Something truly shocking happened Friday. Shadee Malaklou actually got something right: that “Duke students [are] conditioned, convinced and confused about the Middle East.” This statement applies most poignantly to the person to whom it is accredited—Shadee.
True to form, however, the rest of her article was full of distortions and specious reasoning. She criticizes others for not doing their research, but she did not do hers. Her claim that “Even Palestinians on campus feel silenced by Duke Friends of Israel and the Freeman Center for Jewish Life’s undying presence” is in particularly poor taste given that the Joint Israel Initiative has not only fully supported freedom of speech and the right of the PSM to come to Duke’s campus but has also publicly invited the PSM’s organizers to engage in open and respectful dialogue. Moreover, yes, the word “Semite” applies to Jews and Arabs, but the word “anti-Semitism,” defined by Shadee’s source yourDictionary.com, means “one who discriminates against or who is hostile toward or prejudiced against Jews.” Her conflation of terms only serves to further demonstrate her poisonous ignorance.
While I could continue pointing out flaws in Shadee’s column, there’s a bigger issue at stake here. Shadee’s accusations about Jewish power and Jewish money are no different than the false charges used to justify hatred and violence against Jews for centuries. She also accuses two students of being anti-Semitic when she doesn’t even know the meaning of the word. Her speech is the kind that breeds animosity and impedes dialogue. Last year, The Chronicle inadvertently printed a racist remark about Luol Deng. The Chronicle immediately issued an apology, and a heated debate about whether that writer should resign ensued. Had the editors of this newspaper caught that remark, it would never have been printed. Yet in this case, The Chronicle knowingly printed a column that was purposefully anti-Semitic. Why this form of hate speech is permissible to the editors of The Chronicle while another isn’t is highly problematic. This is irresponsible journalism. Shadee makes herself, this newspaper and this University look bad.
Student President, Freeman Center for Jewish Life
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.