Tufts Administrators Pull Student-Made Handbook Calling Israel a 'White Supremacist State'

'Disorientation Guide removed from official Facebook pages

Braker Hall at Tufts University
Braker Hall at Tufts University / Wikimedia Commons
September 11, 2017

Tufts University administrators have pulled from its social media links to a student-made handbook that condemned the campus Jewish center for supporting Israel, which the guide called "a white supremacist state."

The "Disorientation Guide," published anonymously by students as the left-wing supplement to the official Tufts orientation, was removed from the official Facebook pages of the classes of 2020 and 2021 by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and communications officials, Tufts Daily reported Monday.

The guide slammed Hillel for hosting the parents of Trayvon Martin, a black teen fatally shot in 2012, claiming the center's leaders brought the Martins to speak on campus "to exploit black voices for their own pro-Israel agenda."

Other indictments of Hillel and the university institutions supposedly "set up to support Israel and the occupation" come in a description of "Israel Apartheid Week," an annual period of concentrated anti-Israel programming held by activist student groups worldwide. One feature of Tufts' IAW includes the erection on campus of an "apartheid wall," a reference to the security fence Israel built to stop Palestinian suicide bombers in the early 2000s, after a period known as the Second Intifada during which terrorists murdered over one thousand Israelis.

Emmett Pinsky, a Jewish student who helped write this year's guide, defended the anti-Hillel language. "Israel is certainly implicated in systems of white supremacy. The fact that many white Jewish people feel favorably toward the Jewish state and the occupation of Palestine comes from a desire to preserve whiteness in the way it is unfolding in Israel and Palestine," Pinsky told JTA.

Pinsky has reportedly never been to Israel and has had scant interaction with Hillel.

Ben Shapiro, a fellow with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America on Campus, told the Washington Free Beacon the attack on Hillel was an attack on the Tufts Jewish community as a whole.

"The Hillel director is the official Tufts Jewish chaplain. This isn't just a Jewish club or group that they are accusing of white supremacy, but the official representative of the Jewish community here," said Shapiro.

The guide also includes a telling of the "radical histories of Tufts" and considerations of "intersecting identities."

Patrick Collins, the university's executive director of public relations, told Tufts Daily that the decision was made to remove the counter-narrative handbook from the Facebook pages after the administration received "a number of student complaints."

"On official university Facebook pages and groups, which the class groups are, we always have reserved the right to remove unauthorized content," said Collins.

Mickey Toogood, a communications official in the dean's office, told the Daily, "In general, the University is loathe to restrict social media posts," but may do so when administrators believe the "post is somehow in conflict with Tufts community standards, in violation of copyright, or incompatible with the intended mission of a page or group."

Published under: Israel