BOSTON (Sep. 5)
Tufts University has rescheduled the course “Zionism Reconsidered” for the second year despite protests from members of the Boston Jewish community that it is anti-Zionist. The course is taught by Martin Blatt, described as a disciple of Uri Davis, an ultra left-wing Israeli who taught the course at Tufts’ Experimental School last year.
Davis, a pacifist and anti-Zionist, holds that Israel should return all of the Arab territories it seized in the 1967 war and regards the present Israeli regime as an outpost of Western imperialism. His views cost him a fellowship at Brandeis University. The course taught by Davis and Blatt has been criticized by Prof. Gerald Wohlberg of Boston University who claims its required reading list is totally biased and outdated.
In a related development, the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation on the Tufts campus expelled two students who set up a Tufts-Hillel Non-Zionist Caucus. It took the action after failing in attempts to enjoin the students from using the Hillel name. The Tufts Committee on Student Life demanded that the two be re-instated but decided that they could not use the Hillel name. Hillel agreed but the students refused to drop the name.
According to Wohlberg, in an article in the Boston Jewish Advocate, “Blatt is an active supporter of the Palestinian cause.” Wohlberg said he attempted to teach the same anti-Zionist course at the Boston Center for Adult Education but that it was dropped for poor attendance.
Wohlberg claimed that Blatt’s reading list contains five types of books according to independent Middle East scholars consulted: “Quasi-scholarly pro-Arab propaganda; non-scholarly trash; classic anti-Zionist Marxist critiques; token outdated Zionist readings; and books by distinguished authors only peripherally-related to Zionism.”