Campus battles over the Middle East conflict and rising anti-Semitism are heating up on several fronts:
# A national pro-Palestinian student conference declaring that “Zionism is racism” is slated for Oct. 12 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with plans to increase pressure on college officials to drop investments in Israel.
Harvard University’s Hillel president was not silent last week after Zionist Organization of America leader Morton Klein attacked his center for hosting Breaking the Silence, a controversial Israeli photo exhibit.
“As a result of your actions, our students are receiving hate e-mails,” fumed Dr. Bernie Steinberg in an open letter to Klein posted last weekend. “If you intended to injure and hurt young Jews, you recent actions and words are a success.”
Military service is in the Perl family’s blood.
Pvt. Otto Perl spent nearly a year in the Austrian army from 1937 to 1938. His father had been an officer in that same army in World War I, and two of his uncles had served in WWI.
Perl, a tailor, was 22 in early 1938 when he was discharged a few months before his homeland was annexed by Nazi Germany. A Jew, he was arrested and sent to the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps for a year. He survived the forced labor and beatings and frigid weather.
In medieval times in the Middle East, translators in synagogues would render the reading of the weekly Torah portion from Hebrew into the vernacular Arabic or Aramaic.
Something similar took place in Manhattan this week.