal areas to study the gem trade. Twenty students received US scholarships and now have jobs or have started their own businesses, he said.
Weinstein’s work also included importing dairy chillers to boost the productivity of Pakistan’s milk industry. His company boasted that the dairy development work resulting in $63 million in new investment to Pakistan, at least 2,150 new jobs, and a 25 percent boost in producer productivity.
“He helped the university in the establishment of dairy facilities, negotiating with colleagues in the Netherlands,” said Dr. Muhammad Abdullah, chair of livestock at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore. “We had quite a professional interaction with him.”
To most people who read the reports of Warren Weinstein’s capture, he is an anonymous aid worker kidnapped by the bad guys. For me, he is a good man who helped to spark my interest in politics which continues through today. He helped to teach me to think and to ask the right questions, and he helped me to get through a year and a half of college life in an school that was not very friendly to Jewish students.
Please join me in praying for Warren Weinstein’s good health and for his quick release back into the loving arms of his family.