This week, Princeton Hillel Rabbi Julie Roth barred Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely from addressing Princeton Hillel.

​This is in keeping with Rabbi Roth’s allergy to pro Israel speakers. ​

Eight years ago, in my capacity as the Middle East Correspondent of Philadelphia Bulletin, I was assigned to cover the appearance at the same Princeton Hillel of a pro Israel Arab activist, Nonie Darwish, except that her appearance was cancelled by the same Rabbi Julie Roth.

Jewish students invited Ms,. Darwish to speak on campus because they felt it was important to hear her critique of radical Islam.

The Islamic leader on Princeton campus, Muslim Life Coordinator, Imam Sohaib Sultan demanded that Hillel cancel Ms. Darwish’s appearance because, he contended, “she perpetuates stereotypes about Islam that implicate all Muslims, not just Muslim fundamentalists”.

In the spirit of academic freedom and dialogue, Jewish students on campus offered the Moslem students the chance to rebut and respond to Nonie Darwish after her presentation and to offer him equal time to express his point of view.

The Princeton Islamic students would hear nothing of any such suggestion for a dialogue in an academic setting and pressed their demand that Nonie Darwish’s lecture simply be cancelled.

IRabbi Julie Roth, the Executive Director of the Center for Jewish Life at Hillel in Princeton, supported the campus Imam and told the students, “An invitation to Nonie Darwish is like an invitation to a neo-Nazi.”

Yet Rabbi Roth, who described herself as a leader in the promotion of “dialogue between the Muslim and Jewish communities on campus,” told me that she did not want to present views that disturb the sensitiivies of Muslims at Princeton.

So much for academic freedom and dialogue on an Ivy League campus.

From banning Nonie Darwish to banning Tzippi Hotovely, It would seem that Rabbi Roth’s academic standing should be questioned.


  1. Rabbis who think with their heart and not their brain have become problematic for world Jewry. They are more concerned about African freedom and the homeless in the world … than preserving Judaism. If all one cares about is social justice, then there will be no justice …. and no Jews left (to advocate for all of the Tikkun Olam projects). This is just misguided and sad.

  2. Unfortunately, tikkun olam has become the religion of some Jews to the exclusion of ritual; it promotes the notion that all people must be considered ‘equal’. Of course, each human being should be valued but character and actions should be part of the equation. ‘Rabbi’ means ‘teacher’ and Rabbi Roth’s position should require her obligation in promoting education about Judaism; it is much needed today where many young Jews know little about the beauty of their own religion and how to defend it. The Rabbi should exercise her independence and not fear the reactions of Muslims who do not hesitate in expressing their antagonism to Jews and to Israel.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Previous article“Fact check”  writers of the Jerusalem Post
Next articleBalfour at the Knesset
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.