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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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Last week’s Jewish Link (“NJ Federation Leaders Meet With Rutgers President Barchi,” February 8, 2018) describes a meeting between NJ Federation leaders and President Barchi of Rutgers, about the problems of the anti-Semitism/anti-Israel feeling among some Rutgers faculty. Three faculty members, Chikindas, Adi and Puar, were exposed last November as expressing outrageous and horrific lies about Israel and Jews. Instead of denouncing these acts, President Barchi vigorously defended his faculty’s action under the guise of “freedom of expression.”

In the intervening three months, after intense pressure, (a) Rutgers has suspended some classes that Chikindas can teach, but still retains him on the faculty, (b) it was claimed that “Adi only taught one course and his teachings were not themselves criticized as being anti-Semitic” and (c) the Puar matter is still not resolved.

During this whole shameful episode, President Barchi has shown that he is unwilling or unable to exert the proper leadership for dealing with campus bias. Instead of leading the charge against the elimination of prejudice and damaging untruths on the Rutgers campus, he is only belatedly and very reluctantly reacting to these events.

In essence, Barchi is a big part of the problem, not the solution.

Max Wisotsky

Highland Park