Friday, March 28, 2014

Archbishop Brought to Campus by Marquette is Anti-Israel Crackpot

He was part of “Israeli Apartheid Week:” a Greek Orthodox Archbishop named Sebastia Atallah Hanna.

He was featured in two events:  A “Soup With Substance” at noon this past Wednesday, and a  “keynote address” at an evening event on the same day.

Some indication of his opinions can be found in any article on the  Al-Alam website:
A top Palestinian Christian cleric in Israel has likened crimes committed by foreign-backed insurgents in Syria to the Israeli regime’s racist policies and practices in the occupied land, describing them two sides of the same racist coin. Addressing a group of Arab students at Haifa University on Friday, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia Atallah Hanna further restated his support for Syria in the face of the foreign-backed war targeting it, SANA reported.

Archbishop Hanna went on to emphasize that it has become clear that the terrorist groups in Syria are an extension of Zionism and serve its racist projects and suspicious agendas in the region.

The Palestinian cleric further vowed to continue defending the causes of his native land, underlining that Muslims and Christians will remain united in defending the holy sites, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

He also condemned the Israeli regime’s racist practices against Palestinians.

Hanna then stressed that the targeting of Christians in the Middle East and dividing Arab communities into conflicting sects only serves the Israeli regime and allows it to implement its plots for the region.

The Archbishop also asserted that just as terrorists failed in Syria and elsewhere, they will fail to undermine the Christians’ determination to remain in the Middle East, and that the Israeli regime will also fail to fragment and weaken the Palestinian people.
If Palestinian students want to bring in speaker to bash Israel, we think that is pretty much their prerogative (although it reflects badly on their judgment).

Unfortunately, this incendiary cleric was  supported and sponsored by Marquette officials.

In the first place, the Campus Ministry organizes and schedules Soup with Substance.

In the second place, the Office of International Education paid the Archbishop’s travel expenses to come to Marquette.

We find it odd that the Campus Ministry, which should be working for reconciliation among adversaries everywhere, would sponsor a speaker who demonizes one side in the Arab/Israeli conflict.

And bizarre theories about how “terrorist groups in Syria are an extension of Zionism” and Israeli “plots” are a bit odd coming from an office of Marquette.  Terrorist groups in Syria are Islamic militants, and hate Israel more than Hanna does!

This is yet another example of the insular and parochial political correctness that suffuses the Marquette bureaucracy.  When there is push back, and when Marquette gets wide and negative public attention, top officials will back off (as happened with Femsex).  But the bureaucrats remain in place, with the same politically correct attitudes, and the same culture that thinks calling Israel an “apartheid state” or a “racist state” is something that deserves official Marquette support.

Terence Miller, Director of the Office of International Studies failed to return our phone call asking for comment. Gerry Fischer, who schedules Soup With Substance for the Campus Ministry, was not immediately available for comment.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marquette Backing Away From Inflammatory Anti-Israel Program

We blogged about this a month ago: a rather virulent program on the Marquette campus that labelled Israel an “apartheid state.”

It was not particularly surprising that Marquette’s Palestinian student association would sponsor such a program although it certainly doesn’t speak well for the students that they would want to use such inflammatory rhetoric.

More surprising was the announcement that two offices at Marquette Intercultural Engagement in the Office of Student Development and the Office of International Education were cosponsoring the program.

Is it now Marquette’s position that Israel is an “apartheid state?”

It seems, however, that the university has now backed off its support for this program.

We queried Vice President for Student Affairs Chris Miller about this, and he responded “Student Development is not sponsoring the event. It is purely student sponsored.”

Terence Miller, of the Office of International Education, was not immediately available for comment. But it appears that they too have withdrawn their sponsorship.

The issue here is “what were they thinking?”  What kind of bureaucratic culture prevails among mid-level bureaucrats at Marquette such that declaring Israel an “apartheid state” seems like a good idea?

We have seen this before, most recently with the Femsex seminar, which was approved by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. When the true nature of the program was revealed here, Marquette’s top administrators withdrew support.

But the fact that things like this can happen at all is terribly revealing.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Youth Production of “Oliver”

From the Spotlight Youth Theater, a production of the classic musical.

How good are the productions at Spotlight Youth Theater?  Good enough so that you don’t need to be related to one of the kids in the show to enjoy it.

Spotlight productions are probably better than even the best high school productions, because they draw young actors from a broad swath of communities, from all over the Milwaukee metropolitan area.

Also, in the cast of orphan pickpockets, young Luke Hentzell, long term leukemia survivor for whom drama has been a key element in his rehabilitation from a traumatic situation.

Full disclosure:  two of our grandchildren are in the show.  Look for them playing Nancy and Bill Sykes.

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