Taking A Bold Stand For Intellectual Diversity And Civil Dialogue At UVA

The primary mission of the Jefferson Council for the University of Virginia is to “Promote a culture of civil dialogue, the free exchange of competing ideas, and intellectual diversity throughout the University.” Since the advent of anti-Israel / anti-Jewish rhetoric and behaviors of questionable legality on Grounds, this goal has been brought into clear focus.

TJC first highlighted the experience of Jewish undergraduates at UVA in this space back in January. At that time, many students openly identifying as Jewish and in support of Israel against Hamas terrorists were publicly ostracized and threatened by pro-Hamas groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). While most Jewish UVA students took a quiet, “don’t make things worse” approach to the anti-Jewish rhetoric and refuse to speak publicly or provide their names when documenting abuses, one of those students, Matan Goldstein, a first year who is also an Israeli, decided to take a visible stand. Matan called-out the anti-Jewish sentiment fueled by false history and inaccurate (at best) portrayal of the facts surrounding the events on October 7 and the subsequent war in Gaza. In addition to waving an Israeli flag during an SJP rally, Matan has appeared on local radio and spoken with passion to local groups regarding his experiences on Grounds since October 7. As expected, in response to his stand for Israel and truth, Matan has endured obvious anti-Jewish discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

On May 17, attorneys for Matan Goldstein, Brown and Gavalier, filed suit under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The defendants named include The Rector and Visitors of The University of Virginia, Rector Robert D. Hardie, President James E. Ryan, Faculty For Justice In Palestine UVA Chapter, and Students For Justice In Palestine at UVA. According to the filing, the suit is based on the defendant’s “individual and collective liability for gross misconduct and the impairment and deprivation of the Plaintiff’s right to live, study, learn, and thrive at a public university free of hate-based discrimination, abuse, harassment, and retaliation.” The complaint as filed can be accessed here.

It should be noted that UVA leadership has been given ample opportunity by the Jewish community and others to avoid this lawsuit, but no one in authority was interested in having the conversation.

Perhaps the most prescient note on how to realistically view our world in the complaint appears in the preface:

“We have come to know Man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.” — Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, as quoted in the preface to Viktor Frankl’s transcendent work, Man’s Search for Meaning.

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Wahoo74
Wahoo74
1 month ago

Sam, this is superb. You accurately and dispassionately laid out the facts behind this lawsuit. Rector Hardie and President Ryan will now finally perhaps pay the price for not defending the safety and rights of UVA Jewish students.

Actions, or better put in this case inaction, have consequences.

Clarity77
Clarity77
1 month ago

I love Victor Frankl’s work and to use a quotation from the preface to his book in the preface for the attorneys’ complaint is absolutely perfect for the following reason. Just as garlic is anathema to vampires I have found that Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is likewise so to neo-Marxists as it clearly speaks to the role of the human spirit as exercised in the use of hope to transcend the dystopian and evil world Marxists seek to perpetrate on humanity.

It must be recognized and fully brought into focus that it is the Marxist faculty at UVA and other universities who are the very source and root cause of the disgusting treatment of Jewish students. Whether it is the “E” in DEI or the colonized/colonizer ideology, promotion of victimhood, etc. it is all an outgrowth of Marxism as indoctrinated in the classroom. And Frankl’s work as revealed to him as a physician observing first hand the Nazi concentration camp human dynamics serves as the antidote to this evil of Marxism.

Make no mistake Marxists hate Frankl’s book as I found out personally when I attended a UVA talk given by an Oxford University Marxist in the auditorium next to the UVA special collections library. The audience was especially filled with UVA faculty and grad students there to listen to a lunatic spout a diatribe against the concept of hope.

I chose to wait till the reception afterwards to approach the speaker to simply ask the question if he had read Frankl’s book, at which question he with eyes flashing anger responded that it was rubbish and turned abruptly away. Wow I thought not even a collegial offer to expound on why nor to allow me any further questions. How familiar especially up to present day at UVA sponsored seminars I have attended.

Off he went into the crowd to lap up the “superman” type adoration of the assembled Marxists while I no doubt to his chagrin, and in contrast, presented him with the kryptonite of Frankl’s book based in Truth. I stood there, enjoyed the moment and smiled.

Godspeed to Matan and his attorneys!

James Cohen
James Cohen
29 days ago

UVA has a fraternity named Hamxs (not a typo), a sorority named Lezbollah (not a typo) and various other non binary faculty SJP hornets nests that have been around a while. Ryan and his UVA leadership clan have known about it. Send these scholars all expenses paid to Gaza for a refresher course.

Last edited 29 days ago by James Cohen
walter smith
walter smith
29 days ago
Reply to  James Cohen

When did you start writing for Babylon Bee?
It’s hard to believe how Weimar Republic everything is at UVA now…
Are these…frats/sororities/organizations chartered with UVA? They all have to sign the CIO/FO agreement? But I wonder if these groups get a pass….just like UnDocUVA, which is a support mechanism for illegal immigration.

James Cohen
James Cohen
29 days ago
Reply to  walter smith

It would appear the trans-constitutional republic of UVA has tacit endorsement of the socialist left Nationalsozialistische Amerikanz Arbeiterpartei faculty. If they didn’t have their support there would be a love-in on the lawn.

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
26 days ago
Reply to  James Cohen

Incredible. Thanks for sharing. Says volumes about the “great and good” culture President Ryan is overseeing and promoting.