More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Excellent Op-Ed: Rutgers President Owes The Algemeiner an Apology

Professor Miriam Elman writes that Rutgers University President Robert Barchi owes The Algemeiner an apology for his recent remarks singling out the media outlet for exposing the antisemitic professors at the school.

Robert Barchi

In his remarks, Barchi effectively smeared The Algemeiner newspaper for “bringing forward” and “researching” the ongoing controversies surrounding three members of the Rutgers faculty (food science professor Michael Chikindas, women’s studies professor Jasbir Puar and adjunct professor of international law Mazen Adi), each of whom have repeatedly voiced and circulated grotesque anti-Jewish tropes and racist canards, including dressed-up modern versions of the medieval blood libel.

Barchi devoted portions of his talk to disparaging The Algemeiner, bizarrely referring to it as a “blog out of New York,” and a follow-on to a now defunct “Yiddish-language newspaper that folded 10 years ago” (in fact, the print edition has never gone out of business, and has been in circulation for 40 years). By denigrating The Algemeiner, Barchi’s comments worked to minimize and to even excuse the unhinged expressions of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel animosity on the part of his faculty. Instead of directing students to focus on the problematic and deeply offensive views of Chikindas, Puar and Adi, he instead advised Rutgers students to take The Algemeiner’s coverage with a grain of salt.

It’s true that The Algemeiner’s extensive reporting has helped bring to public attention the appalling writings, rhetoric and social media postings on Israel and Jews by the notorious three professors. The paper’s Shiri Moshe, a reporter assigned to cover the campus scene, did in fact break the story of former Syrian spokesperson Adi, who accused Israeli officials of trafficking children’s organs. But this “cast of bigoted characters” has also received negative media coverage across the political spectrum, along with condemnations from highly reputable scholars, antisemitism watchdog groups and human rights organizations.

Contrary to Barchi’s claims, it’s simply not the case that The Algemeiner has been the main purveyor of news about the troubling state of affairs at Rutgers. For example, the reality is that Chikindas’ slew of horrible and undeniably antisemitic Facebook postings were initially exposed by the Israellycool blog. Then, the information was corroborated and covered by numerous other media outlets and news sites, including JTAThe Times of IsraelNPRFox News and Inside Higher Ed.

Picking on The Algemeiner, and insinuating that its news stories are somehow tainted because they originated in a Jewish newspaper, was obnoxious. But, as with many other instances in which figures in authority figures have tried to “shoot” the media, the reality here is that neither The Algemeiner, nor the many other newspapers and blogs (e.g. The Washington Free BeaconThe Tower MagazineMosaic MagazineIsraellycoolElder of Ziyon, and Legal Insurrection) that track and monitor rising anti-Jewish bigotry and discrimination on US campuses, are President Barchi’s enemy — despite his best efforts to cast them in this role.

In fact, by providing timely information, they are allies for university leaders who must today respond swiftly to, and forcefully speak out against, antisemitism when it appears — by pointing out how very dangerous it is to a community that values reasoned inquiry. That’s where Barchi should have put the focus in his town hall remarks, instead of spending so much of his time there praising the teaching and research records of faculty who disseminate falsehoods and conspiracy theories.

Indeed. And this is the kind of response I would have expected from Dov Efune, The Algemeiner’s  CEO and Editor-In-Chief, rather than the article he wrote that sought to take credit for the hard work of others.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Scroll to Top