June 28th, 2011
03:28 PM ET

Yale's flip-flop on anti-Semitism center

Editor's note: Amitai Etzioni is a sociologist and professor of international relations at George Washington University and the author of several books, including "Security First" and "New Common Ground." He was a senior adviser to the Carter administration and has taught at Columbia and Harvard universities and the University of California, Berkeley.

By Amitai Etzioni, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Yale University announced this month that it would close an institute dedicated to the study of anti-Semitism, the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism. In the wake of controversy over that decision, Yale has now announced that it will open a new center dedicated to the same subject.

Between the closing and opening lies a telling tale about research in a politically charged world.

Read more about Prof. Etzioni's thoughts on Yale's anti-semitism center
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Judaism

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. John


    July 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  2. Marie Kidman


    July 1, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  3. True Friend

    The history and existence of Israel, goodness and endurance of the Christian Church, the evil of atheists are all yet another tangible proof that the God of the Bible is real, along with the quality of the absolutely superior text of the Bible.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  4. Friend

    Israel, God fulfilled His promise for you by sending the Savior into the world through you. It's you who have turned your back on God to this day as your forefathers in evil days did. Your Bible was all about Jesus but you would not look into it. Give up your arrogance and trust in Jesus now.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • Zelda

      And what's with the curly dreadlocks thing? Jesus would have really hated that!

      June 29, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • Frederica

      Jews will burn forever in the fire lake in my mind! God made my mind hell, so that;s where you are going!

      June 29, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Adelina

      My mind is hellyer than your mind! I know an outsider would say we are teh same person, but if they could look inside . . .WOW!!!!!

      June 29, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Friend

      These Zelda and Frederica are fakes. I'm going to get a new user name soon. Shame on you, atheists. You always killed Christians and Jews.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • Justina

      Hey what about me? Isn't my mind every bit as helly as Friend's? Can't some Jews suffere here too?

      June 29, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • Friend

      Atheists are going to hell because godless-ness is what they really, really want. Your will be done upon you, atheists, unless you repent.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • Justina

      I'll get a new name, just like I have done many times before. That will fool you. I will use my old names to, just to really set you on the wrong path!

      Nobody could ever guess from my comments that I am me.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • Let's have a contest!

      What should Justina/Adelina/Friend/Frederica/Zelda's new name be? Give us your best entries!

      Here are some:





      Now it's your turn! Give us your best.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • True Friend

      My new user name or phrase will be something entirely diifferent. But stop your evil, atheists. This is the reason no one trusts atheists. You are liers and have no trouble lying because yourself is your own filthy standard.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • Gomez Addams

      How about Pubert?

      June 29, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • Free

      "Your Bible was all about Jesus but you would not look into it. Give up your arrogance and trust in Jesus now."

      Isn't that like the Chinese interpreting American history as the rise of their position in today's world?

      June 29, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • True Friend

      @Free, the Chinese don't care about US history. All they want is to become #1 toppoling US as soon as possible. We Asians know the Western Civilization is Christian though secular Westerners deny any Christian heritage in their history except making the Church a bad one. You guys are nothing if no Christianity, mind you. Present secular Westerners are totally ridiculous not just in the science field but also regarding history. They say they've been perverts for all their history. I feel sorry for your ancestors who've been totally normal. Get declined, please, because that's what you want.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Free

      True Friend
      One could just as easily say that Christians don't care about Jewish history, or Judaism itself for that matter, when they claim that the purpose of the Hebrew scriptures was to pave the way for Jesus and their religion. Particularly amongst the 'rapture ready' there seems to be an att.itude that Jews and Israel are merely tolerated as a temporary ally until Christ's return, after which they will be expected to convert, or be justly condemned. Some seem even eager for the moment when they can drop the friendly facade. So, is this not just another form of anti-semitism?

      Western Civilizations, such as the Greeks and Romans, didn't have any trouble being relevant prior to the advent of Christianity, so I really don't see where you hope that argument is leading, if I even understand what you were trying to say.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Free

      Let's have a contest!
      She reminds me of the scripture Mark 5:9

      -Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."

      So, how's about we call her "Legion"? 🙂

      June 29, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • True Friend

      @Free, Christians are the only people who are genuinely concerned about the Jewish people. We pray for them and try to protect them. Many of us died in the process. If the Western Civ. stayed with the Roman/Greek stuff, you were no different from any ancient civilization and thus would not have risen as the superpower. Everything worthwhile you have is from Christianity. Other civilizations had everything Roman/Greek had and far more, but not the Bible. The Bible made all the difference on human thought.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • True Friend

      @Free, I'm having multiple user names here because of stupid atheists like you constantly hijack my user names. You atheists can't play any game fair. Muslims are a million times better than you.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • AboriginalAtheist

      Wow! Muslims are a thousand times better than atheists, eh?
      Yet they are a thousand times more willing to murder Christians!
      I guess she doesn't like us.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • True Friend

      I love you, atheists; that's why I point out facts about you. Muslims are only dangerous to infidels and disobedient Muslims, but atheists are dangerous to everyone on earth including themselves. Stop the mad dream of godless utopia. Your goodness is non-existent.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • G. Whizz

      I love you too, Friend. Your lack of understanding pains me, though. I truly wish the best for you.
      I also wish you were able to think clearly. I see your heart has much goodness but also much anger.
      No one is perfect. Do not expect perfection from your fellow humans. We are all lacking some sort of love in our lives.
      Remember that we are all human and born without knowledge. Life, then, becomes one long time of learning.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:55 am |
    • True Friend

      @G.Whizz: Thank you. Atheists should not wait too long. As they reject Truth longer, their hearts become harder.

      June 30, 2011 at 5:08 am |
    • G. Whizz

      True Friend, I do not reject truth. If there is truth, I want it.
      But I test to see what is true and what is not.
      Disillusionment is painful but I would rather have that than all the lies in the world.
      Send Jesus to talk to me. I have a lot of questions for him.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:18 am |
    • True Friend

      @G.W-, Did you read( I mean real reading, not skimming through) the Gospels in the New Testament Bible? What questions do you have? The Biblical theology and live Christians may be able to answer your questions. If you are going to ask me here, keep it precise and a few questions at a time, please.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • G. Whizz

      These would be questions only Jesus could answer.
      Where is he? I am waiting for Jesus to answer my questions.
      If he already knows what they are, then where are the answers?
      Do you have them? Why not give me the answers now, before I tell you the questions?
      That would prove that you really were talking to Jesus.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • True Friend

      @G.W-, Jesus is the Truth and He is the Answer. G.W., ask God to help you with a honest heart. Read the Bible, His Word. He speaks through the words in the Bible. Repent of your sins.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  5. Friend

    Israel, Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 is not you or any innocent human victims or it is not a parable. It's Jesus your promised, long-awaited Divine Messiah. Read Zechariah 12:10 together. If you don't acknowledge the Savior Jesus, you will never make sense in anything in the universe, not in your Bible, not in your own history or human history.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:36 am |
  6. Friend

    Planet Earth is the center of the universe because Israel is. Read the Bible, God's Word.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  7. Friend

    Dear Jewish people, you suffered for who you are. We Christians suffered all over the world in the greatest numbers and for the longest duration, many times in the intensity of Holocaust, for the faith we have chosen. You were not alone in suffering. Jesus your Messiah, the Creator of the universe, suffered and died for you.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • Free

      Do you have some historical evidence to back up your claim that the number of Christians martyred far exceeds even the Holocaust, not to mention the pogroms and other killings of Jews by Christians throughout the ages? Maybe, if you pad your numbers with all the Christians killed by other Christians in the name of ridding the faith of 'heretics', or 'witches'; or the Christian soldiers who were killed for mostly political and economic motives during the Crusades, then you might be getting close.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • True Friend

      @Free, when communists killed millions, most of them were Christian. Asia alone has long gruelling history of massacre of Christians by all sorts of people groups. Recent years, 150,000-170,000 Christians get killed yearly based on the faith. 200 million Christians face inprisonment, loss of job and other types of literal persecution all around the world. Christians have been the largest group being most intensely persecuted for the longest time in the widest range.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Po

      True Friend, I as an atheist and human being like you, would not want (and do not want to see) a system of government, culture, society, religion, or authority where if I were to wave a careless hand with unthinking anger, the deaths of anyone would be encompassed, much less the deaths of billions of human beings of any belief?
      I want a system where there are checks to power, balances to imbalances, restrictions upon the authority so that none need suffer but that all may enjoy what happiness they may find in this world.
      I do not want to be the tyrant that waves a hand with anger or fear or hate only to cause more bad things. I would want a system where someone with a cooler head could stop my hand-waving before someone got hurt.
      Now if the Book of Revelation is what you want, with a Messiah who will kill enough people to create a massive river of blood five miles long, merely by an angry wave of his rod-shaped remote control, without any way of stopping him....that doesn't sound very good from a non-killing standpoint.
      But in self-defense? Ah, what then? Who is going to kill who and who is defending and who is attacking in self-defense?
      Maybe if every country had restriction on their use of violence, these sorts of things would slowly disappear and no one would be massacred for any reason anymore.

      That's when the giant asteroid will hit and kill everyone in the world.
      At least that's the way things keep going on around here.
      But atheists are not your problem.
      Violent people are your problem, and there are many violent people no matter what they think or where they live.

      June 30, 2011 at 4:32 am |
    • True Friend

      Po, write a shorter comment next time. Humans are violent and blood-thirsty by nature; no remedy except for the faith in Jesus and renewal by Him. You can only talk peace when your power is limited. We no longer get fooled by any type of atheists. Admit your abysmal evil and repent. You need Jesus; atheism is the last thing Humans need.

      June 30, 2011 at 5:04 am |
    • Paladin

      There is no other remedy to violence? Yet I am not violent. Why should I believe in a god that is going to kill me and burn me alive forever if I do some tiny thing wrong? That is not a good god you have. That is Satan wearing a Jesus mask on his face.

      June 30, 2011 at 6:29 am |
    • True Friend

      Paladin, you are very, very violent. You just have no idea how blood-thirsty and sinful you are because of your blindness. God is not what filthy atheists imagine Him to be. He is just God and punish sins with perfect justice and fairness; the reason there is hell. With the knowledge of eternal punishment, mankind is this bad and cruel, I have no idea what a hellish place this planet will be like with the god atheists wish him to be. Hell is a justice to mankind, but God provided salvation(Jesus) and the new life in Him. You must trust Jesus instead of the evil self.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • Paladin's Evil Twin Skippy

      If you think I am evil, then why would you think I would trust your god?
      Unless your god were evil?
      I was right! Your god is just Satan with a Jesus mask! You think an evil self will trust an evil god!
      No other way would work! "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
      If we are evil we cannot be trusting a good god, but we can trust a god who pretends to be good.
      Thanks for clearing that up.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • True Friend

      Paladin, all you need is repentance. God is holy, but you chose to be evil by rebelling against Him. Whatever your foolish illogics are, you alone take the consequences.

      June 30, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  8. Friend

    That would cover the whole history of mankind, since the time of Abel. The second largest of aca-de-mic field only next to the study in the vital life-saving con-tri-bution of the Christian Church in the entire world. The Jews should also study how the ancient Israel sinned against God since during the reign of Solomon and how they misunderstood His Word and will to this day. Yale University should set up a school to research the present Holocaust in N. Korea; that'll do more justice for Holocaust victims under Nazis. The Jews suffered, but they are powerful; they must look for victims all over the world and try to help like the Christian Church is doing right now.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  9. Max Weinstein

    I seldom leave a gratuity that exceeds 8% 'MAZELTOV'!!!!

    June 29, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  10. Ted M.

    What a useless word: "anti-semitism"
    When ethnically semitic people speak against other ethnically semitic people that is just them saying things against other people.
    It is only when they speak against "Jews" that this is called "anti-semitism." Why?

    Why don't they just call things what they really are instead of couching terms in obfuscatory ways? Is this something Jews are taught in shul? To complicate and distract until it becomes meaningless? Like lawyers splitting hairs when there is no hair to split?

    That Muslims follow a religion opposed to non-Muslims is a fact we all know already.
    That is not anti-semitism, but an Muslim Supremacist stance. Muslims are not all devout fundamentalists, either. Many are secular to the point of tolerance for other peoples and religions. But the religion itself is against all other religions and peoples, so the point must be made in regards to each person's view rather than painting all criticism with the same brush.

    What is there to study about "anti-semitism"?
    Nothing. We have a definition of the term already. We already know why some people are against ethnically semitic peoples.
    The name is a misnomer and should be removed as a field of study. There is nothing new about hate for people outside of someone's perceived group identlty. It is the cause of every war and most conflicts at every level.

    Better to study something worth studying instead of keeping a "pork barrel" office alive just so someone can receive a "retirement fund" to keep them "busy".

    June 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "It is only when they speak against "Jews" that this is called "anti-semitism." Why?"

      It could be because when Alex Bein and Wilhelm Marr first used the phrase it was only directed toward the Jews.

      The U.S. Department of State defines antisemitism in its 2005 Report on Global Anti-Semitism as "hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity. (ht tp://w w w.state.go v/g/drl/rls/40258.h tm)

      June 29, 2011 at 9:21 am |
    • Free

      Uncouth Swain
      Yes, it was supposed to be an improvement over the term 'Judenhass', which translates as 'Jew-hatred', that was in popular usage in Germany since Luther's day. No one could logically argue that Luther's book, On the Jews and Their Lies, isn't antisemitic, but how many protestants are willing to distance themselves from his legacy, or even denounce him as having been not 'really' a Christian like they do Hitler?

      Read choice excerpts of Luther's book here:

      June 29, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "but how many protestants are willing to distance themselves from his legacy"

      Heck..I would. He was just a man who made some dumb mistakes. As for his reformation, he died Catholic as far as he was concerned. He just wanted to correct the problems in the Church, not go and bring about a breakaway concept.

      June 29, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • fred

      Thanks I was not aware Luther also had it in for the Jews. Why distance ourselves from him when we can learn how not to behave. My grandmother told me of talk like this that made many hate the Jews back then paving the way for the ovens. Sometimes a generation needs to be awakened and it needs a spark. Seems the chosen people have had this problem Luther address since the early days as written in the bible. God led them into a wilderness, then into slavery under Egypt, then the Assyrians and Babylonians, then the big one in 70AD after they said let our blood and our children’s blood be on us. From the ovens of Germany to being surrounded today there is no doubt that something in these chosen people stirs the wrath of God or for non believers they bring it upon themselves.

      June 29, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • WonderSpring

      Luther was limited by his time when the state decided the religion. He was not all-knowing like an apostle. God used him to make the church right and make Bibles a-vai-lable. The Jews were hated part-ially because they were better-off than the locals. Anti-Semitism is to do with mankind's bullying nature. Every race suffers it. Israel sur-vived because God is faithful.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:09 am |
    • WonderSpring

      The above comment is a greatly reduced version because my longer comments get rejected repeatedly.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:10 am |
  11. Chaim

    From the article:
    "Defenders of the closure argue that whenever they criticize Israel, they are charged with anti-Semitism. As I see it, assuming they are criticizing the policies of Israel rather than seeking to delegitimize it by claiming that the Jewish people are not ent-itled to a homeland, they are free to say all they want."

    Is there anyone in this world who is entltled to anything at all? Israel holds it's territory the same way every other country holds land – through military force, diplomacy, and simple possession. The Jewish people can claim entltlement via religious ideology, but that is not a legal claim recognized by international law. Israel holds land by main force like every other country in the world. To state otherwise usually means one is indulging in religious demagoguery.

    Everyone on this Earth has a homeland, the Earth itself.
    Why anyone should be entltled to any particular piece of ground is beyond me. A country is land within borders. A country is not automatically entltled to it's land, for such land can be taken away by force and a new border recognized by the international community. That is how Israel got their current borders. They took it by force, not by a supernatural "entltlement".
    I'm not saying they can't have what they have, I'm saying any claim to entltlement is inherently suspect from the standpoint of international law.

    And this man wants to curb the free speech of those who say things he does not like, rather than curb speech that is not protected speech. That is not a good position to take. He is free to say silly things like that, but they are still silly.

    June 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  12. John Richardson

    I knew it! The one comment would be the friggin' butterfly!

    June 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Capt. Willard

      Terminate with extreme prejudice

      June 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
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