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Controversy Erupts over Yale's Closing of YIISA
by Fern Sidman
The hallowed halls of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut were rocked with controversy last week when it was announced that a well-respected scholarly program called the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism (YIISA) was scheduled to be terminated. In a statement issued by the iconic ivy league institution, Donald Green, a political science professor at Yale and Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, said that the decision was predicated upon YIISA "generating little scholarly work that earned publication in highly regarded journals, and its courses attracted few students." Citing the Center for the Study of Race, Inequality and Politics as another example of an "underachieving program," Dr. Green said that "YIISA suffered the same fate because it failed to meet high standards for research and instruction."
These allegations have been zealously disputed by a veritable repertioire of top-tier academics, Jewish leaders and political commentators who have suggested that the university acquiesced to the strongly-worded critiques of YIISA programs by leading Muslim personalities and organizations. Referencing the seminal and highly enlightening 2010 YIISA sponsored conference entitled "Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity," Abby Wisse Schachter writes in a New York Post op-ed piece of June 7th that studying "Christian anti-Semitism is fine; political Jew-hatred, like communist or fascist anti-Semitism, no problem. But get anywhere near Muslim or Middle Eastern anti-Semitism, as presenters at YIISA's conference did last year, and you've crossed the line."
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