The Conspiracy

Graduates; Livid over Livingstone; Students under storm in Syria, and more [Required Reading]


Words some graduates might not get to hear: "all that time you spent playing frisbee was worth it" | photo by flickr user uonottingham (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

What they don’t tell you at graduation [Wall Street Journal]

Is it May already? Blogger Charles Wheelan offers well meaning, touching advise to graduating seniors. Note: it may not always be what you want to hear.

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent

The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. Research tells us that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings. Look around today. Certainly one benchmark of your post-graduation success should be how many of these people are still your close friends in 10 or 20 years.”

Livid over Livingstone  [Haaretz]

Ken Livingstone, a former mayor of London known for his stunning improvement of the city’s traffic, is running for reelection. However, recent anti-Semitic comments make voting for him a roadblock Jews can’t skirt, D.D. Guttenplan argues.

“But Britain isn’t Israel, and London isn’t New York. Public life here is more decorous, and Jews less assertive. British Jews of all political persuasions have a long, dishonorable history of swallowing slights and excusing unsavory alliances.

Last week Livingstone again maintained his comments had been misrepresented—a non-apology sufficient for five of the letter’s six signatories to endorse his candidacy.”

Students under storm  [CBS News]

Syrian activists are claiming that pro-Assad forces stormed the dormitories at Aleppo University, using tear gas and ammunition to dispel anti-regime protesters there. At least four students have died as a result of the raid, opposition groups claim, with dozens more injured. Though the city of Aleppo has remained largely loyal to Assad, the University has become a hub of dissent as the uprising continues.

“The two sides have blamed each other for thwarting the truce, with Assad’s forces trying to repress demonstrators calling for him to step down and an armed rebellion that has sprung up as peaceful protests have proved ineffective against his forces. The U.N. says 9,000 people have died since the uprising began in March 2011.”

Title VI [Forward]

The Jewish Community Relations Council of New Jersey has proposed stricter responses to perceived Title VI violations on college campuses – whereby more debate over Israel might be construed as anti-Semitism. They will be bringing the proposal to the Jewish Council for Public Affairs over the coming week. However, the JCPA’s modest stance on the issue is already well documented; they tend to favor a less active approach so as not to infringe upon free speech.

“The competing resolutions paint a nuanced picture of the disagreement that has been roiling American Jewish leadership over the past year and a half, since the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights extended Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to effectively include Jewish students.

The dispute pits those who advocate for a vigorous application of civil rights law to quash anti-Semitism against leaders who worry that this approach might backfire against Jewish students if they are seen as silencing free speech on the topic of Israel.”


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